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Career Transition, Outplacement and Mobility Change Management Organizational Development

2021 HR Predictions for Large Businesses

2021 HR Predictions for Large Businesses

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HR predictions for large businesses

There will be a great strain placed on HR leaders of these companies to work with the board to ensure that peaceful and smooth restructuring, outplacement and redeployment takes place. 

The word ‘unprecedented’ has been used a lot to describe this year. There isn’t a business that hasn’t been impacted in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it’s been a temporary shut down, staff having to work from home, or having to navigate the government’s furlough scheme – there have been a lot of business firsts. 

As the year draws to a close, it serves as a good time for organisations to take a step back and reflect. While the news headlines are currently dominated by the positive news that vaccinations have started rolling out, it is certain that businesses will not return to pre-COVID norms. 

Many of the changes we have seen this year will carry on into the future – we will not be returning to working life as it was at the start of 2020, and in some cases we have not yet experienced the full impact of the pandemic. 

So, what does this mean for businesses and HR leaders as we head into 2021 and beyond? We’ve outlined our key predictions below.

HR Qualifications Will Need Updating on outplacement and redeployment

As it currently stands, outplacement and redeployment do not currently feature in the CIPD training for HR professionals. We strongly advocate for this to change as we head into the New Year. The job market is in crisis, yet there are huge benefits to any organisation that actively seeks alternatives to redundancy. HR professionals need to know exactly how outplacement and redeployment strategies work, so they are able to make the best case for it to the business leaders. 

Redundancies Will Continue to Rise

While the UK Government’s furlough scheme is credited with helping to save millions of jobs from redundancy in the short term, redundancies look set to rise in the year ahead, with the Chancellor predicting that unemployment will increase to 2.6 million by mid-2021.

While the government is doing all that it can to help, it is crucial that organisations do not use this time to delay the inevitable or procrastinate. How organisations handle this issue will have a lasting and long term impact on staff productivity, brand reputation, employee morale, company performance and the wider economy. It is therefore vital for organisations to start workforce planning now, if this has not been started already.  This should include alternatives to redundancy including redeployment and reskilling for the creation of an agile workforce. 

The Creation of Employment Bridges 

In 2021 and beyond, we expect to see a rise in the use of ‘Employment Bridges’. An Employment Bridge is a mechanism that takes surplus workers at one company and finds them temporary employment at another company, while allowing the original employer to retain the ability to recall them when and if business turns around.

As we’ve seen, some industries have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, such as the hospitality and tourism industries. However there are other industries such as security and online retail that have a need for short-term employees to deal with increased demand. 

Businesses have found themselves in an unprecedented situation, which calls for an innovative solution. The use of the Employment Bridge is a solution that not only benefits businesses needing a short-term change in staffing, but also keeps workers in employment. 

The Rise of the Chief People Officer

We will not be returning to the typical office 9-5 working environment. Many businesses will continue to implement working remote policies, or at least will adapt a hybrid system – and all businesses will need to ensure they continue having the agility in order to respond to further  have the infrastructure in place in case of further strict lockdown measures. 

Companies will either employ someone to specifically look at company culture, or at least have it as a key part of the job description. Whether it’s to help with the onboarding of new staff, keeping employees motivated or even just recreating the social element of office life remotely – the organisations best place to succeed in the year ahead will be those who take company culture seriously. 

The Rise of AI Means Businesses Need to Future-Proof Skills 

The rise of technology will continue to have a fundamental impact on businesses and the world of work. In some instances it has created new companies, sectors and in turn job opportunities. On the other hand it has created a demand for a new set of skills that can be hard to fill, and has ultimately meant that some roles have become redundant or are no longer seen as mission critical. 

New skills are required to support this shift and business leaders should see the opportunity to enhance careers, protect employees and shape the future of work in a way that benefits all. Changes in technology, longevity, work practices, and business models have also created a demand for continuous, lifelong development and this can bring significant value to the workforce. 

There will be more M&As

As we head into another year of disruption, we will definitely see more takeovers and M&A deals – likely on a scale not seen previously.

There will be a great strain placed on HR leaders of these companies to work with the board to ensure that peaceful and smooth restructuring, outplacement and redeployment takes place. 

Source: lhh.com

Career Transition, Outplacement and Mobility Change Management Organizational Development People Development

Top Four Takeaways to Advance the Convergence of Learning and Work

Top Four Takeaways to Advance the Convergence of Learning and Work

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Top Four Takeaways to Advance the Convergence of Learning and Work

It’s time to change the way we think and deploy learning. We need this shift in thinking not only to meet future skills needs, but also to start mining the maximum value possible from human capital, the real engine of growth and success.

Ranjit de Sousa

If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of the future of work colliding head-on with the future of learning.

This is a collision that has been building for a long, long time. However, the convergence of a number of powerful forces—artificial intelligence, the global skills shortage, the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of the contingent workforce—have put a new edge on the debate about how best to prepare ourselves for the future of work. 

Increasingly now, we are realizing that our future capacity to build, create and problem solve—the foundational tasks that help drive vibrant economies and create fulfilling jobs—is fully and completely determined by our ability to provide learning opportunities that are fully aligned with the human jobs of the future. While some of us are just waking up to this reality, others such as the World Economic Forum, have been predicting this for years.

