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Optimize The Onboarding Process With HR Technology

Trending perceptions of how tech will impact HR have a spooky and a bountiful side, a bit like fall’s two major holidays (Halloween and Thanksgiving.) On the spooky side is what I call the Body Snatcher Fear, that HR tech is poised to replace humans completely, turning people management into a faceless enterprise. Then there’s the bounty side: the Cornucopia Fallacy, that HR tech is an infinite cornucopia of ready-made solutions already laid out on the table, just waiting for us to come and eat; buy the latest HR software management system and just let it run, for instance.

I’ve talked about talent acquisition, where organizations need to optimize tech’s power to first attract the largest and best possible pool of potential hires, and then winnow through for ideal candidates and manage the many phases of recruitment. Data and software functions are a fine matchmaker there. But the higher you climb up the recruitment pyramid from candidate to hire, the more human input and dynamic flexibility come into play. Add the necessary social and mobile aspects, and you’d best make sure they’ve got a human (as opposed to spammy) face.

In talent management, the challenges of retention and its impact on ROI are as old as the very act of hiring. It’s estimated that 35 percent of new hires leave their new job within six months.

While there are myriad possible reasons, less than stellar onboarding is clearly a factor. And tech offers new solutions. Done right, onboarding (often driven by software) dovetails your new hire in terms of organizational culture, as well as function. In all aspects, first impressions are key: even the process of setting up a new IT password can have a big impact. In practical terms, onboarding more quickly facilitates function and productivity. In more nuanced ways, it:

If your onboarding process is not truly aligned with your organization’s culture and values, the disconnect can be damaging. A recent study of new science teachers, a strata not traditionally known for poor retention rates, is telling. After a training phase that emphasized innovation and creativity, these new hires marched off to work ready to innovate, and got an organizational cold shower. Their onboarding experience included close work with mentors, who stressed the importance of “fitting in,” and conforming to the status quo. Now teachers had to employ the best practices they had absorbed during training on the sly, and the situation was stressful at the very least. Many opted to find new jobs instead.

Here, tech could have been invaluable at comparing the different agendas of training and workplace culture. Had data been gathered on the true nature of the work environment versus the thrust of the training process, the disconnect would have been immediately apparent — data doesn’t lie. Data is a two-way street, and such findings could also have provided a neutral mode in which to point out a problem of workplace values. Here, a stifling status quo trickled down to the onboarding process. But without the data, the training process was unaware of it. And in turn, the best practices stressed during the training phase could not make it back up to the workplace culture: it took an exodus to reveal the problem — after the fact

On the other hand, there’s Google, of all places, an organization so enormous it’s hard to imagine how it can humanize HR. But the company continues to identify and solve workplace challenges on all levels. One result is a more effective onboarding process that optimizes productivity; another is a much-improved retention rate among women, after serious research drove comprehensive improvements on every level. Way to go, gigantic tech behemoth! Why? Humans.

Tech is a tool. To leverage tech’s potential requires human leadership, human innovation and creativity, and human management. Studies like this from Towers Watson show that, despite shrinking budgets in other areas, spending on HR delivery service and technology is actually rising. The more we understand how it can drive HR in all phases, the better the results are going to be.

To learn more about how to empower your new hires on day one, download TalentWise’s latest whitepaper.

TalentWise, is a technology company that’s transforming the way HR manages job offers, screens, and onboards new hires. TalentWise has built a single, online platform that streamlines the hiring process end-to-end with compliance built-in. To find out more about how your organization can onboard better, check out their blog by clicking here.

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How Education Is Failing To Serve Business’ Needs

Education is one of the triumphs of modern civilization. According to census data, over 40% of the U.S. population has an associate degree or higher. With higher education attendance continuing to rise, it’s only a matter of time before half the population has degrees. But is all of this education really serving our needs, either as a society or as a business community?

Stirring the pot of debate

This is not an issue confined within the borders of the U.S.; it can be seen across multiple developed countries and regions. As an example, while every pronouncement of the UK government’s controversial educational secretary, Michael Gove, is stirring a storm of outrage and argument, at least he is triggering debate about education. But he has inadvertently highlighted a fundamental problem: The different sides cannot even agree on what they are arguing about because, as in the U.S., no one is asking what the education system is for.

When we set up a process within a business we ask what it is meant to do. We set it up to achieve those ends, and refine it to ensure that they are met. To do otherwise is to set ourselves up to fail.

This should also apply in education.

To what end

If the education system is to serve the needs of business, then we need to start by asking what those needs are.

Businesses need creative thinkers who can apply their skills to a variety of situations. The markets and the companies that work within them are constantly changing, as shifts in society and technology create a need for constant adaptation. The ability to think creatively, to adapt and apply, to act with initiative is as vital to business success as it is to human fulfillment and creating happy employees.

Interpersonal skills are essential. The ability to empathize with others, to understand their point of view and effectively communicate with them has two big advantages. First, it allows employees to work productively together, creating a successful working environment. Second, it allows employees to understand and communicate with their customers, to hear their needs and to meet them.

Stemming from all of this, employees need the ability to work with the information they are given, whatever that information is. To use it to understand and shape their work.

Another brick in the wall

Sadly, this is not what our education system is built around.

Our system rewards rote learning and rote thinking, using the ideas and solutions of others rather than creating your own. If every assignment is marked on citing past sources, where is the reward for coming up with your own ideas?

We don’t set out to teach interpersonal skills and communication at all, instead acting as if people will learn them by osmosis. But these are difficult, complex areas, and the proliferation of counselors and speaking coaches shows how much value we can gain from training.

As for information, we may talk about teaching how to process it, but we exam on the ability to recall facts, and so that is what the education experience focuses on. We aren’t teaching how to process information, we are teaching a small part of that information, a part which in the Internet age is already available at the push of a button. It’s not the recall of facts that matters, it’s the ability to find and sift them.

Implications and assumptions

There are many implications and assumptions behind our current education system. Some of them are old fashioned, some have emerged over time, but unless they are directly addressed they will continue to shape our education system in unhelpful ways. If we want education to meet the needs of business, then we need to state, clearly and explicitly, what those needs are and build a system designed to meet them.

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3 Reasons That Corporate Training Is Booming

Bersin by Deloitte recently released their 2014 Corporate Learning Factbook, and revealed that corporate training is in huge demand right now, and it is only expected to climb. The research showed a steady growth rate from 10% in 2011, 12% in 2012 and 15% in 2014.

As an LMS provider, this is great news, but it’s even better news for the organizations jumping on the training bandwagon. Because training is considered one of the most discretionary spends in business, the significant return of training is a very strong indicator that the economy and business are in a positive state. Here are the three reasons that corporate training in the US has become a $70 Billion industry.

No Money, No Training

When belts tighten, training is among the first things to go. That being said, when the economy makes the upward swing, a strong emphasis on training becomes immediate. In 2008 and 2009, at the height of the US economic recession, we saw corporate training spending dip down to -11%. By 2011, spending had increased by 21%. Bersin said:

“This is among the most discretionary of all corporate spending areas, so it is an excellent bellweather for business confidence.”

So what happened during that 21% drop in training spend? While the entire skill gap or talent shortage (whatever you want to call it) can’t be fully attributed to this significant dip in training, it certainly didn’t help matters.

The Skill Gap Is Significant

The study also took a look at just how real the skill gap is in today’s US workforce. The research revealed that over 70% of organizations cite “capability gaps” as one of their top five challenges.

For instance, a recent report from the Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education revealed that employment in professional, scientific and tech services is projected to grow by 29% by 2020. It is also projected that of the two million new jobs this increase will produce, the majority of the will have be filled with talent from outside of the US. CEO of Goodwill Industries, Jim Gibbons said:

“Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix. Closing the skills gap will take a concerted effort and commitment to retraining and educating our workforce. We can only close the gap by comprehensively investing in workers of all ages — from students to seniors.”

Employers Prefer Internal Hires/Promotions

A recent survey of 400 employers, conducted by the College for America revealed a strong preference for the learning and development of existing employees into management roles rather than hiring new employees. Employers want to be able to promote from within, but the lack of appropriate skills in their workforce doesn’t allow for it. So leaders are embracing the importance of training. Internal promotions save on sourcing, recruiting and hiring costs, which can add up quite quickly. Training has its own associated costs, but they tend to yield a very high return on investment, as training is also linked to increased productivity, engagement and retention.

The corporate training boom is not only a symbol of a current positive economic state, it is also a catalyst for a strong economy to come. As training is welcomed back into the corporate world it brings with it a lot of solutions to our current workforce problems, like employee engagement lows, high turnover rates, poor customer care and the significant skill gap. Training is one of the most important and effective investments that leaders can make to drive success that will last.

(About the Author: Sean Pomeroy, CEO of Visibility Software, has worked in the Human Resources industry since he graduated from Radford University with a Bachelors in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. After working in HR as a generalist for a government contracting company, he moved to the HR Technology arena and began assisting companies in the selection and implementation of HR software.)

To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter and G+ conversation anytime. Learn more…

TalentCulture World of Work was created for HR professionals, leadership executives, and the global workforce. Our community delves into subjects like HR technologyleadershipemployee engagement, and corporate culture everyday. To get more World of Work goodness, please sign up for our newsletter, listen to our #TChat Radio Channel or sign up for our RSS feed.

Do you have great content you want to share with us? Become a TalentCulture contributor!

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Psst! Leaders, Are You Really Listening?

Listen: ˈlɪs(ə)n/

Verb: To give one’s attention to a sound.
Synonym: hear, pay attention, be attentive, concentrate on hearing, lend an ear to, and to be all ears.

We all understand the mechanics of listening. But too often today, when we have the opportunity to listen, we’re content with just passively letting sound waves travel through our ears. That’s called hearing. Listening is something entirely different. It’s essential for leaders to pay attention when others around us have something to say. Why? Because developing better listening skills is the key to developing a better company.

Lack of Listening Puts Organizations at Risk

Because leaders live in the ‘time is money’ zone, information gathering tends to focus on immediate requirements:

I need an answer! Give me a snapshot, infographic or sound-byte. GO, GO, GO!

However, when input actually arrives, how authentic are you about listening? Do you pretend to care, just for the sake of getting at what you think you need? Or are you receiving, absorbing and processing the entire message?

We’ve all had moments when we politely smile and nod throughout a dialogue. The speaker may feel heard and validated, but we miss out on potentially valuable information. Or how about those moments when we greet someone in passing with a quick, “Hi. How are you?” and continue moving forward without waiting for a response.

Occasionally, that may happen. But what if it’s a habit? What if others in your organization learn to expect that behavior from you? When people assume their ideas and opinions don’t matter, communication quickly breaks down. This kind of moment isn’t just a missed opportunity for meaningful interaction — it’s a legitimate business issue that puts your organization at risk.

Why Don’t We Listen?

When we’re part of a conversation, but we’re not paying attention, we send the message that we just don’t care. However, our intentions may be quite different. These are the most common reasons why we fail at listening:

  We’re developing a response. Instead of maintaining a clear, open mind when others speak, we quickly start composing our reply or rebuttal. Many smart people tend to jump into that response mode — usually less than 40 words into a dialogue.

  We’re preoccupied by external factors. In today’s multitasking environments, distractions abound. We’re bombarded with noise from things like open floor plans, and a constant barrage of texts, tabs, emails, calls, and calendar notifications.

•  It’s not a good time for the conversation. Have you ever been rushing to prepare for a meeting when someone stopped you in the hallway with a simple “Got a moment?” While it may be tempting to comply, it’s wise to simply schedule the discussion for another time. You’ll stay on track for the meeting, and can focus on the request as time permits.

Checked Out? Ideas For Stronger Communication

I ask my team questions and invest time in discussions because I’m interested in their answers. Actually, I need those answers. After all, employee feedback is critical for a more engaged, productive, fulfilled workforce.

To foster better understanding, try asking follow-up questions to verify what people intend to convey, and discover how they feel about what they’re saying. This simple gesture will cultivate a culture of openness and camaraderie. Also, we can use tools to streamline the communication process and help us ask smart questions that reveal more about employees.

