Five Ways to Celebrate Your Women Leaders (or – What a Girl Wants)

The International Women’s Day 2019 campaign theme is #BalanceforBetter, a call for action that asks employers around the world to take a new and closer look at how their employee culture celebrates success and nurtures leadership in the women in their employ.

What is #BalanceforBetter all about?

This year’s campaign is focused in on, as you probably guessed, gender “balance,” with the aim of having success become balanced across gender lines.

“Balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage …

Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive.”

https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Theme

How balanced are we now?

The good news, is that we’re doing better and better. Here’s some encouraging pieces of information:

  1. In the wake of an Ontario Municipal Election that saw an increase in women running (27% of candidates) AND elected to council seats, we have a measurable achievement toward balance that is worth celebrating!
  2. The even better news is that Municipal government can bring women and their voices to the table in other powerful ways – both by applying a gender lens to community engagement and by looking within at how we engage and support our female employees.
  3. The best news of all is that 84% of respondents said that their company supports women in leadership, and the same percentage say their company culture allows women to succeed.

Let’s talk about #3 for a second.

Women are reporting that their company supports and allows women to succeed, but the reality is still that significantly more men are sitting in powerful leadership positions than are women; Just 8.5% of the highest-paid positions in Canada’s top 100 listed companies are held by women. So what’s going on?

At the core, the problem is this: we’re expecting women to act like men in the workforce.

Organizations have a hard time recognizing leadership potential in women, women play full-out to “not fail” as opposed to “winning” and often express dissenting views in more diplomatic and therefore less impactful ways.

What a girl wants

As leaders in our communities, municipal offices have the opportunity (and responsibility) to set the standard for supporting women in leadership.

So what do women want? Luckily, we already know!

A 2017 KPMG study asked women to rate the most important aspects of supporting and preparing women to pursue leadership roles. Here’s what their top 5 results were:

  • leadership training (57%)
  • confidence-building (56%)
  • decision-making (48%)
  • networking (47%)
  • critical-thinking (46%)

In KPMG’s 2019 study, women leaders were asked what they most needed from their employers:

  • More training opportunities (41 percent)
  • Encouraging mentorship (33 percent)
  • More flexibility for employees to be able to take risks (28 percent)

Our key takeaway from these studies?

Leadership and confidence development are the missing elements that can hold women back from seeking and securing advancement.

So where do we start?

Many organizations have done away with generic gifts such as that set of four glasses, logo etched desk items or the standardized framed photo in favour of personalized “Thank You’s” based on the interests of the recipient. Employees, in turn, feel more respected and valued when they receive something that they actually want.

So how can we identify the best recognition ‘gift’ for those willing to take on additional responsibilities or a new role?

KPMG just told us.

In the spirit of #BalanceforBetter, here are 5 fabulous, empowering ways to celebrate your women leaders!

1.  Review what you do to promote your female staff members from within.

Organizations around the world are struggling with this key metric of success: leadership development. A good place to start is by looking inside your municipality for those people with the top factors in leadership potential—those traits or attributes that make them the best people for the job.

According to Egon Zehnder, the first factor is having the right motivation: a commitment to working as a team to move the municipality forward. The other 5 predictors are:

  • Curiosity
  • Insight
  • Engagement
  • Determination
  • Inclusiveness

It can be easy to get distracted from focusing on leadership potential, and instead to promote people who have been there the longest, who work the hardest, or who are daring enough to ask for it. These things make a great employee, but not necessarily a great leader.

Personalize this gift:

Develop an individualized plan of personal and professional development for those you identify that are strong in 3 or more of those factors.

This can be as formal as a path or growth map developed in your HR system, that measures results orientation, strategic orientation, collaboration and influence, team leadership, developing organizational capabilities, change leadership, and market understanding. 

Or, it may be as informal as consciously bringing those candidates into discussion (“We are playing with this idea and would love your feedback.”), or sharing opportunities more proactively (“This training is available and I think it would be very rewarding for you.”).

