Understanding-Gen-Z-Soaring-Eagles

Understanding Gen Z – Who Are They And What Do They Want

The copious amount written on Gen Z is only rivalled by the number of discussions the Millenials have faced! And they aren’t even out of college yet! So, here we are adding our bit – but not with a condescending tone of ‘How to deal with them’ but focusing it on their thoughts and needs to make it more easyfor us oldies to understand them.

What is Generation Z?

Simply put, Generation Z or Gen Z comprises people born after 1997. It is our youngest generation, and the oldest amongst them are just joining the workforce and colleges.

Like every generation, Gen Z too has many characteristics that are uniquely their own. Here’s a look at some of the main features that are associated with them –

Technology defines a lot of what they do

Gen-Zers are the true digital natives. Even the oldest of them have never been without the Internet – and we are not talking about dial-up modems and giant cell phones! This generation has not seen the evolution of mobile or Internet technologies or ever done without them – for them, these technologies are not luxuries they are necessities.

Addicted to Social Media

With technology comes social media, and as comfortable denizens of the virtual world – Gen-Zers are living a vast amount of their lives online. Unlike older generations, they came into social media really early and have used this as a benchmark for relationships and socializing.

Informed on a global scale

Naturally, all this exposure to the Internet and social platforms, ensures extremely wide access to information – not just about what’s happening in their towns or countries, but also on the other sides of the world. 

Highly Independent

Along with access to information comes the ability to form opinions and to voice them. This translates into youngsters that are mature beyond their years and dabble in activities that their older counterparts reached much later in life. This need for independence and autonomy is reflected in the strong entrepreneurial abilities demonstrated by the Gen-Zers.

What matters most to Gen Z?

Deloitte conducted a survey called the Global Millennial Survey 2019, which surveyed 13,416 millennials across 42 countries and territories, and 3,009 members of Gen Z from 10 countries, including India, the US, the UK, China, and Japan. According to the survey the top three priorities or ambitions of Gen-Zers are –

In India, Gen-Zers put earning a high salary as one of their top ambitions with 68% of participants opting for it (globally this falls to 58%).

57% of both age groups surveyed put travel and seeing the world on top when asked about their priorities – in India this percentage was even higher as 60% of the Gen-Zers prioritised traveling.

The priority that came a close third was making a positive impact on society or community, and here again Indian Gen-Zers (with 58% positive reactions) felt more strongly about helping others – globally 47% of Gen Zers prioritised helping their community.

What does Gen-Z want from educational institutions and their workplace?

From Educational Institutions

Born in the age of the matured Internet and digital technology, Gen Z students expect their classrooms to keep up. As a generation that lives with an information overload they want learning to be visual and engaging – textbooks are being shunned in favour of video tutorials, and they are demanding that old educational systems change to keep pace with their technological needs.

Students are also looking for more personalised learning experiences. Online learning has made that possible, and they desire more control over what they learn, how they learn, and when they learn.

They lead busy, multitasking lives and want education to be useful and to the point. With access to information, they are impatient with an education that is slow and narrow in scope and wants teachers who can go beyond the basic and teach life skills and guide them through the confusing array of the information available online.

From Work

Yes, money, security, and stability are essential, but Gen-Zers want more. They are willing to get paid less if the work is more meaningful.  The focus is on changing the world and doing good, and they are most satisfied if they get work that allows them to make an impact.

Gen-Zers are also highly entrepreneurial. They see professional careers becoming less stable and are open to taking risks and following their passions. Job opportunities where they learn and grow are perceived as highly desirable to most students emerging into the workplace.

Most Gen-Zers also value technology and want to work around it. A research conducted by Dell Technologies in 2018 polled 12,000 members of Gen Z from countries including Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, and New Zealand and found that 97% believe technological literacy matters, and 80% want to work with cutting-edge technologies.

Conclusion

Till now, everyone was focused on the millennials, but as they grow older, the attention has shifted to the next generation. Millennials, to some extent, got bogged down with stereotypes – the general feeling was that they had to be ‘handled’ or that they were ‘difficult’ or ‘spoilt.’  This approach wasn’t constructive for anyone – the millennials, the educators, or the companies.