However, there’s no point asking questions if we only respond with a nod and then move on. If your mind is too cluttered and your day too busy to engage fully, be honest with your team. Assure them that you’ll get back to them when you’re able. And of course, don’t forget to follow up.

How To Make Mindful Conversation a Habit

Still, many leaders struggle with the art of active listening. That’s why it’s important to learn useful techniques and make practice a part of your life.

Deepak Chopra, MD, observes that leaders and followers ideally form a symbiotic relationship. “The greatest leaders are visionaries, but no vision is created in a vacuum. It emerges from the situation at hand.” Effective leadership begins with observation — knowing your audience and understanding the landscape. Even the most eloquent, powerful speech will fall on deaf ears if the speaker doesn’t listen to the pulse of the audience.

It’s never too soon to start practicing this art. Here are 4 easy tips to improve your ability to listen and lead:

1) Repetition. Repeat anything you find interesting. This helps you recall key points after a conversation ends. It’s also a smart technique when you meet someone new. Repeat their name throughout the discussion. This not only solidifies the name in your memory, but also helps build rapport and trust.

2) Read Between the Lines. Pay special attention when a speaker changes tone and volume, pauses, or breaks eye contact. These subtle signals are clues that can reflect emotional highlights or pain points (anger, sadness, happiness). And body language often reveals what words don’t say.

3) Mouth/Eye Coordination. Looking a speaker in the eye establishes a connection and lets them know you’re listening. But don’t hold their gaze too long. Recent research suggests that eye contact is effective only if you already agree with a speaker’s message. Instead, try looking at the speaker’s mouth. That may feel awkward, but this keeps you focused on what they’re saying — and they’ll know it.

4) Reflection. Seal the deal by thinking back to extract meaning. You may be exhilarated by a great conversation — but without a mental debrief, much of it can be forgotten. Reflection is critical in developing the takeaways (and subsequent actions) that make the discussion valuable. Try mentally organizing important points by associating them with a relevant word or two. Then, in the future, you’ll more easily recall the details.

The art of listening is about much more than exchanging facts. Active listening helps those in your company feel validated and connected with you and your organization. Genuine conversations weave their own path. Give them your time and attention. Along the way, you’ll solve problems and generate new ideas that will have a lasting impact on you, your team and your business.

Also Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with others in the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome to participate; or join our ongoing Twitter conversation anytime. Learn more…)

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Leadership + Influence From The Inside Out #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for all the highlights and resource links from this week’s #TChat Events? You’re in luck — they’re right this way at the #TChat Recap: Gut Check: Emotions and Leadership.)

“It’s not personal — it’s strictly business.”
–Mario Puzo “The Godfather

Have you ever heard someone at work echo that classic line to dismiss their ruthless, destructive or self-serving behavior? In the past, that kind of cold-blooded Mafia mindset was all too prevalent in business. But these days it’s losing relevance, as emotional intelligence takes hold.

Although academics continue to debate various “EI” models, the core concept is simple. It’s based on the notion that the more mindful we are of the “human” side of business (in ourselves and others), the more effective our performance will be, and the more likely we’ll influence others’ performance.

While some people resist the term “emotional intelligence,” the concept is gaining traction. Some of the world’s most successful organizations — companies like Google and Microsoft — are actively developing emotional intelligence in their workforce. Why does it matter? And how can it “make” or “break” your professional reputation?

That’s the topic we’re discussing this week at #TChat Events, with EI expert, Steve Gutzler, President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle leadership consultancy, and author of “Emotional Intelligence for Personal Leadership.”

“Sneak Peek” Hangout

To kick-off this week’s discussion, Steve joined me for a G+ Hangout, where he briefly shared some fascinating insights about the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace:

This week’s #TChat Events promise to be helpful for anyone who wants to work more effectively with and through others. So bring your questions and ideas — and let’s talk!

#TChat Events: Emotional Intelligence, Leadership and Influence

#TChat Radio — Wed, Dec 18 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

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Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Steve Gutzler about why emotional intelligence matters in the workplace, and its connection with influence. Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Dec 18 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and Steve will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where Dr. Nancy Rubin will lead an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these 5 related questions:

Q1: Why is emotional intelligence so critical for today’s leaders?
Q2: How do emotional “soft skills” complement hard-edge business skills?
Q3: What is emotional hijacking vs. emotional self-management?
Q4: How can business leaders offer productive emotional influence?
Q5: What technologies can foster employee appreciation + emotional commitment?

We look forward to hearing your feedback, as talent-minded professionals, who care about the human side of business.

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.
We’ll see you on the stream!

HR Generalists: Tricks of the Trade #TChat Recap

Recruiting and hiring.
Compensation and benefits.
Organizational design and development.
Compliance and employee relations.
Training and performance management.
Change management and internal communications.
The list goes on…

In today’s world of work, the areas of expertise that define HR are varied and complex. Yet, most companies are too small to employ a dedicated staff of specialists. It forces the question:

In an era of increasing specialization, how can one person successfully run an entire human resource department?

Of course, this isn’t just an academic exercise. For many HR professionals, nonstop multitasking now seems to be a way of life. Recent research by The Society For Human Resource Management suggests that there’s a widespread need to support small HR shops. According to SHRM, a majority of its 275,000 members represent HR departments of 1-5 people. They know what it means to juggle many demands on a daily basis. But how can they perform effectively?

That’s the issue our talent-minded community tackled this week at #TChat Events, where two  “in-the-trenches” HR veterans led the discussion:

Dave Ryan, SPHR, Director of Human Resources at Mel-O-Cream Donuts, and
Donna Rogers,
SPHR, owner of Rogers HR Consulting, and management instructor at University of Illinois Springfield.

(Note: For details, see the highlights slideshow and resource links at the end of this post.)

Context: How Essential Is HR, Itself?

Recently, a debate has been brewing about the value of HR departments, overall. Bernard Marr questioned the need for an HR function, while Josh Bersin championed its role. Bersin emphasizes the fact that, despite a tremendous need to reskill and transform the HR function, human resources professionals help solve some of today’s most fundamental business problems. Top executives recognize the strategic role that talent plays in organizational success, and HR professionals are best equipped to define, shape and implement those strategies.

But how does that apply to solo HR managers, who may be living in a perpetually reactive zone? Ben Eubanks describes the best one-person HR departments as leaders with entrepreneurial traits:

We don’t pick up the phone and call our corporate HR team. We ARE the corporate HR team.
We are comfortable with research and making judgment calls.
We constantly seek out opportunities for professional development — if you’re not growing you’re dying.

Comments From the TalentCulture Crowd

Because many #TChat-ters understand the challenges that multi-tasking HR generalists face each day, the vast majority of Twitter chat participants sang the praises of one-person shops. In addition, many offered thoughtful advice. For example:

As the #TChat discussion demonstrates, solo managers don’t need to wait for industry events to connect with smart advice. Social tools make it easy to create a network of virtual resources to assist when you need it. Do you have a question about an unfamiliar subject? Tweet it with a relevant hashtag. (Try #TChat!) Post it to a LinkedIn HR discussion group. I guarantee you’ll get responses, faster than you expect.

Social tools also are useful for communication within your organization. Intranets are a great way to enable collaboration and communication at a relatively low cost. Cloud-based tools are available for internal discussions, project management, and reporting. Hiring systems and performance management solutions also offer social integration without steep IT costs. The possibilities are limited only by the time and interest HR managers invest in professional networking and research.

Above All: Aim for Agility

It seems that, of all skills needed for one-person HR superheroes, the most important is agility. Put aside the notion that you can execute perfectly, across-the-board. Prioritize carefully. Then, with the time and budget available to you, apply tools and resources as efficiently as your able, while making it all seem effortless.

Scared? Don’t be. If you’re reading this, you know that a worldwide community of like-minded people is right here to support you. We’ve got your back!

#TChat Week-In-Review: HR Departments of One

Donna Rogers and Dave Ryan

Watch the hangouts in the #TChat Preview

SAT 11/30:

#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager, Tim McDonald, framed this week’s topic in a  post featuring #TChat hangout videos with guests Dave Ryan and Donna Rogers. Read: “HR: How to Succeed at Flying Solo.”

SUN 12/1:

Forbes.com Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro looked at 7 ways leaders can foster a high-octane social workplace culture. Read: “Top 5 Reasons HR Is On The Move.”

MON 12/2:

Related Post: Guest Donna Rogers shared wisdom from her experiences. Read “Survival Tips for HR Departments of One.

WED 12/4:

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Listen to the #TChat Radio recording

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman spoke with guests Dave Ryan and Donna Rogers, about the challenges and rewards of operating as a one-person HR department. Listen to the radio recording now!

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin, Dave and Donna joined the TalentCulture community on the #TChat Twitter stream, as I moderated an open conversation that centered on 5 related questions. For highlights, see the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: HR Departments of One

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/the-hr-department-of-one.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Dave Ryan and Donna Rogers for sharing your perspectives on HR management. We value your time and expertise!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about how HR professionals can operate “lean”? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, #TChat looks at the latest Candidate Experience trends and best practices with guest experts, Elaine Orler and Gerry Crispin! Look for more details this weekend.

Meanwhile, the World of Work conversation continues. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream,  our LinkedIn discussion group. or elsewhere on social media. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and we look forward to hearing from you.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Going Social: Learning In Action #TChat Recap

“Learning is more effective when it is active rather than a passive process.”
– Euripides

One of the most active learning environments I know is #TChat.

In fact, sometimes it’s truly hyper-active, as the TalentCulture community meets on the Twitter stream to exchange ideas about the world of work. That’s certainly how it felt this week, as we gathered to celebrate three years of #TChat events and continuous online knowledge sharing.

It was fitting that our conversation focused on social learning. And it was equally fitting to welcome an HR executive who’s responsible for (among many other things) leveraging social tools and techniques to foster learning across her fast-paced, global organization.

Our guest this week was Ambrosia Humphrey, VP of Talent at HootSuite. And the insights she shared on #TChat Radio are instructive for any organization striving to elevate its learning culture.

(Editor’s Note: See full event highlights and resource links at the end of this post.)

Social Workplace: Learning Everywhere

As social media weaves itself deeper into daily life, organizations are searching for effective ways to blend social behaviors with learning methodology. There are good reasons for all the interest.

Social channels remove the hierarchy found in most organizations. With traditional roles de-emphasized, everyone has more freedom to contribute, interact, experiment and develop personally and professionally. It’s collaboration at its best. When organizations channel this collective energy, there’s great potential to boost innovation and business performance.

However, many companies are still only testing the waters in their cultural commitment to social learning. Twitter chats such as #TChat provide a low-risk model outside organizational walls; bringing together experts and talent-minded professionals to discuss today’s workplace — what works, what doesn’t, and how to address key issues.

#TChat: Social Learning Slice Of Life

As #TChat proves, social tools and techniques are an attractive way to develop and sustain learning communities. The immediacy, flexibility and availability of social media make it possible for people with common interests to connect and contribute easily in real-time, from all corners of the globe.

Imagine the possibilities when this approach is applied within organizations! Employees feel more appreciated and valued for their input. Engagement increases. And employers signal a commitment to employee development and growth. It’s a win-win. Companies gain a more engaged, productive workforce, and in turn, employees are challenged and become more competent.

This is why I look forward to many more wonderful years for #TChat and TalentCulture — an open, ongoing learning environment that is helping us all shape the world of work for the better!

#TChat Week-In-Review: Online Communities and Professional Growth

Kevin Grossman Tim McDonald TChat (2)

Watch the #TChat hangout now

SAT 11/16:

#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Editorial Director, Kathleen Kruse framed this week’s topic in a post that features a special 3rd Anniversary #TChat hangout video with co-founder, Kevin W. Grossman. Read the Preview: “We’re Turning Three! Let’s Celebrate Community.”

SUN 11/17:

Forbes.com Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro looked at 7 ways leaders can foster a high-octane social workplace culture. Read: “7 Characteristics of a Social Leader.”

