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  • 4 May 2021 6:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    As the line between work and life blurs, employees want their benefits to include mental, financial, and spiritual health programs. Integrating wellness and well-being into the design of work can benefit individual workers, their teams, and the entire organization.

    Differentiating between wellness and well-being helps explain why they both contribute to personal and organizational success.

    Wellness

    Wellness can be described as a healthy lifestyle, apart from a severe illness. It mainly refers to a person’s physical health -- their ability to do what they want without suffering. Although wellness has different connotations at different stages of life, it stems primarily from healthy eating, frequent physical activity, and adequate sleep.

    Employers have long realized the importance that wellness plays within the working environment. Wellness has played a central role in helping employees curtail unhealthy behaviors leading to costly chronic conditions. A recent survey by RAND Corporation found that 85% to 91% of U.S. companies with 1000 or more employees are likely to offer a workplace wellness program.

    Mental health is equally important, so many employers now offer mental health service coverage within their insurance programs and benefits packages.

    Physical and mental wellness are essential, but they are only one part of the bigger picture. A recent Gallup article points to the need for something more than wellness: “Although physical and mental wellness may seem to be the easiest to measure, it is clearly not the only driver of employee productivity and workplace satisfaction.”

    Well-being


    Well-being encompasses a broader dimension than wellness. Gallup has identified social, career, financial, physical, and community well-being are components of a well-lived life.

    For example, consider an individual who eats healthy foods and stays physically active but lacks social connections and dislikes their job. Their social isolation can impact this person’s physical and mental health, potentially leading to chronic illnesses. Such a spiral would affect the employee’s performance, negatively impact their colleagues and their employer, and contribute to a decline in productivity and profitability.

    Gallup compared individuals who enjoy all five elements of well-being with those who have good physical health but not the other four components. The latter group:

    • miss 68% more work each year due to poor health;
    • are about three times more likely to file workers’ compensation claims;
    • are five times more likely to seek out a new employer in the next year; and
    • are more than twice as likely to change employers.

    Future of well-being in the workplace


    Simply offering workplace wellness programs, no matter how well-intentioned, does not guarantee workers’ well-being. Gallup’s research indicates that although 85% of large employers provide a wellness program, only 60% of the employees know about it. Of those aware employees, only 40% say they participate in the program. Organizations can help employees by promoting such programs more effectively and persuasively.

    A McKinsey Quarterly article on “The overlooked essentials of employee well-being” notes the impact of workplace stress on workers’ physical and psychological health. Stress diminishes productivity, increases voluntary turnover, and costs U.S. employers nearly $200 billion every year in healthcare costs. The article focuses on two effective ways to create a healthier workplace:

    Job control: Allowing employees to determine what they do and how they do it has been shown to enhance their physical health. Research also points to the ill effects of limited job control on mental as well as physical health. Organizations can counter this by limiting micromanagement and building flexibility and autonomy into job roles.

    Social support: Helping employees build meaningful connections and participate in a team enhances their well-being. It has long been known that being able to rely on family and friends supports better health as significantly as quitting smoking and getting adequate exercise. But an increasing number of Americans feel isolated and say they lack close friends. Workplaces can be unfriendly when they engender too much competition, which heightens competition and diminishes collaboration.

    Here are some ways employers can enhance social support:

    • Demonstrating commitment to employees: Organizations that sustain long-term relationships with their customers and employees score high on lists of best places to work. Employees thrive when they understand that management cares for their well-being.
    • Improving workplace language: Employees are more likely to like and help others with whom they share constructive relationships. Language that emphasizes divisions within the workplace can lead to employee alienation.
    • Supporting shared connections: Anything that brings employees together in a meaningful context helps build a sense of shared identity and strengthens social bonds. Holiday celebrations and events that celebrate employee tenure or shared successes are good examples of this.

    Conclusion

    While wellness programs are essential to organizations and their employees, introducing and implementing well-being initiatives for workers will support their productivity and reduce the risk of mental and physical illnesses. Also, job control and social support offer straightforward ways to benefit both employees and employers.


  • 26 Apr 2021 9:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Working from home is an essential part of the new world of work. And COVID-19 has seriously accelerated this style of work. Here are ten tips to help home workers succeed.

    Homeworking is nothing new. But for reasons we all recognize, the concept is now being extended to new groups of employees, managers, and leaders. This brings a new raft of responsibilities, actions, and tools to learn for all of them. Specifically, it falls on our managers and leaders to create the culture required to support new ways of working. And encouraging wellbeing, effective communications, and productivity. And poor homeworking environments will lead to distractions and reduced motivation.

    Here are ten easy-to-follow tips to help you create the culture and environment required for effective homeworking

    1. Daily calls

    Many experienced homeworkers and managers will tell you that a short pre-arranged call every day is the single most powerful tool you can have. This can be a group call for a large team. It teases out opportunities and challenges like no other tool and connects everybody instantly. Note that they don't have to use video; voice will be fine. Attendance is the key

    2. Information tools, technology

    An obvious issue, not to be underestimated, is to ensure that everyone has access to the proper hardware, software, and internet connection speed from day one. Allocate the budget required to ensure systems are up to scratch. These costs will be nothing compared to the loss of productivity resulting from workers sitting idle or managing a data breach.

    3. Use Assessments (wisely)

    Assessing an individual's ability to work alone at home will pay dividends. It's not always easy to work out who will or will not be comfortable working from home. Your assessments should be based on sound logic rather than invalid assumptions. Assessing the human factors involved, such as personality traits, motivation, preferences, motives, values, and home circumstances, will help determine if any accommodations are required. Some people may benefit from partial homeworking rather than losing all face-to-face interactions.

    4. Don't skip the training

    It should be obvious that everyone needs to be able to use the technology. With remote working, it becomes even more critical that these tools are used consistently throughout a team. This is not as easy as it sounds. For instance, leading tools that support homeworking are Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Zoom, but there are many more. These systems are pretty intuitive, but supporting user confidence will accelerate their speed to productivity. People are apt to store and use information in different ways, which might increase data security risks, so training Is essential. A reasonable degree of training and practice will be required for employee engagement, productivity, and data security.

