Category: Uncategorized

Revealed: Shocking prejudice faced by jobseekers

Even in recruitment there is a class divide, according to one in three jobseekers who claim they’ve been discriminated against because of their socio-economic standing.

Overall, two-thirds of respondents surveyed by CV-Library in the UK are convinced social class continues to be a hurdle when applying for a job. But more than half of employers included in the poll dismiss the claim that class is a factor.

“Our study highlights the disconnect between how workers and businesses feel about the issue,” said Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library. “It’s clear that more needs to be done to raise awareness of its impact on both organisations and job hunters.”

The majority of employers recognise how some recruiters might exhibit bias during candidate screening (85%), particularly during the interview (86%) – and most candidates (79%) agree.

Jobseekers who claim to have encountered prejudice during the application process cite the following factors as a point of contention:

  • Place they are from (48%)
  • Social class (46%)
  • Manner of speaking (43%)
  • Educational institution attended (33%)
  • Place of residence (19%)

And while the talent shortage is proving to be a challenge for some organisations, recruiters are still purportedly discriminating against candidates based on how they speak (77%), where they are from (45%), and which class they belong (32%), according to employer-respondents.

“Ensuring that your recruitment process is fair for all applicants is crucial, especially if you’re already struggling to find the talent you need to fill your vacancies,” Biggins said.

For seven in 10 workers, legal remedies are necessary to prevent companies from exercising class prejudice against a candidate – in the same way the law prohibits discrimination based on a person’s sex, age, disability, race and religion.

Keep ahead of the curve with all development initiatives – book your tickets to our upcoming Learning and Development Masterclass here.

The real reasons your employees quit

It isn’t just the paycheque or the perks.

The biggest reason even the best workers quit is the lack of career progression. In fact, 82% of employees would leave their job over this issue more so than over pay.

Online resource CareerAddict.com surveyed nearly 1,000 employees in 2019 to give companies an idea of what could convince workers to quit on them. Respondents named three major factors:

  1. Lack of career growth
  2. Low pay
  3. Absence of salary raise

The desire for career progression appears to be shared by all workers regardless of age. The majority of respondents were Millennial and Generation Z workers (67%). However, the results stayed true across all age groups.

Career regrets?

Researchers also surveyed workers who have already left their employer: 35% said they wouldn’t mind going back to the company if they were offered better pay or a higher position. Overall, however, only 18% of employees said they regret having left their job.

“We wanted to truly uncover what exactly pushed workers over the edge,” said Christopher Thoma, project manager at CareerAddict.

“Our findings were quite fascinating, showing that the modern workforce is more complex than ever, with job satisfaction and progression proving vitally important.”

Workplace discrimination

Aside from issues with career progression and pay, workplace discrimination also figured as one of the top concerns that cause workers to quit.

More than half of respondents (53%) said they were discriminated against by their boss, while one in four workers said they were discriminated against because of their gender.

There appears to be a gender dimension in all of this: 61% of those believed to be bullied by their boss and 76% of those believed to have encountered gender bias were women.

The only real way to get a handle on employee retention is through learning and development. After all, why would employees stick around if you’re not willing to help them grow and reach their full potential?

To learn more about the emerging trend in L&D, sign up to HRD Canada’s upcoming L&D Masterclass here.

Would employees prefer a human or robot boss?

A study in the US found that an overwhelming 87% of employees would still prefer to take direction from a human boss.

Only about one in 10 are willing to listen to a software program at work.

This sentiment is shared among employees of all age groups.

As we head into a new decade, whether we’ll see more robots actually taking over jobs can be anybody’s guess. But the study by SYKES may give us a little glimpse into the actual impact of digital disruption.

Fewer than 5% of Americans surveyed said they have faced job loss due to automation. Additionally, over two-thirds said they don’t know anyone who has lost a job due to automation technologies implemented at their place of work.

A mere 7% of workers said they know at least one person who has lost a job due to automation.

The study also found that American employees remain optimistic. Three in four employees don’t believe they’re at risk of losing their jobs due to automation anytime within the next decade.

The ones most worried about their jobs are:

  • Gen Z: 18 to 24 age group (19%)
  • Mix of Millennials and Gen X: 35 to 44 age group (19%)

Are employers doing enough?
While training and knowledge sessions can keep confidence levels up in transformative times, the study found that employers are not having enough conversation about the impact of automation on work.

Fewer than a quarter of surveyed workers reported ever having had discussions about the potential impact of automation.

While a worrying 61% of employees said they’ve never had any discussions about it at work.