MON 11/18 — THU 11/21

Related Posts:
Read: “What Drives Social Influence? Insights From Recruiting Circles” by Carter Hostelley
Read: “#TChat Road Trip: Going to the Next Level Together” by Meghan M. Biro
Read: “Community Heart + Soul: #TChat Favorites” by Kevin W. Grossman

WED 11/20:

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Listen to the #TChat Radio show now

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman spoke with guest Ambrosia Humphrey , VP HR at HootSuite, about why and how organizations benefit by committing to social learning initiatives. Listen to the radio recording now!

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and team Hootsuite joined the entire TalentCulture community on the #TChat Twitter stream, as I moderated an open conversation that centered on 5 related questions. For highlights, see the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: The Growth of Online Learning

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/from-the-virtual-wilds-the-growth-of-online-learni.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Ambrosia Humphrey for sharing your perspectives on social learning and organizational culture. We value your time, enthusiasm and expertise!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about social learning in the workplace? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, #TChat Events go quiet, as we celebrate the Thanksgiving week in the U.S. However, we’ll be back on December 4th, with a special double-header, featuring two of our community’s most beloved HR experts, Dave Ryan and Donna Rogers! Look for more details next weekend.

Meanwhile, the World of Work conversation continues. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream,  our LinkedIn discussion group. or elsewhere on social media. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and we look forward to hearing from you.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

25 Jobs in One Career? Brace Yourselves

Recently, I participated in an unsettling Twitter chat, focused on career planning.

Usually that’s not a controversial topic, but this particular discussion disturbed many participants. Why? Because we projected the number of jobs a typical Millennial will accumulate over the span of a career in our so-called “New Economy.”

Do The Math

Consider these estimates from reputable sources:

By 2020, 40-50% of all income-producing work will be performed by short-term contractors, freelance workers and “SuperTemps
The length of a career already averages 48 years — by 2020 it will be 50+ years
Today, the average time-in-service for a Millennial at any company is 2.6 years

Admittedly, I am not really good at math. But this data is pretty conclusive…

At 2.6 years per job, over 50+ years in the workforce, plus several temp assignments and contracts means that Gen Y can expect to hold 20-25 jobs over the course of a career.

Here’s the problem… or, rather, several problems:

No One Told Gen Y

Those statistics genuinely scared #InternPro participants — most of whom are Millennials. No one had done the math. Plus, between parents, educators and old-school career experts, there seems to be a halo effect surrounding an old paradigm: lifetime employment. Many Millennials seem to believe that once they graduate and get that first job, their job search is effectively over. They are unprepared for the fact that it’s really just the beginning of a continuous process.

Traditional Higher Education Hasn’t Noticed

Many higher education stalwarts — not exactly known for quickly adapting to changing economies and markets — still feature old-school theory taught by tenured professors who’ve never held a position outside academia. Instead of teaching the skills that will be in demand in the “Freelance Economy,” we’re still shoving 1970’s courses and curriculum down the throats of unsuspecting students. Higher education must change fundamentally. To remain relevant, academics must start emphasizing transferable, marketable career skills.

We Aren’t Entrepreneurial Enough

Successful SuperTemps, solopreneurs and freelancers rely on one skill above all else: entrepreneurism. Why? Because, going forward, our livelihood depends on our ability to sell our skills, our value proposition and our niche — continuously.

In fact, with the average duration of a job search at about 40 weeks, there will almost never be a time when we’re not selling… us.

Old School Recruiters Haven’t Adapted

It doesn’t help that recruiters still haven’t caught-on. Old-school recruiters, unwilling to accept new workforce trends, discount job seekers whose resumes show they move every two to three years. They still consider this “job-hopping” — and many will not interview candidates with this tendency. They are labeled “disloyal” and a “long-term risk”.

Here’s the reality: between economic conditions, Gen Y’s penchant for moving on when they become restless or feel undervalued, and the inevitable entrepreneurial spirit that is becoming pervasive among job seekers, recruiters who stick to this now antiquated “rule” will lose out on high-quality talent. In the meantime, their competitors will thrive.

Fasten Your Career Path Seatbelts

Without a doubt, our new economy is already here. Members of Gen Y who cling to old standards — through fear and/or influence by parents, higher education and recruiters — will clearly continue to struggle. They will continue to do as trained — and will continue looking for jobs that no longer exist.

However, young professionals who recognize the new workplace for what it is, and learn the career skills required to win…

Strategic planning
Goal setting
Sales and digital marketing
Effective follow-up
Customer service
Integrity-based self-promotion

…will not only embrace the new economy, they will surround themselves with success.

What’s your reaction to the “average” career path of the future? How would you suggest that Millennials prepare to manage their careers more successfully? Share your thoughts in the comments area.

(Editor’s Note: This post has been adapted from YouTern, with permission.)

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Generation X at Bat #TChat Recap

Do you ever wish you could instantly capture expert advice or opinions from across the World of Work?

Here’s an easy solution: Just ask a quick question on Twitter about generational differences in today’s workplace. Even better, ask that question during a #TChat event. I guarantee that, within moments, you’ll be drinking from a fire hose of thoughtful, passionate, articulate responses!

That’s exactly what we experienced on the #TChat stream last night with special guest, Mark Babbitt. As founder + CEO of YouTern, an organization that helps young professionals grow through high-impact information, mentorships and internships, Mark has developed strong opinions about the silent strength that Generation X brings to the workforce.

Do You Mind If I Talk About Your Age?

We were curious if the TalentCulture community agrees with Mark’s perspective. And we wondered how important generational similarities and differences are in shaping tomorrow’s organizations.

The conversation exposed what at first blush, might seem like opposing viewpoints. For example, on one hand, many participants emphasized the benefits of celebrating diversity:

“It’s not one-size-fits-all.” …and… “Let’s value the differences.” …and as Tom Bolt suggested…

Meanwhile, other participants emphasized the importance of focusing on similarities:

“Empower people; stop focusing on generations.” …and… “There are inspired, innovative, connected people in every generation.” …and as Kelly Blokdijk noted…

Of course, upon reflection, these perspectives are really two sides of the same coin. Both hold truths that can propel organizations forward.

But key questions remain — HOW BEST can we bring together both ends of this spectrum to create more effective organizational cultures? And how prepared is our next wave of leaders to accomplish that mission? Whenever human behavior is involved, there are many roads to the same destination. Some paths have many more detours and roadblocks. Organizations need smart navigators. Meanwhile, the business world continues to grow more complex and challenging. That’s why we’ll need extraordinary leaders in the future — regardless of their generation.

What’s Age Got To Do With It?

In the meantime, we look to one another for guidance. It’s actually phenomenal how much information has been created and shared about generations in the workplace. And yet organizations still struggle with how to “make it work.”

Just for fun, consider this quick, unscientific peek at the magnitude of commentary available online:

GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS:
“Millennials” work = 39,000,000
“Boomers” work = 37,000,000
“Generation X” work = 3,260,000

You’d think there are enough nuggets of wisdom in there to help us understand and resolve these issues. But ideas, alone, aren’t the answer. Action is also required.

I wonder what “old-school” sage, the late Peter Drucker, would have said about this, if he had joined #TChat Twitter last night? Perhaps only this:

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”

After all, no matter how old or young we are, that’s really the only path to progress.

So let’s keep the ideas flowing. Let’s keep the lines of communication open. Let’s share what works, and toss out what doesn’t. But most of all, let’s encourage one another to be bold and try “something new.” Let’s keep trying, and learning, and growing, and evolving. Let’s look forward to creating that “new” future together!

#TChat Week-In-Review: Gen X — Leading From The Middle

MarkB

Watch the Hangout now

SAT 10/12:

#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald framed this week’s topic in a post that featured a brief G+ Hangout video with guest Mark Babbitt. Read the Preview: “Gen X: Leading From The Middle.”

SUN 10/13:

Forbes.com Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro suggested how leaders can overcome generational differences. Read: “5 Ways Leaders Bridge the Generational Divide.”

TUE 10/15:

Related Post: Dan Newman, author of “The Millennial CEO,” examined the source of effective leadership. Read: “Anatomy of a Leader: Not Just Skin Deep.”

WED 10/16:

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the radio show now

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman spoke with special guest, Mark Babbitt, about the unique challenges and opportunities that Generation X faces in today’s world of work. Listen to the radio recording now!

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Mark, Meghan and Kevin joined the entire community on the #TChat Twitter stream for an open conversation about 5 related questions. For highlights, check the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Highlights: Gen X: Leading From The Middle

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-gen-x-leading-from-the-middle.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Mark Babbitt for adding your voice to this week’s discussion. Your insights about Gen X have helped challenge our assumptions and expand our understanding.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about the multi-generational workforce? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we tackle another important “world of work” topic. So save the date (October 23) for another rockin #TChat double header. And keep an eye out for details in the next few days.

Meanwhile, the World of Work conversation continues! So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or elsewhere on social media. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and your thoughts are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Gen X: Leading From The Middle #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for a complete overview of the week’s #TChat highlights and resource links? Read the #TChat Recap: “Generation X At Bat.”)

I just discovered that I’m exceptional! Or to be more accurate, I’m unconventional.

I’m a member of Gen X — and according to those who analyze age-related attributes, I should feel disadvantaged and overlooked in the workplace. Fortunately, I’ve had an interesting and rewarding career path, so perhaps I just got lucky. Or perhaps the assumptions aren’t as universal as we think.

But that raises some related questions — Just how “real” is the generational divide at work? And what do those differences mean, as Baby Boomers begin to retire, and a new wave of leaders steps up to drive the world of work?

Last week at #TChat Twitter, our community collectively agreed that the office is no place for age discrimination. However, for better or worse, each generation brings a unique set of shared experiences to the workplace. Are Baby Boomers and Millennials stealing attention from those of us who are “in the middle”? If so, what kind of impact will that have on the future of work?

This week, we’re addressing those questions head-on. We want to give Gen X the attention it deserves. And we’ve invited an ideal expert to lead the discussion:

Mark Babbitt, Founder + CEO of YouTern, an organization that helps young talent develop professionally through high-impact mentors, internships and information.

I spoke with Mark briefly in a joint G+ Hangout, where he set the stage for this week’s topic:

No matter what generation you represent, we want to hear your thoughts about how organizations can prepare tomorrow’s leaders for success. So please join us, and bring your ideas and opinions!

#TChat Events: Gen X — Leading From The Middle

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio — Wed, Oct 16 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Mark Babbitt about the unique challenges and opportunities that Generation X faces in today’s world of work. Follow the action LIVE online, and dial-in with your feedback and questions!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Oct 16 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move this discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream for an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Anyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: Gen X is “forgotten” in today’s workforce — myth or reality?
Q2: How can Gen Xers elevate their visibility and value at work?
Q3: Why is it smart for employers to empower all generations?
Q4: How can today’s leaders develop tomorrow’s decision makers?
Q5: What could technology do to remove generational barriers?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Internship Compensation: Does It Pay?

In light of the recent slew of compensation-based class action lawsuits, unpaid internships are a hot topic. And with only 36.9% of companies still offering interns less that minimum wage or no compensation at all, it’s clear that relying upon unpaid interns is more damaging than many employers assume.

How might that “free” extra set of hands leave you paying a price? Take a look at the following infographic, compiled by InternMatch, an online platform connecting the best intern candidates and employers. It showcases several key intern compensation facts, as well as implications for employers. For example:

• 48% of internships accepted by the Class of 2013 were unpaid
• 41% of paid interns weren’t paid enough to cover basic daily expenses
• 65% of students relied on financial assistance from parents during their internships
• 63% of paid interns subsequently received at least one job offer

Whether you’re an intern or an employer, there’s a message here for you. Check out the full infographic, and share your thoughts in the comments area below!

What do you think? Should unpaid interns fight back against employers to recover unpaid wages and overtime?

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

How To Skip The Negative Feedback "Sandwich"

I’ve never fully understood the logic behind the “sandwich” method of delivering performance feedback. (I’m sure you’re familiar with this concept: Open a discussion on a positive note, then insert a negative piece of news, followed by another positive.) We like to think that we’re softening the blow by offering several of bits of positive feedback around a central negative message. However, we’re doing no such thing.

Actually, this approach may be a disservice to both categories of information — each of which plays a unique and highly valuable role in shaping performance. Overall, we need to pay close attention to the “cascade” of emotions and behavior that we initiate when delivering feedback, but also be careful to retain the value of the message.