Lets us not go down that road again – we need to move beyond superficial stereotypes to understand that every generation is a product of its circumstances and upbringing, but ultimately what they want is not such different people before them – the opportunity to live a decent life!

leadership-importance

Importance of Leadership in the Workplace

Companies and businesses across the globe are obsessed with leadership! And rightly so – over and over we see organisations soar or fail based solely on the person leading it! Even in large global organisations where thousands of employees work in separate departments with strong department heads – the CEO can be the deciding factor for success.

We know good leadership is key for success, but it still remains so elusive! One of the most common reasons for employees quitting an organisation is to escape a bad manager! Add to this the sad state of leadership development and it seems that good leadership will continue to be hard to come by. Despite increasing amounts of money being spent on leadership development, 71% of the companies don’t think that their leaders can be useful in the future!

And then there are the millennials who are openly questioning the need for leadership altogether! Highly self-regulated and motivated they seem to rebel against the hierarchical leadership structures currently in place.

In this crisis-like scenario, let us relook at the importance of leadership. How does it help in the workplace, and why is it important to keep trying to build good leadership?

Importance of Leadership 

Vision

A single unifying vision is critical to keep everyone heading in one direction. Confusion and chaos are fatal for profitability. While the organisation might be filled with talented people, they can’t all have an equal say in how things must be done. The biggest job of a leader is to take ownership of finding and defining the roadmap for the company.

Direction

Once the vision is fixed and communicated, the next critical step is to give employees an actionable roadmap to get there. This duty also falls to the leader – it is his/her job to make an idea or a dream achievable. 

Motivation and Morale

However, just telling people what they need to do is never enough – they must be encouraged to work hard and take ownership of the idea itself. This is where a good leader truly stands out; he must motivate his employees to work hard and work together to achieve the organisational goals. Conflict management also comes into the picture here, as with a room full of different people a strong voice is needed to keep everyone heading in the same direction.

Values

Values flow top down – to maintain a healthy and positive work environment, a leader must set the right tone. People under him will consciously pick up on his moral and ethical values, and with time, this becomes the value system of the entire organisation. A case in point is Uber – the negative public perception of the company was compounded by the personal reputation of its then CEO, Travis Kalanick, and he was ultimately removed from his position to stem the negative backlash the brand was facing.

The reality is that humans can’t work together without conflict – differing mindsets, personalities, and opinions are bound to clash. Regardless of how talented and capable people are, they do need one person to stem the chaos, give clarity, and make everyone work together – and that person is usually the CEO of the company.

How is your leadership pipeline looking? Do you have a clear strategy for identifying and nurturing the next generation of leaders for your company? If not, then you need to start now!

For more information, click the Request Consultation button above.

team-leader

6 Qualities of a Successful Team Leader

For most professionals in the corporate world, leading a team is their first brush with leadership. But the excitement of promotion usually comes tinged with caution – after all, managing a bunch of people is a daunting task.

Suddenly one remembers the things they disliked most about their various seniors or bosses and mentally vowed not to do the same. However, being nice while getting work out of your juniors requires a delicate balance and some specific skills. So, if you are wondering what you need to do to become an effective team leader, then we have some foundational qualities that can make your leadership stint smoother and more successful –

1. Communication is key

You need to seriously up your communication abilities. This involves not just basics like explaining yourself clearly and being respectful, but also listening actively to your team members and treating them with empathy.

Effective communication allows you to set clear expectations, delegate work without confusion, and also process feedback from your team members. The main job of a leader is to make sure everyone in the team works together to achieve the goal of the team. Making sure you are perceived as being approachable will ensure your team members come to you when they are unhappy, this will help you diffuse potentially explosive situations on time.

2. Being fair and benevolent

You need to be consistent in how you deal with the team. There can be no hint of favouritism or changing values. instead of leaving details vague, it’s important to set expectations and limits right in the beginning. This could be something as small as the timings of the work, expectations with leaves and overtime or even email etiquette, but ensuring everyone’s on the same page keeps things ticking along smoothly. 

3. Leading by example

Inculcating a sense of respect in your team members is critical to succeeding as a leader, and one way to do this is to lead by example. Get your hands dirty, show your commitment, become a role model – this is a foolproof way to make sure you are considered an active and strong leader.

