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Assessments & Analytics

The Importance of Identifying Leadership Potential

Growing your future leaders takes more than people skills – it demands rigorous and frequent assessment to inform development.

Imagine you employ a team supervisor. She’s great at her job and very reliable. But after two years, she tells you she’s moving on.

“Oh no – where to?” you ask, thinking of how hard it will be to replace her.

“I’ve picked up a job in a law firm,” she says. “I’m finally going to be able to use my degree.”

“What degree?” you ask.

“My MBA degree,” she says. “I’ve been studying part-time. I graduated three months ago.”

Too late you think about the P&L Leadership role you’ve been straining to fill at your own workplace. Too late by three months? No. By two years. If you can’t spot an ambitious self-starter, you’ve taken your eye off your business horizon.

Assessing workers isn’t merely a box-ticking exercise – it’s a crucial tool for identifying future leaders. The tasks they are currently employed to do may not reflect their longer-term capabilities or hint at their unspoken ambitions.

Future-proofing the company staff structure comes in three parts – clarification, calibration, and cultivation.

Clarify what the company needs
Calibrate what is in the talent pool
Cultivate that talent to grow strong leaders

Relying on managers to organically uncover untapped potential is haphazard, inefficient, and not entirely fair. Managers are often hard-pressed and not necessarily equipped to bear the future needs of the company in mind. They may not have access to data outlining any skills gaps looming in the mid-term or long-term future.

Regular assessment – particularly for identifying leadership potential – requires a thorough, systematic, and repeatable approach, for three good reasons:

1. Discovering hidden talent

Your workforce is made up of people with many and varied facets and not everything they can offer will have found its way onto their CV when they first arrived for the interview. Even a rigorous recruitment process can miss buried treasure – and longstanding employees may have been quietly garnering a whole chest full of additional skillset loot. Without regular assessment, this may not be something they share with you.

In short, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. And worse, another employer will. At the end of February 2023, the ONS reported more than 1.1 million unfilled vacancies in the UK. There are a lot of recruiters out to tempt talent away.

2. Sorting the managers from the non-managers

Assessing employees for what they can offer now, where the skills gaps are, and what training they need in order to offer more across the next decade, can help to future-proof the leadership supply chain.

This should be endemic to the company’s processes, informing its long-term strategy and sustainability, but for leadership roles it will carry additional nuance. Many excellent employees are not natural managers and pushing them into a management role risks pushing them out altogether.

In a 2022 survey by Ivanti, 71% of office workers from Europe and the US said they would turn down a promotion in favor of more flexibility. The next step up is not the holy grail for everyone, so identifying who will be happier where they are is important too.

However, for most employees, career progression is important. In LHH’s 2022 Global Workforce of the Future report, 44% said without it they would be looking to move on. Frequent assessment is a pulse-check which gives a firm the best chance to retain all its staff and move its future leaders into bespoke development programs.

3. Discovering the Future Leaders

Leaders eventually hang up their hats – maybe sooner than expected.

High potentials are, by their nature, ambitious – and a flight risk if not offered a rewarding career path and the investment that goes with it. At a time when the talent pipeline is dripping, not gushing, retaining the C-suite line up of the future becomes even more critical.

Assessment data contains a wealth of richness. What should follow is a well-designed Leadership Development Program, tailored to fit each individual’s needs and maximizing the insights to strengthen an emerging leader’s capability in the areas they need most.

Talent development depends on talent assessment – and a sound leadership assessment process will enable you to make confident, evidence-based decisions as you plan for the years and decades ahead.

As a rule of thumb, never assume a supervisor isn’t considering the board room.

Assessments & Analytics Organizational Development

What are the critical success factors for your business?

What are the critical success factors for your business?

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critical factors for business success

No matter the industry, running a business involves a lot of things, and usually a lot of different people with different expertise. That is why you employ people to fill in different positions in different departments and have them work together as a team to achieve your business’s goals. Though the advent of modern technology has helped businesses to be competitive and successful in a lot of ways, there are tried and tested elements in running a business that cannot be replaced. They are called the critical success factors of a business, alternatively known as critical success factors (CSF) or key success factors (KSF). 

Identifying the critical success factors of a business is critical for both short and long-term goals. But what is it exactly? What does it do for your business and organization? And more importantly, how do you do it? 

Critical Success Factors of a Business: Basics

Many times, people overcomplicate things when it comes to running their business and managing their people. CSF is the exact opposite of that. 

CSF or KSF refers to the most important factors that provide the best results, impact, and outcome in achieving the goals and/or objectives of the business. 

To break it down further, it means improving and mastering the basics, looking for the overlooked and the often hidden opportunities that exist in the business. This will enable you to get the best performances for the best results from the same capital, activity, and people, with minimal risk and effort. 

When executed right, critical success factors of a business define and ensure the growth and goals of the company and its business.

The challenge in identifying CSF, however, is that since each organization, company, and business is different, the specifics of CSF can only be found through deep understanding of the company’s goals, vision, mission, and values. 

Why Identify the Critical Success Factors of a Business

It facilitates teamwork

Assembling a team of skilled and experienced individuals from different walks of life is one thing. Making them work together as a team is another. A CSF will help you help your team focus on what really matters. 

