EF Blog (23rd of October)

In this digital age of instant messaging, group chats, and video conferencing, meetings may seem like a relic of the past. Sometimes, though, your team needs a face-to-face opportunity to talk through problems, brainstorm projects, and strategize. But this influx of tech tools has increased the pressure on leaders to run effective meetings. To ensure your meetings are effective for everyone on your team, check out the following four tips.

1. Be Flexible

If you’re worried that your team’s meetings are less effective than they could be because members often go off on tangents, that may not be the red flag you think it is. Studies on high-performing teams have shown that teams that exhibit meeting behaviors that many would flag as ineffective—like casual conversation at the beginning of meetings, going off on tangents, and talking over one another—actually perform better than teams that run stricter meetings, where there’s no deviation from the agenda and the leader dominates the conversation.

That’s because the former meeting behaviors are indicative of a team that’s supportive of its members and that values hearing everyone’s voices equally. This kind of meeting promotes an environment where members don’t fear ridicule from one another and feel comfortable sharing their ideas. Not to mention, creative thinking involves making connections between seemingly unrelated ideas—so an off-topic train of thought here and there could actually spark innovation.

2. Set an Agenda

That being said, there’s a fine line between the occasional off-topic discussion during a meeting and a meeting that feels like a waste of time. To honor your team members’ time, be sure to set and follow an agenda. That way, when your team does veer off course, you have something to bring them back to. Plus, creating an agenda forces you to consider if a meeting is actually necessary.

If you’re struggling to come up with agenda items to fill your meeting’s time space, it may be an indication that your problem could be better addressed through email or by speaking to select team members directly.

3. Ensure Equal Understanding

Frequent and effective communication is one of the cornerstones of teamwork—and it should be a hallmark of your meetings as well. If team members walk away not really understanding the key takeaways of the meeting, they won’t be able to effectively execute their accountabilities. That’s why, during every team meeting, you must ensure all team members are on the same page—that they’ve not only heard what’s been said but understand it.

While building your agenda, it will be helpful to make time for team members to ask clarifying questions for a better understanding. Team leaders foster a meeting atmosphere that’s welcoming of these questions and deeper discussions. Meeting attendees must feel comfortable about speaking up when they don’t understand something, and that has everything to do with your culture.

4. Make a Plan Post-Meeting

How many times have you sat through a meeting where team members were highly committed to and engaged with their accountabilities, yet, after the meeting, weeks went by without any results? With meetings, the secret is in the follow-up. Get into the habit of ending your meetings with an action plan, where each member is clear on what they need to do next to move the project forward.

Even better, immediately following the meeting, type up a meeting recap with action items and send it to all meeting attendees. Having a tangible document to refer back to will help keep everyone on task after the meeting ends.

Running meetings is a crucial skill for team leaders to master, but it’s not a skill that always comes easily. Creating a robust leadership development program can ensure that any employee has the skills needed to lead as effectively as possible.

About the author

Ian_Profile_WebIan has been with Eagle’s Flight since 1997, and is Executive Vice President, Global Accounts. He holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of British Columbia. Ian spent 12 years at Nestlé Canada and brings a wide range of experience that includes practical business experience in management, sales, program design, development and mentoring. He works closely with the Global licensees to ensure their success as they represent Eagle’s Flight in the worldwide marketplace. He has developed outstanding communication skills and currently is the Executive in Charge of a large Fortune 500 client with a team of employees dedicated to this specific account. As a result, Ian has been instrumental in driving the company’s growth and strategic direction.

 

Re- Blogged From:- Eagles Flight

EF Blog

Employee burnout is an issue that businesses of all sizes face. If overlooked, it can lead to high turnover, disrupt the organization’s culture, impact productivity, and cut into profits. To deal with employee burnout, you first need to recognize the signals and then work with your employees to address it. It is important to take proactive steps to avoid burnout.

How can you proactively prevent employee burnout? By taking steps such as:

  • Fostering an open dialogue about an employee’s workload
  • Providing the necessary resources for employees to do their work efficiently
  • Encouraging employees to act on innovative ideas or process improvements that will positively affect the organization
  • Having clearly defined roles and responsibilities
  • Allowing appropriate flexibility in the workday
  • Scheduling breaks throughout the day and encouraging employees to take them

Despite your best efforts, sometimes burnout stills happens. Watch for these four signs so that you can swiftly take action.

1. Increased Absenteeism

When typically reliable employees start taking unplanned time off work, it may be a sign that something is wrong. While it could be a personal issue that they are dealing with, it could also be a sign of burnout. The first step is to talk with the employee about why their behavior has changed. If it is in fact a personal issue, perhaps there is a way the organization can support the employee. However, if the behavior has changed because of a work issue, it is your accountability as their leader to help the employee address it.