“The current moment provides an opportunity for leaders in business, government, and public policy to focus common efforts on improving the access and delivery of reskilling and upskilling, motivating redeployment and reemployment, as well as signalling the market value of learning that can be delivered through education technology at scale,” according to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2020

Those are lofty goals that many of us in the human capital industry have been advocating for some years now. And there has been some progress. However, because of the massive corporate and technology transformation ushered in by COVID-19, there is urgency to address the lack of overall progress we have made in preparing workers around the world for the future of work. Even when individual nations or companies show us the way with innovative solutions, far too many of us lag behind unsure of what to do and when to do it. 

As the WEF report put it, a marriage between learning and work will require “a holistic approach” that must involve “multi-stakeholder collaboration between companies looking to support their workforce; governments willing to fund reskilling and the localization of mid-career education programmes; professional services firms and technology firms that can map potential job transitions or provide reskilling services; labour unions aware of the impact of those transitions on the well-being of workers; and community organizations that can give visibility to the efficacy of new legislation and provide early feedback on its design.”

This is a steep hill that we must climb. And we’re only going to reach the top if we start to reconsider some of the oldest, deeply seeded assumptions about the relationship between learning and work.

Towards an on-demand world of learning

The Higher Colleges of Technology, the largest institution of applied learning in the United Arab Emirates, did not wait for a global pandemic to start changing its approach to education. For several years now, HCT has been preparing to reimagine itself as a virtual institution. To minimize risk during the pandemic, HCT moved quickly to ramp up its plans to deliver learning remotely and took all of its courses online in March 2020.

However, HCT is doing a lot more than just taking traditional, in-person learning and moving it online; the school has adopted an on-demand model for delivering education that allows students to pursue training in specific job-oriented skills as opposed to a standard, years-long journey to a degree. Now, students can enroll and learn from anywhere and build an education plan that is less about acquiring academic credentials and more about meeting the real-world needs of a specific job.

HCT is not just an advocate of a new approach to learning; it is also practicing what it preaches. HCT now offers one of the world’s first “e-Teacher” programs, training a new generation of instructors who will have specific expertise in virtual instruction and the use of leading-edge digital learning tools. 

If we learn anything from the HCT story, it should be how this school willingly challenged all our preconceived notions about what relevant education looks like in a modern context, and how we structure learning to bridge the gap between education and occupation. 

Increasingly, employers are beginning to challenge their own notions of what skilled really means. Higher education, with its lofty price tags and years of commitment is still a valuable commodity. But employers are focusing less on academic credentials and more on things like “relevant experience.” At the same time, more and more countries are starting to invest heavily in apprenticeship programs where learning and working are perfectly married.

Re-inventing the sequence of learning and work

Everyone used to know the path to a great job: work hard in secondary school to qualify for a top post-secondary program; work hard at college or university and get a degree; use the degree to secure a good and lasting job. If we’ve learned anything during this most trying year, and in recent years, it is that this sequence is no longer viable.

Heather E. McGowan, a future-of-work strategist, recently released a book called The Adaptation Advantage, in which she argues that the “learn-to-work” pathway has been replaced with a “work-learn-work-learn-work-learn” journey. A few years ago, McGowan coined a phrase that I believe all employers should etch into their human capital strategies: “Learning is the new pension.”

On that basis, we at LHH have been encouraging leaders in learning & development and human resources to start changing the way we think and deploy learning. We desperately need this shift in thinking not only to meet future skills needs, but also to start mining the maximum value possible from human capital, the real engine of growth and success. Here are our top four takeaways to advance the convergence of learning and work:

1. Learning needs to become foundational

Employers should incorporate learning as a core element in our contracts with employees. For too long, we have focused on the individual’s obligations to the employer: engagement, productivity, creativity, loyalty. In our current context, we now know that employers must reward these commitments with our own commitment to life-long learning opportunities so that strategies like coaching, reskilling and redeployment become principal tools for managing workforces.

2. Learning needs to become more flexible, more purposeful

Old and outdated approaches to learning at work must be eliminated and replaced with new, digitally powered and on-demand education that uses the best online tools and learning strategies, and provides the best consumer-grade user experience. We have the power now to put learning literally in the palms of our hands through mobile apps and smartphones. This means we can also organize learning to be part of the workday, or outside working hours, whichever is preferable for the individual. And it needs to keenly focus on both the employers’ future skill needs, and the individual’s future career goals.

3. Leaders will need to become coaches, mentors and teachers

A key leadership function today is the ability to coach employees to develop their own abilities and become the best they can be. But effective coaching is an acquired skill. Companies should invest in leaders to build coaching capabilities that drive employee performance, including building new competencies for conducting expert coaching conversations related to performance, development and careers.

4. Learning must be viewed as an investment, not a cost

Generally accepted accounting principles require organizations to categorize investments in reskilling or retraining as costs and not investments. Many forward-thinking advocates, however, have been arguing for new accounting models that allow employers to re-categorize these expenses as investments, just the same as the purchase of a new building or a new machine. The Adecco Group has led internationally on this topic, publishing numerous white papers calling for a modernization of accounting rules so that learning is fully reclassified as an investment. This could spark a new generation of investment in learning that could future-proof our workforces.

During the pandemic, as we’re all struggling to meet a tidal wave of new challenges, we risk losing sight of the opportunities that come with change. Now is perhaps our greatest opportunity to re-imagine our approach to learning so that it is part of the basic contract between employer and employee. Those organizations that accept the challenge and seize the moment will find they have unleashed a future full of potential and success.

