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Mentor Relationship and Its Growing Importance in Organisations

Connecting with a mentor can be a huge benefit in your career. More and more companies are launching and expanding mentorship programs, so they are designating mentors, matching mentors, and establishing mentor-mentee relationships from the moment you join the company.

But for many, the assignment of a mentor is only a first step. Like a blind date, it can be awkward—only a toe in the water in an uncertain sea. As a mentee, how can you make the relationship successful? Especially if you’re new to a company or a role, you may not feel you have a lot of influence in the venture. In actuality, you can significantly contribute to creating the conditions for a great experience.

Many successful people attribute at least part of their success to having a mentor. The right mentor can provide advice and connections that help their mentee reach heights that would be impossible alone.

A mentor helps you build your skills as a leader, a strategist, a consultant or a manager. They can guide you toward making sound decisions that positively affect the trajectory of your career path or in gaining skills needed for your industry. In the entrepreneurial sector, a mentor can help you successfully guide your new business through the pitfalls inherent with being a start-up, including funding challenges, paperwork, finding clients, and delivering on projects, for example.

But, like every relationship, building and maintaining a successful mentor relationship isn’t effortless.

Mentorship requires intentional investments of time and energy; you get what you put in

Being a mentee is not a passive role. When you have a mentor, it’s your job to define your own goals, cultivate the relationship, seek out advice, attend meetings or events you’re invited to, and so on. Mentorship is not a “do it on the side” or “when I get time” job. It’s real hard work that requires dedication and commitment much like any other part of our job.

Apart from time being of paramount importance to succeed in a mentor-mentee relationship, it also requires a tremendous amount of energy to engage, guide, deal with the ups and downs and all possible human emotions that come into play when two people are trying to achieve something significant.

A true meeting of the minds requires true commitment to each other and their time. Set time boundaries, define protocol to cancel, agree on the medium to contact depending on the issue. It’s highly advisable that both mentor and mentee write down their commitments and refer to them from time to time. `

Form a personal connection, understand each other’s principles and values, strengths and weaknesses, what drives them and what they wish to achieve out of this relationship. Discuss shared values like integrity, mutual respect, openness, trust and active listening as the basis for all conversations.

As much as possible, take time out to engage in face-to-face conversation (video, in-person). It’s not enough to hear a person’s words. Their body language, facial expressions and emotions play a large role in understanding their true intent. 

How long should a mentoring relationship last?

There is no one-size-fits-all relationship in the mentoring world. If the two of you are working together on your own, the relationship can last as long as is mutually beneficial. Some mentor-mentee relationships last a lifetime and often grow more equitable over time.

If you’re part of a more formal mentorship program, there may be time requirements you need to follow, so make sure you’re fully informed about your program. Knowing the guidelines also shows that you’re a good candidate for mentorship and that you’re taking the opportunity seriously. A good rule of thumb is to meet once a month for six months and then re-evaluate whether to continue together in your last couple of scheduled meetings.

What are the benefits of mentoring?

A good mentor relationship gives you a powerful resource for advice, strategy and a deeper understanding of the world you’re working in. That relationship can guide you through defining and understanding your job role, navigating any problems at work and empowering you to do your best work – which, in turn, can result in promotions in the corporate world or long-term business success in entrepreneurship.

At the same time, the relationship benefits the mentor, too, providing a way for them to feel heard and valued for their experience. The perspective provided by a mentor can elevate your career by helping you to be your best – if you’re willing to engage, listen, ask questions and cultivate the relationship over the long-term.

The journey itself is the reward

The mentor mentee relationship does not end once mentee achieves their desired goals. The deep bond formed during these years lasts forever. People remember good mentors and mentees throughout their life. They cite their examples when talking to others and draw inspiration from them when faced with challenging circumstances. Their paths may go separate ways but it’s the journey that stays with them forever. Remember, good mentees can become successful mentors one day. Do your best to create this beautiful relationship that sows the seeds for many more in future. I am excited to see you apply it in your work environment and in personal life.

Overall, know the relationship you have with your mentor is yours to shape and influence. It’s a context for plenty of learning — about tasks, roles, culture, and the network—and it can also be a great place for you to expand your views of what works best. Later, when you’re the mentor to a new mentee, you can apply all the best practices you’ve learned from the relationships you’ve built. To be a mentor makes you a more understanding human being. It helps you keep your mind young and your skills fresh. Successful people who don’t start to mentor others will over time lose touch with their own excellence. Mentoring someone connects you back to the original you who became so excellent.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://www.fastcompany.com/90607014/how-to-navigate-a-mentor-match-that-is-not-the-right-fit
https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurencebradford/2018/01/31/8-tips-for-an-amazing-mentor-relationship/?sh=4078216f21e2
https://www.togetherplatform.com/blog/how-to-build-a-successful-mentor-relationship

What Is Your Next Career Move?

As you begin to think about the type of career transition you want to make, start out by documenting what you already know to be true about your professional self. Pay close attention to your workday for the next two weeks, and take notes about when you’re feeling particularly unmotivated or unenthused about your job. Write down the tasks that bring you down as well as those that get you excited. It may seem like a tedious exercise, but if you stick with it, patterns will start to emerge. And it’s in teasing out these patterns that’ll help you build a picture of the role that’s right for you.

To make the right choice, you have to decide what factors are most important to you in a new job, and then you have to choose the option that best addresses these factors. However, this operates on two levels – on a rational level and on an emotional, “gut” level. You’ll only truly be happy with your decision if these are aligned. This article gives you a framework for analysing your options on both levels.

First, we have to look at things rationally, looking at the job on offer, and also at the things that matter to you. Then, once you’ve understood your options on a rational level, we can start looking at things on an emotional level and think about what your emotions are telling you.

You need to get in touch with your inner self and think about how well the career options fit with your overall sense of self and personal fulfilment. Ask yourself:

  • Do I feel like it is the right choice?
  • Do I feel positive about the choice?
  • Does this choice further my career and life goals?

If something doesn’t feel right, then you need to understand why. Are some factors of over-riding importance? Or are other factors important that are not mentioned? Take the time to make sure that you’re comfortable with your analysis, and that you’re confident that you’ve made the right decision, both on a rational and emotional level.

When you have an option that fits both objectively and subjectively, chances are you’ve got a winning career move.

In order to discover the right choice or choices you will have to follow an organised process in order to increase your chances of making a good decision.

1. Assess Yourself

Before you can choose the right career, you must learn about yourself. Your values, interests, soft skills, and aptitudes, in combination with your personality type, make some occupations a good fit for you and others completely inappropriate.

Use self-assessment tools, and career tests to gather information about your traits and, subsequently, generate a list of occupations that are a good fit based on them. Some people choose to work with a career counsellor or other career development professionals who can help them navigate this process.

