photo of virtual team members

Study after study reinforces that remote workers enjoy greater job satisfaction, work/life balance, and are more productive. As more organizations embrace the benefits of a remote workforce, they also recognize that leading a virtual team comes with unique challenges. New leaders may struggle with using traditional management techniques for building team spirit in a virtual environment. Additionally, they often report feeling unsure about how to create a sense of connectedness and rapport amongst their virtual team.

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Time to Plan Illustration
time to plan image for development budget

Budgeting season is always a tough time for leaders as they juggle maintaining business-as-usual while simultaneously trying to predict the future. The process can be exhausting with several rounds of revisions and the need to advocate for necessary resources. So, it’s understandable why, out of pure exhaustion, the column for employee development costs is often just copied and pasted from the previous year’s budget.

Many leaders probably see that as a win because that means they’re able to retain employee development resources. However, carrying over a budget line item arbitrarily means we’ve skipped an important step in the process—the employee development strategy.

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resilience-at-workMany of us grew up learning the 3 R’s throughout our education (reading, writing, and arithmetic). However, as technology changed and the needs of the workforce became more complex, educators realized the true skills necessary for success had changed as well. For the past decade, educators have been focused on teaching the four C’s that have been deemed 21st Century Workforce Skills. The 4 C’s necessary for workforce readiness are critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. Many organizations report that, despite higher education’s focus on the 4C’s, new graduates still lack basic proficiency in these areas.Read More

Image of constructive criticism puzzle

A conversation with a former colleague this week reminded me that the old saying is true—it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Over coffee, my friend shared some reflections and lessons learned she had identified after her first year as a manager. Like many new front-line managers, she was a high performer who was at high risk of leaving her organization until they offered her a promotion. Eager for a new challenge, she jumped at the opportunity to step into her first leadership role. Aside from leveraging the help and advice of other leaders internally, she wasn’t offered any formal training to develop her management/leadership skills so she primarily followed her instincts. In one situation, her instincts led her astray.

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Employer choosing the right person

Hiring a new employee to join your team is an exciting, and often stressful, process. Finding an individual with the right combination of skills, knowledge, and experience is only one piece of the puzzle. The individual also needs to have a personality that aligns well to the nature of the role. For example, if the role involves a fast-paced environment where the employee must adapt to rapidly changing priorities, then an individual with a slow work tempo who has a high need to finish tasks may struggle and become overwhelmed. For many organizations, it’s also important that the individual’s values align with their corporate values (such as integrity, accountability, respect for others, and valuing diversity).

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Woman employee being recognized by peers

Recognizing an employee for their hard work, dedication, and consistent performance is a simple way to show they are a valued member of the team. When employee recognition is given often and applied consistently, team members become more engaged, have stronger individual performance, and tend to have a longer tenure with an organization. Additionally, when employee recognition is directed at target behaviors like improving collaboration, small rewards can greatly impact key organizational needs like stronger teamwork.

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