Source: lhh.com

Change Management Coaching Organizational Development Workforce Transformations

5 Core Practices to Build an Effective Virtual Onboarding Program

5 Core Practices to Build an Effective Virtual Onboarding Program

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5 Core Practices to Build an Effective Virtual Onboarding Program

Onboarding has always been a critical link in the talent management process at Numeris. Jennifer Knibbs, National Director of People and Culture talks about what went into the design of their award-winning virtual onboarding program and how it ensures new hires are prepared to hit the ground running in their new roles.

Cara Danielson, SVP, Leadership Development Programs, LHH

When Numeris realized the pandemic would indefinitely put the brakes on in-person onboarding for new employees, they knew they were prepared to meet the challenge. Fortunately, well before “pandemic” and “COVID-19” became part of our lexicon in human resources, Numeris—an audience measurement whose origins go back nearly 80 years—had built the foundation for its virtual onboarding program.

All onboarding documentation had been migrated to fully digital channels, a digital toolkit was built to help new hires navigate onboarding, and a comprehensive online “100-day journey” was formulated to introduce and immerse a new employee in the company’s culture and values.

“We worked very closely with LHH, particularly on the digital toolkit, to ensure our onboarding program gives our people a complete sense of the values of our organization, our history and structure,” said Jennifer Knibbs, National Director of People and Culture at Numeris. “Everything we created and had been using prior to the pandemic has been shifted to virtual in a seamless fashion. We focused on a program that was flexible and easily adapted. That has really helped us through the crisis.”

Onboarding has always been a critical link in the talent management process at Numeris. Making sure new hires are prepared and equipped to hit the ground running in their new roles is essential to retaining top talent and keeping them engaged.

Research reported by the Society for Human Rights Management (SHRM) has clearly established the relationship between effective onboarding and both retention and engagement. SHRM reported results from a survey conducted by BambooHR, a workforce management software company, that showed up to one-third of respondents had quit a job in the first six months because of what they perceived to be an unfriendly environment, a lack of guidelines about responsibilities and too few training opportunities.

Conversely, research by the Wynhurst Group, a Washington D.C.-based consultancy, showed that employees who had the benefit of a structured onboarding process were nearly 60 percent more likely to be with the same company after three years. The Corporate Leadership Council weighed in with yet another study that showed properly onboarded employees were more engaged, more productive and more likely to engage in discretionary effort for their new employers.

Knibbs said Numeris has always tried to keep in mind that new hires who struggle with onboarding—which can leave recruits with too many questions and not nearly enough answers—are unlikely to become highly motivated, highly engaged employees. 

A degree of virtual onboarding has always made sense for Numeris, Knibbs noted. With a head office in Toronto, and three additional offices in Montreal, Richmond (B.C.) and Moncton, New Brunswick, the Numeris workforce has always been highly dispersed.

When social distancing and working from home became standards in the response to COVID-19, it created an opportunity for Numeris to test the limits of their virtual onboarding experience.

“The nature of our business, and the structure of the company, meant that we were already changing how connections were being made between new hires and our managers,” Knibbs said. “Now that we can’t do any of the onboarding process in person, we’ve found that our program does a very good job of creating a good experience and makes our new people feel welcomed and supported, and that they have all the tools they need to succeed.”

The key element in Numeris’ virtual onboarding is the “100-day Journey” for employees and leaders. Knibbs said the program features a broad array of programs and content that covers company values, culture, history and structure. The online materials are augmented with a “Leader Stream,” where new employees can meet virtually with many of the company’s leaders and directly discuss culture and expectations. 

The journey concludes with a survey which asks employees if they got all of the information they need to integrate into their new organization, she added.

Organizations that have acted proactively to embrace virtual onboarding build a foundation on a handful of core principles

1. Onboarding is a journey; take your time

Many organizations try to compress onboarding to limit the amount of “down time” an employee spends getting acclimatized. But a rushed or incomplete onboarding process will create a myriad of problems down the road, including an increased likelihood the employee in question will leave within the first six months.

2. Embrace onboarding as a best practice

According to onboarding research by TalentLMS, only 27% of companies have a fully online onboarding process, 33% use a blended offline and online approach, while 40% have yet to move any part of their onboarding program online. But organizations that do embrace online onboarding and make full use of virtual technologies retain top talent longer and have better overall employee engagement. Map out everything a new hire needs to know in the first 30 days, 60 days and 100 days and make it a formal offering.

3. Think like a new hire

If you ask new hires what they really want, they would tell you that logging onto the company network and meeting key leaders and peers are two of their top priorities. Unfortunately, many onboarding programs get bogged down at the start with endless paperwork. Identify, simplify and digitize all forms and resources so that new hires can complete everything online without feeling overwhelmed on their first day.

4. Reach out and make contact with managers and mentors

Take steps to recreate formerly in-person aspects of onboarding in a digital environment by making full use of video conference calls with managers and mentors. New hires need to work with their managers to make time for self-directed learning, mentoring, coaching and cross-functional knowledge sharing. Build in milestones that allow new hires to develop a goal-orientated mindset.

5. Get an early start

There are huge benefits to be reaped by starting the onboarding process before a new employee’s first day. Introducing them to the online onboarding journey and getting HR paperwork done as early as possible will allow new hires to focus on absorbing the culture and values of their new organization. 

Focusing on these core elements, Numeris was able to create a virtual onboarding process that was purpose-built for the pandemic. “We were thrilled to be recognized with a Brandon Hall Award for our all virtual onboarding program. We don’t expect employees to simply figure things out for themselves. We’ve created a scalable onboarding journey that’s driving efficiencies and consistency. When lockdown hit, we were ready.” 