After identifying the issue, work with the employee to create an action plan to alleviate the feeling of being burnt out. Perhaps adjusting work hours or reallocating their workload is a good place to start. If it’s not a functional issue and the right balance of time and tasks already exists, consider a development program that fosters accountability and ownership of their work. When the employee feels personal accountability and understands that their contribution makes a difference, absenteeism decreases, and engagement increases.

2. Decreased Engagement

When an employee who is typically proactive and engaged becomes less interested in work, it’s a sign that burnout could be on the horizon. You can re-engage valuable employees by creating new challenges and setting up a coaching program to refresh their level of engagement and show your support for their growth and development.

Start by discussing career goals and work together to define the best path to reach them. Set up regular check-ins to monitor progress toward milestones. When disengaged employees have a new reason to boost their performance, chances are that they will be excited to rise to the occasion.

3. Explosive Reactions

Negative communication tactics like snapping at coworkers, yelling at employees, and being more sensitive to criticism than usual are indications of higher stress levels and possible precursors to burnout. For example, frustration with a colleague about how a certain task is performed can cause tensions to rise and contribute to burnout. That is when having the ability to effectively communicate that frustration and make changes before it comes to a head will not only foster better teamwork but also decrease the chances of employee burnout due to avoidable issues.

4. Time Management Complaints

If an employee claims that there isn’t enough time to get work done, it might be the case that the workload is unreasonable, in which case, you may need to reallocate tasks among the team. However, if the workload is realistic and an employee still can’t complete tasks in the course of their workday, it is more than likely a time management issue. Feeling overwhelmed with work is a sure sign of potential burnout. Providing training for improving time management skills is one way to develop organized employees who understand their stressors. Employees will then be able to more effectively prioritize tasks, make effective lists, and understand how their work contributes to the overall goal.

When you see these signs, don’t ignore them or assume they will fix themselves. Catching burnout early and strategizing how to alleviate it will stop it before it becomes a major issue. Make it a priority to talk to the employee about their behavior and, when possible, provide the necessary training and tools to help them solve their issue.

About the author

Dave_RootDave joined Eagle’s Flight in 1991 after having spent a number of years with a Toronto-based accounting firm. Since that time, he has held a number of posts within the company, primarily in the areas of Operations, Finance, Legal, and IT. In his current role as both Chief Financial Officer and President, Global Business, Dave is focused on ensuring the company’s ongoing financial health as well as growing its global market share. In pursuing the latter, Dave’s wealth of experience and extensive business knowledge has made him a valued partner and trusted advisor to both our global licensees and multinational clientele.

 

 

Re- Blogged From :- Eagle’s Flight

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No doubt, brainstorming company event ideas is a fun process, but if you want the event to align with your business objectives, it will require more than a 30-minute meeting and a whiteboard to get you there. Use the following process to help you decide which ideas make the most sense for your organization.

Start by Defining Your Goals

The first step in determining which company event ideas will best align with business objectives is to clearly define those objectives. You’re not likely to hit your target if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Before you contact any vendors or start looking for suitable spaces, sit down with key stakeholders to define the goals of the event. Of course, some full-day and multi-day events can have multiple objectives, but you must know what they are before you begin the planning with any guaranteed success.

Some of the most common company event goals are:

  • Training for new skills or behaviors
  • Announcing new initiatives or a new communication strategy
  • Celebrating an organizational milestone
  • Cultivating the company culture

If your list of event goals includes a training element, you must ensure that the time and resources you spend will go toward supporting organizational objectives. These are different for every company but can include goals such as:

  • Becoming more customer centric
  • Improving efficiency in processes
  • Breaking down silos between departments
  • Developing a culture of innovation

Once you have identified where you ultimately want to be, you can decide which ideas will get you there.

Explore Experiential Learning

There are countless team-building exercises, lectures, and presentations you can do at a company event, but if your aim is to support business objectives, it may be time to make the change to experiential learning. Experiential learning allows participants to have fun—so much fun, in fact, they often forget they are at a training event—all the while, learning new skills and behaviors that are transferable to their job and will make an impact.

Experiential learning presents an immersive challenge that acts as a metaphor for real-world workplace scenarios. Individuals must work together to solve a puzzle or overcome a challenge, in order to achieve the results they are accountable for. Once the challenge is over, a facilitator will guide a discussion to reflect on their experience and understand not only how to overcome the challenges to win the game but also how to apply the learning at work. Because they had so much fun learning as a group and experienced how success feels during training, individuals leave the training excited and committed to do the same on the job.

Make Sure It’s Not Just a Game

The debrief is critical to the success of experiential learning. Without linking the activity to challenges that participants face in the real world, it is simply a training game. Although experiential learning allows participants to feel like they’re playing a game, it is essential that the content delivered is both useful and relevant to the business objectives.

