Five Strategies to Attract Millennials

Millennials might be the largest generation in the workforce, but their talents aren’t necessarily distributed evenly throughout corporate America.  This uneven distribution has caused some pressure, as companies compete to attract and retain elite talent.  Here are five tips to help organizations keep up with the evolving landscape in the workplace.

  1. Increase workplace balance; Being perceived as an ’employer of choice’ because of work-life balance policies can provide a competitive edge for attracting and retaining talent. Typically, employees are more responsive to business and customer needs. PwC asked its managers how they would help their team members work the hours that suit them, their culture was transformed by a top-down decision paired with a firmwide contest to submit flexibility plans for a busy season.
  2. Offer more training; Many millennial contemplate leaving their jobs.  According to a 2016 Deloitte survey, two-thirds of millennials expect to have left their current employers by 2020.  Of the employees who desire to leave their jobs within the next two years, more than 70% cite a lack of leadership development as the primary reason.. To keep these employees, chief talent officer Mike Preston has created a “development culture.”  According to Preston, millennials are “not afraid to disrupt themselves to get that growth and development” they need for their careers.   Therefore, organizations must create opportunities.
  3. Increase the pace of annual reviews; many look forward to a review once or twice a year.  For example, until this year IBM employees would set goals in January, check in with supervisors midway through the year, and be assigned a performance score and ranking at the end of the year. However,  working with IBM’s Millennial Corps, a community of young employees from around the firm’s global offices, the company rolled out a new system called Checkpoint.  Now, employees set short-term goals that are supported by quarterly check-ins.  Other companies such as General Electric, Accenture, and Adobe are also transfiguring their performance reviews.
  4. Build purpose beyond the bottom-line; Deloitte surveys have found that six out of ten millennials agree that “ a sense of purpose” was a part of the reason they accepted their current job; almost half have declined work on the job that contradicts their values. Millennials thrive in environments in which their work has clear purpose for both the organization and society at large.  Organizations without an fundamentally inspiring mission can give millennials a sense of control and purpose by increasing transparency and clarifying bureaucracy.


  1. Perks matter; Silicon Valley has raised the bar with its nap rooms, free food, and pet-friendly policies.  While desired perks may vary, appealing to millennials requires companies to focus on building a culture of teamwork, and managerial support and appreciation.

Happy Monday,

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Talent Management Process Flow

People are without a doubt the most important resource of an organization.  The process below regulates the entry and exit of the talent process within an organization. To sustain and stay ahead in business, talent management cannot be ignored. Check out the stages below:

  • Sourcing the Talent:  This is the preparatory stage which plays a crucial state in the overall process, it involves targeting the best talent within the industry.
  • Attracting Talent: If your business is going to attract and retain top talent, your organization must offer a combination of benefits and perks that appeals to this new generation.
  • Recruiting Talent:  This is the stage of the process when people are invited to join your organization.
  • Selecting Talent:  Demonstrates the ability to objectively and accurately identify talent with high leadership.  Candidates who qualify this round are invited to join the organization.
  • Training and Development:  After recruiting the best people, they are trained and developed to provide the desired output. Employees should be involved in determining the knowledge, skills and abilities to be learned.
  • Retention:  Retaining employees is the sole purpose of the talent management process.  Retaining a positive and motivated staff is vital to an organization’s success. High employee turnover increases expenses and also has a negative effect on company morale. Implementing an employee retention program is an effective way of making sure key workers remain employed while maintaining job performance and productivity.
  • Promotion:  Job enrichment is an important part of an organization, as most employees desire to grow and increase their job responsibilities, resulting in increased status within the organization.
  • Competency Mapping:  Competency mapping is a way of assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a worker or organization. It’s about identifying a person’s job skills and strengths which allows both the employee and the employer to benefit.
  • Performance Appraisal:  Measuring the actual performance of an employee is necessary to identify his/her true potential allowing managers to evaluate with regards to quality, time, cost and quantity.
  • Succession Planning: Formal succession planning allows an organization’s to examine it’s long range plans and strategies and HR forecasts.  It helps organizations to be well prepared for sudden attrition, and reduces the impact of losing key employees to a great extent.
  • Exit: Exit interviews are often overlooked, but they can be valuable to an organization.  An exit interview can confirm if your company is moving in the right direction and your management is performing favorably, and identify areas that you need to improve.
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Talent Management Challenges

The recent economic downturn has brought about job cuts globally.  Individuals who were most important to organizations were retained, while others were dismissed.  The downturn has also opened the eyes of organizations to newer models of employment, including part-time or temporary workers.  While organizations focus on reducing employee overheads and sacking those who are unessential in the shorter run, it also extents a wave of de-motivation among those who are retained.