4. Project confidence

People need direction, and the main task of a team leader is to provide it. As a leader, you should know the larger organisational goals as well as your team goals, and you should be able to confidently convey a roadmap for achieving these. You should project self-assurance and also be confident of your team’s abilities.

5. Learn to delegate

One of the most difficult things for most new leaders is to delegate. It often takes time and several tough situations for first-time leaders to start delegating responsibilities properly. It is not possible for one person to do a team’s job, hence work must be divided effectively; fair and logical delegation also makes the team members feel more involved in their team’s success.

6. Evolved administrative skills

When things become complex, and you have to manage not just your own time and workload but also keep track of what others in your team doing, you can’t afford to be disorganised. With so many balls in the air, strong organisational skills are something definitely worth learning.

Leadership is not rocket science, but it does need a combination of several skills and qualities that must be learnt and polished. Experience is, naturally, a great teacher. However, these days, it is not necessary to learn on the job by making costly mistakes. With a structured course, a young leader can get a deeper understanding of how to meet his new challenges and enter the job fully prepared.

We help leaders become more effective and influential. With enhanced abilities, you can approach new challenges and work environments fitted with the right knowledge. For more details, click on the Request Consultation button above.

women-leader

The One Thing Women Need to Break Glass Ceilings at Work – A Personal Brand

For a woman to be successful at work, she needs the right combination of luck, grit, and intelligence to make it to the top.

You need to be born in a family that provided good educational opportunities, you have to battle numerous social and familial expectations and objections to continue working, you must excel at your work AND manage male-dominated office politics – and all this is just enough to get you to middle management.

The last decade has seen so much corporate commitment to diversity; more and more women are being given a chance to climb higher. But still so many great women leaders just never make it to the top!

Why?

One of the reasons is that they don’t have the social skills to play in the big boy’s club. It’s no secret that beyond a certain level, promotions don’t happen based on CVs. Rapport, networking, and reputation play a pivotal role in opening exciting new doors.

Personal Branding Is The Way Ahead

So much has been discussed about building a personal brand, that I doubt there is anyone in the corporate world who doesn’t understand and acknowledge its importance.

But what does it entail exactly? And why do women need it to break the glass ceiling?

Simply put, marketing yourself and your career as a brand is personal branding. It’s promoting yourself and establishing a certain reputation for yourself.

But building a brand is a delicate and long process. Unlike big organisations, you can’t just hire a PR agency to do it for you. While there are professionals who can help you acquire the right skills to take on your self-branding exercise, the actual work has to be done by you yourself.

Let’s look at some essentials you need to keep in mind.

1. Craft your elevator pitch

When you think of a well-known brand, there is always a tagline attached to it. You have to find yours. Well, it doesn’t have to be a tagline, rather a story that you want people around you to associate with you. This is the essence of who you are, and you need to put careful thought into coming up with the right perspective.

We recommend you write down a short paragraph about who you are and how you would like to be introduced. This should not be more than 100 words and must include your professional experiences and personal ideology.

2. Evolve your own style

In this context, style doesn’t just refer to what you wear and your appearance. Here we are talking about an overall impression you would want to create which interacting with people.

For example, do you want to come across as thoughtful and academic or are you more comfortable with displaying an aggressive leadership style? Your appearance and how you conduct yourself is a huge part of how you communicate with others around you, however going against your true nature won’t really work in the long run as you might come across as inauthentic.

We recommend you aim for cultivating a style that comes naturally; after all, you cannot pretend to be something you are not for the next couple of decades. 

3. Network diligently

You need to start making connections and communicating with people both inside and outside your organisation. You should also spread yourself to other areas, don’t just meet and cultivate new relationship within your specific department but also explore meeting new people through your hobbies or at non-work events. The idea is to become a part of large communities that can help you in times of need and also promote you and your brand.

Speaking at conferences and participating in events are two great ways to network effectively.

4. Leverage Social media smartly

Social media has now become a huge part of our personal and professional lives. For working women trying to establish their personal brand platforms such as LinkedIn provide an excellent opportunity to showcase their talents to exactly the right type of people. Here you can control your narrative and gently push the right messaging through your posts and writings.

Apart from posting on the platform, conducting webinars, online workshops and collaborations with other leaders in your industry are some ways to grow your social credentials.