Achieving the right mix of fun and relevance takes some expertise, which is why many people work with experienced partners to deliver experiential learning. A skilled facilitator is also necessary so that all of the valuable information learned during the event can be successfully linked to the daily reality that employees face.

As you begin to explore company event ideas, start by defining your objectives and measure every option against them. If one of your goals is training, choose the activities that are the likeliest to engage participants and deliver long-term results. Experiential learning can be used to teach almost any type of concept and to support your business goals, so it’s worthwhile to consider it next time you plan a corporate event.

About the author

EF authorAs Chief Operating Officer, Sue’s extensive senior leadership experience and facilitation skills have established her as a trusted partner and organizational development expert. She has a proven track record of successfully leading culture transformation in Fortune 500 companies and has established herself as an authority on training and development. Sue has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of programs and custom designed solutions for Eagle’s Flight.

 

EF Blog Image

All types of industries and professions have trade networks and peer groups, and human resources is no exception. Joining HR network groups is an excellent way to share ideas, learn about new tools and methods, and meet people who have similar experience. By interacting with people in similar roles outside your own organization, you can gain insights about common challenges and learn from the successes and failures of others. Read on to learn more about the types of networks you can join, the benefits of joining them, and some specific groups to consider.
Types of HR Network Groups

There is a wide variety of peer groups and trade networks for HR professionals, including those that require membership fees or dues and free options. Some groups have a narrow focus such as healthcare, training, or compensation, while others cover a broader range of topics. Some of the types of HR networks you might join include:

  • Professional accreditation organizations
  • Local chapters of national networks
  • Social networks for HR professionals
  • LinkedIn, Facebook, or other online groups

You can join as many networks as your budget allows to gain access to the many resources and benefits they offer.

Benefits of Joining HR Network Groups

The main purpose of joining a human resources network is to gain benefits such as learning something new, tapping into the crowd for more information, and networking.

Learn New Ideas

HR professionals are involved in many aspects of the business, including skills training, benefit administration, software selection, vendor selection, and much more. Participating in a network gives you the opportunity to learn about new ways to improve processes, training approaches that are more effective, and software solutions that can help you be more efficient.

Crowdsource Knowledge

Although internet searches are useful for learning some new information, the best way to get answers to important HR questions is to ask people with experience. Having a group of knowledgeable professionals at your fingertips allows you to hear different perspectives about the challenges you face every day and to find tested solutions that could work for you.

Network with Peers

The only people who truly understand what you do are the others who do the same jobs. You might have access to only a few people in similar roles at your own organization, but an HR group gives you countless opportunities to network with your peers both in person and digitally. Whether you are trying to solve a problem or just venting about your day, being able to do it with like-minded individuals can make your job easier.

10 HR Network Groups to Consider

If you are exploring HR networks to join, start with this list:
1- The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) – As the world’s largest HR professional society with 285,000 members in more than 165 countries, this organization offers learning opportunities, professional certification, events, and resources.

2- Professionals in Human Resources Association (PIHRA) - With more than 4,000 individual members in Southern California, this organization is the largest affiliate of the SHRM.

3- HR Training & Development (LinkedIn) - With almost 35,000 members, this subgroup of HR.com has been developed specifically for HR training and development specialists to network and share information.

4- Human Resources (HR) Professionals (LinkedIn) - This informal networking group of more than 200,000 HR professionals discusses trends and issues such as talent management, employee development, and compensation and benefits.

5- Human Resources Management & Executive Network (LinkedIn) - More than 70,000 HR leaders in management-level roles connect with peers to discuss HR trends and initiatives that can help foster or inspire your own career growth in your organization.

6- HR Jobs and Ideas (LinkedIn) - This human resources, talent management, and hiring networking group with more than 200,000 members is dedicated to sharing the latest information about HR ideas, jobs, and technology.

7- National Association of African Americans in HR (NAAAHR) - This association has over 25 chapters and a social media community of over 15,000 members who benefit from shared learning, professional development, and personal growth opportunities.

8- Human Resources Management Association of Chicago (HRMAC) - A group that began with seven people in 1915 has blossomed into a network of nearly 750 Chicago-area organizations and over 7,000 professionals focused on the HR strategies that support business success.

9- HR Professionals – CANADA Chapter (LinkedIn) - This group of over 4,000 professionals discusses recruitment, training and development, performance evaluation, competence assessment, and succession management.

10 HealthCare HR (LinkedIn) - Over 10,000 HR professionals in the healthcare industry participate in discussions aimed at solving common challenges.
No matter what type of industry you are in or what challenges you face, chances are there is an HR network group that is a good fit. Choose one (or more) of these 10, or do some research to find and join networks in your area and take professional development into your own hands.

About the author

EF authorAs Chief Operating Officer, Sue’s extensive senior leadership experience and facilitation skills have established her as a trusted partner and organizational development expert. She has a proven track record of successfully leading culture transformation in Fortune 500 companies and has established herself as an authority on training and development. Sue has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of programs and custom designed solutions for Eagle’s Flight.