2. Identify Your Goals

Identify your long- and short-term goals. This helps to chart a course toward eventually landing work in your chosen field. Long-term goals typically take about three to five years to reach, while you can usually fulfil a short-term goal in six months to three years.

Let the research you did about required education and training be your guide. If you don’t have all the details, do some more research. Once you have all the information you need, set your goals. An example of a long-term goal would be completing your education and training. Short-term goals include applying to college, apprenticeships, other training programs, and internships.

3. Lists of Viable Occupational Options

You probably have multiple lists of occupations in front of you at this point—one generated by each of the self-assessment tools you used. To keep yourself organized, you should combine them into one master list.

First, look for careers that appear on multiple lists and copy them onto a blank page. Title it “Occupations to Explore.” Your self-assessments ​indicated they are a good fit for you based on several of your traits, so they’re definitely worth exploring.

Next, find any occupations on your lists that appeal to you. They may be careers you know a bit about and want to explore further. Also, include professions about which you don’t know much. You might learn something unexpected.

4. Shortlist

Now you have more information, start to narrow down your list even further. Based on what you learned from your research so far, begin eliminating the careers you don’t want to pursue any further. You should end up with two to five occupations on your “short list.”

If your reasons for finding a career unacceptable are non-negotiable, cross it off your list. Remove everything with duties that don’t appeal to you. Eliminate careers that have weak job outlooks. Get rid of any occupation if you are unable or unwilling to fulfil the educational or other requirements, or if you lack some of the soft skills necessary to succeed in it.

5. Informal Interviews

When you have only a few occupations left on your list, start doing more in-depth research. Arrange to meet with people who work in the occupations in which you are interested. They can provide first-hand knowledge about the careers on your short list. Access your network, including LinkedIn, to find people with whom to have these informational interviews.

6. Deciding which Career to Follow

It can actually be harder to make a decision when you have more jobs to choose from. You may have to juggle multiple job offers, which can be stressful.

Don’t say “yes” right away. Take the time to evaluate each offer and to carefully compare employee benefit packages. It’s not all about the money—the benefits and perks you’re being offered are important too, and some perks can be negotiated in a job offer.

Don’t rush into a decision. Take the time to carefully consider all options. Forget about the ones you didn’t take once your decision is made; instead, focus on the future and get ready to start your new job.

Careers evolve over time, so instead of stressing about getting your trajectory exactly right, focus on setting yourself up to make an informed decision about what to pursue. Building a career is a process, and understanding that is a part of succeeding.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://hbr.org/podcast/2021/02/choosing-whats-next-for-my-career
https://www.forbes.com/sites/glassheel/2016/10/11/6-questions-to-define-your-next-career-move/?sh=768e7e95386c
https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-moves-to-make-if-you-still-have-no-idea-what-you-want-to-be-when-you-grow-up

Overthinking and How It Can Affect Physical & Mental Health

A high-achiever who processes the world more deeply than others is also known as a sensitive strive and susceptible to overthinking. Studies show that sensitive people have more active brain circuitry and neurochemicals in areas related to mental processing. This means their minds not only take in more information but also process that information in a more complex way. Sensitive strivers are often applauded for the way they explore angles and nuance. But at the same time, they are also more susceptible to stress and overwhelm.

Deliberation is an admirable and essential leadership quality that undoubtedly produces better outcomes. But for Terence and others like him, there comes a point in decision making where helpful contemplation turns into overthinking. If you can relate, here are five ways to stop the cycle of thinking too much and drive towards better, faster decisions.

1. Leave Perfectionism Behind

Perfectionism is one of the biggest blockers to swift, effective decision-making because it operates on faulty all-or-nothing thinking. For example, perfectionism can lead you to believe that if you don’t make the “correct” choice (as if there is only one right option), then you are a failure. Or that you must know everything, anticipate every eventuality, and have a thorough plan in place before making a move. Trying to weigh every possible outcome and consideration is paralysing.

In order to curb this tendency, use the following questions:

  • Which decision will have the biggest positive impact on my top priorities?
  • Of all the possible people I could please or displease, which one or two people do I least want to disappoint?
  • What is one thing I could do today that would bring me closer to my goal?
  • Based on what I know and the information I have at this moment, what’s the best next step?

After all, it’s much easier to wrap your head around and take action towards a single next step rather than trying to project months or years into the future.

2. Use Your Intuition

Intuition works like a mental pattern matching game. The brain considers a situation, quickly assesses all your experiences, and then makes the best decision given the context. This automatic process is faster than rational thought, which means intuition is a necessary decision-making tool when time is short and traditional data is not available. In fact, research shows that pairing intuition with analytical thinking helps you make better, faster, and more accurate decisions and gives you more confidence in your choices than relying on intellect alone. In one study, car buyers who used only careful analysis were ultimately happy with their purchases about a quarter of the time. Meanwhile, those who made intuitive purchases were happy 60 percent of the time. That’s because relying on rapid cognition, or thin-slicing, allows the brain to make wise decisions without overthinking.

3. Limit the exposure to decision fatigue

You make hundreds of decisions a day — from what to eat for breakfast to how to respond to an email — and each depletes your mental and emotional resources. You’re more likely to overthink when you’re drained, so the more you can eliminate minor decisions, the more energy you’ll have for ones that really matter.

Create routines and rituals to conserve your brainpower, like a weekly meal plan or capsule wardrobe. Similarly, look for opportunities to eliminate certain decisions altogether, such as by instituting best practices and standardised protocols, delegating, or removing yourself from meetings.

4. Getting the right tools

Knowing how to stop overthinking isn’t an innate gift. It isn’t genetic, or set-in stone during your childhood. Many people who are able to control their emotions and avoid getting stuck in a spiral of overthinking and anxiety have developed these skills over time. It takes determination – but it also takes the right set of tools. Discover your personal blueprint and how to align your choices with your ultimate purpose in life. Learn how to navigate pain and anxiety, rather than avoiding or suppressing it. Transform your thought process to crush negative behaviours – and any obstacles in your path.

5. Distract your senses

Overthinking and worrying are mental activities, so if they start to take hold, do something physical.

You can essentially “shock” your senses by taking the power away from one area of your body and giving it to another. Sounds confusing? It’s not.

For example, if you start to feel fearful about the uncertainty of an upcoming event, splash some cold water on your face, or smell some calming lavender oils. Your brain will start to react to the sudden change, and you’ll have less of an ability to focus on the worrisome thoughts.

Find whatever works for you to shock your senses, and keep it handy whenever possible.

