pmo leadership

accredited imi management assessor

We provide a full range of Psychetric Tools and Instruments as part of our Executive Assessment and Management Development initiatives. As IMI accredited Managment Assessors, Partnering with Approved Centres by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) for Management and Leadership accreditations, we can offer IMI Quality Assured Programmes (QAP) that are designed for organisations who offer training within the automotive sector. For individuals, we offer IMI Accreditation which provides proof of current management competency levels.

The IMI Accreditation Management assessment has been designed to provide flexibility in its approach to measuring the critical competencies of an individual in role. The assessment is made up of a series of practical, observational and theory assessments.  An approved assessor measures an individual’s competency against the industry standard framework, the Automotive Management & Leadership Competency Framework, which outlines the requirements that a good manager needs to demonstrate achievement in.

The comprehensive assessment processes involve:

  • IMI 360 appraisal providing a reflection of management performance from both the individual’s perspective and those of their work colleagues and peers
  • Criteria-based interview carried out in the workplace
  • Environment observation – how the manger leads and responds to activities in the workplace such as a team meeting or communication
  • Presentation of a real-life business improvement that has been achieved within the last 12 months
  • IMI Accreditation Management online knowledge test

IMI Accreditation Management assessment is delivered by approved assessors that are quality assured through the Awarding Organisation IMI Awards Ltd.  There are two options available for delivery of the assessments:

  • External provision through an IMI Accreditation approved assessment centre
  • Internal provision through IMI Accredited assessors.  Businesses are required to have their training programmes mapped to the Automotive M&L Competency Framework to enable structured provision for development to be accessible

If you would like some help to set-up great data analytics systems, WNC consultants shine in the employment arena. We pride ourselves on being our clients’ most valuable partner in the attraction, retention and engagement of their current and future employees. We offer quality end-to-end strategies and solutions including creative, digital, research, planning and communications within the workforce effectiveness space. Find out more about what we’re up to on the WINC website – and keep up-to-date with our latest insights on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.

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hr finances

eliminate ratings : keep bonuses

The typical argument goes something like this: “Our annual performance management process is entirely ineffective, but at the very least it provides us a transparent way of distributing the bonus payments.” However, this argument too will eventually and inevitably leads to grief. We feel we should have a selection method to show objectivity so we hang onto the ratings, the gradings, the bell-curves, and the rest of the trappings associated with an annual performance cycle in order to provide justification of the bonus payment distribution.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on this long-established folly…

We realise that ratings do not work. They restrict conversations on exceptional performance; they suffer from rater-bias; and they pare what should be on-going and affirming feedback into an annual event.

We know from all of the businesses that have progressed past this 1980’s construct that a ratings free atmosphere leads to fewer grievances and more effective communication between employees and managers.

We appreciate that performance ratings are actually a numerical expression of a very subjective judgement from the Line Manager (occasionally supplemented with a few agonizing calibrations and perhaps a authoritative-looking apportionment curve).

Nevertheless, when we think about removing ratings and replacing them with the Line Manager’s justifications for the extra award, we worry about appearing arbitrary.
So, we contest any new strategy which would save manager and employee frustration and time, enhance the quality of performance conversations, etc, just to keep up the pretext of objectivity.

In the cold light of day, we would all agree that this practice is little more than a structured folly. Right?
That being the case, let’s say the decision is made to eliminate ratings, but circumstances dictate that the existing bonus scheme must be retained, at least for the time being – what can be done? 

Honestly there is yet to be an infallible means of eliminating ratings and keeping the same performance bonus distribution standards. However, it is widely understood that the least effective methodology applied by HR professionals is to allow the operational need to administer the distribution of the payments, to dictate the approach employed to reward the very best employee contibutions. With that reasoning, surely the anticipated positive impact of eliminating performance ratings would suggest a goal worthy of some exploration?  When eliminating ratings with the intent to continue individual performance bonuses, there are three non-mutually-exclusive alternative bonus distribution practices that might be considered.

1. continuous assessment

You could choose a consistent assessment process, comparable to the manner in which schools have moved away from one-off examinations and towards regular grading throughout the term. This appears to work well for organisations that have regular and frequent performance periods as well as constant performance data – Sales organisations, for example, or project based businesses, like consultancy companies. By assessing often, the demand for a grading at the conclusion of a particular focus period is avoided and bonus amounts are distributed depending on the typical performance across the entire focus period. For many businesses however, contiuous assessment may be viewed as much more arduous compared to a once-a-year performance assessment, so for that reason continuous assessment tends not to be all that broadly appealing.

2. contribution calibration roundtable

You could choose to distribute payments via a contribution calibration roundtable in which Line Managers come together to agree who deserves what in terms of the bonus. Rather than a regular calibration bunfight in which administrators wrangle over who gets what grade, they talk about how much each individual has contributed and how great a share of bonus they deserve to get, relative to one another. As well as the inescapable contention, there are several upsides to this method. A number of high-quality discussions about the organisation’s people are had, and opportunities to challenge Line Managers that use bonuses as a means of forgoing their development responsibilities are presented. A contribution calibration roundtable can also be a helpful means of creating discussions about the worth of individuals in terms of the marketplace – paticularly helpful for quickly growing start-ups and tech businesses where spend amounts fluctuate rapidly. The roundtable sessions can also factor in discussion around alternative ways in which individual employees may wish to be rewarded. Promotion or stretch assignment for example. A contribution calibration roundtable, despite all prudence, can be viewed as partisan or lacking transparency by bonus recipients when quality performance discussions have not taken place regularly throughout the year.  Bare in mind, however, that in actuality, such perceptions are no different to the perceptions that abound organisations administering traditional bonus distribution systems now.