Team Builing

Every team is different—boasting different strengths and dealing with different challenges—so why do so many team-building events look exactly the same? Unfortunately, many team-building activities today are fueled by industry clichés (think the all-too-familiar ropes course or “trust fall” exercise). The most successful team-building trainings, though, are those that specifically address organizations’ and teams’ unique challenges, goals, and opportunities. Here are five strategies that will ensure your next team-building event is a full-fledged success.

1. Consider the Objective

It may seem like the objective of team building is pretty straightforward—to build stronger teams. However, by getting specific about your objective, you’ll be able to design an event that speaks directly to your teams’ biggest challenges, or goals, so the training supports the transformation of their workplace reality. Instead of assuming a general, motivational objective of your team-building events, like simply working better as a team, consider specific questions such as:

  • What dysfunctions are your teams consistently challenged by?
  • How do your teams communicate? Are all voices heard?
  • Do your teams have designated leaders?
  • Are your teams innovative, or do they get stuck using what’s tried and true?
  • Are team meetings productive, or do they inhibit productivity?

Designing your team-building events around specific and current issues your teams are facing is the best way to guarantee your events will feel relevant to all attendees—and make the biggest, measurable impact.

2. Know Your Audience

Again, planning a successful event is all about getting specific—in this case, knowing your audience. Is your event exclusively for your frontline employees or the C-suite? Are the teams attending newly formed, or have they been working closely together for years? When you pinpoint the specifics of your audience, you can tailor your content to speak specifically to their needs, objectives, competencies, and experience.

3. Decide Whether to DIY or Hire the Experts

It’s a decision that will affect your event budget and ROI: whether to design and implement your activities in-house, or work with experts who bring an outside perspective and years of experience to the table. If you’re tackling a new objective with your team-building events, or if the ROI from your past events hasn’t been as high as you’d hoped, then hiring outside experts might make more sense for your next event. Another option may be to combine your event team’s skills with those of experts who can train your trainers to run effective events. If you decide to go the expert route, be sure to research and work with experts with proven track records and who are able to tailor their trainings to your organization’s specific needs.

4. Balance Cost and ROI

We’ve mentioned ROI a few times already, but that’s because determining what success looks like before you plan your event is crucial. Deciding how to measure the success of your activities beforehand allows you to “work backward.” Once you know how you will measure the success of your event, you can tailor your event to help your teams reach the predetermined goals. Plus, designing your event with ROI in mind means you’ll be constantly thinking about the practicality of your event—such as, how it will affect your attendees’ day-to-day lives on the job. Providing solutions to real-world problems through effective team-building training is the best way to maximize ROI. So, while cost is obviously a consideration, be sure to balance it with ROI. A low-budget event may save you dollars in the short term, but if the return isn’t measurable, you will have lost the chance to implement truly valuable skills and behaviors.

5. Make It Fun and Engaging

Should team-building events be fun? Absolutely! Creating engaging events will keep your attendees’ attention from start to finish. More than simply getting attendees excited, inject a dose of hands-on fun, which actually helps with retention. If you’ve ever had to deal with a low-energy crowd at an event, you know that when attendees don’t truly engage with content, whatever you’re trying to communicate is just not going to stick. Utilizing engaging, hands-on, and downright fun training techniques—such as discovery-based experiential learning—increases the chances that your teams will remember and implement your training long after the event ends.

 

About the author

Ian_Profile_WebIan has been with Eagle’s Flight since 1997, and is Executive Vice President, Global Accounts. He holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of British Columbia. Ian spent 12 years at Nestlé Canada and brings a wide range of experience that includes practical business experience in management, sales, program design, development and mentoring. He works closely with the Global licensees to ensure their success as they represent Eagle’s Flight in the worldwide marketplace. He has developed outstanding communication skills and currently is the Executive in Charge of a large Fortune 500 client with a team of employees dedicated to this specific account. As a result, Ian has been instrumental in driving the company’s growth and strategic direction.

 

Re- Blogged From :- Eagle’s Flight

How to Conduct a Corporate Culture Gap Analysis

What is your corporate culture?

While many organizations may be able to generically state the shared beliefs and values of their employees or point to the writing on the walls, some struggle to truly define, live, and measure their company culture. Culture permeates every aspect of your company and is defined by what the people of the organization do, not just what is written on the walls or believed by the majority of employees. Moreover, measuring an intangible concept such as company culture can be a daunting undertaking. While some parameters are clear, others are far more difficult to define.

When you consider that culture is the sum total of the individual behaviors of employees, it may become clearer how you can identify measurement techniques. In management, a gap analysis is the comparison of performance against the potential or desired performance. Applied to company culture, a culture gap analysis can measure whether your team is living the defined culture and, in turn, utilizing resources and technology to drive said culture.

