A survey held by the Association for Talent Development that looked to discover what executives thought were their biggest HR concerns in terms of the skills their future talent will need to help them survive in the business world. 83% (or 8 out of 10) are facing a skills gap at present, and 78% foresee it occurring in the future. So, what are the skills that are in high demand now, and in the coming years as well?
50% of the survey respondents expressed that they knew their organisations didn’t have adequate leadership strength to call off the bench, while 47% mentioned they were expecting, in the future, a gap in executive and leadership skills.
The fact is that companies still aren’t giving their employees adequate preparation for advancement into executive and other senior positions of leadership. It’s time to start investing in training and empowering staff so that they flourish in senior leadership roles, and that the company is in safe hands as each leader is succeeded.
Critical thinking is the process of analysing an issue without emotion, looking at all the different perspectives and angles to get to a conclusion that is logical and sound. Critical thinking doesn’t happen automatically – after all, humans are emotional by nature – which is why it’s an extremely desirable and valuable skill that employers are looking for in their staff, whether current or prospective hires.
When team members have well-honed critical thinking skills, there’ll be a noticeable improvement in productivity, teamwork and employee relationships. It’s difficult to consciously disregard your irrational feelings, biases and self-interest, but you’ll be making yourself irresistible to employers.
Effective verbal and nonverbal communication is critical in any employee and organisation’s success. Positive communication helps with forging beneficial relationships with peers, leaders, clients and customers; encourages and improves teamwork, and ensures clarity with any ideas, suggestions and feedback.
Not a day goes by where we don’t communicate in some form or another, so building and improving on communication skills is essential in the business world.
It’s important to identify and close skill gaps as they are found, but things won’t really improve unless all key personnel, especially those in HR and senior management, are committed to the process. Don’t become part of the statistics; solving this HR problem is easier than you may think.
If your company needs help identifying and filling skill gaps in your organisation, contact us at LeadershipHQ today for a consultation and see how we can help.
LeadershipHQ have helped 1000’s of small to medium sized organisations (sometimes corporates), teams and leaders. LeadershipHQ partner with businesses and leaders in building & delivering high impact
Leadership, People, Cultural and Business Strategies and Programs that ultimately improve the bottom line. We work with leaders and organisations across the globe transforming their leadership, culture and organisations with our cutting edge and results-driven strategies, assessments and diagnostics, leadership events, coaching and programs.
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Phone 1300 719 665 www.leadershiphq.com.au www.soniamcdonald.com.au
Eric Swenson, leadership and workforce strategist and author of The Five A’s of Great Employees and Managing People in the 21st Century hosted a webinar for Ascentis.com that provided insights into what he believes will be Human Resources’s top trends in 2019, and how to face the changing world of Human Resources.
Technology continuing to increase
As businesses try to keep up with the almost constant increases in workplace technology and utilise them to improve their training, recruiting, engagement and other facets of HR-related activities, the HR professional must realise (if they haven’t already) that technology will be their new best friend when it comes to workplace relations. Innovation and productivity will be driven by technology, aided by those in HR who embrace the advantages that said technology gives them.
Adapting to the changing workforce
It’s already occurring in many companies around the world, and as more Millennials enter the workforce, they bring with them the desire for working remotely, including overseas, to maintain a better balance between life and work. Businesses need to be prepared to offer opportunities to work remotely and adapt their HR functions to suit this new workforce. Training, team-building, recruiting and more will require innovation to keep productivity at acceptable levels.
Reconnecting with your employees
With more and more people working remotely, it can be hard for them to fully engage and feel part of the company’s culture without being physically surrounded by it. HR needs to get creative this year, to help ensure that the culture of your company is integrated into everything your employees go through, whether it’s in the recruiting process or retention.
