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Articles | 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.

Resources
Articles | Leadership

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.

Resources
Articles | Time Management

Missing your deadlines lately? Here are some Actionable Productivity Hacks

The deadline lifestyle has become the new normal.

Whether you are self-employed or working with an organization, I am sure, over the last decade, you have noticed an increase in last-minute stress and general running around.

Are we trying to do too much in limited time spans or are we too distracted to focus and get work done? Or is this the modern style of work that’s customary in offices nowadays?

We will go out on a limb and say – a bit of both!

20 years ago, before mobile technology and the Internet, expectations from an employee were different. No one expected you to check mail once you left office and solving a problem took time that was adequately factored in.

Now, not only are we expected to be quicker and more knowledgeable, but also always available! While on one hand, timelines have become tighter; on the other, distractions are making them harder to achieve.

So, if you are a chronic deadline chaser and if you can’t remember the last time you finished everything well before time, then we have set of productivity tips that you need to try out TODAY!

#1. Set Realistic Goals and Learn to Say NO

Before we get started with the task of meeting deadline we need to ensure that these deadlines are realistic. Often, we find it hard to pull back from timelines that are tough to deliver; assignments are thrust on us and right from the first meeting we know it’s going to be difficult to deliver a good result (if at all) within the given deadline.

It’s up to you to take on what you can manage and firmly say no to impractical timelines; it is more sensible to speak up and request extra time or resources at the start rather than failing to meet a deadline at the end.

#2. Make a List

Once the task and the timeline are decided, the first thing to do is make a LIST!

We are not talking about just a basic list but a detailed one with a complete breakdown of all the various steps needed to complete the assignment - time needed for each part, the order in which you need to accomplish each mini task, additional resources or people who will be helping you and what they will be doing and any other details that could be useful.

This list is your roadmap to getting everything done. Done forget to add buffer time in it!

#3. Get resources together

Get everything you need together in one place – people, research and information. Start the ball rolling by sending out all the emails allocating work, requesting for help and communicating your plan and timelines to the people involved.

#4. Focus

Roll up your sleeves and create quality work time so that you can focus on the job at hand. Block large chunks of your calendar, keep meetings to the minimum or allocate certain times of the day for them, block your time-sucking apps and mute your notifications.

Basically, create long periods of distraction-free work time to ensure high productivity!

#5. Get the biggest stuff done first

Tackle the most complicated and the largest part of your work first.

We tend to focus on cutting down the to-do list by doing the smaller tasks, but that will just create more stress at the end. It might not feel as good, but believe us putting the most difficult bit behind you will ultimately pay off!

#6. Keep a Buffer

Always keep some buffer time when you plan.

This is the cut off time for you and your team, so that you have enough time to review and fix problems. Your time cushion also gives you some extra time you can use for putting some last minute finishing touches.

But most importantly, this is when you will be able to evaluate whether you will be able to make the deadline or miss it.

#7. Damage Control

Sometimes despite all the hard work and effort, deadlines are missed. It is important to ensure that you keep your boss, or the client informed of any delays and problems as they take place.

Also, it is much better to call in advance to inform people that you will miss the deadline rather than have them chase you. Be sure to have a second timeline thought out that you can offer straight away – one that is realistic!

Conclusion

In our modern, semi-digital lives, no one is willing to wait – from instant noodles to instant gratification – we want things done now!

You can’t single-handedly change the work culture to make it more relaxed – gone are the days of taking your time to get things done. So, its best to stay ahead of the curve by managing your time and keeping your productivity high.

If you are struggling to manage your time and need to bring your A-game to your new job/position, then don’t try to wing it. Bring in the professional before things get out of hand!

To know more click on the Request Consultation button above.

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Articles | Insight

How Soft Skills Help at Work

15 years ago, all my friends and most of my relatives called me on my birthday; now the love comes digitally via Facebook or WhatsApp. The Internet and mobile technology have changed how humans interact forever! Chats, emojis, and texts now form a bulk of our daily engagement.

However, even in this digital age, social or soft skills are key to doing well professionally and personally - millennials might not agree but trust us its true. Sending emails just cannot replace face-to-face interactions.

In fact, with so much digital technology, artificial intelligence and automation entering the workforce, soft skills have acquired new importance as a crucial differentiator at work. According to a study by Accenture, 95% of people believe they need new skills to stay relevant, and some of the new skills employees are investing in learning are soft skills such as adaptability and decision-making.

Let us illustrate the importance of social skills with some common work situations.

Situation 1: Managing large teams and delivering on tight deadlines

I am sure all of us have been at the receiving end of a seemingly impossible deadline, but somehow (through a series of mini meltdowns) pulled it off!

This is mostly made possible by the boss; someone who can take decisive and quick decisions, keep everyone motivated and positive and has the ability to think outside the box – these are soft skills that come with time and experience, but without which large teams would cease to function altogether.