To help conduct a corporate culture gap analysis, here are a few steps your team can take action on today.

Define Desired Culture


In order for a gap analysis to occur, a team must first outline its desired culture and the results of it. The first step in conducting a culture gap analysis is knowing exactly what type of culture your organization embodies currently, as well as the future goal.

Defining your culture requires your team to take a look at its priorities, as your goals and initiatives can uncover your organizational values. Here are some questions you might ask yourself:

  • How do your employees hear more about increasing the bottom line or increasing customer satisfaction?
  • In what ways does your organization provide employees with the freedom to experiment and innovate?
  • What are your organization’s views on calculated risks? Are they seen as an opportunity or a distraction?
  • How much does your company invest in ongoing training efforts, in terms of money and time?
  • How do the thoughts and feelings of both leadership and employees impact your company’s decisions to adopt certain efforts or changes?

These questions will provide clarity on the type of culture you have and want. From innovative cultures that empower employees to tackle challenges in creative ways to customer centric cultures that encourage team members to put themselves in their customers’ shoes, the definition of a company culture is contingent on the metrics you choose to assess it with. Customer centric metrics may include referrals, calls to support, and customer reviews. An innovative culture may measure results on a performance-based scale and consider innovative processes and behaviors as indicators of success.

Conduct Anonymous Surveys and Assessments

After identifying your desired company culture, you can measure its desired performance against actual performance. Although identifying company culture is an initiative that must begin at the top and cascade throughout the organization, it’s important for leaders to consider the opinions of their employees. From front-line managers to executives, the opinions and insights can shed light on behaviors. After all, your employees live in the current culture every day and, as such, have ideas about how the culture could be improved or strengthened.

Gathering opinions and feedback can take the form of surveys, focus groups, and assessment techniques, which are all quantitative methods. One-on-one meetings with executives can yield illuminating insights as well. Supplementing feedback with specific examples and illustrations of company culture can provide a well-rounded idea. Ultimately, comprehensive, employee-driven feedback can help create a clear picture of the behaviors that define your company culture.

Create Action Plans and Strategies Based on Feedback and Gaps

Performing in-depth cultural assessments based on quantitative data, interviews, and surveys can enable your organization to identify the gap between your current culture and your desired company culture. This information can then be applied to techniques that will promote the necessary change. After comparing both your current and desired cultures, it’s essential for success to create strategies that address the information extracted from your efforts, that are realistic, and that can be reasonably implemented. Think of the stakeholders, timeline, or possible roadblocks ahead of implementation, in order to make the change as seamless as possible.

Creating strategic objectives based on your feedback not only helps your organization digest information, but it helps put those cultural objectives into action. Defining culture and measuring it comprise one thing; developing a plan to adapt to your discoveries is another thing. Transforming your corporate culture using a gap analysis often requires implementing new skills training. It’s up to you, as change leaders, to inspire motivation across your organization. When your team members understand the benefits of your plan, it builds conviction and makes them more willing to support the efforts.

 

About the author

PaulAs Executive Vice President Global Performance, Paul has extensive experience in consultation, design, and delivery of programs over his 20 year career with Eagle’s Flight. Through his genuine personable approach, Paul is not only a trusted advisor but also a valued partner to his clients; he works seamlessly to ensure that Eagle’s Flight solutions are aligned to their needs and desired outcomes. As a result, Paul is the account executive for Eagle’s Flight largest account. Many of his clients are multi-year accounts from multinational, Fortune 500 companies.

 

 

Re- Blogged From :- Eagle’s Flight

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Have you ever felt like you could benefit from an unfiltered, genuine look at how your employees truly feel about any number of things going on in your organization?

Of course you have! This kind of feedback is crucial to understanding your true company culture. And the best thing? It can more than likely be found in your breakroom. “Water cooler talk” can be a valuable resource when it comes to defining and transforming your company culture. In fact, you can never fully understand your company culture without it. Here’s why using that casual chatter around the water cooler is essential for your organization.

Water cooler talk says a lot about your culture.

When company leadership tirelessly works to define the company’s values, vision, and goals, it’s very possible to miss how these things actually play into the day-to-day life of employees.

What is said around the water cooler is a reflection of your company culture. Culture isn’t owned by your leadership team or defined by what’s written in your mission statement. While culture transformations must start from the top, company culture is embodied by the behaviors of all the individuals in your organization. If those individuals who are invested in your organization, discuss, critique, or formulate possible solutions for company policies, events, or decisions, you should be aware of it.

That’s why it’s so important to get feedback from the front lines, not just the C-suite, because they are the ones who have a personal connection to what’s being talked about around the water cooler. In order to get an accurate picture of workplace behaviors and attitudes, you must survey all employees, top to bottom, using tools like anonymous employee surveys and focus groups.