Performance Feedback: Open Dialogue

Processing negative performance feedback is quite challenging for most of us — even though on a very basic level, we realize that accepting “where to improve” is critical to our careers. While positive feedback serves to motivate and energize our work lives (we all need this on a regular basis), the “negatives” can also provide useful information about where we should direct our attention. To remain competitive, we certainly require both categories of information — and I am not debating the value of either. Rather, I’d like to open a discussion about how negative information can be presented and approached, to afford the most progress possible.

When considering negative feedback, we must acknowledge core human characteristics; including self-efficacy (the belief that individuals can actually impact their situation) and goal orientation (some individuals focus on learning, others focus on demonstrating competence, and others focus upon avoiding negative judgement). To properly deliver negative feedback, we should carefully consider and frame the delivery, so potential damage to an individual’s psyche is minimized and progress is emphasized.

Developing A Constructive Approach

There’s truly an art to presenting information about performance deficits of any kind. When managers practice the sandwich method, I fear that once the “meat” of the sandwich is delivered — the “downside” of performance — we really don’t remember much of anything that follows. (Attempting to “hide” the information doesn’t address the issues.) We can certainly do a better job of moving the conversation to more neutral ground, where performance improvement can follow. But how? Here are some ideas:

3 Behavioral Considerations

1) How humans are “wired” to perceive bad news. We are likely predisposed to pay more attention to negative information, possibly a leftover evolutionary survival mechanism. As a result, we’re likely to become hyper-focused on the negatives. This clouds our “lens.”
2) We sorely need the positives. We should all be allowed to absorb what we are doing well at work. That’s not possible when information about our successes is delivered in conjunction with information about shortcomings.
3) We “digest” slowly. It takes time to process negative information properly. Initially, when you hear information you might not not want to hear, negative thoughts can spiral, leading to responses such as panic and denial. There are stages in this process that cannot be skipped.

5 Ways To Avoid “The Sandwich”

1) Build resiliency. Performance management should never be a once a year, “live or die” event. Ultimately, it’s a continuous process. Provide positive feedback concerning small successes along the way to provide balance. This helps difficult information become easier to absorb.
2) Address self-efficacy. Some individuals have the tendency to believe they cannot impact their performance or build a needed skill set. Explore this predisposition, to encourage a more hopeful perspective.
3) Focus on learning. Research has shown that in contrast to performance goals, learning goals can increase problem solving in relation to performance problems, possibly limiting the “sting” of negative feedback. Setting the tone to “learn from failure” can prove more effective in motivating and directing behavior.
4) Never “drop a bomb.” It’s wise to address negative feedback when it is delivered. Allow enough time to help control anxiety, and at least begin to discuss a plan for improvement.
5) Support the digestion process. After sharing negative feedback, be sure to provide plenty of support. Be highly accessible as an employee works through the information and begins to take logical steps forward.

How do you present negative performance feedback? What are your “best practice” strategies? How have these strategies helped you develop others in the workplace? Share your thoughts in the comments area below.

(Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared as a LinkedIn Influencer post. It is republished with permission.)

Image Credit: Kitsa Sakurako/Flickr

How To Skip The Negative Feedback “Sandwich”

I’ve never fully understood the logic behind the “sandwich” method of delivering performance feedback. (I’m sure you’re familiar with this concept: Open a discussion on a positive note, then insert a negative piece of news, followed by another positive.) We like to think that we’re softening the blow by offering several of bits of positive feedback around a central negative message. However, we’re doing no such thing.

Actually, this approach may be a disservice to both categories of information — each of which plays a unique and highly valuable role in shaping performance. Overall, we need to pay close attention to the “cascade” of emotions and behavior that we initiate when delivering feedback, but also be careful to retain the value of the message.

Performance Feedback: Open Dialogue

Processing negative performance feedback is quite challenging for most of us — even though on a very basic level, we realize that accepting “where to improve” is critical to our careers. While positive feedback serves to motivate and energize our work lives (we all need this on a regular basis), the “negatives” can also provide useful information about where we should direct our attention. To remain competitive, we certainly require both categories of information — and I am not debating the value of either. Rather, I’d like to open a discussion about how negative information can be presented and approached, to afford the most progress possible.

When considering negative feedback, we must acknowledge core human characteristics; including self-efficacy (the belief that individuals can actually impact their situation) and goal orientation (some individuals focus on learning, others focus on demonstrating competence, and others focus upon avoiding negative judgement). To properly deliver negative feedback, we should carefully consider and frame the delivery, so potential damage to an individual’s psyche is minimized and progress is emphasized.

Developing A Constructive Approach

There’s truly an art to presenting information about performance deficits of any kind. When managers practice the sandwich method, I fear that once the “meat” of the sandwich is delivered — the “downside” of performance — we really don’t remember much of anything that follows. (Attempting to “hide” the information doesn’t address the issues.) We can certainly do a better job of moving the conversation to more neutral ground, where performance improvement can follow. But how? Here are some ideas:

3 Behavioral Considerations

1) How humans are “wired” to perceive bad news. We are likely predisposed to pay more attention to negative information, possibly a leftover evolutionary survival mechanism. As a result, we’re likely to become hyper-focused on the negatives. This clouds our “lens.”
2) We sorely need the positives. We should all be allowed to absorb what we are doing well at work. That’s not possible when information about our successes is delivered in conjunction with information about shortcomings.
3) We “digest” slowly. It takes time to process negative information properly. Initially, when you hear information you might not not want to hear, negative thoughts can spiral, leading to responses such as panic and denial. There are stages in this process that cannot be skipped.

5 Ways To Avoid “The Sandwich”

1) Build resiliency. Performance management should never be a once a year, “live or die” event. Ultimately, it’s a continuous process. Provide positive feedback concerning small successes along the way to provide balance. This helps difficult information become easier to absorb.
2) Address self-efficacy. Some individuals have the tendency to believe they cannot impact their performance or build a needed skill set. Explore this predisposition, to encourage a more hopeful perspective.
3) Focus on learning. Research has shown that in contrast to performance goals, learning goals can increase problem solving in relation to performance problems, possibly limiting the “sting” of negative feedback. Setting the tone to “learn from failure” can prove more effective in motivating and directing behavior.
4) Never “drop a bomb.” It’s wise to address negative feedback when it is delivered. Allow enough time to help control anxiety, and at least begin to discuss a plan for improvement.
5) Support the digestion process. After sharing negative feedback, be sure to provide plenty of support. Be highly accessible as an employee works through the information and begins to take logical steps forward.

How do you present negative performance feedback? What are your “best practice” strategies? How have these strategies helped you develop others in the workplace? Share your thoughts in the comments area below.

(Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared as a LinkedIn Influencer post. It is republished with permission.)

Image Credit: Kitsa Sakurako/Flickr

Did You Learn Today? Pass It On

“To teach is to learn twice.”  –J. Joubert

I love my work. But there are challenges (understatement). Keeping pace with 21st-century talent and technology trends means commitment to a perpetual learning curve.

The “human side” of business is now a vast and fluid domain. It’s a melting pot, churning in overdrive, with talent-recruitment-engagement-performance-management-HR-bigdata-leadership-development-socialmedia-and-career-skills all colliding and transforming at every turn. Each day brings more than anyone can absorb. We all feel it. This sensory overload is the new norm.

Learning as a Way of Life

I can’t stop learning (and couldn’t if I wanted to). My career demands nothing less. I just got back from an exciting HR conference in Philly where I met fascinating, bright, dedicated people, and discovered jaw-dropping, radically innovative tools. In a word, I learned.

To be honest, there is nothing in the world I love more than learning — anywhere, anytime. Exchanging ideas in any social environment is an experience that makes my pulse race. And these days, I often feel like I’m experiencing a non-stop adrenaline rush!

It’s exhilarating to see smart people rewriting rules (even at this moment). And although it’s often exhausting to be at the heart of a global learning community like TalentCulture, I also feel alive and engaged every day. I hope you feel that way, too — and that’s why you participate.

Learning as Leverage for Others

Along with the adrenaline highs, sometimes on this “world of work” odyssey, I’m exposed to alarming challenges. And as my friend Angela Maiers explains, one of the most alarming issues today is the increasing shortage of skilled talent. It’s a reality that the business world can no longer afford to ignore.

Simply put — we are not preparing students sufficiently for today’s economy — let alone for the future of work.

On one hand, this leaves behind millions of potential workforce contributors who are considered unemployable by most standards. On the other hand, companies are struggling to find qualified talent for unfilled positions. Adding insult to injury, companies have slashed recruiting and development budgets to the bone in recent years, while simultaneously increasing their expectations for finding capable talent. This is not a recipe for success.

We Can Matter — As Mentors

AngelaLg

See the #TChat Preview & sneak-peek video

Something must change. I know that TalentCulture community understands this.

The good news is that each of us is equipped to lead the way — with whatever time, knowledge and skills we have available. Even more good news — there are ready-made ways to “pay-it-forward” as mentors. And one of those ways is through Angela Maiers’ bold educational initiative, Choose2Matter.

Angela isn’t waiting for government or big business or educational institutions to fix the problem. Instead, she’s using her brains, her passion and her professional network to unleash a tiny movement that can make a lasting difference in the future of every student that Choose2Matter touches.

This fearless approach to “future-proofing” our nation is why Choose2Matter’s leaders are joining us this week on #TChat Radio, and on our #TChat Twitter Chat (see the preview: “Business Case for Mentoring”). And it’s why TalentCulture is committed to support Choose2Matter, going forward.

Together we can bridge the skills gap, one student at a time. All it takes is enthusiasm, business experience, and a commitment of your time to help students work productively toward their dreams.

The goal is to encourage the genius in every child. The kids are ready. So let’s give these amazing dreamers the support they need to achieve to their fullest potential. As a talent development champion, I’m in. Why not join me?

(Editor’s Note: To learn more about Angela’s point of view, read her TalentCulture blog post, “Creating Future Leaders: A Mission That Matters. Or listen to her appearance on the #TChat Radio Show: “Choose to Bridge the Skills Gap.”)

Image Credit: Pixabay

Creating Future Leaders: A Mission That Matters

(Editor’s Note: We’re thrilled that Angela Maiers was our guest this week at #TChat forums. She’s a passionate, highly visible education advocate who helps create life-changing learning experiences for today’s youth. We invited her to share some thoughts about her mission — creating better ways to prepare students for success in tomorrow’s world of work. To see an inspiring video interview with Angela, see “The Business Case for Mentoring #TChat Preview.” OR for a full recap of the week, see “1 Million+ Ways to Bridge the Skills Gap.”)

“If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.”  Jack Welch, former CEO, General Electric

The world is changing at an ever-accelerating rate. This has been the case at least since the invention of the personal computer in the 1980s, and became ever more so with the introduction of the commercial Internet in 1993.

In light of this drastic change in the workforce, how much has the US education system changed? Let me assure you of this: if you are under the age of 65 and if you returned to high school today, you’d feel right at home. Does that surprise you?

Educational Standards: A Reality Check

The “world and workforce” standards to which every school in our nation subscribes are not standards that the business community sets. They are standards “our community” — educators — are comfortable with. We can handle critical thinking, good communication skills, impeccable grammar and computation.

But schools do not encourage students to become bold thinkers, dreamers and doers.

Sure, schools have computer labs and some of them even have a computing device for every student. But instruction has changed very little. Indeed, with the never-ending growth of standardized assessment tests, US schools have become narrowly focused on teaching students how to fill-in the proper bubble on a multiple-choice, standardized exam.

Did you see any transferable work or life skills in the above paragraph?

Opportunity Cost: Priceless

Jack Welch may have it exactly right. While some pundits are forecasting a “revolution” in public education, most observers see these words as totally incongruous. Sure, public schools will continue to exist — at least (as educational consultant Peter Pappas writes) until parents find somewhere else to send their kids all day. But school is quickly becoming largely irrelevant to a student’s learning experience.

Every second that a child is “being educated” without insight, experience and real-life support from accomplished adults is a wasted opportunity to maximize their education — and their potential contribution to the world.

Mentoring Can Make All the Difference

Into this breach comes Choose2Matter and the TalentCulture World of Work Community.