Finally,

Many of us feel that self-promotion is a bit fake, some of us are just too shy, and some just don’t know where to start. But, the reality is that you might be great at work and be extremely talented but if no one except your boss and colleagues knows this, then you will always be limited to that circle.

To really break into the big league, you need to create a reputation and the right perception. So that when management is discussing promotions, your name shines through.

If you are one the many who don’t know how to start building your personal brand, then we strongly recommend you give us a call. We are happy to help!

Request for a free consultation by clicking the button above.

5-Key-Aspects-of-Training-for-it-to-be-Effective-in-the-Modern-Workplace

5 Key Aspects of Training for it to be Effective in the Modern Workplace

ACs and fans whirring in a calm office, people hunched over their computers and working on their own or attending meetings – Some of us older lot might remember what work used to be like before mobile phones and Internet took over. It seemed everything still got done without the rush and chaos that seemed to be the hallmark of modern offices. It was an era of reasonable deadlines!

But times have changed, the digital age has made everything faster – you get information faster, you can get things done more quickly, but you also have to produce results more speedily! Naturally, this next-gen workplace also needs different skills. Is HR managing to cope? Well, they certainly understand the changing scenarios and are tweaking training programmes to serve the employees better. However, L&D needs to transform more quickly and completely – there seems to be a tendency to use a band-aid approach to training; keeping old methods and content and adding new patchy updates. What is needed is a complete revamp of how we approach L&D altogether.

5 Key Aspects of Training

#1. Collaborative

The traditional classroom learning is on its way out even in schools, so it’s high time we stopped using it for adults at work!

We need to ensure training is developed in collaboration with the employees, manager and the HR team; learning can no longer be a one-way process where one department decides what to teach and the learners passively take in what’s presented to them.

It’s time employees were put in charge of their own learning requirements. Making the training process collaborative not only empowers the learner to choose what he/she wants to learn but also puts the onus of learning on to the employee.

#2. Digital

There is no doubt that digital technology will need to be incorporated in a significant manner in L&D. This can be done in two different layers – firstly, as a medium of learning such as using mobile learning to deliver training on the go. And secondly as content such as reskilling or upskilling employees to become comfortable with new digital trends and tools like mining Big Data or handling AI based modules or learning new automation driven skills.

#3. Teaching soft skills

While many younger employees come with updated technical skills, they often require some handholding in other areas such as interpersonal or communication skills. For older employees, there is an urgent requirement to help them develop a resilient mindset. The quicker pace of work along with the long-ranging effects of digital transformation has proved to be exceedingly hard for many people to manage. It’s crucial to incorporate these indirect and non-technical needs of employees into the L&D programmes as well.

#4. Hyper-personalisation

The age of the one-size-fits-all approach has now truly ended. As business models and customer service models become personalised, it is being recognised that the workforce also needs personalised attention.

To make sure people remain productive in this fast-paced modern workplace, it is crucial to ensure each person has his/her exact requirement mapped and fulfilled. Training now must be tailored to individual needs, and huge generic workshops for the whole office are out of the door!

#5. Learning mindset

Lastly, L&D is now moving towards the long-term goal of creating a new mindset – one of continuous learning. Till now there was a definitive end to education; we finished college, and it was assumed that we have all the skills that we need to manage the next 20 years of work (sure there was training etc. in the middle but nothing too disruptive). Now, as the world changes quickly around us we can no longer afford to sit back with our initial educational qualifications, we need to constantly update and stay ahead of the curve.

A training programme that helps people understand and leverage this new normal is going to be useful in the long run!

That L&D is playing catch up to the modern workplace is not news to HR teams. Industry 4.0 and digital transformation has thrown up new challenges for HR as well. What’s encouraging is that most HR teams understand the new landscape and are looking for answers. Whether they succeed will depend entirely on how much time, effort and money they and their organisations are willing to spend in finding new solutions.

If you are wondering how to upgrade your training programmes, then do give us a call. At SoaringEagles we have been working for years with hundreds of clients which give us unique insights of what your employees need and what works best. 

Talk to us!

leadership-competencies

7 MUST-HAVE Leadership Competencies

Wondering what you need to succeed as a leader? Here are some MUST-HAVE leadership competencies you need to know about.