Busying yourself with an activity is the best way to change the channel. Exercise, engage in conversation on a completely different subject, or get working on a project that will distract your mind from the barrage of negative thoughts. Remember that your mental depth gives you a major competitive advantage. Once you learn to keep overthinking in check, you’ll be able to harness your sensitivity for the superpower that it can be.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://www.themuse.com/advice/6-easy-ways-to-stop-overthinking-every-little-thing-and-just-enjoy-your-life
https://hbr.org/2021/02/how-to-stop-overthinking-everything
https://www.inc.com/business-insider/7-easy-ways-avoid-overthinking-improve-decisions.html

How to Empower Employees to Speak Up When They See Misconducts

More than 50 years after the term “bystander effect” was coined, many of us still witness workplace wrongdoing yet stay stubbornly silent. In motivating employees to speak up, most organisations still rely on traditional compliance-based tools such as codes of conduct, training, and audits. This approach has simply failed — only an estimated 1.4% of employees blow the whistle. Current strategies remain ineffective and are often counterproductive.

This matters because organisational silence perpetuates white-collar crime: It continues to rise despite companies investing millions in misconduct prevention. Scandals have slashed market valuations and ravaged the reputations of Boeing, BP, Barings, and many others. The leading cause of silence is fear of repercussions. One study showed that 82% of whistleblowers suffered harassment, 60% lost their jobs, 17% lost homes, and 10% attempted suicide. Other causes include our unconscious need for belonging, a preference for the status quo, and wilful blindness.

How can organisations motivate employees to speak up and respond to them effectively? The answer lies, of course, in behavioural science.

What Companies Often Do Wrong

Before delving into the solution, we need to understand three common mistakes or assumptions that companies make in combating misconduct.

The wrong tools. Organisations over rely on a narrow set of compliance and control tools to prevent wrongdoing and encourage its disclosure. How effective were codes of conduct, training, or audits when Volkswagen falsified the emissions of its diesel cars? Or safety training and testing when Ford launched the Pinto with a fuel-tank design flaw, saving $137 million but costing dozens of lives? The answer: Not very. Few spoke out. Why? Because sanctioning systems distort our thought process from doing the right thing. When rewards such as promotions, perks, or pay raises are threatened, self-preservation creeps in, and we use a business lens, not a moral lens, to decide what to do.

The wrong communication triggers. When companies design compliance policies and codes of conduct, they hope they will trigger our sense of duty and moral responsibility to speak up if we see bad behaviour. But they don’t inspire many people to speak up. For example, an independent longitudinal analysis concluded that codes of conduct are “insufficient to guide employee behaviour – tension-provoking when implemented across cultures – inward-looking – and dependent on effective communications.”

In many research papers done on this topic, respondents were exposed to a hypothetical situation where a senior executive bullied a junior employee to accelerate launch of a new drug, despite incomplete testing. The emotion triggered was not a feeling of responsibility to speak up, but anger at the offending manager — by a factor of four. But while 91% of respondents indicated they intended to report the incident, only 9% took action, and most associated speaking up not with responsibility but with the courage to report their superiors. Bystanders justify their inaction in what psychologists call diffusion of responsibility: the assumption others will intervene. The bigger the group, the bigger the assumption, and the bigger the problem.

The wrong assumptions about employee types. Assuming that certain populations or personality types — e.g., extroverts, optimists, or leaders — are predisposed to speak up is incorrect. Behavioural science shows that men are no more likely to blow the whistle than women, and extroverts no more likely than introverts, regardless of industry or occupation. There is no magic gender, disposition, age or personality. Anyone can speak up.

An Integrated Solution

Given that codes of conduct, training, and audits alone don’t suffice in getting people to speak up when they witness improper behaviour, other steps must be taken. Risk and compliance departments should engage with communications departments, and compliance-based tools must be supplemented with emotion-based triggers.

Based on decades of behavioural science research there have been discovered numerous strategies which work hand-in-hand with traditional compliance practices.  Managers can apply all the changes or simply cherry-pick a few. The best mix depends on a company’s culture, size, and systems.

1. Get Rid of Your “Zero Tolerance” Policies

You’re probably thinking, “Did I read that right? I thought zero tolerance is important, especially when you are talking about violence, fraud, safety, or harassment.”

To be sure, it is critical to have strongly worded and vigorously enforced policies, especially when dealing with behaviour that is illegal, that threatens employee or public safety, or that jeopardises company assets. But if your policies say (or imply) that an employee will be fired if they violate that policy, without any possibility of a lesser outcome depending on the severity of the behaviour, you may actually be dissuading employees from reporting possible concerns.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has cautioned that using the phrase “zero tolerance” may lead employees to believe that the company will automatically impose the same discipline–termination–regardless of whether misconduct is minor or devastating. But employees often don’t want their co-worker, or even their boss, to get fired over a minor offense. They frequently just want the troubling behaviour to stop, so they may opt to forego reporting and try to deal with the situation on their own, or ignore it. This can cause the behaviour to continue or to escalate, or lead to other workplace conflicts.

2. Prevent Retaliation

This point may seem incredibly intuitive, but if employees see or hear that someone has experienced retaliation after they reported a concern–or even if they simply fear that they will be retaliated against–they are less likely to come forward.

The number and percentage of retaliation charges filed with the EEOC, for example, indicates that retaliation is a big problem. Since the EEOC’s 2009 fiscal year, retaliation has been the no.1 complaint filed with the EEOC, and by FY 2018, over 50% of all charges alleged retaliation. In fact, the EEOC received 1.5 times more retaliation charges in FY 2018 than the next most frequent type of illegal behaviour, sex discrimination (32% of charges), notwithstanding the significant increase in those claims filed post #MeToo.

The challenge is that retaliation can take many forms, from subtle (a supervisor removing an employee from a lucrative project) to egregious (demotion or firing). Compounding the issue is that it is human nature to feel upset toward or uncomfortable around someone who has complained about you or someone on your team. People may feel betrayed, hurt, or confused–and as a result, may change their behaviour for a time vis-a-vis the person who complained. Some of these behaviours are illegal and some aren’t–but all can damage workplace culture and make employees think twice about coming forward in the future.

For these reasons, it is critical for employers to put safeguards in place to prevent retaliation, such as proactively and periodically checking in with whistleblowers to see how they are doing, or monitoring proposed job changes, performance evaluations, or other data post-complaint to ensure non-retaliatory treatment. Equally important, the employer also should provide coaching on conflict management and how employees can move forward in a collaborative manner post-complaint.

3. Encourage and Reward Speaking Up in the Workplace

In stark contrast to retaliation, organisations who truly want to know about concerns and who understand the value of having an accurate picture of what’s happening on the proverbial factory floor will take steps to encourage and reward speaking up.