    5. Supportive Culture

    In any group of employees, someone will struggle with technology. And if it's not the tech, it might be the isolation or the changing work environment that causes frustration. Whereas it's easy to ask someone sitting next to you or by the water-cooler how they are doing, it's more difficult when they are working at a distance. Make sure that you have a support structure in place to tease out and provide the support required. Embrace this early as change can be unsettling and cause real problems – people don't always like to admit that they are struggling with the new culture or can't use all the tech!

    6. Buddy up

    Inevitably, working from home can sometimes feel like you're working alone. It helps if you have a buddy or a mentor to turn to and share your challenges and successes. In mentoring programs, both the mentor and the student often benefit. But mentoring may not always be appropriate. In which case, an 'assignment' buddy - someone working on the same or similar project – can be equally supportive. Evidence suggests that this both motivates and increases accountability on a project.

    7. Legal Considerations

    Working from home may demand additional written agreements. These may, of course, already exist. As well as covering remote work expectations, you may also need agreements to protect equipment, expense, confidentiality, and security issues.

    8. Metrics

    Metrics are helpful when managing people working from home. This is true for both managers and employees. Agreeing, setting, and discussing expectations becomes more critical when people work from home. Using and referring to scorecards, KPI's or OKR's regularly helps everybody understand your expectations and how they will be assessed. Note this should not be an excuse to change your organizational objectives and goals; there will be sufficient challenges to deal with anyway.

    9. Spread the news

    The lack of an office means you have to provide other methods for social interaction. Those interactions should include both information supplied by the organization and personal information that anyone wishes to share. The tools are less necessary than the messages. It could be something as simple as a WhatsApp, Teams chat, or a Slack group. Sharing good (or even bad) news; maybe an account win, or a big sale, employee award is motivational for employees working from home. You might consider having a "dress up for work" day and start your day with a video conference or creating an area for shared online positive experiences just for fun.

    10. Townhall webinars

    Weekly webinars are an effective way to share knowledge, ensure a consistent vocabulary and engage everyone. This can be made stimulating and enjoyable by representing a wide range of views with different presentation styles. The leader will manage the call, but bringing in presenters from other departments, team members, product managers, or support staff can be very effective. Alternatively, bring in an external expert to promote new working practices or to promote personal wellbeing such as mindfulness.

    Conclusion

    Ultimately working from home suits some people more than others, just as some people hate coming into an office or a factory every day. But by providing the right atmosphere, tools, and support, this can be enjoyable and productive.


  • 13 Apr 2021 7:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Not only has the pandemic helped us realize how ill-prepared we have been for deadly viruses. It has also made us realize that working in new ways can be good for the mind, body, and soul.

    One outcome of the pandemic has been the acceleration in the phenomenon that many call the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The global health emergency has helped organizations large and small embrace working from home and develop new ways to engage with employees and consumers. As the future unfolds, organizations will continue to automate processes and augment workers’ capabilities to minimize disruptions and enhance productivity.

    This article aims to focus on the various aspects that are changing or are likely to change, within the coming years, for employers, employees, and strategists.

    Future strategies of employers


    Many employers have developed new business approaches to improve employees’ well-being, customer satisfaction, and profitability. They have also learned that they do not need to rent or buy real estate to conduct their businesses. Many companies, such as streaming media and food-delivery services, have flourished in 2020 as consumers prefer to stay at home but still enjoy first-class entertainment and fine dining.

    McKinsey & Company’s February 2021 report “The future of work after COVID-19” suggests that more work could be performed remotely than previously thought. New technologies enable activities such as sales calls, legal arbitrations, and routine doctor’s appointments to be carried out from home. However, the report indicated that effectiveness declined in some circumstances, notably classroom learning, particularly for young children and students with special needs.

    Although remote work may seem like a viable solution, it is not the solution to every scenario. Workers managing confidential information, physical goods, or repairs will be unable to work at home. Some employers have become open to people working from home. Hybrid work may become the new norm for many, with employees dividing their work between home and the office.

    McKinsey’s report also notes that employers may segment job roles into specific tasks that need to be performed. Eric Shepherd and Joan Phaup describe this in their book Talent Transformation: Develop Today’s Team For Tomorrow’s World Of Work:

    Leaders who understand how to allocate tasks to the appropriate resource—an employee, a freelancer, or automation—can develop effective reskilling and recruitment plans. Consider this slogan when you allocate tasks to help you recall your options: Build, Buy, Borrow, or Bot.

    The remarkable rise in computing options is transforming work in significant ways. Whether we like it or not, organizations are moving towards automating services. Many organizations now rely on apps and chatbots to facilitate transactions and customer service interaction.

    Dramatic breakthroughs in automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics are disrupting industries globally and significantly impacting work and jobs. We are witnessing a widening skills gap as machines take on repetitive tasks and new jobs for humans require more communication skills, creativity, cooperation, and collaboration. And some industries, for example, the cruise ship industry, will likely see long-term detrimental effects as potential passengers consider the risks to their health of traveling with so many strangers. Such business will need significant changes to operate successfully in the future.

    Future talent strategies


    As technology progresses, employers will need individuals that can co-exist with automation and artificial intelligence. While worthwhile in many ways, a college degree may not give workers everything they need to stay relevant. Reskilling and constant learning will help them leverage automation to their advantage and deploy it to support their organization’s mission.

    Workers can no longer increase their employment chances by relying on academic credentials. They will have to prove that their competencies will benefit their employer and perhaps demonstrate why they are better suited than automation or artificial intelligence to perform particular tasks.

    We will see a rise in the number of gig workers and freelancers. Employers that segment tasks into smaller ones will build agility and profitability by employing individuals with the required skillsets for these sub-tasks. With gig workers available worldwide, employers will be free to assign work to anyone, anywhere, who has the skills they seek.

    Like employees, gig workers will need to learn constantly. Falling behind will result in lower pay, unemployment, and fewer opportunities.

    Policymakers and Leaders

    Leadership will play a crucial role during this industrial revolution. An essential focus for policymakers will be to help workers reskill in preparation for new jobs to avoid high unemployment rates and/or workers dropping out of the workforce entirely.

    Governments have been reaching out to unemployed individuals with stimulus checks and monetary compensation. The same approach could sustain workers as they go through periods of retraining, thereby supporting life-long learning experiences.