Gen Z-ers reported having some kind of discussion around the topic more than any other age group surveyed (28%). Of employees 54 and older, only 16% indicated having had these conversations.

Thankfully, majority (58%) of employees said their companies provide some form of training to help them keep current.

Despite this, it might still be lacking, as about four in 10 employees are finding their own means to keep informed of changes in workplace technologies and learning to use the tech through independent research.

Another 39% plan to take advantage of more professional development opportunities at work. While just 11% of employees said they plan to take formal college or vocational upskilling courses to stay current with the rapid changes at work.

Employees embarking on personal upgrading by age group:

  • Gen Z: Most keen on keeping current, with 21% have plans to jump back in the classroom
  • Gen X: 32% have no plans yet
  • Baby Boomers: 41% have no plans yet

Speaking of development, book your ticket to HRD’s Learning and Development Masterclass here.

Upcoming event offers latest learning and development insights

The Learning and Development Masterclass is coming next year

Registrations have opened for the 2020 Learning and Development Masterclass.

This upcoming event will unite L&D professionals for a day of keynote presentations, panel discussions and tech talks, focusing on leadership development, curating content, streamlining distribution and enhancing user experience.

Attendees will have access to a content-rich agenda, discussing the most topical challenges, solutions and strategies in L&D as well as the chance to network with peers from across the country and engage with key industry solution providers.

The line-up will include speakers from prestigious organisations such as Microsoft, Citi, WestJet, BMO Financial Group and more.

The Learning and Development Masterclass takes place at Arcadian Loft Toronto on March 11th 2020. Those who wish to attend are advised to book quickly as places are extremely limited.

How you can help people realise their potential

‘These skills can help managers better serve those that report into them’

The role of performance management continues to evolve with some organisations now removing their traditional annuals review process and replacing these with regular coaching conversations, according to David Banger, adjunct professor, Digital advisor and founder of CHANGE lead.

Banger added that employee expectations are influencing this shift; they want more frequent insightful feedback and less formal traditional performance management meetings.

“Agile working practices are now standard within many organisations, and management practices are changing and will continue to,” he said.

Banger, who is also author of DIGITAL IS EVERYONE’S BUSINESS | A guide to transition, said coaching beyond managing is a skill that all leaders will need to cultivate and master.

“These skills can help managers better serve those that report into them,” he said.

“They will help deliver bigger and better outcomes while improving the culture within the team. Leaders approach your management responsibilities with the intent of serving the person.”

Banger said that through applying the six points below; we serve the individual and the organisation in meeting goals in a more meaningful manner, enabling the potential of the person.

“In turn, this person is likely to adopt the approach creating ripples of other’s realising their potential.”

Avoid offering advice
The advice somebody can offer is limited to their experiences; the questions they can ask are unlimited. Try not to give advice. Further, those who provide advice don’t realise that people often receive as a perspective rather than what is most suitable to them. You may talk about your experiences and empathise with someone, however avoid ending the sentence with – now this is what you should do!

Be genuine
Some people endeavour to cultivate close professional relationships; however, sometimes these are disingenuous, and people distance themselves. Either consciously, or most likely subconsciously. It’s probably due to a lack of authenticity from a person, or an intention behind that person’s interaction.

As a result, people are less open and vulnerable; they are not the best version of themselves. It is a pity for everyone when this happens. People know when something or somebody is fake, and they will not share what they are honestly thinking. Therefore, the opportunities that offer the diversity of thought remain unrealised.

Understand the person and not the work
Start your conversations by asking how people they are, not what has been happening. Their response should direct you to the next question or statement; with a focus on talking about them and not about something.

Early on, when establishing the relationship, remind people of what Steve Jobs said at Stanford; ‘You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future’. Make it a priority to understand the person.

What stage is the career?
There is a time in life for education, for gaining experience, and for harvesting. If somebody strives for one before the other, it is likely it will erode their potential. Manager’s play a role in helping someone understand where they are at; encouraging an individual’s thought and reflection.

The benefit is clarity and mitigation of the temptation to rush things. If somebody rushes, things will likely unravel later. Also, not everything can be harvested. Some capabilities will not have currency, i.e. somebody knows a lot about the fax machine, they are technically component, but this is not current. Technical currency is what is or will be relevant for the upcoming period.

How does somebody know when they are capable of harvesting? They can transition to a new industry by bringing capability. What are their capabilities that have currency? How could they be harvested within your organisation, beyond your immediate area?

The best version of themselves
The answers to the best version of somebody is within. You can help by asking the right questions; coaching facilitates this. Encourage somebody to learn from others; however, remind them it may not be best to copy.

