4 Ways to Achieve Team Alignment in Your Organization

According to Gallup, teamwork cannot exist apart from the “something” that your team is working to accomplish.

Two main ideas must be understood to appreciate the importance of teams in the workplace.

Individuals who know their strengths work together to form better partnerships, and more thoughtful partnerships create strong teams. Strong teams start with the individual.

The strengths and dynamics of your team directly affect business outcomes.

Team alignment is not easily achieved. Here are four ways to help encourage better team alignment in your business:

  1. Your firm’s purpose is the “why” behind your company. It is the reason for your existence and specifies the benefit your company will bring to the world. Communicating with purpose means communicating a clear sense of direction; this ensures that everyone is working towards the same goal.
  2. Team goals are performance objectives that require the contributions of everyone on the team. The best team goals are co-created with the team members and aligned with larger organizational goals.
  3. Aligning a workforce starts with a defined organizational vision and mission and a strategy for how the enterprise will reach those goals. The entire workforce should have insight into the goals of other departments and how each employee supports the other in pursuit of a common organizational goal. Such alignment enables valuable cross-functional collaboration and plain old mutual understanding. 
  4. Often, employees are assigned to roles without an understanding of what they are accountable for. Clearly defined roles, responsibilities and tasks can offer alignment and clear expectations for those doing the work. They promote effective communication between team members and help integrate employees, departments and the organisation. When teams have clearly outlined roles and responsibilities, they function efficiently and can become more productive.

5 steps to become a better listener

What do you think is the most important aspect of communication?

  • Is it to speak very well?
  • Having an opinion on everything?
  • Responding quickly to questions and immediately understanding what the other person has to say?
  • Is it to use your body language perfectly?

None of them!

The most important thing to do is to be a good listener. If you succeed in becoming a better listener, you will be able to provide a better employee experience. Don’t just think of it as an employee experience, listening is a vital communication tool that we should use at almost every moment of life.

How do you become a better listener?

Employees care a lot about being heard. But if everyone speaks at the same time, no one can hear anyone. Listening and understanding is a leadership task. If you want your employees to listen and understand you, you must first succeed in becoming a role model.

How then? Here are 5 important steps:

  1. Focus on the conversation and do nothing else at that moment. You can be a super manager who does many things at the same time, but it would be a big mistake to deal with different things at the time of communication.  Don’t stare at your phone, computer, or the view from the window. Make eye contact.
  2. Do not interrupt the person speaking, no matter who they are. Learn to hold yourself back.
  3. Try to understand what your employee really wants. Get down to the root cause. One of the qualities that make you a leader is that you follow the clues correctly.
  4. Create opportunities for your employees to express their feelings. Ask thoughtful and insightful questions and take interaction to the next level.
  5. Avoid the word “but”! The word “but” is like a defence flare, it creates the feeling that you are approaching the other person negatively.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working 4 days a week?

In the UK, a pilot scheme has started in which more than 3 thousand employees will work 4 days a week for 6 months. Within the scope of the pilot application carried out by the country’s non-profit organisation “4 Day Week Global”, the working hours of 3,300 employees from 70 companies will be shortened by 20 per cent, while their salaries will not be changed.

The four-day-a-week trial will measure the well-being and productivity of employees, as well as the impact of the scheme on the environment and gender equality.

The results of the trial will be evaluated by researchers from Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College.

Researchers in Iceland said in a statement last year that the world’s biggest ever 4-day-a-week trial had resulted in great success and should be tested in the UK as well.

Following the trial, a joint analysis published by the Association for Sustainability and Democracy (Alda) in Iceland and the UK based think-tank “Autonomy” revealed that the trials, which lasted from 2015 to 2019 and involved more than 2,500 people, increased “productivity and well-being”.

So what are the advantages of working 4 days a week?

Happier employees: Everyone loves long weekends, and if it becomes a way of life, all employees will undoubtedly be happier.

Healthier living: Studies show that one out of six people a week suffers from a mental health problem. Taking 3 days off work and making time for private life is beneficial for mental and emotional health.

Savings: Working 4 days a week reduces operating costs while allowing the employees to spend less.

Increased productivity: Healthier and happier employees naturally increase productivity.

Recruitment and retention: New generations who want flexibility are very favourable to the 4-day working option. This trend positively affects their recruitment and retention rates.

What are the disadvantages of working 4 days a week?

–      Working 4 days a week is not suitable for every job. Let’s take the retail industry. The 4-day system that you will apply to office workers is not possible for store employees. Engagement rates will likely drop.