    Credentialing, micro-credentialing, certification, and licensing options could be usefully reviewed, and new programs introduced. Policymakers charged with accelerating and implementing these programs will want to ensure seamless transitions that result in minimal disruption for employers and employees alike.

    Conclusion

    With the disappearance of old jobs and the creation of new ones, workers will face unprecedented transitions in their careers. They will need to acquire new skills to stay relevant and advance into more rewarding jobs. Businesses and policymakers will play crucial roles in rethinking, retraining, and finding new ways to help workers develop the skills and competencies they will need.

  • 7 Apr 2021 3:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The ever-changing employment landscape of the twenty-first century calls for corresponding changes in education.

    An academic degree demonstrates an individual’s ability to study, learn, and prove their knowledge. It also reflects their interest in a particular field and might prepare them for a career. But with technology accelerating at breakneck rates and technical skills becoming more specialized, some university coursework might be out of date even before graduation day. Five or ten years out, it’s likely that graduates will need some reskilling and will continue to need it periodically throughout their careers.

    As the half-life of skills shortens, learning experiences should become more flexible and individualized. Linking learning with job roles and competency models can provide pathways that help individuals develop the competencies they need to qualify for new jobs as they come onstream.

    Skills and knowledge vs. time spent learning

    Writing early this year in the Training Industry Blog, Dr. Lisa McIntyre-Hite and Dr. Charla Long noted that employers “want greater precision regarding what graduates actually know and can do.”

    And many employers are shifting toward competency-based hiring. For example:

    • With more than two million workers, the US federal government has pivoted its hiring practices to put more emphasis on job skills than educational levels. This change will not negate degree requirements for some jobs, but skills assessments and other measurements will level the playing field for many roles.
    • Students enrolled in Walden University’s Tempo Learning® competency-based education program demonstrate knowledge, skills, and expertise through various types of assessments. They work toward degrees by mastering competencies deemed necessary for their desired careers.
    • When GE Digital needed highly skilled workers for a new IT center in Rhode Island four years ago, the company worked with TechHire Rhode Island to recruit software engineers, project analysts and other professionals. TechHire champions inclusive hiring practices that value skills over academic degrees. The organization uses a talent validation process for assessing technical aptitude, professionalism, and job readiness. The organization uses training partners to run credentialing programs such as intensive boot camps for people who want to become software developers.
    • Brandman University focuses competency-based education (CBE) on building a deep understanding of the competencies required for fields such as business and information technology, how to develop and measure them, and how to help learners articulate them to employers.
    • South Texas College has used competency-based education to meet local employers’ talent needs. Ten years ago, the college began offering bachelor’s degree programs that cost no more than $10,000. Competency-based education enabled the college to create a high-quality, affordable program that appealed to working adults. This competency-based approach, which provides learning that can happen anytime, anywhere, has increased opportunities for students who might lack the resources and time to pursue traditional degree programs. Also, if students have prior knowledge of a subject, they can prove their knowledge and move forward instead of spending time in class unnecessarily. Other schools in the state, including Tarleton State University, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and the University of Houston, have adopted competency-based degrees.
    • Although many programs like the one at Walden University and a growing number of Texas institutions build on competencies that lead to degrees, shorter certificate programs and courses also enable workers to upskill or reskill to take on the jobs they desire.

    Customized learning


    As educational institutions become more intricately connected with industry, they will increasingly alter their programming to serve industry’s growing need for competencies and micro-credentials.

    To that end, they are customizing learning experiences to place individuals in those environments where they learn best and can focus more easily on content – taking into account even the time of day when an individual best absorbs information. Providers are also using new technology tools to monitor learning progress—rather than seat time—toward a credential. Data analysis, machine learning, and AI will enable learning systems to provide meaningful and insightful recommendations to help someone manage their education and career.

    Identifying the competencies needed for specific job roles will help employers collaborate with educational institutions. For example, a hospital that needs to train staff members on using new equipment might approach the local community college to provide a three-week training module.

    Tracking competencies

    When learners complete courses or develop new skills through experience, their achievements can be recorded via interoperable learning records (ILRs) that they and their employers can access from then on.

    ILRs will be instrumental in tracking a wide variety of learning experiences, on-the-job behaviors, and more. They will be able to document learning wherever it occurs—at work, through an educational program, or within military training. These records will be transferable and recognizable across academic, commercial, and military systems. Individuals seeking success in the new world of work will need this thorough reporting of their achievements.

    People who own and manage their individual learning history, mini-credentials, and competencies throughout their lives will have complete records of the learning experiences that have prepared them for their next step up.

    To qualify for new roles (many of which do not exist yet), workers at all educational levels will need to pursue competencies that align with their desired job and demonstrate that they have the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to succeed in it. ILRs will help them do that.

    A promising future

    Many institutions value the idea of CBE but have yet to implement it. However, this approach is gaining traction and has a promising future. The Competency-Based Education Network, representing more than 30 colleges and universities, published Quality Principles & Standards for Competency-Based Education Programs in 2017. By developing principles and standards that could apply to all CBE programs, this organization has set the stage for expanding and popularizing this approach.

  • 1 Apr 2021 12:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Perceptions about elementary and secondary education are undergoing a sea change as the concept of lifelong learning takes hold in the twenty-first-century world of work.


    Whether adults perceive it or not, infants learn from the moment they are born – and some evidence indicates that learning occurs even inside the womb. Babies and toddlers gather information long before they can share their knowledge with adults.

    As children begin to talk, they express themselves haltingly at first but gradually add the vocabulary and syntax they need to be understood. Even before they reach kindergarten or first grade, kids become experts in a wide array of subjects. They know 1) how to get parents to give them treats; 2) one hundred ways to delay naptime; 3) the entire text of Goodnight Moon; and 4) the infinite loop of “The Song That Never Ends.”

    Joking aside, serious thought is being given to children’s ability to absorb whatever is going on around them when something interests them sufficiently. Consequently, a growing number of educational researchers now believe that formal education should start later in life than it does today.

    Research by the National Institute for Cognitive Excellence (NICE) indicates that K-12 education is less effective than allowing young people to learn in a free-range fashion. The institute posits that individuals should start working at 10 or 11, when their creativity and learning ability are at their peak. Entering the workforce early, young people will be well-prepared to continuously develop the new skills and competencies required to keep pace with exponential change.