It allows you to track your progress

With a CSF, you can track and measure your progress based on the goals you have set and the strategies you have implemented. This will help you pinpoint which ones are working, which needs working on, and which ones you can do without. 

It provides a point of reference

A CSF will give your organization a common point of reference. This ensures everyone knows exactly what is most important, what is urgent, etc. This ensures that all tasks and projects are being streamlined to the assigned departments, teams, and individuals. 

identifying critical success factors of a business

What Are These Critical Factors for Success?

So what are the most common critical success factors of a business? How can you use these for your business’s benefit? 

As said earlier, CSFs differ from one business, company, and organization to another. With that said, here are some critical factors you need to look into.

1. Leadership (Management)

The management or leadership style in your business is the single most important factor that will determine your success. Your business can only grow to the extent that your management will allow the team to grow. The management must put effort into inculcating the right mindset within every member of the team. At the same time, they must be equipped with the right skills and tools to achieve your vision and mission.

2. Finance

The lack of proper financial management can be the downfall for your business. You need proper planning and trend prediction so you can maximize the use of company resources. With proper financial management, you can utilize your resources in areas that bring in profit or foster company growth.

3. Employees

The people who make up your team or organization are your most important asset. The success of your business starts with hiring the right people. When you hire employees, make sure you do not hire them based on skills or knowledge alone (although these are very important). You should hire them based on culture, too.  

The best people to help your team succeed are the ones who have the right attitude, and are trustworthy and accountable. 

4. Products or Services

Any business aspires to gain profits and grow. To make that happen, you need to develop the best products or services to keep your customers happy. Make sure you commit to every step of the process so you can ensure quality that exceeds expectation and allow you to compete. Make sure to listen to any feedback that you get from customers so you can improve on the quality of your products or services.

5. Marketing and Sales

These two are integral to your business success. Hence, they are among the critical success factors of a business. You need to market your products or services to reach a wider audience. At the same time, you need to conduct market analysis so you can measure, test, and analyze results. It is important to implement fundamental marketing principles to achieve your desired outcome. 

How do you know your CSFs are working?

Track the progress

Having a good CSF means you are a step closer to accomplishing your overall strategy. With that said, you need to know how to track your progress accurately. 

Say for example your overall strategy is to double the present size of your business. This means you will have to examine the growth of your customer base, partners, acquire new customers, and grow through acquisition. 

Assign a champion

Assign a person or two to champion each of your CSFs. This person is the leader responsible for the fruition of the set goals. He/she acts as a steward to make sure everything is moving in the right direction. 

common critical success factors of a business

Parting Tips

As said earlier, there are no hard and fast rules for identifying critical success factors of a business. Understand that this is not a one-off project. Rather, it’s an idea that requires a shift of culture within you and your organization. 

The way to make your CSFs effective is to integrate them seamlessly into your organization and continuously work on refining them. 

Assessments & Analytics People Development

Talent Assessment: Three Ways to Reimagine Your 2021 Talent Development Budget

Talent Assessment: Three Ways to Reimagine Your 2021 Talent Development Budget

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Talent assessments provide detailed insight into your workforce that can help you identify where to make the most impactful investments and where you can save on training and development efforts.

Matthew Such, Ph.D., SVP, Product and Solutions, Global Head of Assessment, LHH

Under normal circumstances, prioritizing training and development needs can be daunting for any HR professional. Undertaking that task amid seismic market disruptions can be nothing short of overwhelming.

The talent development decisions you make now are critical. The current, dynamic business environment is creating an enormous demand for new skills and capabilities. At the same time, organizations are struggling to source and cultivate talent internally. To effectively manage these challenges, HR leaders need data and insights to make smart, informed investments that align with internal strategic objectives and external macro-economic forces.

Investing in the development of your talent is essential. And yet, how much do you know about it?

Your talent not only represents the single largest line item in your operating budget, it’s also the single largest factor that will determine your business’s growth potential. And yet, how much do you really know about your existing talent and what learning opportunities they need to meet the increasing demands on your organization? What you don’t know about your talent today ultimately will hurt you in the future. 

Strategic talent assessment creates objective, actionable insights that help inform targeted investments throughout the talent lifecycle, taking the guessing out of talent and development planning.

Assessment use is not limited to the recruitment and hiring process

While assessments often are associated with the recruitment process, forward-thinking organizations use them to create insights throughout the employment lifecycle. Talent assessment results provide invaluable input into defining, planning, and prioritizing activities around training, development, and hiring that can ultimately help align your talent and business strategies. 

Here are three ways assessments can help you define and prioritize talent development needs in your organization.

1. Reveal strengths and development opportunities in existing talent

If your current method for analyzing development needs is to rely on the opinions of managers and leaders, then it’s time to shift your approach. While this input can be helpful, it also tends to be reactive, biased, and not future-focused. Simply put, it is inappropriate to rely on the gut feeling of managers for informed decisions about broader development needs within your organization. Systematic use of talent assessment yields an objective picture of your workforce that allows you to determine how well aligned it is with the current and future needs of your business. With these insights in hand, you can get the most from each person’s day-to-day performance, prioritize talent development efforts in areas where it is truly needed and avoid spending time and money in areas where you already have substantial strength.