This goes beyond simply communicating a “see something, say something” slogan. Company leaders must clearly and repeatedly articulate an authentic desire to know the good, the bad, and the ugly, and reward employees who follow through.

Here we have the example of former CEO of Ford Motor Company, Alan Mulally. He told the story of how when he first became Ford’s CEO, the company had many financial challenges and a rocky road ahead. Yet, at early meetings with his senior executive team, they each presented “all green” status reports indicating that their areas were on target to reach their goals. Mulally knew this couldn’t be right given the company’s struggles, so he encouraged one of his direct reports to ensure that his next report reflected the honest truth about what was going on.

When that subordinate’s next report at the executive team meeting showed several “red status” items, Mulally praised him enthusiastically for his candor and then asked the other executives in the room about what they could all do to help turn the situation around. Then, the following week, other executives’ reports also began to reflect “red” and “yellow” items. And once Mulally had accurate, unfiltered data, it was quickly apparent where the business was struggling–and what they could do to address it.

This two-pronged approach by Mulally–asking to know the truth and then praising the reporter publicly–was a game-changer. It proved to staff they could speak the truth without reprisal and created trust. And as a result, the company’s business was able to improve.

4. Gather Data About Reporting

If you find that workers rarely speak up about conduct violations in your organisation, one of the best steps you can take is to assess why. You may find it is as simple as a lack of awareness of policies or procedures to report incidents, in which case you can develop resources and training to make sure employees know where to go. If you find your workforce is fearful of retaliation or doesn’t feel reports will be addressed, then that information can also help the organisation to correct misperceptions, put anti-retaliation safeguards in place, and find ways to increase transparency about the post-report process.

5. Be Transparent

One of the other oft-reported reasons why employees do not speak up with a concern is because they do not believe that any action will be taken. When employees hear crickets after filing a complaint, a natural assumption is that nothing happened.

Of course, as HR, compliance, safety, and legal professionals are well aware, reported concerns generally set into motion a flurry of activity and often lead to an investigation. The contents and progress of an investigation are usually kept close to the vest to preserve the integrity of the process, and the results are usually confidential for privacy and legal reasons.

However, organizations are increasingly realizing that some degree of transparency about what happened is important to demonstrate accountability, earn trust, preserve culture, and encourage reporting. Thus, organizations should consider having follow-up meetings with the reporter and any witnesses involved in an investigation to thank them for coming forward or participating, noting that an investigation was conducted and concluded, and possibly sharing–often at a very high level and depending on the person who is being spoken to–if some sort of (usually unnamed) action would be taken as a result. Encouraging a speak up culture is a critical component of an organization’s efforts to not only ensure compliance with legal requirements and company policies but also to address inappropriate behaviour before it escalates into a larger issue. It creates a sense of shared responsibility among employees, communicating that we all have a role to play in safeguarding workplace culture. Leaders who encourage employees to speak up in the workplace, and who protect and reward those who do, demonstrate their commitment to an honest, ethical, and respectful workplace. By doing so, all employees–and the company–will thrive.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://everfi.com/blog/workplace-training/5-ways-to-encourage-a-speak-up-culture-in-the-workplace/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2020/05/22/13-best-ways-to-encourage-your-employees-to-speak-up/?sh=7063b1d41f2b
https://www.corporatecomplianceinsights.com/empowering-employees-to-speak-up-against-unethical-behavior/

How Is Work Going to Look Like in 2021?

The global COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed how we work and how we feel about re-entering the workplace, as numbers go down and lockdowns are eased. Remote working may have been an adjustment for most at first, it slowly became a preference to employees worldwide. According to Cisco’s Workforce of the Future survey, conducted with 10,000 respondents across 12 markets in Europe, the Middle East, and Russia, employees want to keep a hold of the many positives that have emerged from this new normal.

Many of the changes that have come from the pandemic will become a permanent part of employee experiences in 2021. This is due to the fact that in 2020, several factors upended the traditional approach to life at the workplace. As the economy prepares to re-open, the new normal of work, business travel, and office space will be refined and rediscovered across almost every industry worldwide.

Youth as the focal point

Although there are currently five generations in the workforce, including traditionalists, baby boomers, and generation X, the youth is taking over. – Millennials and Generation Z are becoming the largest generational cohort in the labour force. As such, they have different needs and values than older workers.

Hiring managers will have to understand these hires and customize the workplace and tasks to keep them engaged and productive. These young employees are digital natives, and they require continuous mental stimulation, flexibility, and work-life balance. To nurture their growth and encourage efficiency, recruiters can allow flexible working schedules, learning platforms, and accommodate collaborative tools.

The demand for flexible working conditions

According to research conducted by Slack, 72% of employees said they wanted a hybrid remote-office model. Instead of fully implementing a work-from-home environment, many companies are utilising a hybrid approach where employees will only come into the office for a couple of days in the week and spend the remaining days working remotely.

Microsoft’s hybrid workplace environment will allow most roles to remain remote less than half of the time with manager approval, while 62% of Google employees want to return to their offices but not every day.

Digital advancement

Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadell, described the impact of Covid-19 on the adoption and advancement of technology at work, saying “we’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months”.

The findings from two separate studies by McKinsey and KPMG indicate that at least 80% of leaders accelerated the implementation of technology in the workplace due to COVID-19. White larger skill gaps, more training is required for employees to support the digital transformation needs that come with rapid change.

Many of these technologies are contact-tracing, collaborative tools, AI-driven software, and more, all of which have been widely adopted to support the mental health of employees, increase productivity and allow for flexibility and safety.

Levi Strauss’ digital transformation was facilitated by the use of AI and data, launching a virtual concierge service, appointment scheduling, and a brand-new loyalty programme.

Automation to support employees and not replace

Forrester claims that the fears over automation eliminating jobs is misplaced and that automation in 2021 will focus more on supporting current employees.

For example, grocery store robots will promote social distancing by doing inventory checks for employees to prevent too many people on the floor, and Forrester expects a tripling of robots of that sort in 2021. “By the end of 2021, one in four information workers will be supported in their daily work by software bots, robotic process automation, or AI, taking rote, repetitive tasks off their plates and yielding higher EX,” the market research company predicts. “Rather than focusing on substitution, focus more of your automation efforts on helping your staff be more effective.”

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://www.predictivesuccess.com/blog/10-trends-that-will-shape-the-world-of-hr/
https://hbr.org/2021/01/9-trends-that-will-shape-work-in-2021-and-beyond
https://www.swooptalent.com/talent-insights-blog/10-hr-trends-that-will-shape-2021

Collaboration with Competitors: Organisational Destruction or Evolution?