Leadership in action means the ability to, extract certainty out of uncertainty, while setting goals and driving change to ensure momentum is not lost.  Identifying people from within the organization who should be invested upon is a critical talent management challenge.  Since organizations are  increasingly putting emphasis on talent management as a means of delivering long term competitive advantage through their people. The following key questions can be used to assess talent management gaps within your organization:

  • What does talent management mean?
  • Why talent management for your organization?
  • What role should Learning and Development play?
  • What role does the talented individual play?
  • How do you encourage broad thinking about development?

Learn the best talent management practices: 1917671

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Leadership Development

The 10 questions listed below are essential in the assessment of leaders.  Although they are not intended to represent the full suite of questions needed to do a thorough evaluation, they can be leveraged in a variety of ways, including within a “360-evaluation” format, by management team survey, or, simply used as an interview script by a hiring manager or hiring team.   The questions can also be used as a rubric, to properly weigh each assessment question and objectively establish leadership scores for each person being assessed.

  1. Do your leaders work to understand their industry and contribute to its evolution through their company’s work?
  2. Do your leaders communicate the firm’s vision and strategies and help their team to better understand how they contribute to the achievement the company’s goals?
  3. Do your leaders demonstrate executive presence and are they comfortable working at all levels of an organization?
  4. Do your leaders demonstrate integrity and build trust throughout the organization?
  5. Are your leaders inspiring followership and building strong teams around them?
  6. Are your leaders “thought leaders’ that can introduce new ways of “thinking” and “doing?”
  7. Do your leaders’ demonstrate effective communication, skilled at both listening and messaging?  .
  8. Do your leaders routinely provide feedback and coaching to their team?
  9. Do your leaders reward outstanding performance and understand how to reward the “right” people?
  10. Can your leaders clarify complex concepts and teach them to their teams?
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Creating a Learning Culture

A learning culture consists of a community of workers trained with a “growth mindset.”  In these environments, people not only want to learn and apply what they have learned to advance their organization, they also have a passion to share their knowledge with others. Edward Hess, a University of Virginia business professor says, to unlock learning, organizations must recognize key constraints that prevent people from reaching their full potential.  What steps can leaders take to create learning cultures, helping individuals reach their full potential?

Learning cultures hire smart.  Hiring managers and recruiters understand how to use structured interviews and behavioral assessments to evaluate candidates.  For example, leaders ask questions which uncover individuals who are intrinsically driven with the capacity to figure out what needs to be done, and finding ways to do it.

Learning cultures teach “how” not “what.” Bridgewater Associates LP, has 15,000 employees.  Once an employee is hired, the company spends 18 months acclimating individuals into the company’s learning culture.  Focusing on “how” allows the company to transform individuals into independent thinkers.

Learning cultures encourage openness and difference.  Learning cultures feature flat hierarchies, which inspire high levels of openness and engagement. Tough questions are welcomed. People think outside the box, and go outside of formal reporting lines to discuss ideas and issues without fear.

Learning cultures support risk-taking.  As long as individuals are taking acceptable risks, learning cultures are supportive, even when individuals fail. These cultures encourage mistakes as long as they support learning and growth, as opposed to making repetitive mistakes.  In other words, it’s impossible to learn without the possibility of failure.

Finally, learning cultures build teams not individual superstars.  A culture that is rich in learning fosters creative tension by giving teams assignments, which require innovation to master new skills. Since people learn more when they are supported by others, these environments reward and recognize teams rather than individual performance.

Learning cultures develop people who learn because they want to, rather than learning because they have to. Click here for more information on creating a learning culture.

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Engaging Employees in the Workplace

Finding and keeping great talent can be challenging. Therefore, organizations must be willing to reinvest in talent, with successful onboarding and training. Despite this knowledge, many organizations are not progressively active in this area. What steps can leaders take to engage employees, increasing retention while helping employees reach their full potential?