2. Fill key talent gaps

Effectively anticipating and satisfying the demand for new and different skills required to meet business needs is already a mission-critical priority for HR leaders. Talent assessment helps you address this challenge by:

• Identifying future skill gaps within the workforce; 
• Determining whether the organization has enough existing talent to meet future needs, and;
• Highlighting the extent to which external hiring will be required to fill critical gaps.  

If your organization lacks sufficient staff to develop, or if the skills your organization needs do not lend themselves to development efforts, you may be best served to hire from outside the organization. Taking such an approach to quantifying talent through assessment allows you to create long-term strategies to ensure you always know how to find and deploy the right talent, whether it is sourced internally or externally.

3. Identify high-potentials and future-ready leaders

How often have you seen investments in high-potential and leadership programs wasted—or worse—the people you just invested in walk out the door? To get the most out of talent development investments, you must identify the right talent to drive your organization in meeting its near- and long-term business goals. 

Ensuring you identify and develop the right future leaders to drive your business ahead requires understanding the difference between high-performers and high-potentials. High performers are vital to the organization and drive results within their current roles. High potentials, on the other hand, have specific attributes that allow them to advance to more senior leadership roles. Assessments can help identify both high performers and high potentials. More importantly, it will tell you how to make best use of them going forward into the future. 

For example, assessment data allows you to thoughtfully plan how to best leverage your high potentials’ existing critical capabilities and expertise, while identifying development paths for those who may require further training to meet future strategic needs. 

Whether you are feeling uncertain about your talent development plan for next year or just unsure what skills your people have and need, talent assessment will enable you to make confident, evidence-based decisions. 

Talent assessment produces objective evidence about where to make the most impactful talent development investments, where you can save on those efforts, and also, how to quickly find talent who will drive your organization’s success. 

Even if you have started your 2021 talent development plan, adding assessments to the mix can reveal new ways to refine and prioritize needs within that plan and maximize your ability to help drive your organization’s growth and on-going success.

Source: lhh.com

Assessments & Analytics Career Transition, Outplacement and Mobility Change Management

The Pandemic as a Catalyst for HR Reinvention

The Pandemic as a Catalyst for HR Reinvention

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The Pandemic as a Catalyst for HR Reinvention

Working through the pandemic, HR leaders have been forced to be more innovative in reshaping long-standing HR policies and practices to look for more strategic, flexible, and adaptable ways of managing their people function.

Sharon Patterson, EVP and CHRO, LHH

When Facebook announced in March 2020 that it was eliminating first-half performance reviews because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were a lot of HR professionals nodding their heads in agreement.

It all made so much sense. After making the tough but correct decision to have its 45,000 employees worldwide work from home, Facebook quickly realized that normal performance reviews wouldn’t make any sense. Everyone’s work life had just been totally upended. Managers were still scrambling to develop protocols for keeping in touch and monitoring the progress of work. The new normal was more mystery than anything else.

In response, the company quickly retooled its review process: rather than going through the motions of a virtual review, all employees were awarded an “exceeds expectation” rating and given a $1,000 bonus.

While Facebook can be applauded for making a quick, rational decision in real time, it’s not clear what the company will do when, or if, employees return to the office. There is, however, a strong argument for a firm second look. The company has been criticized in the past for performance and peer reviews that discouraged dissent and promoted a sometimes cutthroat political environment.

Facebook’s performance review decision reflects a growing cognizance among HR professionals about whether now is the perfect time to improve, streamline and alter long-standing practices and policies that are not working but which have been starved for attention and resources.

The performance review issue is one of the best examples of a HR practice that is badly in need of reinvention. Although they can be an important source of feedback, very few are structured to meet the needs and expectations of today’s workforce.

A Gallup survey published in late 2019 just before COVID-19 struck found that only 14 percent of respondents strongly agreed that traditional performance reviews motivate them to improve their work performance. Given the cost, the survey authors noted, “many business leaders have started asking themselves, ‘Why do we do this in the first place?’ Are our performance reviews really helping us get the most out of our people and engage them?”

Gallup bolstered those results with another survey in 2020 that focused specifically on Millennial workers and performance reviews. That survey found only 19 percent of Millennials surveyed worldwide believe they get meaningful feedback at work. Rather than traditional performance reviews, Millennials are looking for more ongoing, more individualized feedback. 

Taken together, the Facebook decision, the Gallup results and the well-known concerns in the HR profession about the limits of traditional performance reviews, have created an unparalleled opportunity to revisit long-standing policies and practices to look for more strategic, flexible and adaptable ways of conducting evaluations. 

What other opportunities for change exist? Most HR leaders have a long list of innovations they’d like to introduce to improve or replace traditional practices. However, prior to the pandemic, it was difficult to generate urgent interest in these changes. 

Streamlined hiring

The endless job interview has been a sore point for many in the HR community for a very long time. Depending on the organization, it was standard for candidates to endure an endless string of interviews and soft meetings with leaders who have input on final hiring decisions. The pandemic has changed all that. Now, it’s important for organizations to focus the hiring process on only those people who truly need to be involved. Many hope that this streamlined approach—with fewer interviews and meet-and-greets—lasts into the post-pandemic period.