Collaboration between competitors has been in fashion for quite some time. Back at the end of the 1980s, General Motors and Toyota assemble automobiles, Siemens and Philips develop semiconductors, Canon supplies photocopiers to Kodak, France’s Thomson and Japan’s JVC manufacture videocassette recorders. But the spread of what we call “competitive collaboration”—joint ventures, outsourcing agreements, product licensings, cooperative research—has triggered unease about the long-term consequences. A strategic alliance can strengthen both companies against outsiders even as it weakens one partner vis-à-vis the other. In particular, alliances between Asian companies and Western rivals seem to work against the Western partner. Cooperation becomes a low-cost route for new competitors to gain technology and market access. ICL, the British computer company, could not have developed its current generation of mainframes without Fujitsu. Motorola needs Toshiba’s distribution capacity to break into the Japanese semiconductor market. Time is another critical factor. Alliances can provide shortcuts for Western companies racing to improve their production efficiency and quality control. Yet the case for collaboration is stronger than ever. It takes so much money to develop new products and to penetrate new markets that few companies can go it alone in every situation. The risks of collaborating with rivals might seem daunting, but a study
by the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute finds the benefits are likely to outweigh any disadvantages. The study found that this kind of collaborative competition, when it lasted from three to five years, had more than a 50% chance of mutually reducing company costs.

“Nowadays, the best partner might be your direct competitor,” says Paavo Ritala, a professor of Strategy and Innovation at LUT University of Technology in Finland. “Competitors tend to face similar markets and use similar resources and technologies. They typically have to deal with similar challenges at large. Thus, with rising costs of R&D and globalizing competition, it often makes sense to collaborate with competitors on product development, innovation and joint manufacturing.”  Another example is, YouTube and Vimeo have a similar relationship. During an innovation panel at the 2019 ForbesWomen Summit, Vimeo CEO Anjali Sud shared that the video platform joined forces with YouTube, one of its main competitors by allowing creators to publish their videos to YouTube, as well as to other video platforms.

The term “coopetition” whilst explaining a relatively contemporary idea, has been coined back in 1996 by Yale School of Management professor Barry Nalebuff and NYU Stern School of Business professor Adam M. Brandenburger when they noticed an increasing number of these kinds of partnerships among rivals, especially in the digital space, and set out to research the theory that turned into their book “Co-Opetition”.

The Role of Sales Enablement Technology

Collaboration serves to leverage the internal pool of talent, knowledge, and experience but also improves internal communication and empowers employees. The result is a boost in productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness, driving results. Technology empowers today’s workforces by connecting more employees than ever before. A sales enablement tool such as Seismic improves marketing and sales collaboration and communication by using real-time data from best practices and peers to determine what content is most effective at progressing deals and generating the highest ROI and then surfacing recommended content based on the Salesforce record and provide recommended sales collateral within their currently workflow.

For example, Seismic can integrate wherever your sellers work such as the CRM email and Slack. This allows sales reps to deliver the right message at the right time and allows them to remain focused on sales objectives, rather than on how to out-perform their peers.

How to Build Secure Defenses

For collaboration to succeed, each partner must contribute something distinctive: basic research, product development skills, manufacturing capacity, access to distribution. The challenge is to share enough skills to create advantage vis-à-vis companies outside the alliance while preventing a wholesale transfer of core skills to the partner. This is a very thin line to walk. Companies must carefully select what skills and technologies they pass to their partners. They must develop safeguards against unintended, informal transfers of information. The goal is to limit the transparency of their operations.

Western companies face an inherent disadvantage because their skills are generally more vulnerable to transfer. The magnet that attracts so many companies to alliances with Asian competitors is their manufacturing excellence—a competence that is less transferable than most. Just-in-time inventory systems and quality circles can be imitated, but this is like pulling a few threads out of an oriental carpet. Manufacturing excellence is a complex web of employee training, integration with suppliers, statistical process controls, employee involvement, value engineering, and design for manufacture. It is difficult to extract such a subtle competence in any sort of way.

So companies must take steps to limit transparency. One approach is to limit the scope of the formal agreement. It might cover a single technology rather than an entire range of technologies; part of a product line rather than the entire line; distribution in a limited number of markets or for a limited period of time. Moreover, agreements should establish specific performance requirements. Motorola, for example, takes an incremental, incentive-based approach to technology transfer in its venture with Toshiba. The agreement calls for Motorola to release its microprocessor technology incrementally as Toshiba delivers on its promise to increase Motorola’s penetration in the Japanese semiconductor market. The greater Motorola’s market share, the greater Toshiba’s access to Motorola’s technology.  

Enhance the Capacity to Learn

Whether collaboration leads to competitive surrender or revitalization depends foremost on what employees believe the purpose of the alliance to be. It is self-evident: to learn, one must want to learn. Western companies won’t realize the full benefits of competitive collaboration until they overcome an arrogance borne of decades of leadership. In short, Western companies must be more receptive. Learning begins at the top. Senior management must be committed to enhancing their companies’ skills as well as to avoiding financial risk. But most learning takes place at the lower levels of an alliance. Operating employees not only represent the front lines in an effective defense but also play a vital role in acquiring knowledge. They must be well briefed on the partner’s strengths and weaknesses and understand how acquiring particular skills will bolster their company’s competitive position.

Competitive benchmarking is a tradition in most of the Japanese companies we studied. It requires many of the same skills associated with competitor analysis: systematically calibrating performance against external targets; learning to use rough estimates to determine where a competitor (or partner) is better, faster, or cheaper; translating those estimates into new internal targets; and recalibrating to establish the rate of improvement in a competitor’s performance. The great advantage of competitive collaboration is that proximity makes benchmarking easier.

Competitive collaboration also provides a way of getting close enough to rivals to predict how they will behave when the alliance unravels or runs its course. How does the partner respond to price changes? How does it measure and reward executives? How does it prepare to launch a new product? By revealing a competitor’s management orthodoxies, collaboration can increase the chances of success in future head-to-head battles.

Knowledge acquired from a competitor-partner is only valuable after it is diffused through the organisation. Several companies we studied had established internal clearinghouses to collect and disseminate information. The collaborations manager at one Japanese company regularly made the rounds of all employees involved in alliances. He identified what information had been collected by whom and then passed it on to appropriate departments. Another company held regular meetings where employees shared new knowledge and determined who was best positioned to acquire additional information.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://hbr.org/2021/01/when-should-you-collaborate-with-the-competition
https://foundr.com/competitive-collaboration-boost-brand#:~:text=By%20embracing%20competitive%20collaboration%2C%20you,be%20on%20the%20losing%20side.
https://seismic.com/company/blog/competition-vs-collaboration-what-drives-high-performing-sales/

Could Employers Make the Covid-19 Vaccine Mandatory?