Be honest with employees that you are looking for their genuine and honest feedback. After all, holding back or sugarcoating feedback won’t lead to any changes. Knowing what your employees are saying and thinking about your company when the stakes aren’t high (i.e. when they’re just chatting with one another or filling out an anonymous survey) provides a crucial, unfiltered view of their attitudes toward the company. You’ll discover if those attitudes toward company policy are warranted (and thus if you need to make some major policy changes) or if you need to work to change unfounded toxic attitudes. You’ll never know which course to take, though, if you ignore the water cooler chatter altogether.
Of course, you’ll probably get some positive feedback as well, which can be just as helpful in understanding what’s working and what’s not for your company and its culture. Positive feedback reinforces what your company and its culture are doing right, while negative feedback can act as the catalyst for correcting the dysfunctional aspects.

Water cooler talk becomes even more essential during times of transition.

If your company is undergoing a major change—like a merger, management change, or culture transformation—getting that unfiltered feedback from the front lines becomes all the more important. Tension can run high during times of change, even if you’re implementing change that will make the lives of your employees easier or more fulfilling. We’re resistant to change by nature, which is why clear lines of communication—lines that run up, down, and across—become that much more important during change initiatives.

Based on front-line feedback, you’ll be able to discern whether most employees are concerned, wary, confused, or enthusiastic (or a mixture of these feelings) about the changes taking place. Taking a pulse check on how your organization is feeling by tuning in to water cooler talk can reveal if you need to ramp up communication efforts or even tweak the direction of your initiative. Additionally, don’t wait until after you’ve deemed your change initiative complete to tap into the water cooler talk. It’s much easier to course-correct during times of transition than to have to undergo a whole new transition when you realize your changes have not been well-received or understood.

If you want to strengthen or transform your company culture, then it’s time to change your perspective on water cooler talk. It’s not idle chitchat or gossip—it’s your employees’ authentic thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors toward your company culture. Put into place ways to tap into this powerful resource to ensure your company culture initiatives are headed in the right direction. This type of feedback is an insightful resource for those concerned with the company’s culture. Used wisely, by ensuring employees understand that you care about what they’re saying, you’ll be able to incorporate their thoughts for their good and the company’s. Be honest about your intentions and promote authentic feedback in any form from employees.

 

 

Ian_Profile_WebAbout the author

Ian has been with Eagle’s Flight since 1997, and is Executive Vice President, Global Accounts. He holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of British Columbia. Ian spent 12 years at Nestlé Canada and brings a wide range of experience that includes practical business experience in management, sales, program design, development and mentoring. He works closely with the Global licensees to ensure their success as they represent Eagle’s Flight in the worldwide marketplace. He has developed outstanding communication skills and currently is the Executive in Charge of a large Fortune 500 client with a team of employees dedicated to this specific account. As a result, Ian has been instrumental in driving the company’s growth and strategic direction.

 

Re- Blogged From :- Eagles Flight

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Many learning and development professionals quickly realize that creating leadership development programs from scratch is a daunting task, or they don’t know where to start when it comes to revitalizing their existing program. If you’re thinking this sounds familiar, you understand that it’s rare to have all the necessary skill sets in-house, and that the time and resources required to create and implement a program are often too onerous to be realistic.

Partnering with leadership development experts is an excellent alternative to building your program from scratch, but it’s essential to find the right fit. Ask yourself the following 4 questions to help you evaluate your options when searching for the right training partner.

Define Your Goals

You must know exactly what you need before you can find the solution to match. Ask the following four questions and keep the answers top of mind when it comes time to make the final decision.

1. Who Will Participate in the Program?

This is important to know because any leadership development program you select must align with the individuals participating. Many initiatives start with an effort to develop employees at a certain level, but in order to build a truly robust leadership pipeline, it makes sense to provide training and development for entry-level leaders all the way up to top-level executives.

Neglecting senior leadership simply because they are already in high-level roles can actually hinder your development efforts. Individuals always have more to learn and senior leaders are one of your biggest internal assets when it comes to grooming future leaders. Look for a program that provides training for leaders at every level and turns senior leaders into coaches and mentors—a crucial aspect to the success of your organization’s future leaders.

2. What is the Framework Used for the Program?

Every organization faces unique challenges and has its own distinct mix of skill sets and competencies. It is essential that the program you select aligns with the gaps and opportunities your organization is trying to address. Ask any potential partner how their program ensures alignment. Here’s a clue: Any program that cannot be customized specifically for your company is not likely to meet all your needs.

Another important consideration when evaluating the program’s framework is the training style(s) the partner offers. Are you looking for e-learning, lecture-style training, or experiential learning? If you’re not sure, start by researching which learning styles are most effective for the participants who will be involved, and make sure the provider you choose offers a combination of approaches that will work for your team.