“A lot of organizations think onboarding is something that you can do in one week,” said Knibbs. “It takes much longer to prepare a new employee. And the research shows that the first 100 days is a critical period in the process of building that new relationship. We didn’t want the pandemic to impact our onboarding process and it appears that we haven’t skipped a beat.”

Source: lhh.com

Career Transition, Outplacement and Mobility Change Management Organizational Development Workforce Transformations

The Seven Worst M&A Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

The Seven Worst M&A Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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The Seven Worst M&A Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

The world has not lost its taste for M&As despite evidence that the gross majority are “abysmal failures.” LHH looks at the seven biggest mistakes organizations make during M&As and offers some practical suggestions on how to overcome them.

Charles de Sabran and Joanne Layne

Nearly three years ago, Prof. Roger Martin of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management uttered one of the most infamous quotes ever about the state of global mergers and acquisitions.

“M&A is a mug’s game,” Martin wrote in the June 2016 issue of The Harvard Business Review, “in which typically 70%-90% of acquisitions are abysmal failures.”

Martin may have been guilty of hyperbole, but he certainly had the case studies to back up his claim: Microsoft and Nokia, Google and Motorola, Hewlett Packard and Autonomy, News Corporation and MySpace. These were all multibillion-dollar deals that ended with the acquiring company forced to sell off the acquired asset and write off nearly all of the money invested to bring the companies together.

Despite Martin’s assessment, the world does not seem to be losing its appetite for M&As.

In 2018, nearly $3.9 trillion in M&As were announced. It was not a record, but had the proposed marriage between U.S. cellular carriers Sprint and T-Mobile been allowed to proceed—it is currently in a state of limbo at the direction of regulators—it would have been one of the busiest years ever in M&A activity.

Given that every year sees a new wave of M&A activity, why do we continue to see such a poor record of success? Theories abound.

Currency fluctuations and trade wars can derail some deals. Sometimes, proposed M&As collide with shifting markets or unforeseen technological complications. And in many cases, acquiring companies simply overpay for an asset and underestimate the costs of integration.

There is, however, a common thread running through most botched M&As: failed cultural integration.

Deloitte has estimated that failed cultural integration is a primary cause in about 30 percent of failed M&As. Bain & Company has identified cultural integration as the number one cause of M&A failure. 

After reviewing the details of M&As that Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) has seen up close, we’ve identified seven common mistakes related to cultural integration that bring down many promising M&As.

The Seven Worst M&A Mistakes

The New Company Obsession

Trying to deliberately erase one of the legacy cultures. Every company has a unique DNA that, like humans, is deeply ingrained in all that they are and do. Many leaders make the mistake of thinking that the DNA of an acquired company will just disappear. However, experience tells us that there will always be trace elements of the DNA of both organizations in an integrated company. Failure to acknowledge this reality can lead to fear, resentment and—ultimately—a failure to fully integrate.

The Ivory Tower Syndrome

When fear invades the senior leadership team. For many leaders, an M&A can trigger fears about their own careers. They may worry about losing influence, status, power or, ultimately, their job. This anxiety is exacerbated by the fact that integrations can take many months, if not years, to complete. This can make many leaders feel estranged from their day-to-day duties and disinterested in the outcomes of the M&A.

The Mirror Effect

Projecting the fears of leaders onto the entire organization. When leaders are fearful, they can project those fears onto an entire organization. For example, a recent client undertaking an M&A guaranteed to all employees that there would be zero job cuts for the first three years. But when we met the executive team, they were convinced that these assurances did not apply to people at the senior leader level. Their concerns about “unofficial” job cuts eventually invaded employee discussions at all levels of the organization. Once employees saw that their leaders had lost faith in the organization’s pledge, they also began to lose faith.

The Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote Scenario

Making rash decisions and falling off the proverbial cliff. Those of us who grew up watching this iconic cartoon may remember that no matter how hard he worked or what gimmick he employed, Wile E. Coyote could never catch the Road Runner. The problem was that the Coyote, in his desperation, was willing to try anything without pausing to consider the wisdom of his schemes. This is certainly a scenario we see in M&As.

When attempting M&As, leaders sometimes believe they must always be making, announcing and implementing integration decisions. If too few managers or employees are involved in formulating those decisions, however, there is a high risk of disengagement. Before announcing any decision, it’s important to reach out to as many people as possible to discuss the ramifications. Just as Wile E. Coyote discovered, making bad decisions quickly and in isolation can lead you over the proverbial cliff.

The Broken Record Syndrome

Keep selling the rationale of the deal instead of tackling practical issues. We often see that, in order to meet communication expectations, leaders fall into the habit of just repeating core messages over and over again and never acknowledging that new problems have arisen. When the message is out of date and deliberately ignores new developments, it can completely undermine leadership’s reputation. Sometimes, it’s better to be silent rather than redundant.

Abandonment Issues

Not supporting middle managers. Middle managers form the backbone of most organizations. They are the frontline for all the questions, fears, anger and confusion an employee may experience in the midst of an integration. Despite that reality, middle managers are often forgotten when it comes to managing an integration. If the leaders of an M&A starve middle managers of information and leave them unable to answer the most basic of questions, those managers and their teams will quickly lose faith in the integration.