More robust onboarding

Let’s face it—far too many organizations survived for far too long without any kind of formal, comprehensive onboarding process. It was a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach that tossed new hires in the deep end and expected them to swim. In a virtual world, many of those organizations have been forced to create structured onboarding that moves new hires through a process to get them acclimatized as quickly and effortlessly as possible. This is a trend that will most definitely endure into the post-pandemic world.

Reskilling and redeployment instead of layoffs

In this economy, it is impossible to avoid layoffs completely. In certain industries and sectors, many companies are in crisis-management mode, with drastically reduced prospects and profoundly uncertain futures. But in those industries and sectors where there is less threat, but still lots of uncertainty, opportunities abound for new approaches to talent management that utilize reskilling and redeployment.

The shift away from layoffs will not be easy for some organizations to embrace. For too long, too many employers shed talent when times were tough, and then went out and hired the people they needed as things improved. However, thanks to the global skills shortage, if you were flush with the wrong kind of employees with the wrong skillsets, there was no magic talent tree where you could go out and pick up a new crop of fit-for-future talent. Now, companies are looking at their current employees as assets with knowledge and expertise that can form the foundation of a move into an entirely new role. 

The pandemic has provided a keen opportunity to embrace or amplify reskilling and redeployment strategies. Organizations that take the time now to find the potential in existing employees and help them acquire the skills needed to fill future jobs, will be much stronger coming out of the pandemic.

It has often been said that necessity is the mother of invention, and that has never been truer than now. HR leaders have been forced to be more innovative in reshaping basic HR functions. Senior leadership has been forced, more than ever before, to listen and act on these innovations.

Although there is no avoiding the sheer devastation that some companies in some industries have suffered, there are many other organizations who may find they have used the pandemic to make quantum leaps forward in both HR policy and HR practice.

Assessments & Analytics Career Transition, Outplacement and Mobility Change Management People Development

Reinventing Today’s Workforce: Welcome to the Skills Economy

Reinventing Today’s Workforce: Welcome to the Skills Economy

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Reinventing Today’s Workforce Welcome to the Skills Economy

“We are definitely seeing that the knowledge economy is becoming the skills economy,” said Michael Priddis, CEO of Faethm, who shares the opportunities for companies that adopt a data-enabled and human-first approach to workforce transformation, in response to automation, COVID and recession, to rapidly upskill and reskill their workforces to transition to the jobs of tomorrow.

Ranjit de Sousa, President, LHH

After several years of diving deep into the future workforce needs of successful companies, Mike Priddis, CEO of Faethm, has come to a bold conclusion.

The “knowledge economy” is dead. Long live the “skills economy.”

“We are definitely seeing that the knowledge economy is becoming the skills economy,” said Priddis, whose company uses AI to predict the impact of forces such as automation, robotics, and the pandemic on current and future jobs. 

“Today, knowledge and access to knowledge is easy. Google is on any device we’ve got. Applying that knowledge is different. We are entering a period where learning skills will be critical.”

Priddis said many business organizations are struggling to embrace this rapid transition from knowledge to skills-based economies. That is, he said, due in part to the fact that economic disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the pace and magnitude of all forms of transformation.

Priddis calls this “the slingshot to 2023” what once used to take years to design, plan and put into action must now be brought to fruition in a matter of months.

“Prior to January of this year, most organizations were preparing for a transformation of some sort. Now, the pace of transformation has accelerated at an alarming pace to ensure that companies survive. We call that the slingshot effect.”

Unfortunately, Priddis said, current approaches to education and workforce management do not match up well with the slingshot phenomenon. Most post-secondary institutions still focus heavily on traditional approaches to education, where knowledge is acquired over a period of years in an academic vacuum but never applied in the real world. Employers, meanwhile, remain wedded to buying talent or hiring people with new skills, rather than reskilling existing workers to meet new business demands.

“The best boss I ever had said ‘the half-life of learning is 30 minutes unless you get to apply it,’” Priddis said. “What that implies is that we need to have action-based learning, taking place in context. We need to be giving people not just the information but a chance for people to practice that skill.”

If you apply those principles in a real-world example—like a company forced to transform to address the impact of a global pandemic—the emphasis very quickly shifts to identifying those jobs that are vulnerable to automation, or cannot be performed effectively in a remote environment and those that have longer-term future viability.

Priddis said Faethm works with clients to analyze the impact of external trends on current workforces and the skills required to be future-ready. This analysis is predictive, he said, identifying portions of jobs that might be replaced by technology (automation), jobs that might evolve with technology (augmentation) and the new and emerging jobs that will need to be filled to support deployment of these technologies (addition).

This analysis should help companies to not only meet future skills needs but identify people within an existing workforce that can transition from vulnerable to emerging roles.

“Our biggest contribution has been to show companies that the people they are going to need in the future, they already have,” Priddis said. “It’s a pretty simple equation. It’s cheaper to retrain and redeploy than to make redundant and rehire.”

Even though almost everyone wants to take a “humanistic approach,” where the well-being of individual employees is not sacrificed to a bottom-line objective, not every organization can see the value in retraining and redeploying, Priddis said.

