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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 -
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
Time flies… and it is especially fleet-footed when we are wasting it. Time-wasters can really pull you down!
5 minutes of Facebook time equals 20 minutes of real time! And when you multiply the social media platforms and add email and WhatsApp to it, then it’s really not very surprising that we never end up finishing our work.
Compared to 15 years ago, office work today requires superhuman willpower to stay focused! But we can’t just blame social media or the Internet.
When we started collating some information on productivity, some statistics blew away our mind – Do you know that an average worker admitted to wasting 3 hours of their work day! In dollar terms that totalled to $759 billion in wasted salaries.
But this is not just a loss for your organisation; time wasted at work is the time you could have spent doing other things such as spending it with your family or on a hobby.
Better time management is the obvious answer to this problem. You can see this as an opportunity to change for the better – whether it is to stand out as super productive employee at work or to free up time to spend with your family and friends or on yourself.
It is not just about stopping time wastage, but more about using that time to better yourself.
However, the first step is to identify and avoid time wasters at work. So, here is the list of the biggest time wasters!
Yes! Right at the top!
1 in 4 employees complains about too many meetings taking too much of their time AND (this is my favourite) 91% of the employees surveyed DAYDREAMED in meetings!
So, what can be done? While you can’t cut out meetings at work altogether, there is a lot you can do to minimise the disruption within your team -
It's no secret that almost all of us check our social media feeds and browse the Internet at work. Statistics point out that we spend 135 minutes every day on various social media sites and naturally a whole lot of this is bound to be at work!
If compulsive Internet surfing or social media grazing is something you identify as a time suck at the office, then the solution also lies with you.
Digital detox is not as simple as it sounds; most of the time we don’t even realise how many 5 minute chunks we end up spending on online, but limiting your online presence at work is something you will have to do on your own.
As always technology comes to the rescue and there are several apps that help to track your online behaviour and can even block the biggest time wasters for certain periods of time. Here’s a list of 10 best apps to keep you focused at all times.
Yes, this backbone of the business world has made it to the list of the biggest office time wasters.
Employees, on an average, check their emails 36 times every hour! And then it takes them 16 minutes to refocus on what they were doing before they checked their mail!
And what’s worse is that many of these emails are completely unnecessary, or so badly written that you waste even more time trying to figure them out.
So, what do you do to minimise the productivity drain your email causes?
Humans are social creatures, so it's not surprising that when thrown in an office together we will chat and gossip. But how much of it is acceptable at work, is a question we need to ask ourselves very seriously.
A survey discovered that an employee has to deal with an average of 56 interruptions a day! Apart from the time wasted during the interruption, there is the added time required to refocus on what you were doing before you were interrupted.
In an open plan office where you are sitting next to colleagues who might also be your friends, you need to set some clear boundaries.
While you might feel that you are doing fine professionally even with all the distractions, believe us you will do even better when you control and spend your time at work more wisely.
Do you see your team or your organization struggling with time management?
I guess you see the time wasters mentioned above all around you but are unable to stop them. Sometimes an outsider can be more helpful to make your team sit up and become more productive.
For more information click on the Request Consultation button above.
The latest articles and industry insights delivered to your inbox