–      Extended working hours are one of the risks of a 4-day working week. There is a possibility of working very hard for 4 days to deserve the long weekend.

–      In sectors where it is not possible to work 4 days a week, labour problems are likely to occur. Such companies will have problems if they do not implement more concrete strategies for employee engagement.

6 elements of a winning employee experience

Here’s how Gallup defines the Employee Experience:
“The employee experience is the journey an employee takes with your organization. It includes all the interactions an employee has with your organization before, during and after their tenure.”
The pinnacle of employee experience is employee engagement. To create employee engagement, you need to design a great employee journey.
So, what should you do for a passionate journey that starts from the moment you see the candidate’s job posting and continues until the alumni meetings?
For employees to follow your social media accounts even after leaving the company, your company’s achievements with happiness and pride?
Do you think this is possible? Definitely yes!

  1. Align on meaning and value: Let employees always feel what they are -or will be- a part of
  2. Make sure you embrace everyone: Diversity, equity and inclusion are no longer an idea, but a necessity.
  3. Make them feel recognized: Appreciate, honor, never forget to thank.
  4. Focus on their well-being: Physically, mentally, emotionally and of course financially.
  5. Keep pathways to their learning and development open: Not just to be useful to you, but to become better.
  6. Pay attention to the first and last moment: A journey is perfect only if every moment is beautiful. Starting and leaving a job are crucial steps of the employee journey.

We spend almost a third of our lives at work. An excellent employee experience reinforces an excellent life experience. We all deserve better, so why not do better?

What has the pandemic taught top management teams?

The pandemic has been an extremely instructive process and we have all learned a lot. The first thing we learned was that the most important thing in life is health. Actually, it was always important; however we didn’t realize it unless we were sick. People who are fighting really important diseases have -unfortunately- been ahead of all of us in this regard.

It was a learning process also for managers and leaders. In a world where everything has changed overnight, it has not been easy to manage the process, to stay strong, or even continue to inspire others. We have had losses, been ill, afraid, rebelled, and some of us have experienced burnout syndrome due to different reasons.

We have compiled for you the comments of managers from different companies on the topic:

New channels to connect

Business leaders and employees alike, we all had to adapt to working remotely, away from the office, and away from our colleagues. But as business leaders, we had to make sure that while we were being physically apart, we remained closely connected. We found new ways and new channels to connect with individuals, both at work and home,” 

Jason Jameson, SVP & General Manager, APAC at HERE Technologies

Trust and collaboration

“We’ve recognized that the pandemic has blurred the already fuzzy line between work and home life. Creating enough space for people to confidently manage work while balancing their unique circumstances at home has been very important to us and drives many decisions. We have trusted our employees from Day 1 of the pandemic; in my view, it was the only approach for us to take and it has benefitted all of us.

As we navigate these ongoing challenges, there has been one constant in our many successes: collaboration. Doing business during a pandemic has required deeper collaboration between our diverse teams, customers, and community.”

John Fennelly, President and CEO of Lionbridge

Being Chief Culture Officer

“The top four areas where I believe CEOs need to focus in the current environment are Leading talent, Setting strategy, and championing Culture and Vision. Attracting and retaining talent in a tight labour market is at the top of our list of strategic priorities. It is about infusing purpose, about showing empathy – especially in current times, and about enabling personal growth. I also see the role of the CEO evolving more and more towards being the Chief Culture Officer. It is about creating the right conditions for our people to unleash their superpowers!”

Véronique Özkaya, CEO of Argos Multilingual

Sustainability

“Sustainability was already high on our agenda before the COVID-19-crisis. We are part of an industry that impacts the environment. It’s important that we keep that impact as low as possible. As a family-owned business, sustainability is part of our DNA. Our decisions need to have a positive long-term effect. That goes hand in hand with sustainability. If we have two investment options with each the same return on investment, we always choose the most sustainable one.”

Hannelore Raes co-CEO of Agristo

2022 The Year of the Caregiver

“Following the stress and burnout frontline health care workers have experienced during the past two years, many of us have declared 2022 the year of the caregiver. Healing and rebuilding our workforce are paramount and we’re investing to make that happen. New workforce-centred mental health programs create safe spaces, and we offer free counselling for caregivers and their families plus a range of other supportive services. Human resource strategies include inspiring and developing our people through recognition, referral and recruitment bonuses, fair and equitable pay, predictive hiring and scheduling, and tuition reimbursement. We are recruiting in new ways, and I believe non-profit health care offers deep meaning that attracts and keeps clinicians and other workers.”