The First Spring Flower Syndrome

Claiming success prematurely. Anyone who has lived through an M&A knows it can be a long, unpredictable and sometimes uncomfortable journey. Despite this, senior leaders are sometimes quick to claim victory once the process has been launched. This is particularly true of cultural integration. It will take months, maybe even years, for two different cultures to mesh and find a happy, productive common ground. Claiming victory prematurely can frustrate workforces and actually lengthen the gestation period for a full integration.

The challenge of avoiding these pitfalls of cultural integration often falls to HR leaders. Based on our experience working side-by-side with HR leaders in the throes of integration, LHH has identified several best practices that can help bridge the cultural gap experienced during many M&As.

These best practices include but are not limited to:

Best practices that can help bridge the cultural gap experienced during many M&As

Create a “cultural” workstream led by the senor leadership team

A workstream focused on cultural integration can determine the distinct qualities in the DNA of both organizations and identify what is shared and how to create common ground. A cultural workstream ensures both entities respect each other’s values and histories.

Measure the truth

Regularly survey the field to get an honest assessment of how the integration is progressing. When events are unfolding rapidly in an M&A, we tend to demonstrate greater biases and make more assumptions. To figure out exactly how well the organization is handling an integration, it’s important to survey different levels of the organization and encourage an open dialogue so that everyone knows what’s really going on.

Clarify expectations around new leadership behaviors

Successful organizations take early steps to articulate the leadership values and behaviors necessary to facilitate the integration. Clearly communicating these expectations lets leaders know that they must be prepared to change their own behaviors to successfully drive an integration.

Invest heavily in the middle managers to build foundational leadership skills, fill intercultural gaps and mitigate unconscious bias

 The capacity and willingness of middle managers to adopt the new integrated culture can make or break an M&A. During the early stages of an integration, where important first impressions are made, middle managers must know why and when things are happening so that they can keep the workforce up to speed and solidly invested in the integration.

As an HR leader, don’t get caught up in the technical aspects of the integration

To avoid getting caught in the tall grass of technical details, organize collaborative workshops with key leaders from both entities. These forums can help leaders quickly flag issues and deliver solutions that demonstrate that the new integrated organization is just as concerned about people as financial projections.

Secure your key talent

Senior talent not only drive results, they retain the knowledge and experience necessary for future success. Incentives and tailored working conditions will be essential to retaining these people. Retaining key talent will prove to be much more cost effective than having to go out and replace them.

The one positive aspect of the “abysmal” record of M&A success is that it has provided us with an abundance of data about what companies are doing wrong, which can actually help us draft a blueprint for a successful integration.

In M&As, as in life, we can always learn from the mistakes of others and commit to doing things a different way.

Source: lhh.com

Career Transition, Outplacement and Mobility Organizational Development

The Black Sheep of Wellbeing

The Black Sheep of Wellbeing

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The Black Sheep of Wellbeing

Corporate wellbeing often equates to free fruit, gym memberships and perhaps a lunchtime yoga session or two. However, what’s often overlooked, and arguably more impactful, is a focus on careers.

An interview with Carmel Batticciotto, Talent Development Leader, LHH

When organisations focus on corporate wellbeing, more often than not they gravitate towards free fruit, gym memberships and maybe even a lunchtime yoga session or two. However, what’s often overlooked, but can have a much bigger impact, is a focus on careers.

Carmel Batticciotto calls it ‘Careerfulness’ – making sure that you look after your career wellbeing. The talent development leader at LHH says corporate wellbeing is more important than ever given the current employment conditions but it is often something neglected by employers.

“We know that this has been a tough year for many, so supporting wellbeing is more important than ever and there is no doubt more organisations are looking into wellbeing programs for their employees,” she said. “But this is so much more than just ticking the EAP box. This is about understanding all elements of wellbeing and providing support to your people which will have the greatest impact.  You can fund as many gym memberships as you like, however if your people are not happy at work, this may not have the impact you are aiming for.”

“Career wellbeing is one of the most important aspects of an individual’s overall wellbeing.”

Analytics and advisory firm Gallup says there are five broad categories that are essential to most people:

  • Career Wellbeing: how you occupy your time or simply liking what you do every day
  • Social Wellbeing: about having strong relationships and love in your life
  • Financial Wellbeing: effectively managing your economic life
  • Physical Wellbeing: having good health and enough energy to get things done on a daily basis
  • Community Wellbeing: the sense of engagement you have with the area where you live

According to Gallup, while 66% of people are doing well in at least one of these areas, just 7% are thriving in all five.

The underlying issue is that people generally under-estimate the impact of their career on their overall wellbeing. We need to ensure that we focus on all areas of our wellbeing, and give career wellbeing the focus it deserves. If you don’t have the opportunity to regularly do something you enjoy, the odds of you having a high level of wellbeing in other areas quickly diminish.

“Our work is our identity,” says Batticciotto.  “Think back to a time when you were in a job that you didn’t enjoy and how it affected all areas of your life.  It has multiple impacts. And people who lose their job or have been unemployed for several months – the stress is even greater.”

Batticciotto pointed to a study published in The Economic Journal which said unemployment might be the only major life event from which people do not fully recover within five years.

“The study followed 130,000 people for several decades. It showed that our wellbeing recovers more rapidly from the death of a spouse than it does from a sustained period of unemployment. That is quite astounding.”

“Through career development programs we are helping individuals to take control of their careers and increase their sense of empowerment. Is what they are doing now the right role for them?  How do they learn more about themselves and their full range of career options?” 