3. Line Manager discretion

You could choose to just apply Line Manager discretion and allow managers complete independence as to what they provide their people, within a capped financial framework. This is the direction that the majority of businesses that eliminate ratings tend to favour. If regular, quality feedback between the Line Manager and their employees is happening consistently, and the bonus payment is actually an extension of those talks and is thus anticipated, this particular strategy can work well. If these conversations are not happening, any bonus payment is likely to appear to arbitrary or unfair and could result in accusations of favouritism and possibly, discrimination. But again, this is virtually everything you risk currently and whilstever a method which focuses on a single major feedback discussion is held in place, it is difficult to have regular check-ins progressing to a fully integrated component of a performance-driven culture. 

In a nutshell

Progressive businesses have moved on from the 1980’s construct of placing individuals into performance containers and are questioning whether their bonus schemes are truly working and providing a satisfactory return on investment. Perhaps a mix of paying their people well and recognising excellence and effort through timely, personalised and well-considered incentives may be the more compelling option. If eliminating ratings entirely feels like too concerning a leap of faith for today, it is certainly well worth keeping in mind as you plan the future.

If you could do with some help, WINC HR consultants really shine in employment arenas. We pride ourselves on being our clients’ most valuable partner in the attraction, retention and engagement of their current and future staff members. We offer quality end-to-end strategies and solutions including resource managment, hr operations and change communications, especially within the Organisation Design and Development space. Find out more about what we’re up to on the WINC website – and keep up-to-date with our latest news and views on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.

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5 future-proof hr solutions

Until recently, the primary function of technology has been limited to facilitating day-to-day HR tasks. However, technology has become geared to adopt more of an all-inclusive role in organisations. Listed below are 5 directions in which HR could progress with technology being squarely at the centre:

1. blind hiring

The US IT industry, in particular Silicon Valley, has been widespread with accusations and counter accusations related to bias within the workplace. The obvious question that looms large on the psyche of the HR professionals is how to effectively manage and minimise these kinds of controversies. To address concerns of bias, some organisations have introduced the process of blind hiring.

In an ordinary interview process as well as during initial screening, recruiters may appear to be partial depending on information about a candidates’ history, race, age, gender, and at times even the candidates’ alma mater. Another example could be the film industry that has been under increasing pressure to ensure diverse representation at the time of the casting process.

In a blind hiring process, resumes of candidates are actually removed of market information. This guarantees that the main screening procedure is going to be completed based only on the candidates’ demonstrated ability and quantifiable achievements. Additionally, some organisations that have implemented such a process, have gone a step further to automate the screening process entirely, which in effect makes the applicant anonymous. When done well, the results of this approach to applicant screening can see an increasingly diversified staff that is recruited strictly by merit rather than rapport, or maybe bias, which can often happen when screening candidates.

2. passive candidates

Head-hunters appear to constantly be targeting passive applicants. Nevertheless, these days the recruitment process entails a lot more than just reviewing resumes of candidates on a company’s job site. Recruiters are more frequently relying on social networking to get in touch with candidates directly. Likewise, recruiters also resort to internet communication techniques like groups, sub-forums and hashtags to recognise potential talent pools. When candidates are interested in content and engaged in groups, recruiters can get a distinct idea of their potential candidates, and whether these candidates could be potentially set to make a career move.

3. remote workforce

Working remotely typically entails operating out of the comforts of home, or maybe coffee shop, or perhaps a co-working office space and is an ever more popular trend nowadays. Within the last few years, the number of workers that are working in some type of telecommuting arrangement appears to be increasing steadily. The contributing factor towards this shift is the improvements made in the area of VPN know-how. Remote employees are supported by this technology to effortlessly access their organisations’ systems regardless of their location, just as long as there is an excellent connection to the internet. As a result, organisations can now employ talent from across geographies around the globe. In reality, countless start-ups already feature remote teams.

This particular idea of remote working supplies HR professionals with access to a bigger and ever-growing talent pool. By providing current employees with the remote working choice, organisations are able to retain their employees and improve engagement levels by offering an improved work life options. Additionally, with the evolution of digital collaboration tools including video conferencing, this shift towards of remote working is set to continue.

4. future proofing employees

Lately, Politicians appear to be making promises to raise the amount of manual labour jobs, especially in the manufacturing business. Regardless, the harsh truth is the fact that of the jobs available today; many manual labour roles may not survive long as increasing numbers of organisations opt for automation technologies. The growing trend of Artificial Intelligence (AI) completing tasks previously done by employees can already be seen at many manufacturing industry work locations.

Undoubtably, the adoption of AI has led to transformation, loss, and the creation of work. However, simultaneously the need for particular abilities is on the rise as HR industry experts expect employees to work in tandem with robotics. Certain tasks have to be reassigned as robotics have taken over mundane tasks therefore freeing up employees to draw up innovative roles. With developing automation, the existing workforce that’s susceptible to automation must be considered. HR professionals need to identify employees that are prepared to take up a variety of facets of work like management, problem solving, troubleshooting etc which will always need a ‘human touch’. With thorough planning, future proofing staff members requires that organisations ensure they conserve on transition costs while making the most out of the prevailing conditions.