“We all want to do right by people,” Priddis said. “But most companies also know that it’s the lens of dollars and cents that drives decisions at the executive table. The problem is that if everybody sheds staff, they don’t need with no thought about what they’re going to do next, it creates chaos.”

Thankfully, Priddis said an increasing number of companies are starting to see that the humanistic approach may also be the most cost-effective approach.

That was certainly the experience with one Faethm client who was facing a pressing need to reduce its workforce of accountants. Few jobs have been more impacted than accountancy, Priddis said, which involves a range of skills that are easily performed by AI applications. However, a predictive analysis of other remaining and emerging jobs within the same organization revealed opportunities for the accountants to be retrained.

Specifically, Faethm was able to determine that an accountant’s skill set was very similar to that of a cyber security analyst—a high-demand job in organizations all over the world. 

“The only gap we could see was the specific cyber-security knowledge and that was a trainable gap,” Priddis said. “It didn’t make any sense for this company to shed their accounting staff, spending all that money on redundancy and then hiring new cyber security people. They could teach those accountants to be cyber analysts.”

Priddis said predictive analysis can function as a data-driven “GPS” that can help employers anticipate future workforce scenarios and inform decision making.

That means organizations need to acquire the capacity to transform their workforces in a more rapid and agile fashion as new and potentially seismic technologies arrive.

“It always struck me as slightly ambitious and perhaps slightly naïve to think that we are in a position to determine exactly where we’re transitioning to,” Priddis said. “I think most organizations, rather than trying to figure out where they are going, should be building capabilities to continuously experience these sorts of changes. The ability to change, and to have a dynamic workforce that can adjust as the context changes, is probably the single biggest muscle that organizations need to build.”

Source: lhh.com

Assessments & Analytics Career Transition, Outplacement and Mobility Change Management Coaching Organizational Development People Development Workforce Transformations

Transformation Insights 10th- Creating Opportunities For the Future

Transformation Insights 10th- Creating Opportunities for The Future

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Workforce Transformations Insights

To help identify emerging trends in 2021, it’s important to first reflect on what happened in 200 to see how these insights inform the opportunities that lie ahead. At LHH, we are critically concerned about workforce transformation as a strategy to not only improve current performance but also future-proof companies for the inevitable change that is to come. Our tenth edition of Transformation Insights is now available. This quarter we feature future-focused perspectives and insights that will help business leaders keep up with today’s rapid change.

In this issue Arne Hellmuth, Alex Vincent, Cara Danielson, and Sharon Patterson share fresh ideas to help employers build fit-for-future workforces. Caroline Pfeiffer Marinho talks with Shanthi Flynn about the unique career advancement challenges women face. Jim Mitchell and Rob Hosking share new practices in recruiting and hiring that will help organizations compete effectively for talent. And we hear from Frank Congiu who shares his personal story about the invaluable role mentors have played in his career.

Let’s explore:

  • Employee expectations are changing: Here’s where employers need to focus
  • 5 core practices to build an effective virtual onboarding program
  • Living your best life: 4 Key lessons that will advance your career
  • The employment bridge: Workforce planning designed for an age of unprecedented challenges
  • The future of recruiting & hiring: 5 trends to watch
  • How to find a mentor and tap into something bigger

Source: lhh.com

Assessments & Analytics Career Transition, Outplacement and Mobility Change Management Coaching People Development

Is Your Company’s Resilience Battery on Empty? Five Steps to Recharge

Is Your Company’s Resilience Battery on Empty? Five Steps to Recharge

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Is Your Company’s Resilience Battery on Empty? Five Steps to Recharge

Resilience is like a battery; to maintain a full charge, it must be properly maintained and periodically recharged. Run the resilience battery too long in an environment that is harsh and unwelcoming, and it will eventually be drained and lose power.

Alex Vincent, Ph.D., SVP, Global Executive Client Partner, LHH and Joanne Layne, SVP, Client Partner, LHH

Of all the things we have learned during the global COVID-19 pandemic, one of the toughest lessons might be that we are battling more than one pandemic. Along with the virus, the world is suffering a profound shortage of its collective resilience.

Along with infections from the novel coronavirus, the world is suffering through a pandemic of emotional and psychological exhaustion that is producing widespread physical and mental health problems, up to and including a spike in suicide. Most alarming is the fact that many of the people we believe to be the most resilient to this kind of stress are the people who are suffering the most.

Doctors and nurses in particular are struggling to endure the unrelenting stress of the pandemic. In September, a survey of thousands of healthcare professionals in 60 countries found that more than half reported substantial emotional burnout from dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings like that prompted the World Health Organization to issue a directive warning health authorities to keep a close watch on the mental health of healthcare workers, particularly as COVID-19 potentially mounts a fall surge.

On one level, it’s easy to understand how and why healthcare professionals would be amongst the most affected; they literally serve as a thin white line that is trying to hold back the spread of COVID-19. But then again, they have also undergone significant education and training, all geared towards making them resilience “superheroes.” 

The global pandemic of emotional burnout among healthcare workers is helping to reveal a major misconception about resilience: it is not, even in the most stalwart of people, an infinite resource.

Resilience is one of the most desired qualities in business today

In the business world, resilience is a highly desired quality for both leaders and the people they lead. It tends to function as a catch-all label that describes workers who are resourceful and able to recover quickly from stressful events.