    NICE is striving to understand how students can best prepare for careers that will require frequent reskilling for new jobs.

    “Life-long learning is the way forward for everyone in the workforce who hopes to thrive during the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” says NICE Founder and CEO Dr. Hadley Knowmore. “We are not convinced that K through 12 education is the best way to prepare young people for the fast pace of change coming to the workplace. Giving youngsters time to develop on their own equips them with the curiosity and tenacity they will need to persevere through multi-stage careers. They will have a natural aptitude for the periodic upskilling and reskilling they will need to qualify for changing job roles.”


    Knowmore added that children perform best when they understand the reason for learning a particular subject:

    Fifth graders say they don’t care what time a fictitious train traveling west at 79 miles per hour will take to get to Kansas City if it leaves St. Louis at noon. My colleagues are coming to believe that formal learning can wait until young people gain work experience. Then, they will be ready for on-the-job training or advanced academic studies.

    Maynard Gettawerk, a senior researcher for academic think tank Exploratory Learning Solutions, agrees:

    Kids are expected to learn all sorts of things they’ll never need in the real world. We have it backward. The curiosity that young children naturally possess is stunted by the time they reach third or fourth grade. People can play until they’re 11, get a job and then learn things that will help them succeed in their careers, either through work-based training or formal education. This sequence makes more practical sense and produces happier people.

    On the other hand, on this early April day in 2021, who are you going to believe?



  • 29 Mar 2021 8:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We recently wrote about the skills workers will need for new jobs that will emerge during the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Some of these jobs are already up for grabs, and some will become commonplace in the next ten years. Consider these possibilities:

    Learning for Life Coach

    Lifelong learning will help people keep pace with changing work environments and new tasks. But how will employees chart paths that bring engagement and satisfaction? Learning for life coaches will help employees pursue their personal and career goals while meeting their employers’ needs. Learner profiles, assessments, qualifications, internal systems, and the labor market will help coaches serve as valuable advocates and advisors. Connecting closely with employees will enable coaches to detect problems, mitigate them, and even head off unnecessary resignations.

    Head of Business Behavior

    The widespread adoption of sensors and biometric technology in the workplace will make it easier for organizations to understand employee behavior. Heads of business behavior will lead workforce intelligence teams that develop data-driven strategies in areas such as employee experience, cross-company collaboration, and workplace success.

    Work from Home Facilitator

    This person will evaluate, budget for, and integrate digital collaboration tools to ensure that remote employees have the technology they need to do their best work. Job qualifications include empathy, excellent communication skills, and in-depth knowledge of technology, such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), for interaction and collaboration.

    HR Data Detective

    Curiosity, resilience, and persistence typify people who take on the role of sourcing, sifting, and investigating people data. HR data detectives dig deep into multiple sources, including everything from HR information systems and human capital management systems to employee surveys, time-tracking records, and benefits portals. The HR data detective will transform unstructured information, such as employee sentiment, text, email, video, or voice inputs, into usable information to aid decisions making.

    Business Continuity Strategist

    Business continuity planning helps organizations prevent and recover from potential threats. An effective plan ensures that personnel and assets can resume quickly in the event of a disaster. The business continuity strategist will lead the development, implementation, and maintenance of business continuity and risk management programs. In this role, being able to form cross-functional partnerships and communications at all levels is critical.

    Algorithm Auditor

    Conducting a rigorous investigation into every algorithm across the organization, the algorithm auditor will work with development teams in tech and business functions to review new AI-based applications and existing systems. The auditor’s inventory system will log and track the objectives, input, output and related human value judgments and consequences of each significant algorithm an organization uses.

    Chatbot & Human Facilitator

    Here’s a role for someone passionate about conversational interfaces for employees and customers. The chatbot & human facilitator will work with voice UX designers to optimize voice-as-a-platform systems – including accents, inflections, turns of phrase, and jargon. These improvements will heighten empathetic inputs and create a better experience for clients and workers alike.

    Talent Task Manager

    Thanks to new technologies and business models, organizations can develop talent internally, buy in highly skilled workers, retain gig workers, or offload tasks to automation. The talent task manager, working within a talent marketplace model to access needed skills, will help determine how to assign tasks and roles most efficiently and effectively – whether to people or machines.

    Distraction Prevention Coach

    Who couldn’t benefit from having someone help them hone their attention both inwardly (to align their values and intuitions) and outwardly (to navigate the world around them)? The distraction prevention coach will educate employees at all levels about the nature of stress and help them manage it to increase their focus, productivity, and effectiveness.

    Diversity and Inclusion Data Analyst

    Most businesses today realize that it’s vital to encourage diversity and inclusion throughout the organization. While efforts like unconscious bias training have been used for decades to meet corporate diversity goals, the increased use of algorithms, automation and AI has put a new spin on how bias can seep into decision-making and everyday actions. The D&I Data Analyst will work with senior decision-makers, managers, and IT to analyze data and ensure that recommendations are understandable, transparent, and free of bias.

    Future of Work Leader

    This senior strategist can envision new business models and new roles that will be needed in the next decade. This individual will synthesize many big-picture inputs from academia, leading think tanks, industry umbrella organizations and regional, and national organizations to anticipate next-generation skills to fuel the business.

    Human-Machine Teaming Manager

    The future of work will be based on how well companies blend and extend the abilities of humans and machines to ensure collaboration. The human-machine teaming manager will identify tasks, processes, systems, and experiences that newly available technologies could improve. This professional will imagine new approaches, skills, interactions, and constructs—defining roles and responsibilities and setting the rules for how machines and workers should coordinate to complete a task.

    Workplace Environmental Architect

    The workplace environmental architect will design strategies for improving the workers’ wellness, including human-centered design. Expertise in architecture, human-centered design, and public health will help the architect create a healthy, nurturing workplace. This person will foster an organization-wide understanding of well-being’s value and the importance of providing a wellness-supporting workplace environment.