“One thing that has come out of COVID-19 is that organisations have been more flexible and are engaging with their employees differently.”

“However, we are also seeing a lot of organisations take the foot off the accelerator when it comes to career development. There will be many individuals whose career path has been stalled. Promotions aren’t happening. Leaders are no longer having career conversations with staff. It is having a real impact on morale.  I understand the impact that COVID-19 has had on the market, however, now is the time to demonstrate the value you place on your people and communicate how they can manage their careers and continuous learning in this new environment. 

“We have had a lot of talk about individuals and companies pivoting. Another challenge we see is that organisations are not being strategic around actively reskilling their people to move into the roles of the now and into the future. It is about being really clear on what your future workforce looks like.  This includes ensuring that career pathways are visible to the workforce and providing options so they can move into those new career pathways.”

“Organisations need to have the right systems and processes/frameworks in place to enable career agility. It’s all about careerfulness!”

Source: lhh.com

Change Management Organizational Development Workforce Transformations

Organizational Culture: The Real Reason Transformation Fails

Organizational Culture: The Real Reason Transformation Fails

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Organizational Culture The Real Reason Transformation Fails

A new generation of machines – and machine learning – may be driving workforce transformation. But make no mistake about it, organizational culture will determine whether that transformation is successful.

Organizational culture

Far too often, organizations overlook issues of culture when tackling a transformation challenge. The focus is almost always on the new shiny penny – digital technology, artificial intelligence, applications of machine learning – the things that will ultimately change how and what we do in the workplace.

But what about an organization’s capacity to absorb transformational change? Are leaders prepared to take the point on transformation? Do employees have the mindset and agility to dedicate themselves to a whole new approach to work? 

In a recent survey of senior HR leaders conducted by LHH in partnership with HR.com, we identified the most common external drivers of workforce transformation. Not surprisingly, 70 percent of respondents said that advances in digital technology are triggering the need to re-imagine workforces. However, the focus shifted from machines to culture as soon as we asked about the forces that work against a successful transformation.

In fact, 54 percent of respondents cited culture as the single biggest barrier to a successful transformation. To really appreciate that figure, and why it may be the single greatest insight into transformation initiatives, we need to do a deep dive into what we mean by culture.

Organizational culture is made up of the beliefs, behaviors and attitudes of employees across the business and at all levels of hierarchy. An organization demonstrates its culture through how work gets done, how priorities are established and how people work with each other.

Good organizational culture is evident through the accountability of leaders and the clarity with which they communicate organizational expectations, as well as the enthusiasm with which employees execute on those expectations. You find positive cultures in supportive and respectful workplaces. One key indicator of culture health is whether or not existing employees would recommend their company to friends looking for work.

Bad culture is pretty easy to spot as well. Conflict is everywhere, and employees have a decided lack of trust in leadership at all levels. The general environment at work can be toxic, with harassment and bullying commonplace. Worst of all, senior leadership hoards information about the business strategy, leaving employees unsure why they are doing what they are doing.

Changing a flawed culture can be a gargantuan task, so much so that many organizations are daunted by the thought of tackling it head on. There are, however, some foundational steps that can help make the task less burdensome.

Create Agents of Change

Whenever the issue of cultural change comes up, there will be tension between those who want to move the company along in a new direction and those who are still holding on to the old way of doing things. It is vital for everyone to understand the rationale behind the change and their individual role in the culture’s transformation. 

At the very top of an organization, executive leaders are chiefly responsible for driving transformation. Along with effective communication about the nature of the transformation, senior leaders must also identify people within their organizations who can champion the very cause of transformation. 

These are the people who will amplify the transformation message and play a key role in convincing others to invest in the changes that will occur. These influencers will keep others in the company up to date on all transformation developments while providing a channel for questions and feedback. These champions will also help eliminate ambiguity, which is one of the biggest barriers to an effective transformation.

Agents of change will need information about the transformation so they have answers to anticipated questions, as well as the skills to pass this information on effectively. People move through change at different rates, so your leaders should use patience, empathy and openness and make a genuine effort to listen to and understand how their teams are reacting to the changes.

Create an Accountability Culture

Creating a culture of accountability must start at the top. When transformation fails, there was often nothing to ensure leaders were accountable for achieving results.

In these cases, leaders failed to engage in difficult conversations. They did not address poor performance, consider employees’ feelings and input or follow-through on concerns that arose during the transformation. In organizations with a lack of accountability, transformation initiatives can take much longer than anticipated and produce fewer meaningful changes. Simply put, a lack of accountability, combined with the challenges of learning new ways of doing things, can wreak havoc on your timelines.

Whatever is driving your transformation agenda – from introducing new technology, reinventing your talent pipeline or evolving your business strategy to meet new consumer demands – you’re unlikely to achieve your goals if you ignore the need for full accountability on the part of all those driving the transformation.

Create a Road Map

To determine whether your culture can support a transformation initiative, it’s first important to define your current culture and discuss and debate what practices, behaviors and roles need to change.

To do that, you need to engage in some unflinching self-analysis. Encourage your senior leaders to be as frank as possible about existing culture, what works, what doesn’t and what you may need to address before undertaking a transformation.

You’ll need to know how employees see the organization and the people who lead it, whether or not the organization lives up to the values it espouses, and what aspects of the current culture may inhibit the growth and innovation that must accompany transformation.