Resilience is considered a key quality in leadership because it is closely associated with concepts such as Emotional Intelligence and Agile Thinking. Both of these core leadership philosophies rely on individuals who are independent, decisive and able to lead by example. These are the qualities that define resilience in a business context.

However, as leadership development experts have studied resilience in a business context, they realized that it manifests in a number of other ways that are perhaps more subtle. Qualities such as candor, resourcefulness, selflessness, humility and empathy—all closely associated with EQ and Agile Thinking—are now considered foundational qualities of the resilient leader.

However, in all those discussions, there is little discussion of the forces that actually erode resilience. 

The Resilience Battery

Most organizations, when they consider the resilience of their leaders or workforce, tend to ask themselves the same stock questions: who has it, and how can they get more of it. Further, they want to know if they can train their people to be more resilient, or whether it’s a quality that must be recruited into an organization from an external talent pool.

Few organizations, however, consider issues like culture and workplace environment in their deliberations about resilience. The often-overlooked fact is that toxic workplaces with toxic leadership can erode resilience in even the strongest and most capable people.

Resilience is like a battery; to maintain a full charge, it must be properly maintained and periodically recharged. Run the resilience battery too long in an environment that is harsh and unwelcoming, and it will eventually be drained and lose power. Resilience can be recharged through development, practice, rest and wellness practices.

A good example of this can be found in our example of healthcare workers. It would be easy to attribute the current pandemic of declining mental and physical health to COVID-19. In reality, the emotional and mental wellbeing of healthcare workers has been a concern for many, many years. 

In January, the National Physician Burnout & Suicide Report for 2020, an annual project by global health care information site Medscape, found that 42 percent of respondent physicians in the United States felt burned out from “long hours, an overwhelming workload and a lack of support” from their employers. The survey, a snapshot of the American medical profession prior to COVID-19, also found out that one quarter of respondents had suicidal thoughts. The report noted that prior research has shown that between 300 and 400 American physicians commit suicide each year.

Although the resilience of healthcare professionals is particularly vulnerable to erosion from stressful working conditions, the same dynamic can be seen in just about every workplace regardless of industry, sector or profession. For organizations that would like to improve or sustain the resilience of their employees, it’s essential to perform a full diagnostic and introduce remedial measures as soon as possible. 

The early warning signs of eroding resilience and what to do about it

The first step is to determine whether your organization has a weak resilience battery. The good news is that most existing psychometric assessments can provide a relatively accurate snapshot of individual and organizational resilience. These assessments can be applied in a variety of seminal career moments: onboarding, promotions and leadership opportunities, expat assignments and priority project assignment. 

On a more ongoing basis, however, there are a number of things organizations should look for and address on an urgent basis to recharge the resilience batteries of their employees:

1. Get feedback

Simply put, you won’t know if there is a problem if you don’t ask people how they are holding up. Engagement surveys can be an important early warning system for a resilience deficit. However, there are other psychometric instruments—like the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale—which can specifically measure the individual resilience of an employee group.

2. Keep a close watch for the early warning signs of declining resilience

Psychologically unsafe workplaces are almost invariably the scene of high levels of resignations, absenteeism and sick leave. These metrics, taken together, provide unambiguous evidence that basic working conditions are draining resilience from your people.

3. Watch for employees who are pushing themselves too hard

Are your people constantly deferring their PTO, or answering work emails during time off on evenings, weekends and statutory holidays? These are tell-tale signs of employees who will eventually drain their resilience batteries. No one, not even the hardiest top performers, can ignore work-life balance and remain resilient.

4. Promote a psychologically safe and healthy workplace

Even the most naturally resilient people will eventually lose their ability to adapt, endure and recover if their workplace is characterized by poor communication, internal conflict, rampant office politics, poor leadership and an absence of work-life balance.

5. Pay particular attention to leadership

Broad engagement surveys show that the main reason why people leave organizations is to escape bad or toxic leadership. You need to apply a focused and explicit lens to the quality of leadership in your organization to ensure your leaders are not subjecting employees to neglect, unreasonable work demands, sexual harassment and emotional abuse.

It’s important to note that a transfusion of new employees or leaders cannot, on its own, improve the resilience of an organization with a particularly toxic culture. Even the most confident and capable new employees and leaders eventually drain their resilience batteries when faced with an unsupportive workplace. 

Organizations can take steps to help build and sustain resilience skills by taking the time to assess culture, leaders and people. Once the weak links have been identified, it will be essential to provide practical tools to build resilience in those who may need it and restore resilience to those who may have depleted their batteries in the early days of the pandemic.

Source: lhh.com

Assessments & Analytics Career Transition, Outplacement and Mobility

Fire-Rehire Practices Particularly Inefficient in a Tight Talent Market

Fire-Rehire Practices Particularly Inefficient in a Tight Talent Market

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There are a variety of factors that stop organizations from embracing redeployment, but the biggest hurdle may be the structure and culture of HR itself.

Murielle Antille and Greg Simpson

It was an excellent question for which there was no easy answer.

“How much are we spending for Fire-Rehire Practices within a year?”