    Director of Employee Well-Being

    The COVID-19 outbreak highlighted the need for every organization to establish a well-being strategy for its workers. Even before the pandemic, two-thirds of full-time workers experienced job-related burnout. Hence the need for someone to design, develop, and implement well-being programs aligned with an organization’s culture, mission, and values. The role incorporates a holistic vision that seeks to weave mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being into its fabric.

    Purpose Officer

    Organizations increasingly recognize that “purpose” attracts customers while also engaging employees. The purpose officer will help shape and promote a corporate purpose strategy that aligns with the organization’s suppliers, clients, customers, and employees.

    Human Network Analyst

    The human network analyst will use data analytics and AI to analyze and visualize working relationships. Data from tools for organizational network analysis (ONA), virtual ONA (email and messaging, for example), and physical ONA (such as GPS and ID badges) to answer queries, present solutions, and provide answers to questions that have yet to be asked.

    VR and AT Specialists

    VR and AT specialists will use virtual and augmented reality to help managers and teams design, facilitate, personalize, and scale workforce training and collaboration. These specialists will help engineers, training and development managers, and technologists supercharge collaboration and task completion.

    Summary


    New technologies and business models will drive emerging roles and responsibilities. As some functions disappear, new ones will appear. Those who aspire to these new jobs will need periodic reskilling to keep pace with the ever-changing demands of the twenty-first-century world of work.
  • 22 Mar 2021 9:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Virtual meetings offer a practical solution to lockdowns and the closure of offices. How could we have functioned without them during the current pandemic? According to the Harvard Business Review, many people find online meetings are worrisome. They fear voicing an opinion, concerned that no one will agree with them or stand up for them. Under such circumstances, an individual can feel psychologically unsafe, isolated, and lonely. Their fears keep them from speaking up, which prevents the team from hearing diverse views. As a result, questions and concerns that should be raised during these meetings too often go unmentioned.

    We do not know how the COVID-driven shift to remote working will impact workers in the long run, but it’s clear that virtual meetings are hard on some people. In response to this trend, leaders and managers are increasingly concerned with these questions:

    • How can we build psychological safety, engagement, and collegiality into the work for virtual teams?
    • How can we create an atmosphere that helps people who dissenting views speak up and share their ideas?

    Here are This post suggests some answers to these questions.

    Identify the causes of discomfort


    Many factors impact individuals’ feelings about online meetings. For instance:

    • The difficulty, even the impossibility at times, of detecting social cues or non-verbal agreement
    • The absence of natural responses such as a supportive nod or smile from across the table
    • Distractions from kids, pets, emails, visitors, phones, and so on
    • Home and family responsibilities that interfere with work
    • The added pressures of life during a pandemic during which social unrest is running high

    Build camaraderie and trust

    While team leaders can’t change the pace of life in participants’ homes, here are some ways to smooth out some of the anxiety people have about online meetings.

    Connect beforehand

    There’s a big difference between entering an online meeting without knowing a soul and establishing a relationship beforehand. Anonymous surveys or one-on-one interviews before a gathering can boost engagement by creating a sense of connection. Friendly one-on-one calls to team members – especially newbies – can assure individuals that the leader takes an interest in them. And the leader could encourage similar conversations among individual team members – perhaps even a buddy system.

    Add some fun to the agenda


    Including a quick game, some show-and-tell or something as simple as an anonymous mood barometer poll can help establish a sense of camaraderie into a virtual meeting. A small investment in a group activity can yield significant gains in mutual understanding and productivity. Here are a few simple ways to inject some fun into the mix:

    Ask people where they are calling in from and displaying the answers in a word cloud.

    Set a theme for the meeting and ask participants to use a Zoom background to reflect the theme.

    Share some unexpected facts about team members and have their colleagues guess who the facts pertain to.

    Play two truths and a lie using information attendees have provided ahead of time and set up an anonymous poll asking team members to select the lie.

    Have each team member share a favorite possession and tell why it holds meaning for them.

    Check in after the meeting

    If someone was reticent during a meeting, engage with them afterward via text, calls, or emails. Perhaps ask them for their suggestions and ideas. The more engagement team members experience between meetings, the more comfortable they will feel attending them.

    Use built-in tools for sharing thoughts and feelings


    Standard tools available within online meeting platforms can make it easier for people to make their views known without feeling exposed and criticized:

    Hand-raise function

    Providing a leader or facilitator keeps a close eye on the participant list, Individuals can get attention by clicking on the hand icon instead of waving their hand to indicate they would like to speak. Waiting to be called on helps prevent people from interrupting each other.

    Polls

    The speed and anonymity of instant polls remove the fear of expressing an opinion. A clear explanation of the issue at hand and some reasons participants might favor the different responses frees them to choose whatever makes the most sense to them. The host can instantly share poll results and then ask participants to elaborate on their views, offer additional information, suggest options, and perhaps reach a consensus.

    Polls use different question formats:

    • Likert scale
    • True/False
    • Yes/No
    • Multiple Choice

    Green checks and red X’s

    Another quick way to gauge agreement and disagreement is to have participants click on a green checkmark or a red X’s. This method does not allow the anonymity of a poll, but it offers an instant way to gauge opinions and encourage everyone to chime in.

    Chat

    People who feel nervous about speaking aloud may be more comfortable expressing their ideas in the chat window. The leader can set the tone for this by reminding everyone of this option and welcoming brief, candid thoughts. The chat messages can be saved for later consideration.

    Breakout rooms

    Creating small groups provides a more relaxing environment for everyone, but particularly for individuals who hesitate to speak up within a larger crowd. Assign a task or topic for each group to channel their energy toward a manageable goal. After sharing ideas among a few colleagues, each small group can present their findings to the larger group. A spokesperson for each small group can summarize what was said and share the various points of view without pinning them on an individual.

    Video or Still Photo

    Although appearing on video during a meeting offers some clues about how people respond to ideas, video images can also be distracting. (Choosing “speaker view” cans down on distractions.) Some people feel more self-conscious on video, so they prefer to display only their profile photo. Individuals who don’t mind appearing on video but find it distracting to see themselves (something that does not happen during face-to-face meetings) can select “hide myself.”

    Conclusion

    Virtual teams and online meetings have enabled organizations to function at a distance. They are not ideal for everyone or suit every purpose, but a creative, welcoming approach assisted by technological tools can help draw reluctant participants into a group and encourage them to voice their opinions without fear.


