ROIDoes this scenario sound familiar? You identify a common skills gap within your team and express your concerns to HR/Leadership. They agree and say they’ve seen a similar issue. You ask for support/funding to train your team. You know they need it, and HR knows they need it, but senior leadership is reluctant to allocate the necessary budget. After all, they just spent tens of thousands on an updated virtual video library for their LMS.

Often, identifying the skills gap and the training/coaching solution is far easier than getting budget to fix the issue. Additionally, using a basic ROI equation like ROI (%) = ((Monetary benefit – Training Cost)/Training Cost) x 100 is short-sighted.Read More

Image reading time for review

Image reading time for reviewThe snow on the ground and twinkling holiday lights visible during the 5pm commute home in the dark serve as reminders that December is upon us and it’s time to wrap up the year. Some may say it’s the most wonderful time of the year! ‘Tis the season for giving after all! Specifically, it’s the season for finding joy in giving with no expectation of getting anything in return. The Grinch in me finds it almost poetic that December also means it’s time for annual performance reviews—the season of giving hours of consideration to ratings, comments, and feedback with no expectation of experiencing change or rewards in return.Read More

Little things make a difference

Little things make a differenceWhen Richard Branson walks through the airport greeting Virgin Atlantic employees and chatting away with customers, we applaud him for taking time to appreciate others. A little thing like saying hello goes a long way. Taking a personal interest in team members and expressing concern for the challenges they’re going through builds deep connections that break down the office walls. Sending a thank you note, being on time, and saying please…these are all little things that are widely believed to make a big difference. Thousands of leadership development books suggest when you pay attention to the little things, big things will happen.Read More

finding calm

finding calmWhile people-watching at the airport recently, I witnessed a shocking interaction. The gentleman was clearly a business traveler. He was wearing a professional suit with recently polished shoes. He looked anxious and impatient as he paced in front of the gate area that should have been boarding any minute. Aside from the pacing, though, his demeanor seemed calm. He was on the phone with someone and was listening intently to what they had to say. Every few seconds, he’d say “uh huh….ok….hmmm….ok” so it seemed like any normal business phone call full of rushed details before boarding a flight. And then I heard the man say “Ok, well, why don’t we try this…” in the same volume and tone as all of his hmmm’s and uh huh’s. But then the tone changed.

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Leadership Threat

Leadership ThreatThe Human Resources department typically bears responsibility for designing organization-wide engagement tactics and retention strategies, but the reality is this is everyone’s job. It’s a common belief that individuals don’t leave a job, they leave their boss. Poor management and leadership drive out top talent who are easily recruited away in today’s candidate-driven employment environment. It’s not just headhunters and great recruiters that managers should worry about these days. A veritable candy store of employment alternatives awaits your least satisfied/engaged employees, and leaders need to consider the risk this poses to the organization.Read More

Photo of Young Employees

Photo of Young EmployeesGiven the declining value of the undergraduate degree while the cost of higher education skyrockets, many employers are finally coming to terms with a skills-based approach to resume reviews instead of requiring a degree. While it takes more effort to identify which candidates truly possess business-critical skills than it does to scan for a completed degree, the benefit is unquestionable. College graduates consistently report that they feel prepared to successfully enter into the workforce in their given specialty, but when those same individuals are surveyed a year later, they report they were largely under- or fully unprepared to succeed in their first job. The content delivered in higher education is typically out-of-date and doesn’t address the unique complexities of business in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous state. For that, soft skills are critical for next gen leadership success. Soft skills are the new Technical Skills.

When it comes to the skills gap, there’s a laundry list of skills next gen leaders need to address. But there are six unique soft skills that will continue to increase in importance over the next 5 to 10 years.Read More