Even though a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 is available, it’s not too early for employers to start considering whether they will require their employees to get the vaccination when it will be available for everyone. For example, The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has stated that employers can legally impose a flu vaccine requirement on their workforce, but employees have the right to request medical or religious exemptions under federal anti-discrimination laws. Each claim must be evaluated on its own merits, a time-consuming process for employers.

While it may be legal for employers to make it compulsory for their workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine, doing so would be a huge, difficult task. A recent Gallup poll found that 42% of Americans say they will not get the COVID-19 vaccine, although it must be said that the poll was conducted before the recent optimistic vaccine results.

From an employer’s standpoint, it is a no-win situation in any way we look at it. Those who decide to mandate the vaccine will need protection against someone having an adverse reaction, even if the employee has signed a waiver upon receiving the shot, he says. Contrarily, companies that decide against a mandate will need protection if someone does contract the virus in the workplace and sues.

Assuming the employer has a legitimate concern for the health and safety of its workers, customers and anyone else in its workplace, it’s easy to imagine how a coronavirus vaccine refusal would result in an undue burden on the employer in most situations.

However, it’s also possible there is an accommodation that imposes only a minimal burden on the employer and provides an equivalent level of protection from coronavirus infection or spread. Depending on the nature of the job, this might allow the employee seeking the vaccination exemption the ability to work from home or with a mask on.

Legal Precedents

One exception falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act also known as ADA. Under the ADA, “an employer must provide reasonable accommodations to workers who have medical conditions that make them unable to take the vaccine, if a reasonable accommodation is possible.”

The technical question here was whether employers could impose COVID-19 vaccination because the Americans with Disabilities Act severely limits the ability of employers to require medical examinations. In its Dec. 16 guidance, the EEOC clearly stated that COVID-19 vaccines do not fall in the “medical examination” category

Another exception is covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII says employees may be able to refuse vaccinations if they have a sincerely held religious belief that precludes vaccination, and not being vaccinated doesn’t impose an undue hardship on the employer. However, it must be stated that ‘a personal or a political opposition to the vaccine is not sufficient.’

Employees and Lifestyle Status

“Employers can and have fired employees based on lifestyle choices related to their health, including if they smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol,” stated Holly Helstrom – adjunct instructor at Columbia University who teaches First Amendment rights for employees.

“Refusal to get a COVID vaccine if your employer is requiring one could get you fired and your employer would be within their legal rights to do so,” she has also gone on record saying.

According to Helstrom, “your employer is within their legal rights to require you to get a COVID vaccine, if you work for a private sector at-will employer.” She has stated that this is a product of how U.S. labour law and the Constitution are written. For unionised workers, rules around vaccination “would likely be a subject for bargaining,” Helstrom has also said.

Coronavirus Employee Vaccination Policy

Even if the law allows an employer the legal right to mandate that employees receive a coronavirus vaccine, it may not be worth the risk to institute such a policy.

One form of risk comes from a scenario where an employee suffers a severe side effect from the vaccine. That may result in a workers’ compensation claim that the employer must deal with.

Another risk could come from public backlash. Given how politicised the coronavirus and its vaccine has become, any vaccine policy around it will most likely upset a lot of people.

According to Gallup, if a free, FDA-approved coronavirus vaccine were available today, 35% of respondents said they would not get vaccinated. This shows that any opposition to the coronavirus vaccine is not just limited to people who have a general opposition to vaccines.

In light of the resistance some people have to mask wearing, because a vaccine is more invasive and potentially dangerous, it’s easy to see why so many people will be resistant to a coronavirus vaccination requirement.

What might be best is for employers to simply recommend their employees get the coronavirus vaccine and hope most of them do so. There’s also the possibility that a state might establish a legal requirement for certain employees to get vaccinated. This would allow some employers to avoid any blame when it requires its employees to get the vaccine to protect them from the coronavirus.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://theconversation.com/can-employers-require-workers-to-take-the-covid-19-vaccine-6-questions-answered-152434
https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/coronavirus-employers-vaccine-pandemic.aspx
https://www.npr.org/2020/11/25/937240137/as-covid-19-vaccine-nears-employers-consider-making-it-mandatory?t=1608807495700

Essential Routines for a Productive & Less Stressful 2021

When we were sent home last March, we patched together work habits to survive the new world of work and life. You endured and made it to 2021.

Now, as the new year unfolds, it’s time to level up and replace survival work processes, with practices that support and enable your productive side, performance, and peace of mind.

Here are the three essential routines you need to make the months ahead more productive and less stressful.

IDENTIFY YOUR ENERGY BOOST MOMENT

When the commute to your “office” is a few minutes from your bedroom to your sofa or kitchen table and the days of pandemic life merge together, it’s imperative to identify your energy boost moment so you can get an early win to ignite your energy and motivation for the day. Here are four ways you can jump-start your day.

Compete to beat your own time. Time yourself on a routine task. For example, how long does it take you to make breakfast? Read and respond to 12 emails? Or prepare the weekly report? Turn these routine tasks into a competition with yourself and see how fast you can go. You will be surprised at how much you can accomplish and how motivated you are to take on the day.

Organise and empower your perfectionism. Straighten up your workspace, file emails, or alphabetize your spices. Then stand back, admire your work, and tell yourself you did a great job. Now move on to the first task on your task list with confidence and vigor.

Dress in clothes that make you feel professional and productive. Before you skip over this potential energy boost moment, know that there is a scientific theory called “enclothed cognition” that supports the effect that clothes have on how we feel and act. According to Dr. Nina Vasan, a psychiatrist and clinical assistant professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, “Clothing shapes your mental state and productivity. When you are stuck at home all day, what you wear can set the tone for what you are doing.” Dig into the back of your closet and pull out your favorite jacket, dress, or shirt. Put it on and use it to get your mind ready to work.

Move your body. You’ve heard it before, however, exercise does work to elevate your energy level. In a University of Georgia randomized controlled trial, researchers split people into three groups” low-intensity, moderate-intensity, and a control group (no exercise). During the six-week experiment, both exercise groups reported growing levels of energy compared to the control group. And, the good news, the low-intensity group reported less fatigue than the moderate-intensity group. Start your day with jumping jacks, a walk, or a few yoga poses, and get your blood and energy flowing.

ACHIEVE A 5 S.T.A.R. DAY

Targeted, intentional planning is how you achieve your goals and reduce stress. When you plan your upcoming work week, follow the four-step S.T.A.R. process.

S – Strategic: Review your strategic goals for the month.

T – Tasks: Identify the tasks that support the accomplishment of your strategic objectives. These are the discrete next action steps you need to perform to achieve your goals. Clarity is essential. Focus on the “must-dos,” not the “nice to-dos.” All action steps need to start with an action verb, for example, submit, call, or email.