Copying takes a lot of energy and is not genuine, and people immediately know when somebody is fake. Their greatest strength is that nobody else is like them. Encourage people to be the best version of themselves and support them as they strive to this.

Cultivate interests
Discover their interests. What are the five to ten things that make them great? Why are these things important to them? How can this passion be cultivated? Many people now share their professional interests online, does this person have a domain, a www address that is home for their professional interests? Could they be building a community? How could they be sharing these things; by blogging or videoing?

If they wish, encourage them to create a platform that they can connect with a community. Communities refine and evolve ideas resulting in greater relevance. Many large organisations are poorly connected with the broader community and not as relevant as they could be. People, through their professional platforms, can humanise their organisation.

On occasions, be prepared to explore and adjust either your and an individual’s expectations, this is part of evolving and growing the relationship. Be mindful of not overly emphasising the objectives of your role; their role exists to contribute yours.

The power of organizational design

HRDC spoke to Brenda Barker Scott, lead facilitator for the Queen’s IRC Organizational Design program, to find out how meaningful design choices can enable and empower the right people in your organization

To remain competitive, organizations must stay ahead of the curve, not only by frequently analyzing and updating business strategies, but also by ensuring that people have the right organizational design to enable those strategies. The right design supports people to excel by focusing their efforts on the right work, enabling the required interactivity and energizing the right behaviours. Previously regarded as disruptive and challenging, organizational design has shifted to become a creative tool that supports and empowers leaders to build capability internally to help an organization grow and thrive.

At its root, organizational design is about reflecting on required capabilities – or, simply put, what the organization needs to be good at, whether that’s efficiency, innovation, agility or having a great employee brand. Whereas Walmart is admired for efficiency, for example, Google is admired for its innovative capabilities.

“My mission in life is to reframe organization design from something that is imposed on people to a generative and creative process,” says Brenda Barker Scott, lead facilitator for the Queen’s IRC Organizational Design program. “That’s why the process involves much more than simply changing boxes and lines on an organizational chart. Rather, it’s about stepping leaders back to reflect on new and evolving capabilities before they shift their attention to shaping prototypical designs.”

Once the desired capabilities have been determined, the next step is to build a model that will focus people on the right work, facilitate the right pattern of interactivity and foster the right kinds of contributions.

Scott outlines three building blocks of organizational design:

  • Groupings. Group people into teams, communities and activities within the organization to focus the right people on the right work. Determine whether these groupings will be formed by activity, output, customer or a combination.
  • Linkages. Examine how to link the different groups within the organization to encourage the right levels of cooperation and collaboration. Build and encourage formal or informal relationships within the organization so that people will relate to and support one another in the most productive way. Create spaces where people can see each other and interact.
  • Contribution vibe. Shape purpose, protocols, work design and leadership to enable, support and foster the right behaviours and contributions.

As groupings shift to focus people on new capabilities, and relationships shift to enable new forms of cooperation and collaboration, behaviours also must shift. If an organization is transitioning from a focus on compliance to a customer focus, or from focusing on efficiency to focusing on innovation, then people need to contribute differently, and they will require a different set of tools and skills.

“If we have structural change without behavioural change, it will be superficial and won’t work,” Scott says. “That’s why design is a social process as well. The design process must engage organizational design leaders and other key stakeholders in conversations to reflect on and explore why change is needed, to what and how. It’s the process or journey that creates the necessary understanding and commitments amongst leaders to support the new ways of working.”

Scott advises leaders to follow the 4-D design process, in which every stage informs the next:

  • Define. Do a diagnosis of the organization. What are the big trends driving change, and how are they shaping new capabilities? Who needs to be involved in this effort because they have relevant knowledge and skills or a role to play?
  • Discovery. Collect data and insights from relevant stakeholders and informed experts around what the organization needs to determine design criteria and develop a logic model.
  • Design. Shape design concepts to test different ways of grouping and linking before deciding upon the right design.
  • Do. Determine the phasing and timing for implementation, and then launch the new concepts so people can embrace their new units, relationships and contributions.

Just as leaders shape their business strategies on a yearly basis, they should also examine organizational design regularly to ensure that the process is aligned with business objectives and continues to be helpful and informative. In order to reap the rewards, HR must support the design process as a continuously evolving internal capability.

Can you coach leaders to be ‘cross-culturally capable’?

Or are skills like open-mindedness innate? HRD finds out

Adaptability, open-mindedness and respect – can such skills be taught or are they qualities you either have or you don’t?