Recent polls indicated that only 30% of employees in the United States feel they were engaged with their companies. Today, these numbers have not significantly improved. Although many organizations rely upon the talent of their managers to keep employees engaged, many leaders do not possess manager-level qualities. Therefore, it is critical that organizations have plans in place which focus on developing effective managers who have the skills to keep employees engaged and energized about their future, as well as ensuring the organization has a new generation of managers prepared to lead.

Engaging employees requires creating individual development plans. It is important to sit down with an employee and determine their interest and goals. This will help to identify which activities the individual should be partaking in, since everyone does not share the same perspective. Development plans provide a roadmap for the employee, which includes measurable goals, and a realistic timeframe to achieve them.

Second, engaging employees requires removing organizational barriers. Many organizations are rigid in their structure and processes which can make it difficult to implement cross-functional development and facilitate high performance training. Today’s workers are accustomed to open work environments that allow them to explore. Organizations should remove barriers and watch people flourish.

Third, engaging employees requires outlaying resources. Employees are an investment from which an organization expects a return. Resources such as training, online learning, and coaching are well worth the monetary investment, particularly when they are aligned with the organizations strategic goals, and the individuals development plan.

Finally, engaging employees requires leaders to set the example. An employee will see the value of the development process when they see their current leaders continue to develop personally and professionally. By modeling this behavior, leaders build credibility and trust among their employees, demonstrating to employees that development is a part of the culture.

Engaging tactics should be used within an organization no matter how large or small it may be. Click here for more information on engaging employees in the workplace.

Happy Monday

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Developing Human Capital in the Workplace

Although it is necessary for companies to focus on various aspects of organizational design, people are the only resource within an organization that appreciate over time.  Therefore, the purpose of organizational development is to leverage human capital, creating an organization which engages its intelligence, and motivates employees to exceed a company’s competitors. What steps can leaders take to develop human capital, and increase a company’s bottom-line?  

Senior leaders must see the need to function as a cohesive team.  As executive teams build experience, each member must share the responsibility for building the entire organization as well as managing their specific areas.  In other words, leaders must develop a holistic mindset which requires developing interpersonal skills to help collaborate more effectively.  When leaders understand and practice constructive interpersonal and team principles, it is easier to develop a high performing organization.

Second, leaders must develop communication systems to share information.  One of the keys to motivating employees is to empower individuals, making them “contributing partners” in an organization.  When employees are given strategies, plans and information about the organization in which they work, they become partners in helping to build and improve the organization. Sharing such information is an ongoing process which requires spending time with people, to ensure they have the necessary understanding and training to implement information properly.

Third, leaders must move from controlling, directing, and top-down decision making to encouraging participation, developing people, to allow people at all levels of the organization to take greater responsibility in the company.  Although it can be challenging for leaders to make this shift, it can be accomplished through focused support and training.

Finally, leaders must achieve self-mastery.  Masters are the victors of life who step up to challenges with courage, purpose and wisdom.  Achieving self-mastery means a leader is taking personal responsibility for his/her choices and personal growth, and contributing to the growth of others around them.

Building human capital builds organizational success. Click here for more information on developing human capital in the workplace.

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Tips on Giving Effective Feedback

Part of a leader’s role is providing effective feedback. Although giving feedback can be challenging, ongoing feedback is necessary and important to individuals and teams in the workplace.  What are some tips for providing effective feedback?

