Entries by Enact
- Power of Feedback
- Foundations of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
- Create Accountability
- Increase Self-Awareness
- Leadership is not for the faint of heart, and how, even at the first level of leadership, people can be negatively impacted if a leader is unskilled or not self-aware.
- No matter what kind of an organization, leaders have to figure out how to lift up and unleash the talent of all of their people
- If we want parity and true inclusion for the under-represented and marginalized in our leadership ranks, we have to commit to culture, policy, and leadership mindset changes
So why are so few giving it to them?The future is here and the world is desperate for a new kind of leadership. Companies need to be increasingly adaptive and nimble to stay relevant in today’s market. The demands of an increasingly younger workforce are requiring massive shifts in the way we think about everything in business. Leaders today can’t just focus on the ‘what’ of business and succeed with traditional strategies and business know-how of the past. Traditional hierarchical organizational structures have been replaced with matrix-like structures. This requires leaders to be skilled at communicating and adept at influencing others who may not directly report to them. Leaders are confronted with the necessity of building a collaborative, diverse work culture that empowers and engages employees. Their prior leadership approach of directing and telling doesn’t work well in this new environment. The workplace reality becomes ever more emergent, ever less static. And the leaders that are increasingly taking the helm – Millennials – simply aren’t getting the development that they want – and need. The leadership gap and shortage crisis is real. Several studies have found that crucial leadership skills in organizations are insufficient for meeting current and future needs. Fortunately, millennial leaders are hungry for the learning and development opportunities that will prepare them to lead tomorrow’s businesses. Gallup has reported that Millennials value development more than other generations do, and Bersin by Deloitte found that Millennials rate L&D as the #1 job benefit, more important than healthcare, cash bonuses and even flexible working hours! Unfortunately, supply is not meeting demand. Seventy percent (70%) of millennials report that they are receiving no leadership development whatsoever. None. A study conducted by Brandon Hall Group in 2015 found that only 20% of organizations identified the Millennial leader group as critical for development over the next 24 months. This has created a significant leadership gap. Most companies simply aren’t prioritizing the leadership development of Millennials. They are the leaders who will make or break not only the future of individual companies that they lead, but also our collective future. It seems to me like they are worth investing in. Enact offers a variety of programs focused on developing Next Generation Leaders. Contact us at email@example.com for further information.
Reactive: designed to identify and address problems
Proactive: designed to identify and propel opportunitiesThe immobilizing cycle of reactivity: If you currently have a reactive leadership development cycle, here’s what it might look like:
- Identify organizational pains are tied back to leadership incompetency
- Identify leadership ‘problems’ and the leaders that have them
- Brainstorm ‘solution’ to problem and implement it
- Hope that somehow everything improves, while waiting for something else to break
- Experience organizational pain tied back to leadership incompetency
- Repeat until the system is beyond repair
- Identify leadership trends, necessary leadership capacities and promising leaders
- Identify leadership ‘opportunities’ and build off of their existing strengths
- Dream, create and implement innovative strategies
- Collect consistent feedback data and measure impact
- Tweak the new operating system as needed with small updates that keep it current
- Repeat as you watch your company soar above the competition
“What are the problems we need to fix?” – or – “What are we going to create together?”Ultimately, we get what we ask for. The answers to these two questions are undoubtedly different, and lead to two very different destinations.
Creating an effective leadership development strategy requires time and attention.
The first step is to address these 5 key focus areas.
- Purpose: This is the most important component to define but it is often overlooked. Can you articulate what you are expecting to achieve with your leadership development efforts? Is your goal to retain existing talent, improve your internal leadership pipeline or attract new talent? Are you looking to energize your employees with the knowledge that you care about them and are thoughtfully investing in their development? Once you identify your purpose, how will you measure success? Remember that people pay attention to what is measured and you are more likely to have a successful outcome.
- Audience: The most effective leadership development strategies are wide reaching and inclusive. Leadership development should not be restricted to the leaders at the top but also the development of rising talent, new managers or new hires that are years away from a traditional leadership position. It may mean providing targeted and intentional development opportunities for minority or underrepresented groups as well as intentionally creating opportunities for leaders and teams from across the company to come together to learn, network and build relationships.