5. gamification

The newest development of gamification continues to be used by a great deal of industries of the past couple of years. With gamification, the idea of spinning engagement into a type of competitive task has proved to be very beneficial in a number of ways that involves the area of training, advertising, and also recruitment. A great deal of brands these days use gamification to encourage competition that is healthy amongst teams, encourage loyalty amidst clients, encourage workers, and make a buzz.

In the HR field, gamification continues to be used during the screening process in which assessments regarding important skills and cognitive abilities have been changed into a fun filled engagement. With the assistance of mobile apps today you are able to make your candidates play games which have underlying algorithms which assist in generating serious analytics regarding the participants of the game. Gamification benefits both the employees and the applicants. Even though the employers are able to take advantage of a great deal of information which could be very helpful to assess a candidate ‘s strengths and weaknesses, candidates in addition get the chance to demonstrate the skills of theirs to the potential recruiters of theirs.

in a nutshell

There’s no question that these technology centric trends will probably have a good deal of effect on the HR business moving ahead. Artificial intelligence has already gained prominence in most industries, and the role of it is actually apt to rise down the road. Future focussed businesses have made sizeable investments towards these systems and trends to remain ahead of the competition. Most of the above discussed technology trends have a learning curve related to them. Hence, it’s crucial that organisational leadership take note of these trends and begin preparations to keep abreast of the HR of the future.

If you could do with some help, WINC HR consultants really shine in employment arenas. We pride ourselves on being our clients’ most valuable partner in the attraction, retention and engagement of their current and future staff members. We offer quality end-to-end strategies and solutions including resource managment, hr operations and change communications, especially within the Organisation Design and Development space. Find out more about what we’re up to on the WINC website – and keep up-to-date with our latest news and views on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter

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employee engagement

r.i.p annual engagement surveys

Like a lot of HR professionals, I used to think of the annual ESS survey as being a panacea for employee engagement. The survey consultants I bought from always made such a compelling argument. They would assure me with “Get all of the employees to fill-out 25 or so questions once a year, learn all this great information regarding the employees and associates to change the way they feel, making everyone more effective and engaged”. Obviously, the reality was quite a bit different to the sales pitch. Even if you can ignore the absurdity of only checking in with employees once a year, the process of administering the engagement survey was unpleasant in the extreme.

Is there anybody out there that still believes the yearly engagement survey is an effective use of time or money? Is there anybody left that still thinks that the yearly engagement survey betters engagement?

Anyone recognise the following scene?

Initially you have to get the questions agreed. But, not so fast – Department A just moved offices and therefore would like to include a tonne of questions in conscerning this, while Department B felt there were too many issues last year, and Department C could not care less and will not provide you with any feedback at all. Subsequently the timing never seems right given the usual outcries of “the re structure that is coming up in the sales team” or maybe “the end-of-quarter pressures in finance”.

You eventually believe in the agreed questions and the launch day and then the poor HR team has three or so weeks to convinvce the employees to fill out a survey  form. One year while working for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company the HR team actually designed, produced and wore polo shirts with “Ladies and Gentlemen. Please fill out your survey” emblazened across them – and only achieved a 60% completion rate. After what feels like (and really is) an era, the results come back. And what can they teach you? They let you know what they tell virtually every other business? Employees want better communications, better training and better career opportunities.

The executive team get the results presented and then commit to the dreaded cascade and remedy action planning – but do not want their results to reach the press. Line Managers are typically confused by way of the information is reported or maybe it is at such an aggregated level that it is meaningless for many of them. The internal communications and HR teams remind employees of all of the great improvements that have been implemented with rarely hidden resentment that the scores have hardly shifted. Ultimately, the cascades are actually done, and the action plans are properly hidden in a draw and it is already time to begin planning for the next year’s survey.

And yet, we question why engagement levels have pretty much stagnated for the last decade. Fortunately, the days for this particular HR dinosaur are numbered. HR professionals have realised that gathering insights regarding into an employees’ thoughts and level of engagement isn’t an annual event. Our consumer insight colleagues have taught us that engagement levels is an area to obsess over relentlessly.

Smiley face touch pads, normal pulse surveys on smartphones, text messages to a sample of men and women each week asking, “How is work for you at the moment?” – som businesses I meet are already piloting brand new means of ramping up contact. They are blending qualitative and quantitative study and performing in depth analysis on the crucial moments in their employees’ work days. They are providing Line Managers the resources to do things for themselves with great, affordable apps including CultureAmp, Glint and TINYpulseIn at least one case,  they’re cutting out engagement surveys entirely and encouraging employees to make use of Glassdoor and then reviewing what the comments to create action lists to address any patterns of concern.

Is now the time to question the value you’ve derived during the last couple of years survey seasons? Aside from the executive team feeling better for having ticked the box labelled ‘Staff Engagement’, what has actually changed? For those interested in understanding what employees believe and how they’re feeling, is there not there a better way? 

If we were to adopt a customer mind-set to the workforce, then we would consider the requirements to actually get relevant and actionable employee insights:

  • We would want fast, real-time feedback which promote significant interventions by Line Managers
  • We would gather their views on a range of subjects which they are truly able impact and shape
  • We would request in-depth analysis on what drives and motivates them to enable us to design HR products and services that are meaningful and relevant
  • We would expect to be able to provide Line Managers with a range of tools and techniques that they can easily encorporate into their operations, to develop thier teams effectively

Actually, the resources mentioned above are already available and we can be excited about the brand new generation of employee insight tools, like those offered by the London-based relationship expertise firm Laws of AttractionThey’ve moved past the basic questionnaire and have created methodology which assess emotional, subconscious responses, that provide organisations with a real-time dashboard of the levels of trust, passion, stress and empowerment that prevail within the organisation.