    $How to Run Effective Virtual Meeting with Promoting Psychological Safety at work. The secrets on how to run successful virtual meetings.$

    #virtualmeeting #remotework #psychologicalsafetyatwork 

  • 18 Mar 2021 2:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Well-designed and implemented competency frameworks, sometimes referred to as models, provide metrics for selecting talent, developing individuals’ skills, and evaluating their performance equitably.

    Without frameworks that reflect their values and align with their objectives, organizations are likely to place people in inappropriate roles, miss growth goals, and see declines in employee engagement and customer loyalty.

    Clear competency definitions that align with an organization’s priorities and set accurate expectations for specific job roles help embed its vision and values into its expectations of employees’ capabilities and behaviors.

    What is a Competency Framework?

    As explained in Talent Transformation: Develop Today’s Team for Tomorrow’s World of Work, organizations group individual competency definitions into competency frameworks that describe the required knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors, and experiences employees need to succeed.


    Competency definitions describe the required performance environment—the physical setting in which an individual or team performs a task, including elements such as information, job aids, tools, workspace, air quality, noise level, and lighting—and the levels of potential performance. These definitions explain what’s needed to perform successfully in a role; they help us understand what we need to measure to determine if someone is suitable for that role.

    A competency framework that incorporates well-defined competencies provides a useful reference point for other talent management functions:


    What are the Benefits?

    A well-designed competency framework helps stakeholders at every level of an organization:

    • Senior leaders gain a reliable basis for talent decisions about who should fill available positions and what their organization’s strategic development requires. These frameworks, which align HR’s strategies with those of the entire organization, can be revised and clarified to meet changing priorities.
    • Managers obtain critical targets for talent acquisition, development, evaluation, and reskilling. Managers who adhere to these frameworks can confirm that their decisions are fair and match up with the rest of the organization.
    • Employees at all levels learn how to achieve desired results in their current role and prepare for the future roles they want.
    • The HR Team gets a roadmap for building and connecting talent management systems, with competency profiles at their fingertips for recruitment, onboarding, performance appraisal, and professional development.

    Using Competency Frameworks

    Popular applications of competency frameworks include:

    Staffing

    Organizations that clearly define the skills, capabilities, and behaviors they need for specific roles are far more likely to fill positions quickly and appropriately than those who don’t pin down these details. Participating in interviews and assessments that align with competency frameworks helps new hires understand what their jobs will require and prepare for what’s ahead.

    Learning and Development

    Competency frameworks offer a roadmap for assessing performance, providing feedback, prescribing learning programs, and charting future professional development plans.

    Succession Management

    Leaders seeking talent to fulfill organizational goals need clear standards for assessing individuals at all levels. Data from assessments that reflect those goals make it possible to pinpoint talent gaps and identify individuals’ suitability for particular roles.

    Performance Management

    By articulating the skills, capabilities, and behaviors that bring success, competency frameworks give leaders and managers road maps for how to create performance plans that achieve desired objectives and outcomes.

    Career Planning

    Employees and managers who stay informed about critical skillsets and mindsets for job success can chart practical professional development plans and prepare knowledgeably for what’s next.

    Cultivating Organizational Culture

    Competency frameworks that incorporate organizational values articulate and reinforce behaviors that align with those values. If an organization wants to build an inclusive culture, competency definitions can name the behaviors that contribute to inclusiveness – such as psychological safety and empathy.

    Talent Analytics

    Clear competency definitions provide a foundation for measuring people’s capabilities. They give leaders a basis for analyzing data that compares an organization’s performance, such as productivity and customer satisfaction, to data from competency evaluations. They also help managers identify the competencies that differentiate individuals’ performance levels and identify those most likely to succeed.

    Steps for Success

    Organizations that develop competency frameworks that align with organizational imperatives and apply these frameworks to all job roles enjoy tremendous advantages. They gain valuable insights about the talent they need to grow and innovate, the competencies they need to build, and ways in which their talent management systems must improve.

    Start on the Right Foot

    Designing a competency framework begins with discussing the organization’s challenges and selecting the competency definitions to be included within the framework. Job Task Analysis (JTA) makes it possible to tease out critical tasks and discover their importance, difficulty, and frequency. For an existing role, this is a matter of analyzing each task by surveying and interviewing the individuals—preferably experts—who already perform it. For a new or changing role, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) collaborate to determine the details of the tasks it will entail.

    Relating competencies directly to organizational strategies and goals encourages stakeholders at all levels of the organization to support the process. It’s also crucial to consider how competencies will be used and applied within talent management systems. Competency definitions should note specific skills, capabilities, and behaviors to match each role to ensure clear expectations. And organizations must ensure that staff members know how to use these definitions.

    Build in Sustainability

    Competency frameworks are of little value without accountability. Who will be in charge of supporting competency applications? How will they evaluate competencies’ strong points and weak points and revise those that don’t serve the organization well? And how quickly will they be able to respond to changing needs? Is there a process of evaluating return on investment?

    Summary

    Carefully planned and designed competency frameworks help keep organizations on track as they pursue their objectives. Once in place, these frameworks need ongoing review and revision to meet changing needs and demands. Consistently communicate the benefits of competency frameworks, monitor results, and inform stakeholders about progress to build support across the organization.

    Learn more about the value of competency definitions and frameworks by visiting the Talent Transformation Guild.

    $What are the Essential Management Competencies for Business. Learn the value of competency management on how it can help build a strong organizational management$

    #competencymanagement #jobcompetency #futureofwork 


  • 8 Mar 2021 11:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Competency frameworks, sometimes referred to as competency models, act as guides for governments, schools, colleges, universities, employers, students, employees, and job seekers. Industry-specific competency frameworks are produced by government agencies and trade groups to provide a starting point for the other stakeholders. Competency frameworks are formulated for different industry sectors, roles, jobs, careers, or job groups. By expressing the specific skills and knowledge requirements of an industry, they create the roadmap for career growth. Organizations then use these industry frameworks to produce their versions of the framework. These frameworks help us clearly express the behaviors, capabilities, knowledge, skills, and abilities required for jobs. Job seekers can prepare themselves for their industry of choice by using publicly available competency frameworks. Learning and development content creators can use these frameworks to create relevant training courses. Industry competency frameworks also inform the competencies required for licenses, credentials, and certifications. Employees can upskill to be up-to-date with industry expectations for their role.