Everyone in middle or senior management rungs of their corporate career think a LOT about how to be a good and effective leader! As you rise higher you WILL have individuals and teams reporting to you and managing them will be the MOST important part of your job!

So, no wonder leadership dilemmas keep many awake at night! How do you know if you are a good leader? What makes a good leader and what do you need to do to become one?

So, let’s start at the beginning with a list of some leadership competencies that most agree are absolutely critical for a leader.

1. Long-term Vision and the ability to reach these goals

These are two competencies rolled into one! A leader must be able to see the big picture and plan for it. It’s almost like a game of chess. You have to predict at least 7 moves ahead to cover all contingencies and get to your final goal!

But that’s not enough – all this strategy has to be executed as well. So, a good leader should also know how to get his/her hands dirty. They need to ensure that an actionable plan is created and people are put in place to carry out the whole thing. AND they need to able to step in when things go south.

2. Trustworthy, fair and consistent

The biggest job of a leader is to create an environment where his/her team feels safe and well cared for. When you, as the boss, ensure that everyone follows the same rules, you instil a sense of fairness. An employee knows what to expect, and this gives them the stability to relax and focus on performing well rather than cover their backside.

3. Delegate with confidence

With seniority, workload increases and becomes more complex, and at this point, it becomes obvious that the most successful leaders are the ones who can empower others around them to do their work. Delegation can be difficult for managers stepping into new leadership roles  – but finding the right person and then giving them the freedom and the power to do their work is one the key competencies of a leader.

4. Courage

Leaders are role models and its vital that their team sees them sticking up for what’s right! To succeed as a leader, you cannot be someone who doesn’t stand up for what you believe in. Not standing by your principals, is a sure-fire way of losing the respect of your team.

5. Promote growth

A confident leader nurtures his/her team. They have a growth mindset which allows team members to develop both personally and professionally. Listening to what they say, letting them take ownership of projects and providing them with valuable L&D training opportunities are some of the things a leader should promote.

6. Self-Awareness

A leader may not have all the answers all the time, and yet they are expected to lead others towards the corporate goals. This requires being able to understand themselves better and manage their own emotions. Understanding what drives them, how they react in various situations and how to keep themselves motivated in all situations are some of the key things leaders need to know about themselves. Unless they are able to do this with themselves, how can they be expected to manage others?

7. Influencing Skills

At its core, leadership is about influencing others, so a good leader needs to be a master of social influence. Especially in this age, throwing your weight around or being bossy will not get you the desired results. Seeing things from another’s perspective can help you understand what they want and allows you to focus on win-win situations and present your points in a way that it is well accepted.

Naturally, there are many more qualities that a leader needs to have – highly developed social skills is one – but the ones listed above are some of the most essential. As you can see, they are connected to developing a mindset, not a skill so, if you are wondering if these competencies can be developed then yes it’s possible.

Coaching and training are ways to ensure that individuals become successful leaders. The most successful training interventions are the ones that give the manager/leader actual opportunities to implement what they have learned and to get regular feedback on how they are doing.

A failure to invest in this training and development means that most companies will struggle with leadership issues, as they continue to place unprepared managers into leadership roles.

Interested? Want to know more? Click on the Request Consultation button above.

leadership-training-1

How To Choose A Leadership Development Programme

Congratulations! You are off to a great start. The first and the biggest step towards improving your team’s performance is to recognize that it needs help. So, if you are already thinking of offering a leadership training programme to some of your employees, then you are in a good spot – you have promising employees who might benefit from a leadership programme, AND you are willing to help them.

The next step is equally crucial – selecting a leadership programme that works for you and your employees. There is no one-size-fits-all PERFECT training session for leadership; this training is personal and must factor in the unique needs of your organization and your team.

Here are a few pointers to help you find the right programme –

1. Map your Goals

It is vital to have complete clarity regarding who, why and what of your leadership training –

  • who are the people participating
  • what skills do they need
  • what do you hope the organization and the participants will gain from the training
  • why do you feel the need to organize this training for your organization

You also need to know how you will assess the programme and most importantly how you will keep the momentum going after the programme is over!

Clarity on these points will help you while shortlisting a programme and a trainer.