Choose2Matter recently launched the Quest2Matter, which challenges every student in three essential ways:

  1. To accept that they matter
  2. To accelerate the message that everyone matters, and
  3. To act on a problem that breaks their heart.

Students have boundless energy and enthusiasm for taking action. What they lack is real-world savvy and the ability to find authoritative and comprehensive information on how to tackle a problem.

Where do they find this insight? Enter the TalentCulture World of Work Community.

Choose2MatterThese future world-changers can and will do incredible things. Members of the TalentCulture community can greatly enhance the students’ contribution by serving as mentors to these amazing young people.

As they work on selecting, curating, and moving forward the top world-changing ideas, TalentCulture members will be guiding them every step of the way.

Merely by knowing that accomplished professionals take their ideas seriously will profoundly impact the seriousness with which students approach their contributions.  For mentors from TalentCulture, this is an unparalleled opportunity to provide real-time, real-life leadership to budding leaders of the world. This will help redefine what the TalentCulture community stands for, and will establish a paradigm of professional and student mentorship for the entire world to follow.

As one talent-minded professional to another, I hope you’ll consider offering your expertise and enthusiasm to help shape the future of tomorrow’s leaders. Looking forward to discussing the Choose2Matter mission in more depth in #TChat forums this week — and I’m excited to collaborate with the TalentCulture community, going forward!

 Image Credit: Pixabay

Igniting Social Learning: #TChat Preview

(Editorial Note: Want to read the RECAP of this week’s events? See Digging Deep into Social Learning #TChat Recap)

Social learning. Two simple words with so many meanings.

The TalentCulture community understands one meaning very well. After all, we exist is to encourage social learning among talent-minded professionals. But this week, we want to look more expansively at the role of learning in today’s social business environment.

Our mission is to unpack this concept collaboratively – sharing ideas and information about how and why social learning can make a meaningful difference for individual careers, as well as organizations.

We even have some heavy-hitter experts to help us see how leading-edge learning tools and techniques can transform business.

MichaelClarkWhat’s Your Learning Goal?

Yesterday, I started the conversation on Forbes.com by thinking aloud about 5 ways anyone can jump-start social learning. As I fleshed-out these thoughts, a key question kept coming to mind: When you pursue learning, what’s your purpose?

  • Are you learning, so you can teach?
  • Are you teaching so you can learn?
  • Are you learning for learning’s sake?
  • Or do you have other intentions?

What’s more, does your goal really matter? I think it does. Arguably, the most powerful learning experiences are fueled by purpose-driven passion.

Truth is, learning should propel us not just through school, not just through work, but through life. And when our personal quest for knowledge, skill and competence aligns with business goals, the results can make a meaningful difference.

#TChat Focus Topic: Let’s Get Social About Learning

Life is a continuous process of learning and skill development. And by nature, learning is a social activity. Throughout our lives we look to others – parents, teachers, mentors, managers, experts, peers and others – for information, instruction, insight, guidance and validation. It’s all part of the learning process.

So, what does it mean to apply emerging social tools and techniques to the process of continuous learning? And why does it matter? Let’s talk about it!

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio

#TChat Radio – Tuesday, March 26 at 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT

Tune-in online and discover new ways to ignite professional and organization learning, as we interview Michael Clark, CEO of ReCenter, and Justin Mass, Sr. Manager of Learning Technology & Design at Adobe.

#TChat Twitter

#TChat Twitter – Wednesday, March 27 at 7pm ET / 4pm PT. Join our weekly online forum, and share your thoughts with others about these key questions:

Q1: How & why should we define social learning & talent development in the world of work?
Q2: How can we bridge today’s skills gap by connecting business with education?
Q3: We equate social learning with online learning, but is that view complete? Why/why not?
Q4: What are the most important technology platforms for social learning today?
Q5: What critical metrics should leaders should use to measure social learning & talent development?

Want to see more about this week’s topic? Watch Michael Clark, talk with TalentCulture community manager, Tim McDonald in this preview video on YouTube, or read Tim’s “Sneak Peek” blog post now.

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter stream and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image credit: Pixabay

 

Social Learning in Business: Sneak Peek

(Editorial Note: For the full preview of this week’s topic, read “Igniting Social Learning.” Or to see the weekly recap, read Digging Deep into Social Learning #TChat Recap)

Engagement performance. It’s a key to learning in today’s world of work. But exactly what is it, and how can we leverage this concept to achieve desired business results?

As Michael Clark, CEO of ReCenter, suggests in this video, it starts by aligning engagement with business goals, and applying social tools that help us perform more effectively.

Michael views “engagement performance” almost as one word – performance is everything that happens after the moment we decide to engage. And in today’s social workplace, it means that individuals and organizations can transform the way they conduct business in profound ways.

During the coming weeks, TalentCulture will explore this concept and offer opportunities for hands-on social learning skills development.

Join us this week, and let’s explore the potential of social learning skills together:

If you don’t see the video window above, watch the sneek peak on YouTube.

A Lifetime of Social Learning Culture: #TChat Preview

At TalentCulture World of Work we love all things culture and all things social, talent, leadership and learning. Imagine my excitement when the notion popped up to combine all three ideas: social, learning, and culture. The trifecta. Talent. Culture. Social Learning. Very cool. It’s nirvana for the geeky side of me.

I’ve been digging in on the #TChat social channel lately about social media – how it’s changing businesses and changing people’s relationships to jobs, family, and friends. It’s also changing the relationship between leaders and employees.

It’s no longer sufficient for leaders to tell employees what to do – now they need to provide context, both business and social. The trick is learning how to infuse social into your culture, and into how you train and teach employees – not just to perform jobs or tasks, but how to think in a way that benefits themselves, clients and the business.

Fast-forward to this week’s #TChat topic: how to build learning cultures for the workplace and social community, relying on social tools and concepts.  This week’s questions should stir healthy debate:

Q1 What are the top attributes of a learning culture?

Q2 How can leaders teach employees to learn how to learn?

Q3 How can an organization leverage informal social learning opportunities?

Q4 Why do learning cultures create competitive advantage?

Q5 How do you know whether or not an organization’s culture is conducive to learning?

Social people interested in culture and learning, UNITE. Join us Wednesday night, September 12 th from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT) to question the value of formal learning, explore the limits of informal learning, and plumb the depths of social learning. Bring your culture-vulture point of view, because learning doesn’t happen in a void – it happens in a learning culture.

We’ll discuss learning – formal, informal and social learning – and provide recommendations for leaders and HR practitioners trying to chart the best path for their organizations and communities. No blue book required – just a Twitter handle and some ideas. We look forward to chatting!

A dear friend of our community and social learner and teacher Joe Sanchez @sanchezjb will be our guest moderator this week. Here’s his timely blog post: 

We’re happy and honored to have Joe leading the #TChat tweets on Wednesday from 7-8pm ET (6-7pm CT, 4-5pm PT, or wherever you are), to talk shop with us.

Social Learning IS The heart and Soul of the TalentCulture Community!

Look for all of us, on the #TChat stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Onboarding: It Feels So Good to Make the Bad Better: #TChat Recap

If it wasn’t for those pesky, messy, meddling humans, the world of work would actually work flawlessly. We’d work together happily and collaboratively, without deceit, harassment or discrimination. We’d all be accountable and personally responsible and have each other’s backs, we’d have reciprocal respect with our leaders, and reality TV would not be a reality.

We can dream, can’t we?

Consider this: More than 40 companies paid out more than $60 million in settlements or unfavorable court judgments after the EEOC brought systemic discrimination cases in 2011. But there are those who say this kind of law enforcement hampers business growth with burdensome regulations and policies.

Right. And lest we forget the true reality TV of a group of really smart people who wiped billions of financial assets off the face of the earth only a few years ago. My point is that accountability isn’t baked into our DNA, but basic survival is, and unfortunately we’ll do everything we can to fire the pleasure centers in our brains. Screw the pain, baby. Nobody wants that. This is why so much neuroscience research of late shows us why good people make really crappy decisions.

Like hitting on your new employee because she’s been so friendly to you and it feels good to do it. Or leaving racist notes in your co-worker’s locker because you feel he’s been getting preferential treatment, and it feels good to do it.

This is why we have formal onboarding processes in business. This is why we assess and why we screen backgrounds. This is why we throw the employee handbook at employees. This is why we have rules and regulations. This is why we have social media policies. This is why we have sexual harassment and discrimination seminars and workshops and acknowledgement forms to sign off on (and that really don’t help anyway, but it feels good to do it).

I really wish it didn’t have to be this way, that we could onboard employees in companies big and small more freely and effectively, applying agile development techniques, buddy and mentor programs, business cross-training and immediate immersion into the workplace culture that promotes connection, communication, collaboration and business success.

It’s too bad, because it feels so good to do all of the above. And no amount of technology efficiencies make the bad behavior any better (and sometimes not even the good). Thankfully there are those business leaders, HR and recruiting practitioners, and individual contributors who work tirelessly every day to make the bad better.

Amen for those pesky, messy, meddling humans who make it better at work from day one.

Did anyone miss the preview of yesterday’s #TChat? Click on that link. And thank you, Dr. Marla Gottschalk (@MRGottschalk / The Office Blend), for your splendid guest moderation. The tweets came fast and furiously. Below is a slide show of them. We’ll see you all next week.

image credit: Human League RED - Love Action 12", by Paul Downey

 
[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-the-painful-formalities-of-informa.js?template=slideshow”]