2. Help your women achieve the mindset and communication and leadership skills that allow them to advance with confidence and resilience.

Consistently, we have seen that women need to evolve their own leadership style and develop skills that support their advancement. The reality is that this is true of men, too, we just do a better job of supporting and validating their natural leadership style.

Women often have a harder time advocating for themselves and asking for their voice to be heard. They’re more likely to want to hear what everyone else has to say, and to want to find and create solutions that feel like a positive and effective compromise.

To help them to nurture their strengths, and build new ones, municipalities can provide powerful leadership trainings. In doing so, we’re not only helping our leaders develop stronger leadership skills, we’re subtly telling women that we value and respect their unique leadership styles.

Personalize this gift: 

Offer training in a range of key leadership and communication skills – so that women can increase their ability to be heard, express and defend their opinions, and make an impact.

3. Bring confidence-building workshops into the workplace through lunch-and-learns

Workshops or lunch-and-learns allow your people to grow where they are, alongside their co-workers, so that integrating these new skills into the workplace is more natural and comfortable. This can also allow you to establish better opportunities for networking and discussion among employees, and create a general shift in workplace culture.

Personalize this gift:

Build in some connection time so that women can explore and develop their understanding, build relationships and practice selling their ideas in a small group, lower stakes environment.

4. Institute formal mentoring, coaching and support systems

By formalizing a system of mentorship, mentoring becomes not only accepted, but expected. This could include assigning a mentor to an up-and-coming woman leader, building mentoring into the work schedule and designating an office or meeting space for mentoring.

In this way, not only can experience and history be shared, but through mentorship, we are able to reduce the fear of failure, combat Imposter Syndrome, and add perspective to the risk-taking that is inherent to advancement. These are all big ticket issues for many women wishing they could take on a bigger, more impactful role.

Personalize the gift:

Do some match-making to select the right mentor and train both mentor and mentee to understand how this relationship works. You may even want to facilitate a mastermind in your workplace or in your community.

5. Schedule in recognition and celebration

All this isn’t to say that recognition and thank yous are passé or somehow no longer of value! It’s absolutely still a powerful way of supporting your employees. If you don’t already have a system for recognizing your employees’ success and victories, consider scheduling in celebrations of your women leader’s achievements through your intranet or internal newsletter and at meetings.

Personalize this gift:

Work to identify key qualities, actions and attitudes that led to that success to inform and inspire the leader herself, as well as others who look to her as a role model. The more specific and clear we make our praise, the more valuable and inspiring it is.

Don’t forget…

Just as we all benefit from gender balance, so can both genders benefit from these suggestions. Men and women alike flourish in the context of appropriate promotions backed by training, mentorship, and recognition.

As we strive for #BalanceforBetter, everyone benefits.

(And, of course, you can still have cake on International Women’s Day!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Guest Author: Cher Cunningham

Cher is a Leadership Confidence Coach who helps individuals transition into leadership roles by banishing anxiety, building confidence and resilience, and through communications, media, and presentation skills training. She offers a range of Workshops, Virtual Lunch and Learns, Speaking Engagements and group or 1:1 Leadership Confidence Coaching.

Find out more about how Cher supports women leaders at http://chercunningham.com.

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Video – The Benefits of Lean and Continuous Improvement for Municipalities

 

By simplifying working practices and minimizing inefficiencies, continuous improvement (CI) techniques enable municipal organizations to save money and increase quality, without reducing the level of service offered to citizens. Leading Edge Group provide Lean training programs and improvement consultancy support, specifically designed for municipalities, empowering staff at all levels to apply Lean methodologies with immediate effect.

In our video, Lean for Municipalities expert, Callie Woodward, explores the relevance of Lean/continuous improvement for municipal organizations and the benefits that can be achieved through effective deployment.

We hope it helps with your continuous improvement planning and activities.

You can watch the video here.

Where in-depth support is required, a Lean for Municipalities expert can work with organizations to lead the effective deployment of continuous improvement strategy and tactics. Our consultancy services offer strategy, processes and tools to implement sustainable change and deliver measurable results.

