photo of gymnast

photo of gymnastEven before the Tokyo Olympics began, Simone Biles had already shown the world that she was a truly remarkable individual. Her strength and courage are unquestionable and evident in the way she has handled enormous pressure, injuries, and unspeakable abuse at the hands of her athletic trainer. She always rose above and handled each situation with grace and maturity beyond her years.

Her decisions during the Olympic Games this week further solidify that she is truly in a league of her own.

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Leadership Threat

Leadership ThreatThe HR 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

Woman at work

Woman at workLike many people, I often struggle with staying focused throughout the day. Each day, I start by re-writing my to-do list based on my highest priority, but by mid-day that is often abandoned for new urgent incoming requests.

If you use Microsoft Outlook, you’re likely familiar with the Daily Briefing email from Cortana. The email reminds the recipient of outstanding items (based on an analysis of email content) and allows you to set a reminder for follow-up. I usually ignore the email, but today I scrolled all the way through and noticed the recommendation to schedule time to focus. The system recommended three time blocks and allowed me to block that time on my calendar with one simple click. I’m working on a specific project today, so I clicked the button and easily blocked time in my calendar to focus.

Around an hour later, an incoming call popped up on my screen and quickly disappeared. The caller messaged me apologized for interrupting me while I was presenting. I returned the call and explained that she didn’t interrupt my presentation; I just had the time blocked in my calendar to focus on a specific project. Thirty minutes later, I ended the phone call with three new action items and a laugh at how quickly I sabotaged my own focus time.

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Photo of worker at desk surrounded by paper

Photo of worker at desk surrounded by paper“I’m not saying I’d want to go back to 2020, but 2021 has honestly been worse from a work and burnout perspective.”

This honest comment from a friend accurately reflects what so many people are feeling in the workplace today. As the world returns to “normal,” most managers are dealing with more complex issues than ever. Turnover is high in entry-level roles, and despite creative recruitment efforts/incentives, many roles remain unfilled. Who has time for a vacation when you’re just trying to keep your head above water?

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Image of people leaving workplace

Image of people leaving workplaceAfter any significant life event, it’s normal to gain a new perspective and make major life changes. What’s unique about this year is the world went through that significant life event together as we battled a global pandemic. As the workforce enters into a new version of normal, more and more individuals are pursuing career changes as they reflect on the past year. In the past 2 weeks, three of my friends have submitted their resignations. Each of these individuals are successful, mid-career professionals who were relatively happy with their employer/career before the pandemic.

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Hybrid team photo

Hybrid team photoIn most organizations, the plan to “return to normal” looks nothing like our pre-pandemic version of “normal.” While some organizations have chosen to stay remote, most have engaged a hybrid model for their return to work plans. Hybrid teams allow flexibility to adapt to various employee needs while reducing the number of employees who are on-site on any given day. From the employee perspective, this is a great compromise and acknowledges that each person’s work style preferences are unique. From a leadership perspective, frontline leaders will now experience unique challenges that test their soft skills more than ever before.

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