NB: Even though this post contains links to products and services, we do not receive commission for promoting these companies or from purchases made through these links – we just regularly rave about these apps and service providers and want folk to know about them.

If you could do with some help, WINC HR consultants really shine in employment arenas. We pride ourselves on being our clients’ most valuable partner in the attraction, retention and engagement of their current and future staff members. We offer quality end-to-end strategies and solutions including resource managment, hr operations and change communications, especially within the Organisation Design and Development space. Find out more about what we’re up to on the WINC website – and keep up-to-date with our latest news and views on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter

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human resources

2018 key engagement learnings

In collaboration with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Globoforce found that HR leaders found that about half of HR leaders see employee retention, recruitment and culture managment as their top workforce management challenges. Reflecting HR known best practice, here are the key findings from the 2018 SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey:

Adopt Values-based recognition programmes to drive business goals

According to the key findings of the report, Values-based recognition programmes – where employees are recognised and rewarded for behaviour that exemplifies a company’s core values – continue to be more highly adopted than recognition programs not tied to a company’s core values. Programmes tied to values are also more than two times as likely to be focused on reinforcing and driving business goals; a third more likely to be focused on empowering employees; and far more likely to be focused on creating a positive employer brand.

Invest in Recognition programmes

The new report confirms HR leaders who have invested equal to or more than 1% of payroll on recognition are more likely to agree recognition programs are fully aligned with the organisation’s people strategy – meaning tied to important business metrics such as retention rate of critical employees, strength of company values, and employee happiness. Compared to cost-saving recognition programs like “e-thanks,” programmes that have invested equal to or more than 1% of payroll are 86% more likely to be rated as good or excellent.

Use peer feedback to spur employee development

Only about half of HR leaders surveyed think their current performance management process is in anyway effective. Organisations that rely on more frequent performance reviews are more likely to use peer feedback, either ongoing or intermittently. 90% of HR leaders surveyed agree ongoing peer feedback and regular Line Manager check-ins have a positive impact on their organisation. Even if an organisation is not ready to forgo the traditional performance review, HR leaders can consider adopting frequent peer feedback as a supplement to improve the quality of conversations and employee development over the course of the entire tenure.

Celebrate life events to humanise the employee experience

Creating a community celebration of life events at work – such as getting married, buying a house, or having a child – can really help strengthen workplace relationships and employee engagement, making organisations more attractive to employees as well as potential and future hires. According to the report, employees are twice as likely to agree their company is a great place to work when they are satisfied with how life events are celebrated in the workplace.

If you could do with some help, WINC HR consultants really shine in employment arenas. We pride ourselves on being our clients’ most valuable partner in the attraction, retention and engagement of their current and future staff members. We offer quality end-to-end strategies and solutions including resource managment, hr operations and change communications, especially within the Organisation Design and Development space. Find out more about what we’re up to on the WINC website – and keep up-to-date with our latest news and views on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.

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hr budget forecasting

5 great hr apps for 2018

To impact some potential pain points, I can recommend a few HR apps that aren’t only fast to implement and reasonably affordable – but may even get used by the Line Managers and employees. Here are some of the best, you may want to try out!

1. Smarp

Last year ‘s Edelman Trust Barometer (the go-to yearly survey, measuring trust across a number of institutions, sectors and geographies) informed us we trust “people like us” much more than leaders – and we trust technicians and technical advisers. The oft heard management fears of letting employees loose on social media suggests many are missing a trick in not using the potential of its own people as advocates and ambassadors. Smarp is an app which not only recognises the value of personnel advocacy – it actually encourages it. Users are able to make use of the app to create, plan and post content for employees to share through thier own social networks. With excellent analytics, gamification functionality and full integration with all the most-subscribed community channels, Smarp is a really clever and well-built solution.

2. NextJump

As far as a great solutions that handle employee perks and benefits, engagement and feedback, NextJump is really worth investigating. In particular, take a. look at NextJump‘s ‘Top 10′ programme. This mobile based app is about rewarding effort as well as generosity of spirit, reminiscent of the ‘First Class Cards’ used by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company back in the day. Employees are asked an easy question, “who helps you succeed?”. The programme concentrates on the individuals in the organisation that have created the largest effect on thier colleagues. Monthly voting along with a leader board keeps the concept new and fun and also the best component is the fact that employees get to reward their colleagues with real funds. This app will help develop a environment of cooperation as well as an effective peer-to-peer to strategy to reward.

3. Clear Review

There are a multitude of apps designed for the Performance Management space, but what I love about Clear Review is it actually includes the lessons of what works and what does not in Performance Management, as well as having the capabilities to drive regular check ins, peer-to-peer review, and real-time feedback. The lessons come via received videos that are short on how and sweet and cover such topics as how to conduct a check in discussion.

Most of the Performance Managment apps currently available, have to simply put a broken system (annual objectives, ratings, etc) onto mobile and since 2018 surely has to be the year the long-time-limping Annual Engagement Survey and Annual Review processes is finally killed off once and for all, Clear Review is aptly positioned for a timely pilot.