    Macro View

    As the diagram below shows a competency framework brings many uses and benefits.


    National and regional government use industry frameworks to inform their policy and funding decisions. Schools, colleges and universities use frameworks to drive curricular and the competencies required to win a credential. As stakeholder Awarding bodies are key. Awarding bodies are also known as test publishers or certification authorities. Awarding bodies use frameworks to define the competencies requires for the certification programs that might be used to documents qualifications and grant credentials.

    Competency frameworks underpin critical HR functions such as writing job descriptions, recruiting, interviewing candidates, learning programs, employee development, performance management, selection, promotion, upskilling, certification, and so on.

    Finally, individuals use competency frameworks to inform their career choices.

    Competency frameworks are dynamic

    Competency frameworks are not stagnant management frameworks. Industry and business experts regularly update these frameworks based on economic, business, and technology changes. Competency frameworks must remain current to inform stakeholders. Industry competency frameworks provide governments, and regional economies, insights into trends to develop strategies, policies, and funding to grow the talent pool required for prosperity.

    A Competency Framework is a collection of defined competencies is known as a competency framework. A competency describes what an individual should know and do to perform a specific role or a task. These are used to define one or more job roles within an industry or a particular organization.

    Behaviors vs. Capabilities

    Competence describes an individual’s ability to perform a specific task or activity successfully within a predefined situation. There are two broad categories of competencies; behaviors define how an individual should behave, and capabilities represent what an individual should know or be able to do.

    The actual number of behavioral competencies referenced with a competency framework varies from organization to organization but is in the order of 4 to 15.

    Capabilities define knowledge, skills, and abilities that an individual must be able to use to complete a task successfully. Sometimes granular levels of details define capabilities, and in some frameworks, only high-level definitions are documented. The number of capabilities referenced with a competency framework can range from tens to hundreds.

    Competency definitions serve as a standard to assess and measure performance via differentiating levels such as “Needs Improvement or Support”, “Meets Expectation”, and “Exceeds Expectation.” Combining all of these thoughts a well-defined competency could be represented as:


    Defining a Behavioral Competency

    While a competency definition may assume many forms, they always have some shared elements such as the “Competency Name” and “Competency Definition.” For example, a behavioral competency:

    Competency Name: Teamwork

    Competency Definition: To be able to complete tasks while coordinating and collaborating with others

    Each competency will have a list of desired behaviors outlining the desired abilities and assessment criteria. For example, the desired list of activities for teamwork might be:

    • Staying committed toward the teams’ goals.
    • Facilitating team interaction.
    • Focusing on teams’ goals.
    • Ability to delegate and utilizing each other’s strengths to complete tasks.
    • Mitigating weaknesses by collaborating.
    • Handling conflicts effectively.
    • Staying open to group opinions and suggestions.
    • Motivating group members to submit ideas.
    • Supporting and following group decisions.
    • Effective handling of work-style differences.

    Competency definitions also contain information regarding the level of mastery required at different organizational and occupational standards. They inform the abilities to be demonstrated to achieve each level of competence. Such information helps create learning and development content and performance measurement.

    Defining a Capability Competency

    A capability competence establishes the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform a task. Just as with a behavioral competency, these competency definitions also have a “Competency Name” and “Competency Definition.” For example, a capability competency:

    Competency Name: Install and Configure a Framework XL Router

    Competency Definition: Given a functioning Framework XL Router install it within a 19” rack and configure for route IP traffic securely on an internal network

    For this capability, a list of tasks would be specified, for example:

    • Determine that the work area is safe.
    • Determine if the new router is to be installed in a “hot” or “cold” rack.
    • Take the necessary precautions if the router is to be installed in a hot rack.
    • Install the router into the rack safely and securely.
    • Apply power to the rack and ensure that it powers up correctly.
    • Using configuration software to ensure that the router passes all internal diagnostic tests.
    • Using configuration software to configure and route IP traffic securely on an internal network.
    • Insert network cables and run security tests to ensure the router is performing correctly.

    A capability competency definition will typically contain the levels which are used to measure “Needs Support”, “Meets Expectation” and “Exceeds Expectation” performances. In this example, the individual’s actual performance might be determined by a supervisor or by using virtual reality.

    Effective and Targeted Learning

    Competency definitions often reference the learning needs of a person who is currently below the expected performance level. By following the learning guidelines an individual can access targeted learning opportunity which allows him to upgrade himself to above expectation or meets expectation performance levels.

    Competency Frameworks and Upskilling

    Individuals today must continuously upgrade their skills, adapt to, and learn to stay relevant in the job market and provide the necessary skills organizations need to remain in operation. This constant need for improvement is driven by competition at the global level, massive technological changes, and the need for environment-friendly and sustainable solutions. These factors affect the economy directly, and businesses are supporting these trends.

    Under such a climate, employers, the government, and the education system are motivated to come together to perform the following critical functions:

    • Develop industry-specific and open competency frameworks.
    • Create an education system that is adaptive to the fast-changing world of business.
    • Improve access to learning opportunities for the skills required to improve income and quality of life.
    • Increase income equality and salaries.
    • Train and prepare workers for better job opportunities.
    • Allow low wage workers to upskill and find better jobs.
    • Develop capabilities and behavioral skills to allow workers to succeed in the 4th industrial revolution.

    Help workers succeed in entering the emerging and fast-growing sectors such as the “alternate energy” industry.

    Of course, these responsibilities go hand in hand where one cannot be achieved without the other. Unless someone documents and publishes the skillset and aptitude necessary for high-skill positions, educators would not be able to create curricula and guidance systems to prepare potential workers. Competency frameworks provide the framework for this documentation. Business and industry experts come together to develop comprehensive industry competency frameworks. These frameworks document in great detail the desired skillset for crucial economic sectors and emerging high-growth industries.