Leaders encouraging innovation
The ‘do as I say, not as I do’ manager’s days are numbered in 2019, as leaders who are vulnerable, authentic, brave and open continue to get the best from their employees. Improve productivity and employee satisfaction by providing chances for them to use their skills and strengths, to work autonomously and have a bigger say in company goings-on
Continuing to stand for equality
In this era of #metoo, it’s more important than ever for HR representatives to be aware of workplace harassment; how to address it in the workplace and helping women in new leadership roles feel comfortable.
Be willing to take on those less skilled
When struggling to fill positions, you’ll need to look at those applicants who aren’t as educated or skilled and be ready to up-skill and train them for the roles that need filling. Many applicants aren’t as formally qualified as previous generations (for a number of reasons) so this means taking a chance if you want more employees.
Providing a purpose
Millennials, especially, are more productive and likely to remain with the company if they’re able to find meaning and purpose in what they do. To keep up with this and retain your best employees, as an HR professional you’ll need to be evaluating your corporate responsibility and the social purpose your business serves regularly, to make sure they align with the organisation’s goals and values.
Leadership is changing (our research)
Organisations and HR must radically rethink all of their stakeholder interactions, especially those involving their human capital. This includes how to acquire, deploy, develop and retain their people. Bold leadership characteristics will be required to ensure your business adapts and thrives. From our research, we’ve distilled the following competencies that we think will be critical for the 2019 Leader:
- Collaborative Orientation
- Developer of People
- Emotional Intelligence
- People Management
- Courageous Leadership
- Learning Agility
- Global Mindset
- Cultural Agility
- Future Focus
- Leading Change
- Innovative/Creative Champion
- 360 Communicator
What are your organisation and L& D teams doing to prepare your current and future leaders and how many of these competencies are being developed? This is where LeadershipHQ can help!
We need to be adaptable as the workplace continuously changes, to ensure they can keep the organisation on the right track so that the company isn’t left behind. Reflection and evaluation need to be practised regularly to stay on top of the game and determine the effectiveness of your strategies.
For more information please read these great white-papers from HR World and PwC too.
Let me know your thoughts or any other trends you are seeing.
Sonia McDonald is one of Globe’s leading leadership executive coaches and keynote speakers, as well as an advisor, thought leader, and author. She’s also CEO and founder of LeadershipHQ and has been named as one of the Top 100 Australian Entrepreneurs and Top 250 Influential Women in the world. LeadershipHQ are leading the way in leadership and work with Organisations and Businesses such as Qantas, Thiess, Super Retail Group, Brickworks, Kane Constructions, Bartons, EY, Maurice Blackburn, Grant Thorton, and Minter Ellison. LeadershipHQ partner with businesses in building great leadership and people development through their cutting edge and high impact leadership programs, coaching, workshops, resources and events.
Sonia has worked, coached and spoken in front of people around the world, encouraging them to succeed by reaching their full potential and inspiring leadership greatness. Sonia has written several books on leadership: Leadership Attitude, Just Rock It! and Neuroscience of Leadership, and she writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. She has been published in BBC Capital, The Australian, HRD Magazine, Business Insider and Richtopia. She has spoken at numerous leading conferences, companies and events across the world with her vision to create authentic, kind and courageous leaders and organisations.
My wish for 2019 for the leaders (remember leadership is an Attitude, Mindset, and Action) of the world – let’s be Human. I think this is what the world is craving for – Connection and Compassion as human beings.
At this time of year, I watch all those cheesy and wonderful Christmas Movies. One of my favourites is Love Actually. I love the scene at the airport where all the people are arriving at Heathrow and they are so excited and happy. They are hugging and embracing their loved ones. It occurred to me that this is a place where you can say that is love all around – and connection is all around. Don’t you agree? We might say we are all different however we are all the same – we need connection. Did you know we are social beings and this is important in leadership?
The business of business is relationships; the business of life is human connection. Robin S. Sharma
I always find the week before Xmas is interesting. There always seems to be this mad panic to get everything done before the holidays. Everyone was racing around, walking faster along the streets, checking their phones was more evident and in a rush to have meetings and conversations. In turn, so many of my clients were canceling meetings and coaching as they got just too busy. I was really conscious of not being caught up in the busyness and crazy rush of closing the year off for the upcoming Christmas break. So I don’t buy into it – ever.