In our experience, there are 15 key cultural characteristics that are common to organizations that have achieved successful transformation. We have found that this list typically holds true across industries and sectors. Using the list below, survey your leaders and employees to measure how well your people demonstrate these behaviors:

Organizational Culture: The Real Reason Transformation Fails

In Summary

When developing a transformation strategy, always define your current culture and what you want it to look like in the future. Empower those who will take responsibility, and set clear expectations and measurable goals. Ask your people for their input, and let them know you are listening. Regularly review results and address any gaps as they arise—and remember to recognize and celebrate milestones along the way.

Successful transformation is not a matter of luck. It isn’t organic and self-propelling. It requires deliberate attention to detail and meticulous planning. And that begins with a frank, unblinking assessment of culture.

Download the full research report, People Power: A Catalyst for Transformation, a 2019 Global Workforce Transformation Trends Study.

Source: lhh.com

Coaching Organizational Development People Development Workforce Transformations

HR Professional’s Top Concerns When Facing Seismic Change

HR Professional’s Top Concerns When Facing Seismic Change

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HR Professional’s Top Concerns When Facing Seismic Change

This white paper covers the big concerns of HR professionals when it comes to the new challenges they are facing due to seismic workplace changes.

When the landscape of work gets more challenging than usual, as it has around the numerous difficulties faced by workforces because of COVID-19, what are the top concerns of HR professionals in terms of managing and maintaining their talent? Ezra compares the popular opinions to our findings from participants in our Free Month Of Coaching program for HR leaders.

The industry press said:

  • Only 38% of companies had work from home policies in place at the start of the pandemic.
  • 14.83% of HR professionals were issuing communications around remote work.
  • 11.29% were developing standards for remote work.
  • 88% of organizations have transitioned to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, we expected participants in our coaching program to want to focus on helping others to work effectively in a remote setting.

What we found was actually that HR professionals prioritized support around how to lead change effectively, along with how to demonstrate confidence and build it in others.

  • 62% requested coaching around projecting and instilling confidence.
  • 55% of participants requested coaching around leading change.
  • 33% selected achieving results virtually as a target.
  • Just 17% selected virtual collaboration.

As HR were the ones needing to provide the info about change to employees, they were more focused on how to communicate this effectively and confidently rather than the mere logistics of leading Zoom calls etc, which shows how good professionals will focus on the bigger picture of leading rather than just execution.

Source: Ezra

Coaching Organizational Development People Development

Performance & Feedback: Is Coaching The Missing Link?

Performance & Feedback: Is Coaching The Missing Link?

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Performance & Feedback: Is Coaching The Missing Link?

When it comes to feedback from performance reviews and improving employee responses, could coaching be the key factor that too many businesses are missing out on?

Could coaching be the missing link in the feedback conundrum?

Let’s face it, well before the pandemic hit, most of your employees were craving feedback. They wanted to know how they were doing, how they could do better and how they fit into the organization’s future plans. The pandemic has not extinguished that craving; in fact, it may have made it more acute because feedback is harder to come by these days.

Everyone is struggling to manage workforces that have been forced to work remotely. Leaders and the people they are leading are still searching for new ways of keeping in touch and measuring progress. The line between ‘work’ and ‘home’ continues to blur, which is straining relationships.

However, even in the midst of all this disruption, there has been no reduction in the desire of employees to know how they are faring. A major challenge before the pandemic struck, winning strategies for regular, effective feedback seem to be even more elusive than ever.

The pre-pandemic deficit in feedback

A Gallup survey released earlier this year found that Millennial employees – who are the fastest growing cohort in the global labour force – were increasingly desperate to get “meaningful, individualized feedback.” Gallup defined this as feedback that helps the individual learn, grow and succeed at their jobs. And they’re desperate because – for the most part – they are not getting that feedback in a regular or meaningful way.

Gallup found that only 19 per cent of Millennial workers worldwide strongly agree that they receive routine feedback at work; only 17 per cent reported receiving meaningful feedback.

Gallup attributed part of the problem here to a general breakdown in the effectiveness of performance reviews. It’s not just millennials; Gallup found that fewer than one in five American workers believe that existing performance reviews inspire them to be better and achieve more at work.

The chronic feedback gap

The inability to ask for, or provide, meaningful feedback is something researchers call “the feedback gap.” Although a lot of the gap can be fairly laid at the feet of managers who are simply bad at talking with their employees, there is an argument that employees ultimately share in the blame.

Or, put another way, when they don’t get the kind of feedback they want, or sense that managers are reluctant to engage in a frank performance discussion, they stop asking. Gallup, for example, found that only 15 per cent of the millennial workers it surveyed – a group infamous for its appetite for guidance and advice – actually asked managers for feedback.

If employees are bad at asking for feedback, largely because managers are bad at providing it, then what’s the solution? This is where coaching comes in.

Coaching to make people better at asking for, and providing, meaningful feedback

Feedback is one of those commodities that requires both a willing employee and a committed leader. That requires both parties to possess sufficient quantities of emotional intelligence, particularly self-awareness, self-regulation and empathy. And one of the best ways of developing these qualities is through one-on-one coaching.

Coaching guru Daniel Goleman has consistently linked effective coaching with emotional intelligence and the capacity to provide meaningful, productive feedback.

“As a coach, you know that the feedback from people who know you well lets you recognize gaps between your self-awareness and others’ perceptions of you,” Goleman said in an essay for the International Coach Federation. “This lets you spotlight your limitations, as well as strengths, and gives you potential targets for strengthening your emotional intelligence.”

It doesn’t take long to realize that coaching is the missing ingredient in a truly constructive feedback culture.