    When properly formulated, these industry competency frameworks serve as reference frameworks that provide the interconnectedness between governments, academia, employers, and individuals. These frameworks allow employers to define clear job descriptions and describe the topics for upskilling. They help prepare curricula, guidelines, and assessments required to measure the behaviors and capabilities required to perform the tasks of the job. By providing information on the desired credentials and licenses needed to fulfill the competencies, the frameworks offer a clear pathway for career progression and growth

  • 4 Mar 2021 3:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Social and emotional intelligence is crucial for success at work: a learnable skill that enables us to work effectively in teams, remain calm amid conflict, establish healthy long-term relationships, and make sound decisions.  


    The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2020 lists emotional intelligence (EI) among the ten skills most frequently requested by organizations surveyed. And the need for social and emotional intelligence is among the 12 factors for success that Eric Shepherd and Joan Phaup highlight in their book, Talent Transformation: Develop Today’s Team for Tomorrow’s World of WorkThey describe IE as “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express emotions and to handle relationships effectively.”   

    Exponential changes in technology and business models, together with the additional stresses of living through a global pandemic, reinforce people’s tremendous need to value EI. They can use EI to help them adjust readily to changing work practices and work effectively in remote teams. 

    Powerful technologies enable us to communicate with each other, but people feel isolated – a combination that makes them more impatient and volatile. These impacts of stress are making it harder to solve our individual and collective problems, and they impact everyone around the world, at work, and home.  

    The distance we must maintain for safety can obscure the natural cues that tell us how other people feel. We may be less apt to empathize with someone and connect with them constructively when we are not in the same room. Long periods of social isolation are testing our limits, making it more critical than ever to understand our own and other peoples’ feelings.   

    According to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America 2020 report, two out of every three adults in the United States have experienced increased stress since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the younger generation, nearly 8 out of every 10 Gen Z adults in the US consider concerns about the nation’s future as a significant source of stress. 

    Developing emotional intelligence will help all of us find constructive solutions to these problems. It doesn’t only help us get along better with coworkers. It makes us more agile and adaptable. As technology takes on more and more tasks, emotional intelligence will help us embrace change, reason clearly, and make smart decisions. By accepting the importance of EI, we move closer to achieving it. 

    So how do we improve our EI? 

    Tune in To Emotions 


    Emotions relate to our biology. Our neurotransmitters are designed to help us cope with various levels of stress. Serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and other endorphins help regulate essential bodily functions: digestion, temperature, heart rate, and so on. They also play a role in how — and what — we feel. 

    It’s typical for people who ignore their emotions to experience a physical manifestation of how they feel: perhaps tightness in the jaw, sore muscles,  or furrowed eyebrows. Taking hints from our bodies can help us tune in to our feelings. But how can we do that? Answering these questions is an excellent way to start: 

    • How do I feel physically? (tight muscles, tight jaw, frown, etc.) 

    • What emotions am I feeling? (happy, sad, anxious, calm, excited, bored, etc.) 

    • How would I describe my mindset right now? (distracted, focused, observant, etc.) 

    We can also discern another person’s emotions by paying attention to their tone of voice, watching their facial expressions, and noting their body language.  

    Strike a Balance 


    Paying attention to our feelings helps us improve relationships, solve problems, and empathize with other people. But it’s essential to strike a balance. Being consumed by emotion can decrease productivity, but ignoring strong feelings, which some construe as strength and resilience, can make it hard to engage with family, friends, and colleagues. Ideally, we use our emotions constructively instead of letting them use us. 

    We can temper our tendency to ignore our feelings when we focus too much on facts. While it’s essential to concentrate on the data and facts we need to analyze for work or school, we also need to heed emotional data. Observing other people’s feelings and honoring the value of maintaining clear, compassionate connections with our coworkers and family members can help us curb our need to “be right” and win arguments. 

    Practice 


    With daily practice, we can better understand our own and others’ emotions, honor them and respond to them. We often hear that we must treat others with respect. This sounds easy, but sometimes it takes special effort. We can practice genuine respect by knowing that we have something to learn from everyone. This awareness makes us more willing to understand things from their perspective. When we do this, others can see and feel our respect, and we can then build empathetic relationships with them. 

    Even when we disagree with someone, we can respect them by recognizing their perspective. We can admit that the individual’s views are as important and worthy as ours.  Whole-hearted respect for others helps us notice the subtle ways we may consider ourselves to be superior. We can then change course to see ourselves as equals. Then we are in a better position to learn from the other person. Sensing our respect, they will be more open with us. Our mutual empathy makes for a healthier, more productive relationship.  

    When someone is having a hard time, it can be tempting to say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” But putting ourselves into their shoes enables us to imagine how overwhelming the “small stuff” can get when dealing with toxic stress levels. At such times, it’s almost impossible to focus on the important stuff. Empathy instead of dismissiveness will help us offer a supportive, understanding response.  

    When feeling overwhelmed by our emotions, reflection can help us gain perspective and balance. For instance, we can take ourselves into the future and imagine what we will think of our current problems. This exercise can help us untangle our feelings and separate those that need our attention from those likely to settle naturally. 

    Override Innate Traits 


    Developing social intelligence can help manage what seem to be innate aspects of our personality. For instance, people may have a predisposition for optimism or pessimism and might go through life on that basis. But studies now suggest that looking on the bright side – taking a thoughtful, optimistic approach that seeks solutions  –   can be a learned skill. 

    If we find ourselves in a pessimistic pit, we can feel so sad, scared, and desperate that it seems impossible to solve problems. But allowing ourselves to feel and identify our emotions can open the way to solutions. Adding context to a feeling can help, too. For instance, if we’re feeling demotivated,  we can place that mood in a timeframe, such as “at the moment.” When someone thinks, “I don’t want to do this at the moment,” they are setting the stage for regaining their motivation. “At the moment” reassures the person that their pessimistic mood need not last long. 

    Keep Building EI 


    Emotional intelligence is not rocket science. Nor is it something that we either have or don’t have. Anyone can learn about it and practice it.  Much of this learning occurs informally, through personal experience, but formal training can help, too. Either way, practicing emotional intelligence enables us to feel healthier, achieve more, make better decisions, form deeper relationships.  


    $The importance of understanding emotional intelligence during pandemic.  Understand how to bring self-awareness and social awareness during this crisis. $

    #emotionalintelligence #socialawareness #selfawareness

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