2. Due Diligence of the Facilitator or the Executive Coach

In a leadership programme, everything rests on the shoulders of the facilitator/coach leading the sessions. You will naturally meet with several before finalizing your pick. It’s important to check the references of the people involved in the training.

You need to check –

  • The facilitator’s / coach’s understanding of your unique requirements
  • Their prior experience of conducting similar sessions
  • References provided
  • Online presence, blogs or reviews
  • Their educational qualifications, certifications, etc.

The most important thing is to interact with the facilitator/coach and assess how they would approach the leadership programme and how they would make the learning stick.

Be careful not to get swayed by just someone’s big name – they may be great at marketing themselves but may not be great facilitators. After all, you want results – not a one-off motivational talk by someone high profile.

3. Trust and Rapport

Take the time to get to know the facilitator or the coach; you need to discuss your expectations in detail and understand how they plan to personalize and approach your specific requirements.

During your conversations, you will also build a rapport with the coach, and this is a crucial deciding factor – a facilitator-led training rests largely on the likability and social skills of the person conducting these sessions.

4. Session details

A good way to judge whether a particular programme will work for your team or not is to study the details of the various modules. It pays to get an understanding of how the sessions plan to tackle your goals.

5. Follow through

One of the biggest limitations of a leadership programme is that people tend to lose steam once the programme is over. Most participants come away enthused and full of energy to implement the learnings of the training but most never get around to doing it. A programme that leaves participants with a roadmap for implementing new skills and has a follow-up plan to keep them motivated in the long run is definitely worth considering.

Building and maintaining a leadership pipeline is absolutely vital for the continued growth of any business – it makes complete business sense to invest in future leaders. But you have to do it wisely – the goals of your organization has to align with the personal needs of the participants. Ultimately you need a programme that doesn’t just inspire but also imparts critical skills that leaders need!

Don’t guess your way to a leadership training program; it’s just too important for that! Bring in the experts to get your team the best. Request a free consultation by clicking the button above.

resilience

Why do organizations need to invest in making their employees emotionally resilient

Bouncing back from bad times is one of the most underestimated emotional qualities, especially in the workplace. We invariably associate it with trauma or illness or adversity, but the truth is that the stresses of daily life can sometimes wear down a person as well.

When you look around the office, you will clearly see two types of people –

  • ones who shrug off work stress easily and move on to the next task and
  • ones who are constantly stressed and flustered.

The difference between the two is their emotional resilience!

While research says that our genes as well as our life experiences (particularly social bonds) play a role in making us more or less resilient, we can top up our resilience later in life too.

This is what the Centre for Confidence and Well-Being, laid out in their report way back in 2006, “The good news is that although some people seem to be born with more resilience than others, those whose resilience is lower can learn how to boost their ability to cope, thrive and flourish when the going gets tough.”

Now if you are a manager you might be wondering, “sure I would like a more dependable and calmer team, but is it worth investing in? This is a personal matter not professional; is it something I need to care about?”

THE ANSWER IS A RESOUNDING YES! Let us tell you why.

We all agree that an employee’s state of mind has a direct correlation to his/her productivity and creativity. A happy person will approach work in a relaxed frame of mind, will do a better job and create a positive work environment for the rest of the team and colleagues.

But the modern workplace can throw up several challenging situations for all of us, and we are not just talking about deadlines and less-than-sympathetic bosses here. Some of these everyday situations, like –

Negative work culture; sometimes an unsympathetic boss,

Continuously heavy workloads and tight deadlines,

Lack of job security – layoffs and cost cutting,

Discrimination and more.

These can become major bottlenecks for employees if they are not emotionally resilient by nature. Here it makes sense for the organization to offer additional support to ensure that people at work can deal effectively with stressful situations.

There is no way to judge/ measure emotional resilience during the recruitment process, after all, you hire candidates according to their expertise. So, what happens if some of your most valuable team members can’t manage the stress?

Investing in their emotional well-being ensures that they are productive – it’s great for business to be able to bank on a dependable workforce. Especially in the current economic climate – digitization has quickened the pace of everything – newer technologies pop up every couple of years, everyone is talking of disruption, no one knows which small startup will be the next Uber or Netflix of their industry and every other article talks of job cuts and reskilling.