A – Allocate: Allocate time on your calendar to complete your tasks. Is there time available on your calendar to complete the tasks required to achieve your goals? If not, look for opportunities to create time capacity. Can you decline a meeting where you are not required to provide information, represent a constituency, or be a decision-maker? Can you shorten a meeting or look for an alternative way to accomplish the meeting’s objective? Can you renegotiate a deadline to create capacity this week?

Now, you are ready to organise your calendar to achieve your goals. You have three options: block your days in either small, precise increments of time, block your days in larger time increments or create theme days. To create theme days, you organize your days around a theme, category, or type of work. For example, administration, team development, sales, prospecting, or writing. Review your tasks and the core accountabilities of your job to determine your theme days. Once you have identified your themes, select a theme or themes for each day of the week. Note the theme for that day on your calendar, and complete tasks and projects aligned to that theme.

R – Results: Commit to your results. When you are asked to attend a meeting without an agenda or join a call to “catch-up,” remember that every time you say yes to a request, you are saying no to something else. Honour you and your time. Intentionally say “yes” and “no” to requests for your time.

CELEBRATE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND SUCCESSES

In a remote work environment, it’s difficult to receive the affirmation and praise you readily heard in your office. Gone are the days of a “thank-you” in the break room from your colleague or the “great job on the presentation” from your boss as you walk past their office. It’s up to you to acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments and successes. At the end of the work week assess how productive you were and how well you aligned with your strategic goals, or count your check marks on your task list, or reflect on any positive feedback you received via email or on a Zoom call. We all want and need to be seen and valued. Recognise how you have added value to your team, company, and customers.

It’s a new year. Use the start of the year as an opportunity to create new routines that will energise you, which will make you more productive, and remove stress from your workday.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

http://www.elivingtoday.com/lifestyle/item/1154-4-tips-for-a-productive-2021
https://www.fitnancials.com/productivity-tips/
https://www.charteredaccountants.ie/Accountancy-Ireland/Home/AI-Articles/learn-from-2020-for-a-productive-2021

Turn Your Underperformer into a Key Employee

Almost every leader out there has been in the unsavoury position of managing someone who believes their performance is terrific when it’s actually just mediocre at best. Recent studies in performance management have identified this as one of the most frequent and draining problems: the underperformer.

What causes the mismatch between these employees’ real output and their perceptions of success? Some may not be receiving the resources and clear feedback they need to develop and improve; others may be unable to recognize that they’re struggling. Whatever the cause, if leaders fail to address the situation, the lagging employee’s work will not improve, and the organization will lose the value of a team member who could thrive if given the proper support. Perhaps a more insidious risk is that the leader will appear to condone substandard work, and competent employees may become demotivated and disengage. But if you can identify the likely cause of an underperformer and his or her lack of self-awareness, these five approaches will help you correct the problem behaviours — or understand whether that’s even possible.

Expectations must be clear

A non-profit client had a congenial work environment and a cultural commitment to understanding each other’s needs. The board chair was exasperated by the lack of results from a particular VP, who believed she was doing fine because she was making an effort. The board chair reminded the VP’s manager, a senior executive, that he was responsible for ensuring results. The manager reinforced performance objectives with the VP, but because he didn’t want to blame her or hurt her feelings, didn’t explain the harm to the organization or the fact that her job was in jeopardy. He continued to lose confidence in the VP and eventually reduced her duties as an indirect way of acknowledging her lack of progress. Both the board chair and the manager later acknowledged that no one had been direct enough with her about her performance problems.

Employees require resources and support

Most employees need leadership, mentoring, and strong supervision in order to develop, particularly if they’re stepping into a function that’s new to the company or are promoted to fill an absence in the organisation. If their natural skills are insufficient to meet the requirements of their role and responsibilities, they may not even perceive what their deficits are.

A client company promoted a director to cover the gap left by the sudden departure of an executive two levels up. No one in the senior leadership evaluated the new director’s development needs, despite the fact that he was suddenly responsible for large numbers of people performing varied jobs. The new director assumed he was doing well by virtue of the promotion. But because this more complex job couldn’t be managed like his old one, the director became a burned-out micromanager, creating operating bottlenecks and severe employee dissatisfaction.

Determine whether the individual is worth the time & resources investment

If you’re not, it’s much more practical to reduce your expectations. In response to increasing frustration with a VP who consistently talked a great game but whose results over several years were always just shy of their target, a CEO eventually reassigned some of the riskier and sexier aspects of the VP’s job to another executive. The VP was offended, but stayed — and from an underperformer he became more successful given the reduced scope of responsibilities.

Discover whether they’ll accept help

It’s emotionally draining to keep faking success or status that’s not legitimate. In contrast to the people who experience imposter syndrome, many others fall victim to the Dunning-Krueger effect, a cognitive bias that prevents people from recognising how badly they’re performing and that they need help. A mid-level administrator at a client organisation resented the suggestion that his skills needed to improve and ignored the coaching that was offered to him. He found fault with everyone who questioned him and began setting up his colleagues, undercutting them, and misrepresenting their contributions and concerns. When these actions came to light, the business was forced to let him given the fact that besides being an underperformer he also became a very toxic presence for the work environment.

Praise carefully

When an employee with an inflated sense of their own performance delivers high-quality work or conducts an interaction well, it’s important to praise them. But letting the praise stand alone can encourage them to think that everything they do is outstanding. Connect your positive comments to other things you want them to address. For example, you could say, “Now that you’ve done so well with the ABC presentation, for the next one, I’d like you to also [do the next thing they need to improve]. It’s important because…” Make sure you’re clear about both the necessary new behaviour and why it’s required as part of satisfactory job performance. They may still think too highly of themselves, but doing this gives you a better chance of getting the crucial behaviours you need.

Helping an unaware underperformer be more realistic about their work requires a lot of attention and involvement. Understanding what’s driving their lack of awareness will either help you determine what support they need in order to improve, or confirm your assessment that they just might not be able to satisfy the requirements of the job. Managing one underperformer or more isn’t easy, and it can make you feel like you just lost the employee lottery. But with a little patience and self-awareness, you may find that there are some ways that you can better help those struggling on your team—and maybe even turn them into a success story.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://modus.medium.com/the-skilled-managers-guide-to-dealing-with-underperformers-dd0386c6893d
https://www.themuse.com/advice/6-signs-its-not-your-employee-whos-the-problem-its-you
https://www.vantageleadership.com/our-blog/dave-sowinski-on-dealing-with-underperformers-who-really-failed/

Vulnerability – The Key to Unlocking Better Leadership

Few myths are as universal as the notion that leaders ought to appear tough and confident. Or at least that was the case before the current and ongoing pandemic, which has exposed the many weaknesses of forceful, dominant leaders and highlighted the superiority of those who have had the courage to reveal their vulnerabilities.