We work with staff at all levels and functions of the organization, from City Managers to front-line staff. We’ve helped both large and small municipalities across Canada with their Continuous Improvement efforts.

Training options that are suitable for staff at all levels, across all functions of the municipality and training workshops for those who have a leading or strategic role to play in continuous improvement.

If you would like to discuss the benefits of Lean/CI and key success factors in more detail, please feel free to contact us using the details below.

Contact Name: John Whelton, VP North American Operations

Telephone: +1 (416) 637 5074

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://www.leadingedgegroup.com/

Fax: +1 (647) 748 3722

Address: 60 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 805, Toronto, ON M4T 1N5

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Hardiness and Resilience: When Giving In Can Give Us a Lift

Resistance versus resiliance

When you experience failure, loss, or a serious setback do you see it as temporary or permanent? Is failure an event or who you are? Is it a learning or crushing experience? Does it traumatize you or become a springboard for growth?

Confucius said, “our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” That’s the thinking behind Japan’s Daruma Doll, a good luck charm with a rounded bottom. When knocked down, it bounces right back upright.

We tend to think of unwavering steadfastness and never-say-die persistence as important leadership qualities. To a point, they are. But resilience in the face of the hurricane-force winds of change is as often about being flexible like a palm tree rather than unbending like an oak.

Like so much of life, it’s about balance. W.C. Fields was on to something about resilience when he quipped, “If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.” Sometimes the wisest thing to do is to let it storm, find shelter, and look for an alternate route to our dream. Maybe it wasn’t even the right dream; we may need to accept what the universe is trying to tell us and reset our destination.

Psychologists Gregory Miller and Carsten Wrosch contrasted and studied people who are relentless and unbending and people who accept and flex with life’s twists and turns. They found that flexible people were much healthier than their steadfast counterparts. Stress levels were quite a bit lower, and a protein indicating bodily inflammation linked to diabetes and heart disease was much lower. The flexible, resilient group was able to bounce back more effectively from serious defeats, less likely to dwell on the past, set new goals, and get on with their lives.

Professor, social psychologist, and positive psychology researcher, Barbara Fredrickson, has found,

“resilient people are the ones who bend without breaking and who eventually bounce back from even the most difficult life challenges. Instinctually, they can see some form of light in the darkness they face. In study after study, my collaborators and I find that it is precisely this infusion of positive emotions into negative emotional terrain that drives resilient people to bounce back.”

How we use the F-word (failure) has a major impact on our personal, team, and organizational effectiveness. Failures are inevitable. Suffering is optional.

_________________________________________________________

For over three decades, Jim Clemmer’s keynote presentations, workshops, management team retreats, seven bestselling books, articles, and blog have helped hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. The Clemmer Group is the Canadian strategic partner of Zenger Folkman, an award-winning firm best known for its unique evidence-driven, strengths-based system for developing extraordinary leaders and demonstrating the performance impact they have on organizations.

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Approaching Customer Service with a Beginner’s Mind

As a Customer Service consultant, I have listened to years’ worth of customer service interactions.  I have heard thousands of service representatives ply their trade and hone their skills.  I have compared the rates of success of tenured reps with those of their inexperienced colleagues, and I have noticed that the most effective reps are the beginners.  Or, to be more exact, the reps who approach their work with the beginner’s mind.  

A beginner’s mind is open and aware, ready to experience new things.  A beginner’s mind approaches tasks and events without the baggage of preconceptions, seeks out new information, sees things with fresh eyes, and hears things for the first time.  This mindset helps customer service Reps avoid assumptions, build a relationship with their customer, and increases the likelihood that they will come up with an outside-of-the-box solution to unusual problems.

One of the biggest pitfalls of customer service is the assumption that this interaction will be just like the one (or the ten, twenty, or one hundred) that came before it.  When the Rep starts a call with a beginner’s mind, she has no preconceptions of what is about to happen.  She is genuinely curious about the person on the other end of the line.  Who are they?  What do they need?  Are they having a good day or a bad day?  No matter what the answer, there are no disappointments for the Rep, because – as a beginner – she is not comparing it to any previous outcomes.  Her natural response is “this is interesting – what can I do to help?”