Dr Rod Hochman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Providence

CEOs are human too

“The people you are leading have big expectations of you. They want you to be perfect and often forget that you are human. But the more human you are with them, the more trust and empathy they lend to you. They understand you better. That gives you the ability to do so much more, as people give you the benefit of the doubt.”

Alain Bejjani, CEO of MAF

Self-assess

“Ultimately, my job is to give energy, empowerment, and vision to the organization. If I’m down, I’m not really using the only asset I have as a leader. And I have bad days like anybody else. I tell my leaders, ‘You need to self-assess so you know what you’re good at, and double down on that in your own leadership.”

Hans Vestberg, Verizon Communications CEO

Feedback boost employee engagement. 6 key findings!

Employee engagement is about the emotional connection your employee has to his or her job and the enthusiasm they bring to it. Employee recognition, autonomy, learning and development opportunities, office safety and wellbeing are key factors to employee engagement. Feedback has become an increasingly important key factor.

Global studies prove the sensitivity of employees to feedback.

Check out examples:

  1. A survey conducted by leadership trainers Zenger Folkman that looked into the feedback practices of 22,000 leaders around the world found that leaders who scored in the top 10 percent on giving feedback had employees who were three times more engaged than employees with leaders scoring in the bottom 10 percent. Unsurprisingly, the study also revealed that the bottom 10 percent of leaders had employees who were three times more likely to think about quitting.
  2. 80% report a more positive employee experience when employees agree they receive feedback on work performance. (IBM The Employee Experience Index)
  3. Research by Qualtrics shows that turning feedback into action leads to high employee engagement. On the other hand, employee engagement and motivation seem to be affected in companies that don’t. They only have an engagement score of around 40%.
  4. 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week compared to only 18% of employees with low engagement. (OfficeVibe)
  5. 64% of HR leaders say an always-on feedback tool is essential to an engagement listening program, but only 20% have this kind of tool in place. (Achievers)
  6. Employees want to see their employers take feedback seriously and take action, ensure that their workplace has 100% anonymous feedback channels, and make giving and receiving feedback a part of work culture. (AllVoices)

Top 5 HR Trends and Priorities for 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t just changed our view of humans. It also changed what is expected of human resources managers. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated changes in the way we work — and prompted a slew of HR trends to which the entire human resources function must respond in a coordinated way.

So what has HR been busy with since the beginning of 2022?

Hybrid working

Hybrid working is the new normal. A staggering 82% of employers plan to continue with remote working post pandemic, according to Gartner. And recent McKinsey research showed that the majority of employees want their organisation to offer a mix of working styles – enabling them to work both remotely and in the office. This shift to hybrid work will be a massive driver of transformation and one HR leader must be prepared to support.

Upskilling – Reskilling

A recent study conducted across the US has shown that only 34% of HR leaders actively invest in reskilling their workforce. However, the predictions show us that this figure will increase in the coming years. More tech and non-tech businesses will play a decisive role in preparing employees for the jobs of the future. Obtaining and strengthening the right skills will change the game. Mastering new technologies will help companies get the best outcomes.

Redefining Employee Experience

Employee experience is no longer a HR buzzword, but it has become an important driver in productivity and engagement at the workplace. Employee engagement is the peak of employee experience efforts. It’s very clear. Improving the employee experience is possible by keeping employee engagement in focus.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Reaching and retaining talent is getting harder and harder. Despite this fact, you still do not have a DEI strategy? HR leaders say they struggle to hold business leaders accountable for DEI outcomes. Progression of underrepresented talent often stalls in the middle, as these groups experience slower rates of promotion and worse perception of leadership potential. In order to address DEI outcomes, Gartner suggests that HR leaders adapt a consequential accountability DEI strategy and ensure that this is measurable.

Development of management teams

All of these goals and priorities are about leadership. HR teams should dedicate a large portion of their learning and development budgets to leaders by 2022.

4 surprising statistics about burnout

The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies employee burnout as a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

The WHO lists the three main symptoms as:

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • Increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings negative towards one’s career
  • Reduced professional productivity

When a workplace lacks focus on employee well-being and productivity, it results in a stressful environment for them. In addition, workers feel that lack of motivation, lack of good performance, and disengagement.