4. Attendify

This is really an event app, but one that can make a big difference to new-starter inductions. It’s easy to use and customise with your own branding, but the most beneficial functionality is that you are able to load content to ensure new-starters feel welcomed, prepared and informed. Once you have the appropriate content ready, you could confidently expect to use Attendify to update your induction tools within a week.

5. Looop

Remember when Learning Management Systems were clunky and notoriously tempremental? Well Looop makes those days seem a like a truly distant memory. Most people realise that learning has to take place when and where it fits the learner and this fresh, nimble learning style needs a cost-effective and intuitive platform.

The simplicity with which content can be loaded and related learning articles can be curated makes Looop a popular LMS choice. It is designed for mobile optimisation so consistently looks fantastic. It’s simple to navigate and control content for various user levles. And from around £500 a month for up to 250 users, Looop is a next generation LMS solution that is definitely well worth a pilot.


NB: Even though this post contains links to products, We do not receive commission for purchases made through these links – we just regularly rave about these apps and want folk to know about them.

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human resources

empathy: the most valuable attribute

Reflecting upon my career as a challenger, innovator and leader, I can safely say that no single idea or business strategy has generated the sort of power that empathy delivers. Empathy transcends leadership, culture, marketing and innovation, as the key driving force in today’s communications ecosphere. Whilst I understand the principle of empathy may not align perfectly with the narcotic culture of aggressive growth, the reality is, that for sustainable success and stability, leaders have to really know what their colleagues, employees, and customers feel. This is no longer negotiable.

what empathy is and isn’t

Empathy is routinely misused as a synonym for recognising an individuals point-of-view. Derived from the Greek words em and pathos, it literally means into feeling’. As a result, empathy is the process of identifying with the psychological feelings, thoughts and attitudes of another person. In this regard, true empathy is all about being able to walk in other’s shoes and feel exactly what they feel. Yet while we recognise empathy as the cornerstone of emotional and social intelligence, many people still don’t understand how it relates to their personal effectiveness. To the contrary, the expression of empathy is typically thought of as something that primarily benefits others. Used regularly, empathy is a powerful and life-changing trait connecting you to other people ‘s intensity and commitment to a cause.

wired to feel

Fortunately, we’ve evolved in such a manner that we’re chemically rewarded when we extend consideration beyond ourselves. The chemical currency of empathy is controlled by 4 neurotransmitters working together and producing feelings of success, personal satisfaction, happiness, and trust. These are Serotonin, Dopamine, Endorphins, and Oxytocin. These chemicals not only makes us feel good but also drive survival skills. Dopamine and Endorphins control selfish activities. They mask pain, generate stamina to complete a goal and give that warm flush of reward when it’s mission accomplished. Oxytocin and serotonin, however, control the more selfless functions imperative to species survival. Serotonin stimulates the feeling of pride when others show respect or perhaps when we receive recognition for our efforts, whilst Oxytocin promotes the longer term effects of trust and empathy. The truth is, Oxytocin is what keeps everything in control. The more we experience empathy and trust, the more Oxytocin flows and reinforces these bonds and, in turn, keeps selfish pleasure, arrogance, and pride in check. In a nutshell, empathy begets empathy.

lessons from the past

There are countless examples of failed and fractured business decisions because of leaders not taking into account the true feelings of stakeholders, customers, and staff members. Whilst decisions are made after weighing the advantages and disadvantages of the situation, staff members and customers’ points-of-view tend to be relegated as just another pro or perhaps con.

Blockbuster Video seriously miscalculated how its audience would respond to Netflix and didn’t rise to the challenge. Management clearly didn’t empathise with its audience and thought its billion-dollar empire was immune from competition. The company disappeared almost overnight.

More recently, the story of HR SaaS company&amp Zenefits and its mismanagement paints a vivid picture of executive hubris, greed, and arrogance. Parker Conrad, founder and former CEO, created a culture focussed on winning at any cost. Empathy was practically non-existent preferring to run a company on questionable morals and social irresponsibility. The highlight was software developed intentionally to help salespeople circumvent mandatory insurance license training. Eventually, Parker and most of the executive team were replaced, 250 salespeople were let go, and Zenefits is now in the process of a cultural and operational restructuring.

leading with empathy

Self-awareness is essential for true leadership, but leadership comes with additional requirements you’ve got to really feel what others feel to steer the decision-making process in the proper direction. It is undeniable that leaders need to make difficult choices, however, when you feel other people ‘s emotions, you empower better decision making. Real leaders listen far more than they speak.

Some of the tangible benefits you can expect include: Building trust in all business interactions

  • Understanding customer behaviour and the power of shared emotions
  • Build better support systems for customers and employees
  • Strengthening collaboration skills
  • Opening people to new ideas
  • Knowing the way to inspire people to achieve company goals
  • negotiating and Resolving disagreements more quickly and more effectively
  • Changing gears if the story in your mind does not match other people’s perceptions

If you come away from this post with just one thing, I trust it is the ability to feel enthusiastic about empathy in your everyday interactions. Having said that, I recognise it’s a challenge for many executives and entrepreneurs to show empathy due to its perception as a weakness. The common rationale of it’s not personal; it’s just business is a terrible cliche that thought leaders and forward-feeling people know to be false. All business decisions affecting others generate deeply personal consequences. Disgruntled staff members, dissatisfied customers, and cheated associates invariably take matters personally.