The workforce is becoming increasingly diverse and global. As HR leaders, it is crucial to find the right balance between managing teams, while recognising cultural differences to enable individuals to thrive.

How can you develop leaders who are effective at cross-cultural management? Can you actually teach someone to navigate the cultural complexities of a diverse team?

HRD spoke to Charlotte Stewart, director, HR (APAC) at Expedia to get her insights and experience around cross-cultural capability.

Impact of personal experiences on professional growth
Expedia has over 35 offices in Asia Pacific alone. With its geographical, cultural and demographic diversity, you can bet that the region is not an easy one to manage.

Stewart, however, seems “made” for the job, especially with the experiences and learnings she’s had that date back all the way to her early years.

Stewart shared that she was born an expat. Her family was originally from the UK. Due to her father’s work, the family constantly travelled and she ended up being born in Holland.

Although they did return to UK for a short period, they found themselves in Brunei for a while – and this was during some of her formative years. She attended an international school there and said that the multi-cultural school environment was probably her first learnings on the need for cultural capability.

Fast forward to her adult life, her first experience living and working in Asia was in Hong Kong. She said that moving there really took her back to her life as a kid – travelling and having to adapt to new environments.

“I think the first thing that you do, or one of the barriers around people are they will naturally apply their cultural lens to other people,” Stewart said. “Inevitably, you apply a stereotype and you judge.”

Challenges of cross-cultural leadership
When she first arrived in Hong Kong, her first instinct was to walk around the city to get a feel of the place. She was living in Soho and near the wet markets – she admitted feeling a little culture shock and found herself struggling with the language barrier.

“I learned Cantonese (a Chinese dialect) and was fortunate to have had a whole load of cultural awareness training before I went there,” she said. “But I definitely think language barriers are one of the things cross-cultural leaders have to be mindful of.

“The context of language barriers, geographical differences, and differences in values – all those barriers are just very natural.

“Because I grew up having to be a child in an international environment and having to survive, to kind of fit in, I think I learnt very quickly to try and find connections with people through ‘an international language’.”

What she meant by ‘international language’ involved moving beyond a verbal, spoken one. She shared that she adopted the skill from all the times she was outstationed to overseas offices – particularly to Japan.

Learning Japanese is by no means an easy, instant exercise. Stewart said due to her travels, she can “speak a tiny bit of Japanese…you know, ‘hello’, ‘thank you’ and the basics”. However, most meetings she attended there were mostly run in Japanese.

Once, when she was there to train executives on feedback and coaching, the local senior director asked if it was okay that the session was facilitated in Japanese.

“I’m like, ‘of course!’” she said. “But I actually understood more when they spoke in Japanese than when they spoke English, because you can just ‘hear it’ in how they speak.

“I love just observing any culture…I really connected with the Japanese during my time there.”

There, she said she learned how to “read the air”. For instance, without excessive prompting, she learned to pick up cues and knew when she was meant to take the stage and lead the session.

Can you teach cross-cultural capability?
Stewart acknowledged that she’s one of the lucky ones to have had extensive travel experience – personally and professionally.

In her readings through her career, she stumbled upon a concept called ‘global cosmopolitanism’ that she found highly relatable. Coined by Linda Brimm, professor of organisation at INSEAD, it referred to multilingual people who have lived, worked and studied for extensive periods in different cultures.

“While their international identities have diverse starting points and experiences, their views of the world and themselves are profoundly affected by both the realities of living in different cultures and their manner of coping with the challenges that emerge,” Brimm wrote in her book on the topic.

So is genuine cross-cultural capability a teachable skill? Stewart shared another on-point anecdote to answer the question.

She once had a colleague who was transferred to the Singapore office and moved with her husband for the job. Stewart said her co-worker simply didn’t enjoy the experience.

“She genuinely came with the attitude of, ‘I’m not going to embrace it. I’m going to just be here because my husband’s here on work. As soon as I can get back to the UK, I will’,” Stewart said.

“I did some coaching with her, but can I teach her to enjoy the experience? No. I’m curious to see whether it’s possible to truly teach that kind of cross-cultural mindset or cross-cultural leadership.

“But I do think when you look at what makes an ideal, versus a less-than-ideal leader, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you run on the understanding [that there are] core skillsets around what good leadership looks like.”

She added that good leadership skills are “universal”, for instance having a learning, growth mindset – which may be coachable. Helping others develop a genuine curiosity and enjoyment of different cultures, however, may not be as easy.

Stewart is thus grateful for her lifetime of experiences seeing and meeting different places and people, as well as her seemingly innate motivation to constantly “want to challenge myself to be innovative, to do things differently, and to go on a different pat”.