When encountering a challenging personality, the Rep with the beginner’s mind is not frustrated or defensive when the cranky customer on the other end of the line does not meet their ideal.  Instead, the Rep can see the customer from a fresh perspective as someone who is just doing their best, whose intentions are to do the right thing.  They too are struggling, just as the Rep is, and it becomes easier for the Rep to remember that both parties are working toward a positive outcome, making the win-win scenario more likely.

The beginner’s mind is ideal for problem-solving.  When approaching a complex or unusual issue, the Rep isn’t hampered by the feeling that “this isn’t what I ordinarily do,” because all options have the same weight – they are all new.  Consequently, the choice to think independently, and proactively try something that might lead to an effective and timely resolution in this specific situation, is not pushed aside by the habit of staying within one’s comfort zone.  All paths forward are judged on their own merit in the here and now, and the idea that provides a solution is much more likely to prevail. 

The beginner’s mind goes by many names.  Zen Buddhists know it as Shoshin.  Call center coaches call it “Pressing the Reset button.”  Ironically, it is often easier for experienced reps to get their arms around the concept than it is for novices.  But when we embrace the idea that everything is new, when we are totally present for our conversations and curious about how they will unfold, our interactions with our customers are transformed.  And the good news is that the beginner is in all of us, not just our CSRs.  Which leads to the question;  what would happen if a call center manager walked into work one day and looked at their facility with a beginner’s mind?  Might they see a workspace that can be brightened?  Processes that can be streamlined? A corporate culture that can be lifted?  It’s a brand-new world out there.  All we have to do is see it.  

By,

Sharon Oatway
President & Chief Experience Officer
VereQuest Incorporated
416-362-6777 Ext. 222 (Business)
647-268-5389 (Mobile)
www.verequest.com

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Position versus Persuasion Power

Joel’s a high IQ manager with strong analytical skills coming from a deep technical background. He hates meetings (“they get in the way of real work”) and resents having to sell changes or get people on side. “I don’t care if they like me,” he’s fond of saying, “I only want their respect and implementation.” He likes nothing better than solving tough technical problems with practical, well-designed solutions. He runs his organization “by the numbers.” He focuses on continuously improving existing processes and technologies. He sets high targets and relentlessly drives everyone to meet them.

Joel’s always the smartest person in the room (at least in his mind). Irrational, emotional behavior drives him nuts. He often dismisses contrary points of view with comments like, “That’s only their perception, that’s not reality.” He then proceeds to prove “reality” with facts, rational arguments, and analysis.

Joel believes that most people see their work as a four-letter word and must be tightly controlled, threatened, or bribed before they’ll work hard enough. He prides himself on being a tough manager who rolls up his sleeves and digs deep into operational details. He exercises tight control with policies, directives, and rules. His mood swings cause the team’s emotional tone to wildly gyrate from high to low with much time being spent figuring out how to read him and avoid his wrath. Joel’s main tools for influencing behavior on his team are threats, punishments, and “shooting down people who haven’t done their homework.”

Denise balances a concern for people (high EQ) with a strong technical background. She realized some time ago that leadership work often happens in meetings. So, she has trained and worked hard at developing her facilitation and team leadership skills.

Denise sees possibilities in people. She believes that people want to take pride in their work and be part of a winning team. She’s learned that motivation or morale problems are often rooted in leaders failing to engage people in the broader ideals of the organization. As more people search for meaning in their lives and in their work, this disconnect creates much of the frustration and lack of purpose found in so many workplaces today. Denise works hard at connecting people to her organization’s vision, values, and purpose. Denise’s high energy and optimistic attitude sets a strong and positive emotional tone throughout her organization. People are inspired to face tough problems with confidence and teamwork.