3. Does the Program Address the “Why” for Learners?

Learning new information without understanding why you are doing it rarely produces lasting behavior change. In the context of leadership development programs, candidates must know that they are participating in a comprehensive course that aims to develop their leadership skills and that it will continue for years to come. This is especially important for today’s workforce because it builds loyalty and helps reduce turnover.

Look for leadership development programs that clearly spell out a growth path for high-potential candidates. Staying consistently engaged in their own development and knowing that there is more coming will keep future leaders committed to the organization. This type of long-term program also demonstrates that the company is invested in their success.

4. How Does the Provider Measure ROI?

Measuring the effectiveness of any type of investment is just smart business. Although it can be more difficult to measure the ROI of a training program, it is possible. Measurement should be integrated into the program for two important reasons:

1-You want to know that your investment is worthwhile.

2- You need to confirm that new information is retained before training continues.

Ask any potential provider what methods they use to measure progress and how you will know if the program is working.
In most cases, evaluating multiple potential partners does not allow you to compare apples to apples. Because the offerings of each provider cannot necessarily be compared side by side, you must look at them through the lens of your internal goals. Start by defining those goals, and then evaluate how each partner aligns with them.

 
John_Profile_WebAbout the author

Since 1991, John has acquired extensive experience in the design and delivery of a diverse portfolio of programs. In addition to his executive responsibilities as President of Leadership and Learning Events, John is considered a valued partner to many executive teams. His insight and experience enable him to effectively diagnose, design, and implement complex culture change initiatives in a collaborative and engaging manner. Moreover, John’s experience in global implementations allows him to draw from a deep well of history to create unique and customized solutions. John’s passion for developing people makes him a sought after speaker, partner and coach and is evident in the high praise he receives from clients.

 

Re- Blogged From:- Eagle’s Flight

 

 

It can be tough when a member of your C-suite leaves—let alone your top leader. No matter how long they have been with your organization, it can be assumed that they have made an impact on your company’s processes and culture. Despite the loss, however, it’s entirely feasible to smoothly move your organization forward from where they left off.

Succession planning is the process of identifying and developing new leaders to replace those who are currently in those positions when the time comes. It’s a reality of business, no matter what industry you operate within. It’s also a process that’s overlooked: According to a study, roughly two-thirds of U.S. employers surveyed do not have a workforce planning process in place.

When implemented properly, succession planning can improve a company’s ability to build the next generation of leaders, which will give the company a competitive advantage. To help, here are five steps to take before your top talent leaves.

1. Profile the Top Performer

There’s a reason that your organization’s top performer is so successful: They possess a collection of characteristics and habits that inspire achievement. Rather than hire a new leader based on an undefined set of ideal characteristics, remove the guesswork and profile your top performer.

It’s important to identify if this leader is in a cross-functional, legacy role that will require multiple people to replace them. If so, it’s important to hire a collection of individuals who embody different traits that reflect those of the current leader. From maintaining strategic thinking to being excellent communicators, collaborators, and coaches, there are traits that nearly all leaders share. It’s up to you to identify which ones are most relevant to your organization’s needs.

2. Decide to Recruit or Promote from Within

After you profile your top performer and outline the traits you’re looking for in the new leader, it’s time to consider whether you want to recruit a new hire or promote an internal team member. While a fresh face may bring new ideas and a level of expertise to the table, it’s worth considering your internal team. Transitioning into a new role is much easier when you build up your leaders from within.

If it isn’t already, a strong leadership pipeline should be part of your strategy—it’s just smart business. Leaders who grow and develop within an organization are already aligned with the company culture and goals and are prepared to lead when their time comes.

3. Ramp up Your Training Program

To prepare for a leader’s departure, you can build your organization’s training program while they’re still part of the team. This way, you can leverage your top performer’s feedback to ensure that the program is designed to empower incoming leaders.

In addition to having a structure that allows employees to grow within your company, it’s important to offer a leadership development program that supports this growth. These programs must address skills that individuals should have at various stages, from first-time leaders to experienced executives. Having a leader involved in these programs ensures that they buy into the initiative and will be able to support their employees who embark on a similar journey.

4. Create a Mechanism for Ongoing Coaching

In the past, organizations generally operated with a top-down leadership structure that exclusively benefited executive-level employees. While a hierarchy may still be present across your organization, it’s important to offer ongoing training and coaching to employees at every level and in every department.

Training that’s coupled with ongoing coaching support produces better results. A study found that managers who went through training increased their productivity by 22 percent, whereas managers who experienced training and eight weeks of post-training coaching saw an increase of 88 percent.

Following up through retention tools, digital learning, and coaching is just as important as the training itself. No matter what methodologies you choose, sustained behavior change should be your goal.