Leaders who have worked with a coach not only know themselves better, but are also willing and able to provide meaningful feedback to the people they lead. And those employees are better able to process and apply feedback when they have worked on their own emotional intelligence with a coach.

Quality, meaningful feedback can boost engagement, performance and employee retention. And that raises an important question.

Given the close association between feedback and those major drivers of business success, it makes you wonder why more organizations don’t take the time to coach managers and employees to give and receive feedback more constructively?

Source: Ezra

Career Transition, Outplacement and Mobility Organizational Development

Strategies to Balance Labor Market Surpluses and Shortages and a Growing Skills Gap

Strategies to Balance Labor Market Surpluses and Shortages and a Growing Skills Gap

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your workforce into a
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Strategies to Balance Labor Market Surpluses and Shortages and a Growing Skills Gap

Balance Labor Market Surpluses and Shortages and a Growing Skills Gap.

The global economic fallout from COVID-19 has resulted in unprecedented volatility, impacting every part of the labor market. While some sectors have been decimated resulting in millions of workers being displaced, some sectors are experiencing accelerated growth and job gains. At the same time many impacted workers aren’t prepared for change and don’t have the skills they need for future roles. 

Caroline Pfeiffer-Marinho, Executive Vice President of EMEA at LHH and Arne Hellmuth, Managing Director of Transformation Solutions at LHH Deutschland have a conversation about an innovative way to build a frictionless pathway between companies that need to shed workers with those companies that urgently need to hire.

In this conversation, Caroline and Arne discuss:

• Factors shaping labor market trends
• Matching supply and demand in labor markets
• Steps to creating a frictionless pathway
• Creating a sustainable future that puts people first

Source: lhh.com

Coaching Organizational Development People Development

Why Coaching Works

Why Coaching Works

Why coaching? – It’s good for people, and good for business. It gives you all the benefits of corporate training – except people actually enjoy it and learn from it.

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the value of coaching

Imagine what your organization could achieve if everyone were coached to be their absolute best. – Sure, there are other ways to invest in your people. But have they ever brought someone to tears through self-reflection? Doubt it. Through coaching, your people get to know themselves. Their goals. Weaknesses. Hang-ups. And once they know all that, they can build on the good stuff and work on the rest.

Coaches change lives. And organizations. That’s why we’re here.

The Value Of Coaching

A Business Superpower For Everyone

Why not away days? Bigger bonuses? More vacation time? Those are fine. But they’re not tailored to each person. And they don’t have the same tangible impact.

Coaching is good for people, and good for business. It gives you all the benefits of corporate training – except people actually enjoy it and learn from it.

The personal power of coaching

According to the International Coach Federation (ICF), 99% of people who get coaching are satisfied with it, and 96% would recommend it to others.

Why? Unlike other benefits or training, coaching’s personal. It’s about your people, not the company agenda or corporate tick boxes. Sessions can touch on mindsets, beliefs, internal barriers, self-doubt, perspectives, work issues, home issues – whatever the coachee needs.

They feel more confident. They know what to do in tricky situations. They become better leaders. If that doesn’t sound like the model employee, we don’t know what does.

What’s in it for your organization?

It’s like supercharging your workforce.

Coaching makes them happier, so they’re more likely to stay. It makes them more confident, so they can tackle whatever they face. And it creates a culture of learning, so the coaching goes on outside the sessions.

We’ll show you the proof, too.

Coaching sessions are always confidential. But we’ll send you a monthly report outlining everyone’s feedback. And you can see data on how people are getting on with their objectives too.

All of which means you don’t have to take our word for any of this – you’ll be able to see the progress for yourself.

What is Coaching?

A quick intro to professional coaching

Professional coaching has definitely seen an upswing in recent years as companies grow larger and jobs become more complicated. But what exactly is it, and why might you need it for your team?

What actually is it?

The International Coaching Federation describes coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

This means that a coach works with a client to define their professional goals and encourage self-discovery, and assists them in designing a plan that holds them accountable for making changes.

A growing demand

The stats alone show that the demand for professional coaching is constantly growing. Rapid changes in the way we work and our business environments has meant traditional methods of developing our companies and staff no longer yield the same results that they used to. As the landscape changes, it becomes a constant battle for employees to stay on top of their shifting responsibilities and goals.

In order to combat this, companies have to start committing themselves to developing their staff and encouraging their growth. Hiring a professional who can be trusted and who knows what needs doing is the obvious answer.

Why Get Coaching?

Why bother with coaching in your business?

The results from coaching will vary from person to person but, whatever your end goal is, it provides a perfect opportunity for both personal and professional development for your team.

Improvements across the board

According to the Harvard Business Review, ten years ago coaching was mostly used to fix toxic behavior. Nowadays it’s used for all manner of reasons across whole companies, not just at the top.

Whether it’s developing high-potential staff, helping to facilitate transitions, or encouraging someone in a new role, coaching is a way of supporting your team and promoting a positive environment.

Results for the long-term

It used to be that staff would be sent on short-term improvement courses, but this often only promotes a short-term change. In order to see long-term development, managers and leaders need to consider an approach that works to change internal thought processes and patterns. That’s where coaching can help.

As coaching grows, more studies are undertaken and the takeaway from them is that you can expect to see a marked improvement in your team’s positivity and productivity, their confidence and their ability to adapt and be flexible, and their attitude when it comes to facing challenges or obstacles.

Source: Ezra

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