“I think it taught me to put myself out there,” she said. “And especially at Expedia…it’s a phenomenal environment because I’m surrounded by like-minded people who are super bright – far brighter than me – and who genuinely care about what they do.

“I come to work with a smile on my face every day and yes, I can be traveling crazy hours and doing late night calls, and it’s fun because the work we do genuinely matters.”

7 ways leaders can rise to the challenge of today’s employees

In the future of work, managers and company leaders need to up their game

Technology is changing the way workplaces operate in many areas, and in the past, they’ve tended to be more static. People worked in the same place, under the eye of a supervisor, doing the same sorts of things, and changed jobs less frequently.

But now, people work remotely; they are supported in new ways by technology and they often work in cross-functional teams in different locations. The world of work is changing; people expect to move roles and develop new skills. Employees are stepping up in this environment, taking more responsibility for delivering company goals, being more autonomous and increasingly helping to lead their organizations.

Managers and company leaders need to up their game too. I think the gloomy predictions that are often made of a future where workers are replaced by robots might be a bit dated – in fact, it might be more likely that some of the managers will no longer be needed. The people on the ground in customer-facing roles will be more important than ever.

Instead, it will be unhelpful bosses – the ones who micromanage, don’t share information, make important decisions without consultation and look for someone else to blame whenever something goes wrong – whose coats will be on shaky pegs.

Here are seven tips for managers who want to up their game to the level of their best employees:

1. Don’t create HiPPOs
A HiPPO is a “highly-paid person’s opinion.” Some organizations are dominated by these. It can be dangerous for people lower down the hierarchy to confront a “HiPPO” or to find themselves in its path. But a bunch of charging “HiPPOs” can also drag the business off course pretty quickly. These are not the best way to run any organization.

Managers who want to add value are more interested in gathering information from the people on the ground. Every plan, no matter how well-laid, alters when it meets reality and in an organization where the customer-facing employees voices are silenced by “HiPPOs,” that divergence will likely not be noticed until it is too late to do anything about it.

2. Share the vision
What is the vision for the organization? Everyone should understand the company’s goals and what part they play in reaching them. These objectives shouldn’t be expressed in purely monetary terms – this is about creating a shared mission and making everyone feel part of the team. The mission should be expressed in terms of delivering outcomes for customers or clients.

When people in different roles understand what the outcome is that they are working towards, then they can own this and take responsibility for delivering against it. Of course, they also have to agree on what is expected of them and what ‘done’ looks like.

3. Keep everyone in the loop
Ensuring transparency of information is key to supporting self-managing teams. There are many different kinds of collaborative workplace technology available today which make it possible to share live, real-time information with everyone across the organization.

It is important that the information which is gathered for sharing is relevant and useful and there isn’t an overgrowth of data-collection requirements. But having the right information at the fingertips of people at every level means they are in a much better position to contribute effectively.

It also means employees can also more readily see and understand the value of their own contribution. That is fundamentally more engaging.

4. Share decision-making authority across the organization
Organizations where all the decisions are made by the people at the top, struggle to grow effectively. Bottlenecks are created and information gathered on the ground has to be pushed upwards before commands are relayed back down. It’s slow, bureaucratic and limiting.

Highly-skilled employees who are in customer-facing roles are generally most likely to understand the context of a specific situation. Not only that, but they are also the main source of fresh ideas and innovations that will drive real value for customers.

5. Don’t have a blame culture
In a blame culture, people fear taking decisions because when one is made that later turns out to be wrong, somebody will be singled out as “the culprit.” It is not helpful to set targets and then complain and criticize everyone who misses them.

It is much more effective to have a team culture where people deal with errors that arise and work together to avoid making the same mistakes again. The team can also try to continuously improve the decision-making process. If you have a good decision-making process, over time you will get more right than wrong.

6. Look for trends
Improving business performance involves measuring a range of metrics around things like the value that is being created for customers and the competitiveness of what the company offers. Most managers have a range of key performance indicators or KPIs that they study.

But it is important not to put too much importance on single points of data. Looking for trends enables managers to look ahead to where the market is headed and to help steer the company in the right direction.

7. Encourage people to develop and grow
Managers who add value encourage people in their teams to develop themselves, their skills and talents with appropriate training and experience. They should add a line to their resume each year and focus their energy on external, customer-facing work rather than making life easier for their boss.

This is good for both the business and the employees, and the managers know that if they don’t continue to offer a great working environment, these highly-skilled people may go elsewhere.

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