The person asking the question was a senior HR executive at one of our largest clients. The people fielding the question were all the senior members of the HR team.

There was a lot of nervous fidgeting. Like so many employers, this company did not formally track its boomerang employees – people who were let go from one position but rehired for a different job in the same company – and thus had no firm answer.

Finally, one of the people on the hot seat spoke up. “It’s hard to be specific, but I think you could easily say ‘millions of dollars.’”

The nervous shifting in seats was replaced by hard gulps.

In many organizations, the financial resources wasted on firing and rehiring the same people can be enough to make grown HR professionals cry. We know of client organizations that, in the course of a single year, hire back as many as 25% of the people they lay off. Our data further suggest that larger corporations on average rehire 10-15% of their laid off employees. With numbers like that, it’s easy to see why the fire-and-rehire cycle is among the most wasteful talent management practices today.

The bigger question in this scenario – one which senior HR executives will eventually get around to asking – is what should be done to reduce or eliminate this wasteful practice? 

Redeployment strategy

While there is no easy answer, one solution is to embrace a redeployment strategy – and not just as part of a redundancy process, but as part of a larger talent retention strategy.

Indeed, a strategic workforce plan that features an integrated redeployment strategy would allow an organization to analyze every layoff decision to ensure that the person involved does not have value in some other role within the organization or that their skillset and experience won’t be needed sometime in the immediate future. 

Redeployment ensures that talented individuals are not inadvertently shown the door to meet head count targets. It also ensures that a company is seizing the opportunities to reskill and retrain highly valued employees, rather than going through the costlier and less certain process of recruiting people externally. 

It seems simple enough, except for the fact that it doesn’t happen all that often. 

In LHH’s 2018 Severance and Separation Benefits survey, respondent organizations were asked if they had conducted an analysis to compare the costs of terminating employees to the cost of redeploying them.

A remarkable 61% indicated they did not compare the costs of a layoff with redeployment. And of those who did an analysis, only 19% followed through and implemented a redeployment strategy. 

For many organizations, the failure to do this type of comparison could be a costly mistake.

One of our clients, a global technology company, agreed to conduct a detailed comparison of the costs of termination versus redeployment. With our help, this company found it could save just over $1.17 million US in severance and outplacement costs in its European region alone.

Why organizations stop embracing redeployment?

There are a variety of factors that stop organizations from embracing redeployment, but the biggest hurdle may be the structure and culture of HR itself.

Too many silos. To be effective, redeployment must involve all areas of Talent Management, from search and recruitment to hiring, assessment, learning and career development and, ultimately, career transition. Unfortunately, HR professionals will tell you that there just isn’t enough collaboration between key HR functions to make that possible. As a result, hiring and firing decisions are often made without effective collaboration across the HR expertise fields.

A lack of C-suite support. The successful redeployment programs we’ve helped facilitate require executive mandates to consider internal candidates ahead of external hires. Then, internal job advocates work with talent managers to identify human capital needs and assist with the matching of qualified internal candidates. In the absence of that executive mandate, there will be resistance to redeployment.

A tendency to hoard. At the front line of leadership, many managers hoard talent to the point where they would rather keep someone mired in a limited role rather than let them grow into a new and more demanding role in another part of the same organization. This prevents other areas of the company from reaping the benefits of redeployment or reassignment through reskilling.

These challenges explain why some companies endure waste rather than implement a solution. However, current labor market conditions should give most employers the motivation to revisit the redeployment option.

All over the world, employment numbers are reaching their highest levels since the 2008 global recession. The OECD unemployment rate has been falling steadily and is expected to reach 5.3% by the end of 2018 and 5.1% the following year. 

In the U.S., the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this summer that for the first time ever, there were more job openings than unemployed people. This speaks to the profound talent shortage that slows productivity and growth. And it adds to operating costs that come from being unable to find talent when it is needed most.

According to the World Economic Forum, the talent shortage is extremely costly for employers and for national economies. In China, inability to source talent is estimated to cost the economy $250 billion US annually. In the U.S., the annual cost is $160 billion US. In the United Kingdom and Australia, respectively, the skills gap costs $29 billion US and $6 billion US per year.

In the midst of such a chronic and lengthy shortage of talented workers, employers should be encouraged to start building a strategic workforce plan to ensure that top talent isn’t inadvertently being jettisoned to meet other HR goals.

However, that’s not the only scenario under which redeployment should be implemented. Mergers and acquisitions, or any transformation initiative that will result in significant change to your workforce, arguably could include some form of redeployment program. Lamentably, those programs remain out of reach for many organizations. 

One of the biggest barriers to redeployment is that far too many organizations do not have the structures or processes in place to map the talent they currently employ. Outside of some basic job descriptions, most organizations do not know what other talents their employees may have, what skills or competencies they have acquired on the job, or what career goals their employees may desire. In addition, many employers have not done a talent or skill analysis to find employees with transferable skills that could be easily applied to another job within the same organization.

Too many of these employers also lack a system that notifies employees on a regular basis of job opportunities in other areas of the organization. This is a big problem when you consider that, thanks to social media platforms like LinkedIn, most employees are already being bombarded with notifications of external job opportunities, while getting little or no information about internal openings.