Denise uses a collaborative approach to partner with people. She sees people as adults who are generally self-managing (with some exceptions). Joel treats them like kids to be managed “with a firm hand” (with some exceptions). Denise cares about people. Joel dehumanizes and objectifies them. Denise uses the power of persuasion (leadership) to get things done. Joel uses position power (management). Denise builds a cause and case for change, appealing to the head and heart to get buy-in. Joel tries to overcome resistance to change with facts and force; like someone traveling in a foreign country who can’t speak the local language, he’ll just talk louder to be understood.

Denise shares as much information as she can and builds strong multi-channel and multi-directional communication loops. Joel gives people information on a need-to-know basis; he only “empowers” people as a motivational technique to manipulate people to do what he wants. Denise partners with people so they feel naturally empowered to reach their mutual goals.

We see plenty of Joel’s — and not nearly enough Denise’s. Their differences are obvious enough.

Whom would you rather work for?
Who is the stronger leader?
Who is likely to get the best results?
Would your team consider you to be most like Joel or Denise?
How do you know…?

 

_________________________________________________________

For over three decades, Jim Clemmer’s keynote presentations, workshops, management team retreats, seven bestselling books, articles, and blog have helped hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. The Clemmer Group is the Canadian strategic partner of Zenger Folkman, an award-winning firm best known for its unique evidence-driven, strengths-based system for developing extraordinary leaders and demonstrating the performance impact they have on organizations.

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Simple Ways to Make Continual Growth and Learning Part of Your Personal and Professional Life

Lifelong learning enhances our knowledge base, improves our quality of life, and expands our awareness of the world around us. By dedicating yourself to continual development, you will find yourself
advancing in every aspect of your life.

For job seekers, it’s imperative you can demonstrate to employers exactly how you stand out from the rest. What makes you a good fit for the team? At a glance, you need to be able to highlight your
expertise on all the essential tools, techniques, and customer service skills required to succeed in today’s dynamic workforce. Having upgraded skills allows you to do just that.

For those already in the workforce, maintaining an updated arsenal of skills will help you keep pace with current industry standards and remain competitive in your field. It helps you maintain a high calibre of service for your clients and teammates, while also making sure you don’t get left behind in your profession.

No matter your age or what stage you’re at in your career, there is always something new to learn and always an opportunity for growth.

 

Always be learning.

 

The good news is that it’s easy to update your skills in today’s digital world. With tons of free ebooks, YouTube videos, digital courses, podcasts and a vast collection of free articles, tips and teachables available 24/7 at your fingertips, and even on your smartphone if you like. There is no excuse not to!

The bonus? You can learn something new from the comfort of your own home, in your pyjamas, at any time of day (or night).

Along with online learning, there are also incredible workshops and courses available right here in your local community. Attending in-person workshops not only provides you with important networking opportunities, but it also gives you a new level of knowledge and perspective as many of us are better learners when we collaborate, connect and join in. They can be a lot of fun as well!

 

Make continual growth a lifelong goal.

 

Knowledge can be gained and skills can be developed every day – in fun and interesting ways!

Whether you choose to participate online or in a workshop, creating big picture goals and breaking them down into easily achievable tasks is the best way to ensure success. Simply commit to learning one new thing every single day and you will soon be a wealth of information.

Here are some simple ways to get started!

  • Create a daily learning habit. Set aside 30 mins a day to read something new, reflect, and make notes.
  • Check newsfeed headlines for articles of interest while scanning social media each morning.
  • Try something new. Focus on learning a wide variety of information, not only things related to your current position. Challenge your ideas and beliefs.
  • Watch a documentary.
  • Consider job shadowing another employee to learn about different roles in your company. This can broaden your skills and increase your value.
  • Connect with a mentor to help gain knowledge and insight from an up-leveled perspective.
  • Attend workshops, classes and training sessions to boost skills, confidence and expertise.
  • Join a book club. Connect with peers, open up dialogue, and learn new ways of communication.

Once you have instilled daily development into your personal and professional life, you will naturally expand into bigger leaps of learning.

muniserv can help every step of the way! Our muniLEARN platform lets you access over 1,000 internationally accredited digital courses, programs and examinations on topics such as; Leadership Soft Skills, Change Management, Project Management and more.

