MANAGING in the

NEW WORLD

Employee Engagement

A lot of employees across organizations are suffering from an attention deficit. This leads to underproductivity compared to what levels they are really capable of. Observations have clearly suggested that one way to increase motivation is through storytelling. Here storytelling need not be a formal occasion where the bosses tell their subordinates long stories and the latter are to behave as audiences. It could simply be small-talk on individual basis through practical examples which will help them connect with their work. Once we get to be experts at something we tend to put lesser cognitive force to it and this leads to increased disconnect. That is why at Vital Smarts, a monthly meet is termed as Mission Momentwhere employees share stories from work that made impact. This has proven to be a great step in the direction of talent management as employees feel greater connect to their work, knowing that it is part of something bigger.

Source:https://hbr.org/2017/09/great-storytelling-connects-employees-to-their-work?utm_campaign=hbr&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

Uploaded Date:04 August 2020

While several organizations have fallen by the way side or struggled during the COVID- 19 inspired lockdowns, some have quietly found their niche. The latter group may have especially upped their servicing or could simply by luck have been part of any sector deemed as ‘essential’. This trust earned during the crisis, now needs to be leveraged to carry on for a longer time duration. For a start, the brand needs to convince its customers of the firm’s long- term credibility. The new normal has to be made more feasible for all to be a part of. The newer work mechanisms must also remain sustainable. The use of business analytics, can help brands reach the last mile to provide personalized services to the individual customer personas. Creative methods and an understanding of behavioural science will further aid the same.

Source:https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/covid-19-and-the-employee-experience-how-leaders-can-seize-the-moment

Uploaded Date:17 July 2020

As remote working has gained much traction in the ongoing pandemic- induced lockdowns, employees worldwide are grappling with the new norms. It is quite natural for people to forget about the time spans as the conventional routine and body- clock have been rather flouted. Time signals though must still be incorporated in to the daily lives of remote workers, though some specific tips need to be followed. For a start, output needs to be ascertained greater importance, rather than the time devoted. Time needs to be explicitly discussed with the team and other key stakeholders. Employees’ boundaries need also be respected, so that remote work is not round- the- clock. Likewise, one’s own boundaries must also be signalled wherever necessary. Beyond standard work hours, one must avoid sending communications. Language too needs a rethink, so that rapidity may be maintained. Meetings need to be scheduled keeping in mind the sensitivity of the situation. Non- urgent interruptions too must be minimized. The talent management professions must curate some “collaboration hours”, where those working together, can informally come together.

Source:https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/why-time-signals-still-matter-when-working-remotely/

Uploaded Date:13 May 2020

Companies have at all times of recent history, tried to gauge authentic business intelligence on how their customers or potential ones, feel regarding emotions. Their actual feelings have always been very difficult to gauge. As a result, companies are now using AI to interpret such human emotions. Studies have confirmed that even AI can get emotional biases, as ultimately even these algorithms have been put together by humans, who all possess inherent biases. There are ways though, by which companies may prevent such biases from creeping in. The first way to do so, is to simply understand how emotionally engaged the employees are. The company needs to improve its ability at improvising to ensure the products created are suited to the consumer emotions. Tools too need to be updated, so they may better capture the metrices around customer satisfaction. The learning experience, likewise needs a transformation. The data warehousing performed, needs to be more thorough, to ensure all kinds of emotions may be drafted in. A study by the research firm Nielsen, puts it succinctly on how neuroscience technologies have to be part of this. It includes biometrics and facial coding.

Source:https://hbr.org/2019/11/the-risks-of-using-ai-to-interpret-human-emotions

Uploaded Date: 16th December 2019

 

It is a well- known fact that when employees share their ideas, and those remedies are worked upon, the company tends to perform better. The employees are after all the frontline workers who can observe business practices from close by, in stark contrast to the head office, located remotely. Yet, we see several instances where these people are not empowered and their ideas not taken up. Sometimes, it could be due to the ego of their seniors, who want to stick by their pre- existing ideas. But more often, it is that their immediate bosses, themselves have little power to act on the business intelligence received. Companies tend to work by a system where all inputs need to be relayed back to the head office, to take cognizance. Structural changes, while positive in the long run, may also affect the shorter- term productivity. As a result, they are often ignored. The mid- level bosses are also expected to work on their inputs provided, which is often difficult to execute, while keeping up the profits. This rampant short- termism is often the reason, and not managers themselves.

Source:https://hbr.org/2019/04/research-why-managers-ignore-employees-ideas

Uploaded Date:28 September 2019

Wellness programmes have become the rage across the USA. Companies are expected to spend in excess of three million US dollars in 2019 alone on such corporate training programmes aimed at wellness. While many are having the desired effects, several others are falling short of their intended goals. In order to improve the work environment as well as boost employees’ wellbeing, companies need to stop spending on ineffective office perks. The freedom to personalize whenever possible is something that employees crave. This could relate to aspects such as noise levels, overhead and desk lighting, plus the workspace temperature. While pitching for wellness programmes, their holistic benefits must be highlighted to the employees. This will include the emotional, physical and environmental aspects of wellness.