- Objectives: This is where most traditional leadership development strategies start and end. This is the nuts and bolts – the answer to the question, “what do we want people to walk away with?” Too often the creation of these objectives come solely from what the company needs it’s leaders to know, rather than starting with a thoughtful evaluation of the purpose and intended audience of the programs, and thinking about their needs and how to serve them. The difference is objectives that are generic ‘one size fits all’ offerings and objectives that are customized and relevant for both the organization and the individuals they are meant for.
- Content: Once you’ve finalized your objectives, ensure that you are utilizing content that is recent, relevant and specific to your particular organization and the market that you are working within. Our world of work is constantly changing and evolving which means that our content must continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of employees. Make sure you’re providing your customers with the latest and best information available.
- Method: Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report found that most CEO’s say that L&D is “wildly out of sync” with how people learn. Classroom style training where participants are berated with loads of content and little practice opportunity just don’t work. The most effective methods will include a thoughtful and intentional mix of content and participatory exercise, employing many different channels of learning to reach all types of learning styles. Think about the duration of the offerings (some companies employ a week-long immersive academy experience, while others opt for ½ day offerings or shorter). Make sure that the content that you want to cover and the skills that you want to improve, realistically align with the time that you have available. It is critical that participants have adequate time to practice new skills and that there is reinforcement after the program. Learning is a process and not a one-time event.
It is a revolution that is moving the HR/employee relationship from transactional and reactive to interactional and proactive. It is driven by companies and leaders who view their employees as their most important customer and are investing in redesigning the ‘employee experience’ at every level; crafting an experience for employees that is engaging, empowering, valuable and customized for them.
There are many factors impacting this revolution:
- Productivity Concerns – Employee productivity rates remain relatively flat despite the focused efforts to drive employee engagement and culture over the past decade.
- Low Unemployment Rates – Retaining employees is easier when there are not many job openings in the market. Due to the fact that Baby Boomers are leaving the workforce at 1 every 4 seconds, there are many job opportunities for skilled employees.
- Retention – Today’s average worker stays at each job for 4.4 years. Employees who are frustrated with the career track opportunities at their current employer often seek new roles as an opportunity to accelerate career growth.
The employee experience is the new competitive edge in today’s modern workforce – it is what will attract new talent and encourage them to stay.
The decision to begin intentionally creating an employee experience within a company is one that will requires sweeping change in just about every area of HR: recruitment, performance management, leadership development, benefits, compensation and people analytics to name just a few. These changes represent a major overhaul on how things have been. They will require time and persistence, and it won’t happen overnight. In the meantime, the one area of focus that can immediately improve the employee experience is leadership development.
The commitment to develop a truly customized and relevant leadership development strategy is a divergence from how leadership development has primarily been conducted in the past. In many cases, leadership development consists simply of a ‘check the box’ training that offers a selected few a generic training experience, often with little to no follow up or support. Participants feel only the immediate fulfillment of engaging in such an activity, but that fulfillment soon wears off and new skills are often lost within a year. And that little bit of benefit was only for the few who were lucky enough to attend the once-a-year-check-the-box training.
Current research around current L&D doesn’t paint a pretty picture. Employees rate L&D with only a 15% net promoter score, meaning only 15% of employees would recommend L&D services to their peers.
That’s a lot of room for improvement. A recent study found that of employees that receive training, 62% say it’s only somewhat relevant or not applicable their job at all.
Generic, typical classroom style trainings that aren’t relevant may actually hurt more than help.
Leadership development strategy is the mechanism by which a thoughtful, relevant and dynamic employee experience is designed. Effective development efforts are focused, intentional, customized and specific for the customers – the leaders which they attempt to reach. Just like your external customers, your internal customers can tell if you’ve just thrown something together in an effort to use the available budget and be able to say, ‘well, at least we did something’.
This is a driving force behind Enact’s leadership solutions. We believe that it is imperative that your development aligns with your business needs. The participant experience must be relevant, practical, engaging and specific to the needs of your employees. Contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.