Learning empathy can help you recognise your own strengths, weaknesses, and feelings. Your emotions influence the people around you, so it’s often necessary to self-regulate your internal feelings. If you show drive, achievement, loyalty, optimism and empathy, others cannot help but notice your leadership skills.

challenge yourself

Challenging prejudices and discovering commonalities are among empathy’s most powerful business benefits. Develop a habit of genuine interest and asking questions about others without becoming overly intrusive. The most important skill for developing empathy is challenging your own preconceptions. Look for commonalities that allow you to truly feel what others feel. You will have to listen actively to what people point out to make certain you know what they are really saying. The show Undercover Boss works because bosses really get chances to feel how their employees feel, and people connect with that idea because so many of them feel unappreciated and neglected.

Brand 101: Empathy Inside Marketing strategy has undergone a groundbreaking transformation in the digital age. Customers that are members of digital communities of like-minded peopled are now in control of the process. People expect personal messages and interactions when they visit a business website. The times of hard transactional selling are over, and people ignore heavy-handed promotions. Some even install adblockers! as a result, messages have to be more carefully crafted and targeted to key groups. Blanket media advertising has given way to personalised marketing based on persona and purchasing habits. It’s obvious that empathy is a powerful tool when planning modern marketing strategies. When you develop empathy as a passive trait, you naturally put your audience first.

feeling innovation

Amazon built an empire by empathising with consumers. Success in business involves fulfilling needs, and you cannot do that unless you understand exactly how others feel. companies that are Successful use all their resources to learn about their customers, employees, shortcomings and opportunities. Steve Jobs was once quoted as saying people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. True innovation comes from identifying people’s needs from their emotions and providing products and services that fulfil these emotional needs.

Real innovation doesn’t involve making quick fixes. You’ve got to go much deeper to find the burning issue and come up with innovations that address what people actually feel. Using empathy to guide you in design thinking can generate huge rewards even when the development process is costly and subject to bad starts.

oxytocin storytelling

Storytelling in its many forms, not just improv, can be an incredibly powerful tool for gaining new perspectives and creating shared understanding. Storytelling with empathy can be especially valuable in business because, when you’re in tune with others’ needs, you can better serve them as customers, be a better leader, and design better products and services.

Content marketing has become a significant strategy for savvy marketers, and savvy content goes beyond traditional brand promises. It’s important to offer your customers insights that satisfy their deepest interests, and empathy empowers the process. You’ve got to put your audience first by understanding people’s emotional quotient. In effect, you’ve got to communicate with your audience, show them behind-the-scenes stories and engage them emotionally. Obviously, you have got to understand your customers and the way they perceive your business story. Ultimately your brand is really what they feel. The most successful marketers look beyond the obvious characteristics of demographic and focus on innovative strategies that engage emotions and celebrate each person as an individual.

Empathetic stories are, at their core, human

The robots haven’t won yet. In business, we interact with humans on so many levels and in so many ways. More than ever, success often hinges on developing and prioritizing empathy as a skillset and a mindset. Stories are a great way to get there.

Maybe your team is frustrated or has lost their connection with the purpose of their work. Perhaps you’d like to improve a relationship with a client or stakeholder. Maybe you’re looking for a new perspective to solve a design problem or improve customer service. Stories are a good place to start to generate empathy and create a better understanding of the human beings we interact with.

Science, technology, good sense and concern for others unite when thought leaders embrace leadership culture empathy. Empathy powers innovation solves business problems and raises your value with key stakeholders. That is why the savviest leaders try to read other people’s feelings before starting any new business or introducing new products. I can ask just one thing of people who would like to be successful in business or become thought leaders in the age of real-time communication: Internalise the value of empathy and add it to your core feelings. You cannot use empathy successfully unless you genuinely feel its value.

There are no easy answers for how to elevate one ‘s consciousness and empathetic response. What I can say is that through daily choices of behaviour and mindset, anyone can rewire their brain towards empathy. As with everything, we need to take a multi-faceted approach. Rigorous mindfulness training, meditation, and giving back through altruistic behaviour and volunteering go a long way.

Sometimes, just a simple ‘hey, are you ok?’ is all you need. Let’s start today.

If you could do with some help, WINC consultants really shine in project engagement. We pride ourselves on being our clients’ most valuable partner in the attraction, retention and engagement of their current and future staff members. We offer quality end-to-end strategies and solutions including resource management, hr operations and change communications. Find out more about what we’re up to on the WINC website – and keep up-to-date with our latest news & views on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.

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employee engagement

10 hr solutions for 2018

It’s a necessity to have some idea what the future holds for HR professionals around the world to be able to incorporate several of the upcoming trends into your business. As businesses come closer and closer, managing a company’s people resources has become strategically important to be able to develop and keep a market name, a brand image, and of course, for the general progression of the business. As every generation joins the workforce, they add their methodologies to the workplace. Consequently, new trends emerge each year and the HR teams must mould themselves to navigate these tidal forces. Here we look at several of the trends which are anticipated to dominate the year 2018 in Human Resources and just how your company can benefit by applying them.

1. Blending the workforce

Hiring part-time employees or freelancers has become a trend that’s going to show more prominence in 2018. A blended workforce means having a workforce that doesn’t comprise of only full-time employees. These days, you will find several consultants, contractors, and part-time workers and freelancers, who are known commonly as gig economy workers or perhaps gig workers. A recent survey carried out by Deloitte revealed that on an average, a company’s workforce is comprised of 54% of full time employees, 20% of freelancers, contractors or interns, and 26% of remote workers or part-timers. Thus, with the pattern of a blended workforce looking fixed to grow, the purpose of the HR is going to comprise to include merging these’ gig workers’ with their regular workforce.