Chaos and speed are the new normal, and you need to ensure that your workforce has the mental agility and adaptability to handle this lifestyle.

If you want to take immediate steps to help your employees, then we would recommend resilience coaching with experts.

Emotional resilience and mental agility can be inculcated through a whole range of activities. These need to be deeply researched and customized to your needs.

An experienced team, working in partnership with your HR managers, would be able to deliver real change. If you want to know more about our resilience coaching do get in touch by clicking the Request Consultation button above.

leadership-development

A Look At Some New Trends In Leadership Development

Never before has the corporate world been more receptive and interested in Leadership Development – in fact, this enhanced interest mirrors (and is largely due to) the increasing difficulty companies have in filling leadership roles.

As baby boomers retire and millennials take over, the long-haul mindset has taken a back seat – according to Brandon Hall by 2020, 48% of the US workforce will be made up of millennials and 91% of these plan to stay at their current job less than 3 years! The story is no different in India.

Succession planning is becoming more and more complicated as you not only have to find someone capable but also ensure they stick around long enough to lead!

This massive cultural change is reflected beyond just retention rates – with digital technology the workplace has become flatter and more collaborative – the old ways of siloed working are over! But digital transformation has also made the workplace more hectic and fast-paced – as things change quickly, employees are expected to react faster and think on their feet independently.

These scenarios have thrown up new and different challenges for the leadership.

We look at some new trends in Leadership Development that have kept abreast of these fresh challenges:

1. Flatter organisations require leaders who empower rather than control

Across industries, digital technologies and accelerating globalisation is pushing companies to reorganise themselves into flatter structures where decision making is more decentralised and flexible.

Leaders with ironclad control of their departments are being replaced with smaller, agile teams. In this scenario, it is important to develop a leadership style that inspires and motivates employees to take charge.

The new leaders are not required to do it all; rather they must help and encourage their employees to do it on their own. Leadership programmes are also now moving their focus to make leaders more comfortable with change and with working with decentralised teams.

2. Push for empathetic and engaging leadership styles

As millennials rise beyond entry-level positions, the need for a more value-driven leadership style to keep them engaged is felt across organisations.

The new generation values innovation and their individual growth and to keep them motivated and connected with the organisation’s values. There is a real need to create environments that encourage their personal growth and for team leaders to genuinely listen and relate to their employees.

Gone are the days of passing out commands and expecting people to follow blindly. Leadership development programmes are now increasingly offering conflict management and leadership empathy exercises to help leaders keep their teams happy and productive.

The focus has shifted from being a leader who is an expert to a leader who gathers experts and motivates them to deliver their best.

3. Providing flexible and easy-to-access learning for leaders

Leadership development sessions have been traditionally classroom based. As technology settles even more deeply in our daily lives, the new crop of millennial leaders is looking for more!

A blended approach to learning is now being explored for leadership sessions as well -making sure that there is flexibility in terms of locations and time which can make it easier for participants across geographies and time zones to get the full benefit of the training.

Going ahead L&D, on the whole, is moving towards experiential learning where self-directed learning resources give some of the responsibility of pulling the benefits of the training to the participants themselves.

Conclusion

According to a study by Deloitte, 56% of organizations are not ready to meet their leadership needs, and only 7% of the companies surveyed have accelerated leadership programs for millennials.

Seeing how millennials will take the reins in a decade, there is an urgent need to ensure that leadership development is offered at all levels of the organisations AND that this training caters to the upcoming challenges the next generation of leaders will face.

Is your organisation looking to engage millennial employees more effectively? If yes, then let us tell you that the first step is to ensure that your leadership understands what motivates them and knows how to engage them.

To know more click on the Request Consultation button above.

women-returnees

Hiring & Retaining Women Returnees is not a corporate favor. They are good for your company!

Reema, a senior banking executive with 14 years of work experience, took 3 years off to take care of her son. Trying to return to work was stressful, to say the least!

“I bought into the rhetoric about diversity and helping working mothers! There is so much hype in the online media and the companies all say the right things, but on the ground, I had to endure some very personal comments from HR. I was a bit taken aback and then realised that the attitude that women returnees can be paid less and that they should be glad of whatever profile they get, is widespread.