The really frustrating part is that, across the spectrum of HR functions and departments, much of that information is theoretically available. Unfortunately, in some companies there is very little information sharing between, say, talent acquisition and the people managing career transition. When the people hiring are not talking to the people doing the firing, you have a high likelihood that you’re going to waste valuable talent.

What Organizations need to do?

Organizations need to start working now on solutions that will provide greater insight and transparency into their existing talent ranks. 

Beyond saving money on severance and recruitment costs, the benefits of utilizing a redeployment strategy include higher engagement rates, increased talent flexibility and retention of top employees. Without redeployment, organizations run the risk of a high turnover rate, which in turn means a loss of institutional knowledge and a massive increase in the costs of recruiting new talent. 

Talent mobility is not just good for employers; employees too can benefit from taking control of their career paths and opening themselves up to the possibilities that come with acquiring new skills or transferring skills to an entirely different area of the same organization.

Talent is in short supply right now. Best-in-class organizations that have already implemented redeployment strategies not only save considerable financial resources on severance, career transition and recruitment, they also have a definite competitive advantage in the war for talent. It’s an excellent time to put the processes and solutions in place to ensure that you don’t get caught in the fire-and-rehire cycle.

Source: lhh.com

Assessments & Analytics Career Transition, Outplacement and Mobility Change Management Coaching Organizational Development People Development Workforce Transformations

Workforce Transformations Insights June 2020

Workforce Transformations Insights – June 2020

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your workforce into a
true force

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How The Pandemic Is Changing The Rules Of Talent Management

How The Pandemic Is Changing The Rules Of Talent Management

This is the moment to get your organization on the right side of that equation

What Does a Planful Approach Look Like?

The best executive transition plan will probably look a little bit different depending on the size and nature of the organization. However, the key best practices – transparency, collaboration, and support – will remain a constant. Organizations must engage with the executives in transition in an open and honest context. They must display a willingness to work together to come up with a transition plan that is fair to both the individual and the organization.

In the absence of crises, it’s easy to ignore things like succession planning and executive departure strategies. In our current environment, which is defined by volatility and uncertainty,

No organization has an excuse for not planning ahead.

Let’s get more details in the 8 topics below.

  1. How the Pandemic is Changing the Rules of Talent Management – Greg Simpson
  2. Leadership Shake-ups on the Horizon: How Prepared is Your Organization? – William (Bill) Brown
  3. The Good, the Bad and the Awkward: Tips for Making Video Calls Better – Sharon Patterson
  4. How to Promote a Culture of Caring and Compassionate Leadership – Alex Vincent, Ph. D
  5. Culture: The Catalyst for Transformation – Dr. Mary Clare Race
  6. Now is the Time to Start Prospecting for Great Talent – Helene Cavalli
  7. What Lies Ahead: Three Fundamental Changes to How We’ll Work Post-Pandemic – Dan Lett
  8. Leadership – Pandemic Style – Steve Harrison

Source: lhh.com

Assessments & Analytics Career Transition, Outplacement and Mobility Change Management Coaching Organizational Development People Development Workforce Transformations

Workforce Transformations Insights April 2020

Workforce Transformations Insights April 2020

Let us help you turn
your workforce into a
true force

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Workforce Transformations Insights April 2020

Think about workforce transformations in a whole new way.

Welcome to Transformation Insights, a publication devoted to the latest thinking on what it takes to transform organisations.

The coronavirus pandemic is transforming the world forever, forcing us to rethink and reshape our businesses and our lives. As the result, many companies are transforming to adapt the new situation, but are they successful?

COVID-19 is accelerating business transformation. Before the pandemic, all kinds of organizations were pursuing business or workforce transformations to meet future challenges and opportunities. Unfortunately, many of these companies were taking a very long time to enact change. And even when they did, they were reluctant to go all in, leaving them in limbo: neither the same as they were nor different enough to really move into the future. Many organizations had acknowledged the need to “transform” but just hadn’t gotten around to it.

After the pandemic, we will see many more businesses fully embrace rapid,
urgent transformation. They are learning how to do this purely as a matter of survival. We have already seen this in some industries like hospitality and healthcare. Social distancing meant that many restaurants went from being fully booked to completely empty. Undeterred, many began re-tooling their operations to focus solely on pick-up or delivery service. They were aided signifcantly in this transformation by companies that provide meal delivery on demand. In order to protect patients seeking medical advice or treatment, healthcare systems are pushing people to telemedicine options to limit human-to-human contact. Patient trafc to telehealth services is surging. Telemedicine app Amwell experienced a 158% increase since the virus hit. The shift to telemedicine is poised to dramatically impact the healthcare industry, creating new opportunities. Other organizations in other sectors of the economy are being forced to adopt similar changes, and it will change the world of work forever.

“In today’s marketplace, organizations are discovering the need to turn their attention inward to find their future talent. Let us help you turn your workforce into a true force.”

We combined research insights with our expert knowledge to home in on five key areas of focus to ensure workforce transformation success.

  • Put HR in the Driver’s Seat
  • Honest Evaluation Ensures Ongoing Success
  • Let Leaders Lead
  • Don’t Leave Career Development in the Dark
  • Culture is Crucial

source: lhh.com

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