Here are 4 surprising results about burnout that might interest you:

  1. More than half of women are more stressed than a year ago and 46% feel burned out: Only 39% of the women surveyed in 2022 rate their mental health as good/very good (a slight increase over 2021), while almost half reported it to be poor/very poor. More than half (53%) said they are more stressed than they were a year ago, and almost half (46%) report feeling burned out. Despite this, only 43% feel comfortable talking about mental health challenges in the workplace, only 44% say that they get adequate support from their employer when it comes to mental health, and 33% have taken time off work for mental-health reasons. (Women @ Work 2022: A Global Outlook/ Deloitte)
  2. The World Health Organization says burnout is characterized by exhaustion, increased mental distance from the job and reduced professional efficacy. Gallup finds that about three in four American workers say they experience burnout on the job at least sometimes. Worse, 29% report feeling burned out at work very often or always.1 These severely burned-out workers are 63% more likely to take a sick day and 23% more likely to visit the emergency room.
  3. Employee burnout is costly: burnout is estimated to be attributed to 120,000 deaths per year and $190 billion in healthcare spending. This doesn’t include burnout’s toll on decreased productivity, an increase in errors, absenteeism, and other organizational costs.3 Companies with moderate-to-severe burnout have a 376% decrease in the odds of having highly engaged employees, 87% decrease in likelihood to stay, 22% decreased work output, and 41% decrease in the perception of the employee experience. (The Hidden Costs of Stressed-Out Workers)
  4. According to more research from Statista, age has an influence on whether you, or somebody else, has had contact with burnout, or not. It seems that the older you are, the less you’re aware of burnout — the 60+ group holds the least share of people who have had experience with burnout or know someone who has suffered it.

In total, only about 26% from the 60+ group have experienced burnout, or know someone else who has — which is a stark difference to the 65% share of those aged 18–29 with the same experiences.

The share of people unaware of burnout cases around them is substantial — this may indicate that a lot of people who are experiencing burnout are keeping it a secret. Again, those aged 18–29 are most likely to have come into any contact with burnout, as opposed to the 78% of people older than 60.

6 important facts about eNPS

It is beneficial in all circumstances to find out how much your employees recommend you.  The question is formulated as follows: “How likely is it that you would recommend your employer to a friend or acquaintance?” The answer options range from 0 to 10, where 10 means “Extremely likely” and 0 means “Not at all likely”. The responses are then divided into Promoters (9, 10), Passives (7, 8), and Detractors (0-6) as you can see in the image below.

eNPS is calculated using the following formula:

eNPS = Promoters (%) – Detractors (%)

It is important to know this score, but it does not make sense on its own.

We’ve put together 10 eNPS-related information for you:

  1. The disadvantage of the eNPS score is that it does not provide sufficient information on the specific strengths and challenges of the organization, teams, and individuals.
  2. The employee net promoter score doesn’t tell you how committed someone is to the organization, how immersed they feel in their role, or how fulfilled they are at work.
  3. As Gallup research shows, the employee net promoter score doesn’t express the nuanced differences between various types of promoters: “Fans wear your jersey and cheer from the stands. Players put in extra practice, score points and give every last ounce of energy to win. eNPS tells you who your fans are. Employee engagement tells you who your players are.”
  4. Responses to eNPS score surveys may not always be accurate. Employees can score well not only for kindness, but also very low points with an instant reaction.
  5. eNPS is the equivalent to your doctor taking your temperature and not giving you a diagnosis. Employers and HR managers need more information to make decisions
  6. Some employees may question the anonymity of the survey and not give their honest feedback. If that is the case, consider using an external party to send out the survey.

Why leader communication is important?

Good leader must have great communication skills. Leading is dependent upon being able to reach people and connect with people in a way that makes you trustworthy and reliable. When you’re a leader you need to be a resource that pours into others with guidance and direction. The flip side to good communication is knowing when to listen and how to decipher messages correctly.

Effective leadership communication is one of the biggest drivers of company success. Leaders are the ones responsible for building trust within…

Employers who manage to successfully communicate the company’s values and business goals to their employees have much lower turnover rates.

Why is effective leader communication necessary?

  • Align employees with the company culture.
  • Align employees with the company’s strategic goals.
  • Build trust within the workplace.
  • Maintain employee engagement.
  • Encourage two-way conversations and open dialogue.
  • Promote employee collaboration and teamwork.
  • Keep employees informed.
  • Communicate any upcoming changes effectively and in a timely manner.
  • Prevent internal miscommunications.
  • Disseminate important information and make it available to employees. 

What the studies say?

  1. 52% of employees said that poor communication leads to higher stress levels.
  2. 44% of employees reported poor communication causes failure in completing their projects.
  3. 31% of employees said poor communication causes them to miss their performance goals.
  4. 20% of employees in poorly communicative work environments said that they experience obstacles in innovation.
  5. 18% of employees report that poor communication leads to an increase in lost new sales opportunities.

(Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit)

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