#TChat INSIGHTS: The Painful Formalities of Informal Onboarding

Storified by TalentCulture · Wed, Aug 22 2012 21:07:01

RT @SocialMediaSean: Favorite tweet of the week by @DaveTheHRCzar: Shopping Sam’s Club thinking of u http://twitpic.com/al1pcx #Bam #TChatDave Ryan, SPHR
Q1: Data shows that informal learning is the best way to know, so why do we throw the “employee handbook” at folks? #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A1: CYA, handbooks seem to be an easy way for companies to cover themselves. #tchatJen Olney
A1: ‘Because that’s the way we’ve always done it.’ – AKA worst reason ever. #tchatRob McGahen
A1: A navigable format is extremely useful. Some think that people read everything that is sent electronically.#tchatCatherine Chambers
I find biz saying “we are social” yet if U don’t adhere to the strict rules U R out= dont understand social biz :-) A1 #tchatCASUDI
A1: handbooks are the ole standby, comp culture isn’t easily defined. #tchatPlatinum Resource
A1. Org’s need to develop a new on-boarding process to engage employees straight out of the gate. Sets good first impressions. #tchatCdna_OrgDev
A1 Most HB are now online so they can be changed without killing trees. #TChatMary E. Wright
A1. Make it fun, visually appealing, and engaging. Otherwise, your message will be lost bc your employees zoned out. #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A1: An infographic of the onboarding process would be very cool and fresh. Helps create nice visual aid for reference. #tchatFord Careers
A1: An infographic of the onboarding process would be very cool and fresh. Helps create nice visual aid for reference. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A1 – Trial by fire and hands on learning is always the best approach. We learn when we get our hands dirty and make mistakes. #tchatRutterNetworkingTech
A1: Why do we still have books, period? I jest, but the Siren’s song of formality blunts much employee engagement. #TChatBrent Skinner
A1. Employees need to speak with their boss and mentor before they start. Different philosophy #tchatTerri Klass
A1 Someone wrote me about a 600 page handbook. Really? #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A1: they get really interesting when Contractor and FTE manuals get blended #tchatKeith Punches
A1. The onboarding process has to begin way before the first day. #tchatTerri Klass
A1: Lack resources. Handbook should act as just a guide for a proper onboarding employee development program #TChatSean Charles
A1 The culture of the organization should be reflected in all onboarding materials. Missed opportunities… #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A1 A Handbook is an attempt to proactively create a record of what we hope was done in a particular instance. #TChatMary E. Wright
A1: Information is often times outdated if not maintained, informal helps fill in the gaps from updates and revisions. #tchatFord Careers
A1: Information is often times outdated if not maintained, informal helps fill in the gaps from updates and revisions. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A1 How many of your companies have the “handbook” in searchable on-line form? #tchatSteve Woodruff
A1: Good for establishing a foundation but are often subjective & has generalities that informal discussion helps interpret #tchatFord Careers
A1: Good for establishing a foundation but are often subjective & has generalities that informal discussion helps interpret #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
@RemoteEmploy I agree with that A1 #tchat. We do have to CYA but balance is important as well.Lori King
A1 Consistency. Consistency in application of expectations, benefits and discipline. #TChatMary E. Wright
A1 Valve took a different view of the standard employee handbook! Amazing… #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A1: An employee handbook should be available in an MP3 format and used in conjunction with other learning & communication tools.#tchatCatherine Chambers
A1. I think the employee handbook should be given to the new hires before they start to get basics out of the way. #tchatTerri Klass
A1: It’s larger companies that struggle with agile employee development, but it feels like a renaissance is coming… #tchatKevin W. Grossman
A1 My personal biggest gripe with HR handbook is that it does not account for level of employee Nor their functional job or Team #tchatObjectiveli
A1. EE’s can get the handbook to “cover our arses” to read on their own time. Onboarding can be completely different. #TChatSabrina Baker
A1: Standardization of knowledge. That’s important for building a company culture #tchatYouTern
A1: To put all the employees on the same page #TChatNissrine Ghannoum
A1: CYA, handbooks seem to be an easy way for companies to cover themselves. #tchatJen Olney
A1: Blended learning is best. Formal & informal, static text & visual content.Consult with learning practitioners to get results #tchatCatherine Chambers
A1 Employee handbooks are for liability mostly and probably laziness… #TChatMelissa Lamson
A1 don’t throw book at ’em. Highlight great things about org n how they can navigate.leave the Manual for themTo read n acknowledge #tchatJohn Hudson
A1: Make the #employee handbook FUN at least – Where’s the creativity in the C-Suite? So key….. #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A1: During their “informal training” employees may be exposed to a lot of “its how its always been done” talk – this helps fix that #TChatBarb Buckner
#Tchat A1 Sometimes companies fall back on handbook as the onboarding tool, when in actuality; it’s simply a reference tool.Cyndy Trivella
A1: We expect everyone do their own work. And they should… BUTttttt, they don’t #tchatRayanne
A1: it’s strictly a cover their legal asses (oops! can I say that) but not eff. at all for onboarding – in case something goes wrong #tchatRichard S Pearson
A1 I think structure and data is necessary, informal is key for getting Tacit Knowledge, no handbook has that #tchatObjectiveli
A1: In entrepreneurial companies, the handbook isn’t throw at new employees; new projects are. Better experience! #TChatJon M
A1. It’s easier and faster. The “I’m too busy” excuse certainly plays in onboarding. Plus, who wants to build relationships:) #TChatSabrina Baker
A1: Using the employee handbook as a standalone strategy is fairly common in orgs that do not value people or learning.#tchatCatherine Chambers
A1: to cover our butts! #tchat I think most of the time it’s a formalityCatie Maillard
A1: Some employers still have not grasped the power of social media and its immediacy to interact with employees. #tchatRobert Rojo
A1. We aren’t prepared to offer an alternative process and worried about policies. #tchatTerri Klass
A1 Quicker/easier to just give out handbook? (& old habits die hard) #tchat #workplace #HRGood Business
A1. Employee handbooks are like grilled cheese. Comfort food of the onboarding process. #tchatJocelyn Aucoin
#Tchat A1 The handbook must contain pertinent information on company “Do’s & Don’ts” It should not be distributed as “here read this.” #failCyndy Trivella
A1: For all the company’s policy and regulatory reads that are required. #tchatMelissa Bowden
A1: to cover legal “booty” as long as it’s in writing, shoved at them, can’t be held l
iable. yawn. missed opportunity for engagement #tchatPlatinum Resource
A1: Employee Handbooks help give a consistent message which supports the informal delivery. #tchatFord Careers
A1: Employee Handbooks help give a consistent message which supports the informal delivery. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A1: Employees still need to know guidelines and limits…informal training comes from the job itself – that’s more policy #TChatBarb Buckner
A1: I let them review/sign off on the handbook on their own time. To mitigate some legal risks, I do touch on a few key policies #tchatJoshua Barger
#Tchat A1 Lots of available data 2 support generational differences 4 how ppl prefer 2 receive instructions i.e., technology vs. classroom.Cyndy Trivella
@MRGottschalk A1: in some industries: Compliance. Must show that xyz info has been “imparted” #tchatSteve Woodruff
A1: It is a necessity to cover some policies/procedures if it is possible that failing to abide by them could disrupt the work flow #tchatBright.com
A1: To mitigate the risk of an employee saying they weren’t told some random policy or rule, since they were given the handbook #TChatJess ‘Babs’ Bahr
A1 Lawyers #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A1: Too much of a CYA culture, that’s why we default to handbooks instead of relying on common sense #TChatAlex Raymond
#Tchat A1 Sometimes companies don’t take employee preferences into consideration for how individuals prefer training and learning opptys.Cyndy Trivella
A1. Probably so HR feels that they covered their bases by “letting employees know the no-nos” on policies/procedures #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A1: Because “that’s the way we’ve always done it…” And we are lazy… #tchatRayanne
Q2: How do we embed the behind-the-scenes, impromptu workplace cultural experiences into the onboarding process? #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
Awesome. For sure. Let’s expand on @swoodruff: A2: Storytelling is one great avenue #tchatMeghan M. Biro
A2 A co’s “About Us” website link should also provide the co’s history & its *lineage* communicated via rich multimedia. #TchatJoe Sanchez
A2: Got me! There’s always downtime during on-boarding, people need a break & well-thought out reading material can fill a void. #tchatSteve Sisko
VERY Geeky #Culture +1 @jobhunt411: A2 how about QR codes that take you to video snippets, Q&A, etc.? Geeky I know.. #TChatculture_jammer
A2. Preboard them; assign a motivated sponsor from the time they hear “you are hired.” The sponsor interacts and answers questions. #TChatClark Wells
A2 Taught cooking class, ran video of bag of flour dropped & exploding on me. Laugh at self-expose mistakes-humanity shows culture. #TChatMary E. Wright
MT @prgwest A2 group lunches..are a great way to show culture & easy to include newbies #tchat < The power of "breaking bread!"Joe Sanchez
A2: Handbooks should be tailored to each business & Culture. One size doesn’t fit all #tchatNissrine Ghannoum
A2 Interview current employees on a video about job satisfaction and culture. #TChatMary E. Wright
A2: Zen approach may be in order. Identify where impromptu moments take place & make room for them; don’t formalize. #TChatBrent Skinner
A2: Try to stuff them with history and perspective (from top and bottom staff) of last 12-18 months (unless that’s a bad idea) #tchatSteve Sisko
A2: group lunches, traditions are a great way to show culture and easy to include newbies (who’ll think work is a pretty cool place) #tchatPlatinum Resource
BOOM @gingerconsult @JessaBahr: A2 Embed them with different folks from different departments and functions #TChatTalentCulture
A2: Show them where to find things on the intranet that are the FAQs and “how to’s” for the company. #tchatFord Careers
A2: Show them where to find things on the intranet that are the FAQs and “how to’s” for the company. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A2. Depending on your hiring process, they may already have a good idea of culture. #TChatSabrina Baker
A2 Embed them with different folks from different departments and functions #TChatJess ‘Babs’ Bahr
A2: By just getting out there and talking with those in the know, and learning firsthand. #tchatRob McGahen
A2: New employees are nervous enough on their first day – set the right tone by introducing them & letting them mingle to learn #TChatBarb Buckner
A2: One way we want to improve onboarding is letting employees exchange workplace tips (ie, best cafe nearby) before they come on. #tchatTeamalaya
A2 Onboarding also important as your ees move through the organization – critical. This does impact performance. #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A2 – get them out to lunch w/ rest of staff to make them feel part of the org. to informally meet the others #tchatRichard S Pearson
A2: Seems stodgy but give a slew of “CEO Letters to staff,” Award Announcements, & other ‘info material’ ready to read on downtime. #tchatSteve Sisko
VERY Geeky #Culture +1 @jobhunt411: A2 how about QR codes that take you to video snippets, Q&A, etc.? Geeky I know.. #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A2: Start off right with introducing them to the group. Make sure they have the tools needed to start, ie. logins, PC, laptop, etc. #tchatFord Careers
A2: Start off right with introducing them to the group. Make sure they have the tools needed to start, ie. logins, PC, laptop, etc. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
MRT @CyndyTrivella: A2 Communication is at the heart of every GR8 onboarding program. Unfortunately, many dont have GR8 com skills. #TChatBarb Buckner
A2 how about QR codes that take you to video snippets, Q&A, etc.? Geeky I know.. #tchatKeith Punches
A2: First impressions are lasting ones…and they actually have monetary value! #tchatEarly Careerists
#Tchat A2 Communication is at the heart of every GR8 onboarding program. Unfortunately, many ppl don’t have GR8 communication skills.Cyndy Trivella
A2 culture can’t be covered in a day. Don’t try to push that or accomplish that. They will get a good sense when back w/ their team #tchatJohn Hudson
Yes-Stay HUMAN @viralheat Why? @TerriKlass: A2. Worst thing is for new hire to not connect with the boss in the first day. #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A2: I’ve also heard that at Nordstrom, the employee handbook is 75 words. It fits on a 8 by 5 inch card. #tchatCatherine Chambers
A2 How about a 2 or 3 minute video of snaps from events, presentations, meetings? #TChatMary E. Wright
A2: For new employees could be done during initial orientation/ in-processing for existing employees during annual briefings. #tchatRobert Rojo
A2 I am still struggling to figure out how to embed a new employee in anything? #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A2: Onboarding doesn’t stop after the presentation, it’s how you introduce them to the co., give them the tour, & show how they fit #tchatJoshua Barger
A2: to provide a buddy or mentor that the new employee can engage with. #tchatMelissa Bowden
A2: Onboarding sets the tone for the candidate’s experience – part of their first impression. Great opp to show company culture. #tchatFord Careers
A2: Onboarding sets the tone for the candidate’s experience – part of their first impression. Great opp to show company culture. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A2: Cross-functional job shadowing, mentorships, inclusive environment. #tchatEarly Careerists
A2: Embed with team members. We had new emps sit down w/key members for 1on1 meetings on day one for download of info #tchatJen Olney
#Tchat A2 Providing new employee with access to various corporate communication vehicles is essential for pr
oper integration.Cyndy Trivella
A2 How about setting up a special chat on Twitter for all the folks in the new person’s department? #TChatMary E. Wright
A2. Worst thing is for new hire to not connect with the boss in the first day. #tchatTerri Klass
A2. Employee talking about positive experiences can be a subtle way to display good culture. #tchatCdna_OrgDev
A2: At Southwest airlines, management staff perform humorous orientation skits. A positive mood will enhance learning & retention #tchatCatherine Chambers
A2 We should get rid of or make the behind-the-scenes culture transparent, the clients who’ve done that have really succeeded #TChatMelissa Lamson
A2 – Like DrJ says you’ve got to involve humans – start a mentoring process. Assign a “buddy” to walk with them thru the onboarding #tchatRichard S Pearson
A2 The “social” or any culture should be part of the CO DNA & deffinitely reflected +++ in the “onboarding” process #tchatCASUDI
A2: make sure ppl understand the culture, get outside & internal feedback. find a way to make it actionable for all to participate #tchatPlatinum Resource
A2: Company’s social media can help describe the onboarding process and make it more interactive, ie. Yammer, etc. #tchatFord Careers
A2: Company’s social media can help describe the onboarding process and make it more interactive, ie. Yammer, etc. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A2. Create behind-the-scenes, impromptu workplace setting. #tchatSheree Van Vreede
A2: through informal initiation rituals-welcome breakfast, new employee project (blog post, video, or other creation) etc. #tchatCatie Maillard
A2. Allow your new employees to meet current employees that seem to OOZE conviction of their love of the company. #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A2 Assign a transitional culture “mentor”. Helps with info about company language, politics, etc. #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
#Tchat A2 Hiring mgr. should host a lunch or b’fast for new person so new employee has chance to meet team members and ask questions.Cyndy Trivella
Absolutely! Tell us more Steve > @swoodruff: A2: Storytelling is one great avenue #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A2: Social Video #TChatSean Charles
A2 There is no way to standardize knowledge across say engineering/ R&D and supply chain or accounting #tchatObjectiveli
A2: need to make the whole process more FUN! #TChat why do we have a party when someone leaves, but not when they join?Alex Raymond
A2: Get the new employee integrated into their dept right off the bat…don’t keep them singled out til you go thru the steps #TChatBarb Buckner
A2 every new employee should have a mentor to engage them into culture and company traditions #tchatErin Nemeth
A2: There is only so much BTS culture info you can cover during the formal portion – the tone/voice & the topics discussed can help #tchatBright.com
A2: Storytelling is one great avenue #tchatSteve Woodruff
#Tchat A2 As new employees R brought in, it’s important to expose them to many ppl in first few days so they can begin connecting the dots.Cyndy Trivella