Contact us today to find out how you can get started! Which will you be joining first?

 

muniSERV is Canada’s leading online solution for helping municipalities and professionals connect.

 

We help municipalities save time and money searching for the consultants & CAOs they need, while offering professionals the opportunity to showcase their profile and services to get found and grow their business.

 

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Unique Opportunity for Professionals & CAMA Sponsors!

Each year a number of Canadian CAO’s are transitioned out of their CAO positions. Most often they are simply a casualty of a new political environment.

CAMA recognized the growing need to support their CAO members in transition and engaged a consultant to develop a Members in Transition Toolkit. The Members in Transition Toolkit will be launched at the 2019 Annual Conference in Quebec City.

It became evident that those transitioned members who had immediate and continual access to good resources, appeared to get through transition easier. So part of the project included having them identify the specific resources that would have been helpful to them as they navigated their way through transition.

We now need to locate the professionals from each province who provide these identified resources, for inclusion in the toolkit. The toolkit will list the services required and will link to the professionals who provide the service, so our members in transition can quickly and easily find the professional resources they need, when they need them.

Specifically, here are the professionals we need for the toolkit:

 Employment Lawyers (who represent employees)
 Financial Planners/Accounting Planning/Taxation Advisors
 HR Advisors/Career/Transition Counsellors/Life Coaches
 Recruiters/Executive Recruitment Firms/Head Hunters
 Pension Advisors
 Messaging/Communication Experts
 Psychiatrists/Counsellors/Therapists
 Business Coaches

CAMA partners with muniSERV.ca to provide the professional resources Canadian municipalities need, through its Find Municipal Experts & Services database.

If you provide any of the above professional services, please consider becoming a muniSERV professional member and then select the special Transition/Career Services category after the toolkit is launched in May. Doing so provides you with the unique opportunity to be automatically be linked directly to the CAMA Members in Transition Toolkit so CAMA’s CAO members in transition can easily find you. *muniSERV is pleased to share the revenue from this special category with CAMA to support future projects.

How to Participate

If you already have a muniSERV professional profile, you’re all set until the launch of the new toolkit in May. We’ll notify you when you need to go back into your dashboard and add the new, special Transition/Career Services in “Build Membership Package”. 

If you’re not a muniSERV member yet;
 1. Become a muniSERV member today and create your profile in your dashboard
 2. Start appearing in searches in the Find Municipal Experts & Services database right away and get a free Members’            Only Rotating ad (value of $120) for your first month of membership.
 3. We’ll notify you when you need to go back into your dashboard in the “Build Membership Package”, and add the                  special “Transition/Career Services” category to your cart.
 4. Then you will be able to select as many subcategories as you like, in “Manage my Profile”

Click Here to join muniSERV, or Contact us: [email protected] or  [email protected] , for more information.

 

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New Partnership for muniSERV!

You already know muniSERV.ca offers a full suite of tools for municipalities – most of which are free.

But, we’re always on the hunt for even more new and innovative tools and resources to help Canadian municipalities – and we’ve found another perfect partner!

We’re pleased to announce that muniSERV.ca has entered into a partnership with GoByDesign, for their innovative new platform – BoxOfDocs, The Ultimate Sharing Platform For Canadian Municipalities.

Whether you are updating your existing bylaws or policies, or looking to develop new standards, and want to see what similar municipalities have in place, BoxOfDocs is here to help.

*Bonus Partnership Offer

Now, when you register for free on muniSERV, you can also activate your Free Trial of the BoxOfDocs, Municipal Premium Membership, which lets you effortlessly share documents with other Canadian municipalities and gives you with access to thousands of documents your municipality uses daily!

If you have not committed to being an active member for either muniSERV or BoxOfDocs yet, now is a great time to join both and network with other Canadian municipalities to take advantage of valuable tools and services offered under this new partnership.

Welcome BoxOfDocs!