“Personally, I also realised that my options are seriously limited and that I need to tone down my expectations – at least for the first year. Which is OK, I was expecting that; what’s not OK is the attitude.”

Reema’s experience was not exceptional.

While at senior policy level there is an evolved awareness of the benefits skilled women workforce bring to the table, and the need to create a supportive work culture for returnees, the finer nuances and details of the policies have yet to trickle down to the rest of the organisation.

Why does it make sense for companies to retain women employees?

Diversity promotes success!

A wide-ranging survey of publicly traded companies across 91 countries reported that “the presence of more female leaders in top positions of corporate management correlates with increased profitability of these companies.”

A women-inclusive board brings balance to company decisions as a diverse set of opinions lead to more innovative and effective problem-solving. Women have also proved to be better collaborators and mentors.

Stephen Mayne, a director of the Australian Shareholders Association, has spoken about leveraging women’s sensible and grounded approach in business as a way to improve corporate governance.

“Shareholders lose money in over-priced takeovers, and it’s often the aggressive men [on the board] who want to dominate their opponent, and who are prepared to take bigger risks.”

According to him, men are driven by their egos in the middle of a corporate raid, while women think more strategically and objectively.

For companies to unlock these women-centric benefits at the top, they have to make sure women remain at work at all levels of the organisation. Because the only way you will have women leaders is by creating an environment that nurtures them throughout their careers.

What are the biggest hurdles women face?

The latest report highlighting India’s poor record of female participation in the workforce – we are ranked 121 out of 131 countries by the International Labour Organisation – has set ablaze many online social forums.

While there is a wide range of complex motives that are at play around the country, no one can deny the biggest reason for women dropping out of the workforce has always been motherhood and marital pressures – whether she is in a village or in a corporate boardroom.

For women coming back to work after a few years, adding company policies such as flexible time management and on-site child care facilities are just the first step.

What is needed is long-term, organisation-wide strategy to uncover talent and make the workplace attractive to women returnees.

What can organisations do to make women happy employees?

Developing effective strategies for attracting women returning to the workforce begins with understanding what motivates them to return, what women look for in a job and what they want from an employer after a career break.

With only around 24% of women returning to the same employer after a career break, employers that understand what women in this situation are looking for are positioned to attract the best talent.

Changing Mindsets

The unspoken and passive bias against women – especially mothers – must be the first cultural shift that needs to be tackled.

Women across the world undertake more than their fair share of caregiving and child-rearing responsibilities. And unfortunately, somewhere along the way, it has become the norm for bosses to question a woman’s dedication to the job.

Changing this mindset will take generations, but maybe corporate India can become the flagbearer of this cultural change. One small way to aid this transition would be to ensure that fathers get some time off too.

Adding Equal Opportunities and Equal Pay Policies

Majority of women returning after a break, face decreased opportunity. A few years of a gap on their resume usually amounts to playing catch-up for years just to get to a position where the career break stops mattering.

An open-minded and transparent hiring policy would go a long way in ensuring that women are judged purely on their expertise and experience. There is also a need to ensure that fair salary structures are put into place that doesn’t end up indirectly penalising women returnees or taking advantage of their desire to restart their careers.

A transparent appraisal system that equates both male and female employees on common goals and KPIs is also needed to create an organisation that is perceived as fair to women.

Flexible and Family-centric policies

A company with family-friendly policies is not just great for women but for all employees. Flexible work schedules, office crèche facilities, and maternity, as well as paternity leave, can go a long way in making the organisation an attractive place for all.

Conclusion

Corporates are taking the right path – from the generous maternity leave, and baby bonding bucks at Google to Accenture’s recognition of the needs of breastfeeding mothers to Mondelez’s women-only mentoring programmes – the biggest organisations across the globe have taken the lead. Our hope is that this trickles down and pushes corporate India to walk the talk on women’s issues as well.

There is no doubt that women returning from a career break remain ambitious and committed to developing their career; managers just need to see this potential and develop it for the long-term benefit of the organisation.

If your organisation is trying to improve its diversity ratio, then we can certainly help.

As a women-led team with hands-on experience working with returnees, we know what you need to do to motivate and attract the right talent for your company from this vast pool of skilled women. Click on the Request Consultation button above.