A2 I think thats why Social Media, cannot completely work – as most of it is at the level of teams #tchatObjectiveli
A2 Tacit Knowledge = Teams and Smaller Groups, and not the company/ brand #tchatObjectiveli
Q3: Who’s responsible for cultural acclimation, training & retention at & beyond formal & informal onboarding & why? #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A3: Is it not the entire #leaderships’ responsibility and the company teams’: culture is omnipresent. #tchatLori King
A3: As I always stress with #candidateexperience, be sure internal culture is what you are depicting. No bait/switch with onboarding #tchatSabrina Baker
This!! -> MRT @EmilieMeck: A3: Worst thing you can do: come out w/ bells &whistles &then drop off &leave them feeling abandoned #TChatBarb Buckner
A3. The supervisor is closest to the new employee and can make the biggest impact. #TChatClark Wells
A3: Worst thing you can do is initially come out with bells and whistles and then drop off and leave them feeling abandoned #tchatFord Careers
A3: Worst thing you can do is initially come out with bells and whistles and then drop off and leave them feeling abandoned #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A3: leaders take the lead, but not always. it can be other mentors who make a difference. Don’t dismiss your impact on others #tchatPlatinum Resource
A3: This is where having passionate and trained employee brand ambassadors come in handy. #TChatSean Charles
A3: Everyone. We all make our workplace a better or worse place to be. #tchatRob McGahen
A3: Well, depends on the company size and structure, but management (that should include #HR), supervisors, peers, mentors… #tchatKevin W. Grossman
@BrentSkinner has a point – A3: employees need to take ownership as well if they wish to grow with the co or promote #TChatBarb Buckner
A3 it is not HR’s job. It is the job of manager & employee? We are not their parents! #tchatInsight72
A3. Ultimately it’s the individual who chooses to adapt their behavior or not. Sometimes you don’t want them to adopt the culture. #tchatDr. John Grinnell
A3: Managers should ensure that staff have access to resources. A personal interest in learning will increase learning opportunities #tchatCatherine Chambers
A3: Anyone that wants to ensure the employee is successful. #tchatSalary School
A3: Onboarding should be equally beneficial to all those involved – not just the new hire – so I say mix it up with all levels. #tchatSteve Sisko
A3: It is leaders who set a tone. #tchatEarly Careerists
A3 Everyone wld b best answer but not realistic. Mentor takes lead. Shld be appointed responsibility. #TChatMary E. Wright
Yep! MT @TerriKlass: A3. There needs to be ownership by everyone to welcome a newbie – formally and informally. Not just #HR. #tchatJocelyn Aucoin
A3. Leaders. #TchatJoe Sanchez
#tchat A3: Since culture is important to all companies, we believe that it is a year round investment to maintain culture.Teamalaya
“@AshLaurenPerez: A3. Everyone. We all play a major part in the company’s culture. #tchat” spot onSasha Taylor
A3 my best exp w onboarding was meet w HR then 1:1 with leaders of each department. Learned a lot. Networked. Not an unknown body #tchatErin Nemeth
A3: Everyone. Because we all have to strive to make the workplace better. #tchatRob McGahen
A3 – In general, it’s the responsibility of those in “charge”, the leaders of the company should always pave the way! #tchatRutterNetworkingTech
A3: It’s a team effort that requires each member to play their role to ensure the onboard is smooth #tchatJen Olney
A3 This heads towards “Talent Communities” yes? All are responsible #tchatKeith Punches
A3 And there should be another onboarding training for experienced hires (managers) #tchatObjectiveli
A3. There needs to be an ownership by everyone to welcome a newbie both formally and informally. Not just HR. #tchatTerri Klass
A3 it ha to be both the line manager & the individual. 50/50% accountability. We don’t employ children? #tchatInsight72
A3: In a culture of learning vs. a culture of training – we are all responsible. Self Mastery is the foundation of a learning org. #tchatCatherine Chambers
A3: Best onboarding is when New Hire can sit w/ someone from each team – gets great understanding of entire process & their role #tchatFord Careers
A3: Best onboarding is when New Hire can sit w/ someone from each team – gets great understanding of entire process &
their role #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
#tchat A3: We believe that organizations should invest in these, as it saves money long term. (That’s why we built the platform!)Teamalaya
A3: The “responsibility” goes to the manager. Others are important, but there has to be a steering wheel to keep it on track. #TChatTom Bolt
A3 Team leaders should have a role in this – schedule lunches – help them establish networks. #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A3 Onboarding should be part of the level1 training of all managers. #tchatObjectiveli
A3: Devil’s advocate: When does it become just as much the employee’s responsibility? #TChatBrent Skinner
A3: formally = managers, informally = co-workers. It’s a team effort, and family environment. Help each other, don’t just compete #tchatPlatinum Resource
A3: Starts with HR as a base point for the new employee but batton gets passed to their manager to keep up with it as well #TChatBarb Buckner
A3 Everyone has some part in it #TChatJess ‘Babs’ Bahr
A3: The best onboarding I’ve ever participated in involved a little bit of everyone. Started with #HR and moved on from there #TChatSabrina Baker
A3. In a perfect world *Everybody* Culture is a team sport. #TChatSean Charles
A3. Don’t forget to empower new employees with their own onboarding process. Give them the tools to assimilate how the like. #tchatJocelyn Aucoin
A3: Leadership! It’s incumbent on leaders to bring new team members into the fold. #TChatEarly Careerists
A3: Everyone is responsible, it should be the culture of the agency. #tchatRobert Rojo
A3: first responsibility goes to that person’s boss, then colleagues, and other departments etc #tchatPlatinum Resource
#Tchat A3 It’s important for new employee to seek out answers, assistance and request what is needed. They should not expect to be babysat.Cyndy Trivella
A3: The manager should take point and be aware of how the new EE adjusts. I agree though, everyone plays a role in the process #tchatJoshua Barger
A3 HR for consistency in practices. Manager for accountability and performance ratings. All employees for culture engagmnt #tchatErin Nemeth
A3: Sometimes there is a department mentor or someone who the new hire will shadow for first few months. #tchatFord Careers
A3. HR+Departments+Boss+Mentors are all responsible. It takes a village. #tchatTerri Klass
A3. #HR mostly your on boarding buddy, and everyone else (in that order) #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A3: Truthfully? Everyone. All it takes is 1 bad experience to sour someone. #tchatBright.com
#Tchat A3 1st responsibility is on the hiring mgr., then everyone else in the company. Think “it takes a village.”Cyndy Trivella
A3. Everyone. We all play a major part in the company’s culture. #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
Q4: When does formal onboarding make the most sense & why? #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
“@ShimCode: A4: IMO, spending the 1st day being talked at by an HR drone & going through ‘enrollment crap’ is a total downer! #tchat” +1Sasha Taylor
A4: Mass hires 4 massive projects necessitate formal onboarding component – e.g., new restaurant hiring entire staff. #TChatBrent Skinner
A4: If fun, and aligned with the actual culture of the org (not just the training room) formal f-t-f onboarding can be great #tchatCatherine Chambers
A4: Blended learning works best. Formal onboarding can be engaging. Formal can = consistent message and positive initial experience. #tchatCatherine Chambers
A4. One thing to remember is not to skip onboarding even if things get busy. #tchatTerri Klass
A4: Candidate was hired for their great skills, they’re not incompetent – just new. Give them resources, provide guidance. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A4 – Face to face may not always be necessary, but it should always be considered. Nothing beats face time! #tchatRutterNetworkingTech
A4: Formal to me means “On Purpose”. In that case all our processes should Formal #TChatSean Charles
Good strategy “@EmilieMeck: A4: Should be a mix of formal and informal onboarding. #tchat”Nissrine Ghannoum
A4 I appreciate access to human beings if I am learning a phone or computer system! #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A4. Informal begins at time of hire and continues throughout. Never stop encouraging informal. #tchatTerri Klass
A4: Formal onboarding does not mean list of “thou shalt not” rules. Informational links to intranet can be instructive. #TChatTom Bolt
A4: Always to start. That way the expectations are always made known before bad habits can form. #tchatRob McGahen
A4: Formal should begin during their initial orientation/in-processing, that will set the tone and expectation. #tchatRobert Rojo
A4 Really does depend on the content – sometimes face to face contact is necessary to relay the information… #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A4: IMO, spending the 1st day being talked at by an HR drone & going through ‘enrollment crap’ is a total downer! #tchatSteve Sisko
A4: Always at the start. The informal stuff comes as they learn the culture. #tchatRob McGahen
A4: Probably makes the most sense when there are large groups of new hires and it isn’t possible to give enough personal attention #tchatBright.com
A4 JUST before you start (FORMAL) ~ informal before that & during recruitment & informal once you start = a workable balance #tchatCASUDI
A4: Formal onboarding s/b occurring from the recruitment process until the end of the first year. Informally after that. #tchatSalary School
A4: Structure to on boarding makes what could be an overwhelming chaotic experience seem more orderly #TChatJess ‘Babs’ Bahr
A4 Define “formal onboarding.” #TchatJoe Sanchez
A4 Some key policies Sexual Harassment, Security, Patents, Communicating outside your group, talking to press etc #tchatObjectiveli
A4. Formal on boarding is best used to prevent internal politics reassigning wrong people to a unit undergoing transformation. #tchatDr. John Grinnell
A4: formal on boarding to get the basic rules, regulations etc down. #tchatPlatinum Resource
A4: Extremely structured & controlled environments where each EE must receive the exact same orientation / training. #tchatJoshua Barger
A4: Should be a mix of formal and informal onboarding. Formal gives it structure & consistency while informal gives it personality #tchatFord Careers
A4: Should be a mix of formal and informal onboarding. Formal gives it structure & consistency while informal gives it personality #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A4 – when it’s a very structured position, where the new peep could not know what is expected – a formal process is needed. #tchatRichard S Pearson
A4 Without manager buy-in, onboarding programs will fail. HR can create program, but onboarding is responsibility of hiring mgr. #TchatCyndy Trivella
A4: In highly regulated industries. Mandatory coverage of certain points are necessary, but does not have to be death by PowerPoint. #TChatTom Bolt
A4 Formal onboarding is first week of employment. Informal is everything before and after. Recruiting thru one year review #tchatErin Nemeth
A4: During “group” onboarding sessions – easier to get the info across in one swoop (ideally) #TChatBarb Buckner
#Tchat A4 For any onboarding to be successful, company must train management on process and provide all necessary tools and directions.Cyndy Trivella
A4: There should be a structure to orientation, when you are brand new to an org, you need to have a proper introduction 2the company #tchatJen Olney
A4. Formal onboarding is needed for technical information and company pol
icies that all newbies need. #tchatTerri Klass
#Tchat A4 Technically onboarding begins at the interview stage, but the “formal” begins at the acceptance of the offer.Cyndy Trivella
Q5 Culture simply can’t be automated. However, tech could facilitate “meet ups” and other face to face opps. #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A5: Regardless of automated processes, there should always be an informal, human touch to onboarding. Engage the new hire. #tchatFord Careers
True :) @TalentCulture: YUP @mrgottschalk @RRojo619 @nicoleoch A5 Companies have to embrace the #hrtech. Good luck with that one. #tchatRobert Rojo
YUP @mrgottschalk @RRojo619 @nicoleoch A5 Companies have to embrace the #hrtech. Good luck with that one. #tchatTalentCulture
A5: *Some* #hrtech can facilitate communication thru new channel, but #hrtech plays small role @ best in #onboarding. #TChatBrent Skinner
Interesting** @ShimCode: A5: Unless you’re startup (even then,) recommend against developing deep friendships #tchat topic 4 future chat?Meghan M. Biro
“@ilovegarick: A5 Support a culture of #community building. Foster friendships in the work environment #tchat” +1Sasha Taylor
A5: Unless you’re in a startup (even then,) I’d recommend against developing deep friendships and a soul mate. #tchat topic 4 future chat?Steve Sisko
A5. “You’re hired” starts the preboard. Building informal relationship with sponsor. Onboarding continues the process with the team. #TChatClark Wells
A5: Someone, plz stop us from saying #socialmedia as the answer…again. I’m not sure if #hrtech *can* help “informalize” onboarding. #TChatBrent Skinner
A5. Food can be very helpful during the onboarding process. #tchatTerri Klass
A5: Use #HRTech for onboarding EE’s to introduce them to your internal social networks not just the office #TChatSean Charles
A5: Onboarding informal process could be video of employees of various titles and positions talking abt their experiences w/ company #tchatFord Careers
A5: Onboarding informal process could be video of employees of various titles and positions talking abt their experiences w/ company #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A5. HR tech needs to be part of the design for onboarding and collaborate with HR and departments and mentors. A “village” #tchatTerri Klass
A5: Videos that explain procedures & provide insight into org. culture They can be shared in advance & enhance face to face sessions #tchatCatherine Chambers
“@NickKellet: A5 Onboarding should be a celebration. A time to take time out & welcome new people. Time to make them feel valued. #tchat”Chris Gabaldon
A5: Until computers have better instincts than humans, we need to be in charge of the process. #tchatRob McGahen
A5: make connecting on #SoMe a game and comp bonding activity. Get ppl moving & really mtg actively, not passively #tchatPlatinum Resource
A5 technology should not replace human interaction. It’s used for compliance and signing bennies etc #tchatErin Nemeth
A5: Automation is great but sorry to say a lot of ppl still do not have access to it and/or don’t want to embrace it! #tchatRobert Rojo
+++1 “@ilovegarick: A5 Support a culture of #community building. Foster friendships in the work environment #tchat”MeeoMiia™
A5 Each employee associated w nu hire ASKS ~ how can we make your onboarding easier & more fun? what can we do 2 help? #tchatCASUDI
A5 Hire to Retire, ATS & Onboarding systems should be connected for flexbible, adaptable, ~relevant~ content / workflows #tchatKeith Punches
#Tchat A5 Technology is not a replacement for the human touch. It’s there to expedite processes, not hinder communication.Cyndy Trivella
A5: This is another need Teamalaya wants to fill. Formal OB is important, but informal gets your new hires comfortable. #tchatTeamalaya
BAM! @emiliemeck A5: Regardless of automated processes, there should always B an informal, human touch to onboarding. Engage new hire #tchatSean Charles
A5: Offer material on company discounts, fun info facts, etc. #tchatFord Careers
A5: Offer material on company discounts, fun info facts, etc. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A5: Simplified web resources & a #SocMed mindset is great, but have a people component also. #tchatSalary School
A5. Try to have someone take the new employee to lunch (and buy) on their first day #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A5: informal onboarding using tech can include; VC; Social Media through private groups like Facebook, Jammer, etc #tchatMelissa Bowden
#Tchat A5 Technology should be used to make processes easier. If it doesn’t, it will only frustrate ppl. Often times it’s user error.Cyndy Trivella
A5: Something as basic as communication. Have the mgr interact with the new EE, bring them up to speed, etc., before they start #tchatBright.com
A5: promote connecting through good ole ice breakers! bingo ice breaker anyone? the prize is connecting through #SoMe #tchatPlatinum Resource
A5: Regardless of automated processes, there should always be an informal, human touch to onboarding. Engage the new hire. #tchatFord Careers
A5: Regardless of automated processes, there should always be an informal, human touch to onboarding. Engage the new hire. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A5 Support a culture of #community building. Foster friendships in the work environment #tchatGarick Chan
A5: Reach technology way into the onboarding process and make it part of the pre-hire process #HRTech #TChatAlex Raymond
A5 Onboarding should be a celebration. A time to take time out & welcome new people. Time to make them feel valued. #tchatNick Kellet
Let’s STAY HUMAN +1 @CASUDI: A5 F2F a prirority #tchatMeghan M. Biro
A5 F2F a prirority #tchatCASUDI
@MRGottschalk A5 Companies have to embrace the #hrtech. Good luck with that one. #tchatNicole Och
#Tchat A5 Informal onboarding can begin as soon as interview process, so technology can be vehicle to convey communication to candidates.Cyndy Trivella
A5: amazing #onboarding, #social perf mgmt, #CRM, #chatter or similar internal social + rewards and recognition #tchatJohn T. Lawrence