2. Apply an agile approach

Speedy operations and the capability of managing unpredictable circumstances are two approaches which are currently being applied by companies to develop their human resource department also. Earlier, these approaches were generally attributed to the field of software development. This method, known as agile HR, can reduce recruitment time to just 2 to 4 weeks, from the erstwhile 10 weeks. The use of the agile approach is making it quick and easy for employees to pick up right away after they join a new company. HR specialists are exploring this approach more to also manage task force volatility and further enhance the adaptability of all areas of the workforce. The agile technique is proven to strengthen the core of any organisation, and the trend is likely to turn out to be increasingly popular throughout 2018.

3. Pilot chatbots in HR

2017 was undoubtedly the year of artificial intelligence (AI). According to data from the research firm IDC, the actual market for AI is expected to cross forty-five dollars billion by the end of 2020. AI is being incorporated heavily into chatbots and marketers are using chatbots to deliver personalized experiences online. Human Resources needs to adapt to this trend of chatbots as the future belongs to automation of tasks such as asking interview questions, finding matching candidates on LinkedIn, scheduling meetings, etc. Chatbots will become the AI powered virtual personal assistant for HR professionals. As this trend is new to the industry, a few businesses are starting smart and incorporating one chatbot into the HR department to find out just how the improvement could be brought about in a seamless manner.

4. Focus on team development over the individual

The past ten years has seen Human Resources is focused on the development of its employees as individuals. The sole focus earlier has been on recruiting an employee, developing them and carrying out an assessment of their performance. However, the recent trend that’s starting to be apparent in HR is that of developing employees as a team. Boosting or developing team intelligence and working on increasing the knowledge of what can make an effective team work together and deliver results that are outstanding. HR has known that teams have become the main building blocks of any good organisation. So, strengthening and developing smart teams inside an organisation will be a big HR trend to look out for in 2018.

5. Add a consumer marketing lens to HR

HR professionals the world over are starting to take a ‘customer experience mindset’ approach to the whole recruitment process. They’re creating solutions that aren’t just simple to use but also are easy, simple, and engaging to adapt. The new mantra is for a company to mirror the previous best experience an employee has had in any previous organization and try to adapt the same to improve their own performance across various criteria. HR specialists are translating similar focus the company has on customers to their staff members. A good example of this would be of Cisco, a company helping their new employees at their workplace with any questions they have with the use of an HR mobile app.

6. Champion flexible working arrangements

To cut down on commuting times and to create a far more flexible working environment, many companies are opting for having some days in the week be a’ Work from Home’ setup or perhaps allowing many staff members to have a preferred location of choice for working. HR are creating more flexible working hours, flexible working environments, and through this, increasing not just employee morale, but also their commitment to the organisation. Study indicates that happier employees are likely to perform much better as well as stick around longer in an organization in which they feel at ease and taken care of. Flexible working hours and work from home days also allow employees across the board to tend to their personal needs, therefore improving their performance when they’re present in the workplace.

7. Optimise the Employee Experience

The last couple of years has witnessed a paradigm shift in how employers treat their employees. Now employers offer a great deal of attention to just how their employees’ experience has been in the business. On a broad level, there’s a significant skills gap that industries are facing and there’s a lack of skilled workers for meeting the demands in fields like IT, manufacturing, etc. To keep staff members, employers are having to work doubly hard to keep their employees happy. Employees moving to a competitor organisation is an additional headache for employers. HR is working round-the-clock to develop an internally conducive atmosphere for its personnel. Making use of new platforms together with artificial intelligence technologies, HR professionals are bringing people and processes together.

8. Get comfortable with people analytics

Analytics has been growing in leaps and bounds since the time Google made it mainstream. Analytics is now also being utilized to understand every component of a business’ operations as well as taking inputs from analytics to make their daily decisions. People analytics has become serious business and it’s now reached out to discuss the field of HR as well. The new age HR professionals are using social network analysis, interaction analysis and data analysis to better understand what’s going on within their organization. HR teams are applying insights gained from these mediums to carry out talent acquisition, task operations, workforce planning, and far more. Tools from analytics are now being used to find out who’ll be the better candidate for the project and understand which employee is planning to leave the business.

9. Reinvent the way performance is reviewed

Performance consulting has been used to help people become better by providing constructive and regular feedback based on their performance. While it’s quite easy to give feedback to improve an average or perhaps below average performer, it’s every bit as difficult to help an outstanding performer become better. This is just where HR teams come in with their analytical tools and work out how they can achieve the optimal performance from every employee in their organization. Constant feedback has now replaced the once-a-year performance review in many organizations. Study has also proven that employees are preferring on-the-spot recognition and feedback over formal yearly reviews.

10. Increase focus on technology skills development

The trend of incorporating technology into every area of a company continues to gather steam in 2018. The demand for skills development will continue to create the need for more professional development technologies. Company intranets, transparent forums that encourage connection and communication between staff members, and quite a few such technologies are now being collaborated on with HR playing a role to ensure staff members are connecting wholeheartedly to a company’s technological efforts. HR is going to have to roll out programs to make each employee understand and come on the same track as the company’s technological platform. A business having the most up-to-date technology at its disposal is likely to attract the top most talent from this generation.