Consider how Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, and Jair Bolsonaro dismissed the virus, displayed fearless bravado, and undermined the policies of wearing a mask or social distancing, putting others at risk. Contrast this with the honest and data-driven approach taken by Angela Merkel, Jacinda Ardern, or Sanna Marin, which saved thousands of lives and mitigated the economic damage to Germany, New Zealand, and Finland respectively.

People in compeanies of all types are better off when their leaders are smart, honest, and caring when taking bold, potentially unpopular actions — when their focus is on helping the organisation move forward, not on how they look and certainly not on creating a false sense of invincibility that actually harms people. In a complex and uncertain world that demands constant learning and agility, the most adaptable leaders are those who are aware of their limitations, have the necessary humility to grow their own and others’ potential, and are courageous and curious enough to create sincere and open connections with others. They thrive on building inclusive team climates with psychological safety that encourage constructive criticism and dissent.

According to author Brené Brown, Ph.D, LMSW, in her latest book ‘Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead’, “Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences.” She defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.”

Myths and Misconceptions About Vulnerability

1. Vulnerability is a weakness. Brown says “To feel is to be vulnerable.” So when we consider vulnerability to be a weakness, we consider feeling one’s emotions to be so, too, she says, “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.”

2. Some people don’t or can’t experience vulnerability.Virtually Everyone feels vulnerability at one point in their life. “Life is vulnerable,” Brown writes. Being vulnerable isn’t the choice we have to make, she says. Rather, the choice is how we respond when the elements of vulnerability greet us: uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. Many of us respond by avoiding or suppressing vulnerability.

3. Vulnerability means spilling some of your secrets. Some of us hesitate to be vulnerable because we assume that means exposing our “secrets.” We assume that being vulnerable means spilling our hearts to strangers, and as Brown puts it, “letting it all hang out.” But vulnerability embraces boundaries and trust, she says. “Vulnerability is about sharing our feelings and our experiences with people who have earned the right to hear them. Being vulnerable takes courage.”

4. Another Myth: You Can Go It Alone. None of us, in recognizing our vulnerability, should pretend we are able to “go it alone.” When we ask others “Can you help me with this? What are your thoughts on this issue? Are you willing to work on this together with me?” “I’m not sure what we should do here,” we are expressing our vulnerabilities in a courageous and positive way.

Vulnerable Leaders

In today’s business world, employees, shareholders and customers alike demand honest and transparent CEOs — those who are not only confident, but can be trusted. Yet recent Edelman Trust Barometers show that trust in business leaders is declining. Compounding this disturbing trend, the prevalence of corporate misconduct, value destruction, and toxic corporate cultures, executives may earn as much as 271 times more than the average worker.

To shake the image of the self-serving CEO with little to lose, business leaders need to be honest about their vulnerabilities — their own, their partners’, and their business’ susceptibility to loss or mistakes. If CEOs continue to act as though they have nothing to lose, or act out of self-interest they will fail to regain trust.

In business, vulnerability has been and is generally perceived as weakness. Media headlines encourage businesses to avoid vulnerability or suffer the consequences: “30% of Auto Parts Retailers’ Business Is Vulnerable to Amazon,” “Five Industries Most Vulnerable to Digital Disruption,”. Personal vulnerability is considered a liability for leaders and their organizations, so it is studiously avoided. Conventional wisdom holds that it is difficult to lead or negotiate or make demands from a position of perceived weakness.

What Vulnerable Leaders Do

Being vulnerable in the workspace doesn’t mean you walk around with a box of tissues and share your deepest, most personal secrets with everyone. So what does being vulnerable in the work environment look like?

Accept the fact that vulnerability as a strength. Being vulnerable isn’t a bad thing and it doesn’t make you weak; it actually makes you a better leader because you stop wasting energy protecting yourself from what you think other people shouldn’t see. It allows you to start showing your authentic self. By accepting vulnerability as a strength, you stop worrying about having every answer and realize it’s okay to be wrong.

Admit and own their mistakes. We all make mistakes, especially as leaders. The more willing we are to admit and own our mistakes (not make excuses, point fingers, or avoid responsibility) the more others will trust us and want to follow our lead. Taking responsibility, apologising, and making amends for the mistakes we make are not always easy things to do, but they’re essential for us to have true credibility with the people around us.

Not taking themselves too seriously. t’s important for us to have a sense of humour and not get too full of ourselves, which is something many of us do, particularly as a leader. “Do you have any idea how important I think I am?” We must laugh at ourselves, notice when we get too serious, and have enough self-awareness to keep things in a healthy perspective.

Asking and receiving help from others. As leaders. most of us like to help others, but often we have a difficult time asking for and receiving help. Requesting help can be perceived, especially by us, as an admission of weakness or an acknowledgment that we’re not capable of doing something. However, all of us need help and support — and in some cases, we need a lot of it. Being the kind of leader who is comfortable enough with yourself and the people around you to admit when you don’t know something, can’t do something, or simply need help in making something happen, is not a sign of weakness; it’s both a sign of strength and an opportunity to empower others in an authentic way.

Benefits of Leader Vulnerability

1. It decreases tension and stress at work. Stress could be decreased considerably by allowing free discussion about controversial or uncomfortable issues.

2. It increases flow of ideas, creativity, and innovation. By acknowledging that they don’t have all the answers, leaders allow others to contribute their ideas and criticisms. And admitting their mistakes, leaders give allow others to make mistakes and talk about them. Leaders who acknowledge they made poor decisions through their example, let those under them know that it is okay to take risks or make constructive suggestions.

3. Emotional connections leads to less turnover. A great deal of workplace research points out that being emotionally connected to a workplace is often a deciding factor on whether or not people will stay or look elsewhere. An open, honest and authentic leadership makes it much more likely that staff at all levels will feel a connection to the organisation at an emotional level when they feel connected with their leaders.

Now more than ever, the world needs leaders who are vulnerable, empathetic, and compassionate — servant leaders — who put the interests of others and the world first. We’ve seen how the other kinds of leaders — self-serving, narcissistic (and sometimes psychopathic) and toxic — have created chaos and damage. It’s time for a change.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

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Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/carleysime/2019/03/27/could-a-little-vulnerability-be-the-key-to-better-leadership/#61a2e5f0783e
https://medium.com/why-the-best-leaders-view-vulnerability-as-a-strength-6a4a7e27d461
https://hbr.org/2020/10/todays-leaders-need-vulnerability-not-bravado