  1. Catch people when they are doing the right things. It’s easy to fall into the trap of only giving feedback when people are doing the wrong things.  However, make it a point to acknowledge people when they are doing the right things.  Focusing on the right actions, trains employees to repeat the behaviors you want to see, rather than repeating things you don’t want to see.
  2. Look beyond the surface for opportunities to provide feedback. People will not always ask for what they want.  Many employees desire to have feedback, but may hesitate to ask. Be alert for hidden signals.
  3. Give feedback as early as possible. The sooner you provide feedback, the more effective it will be.  Whether negative or positive, feedback should be given at the earliest opportunity. When feedback isn’t timely, it can be a complete waste of time.
  4. Focus on individual behavior. When providing feedback, pay attention to how employees behave, not the person, or the intent.  Individual behaviors will either increase or decrease productivity.
  5. Check to make sure feedback is understood. Don’t assume employees always understand your feedback.  The most effective way to ensure you have been understood, is to ask the person to repeat what you have said.
  6. Don’t expect employees to read between the lines. Many managers are hesitant to confront employees, or they do not want to take the time to schedule feedback sessions. Consequently, managers may make short comments or bundle feedback in an email, which may not be clear. Vague comments leave room for employee confusion and interpretation.
  7. Be consistent. To be useful, feedback must be consistent. If employees are to adjust their performance successfully, the information given to them must be stable, accurate and trustworthy.
  8. Allow employees the opportunity to share how feedback might be improved.  Be open and ask employees how you might improve feedback provided to them.  When they share, allow them the opportunity to respond authentically, truthfully, and openly.

Effective feedback brings about lasting change…Click here for more information on developing employees in the workplace.

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Characteristics of Great Leaders

A great leader is one that has passion for a cause that is larger than himself.  By seeing what can be and managing the goals of how to get there, what are some of the most common traits of effective leadership?

Great leaders make important but unpopular decisions therefore, effective leadership requires focus.  In essence, great leaders do not spend time majoring in minor things therefore, they are less distracted than the competition. These leaders focus on a few selective things by developing “selective ignorance” not allowing trivial things to drown them out.

Great leaders are honest. Being responsible for a team of people requires that you raise the bar. Since business and employees are a reflection of their leaders, it’s important that honesty and ethical behavior are key values, so your team will follow suit.  Emphasizing higher standards by displaying honesty, results in a healthier environment.

Great leaders delegate appropriately. Creating an effective and efficient organization is important however, leaders who cannot trust their team with their visions may never experience sufficient progress.  As a business grows, delegation is one of the most important tasks a leader can acquire. The more you stretch yourself, the lower your work quality, resulting in lower productivity.

Great leaders communicate effectively.  Knowing what you want to accomplish is one thing however, knowing how to explain it is another.  Oftentimes, what may be perfectly clear in your mind, may not be relayed clearly to other members of your team.  Great leaders are able to clearly and succinctly describe what they want done.  They listen and understand others, making sure their team is on the same page.

Great leaders show commitment to their brand or cause.  Good leaders keep the promises or commitments made to their team.  Staying true to these commitments encourage employees to work hard and fulfill their obligations.  By proving your commitment to your brand and your role, earns the respect of your team, and also instills the same hardworking energy in employees.

Great leaders are creative.  Decisions made by a good leader are not always simple.  Having a creative side can allow exploration into areas that have not been considered, transforming a bad solution into a better option.

Everyone can be a leader, but not everyone is a great leader. Click here for more information on developing leaders in the workplace.

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Talent Management Systems

Many executives are generally focused on basic talent management, including hiring and retaining employee talent.  However, driving optical levels of success requires engaged high performing employees. The key to inciting a high performance workforce is aligning your talent management with the company’s business strategy.  What are some of the benefits of building a strategic talent management system?

Attrition continues to remain a major concern for many organizations, and those that fail to retain top talent are at risk of losing out to their competitors.  Talent management systems help organizations retain top employees by recruiting, developing, retaining and engaging quality employees. Engaging employees in the workforce, creates greater employee ownership.

Talent management systems helps leaders produce better hiring.  The quality of an organization is directly linked to the quality of the employees it possesses.  The best way to build talent is to develop it from the bottom up.  Over time, the investments made in developing talent decisions leads to greater employee loyalty and retention.

Talent Management Systems help leaders better understand employees. Employee assessments can provide deep insight into employees and clarify job roles for individual employees. Once job roles are defined, leaders can identify essential skills to be developed in employees and minimize training costs by focusing on key developmental areas.

Talent Management Systems help leaders improve professional development decisions. Many business leaders have a difficult time deciding if they should invest in training and development for individual growth, succession planning or performance management etc. Talent management systems help organizations identify high potentials. Consequently, it becomes easier to invest in professional development.

Leaders who implement the best talent management processes are better prepared to compete in a global economy, capitalizing on new opportunities. Click here for more information on developing talent management systems in the workplace.

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