5. Measure Results Over Time

As illustrated by the point above, training is never a one-and-done process. Instead, it’s essential to track and measure participants’ progress to ensure sustained development. Determining the return on investment of your training efforts is not only an indication of your leadership development program’s effectiveness but also an indication of whether or not your company is retaining its competitive edge and setting up new leaders for success.

In addition to traditional assessment and measurement tactics such as surveys and tests, companies can explore how assessments can help prime the leadership pipeline, which should be a major strategic initiative for any forward-thinking organization that’s preparing for new leadership.

Post-training assessments can help teams discover which employees have made the largest learning gains and identify common competencies that a company’s highest performers share. Training efforts can then be coordinated around these competencies to ensure that a pipeline of top talent is ready to step into leadership roles as needed.

 

About the author

John

 

Since 1991, John has acquired extensive experience in the design and delivery of a diverse portfolio of programs. In addition to his executive responsibilities as President of Leadership and Learning Events, John is considered a valued partner to many executive teams. His insight and experience enable him to effectively diagnose, design and implement complex culture change initiatives in a collaborative and engaging manner. Moreover, John’s experience in global implementations allows him to draw from a deep well of history to create unique and customized solutions. John’s passion for developing people makes him a sought after speaker, partner, and coach and is evident in the high praise he receives from clients.

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Training employees to become better managers or executives is an important part of maintaining a strong leadership pipeline. Without this type of development, an organization can be left with leadership gaps that result in decreased productivity, unintentional shifts in the company culture, and potentially lost profits. That is why it is crucial to address certain leadership topics throughout an employee’s development, in order to improve communication skills and team dynamics.

The types of leadership topics that are most relevant will depend on factors like where an individual is on their development path and the foundation of skills that has already been created. Consider including these ideas as you develop your leadership development program.

1. Communication

For those individuals who are early in their journey to becoming a leader, learning how to effectively communicate is critical. Learning and implementing techniques for active listening is the first step in avoiding misunderstandings and overcoming roadblocks. As they continue to grow into leadership positions that require managing people, they can achieve greater impact by learning how to solicit and provide feedback to improve performance. Senior leaders benefit from learning how to create and deliver the consistent messages that will promote a unified culture.
Why leaders engage: Everybody faces challenges that can be resolved using strong communication skills. Leaders in training want to know how they can be better at communicating effectively so that they can generate the results they expect from their teams.

2. Execution

One of the many strengths that makes an individual a great leader is the talent for developing brilliant strategies. However, in order to be effective, this skill must be paired with the ability to execute. Learning how to implement smart strategies through creating plans, tracking milestones, and leveraging innovation enables leaders to demonstrate that their strategies are valid by delivering results.

Why leaders engage: Teaching leaders how to put their strategies into action empowers them to develop new initiatives and gives them confidence in their ability to bring them to reality.

3. Leadership During Transitions

One of the most challenging times for any organization is a period of transition. Whether it is a change in leadership, a merger, or opening a new branch office, employees crave structure, knowledge, and security in their roles. With the right approach and solid change management skills, leaders can continue to drive productivity during transitional times.

Why leaders engage: This type of training is always relevant but is particularly powerful before a planned transition. Having a clear approach allows executives to respond to change with confidence and poise.

4. Empowering Others

All leaders must delegate tasks, both large and small. In addition to knowing which tasks are appropriate for the right people, a good leader also has the skills to engage individuals in the decision-making process so that they feel empowered to do whatever is required to produce the best results. Leaders who know how to empower others unleash the full potential of their teams.

Why leaders engage: Leaders who focus on optimizing results want to learn how to get the most from their teams. Although they might know how to maximize their own productivity, they might not yet know how to encourage the same in others.

5. Team Performance

By its very nature, a leadership role requires an individual to guide other people. Different personalities, work ethics, skill sets, and other factors contribute to the many challenges a leader might face when trying to improve team performance. Having the practical skills to overcome these various hurdles enables a leader to both help individuals grow and foster higher levels of collaboration.

Why leaders engage: Effectively leading teams is an ongoing process that requires a broad but refined skill set in order to handle the wide range of situations that will arise.

Development programs for emerging leaders, managers, and executives can include many types of leadership topics. Select the ones that make the most sense for everyone depending on their career level, the challenges they currently face, and the journey you expect them to take as they continue to grow as leaders.
About the author

John_Profile_WebSince 1991, John has acquired extensive experience in the design and delivery of a diverse portfolio of programs. In addition to his executive responsibilities as President of Leadership and Learning Events, John is considered a valued partner to many executive teams. His insight and experience enable him to effectively diagnose, design, and implement complex culture change initiatives in a collaborative and engaging manner. Moreover, John’s experience in global implementations allows him to draw from a deep well of history to create unique and customized solutions. John’s passion for developing people makes him a sought after speaker, partner and coach and is evident in the high praise he receives from clients.

 

 

Re- Blogged From:- Eagles’s Flight

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