Situation 2: Winning big deals

Three competing proposals are on the table; all have great deals and the names of reputable organisations on them. In this scenario, the person choosing the winning proposal is almost always influenced by the person presenting.

Great communication skills backed by confidence and a touch of personal rapport is what will win you the deal. People are willing to live with a bit less in order to work with someone they trust; you just have to develop a relationship that inspires them to take a chance on you.

Situation 3: Leading a Company/Department

A lot has been said about developing leadership skills. But what exactly are they? Empathy, communication, creativity, positivity, and ethics are just some of the basic soft skills leaders possess and practice to get to the top and stay there.

Just think of your favourite boss; what did you like about him/her? I am sure it wasn’t his/her engineering skills or presentation making skills! Employees follow leaders who invest in understanding them and ensuring their growth.

Situation 4: Conflict Management

If you put three people in a room, then over time there is bound to be some clashes! In fact, for most team leaders getting diverse people and attitudes to work together is the biggest challenge at work.

You can’t take sides, and you can’t leave conflicts unresolved; what’s needed is the empathetic, fair and transparent handling of people and egos.

Situation 5: Personal Growth

Careers are lifelong undertakings; you need to ensure that you are not just marking time and passing years stuck in a rut. Continuous professional progress comes with a mindset that is growth oriented.

So you had a bad appraisal, took years out to take care of your kids or lost money on a bad investment – a growth mindset will ensure you get up, dust yourself and fix what’s wrong. You don’t stay down when you hit a roadblock; you find a way out to carry on walking down your path.

Conclusion

Your hard skills will land you a job, but your soft skills will turn it into your dream job! There is no doubt that soft skills are the secret sauce of any successful career.

So, are you wondering if you have the required social skills to progress at work? Here is a list of essential soft skills you need to develop and polish to grow at work -

  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Problem-solving
  • Adaptability
  • Positive attitude
  • Openness to critical feedback
  • Working under pressure
  • Team player attitude
  • Empathy and active listening

The questions we hear most often - Can soft skills really be learnt? I am not a people person, is there hope for me?

The answer is YES!

We all have our own unique mindsets and personalities, but underneath it all, we have the foundation of similar human feelings. At SoaringEagles, we believe that the first step to developing great soft skills is to be completely self-aware.

Want to know more - click on the Request Consultation button above.

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Articles | Entrepreneurship

Leading Women: Stories of Entrepreneurship

Your maternity leave is coming to an end, and you are frantically looking for a daycare centre that’s convenient, safe and trustworthy. What seemed like a simple enough task (after all you see daycare facilities dotting the roads all around town), appears impossible now that the well-being of your child is at stake.

Divya & Ketika of Proeves - SoaringEagles

Divya and Ketika saw this as a potential area where new parents needed help. But where others see problems, they sensed an opportunity and turned it into a successful business. ProEves, an online portal that aggregates, verifies and engages with preschools and daycare centres across India, services parents and corporates to finalise a childcare centre that meets their requirements.

We spoke to Divya Agarwal, a driven first-time businesswoman, and mommy of two, about her entrepreneurial journey.

Q: You and Ketika started ProEves just a couple of years ago, and it's already growing at a spanking pace! Give us a quick glimpse into how it started and the early days.

Divya: So, I was a corporate workhorse (Ketika is also a workaholic par excellence!), but with motherhood, some priorities shift. I loved my work in HUL – the team and the work environment were fantastic, but I was itching to do something of my own. Naturally, both of us had discussed this idea of connecting parents to good daycares.

During my maternity leave (with my second child) I felt its now or never! So, in 2016, Ketika and I bootstrapped our company and started our business with our little kids sleeping beside our desks!

Q: Tell us a bit more about ProEves. What services do you provide exactly?

Divya: A lot of parents don’t know what to ask or check when they go scouting for daycare facilities for their kids. I mean we check reviews of restaurants before we go out for a meal, so how can we rely on word of mouth for our kids! Basic questions about staff and first aid kits etc. are never touched upon. There are no legal requirements and licenses for day-cares in India, the industry is not transparent, and it does not provide flexible options to parents.

So we come into the picture as a daycare aggregator, we help corporates and parents discover, decide and book centres. There are features like mom references, block a visit, counsellor chats that parents can make use of.

On the other hand, many local, regional childcare centers are not tech and marketing savvy. The investment in infrastructure and staff is sizable, but they only end up relying on word of mouth to attract business. They don’t know how to manage social media or get reviews or do reputation management.

ProEves helps both sides of the child care spectrum; we help parents by ensuring that the daycare centres meet all requirements and we help daycares by streamlining their marketing and giving them a trusted platform.

Q: This is a completely new service. It must have been tough to create an ecosystem from scratch. Tell us a bit about some of the challenges you faced.