Why? It stops me from being in the moment and connecting with those around me and being compassionate to them and myself. It is this time of year we need to take care of ourselves and others.
And are we really that busy? Are we? What happened to being in the moment and being human?
Thing is regardless of what time of year or where we are at (we don’t need an airport to feel connection) – we need to start being human.
So imagine the simplicity of just saying hello and asking a stranger at a coffee shop how they are, calling someone to say hello instead of an SMS or being truly present when we are with our loved ones or with the people around us. Saying thank you for making my coffee, being there for me and asking if someone needs help.
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop
Imagine the power of letting go of judging ourselves or others, being kind to ourselves when we fail or letting go of any expectations of the world and being grateful for what we have and where you are at. Imagine talking to ourselves like we would to someone we love. Imagine if we embraced this connection, compassion, and kindness as leaders in 2019. Where busyness or being on 24/7 is just a fad.
This is something I am truly committed to and passionate about. Compassion, kindness, and connection. You can read more about this in my latest book JUST ROCK IT!
In turn, I highly recommend you watch Brene Brown’s TED Talk called Power of Vulnerability too. Brene studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. Dalai Lama
Imagine a world where we truly appreciate and love the element of being human and we can create moments where we can make a difference to humanity by connecting and being compassionate. Where time and love are our most precious resources, not money, power, titles or things. Imagine leaders of the world being human. This is leadership.
It starts with us.
Below are My Top My Top Twenty 2019 Affirmations for being Compassionate to YOU.
1. I am worthy.
2. I can do anything I set my mind to.
3. I am stronger than I think.
4. I am the master of my own life.
5. I cannot control others’ actions, only my reaction to them.
6. I am me. I am unique. There is nobody else like me.
7. Nothing has beaten me yet; I can overcome any obstacle.
8. Who I was in the past does not reflect on who I am today.
9. I take each day as a new chance to do and be better.
10. I will always make the best of a situation.
11. I will look for the positives in everything, even if I can’t immediately see any.
12. I am grateful.
13. I am proud of myself and all I have achieved.
14. I have many talents and skills.
15. I can and will harness my power to make the life I want.
16. I know my worth, even if others don’t see it.
17. I deserve happiness.
18. There’s no limit to what I can achieve.
19. It will all turn out alright in the end.
20. I can do IT.
Author – Sonia McDonald, Keynote Speaker, Executive Coach and CEO of LeadershipHQ
Sonia McDonald is one of Globe’s leading leadership executive coaches and keynote speakers, as well as an advisor, thought leader, and author. She’s also CEO and founder of LeadershipHQ, and through this, she empowers people to discover their own innate talent and strengths.
Named as one of the Top 100 Australian Entrepreneurs and Top 250 Influential Women in the world, Sonia is shaking up the traditional view of leadership, and along the way she has uncovered some outstanding leadership talent which had previously gone unnoticed.
Sonia is internationally recognised as an expert in leadership and strategy, organisational development, workplace diversity and the neuroscience of leadership.
Sonia has also coached people around the world, encouraging them to succeed by reaching their full potential. She has helped hundreds of people build their brands, grow their leadership and business strategies, increase their confidence, build awareness, increase their business revenue, connect to the right people, build exceptional skills and achieve brilliant businesses and careers.
Sonia has written several books on leadership: Leadership Attitude, Just Rock IT! and Neuroscience of Leadership, and she writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. She has been published in BBC Capital, The Australian, HRD Magazine, Business Insider and Richtopia.
The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept.
I am incredibly passionate about anti-bullying and stopping poor leadership. Imagine if it was your son, daughter or someone you loved that was being bullied at work. It is unacceptable and it is up to us to combat it.