Susan Shannon

Founder & Principal,

muniSERV & muniJOBS

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Blunders managers often encounter when attempting to resolve workplace disputes

In today’s workplace employee conflicts may and do happen. Sometimes they begin as simple matters which escalate into significant issues in the workplace causing lower performance and productivity resulting in lack of communication, misunderstanding of the intent, personality clashes or different perceptions and values.  

 

It is vital to deal with employee conflict, whether minor or significant, in a timely fashion to preserve a positive, healthy work environment and to evade any increase or collateral damage among work teams and others departments. 

 

We are finding that managers often do not respond accordingly to the issues of conflict in the workplace. In many cases, it is for lack of experience, fear of retaliation against them, insufficient training and lack of confidence. Sometimes they find it easier to avoid and ignore then tackle the sensitive issues.   

 

When issues are not dealt with quickly and efficiently in the workplace, they tend to fester and develop in magnitude. When an employer has contacted me, the situation usually has been growing underground, so to speak, for some months before it explodes in either the HR office or before the managers. Typically, at this point, the problem is more complicated, involves more staff and takes more effort and time to resolve. At times it may even undermine the staff’s confidence in the manager’s ability to manage. 

 

Some common behaviours of supervisors and managers which may have a negative impact on the managing of workplace disputes effectively would be ignoring the situation until it is about to “burst”.  

 

When managers disregard challenging situations, when they do come to the surface, they require immediate and urgent action usually at a very inconvenient time to resolve. Some managers tend to overlook an awkward situation altogether until the case is ready to blow up. Then they need to take immediate action to try to deal with it, and this almost always occurs at an inconvenient time, like on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend. Putting your management head in the sand will not make the problem go away, it will only make it worst. Taking action early in the workplace dispute development is usually the best solution, with the most excellent chance of success. 

 

Not dealing with a conflict that is escalating quickly, many managers found themselves frustrated and overwhelmed which could add fuel to the case, potentially affecting the decision-making process and the capability to contain and resolve the situation comprehensively.

 

Another mistake a manager may make is letting the office politics interfere with resolving the conflict. When office politics interfere with the steps of the solution, staff in the workplace goes camping. Taking sides of either the complainant or the respondent. The team that tries to remain neutral (sitting on the fence) only suffer the ongoing bickering of the two parties.

 

The way that employees perceive situations in the workplace are essential to resolving the conflicts in the actions to be taken. A biased move (recognized or not) on the managers part may result in more battles and create permanent barriers in the workplace.  

 

The objective of workplace dispute resolution in the first place is to come to an agreement or solution that is practical and realistic for all parties. So it may mean there is a requirement for conciliation to move forward to resolution by the manager.  

 

Taking a page out of Steven Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” book and initially “seek to understand then be understood”.  

 

Sitting down with the employees, listening actively to what they are disturbed about, gathering all the information from both sides and only then attempting to craft a clear picture of what is going on, why and what the options might be regarding resolving or improving things for those caught up in the conflict.  

 

The bottom line is that disputes and conflict in the workplace are not stoppable. Anticipating how to approach these workplace situations beforehand, may put you in a position to be ready to take action when they occur.

 

Monika B. Jensen PhD
TEL: 905-683-9953

WEBSITE: www.aviarygroup.ca
PRINCIPAL
FAX: 905-683-9912

 

 

 

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Technology in Hiring Is Growing. Where Should You Invest?

At some point in time, technology has disrupted every industry including recruitment. With more touchpoints across a multitude of platforms, companies are using technology to build a compelling employer brand, support the candidate experience and analyze their hiring team’s success.

In fact, an HR Service Delivery Survey reported that technology plays a key role in hiring in 92 percent of large companies, 77 percent of medium companies and 54 percent of small organizations.