Global Technology Stepping Up Workplace Collaboration

For anyone that can remember the time that a latest and greatest technology emerged to bring business to the next level, we can say that it is profoundly interesting the impact that these advancements actually make on companies.

Some can probably remember the days before email and before cell phones when letters were either typed by hand and traveling sales people had to actually stop at a pay phone to verify an appointment or call home to check in.

More than ever management need to be watching technology trends and making sure their organization is equipped.

Times are changing, the proliferation of technology is moving faster than ever, and businesses are the ones that are benefiting.  At least they should be!

There are many ways that technology is leading to better business practices.  There are systems for managing customers, accounting, communications, and operations.  We are connected 24×7 if we so choose and we are able to reach all ends of the world instantly via the click of a button.

As a proponent of successful businesses being comprised of people that use technology and not just technology alone, I believe that nothing in business may be affected by emerging technology than Human Resources.  Recruiting, talent development, and employee retention are all seeing a significant boost based upon what advances in technology have to offer.

Two of the specific technologies that are revolutionizing talent and professional development more than any are IP (Internet Protocol) Based Communications such as Skype, VoIP, and Video Conferencing as well as the rapid emergence of Social Media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+).

Let’s take a look across the scope of Talent Management and explore how the aforementioned technologies as well as a few others are facilitating success for so many companies.

Recruiting New Talent

It used to be a newspaper ad or a sign in the window.  Your audience was narrow and your options were thin.  It was difficult to reach the best talent leaving positions to be filled by less than ideal candidates.

  • Communications – With the ability to inexpensively bring employees in via the network  either by voice, video, or perhaps a combination such as Webex, employees can now be sourced from and potentially located anywhere.  Productivity tools allow companies to hire the BEST candidate from any location and get them integrated with the team whether they are near or far.
  • Social Media – Depending on the specifics of the job, talent can be sought through massive global social networks such as Linked In, Facebook, and Twitter.  These networks allow a help wanted ad to reach millions of users who may or may not be actively seeking employment.  Recruiting and searching for talent has also never been easier due to profiles, recommendations, and other affiliations that can be easily found online using Social Media.  As an aside, Social Media has also helped many companies decide who not to hire.

Talent Development

It used to be a quarterly or yearly trip to headquarters for remote employees and or classroom learning for those already in town.  Coordinating training was intensive and time consuming.  With technology advances now learning can be routine, meaningful, and completed on demand.

  • Communications – Similar to the recruiting process the continued education of employees can be accomplished using technology tools.  Webinars, Distance Learning, and E-Learning platforms all pave the way for continued education for employees regardless of where they are located.  On top of being able to create content and have employees learn and develop on demand, it also helps companies to utilize global resources to provide the education.
  • Social Media – Intranets have existed for companies for some time however they were rarely used all that effectively.  With professional usage of social platforms employees can learn from one another as well as competitors by following, reading, and embracing the information that is widely available.  Content is created and shared regularly and it allows company talent to keep their finger on the pulse of the industry and any important changes within.

Employee Retention

It has been discussed to no end the impact that turnover has on a business.  Whether near or far from headquarters, companies need to focus on how they can keep people satisfied, growing, and engaged.  In the past when companies would hire remote employees they oft felt isolated and/or disconnected from the organization.  With emails and phone calls perhaps being the only regular communication eventually the employee may choose to be with an organization where they feel more involved.  Technology has changed that, and if used correctly it can assist the organization with retention allowing it to focus on strategy with key employees rather than on replacing them.

  • CommunicationsHearing a voice on the line is fine, it is practical, but like long distance relationships in life, eye contact means a lot.  With offerings from Free (Skype) to immersive telepresence costing millions ( Cisco, Polycom) and everything in between companies and their employees can now sit across the table and make eye contact with the click of a mouse.  Now as easy as a phone call, video can be accomplished and the quality is really good.  Video is not only beneficial for the employee, but also for the company as it forces focus and regular collaboration (We all know how easy it can be to multi-task on the phone).  Another item that is critical to many employees is flexibility, with tools that allow productivity anywhere and everywhere, (pending signal) companies can be more flexible with their resources allowing both parties  to benefit.
  • Social MediaSocial is a medium for even smaller companies to build their brand and create an identity for their employees. This effort can often aid in the development of company community and in some cases successful out of work friendships.  While peoples out of work activities generally don’t bare much success for the organization, happy people tend to generate more productivity.  People that feel connected to their brand and feel that they are a part of something special tend to work harder and drive greater results.  Social Media is a growing vehicle for accomplishing this.

For as long as business has been business, companies have only been as good as their people.  In almost all cases where a great product or service fails it isn’t the product or service at all, rather it is those behind it.  With emerging communication technology and proper social media integration you have the chance to be ahead of the curve.

Now technology of course isn’t all free, and choosing the technologies that are best for your organization may take some work, however, it is time well spent.   You can all but assume that the competition are looking at all the options too, some are integrating, some are watching and waiting, and you can only hope that a few are oblivious.  Nevertheless, technology will continue to advance making companies faster, smarter, and of course full of better talent.

The question is, are you embracing it, or are you hoping to ride to prosperity on the tired old horse that got you to where you are today.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Of Gutter Slugs, Leaders and Love

“You boys are the gutter slugs; the front line leaders fighting in the trenches with all the guts and no glory. Be proud of that. Hold your heads high; love the game and each other. Each one of you is a leader, so let’s lead this team to victory. I love you guys!”

I remember those words well, one of many inspirational shout-outs my high school offensive line coach used to give us. A big ol’ Grizzly Adams of a man – SMU graduate and parole officer, Coach Sutton instilled in us a sense of belonging, of understanding our critical roles in the greater game.

Even after long, excruciatingly hot practices in the Central Valley of California where I grew up, when it was time to do the after-practice conditioning – and there was always after-practice conditioning – we complied with minimal grumbling and gave 110% no matter how dog-tired we were.

We loved him and the game. Tons.

That’s tons of love for a bunch of teenage Valley football heroes in the early 80’s. But the life lessons he taught us have stayed with me for decades:

  • Each of must learn to lead our self with love.
  • Each of us must learn to lead with others with love.
  • Each of us must learn to lead their teams with love.

Right on, brother. We knew no other way to play.

Segue – Why do we have such a hard time with leadership and love in the workplace? Lisa Earle McLeod from Forbes.com tells us why we don’t and why we should in an article titled Leadership: What Love’s Got To Do With It.

Myth No. 1: Feelings aren’t professional.

They are the embodiment of life and all things in the workplace. “Emotions are at the root of every human endeavor.”

Myth No. 2: Love is too mushy to measure.

Enough with the measuring; the bottom line will grow when we own our behavior. “It’s about taking responsibility for creating the conditions that will bring out the best in others.”

Myth No. 3: Love means no accountability.

Now that’s just a bunch of garbage. Love is the ultimate accountability. “Love is all about mutual accountability. When you love someone, you expect them to give you their very best.”

Lastly, Lisa writes: “The real secret of lasting success is taking a good, long look in the mirror and deciding that your people and your organization deserve a leader who has the courage to stand up and love them.”

Whether on the front lines or the team captains, everyone can be empowered to lead responsibly with love. Know no other way to play.

Image Credit: Stock.xchng