Source:https://hbr.org/2019/08/survey-what-employees-want-most-from-their-workspaces

Uploaded Date:11 September 2019

Most professionals are under the belief that they are approachable to their employees. A recent survey covering around four- thousand professionals indicated that leaders believe they are rarely, if ever scary to the others. However, their perceptions may be misplaced, as such views are not echoed in similar surveys lower down the organizational hierarchies. Such leaders should thus take steps, and perhaps enlist for some specific management training sessions to work out any hidden flaws. Firstly, managers must get to know the labels that lead to an unintended lack of approachability. There are certain designation tags that naturally come with a fear- inducing paraphernalia. Over the course of trainings, they need to observe their face, and how it contorts or not. One needs to moderate one’s responses according to such observations. Instead of merely asking for feedback, the leader will have to devise a system to elicit the same.

Source:https://hbr.org/2019/07/managers-youre-more-intimidating-than-you-think

Uploaded Date:29 August 2019

The concept of Work From Home (WFH) is increasingly becoming popular in the USA, thanks to the emergence of the ongoing gig economy. A 2017 study published by marketing research giant Gallup confirmed that more than two- fifths of working Americans had spent some time working remotely. WFH is now giving way to Work From Anywhere (WFA).This allows for complete geographic flexibility. Unnecessary costs get reduced, and one can spend time on specific interest areas as well. Employees are even ready to take a pay cut. Talent management personnel now need to draw up WFA policies, so that this sphere of work becomes formalized. This must include proper rules on the use of common tools, data sets and communication portals. The nature of work and level of confidentiality must also be considered, as all positions can’t be opened to the WFH or WFA modes.

Source:https://hbr.org/2019/08/is-it-time-to-let-employees-work-from-anywhere?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=hbr&utm_source=twitter

Uploaded Date:26 August 2019

Some tricky work situations have been chronicled, along with what is the perfect response to each of those. The first such is when someone else takes credit for work one’s own idea. If the business innovation succeeds, best is to inform the other on how well they spotlighted the original thought. Another is when a senior asks the subordinate to stay back in office, especially at a time the latter has to attend a personal obligation. Its best to politely turn down the request, by specifying how there’s another commitment. Yet another such tricky situation could be when a trusted colleague snaps back angrily, at some pivotal moment. One needs to respond firmly, but clearly specify how it was only for this particular instance, and not any overall misgivings. There are times when one clearly needs to say No. A good way to do it, is by mentioning how this was a good launch pad. At times, one also needs to provide direct, even negative feedback. Its best to mention how one has faced it countless times earlier, and feedback always helped himself/ herself. There are times when the decision made has backfired, so needs to be pushed back. The person must clarify how the pushing back is a personal decision. A really tricky situation is when a serious issue needs to be escalated up. The best way to handle this is by mentioning how the response was the reason for this necessary escalation.

Source:https://hbr.org/2017/10/7-tricky-work-situations-and-how-to-respond-to-them?utm_campaign=hbr&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

Uploaded Date:16 August 2019

Building a successful business model based around knowledge of the customers is not something that can be achieved purely through data crunching. Business analytics is a massively useful too, and so is the quantitative market research approach. But ultimately, it is individual experiences that bring out the real analysis of how the business is performing. A framework needs to be developed to place the entire customer experience gamut within a company’s portfolio of activities to be done. The first step in this must be to identify the employees who will act as the sensors to eke out these customer insights. Proper tools and training methods need to be affixed for helping employees engage meaningfully with their customers. A formal customer insight generation process too needs to be put in place. Customer engagement has to be a priority task at all such front facing companies. Swimwear global leader Arena is one such company that has successfully validated this process.

Source:https://hbr.org/2019/06/how-to-keep-employees-connected-to-customers

Uploaded Date:27 June 2019

Some reasons have been found out which impact adversely on the motivational levels of previously productive employees. One such trap is when a mismatch in values. Companies that have the right talent management systems, will ensure that these employees get a connect to their tasks. A lack of self- efficacy is a second such reason. Corporate training sessions should be held to help these employees build more confidence in themselves. Sometimes emotions can play too strong a part, by not allowing them the calmness required to execute a task. Active listening is the best way to help such causes. These employees must get the feeling that they can vent out their thoughts without fear of being reprimanded. And lastly, there may even be attribution errors. This is when employees fail to gauge what went wrong in any assignment, but this thought keeps them ticking over. These situations require a distraction, which can best be brought out by engaging them with the cause of their struggles.

Source:https://hbr.org/2019/03/4-reasons-good-employees-lose-their-motivation

Uploaded Date:26 June 2019

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