A few of the most popular platforms include:

  • Assessments. According to Harvard Business Review, 76 percent of organizations with more than 100 employees rely on assessment tools. These tools, like our Emergenetics Selection Program (ESP), test for a variety of workplace tendencies. Some of the most common are cognitive ability, work ethic, motivation and personality.
  • Video interviewing. Between 40 – 60 percent of companies use live or recorded video interviewing for hiring, which can improve the candidate experience by making it easier to interview. When candidates record interviews, it can save the hiring teams’ time by allowing them to review on their schedules, and it can save money, particularly if the company pays for candidate travel expenses.
  • Applicant tracking systems. There has been significant growth in applicant tracking systems with 26 percent of companies using them to assess hiring metrics and manage candidate recruiting, hiring and onboarding.
  • Social recruiting. Social media allows employers to showcase their brand and help HR teams find talent. Nearly 60 percent of employers have used social media to successfully hire candidates.
  • Resume screening technology. This technology reviews resumes for keywords deemed relevant to an open position. When a company receives a large number of applicants, resume screening can make a recruiter’s life much easier.
  • Mobile recruiting. 70 percent of people use their cell phones to look for jobs, so mobile job boards and applications are extremely important.

This list may cause an HR professional’s head to spin, especially when you consider that there are hundreds of providers for these technologies – and the list is growing.

Still, when incorporated properly, hiring technology can streamline and standardize the hiring process, reduce reliance on “gut” instincts, provide relevant statistics to demonstrate success and help hire the right people.

Technology isn’t going away, so the best thing to do is embrace it. The question is: How do you prioritize an ever-growing list of technologies?

These are our tips for recruiters and HR professionals:

1. Have a clear understanding of your goals and measurements.
To choose the right technologies for your needs, start by identifying objectives as an HR team and as a company. Once a team is clear on what they want to accomplish and how to evaluate success, they can determine which technologies will get them there – and identify a list of relevant requirements to assess the tools against.

2. Determine where you have hiring process breakdowns.
Figuring out where to begin can be difficult. Start by assessing issues in the existing hiring process. Does the difficulty lie in finding qualified candidates or in the application? Social recruiting could help in finding qualified candidates while a streamlined applicant tracking system may make sense in smoothing out the application process. Or, is the challenge in resume reviews or assessing soft skills? Resume screening can help tackle the candidate resume review process and a hiring tool like ESP can help in streamlining the review process and assessing soft skills.

Once problem areas are identified, it is easier for teams to prioritize technologies that address these concerns.

3. Learn what technologies can do.
How many of us have purchased a tool and used it for one thing – only to realize two years later that they have features that would have accomplish other goals as well? As an example, some of our clients think specifically about ESP as a hiring tool when in fact it can be used to support career pathing and onboarding in addition to assessing motivations, aptitudes and work ethic. Take the time to truly understand the tool, and stay current on its features and those of its competitors

4. Don’t forget the human element.
Remember that technology is part of the hiring process – not the whole process. Sometimes, when we meet with managers who are interested in our hiring assessment, they ask if ESP will give them a yes/no answer on a hiring decision. This is something we don’t offer, as we believe you need to be wary of using technology for a yes/no decision.

If you have a candidate with a 90 percent job fit versus one with 79 percent, you should interview both applicants to understand the differences between them. It may be that the 10 percent misalignment of your 90 percent job fit candidate relates to factors that would significantly impact the candidate’s success, while the 21 percent of misalignment for the other applicant is due to less problematic factors.

Tools like ESP can help you combine the benefits of technology with the human element. ESP highlights the areas of misalignment from candidates, so talent acquisition teams can pay particular attention to potential challenges for the new hire, tailoring interview questions and digging into the results of the assessment. Rather than make a yes/no decision based solely on ESP results, the results can be used to determine if these issues would have a material impact on job fit.

Always remember that technology is not a substitute for human interaction in the hiring process. It should be used to support human interaction.

When you consider these four factors, you will be well on your way to finding the right technologies to support your organization’s needs and integrating these programs so that your recruiting process runs smoothly, attracts the right candidates and helps you successfully hire them.

If, in the process of following steps 1 – 4, you have any questions about how ESP could support your company’s needs, please contact me at [email protected].

Kelly Fullerton
Director of ESP
Emergenetics International

 

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