In a nutshell

Organisations must properly assess and enjoy the benefits of including these new tools and trends into their HR departments. HR must remain active in the daily tasks of the business and ensure they bring forth and incorporate the appropriate context and people skills into their organisation. No matter the new techniques and tools, one thing that’s likely to remain constant is that HR will continue to have to develop the necessary employee skills as and when the company needs it. They are going to continue to identify organisational needs as well as develop methods to use the task force in an efficient and effective manner. These trends are certainly going to go a long way in making the work of HR professionals easier in the coming years.

If you could do with some help, WINC consultants really shine in employment arenas. We pride ourselves on being our clients’ most valuable partner in the attraction, retention and engagement of their current and future staff members. We offer quality end-to-end strategies and solutions including resource managment, hr operations and change communications within the Employment Branding space. Find out more about what we’re up to on the WINC website – and keep up-to-date with our latest news& views on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.

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hris implementation

what exactly is agile hr?

The success of agile methodology lies in the reality that it promotes faster, cost-effective, customer centric software. Thus, it garnered attention in nearly every industry, including marketing, manufacturing, and accounting to name a few. In a similar manner, Agile HR is gradually increasing popularity as an effective means of keeping the organisation aligned with the latest talent requirements and to remain on trend.

A bit of background on Agile HR

During a Deloitte HR conference, Josh Bersin managed to draw people’s attention specifically towards the reality as to the way the HR function can contribute towards building an agile workplace. As indicated by Bersin, the principles of Agile Methodology is able to aid in the process of continual learning, having transparent HR processes using which organisations are able to develop, attract, and engage talent efficiently, under continuous talent acquisition.

Global markets are characterised by the VUCA vortex. The term VUCA vortex was initially used by the armed forces in the United States. The acronym is used to describe volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) that characterise present day global market scenarios. As per the VUCA vortex, it’s vital for companies to be prompt in response and fast on their feet, as the market scenario is governed by unexpected and frequent changes. If business plans are not adaptable and hierarchies are stringent, they won’t work in the VUCA vortex, as such characteristics will surely wind up wasting time, preventing innovation, and restricting organisations from taking advantage of new opportunities.

When agile principles are applied to the HR function, it promotes a change of focus from imposing controls and standards to fostering enhanced collaboration and innovation. Let’s have a look at a comparative analysis of traditional HR versus agile HR to determine exactly how agile methodologies can influence key areas of HR.

Traditional HR…

  • follows a remedial approach to learning – Based on traditional HR practices, when an employee underperforms in their current role, or perhaps prepare for an upcoming new role, they’re assigned to training which will enable them to achieve a certain level of performance
  • is stuck in a recruitment mindset – As per traditional HR, the moment a job becomes available, they start the search for candidates to fill the position. As soon as they get the best candidate, the talent acquisition process ends there and then.
  • has opaque talent processes – As per traditional HR, the talent acquisition and development processes are inaccessible and are considered proprietary IP.
  • is typically built around siloed objectives – Traditional HR jobs are considered unique entities within a complicated system. It believed that job requirements pertain to specific workplace tasks.
  • is known for implementing systems – Traditional HR carefully researches, resource, and deploy large scale technology systems over a length of many months or years.
  • focuses on record keeping – Traditional HR relies on the files of staff and the records of HR initiatives to monitor the progress of employees and make a note of issues. They evaluate the success of HR based on the completeness of the documentation of records at their end.

Whereas Agile HR…

  • adopts a continuous learning environment – According to Agile HR best practice, a wide range of opportunities are provided to staff so that they can learn and stretch their limits outside of any goal about their job.
  • offers transparent access to talent information – Agile HR facilitates talent management which empowers employees to remain in control of their development. Staff members are given equal scope to be active participants in talent acquisition, evaluation processes, and development.
  • believes in continuous talent acquisition – Agile HR continually invests in the employer brand and continuously cultivate the present ongoing talent relationships across a variety of channels.
  • has a unified mission and values – All positions are directly aligned with the mission, vision, and values of the organisation. It stresses the need for all the employees to understand how their on-job performance supports these elements regarding the overall organisational culture.
  • is known for piloting small initiatives – Agile HR is known for testing small scale initiatives within a business unit or perhaps a certain team. They gather early feedback from staff members to determine if the pilot initiative needs to be expanded or perhaps even scrapped altogether.
  • focuses on employee engagement – HR focuses on employee engagement, across all engagement pillars, to encourage collaboration and enhance the level of self-motivation of staff members. It measures HR success in terms of staff member retention, innovation, level of employee satisfaction, and overall sentiments of organisational trust and goodwill.

Once Agile HR is embraced, the HR function steers a far more flexible organisation with the necessary amount of openness and agility needed to safeguard against the realities of the VUCA vortex. Nevertheless, this transition from traditional HR to Agile HR really is significant change so before implementing Agile HR, it’s important to think about the following factors:

  • Do you have the organisational culture that believes in prioritising employee engagement and has full trust in its employees?
  • Is your HR department ready to give up control?
  • Are you digitally ready with HR tech including employee centric HRIS with development, goal setting and engagement systems, readily available by all employees anytime anywhere?

If you could do with some help, WINC consultants really shine in employment arenas. We pride ourselves on being our clients’ most valuable partner in the attraction, retention and engagement of their current and future staff members. We offer quality end-to-end strategies and solutions including resource managment, hr operations and change communications within the Employment Branding space. Find out more about what we’re up to on the WINC website – and keep up-to-date with our latest news and views on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.

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