Divya: Well yes, any business is challenging. For us specifically, the biggest bottleneck was creating a large network of preschool, daycares and getting inroads to our target customers of new parents. It took a while to talk to managers and owners and explain the concept to them and get them on board and to create a list of standardised features that everyone followed - safety, first aid, staff training, etc.

Also, as we were bootstrapped, we had financial constraints. Putting together a good team took some effort as we were looking for like-minded professionals.

The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017 gave a good boost to our business – it made crèche facility mandatory for every establishment employing 50 or more employees. By this time, we had already connected with over 600 daycare centers and had honed our knowledge of the whole ecosystem (in fact we were the only ones in the field).

This helped us work with corporates as consultants – they outsource their entire process to us. We shortlist facilities, conduct audits and manage the entire front end between the creches and parents.

Our corporate business has helped us grow and sustain our other operations. Now we are ready to go in for a round of funding in 2019 to expand our B2C business.

Q: What are your plans for the next phase? How do you plan to use your funds?

Divya: Increasing the depth and breadth of our network, technology-enabled bookings and ramping up marketing is a priority for our business. We plan to roll out various services like event booking, hourly daycare bookings etc for our customers

And yes! We also continuously conduct large-scale surveys and research with corporates the whole year round. Extra funding could help us increase the scope of these as well.

Yeah! So, lots to do! We have big plans!

Q: Did you face any special women-centric issues? Are there any struggles that are specific to women entrepreneurs?

Divya: Well, to be honest, not really. The field is largely women dominated. There is a perception that women don’t have a good head for figures, so maybe we will face these biases when we start tapping investors for funding. But I am pretty confident that in our field we are the experts and we have a tested business model, so I am not too fussed with how we will be perceived by investors.

Q: What are your learnings from your professional journey?

Divya: Business is not easy, setting up a new concept or service is even harder. I wouldn’t lie – there were times we wanted to give up. But am glad we hung around.

I have been blessed with a great team that has grown with us and with the support from my family. For both of us, Ketika and I, things worked out great – we found a good business idea that we are passionate about and a complementary partner in each other. She is meticulous in her work, plans for the next things and brings the big picture thinking, while I focus on executing with excellence. Maybe starting a company with a 6-month-old baby wasn’t the best timing – but there is no perfect timing for everything in life!

Q: Anything you would like to say to women starting their entrepreneurial journeys.

Divya: You need to let go of the salary mindset. Initially, for the first year, I was validating when the business outflows will be matching my corporate salary. It took me some time to realise that when you are building a business you need to think long-term and you need to think big. What excites me now is - what is the growth rate of our business, how many customers are we acquiring, how soon we will hit the 30 Crore, 50 Crore and 100 Crore mark.

Divya, Ketika and their team are doing a commendable job of helping women get back to work without worrying about daycare centers. We wish them all the success because therein lies the success of many women returning to work.

If you would like to share your entrepreneurial journey, then drop us a quick note or a comment below. We would love to hear from you.

Resources
Articles | Communication

Public Speaking For Youth

Ace meetings and gatherings with polished public speaking and presentation skills.

Unlock the power of good communication skills. Conveying your thoughts to people in public is an ability you will need, not only at college but at work too.

Just think about it: you need this skill to take leadership roles in college events, to make presentations to your class, and even to convince a recruiter to hire you!

It pays to start working on this skill early, while you are still a college student. From impromptus to debates and group discussions, good public speaking skills are key to doing exceptionally well in today’s world.

To stand up in front of a team, a person or a crowd and deliver your message with confidence or to give clear and convincing presentations are core competencies for doing superbly well since a younger age.

Our highly interactive programme will help you overcome your public speaking problems and give you the skills to become a successful communicator. This course is a wonderful start for anyone who is afraid of public speaking or wants to get better at it.

IS THIS PROGRAM FOR YOU?

  • Do you fear speaking in front of a large audience?
  • Do you want to go to college and be more competitive in the job marketplace?
  • Do you want to improve your presentation skills?
  • Do you fear being embarrassed because you think you will forget or get evaluated negatively?
  • Do you want to be able to get people to do what you want them to do with the power of your speech?

Then, definitely, this course will help you enhance your knowledge and experience about public speaking and help you become an influential speaker.

Public Speaking ForYouth gets you ready to become a powerful speaker by

  • Helping you get over your fear of public speaking and approaching every opportunity with confidence.
  • Helping you articulate your thoughts effectively that leaves the audience awestruck
  • Grabbing the attention of the audience with a powerful opening
  • Memorizing enough content so that the speech does not come off as a reading of notes
  • Modulating vocal tone to emphasize important points and avoid monotonous presentation
  • Using humour to enliven a talk
  • Maintaining eye contact with the audience and providing an energetic, animated physical presence

PLEASE NOTE: All of our programs are flexible and offer rolling admission and flexible start dates. That is, you don’t need to wait for a new cohort to start in order to join us. Please contact us for details on how to sign up.