You’ve probably heard on the news that Westmead Hospital in Sydney’s ICU had their training accreditation revoked, once bullying allegations came to light. The culprits? Senior medical staff who should definitely know better! As Brad Hazzard, NSW’s Health Minister put it: “There is absolutely not one millimetre of room for a culture of bullying or failure to provide respect to every staff member.”
Then, after the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Cricket Australia just a few days later, an independent review noted that employees were using bullying tactics and ostracising other team members in efforts to get their own way.
Safe Work Australia and the Fair Work Commission have been working hard for over 10 years to raise awareness of (and try to eliminate) workplace bullying, but it is still rife in workplaces all over the country – and the world! So why is bullying in the workplace still common?
Let’s take a step back and look at just what workplace bullying is defined as by Safe Work Australia:
● Victimising, humiliating, intimidating or threatening behaviour
● Repeated over time
● Excludes reasonable management action like speaking to someone about poor performance
● Can dovetail with sexual harassment or racism
The impact on the victims of this bullying (and any form of bullying) is huge. Victims can suffer often debilitating distress, take more days off ‘sick’, avoid the workplace as much as possible, and can’t complete their duties as effectively. In dollar form, lost productivity as a result of bullying costs up to $36 billion each year.
It also damages a business’s reputation, which can make or break an organisation. If the media gets wind of a bullying story that will sell, then the incident is broadcast to a large audience and makes it hard for the business to recover from – who would want to buy from or work for an organisation that is so publically plagued by accusations of bullying?
A study completed this year said that one in five workers have been bullied in the past twelve months, which is completely unacceptable.
There are some shocking statistics from a 2016 study of 34 European countries and their workplace environments, and Australia was found to have had the sixth highest rate of workplace bullying compared to the rest of the countries studied.
Within the previous six month period, 37% of respondents said they had been sworn or yelled at, 23% had been humiliated in front of others and 22% had been threatened or physically assaulted by clients/patients.
Workplace bullying is rife in health care, defence, electricity supply and government administration, but places that should be more progressive, like universities, are not exempt from bullying in the workplace.
Australian managers have unfortunately been taught that tough leadership is the best form of management and that the US culture of ‘management by fear’ is a legitimate way to motivate a team. It’s a quick slide from this type of management to straight up bullying behaviour.
It’s not just managers and bosses that are bullies, peers are also engaging in workplace bullying at an alarming rate. Whether they just don’t like a person or are acting out of jealousy when someone achieves more than they do, especially when managers use extremely competitive reward and incentive systems, bullying often becomes their way of expressing their jealousy and/or dislike.
You may be wondering what you can do to help stop this, and we have three suggestions for you and your company:
● Lead by example – have a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to bullying. Those at the top set the example for those below.
● Regularly communicate, review and enforce complaints procedures and anti-bullying policies.
● Empower your employees to speak out – let them know they shouldn’t fear retribution, and that all concerns will be taken seriously.
In turn, we have found that organisations and businesses who invest in leadership coaching and training with a focus on personal leadership and social intelligence have had great results and performance with an increase in retention, engagement and productivity. Also they have been able to overcome bullying and poor leadership within their cultures.
It’s not always easy, but change never is. We all need to be more active in stamping out bullying in the workplace, so we can turn around the startling statistics and make every workplace a welcoming and comfortable environment, increasing employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity.
If you are interested in finding out how we can partner with you and build great leaders, leadership and cultures where your leaders are leading by example; contact LeadershipHQ for our cutting edge and high impact programs and strategies.
To speak with someone about any workplace bullying you’ve seen or experienced, you can contact:
Lifeline – 13 11 14
Beyond Blue – 1300 22 46 36
Safe Work Australia – they’ll direct you to the relevant body in your state
What’s the secret to improving your teams’ motivation and performance? You’ve probably asked yourself this plenty of times when measures that you’ve put in place haven’t been as effective as you’d hoped. You have great incentives in place for your team, you’ve streamlined your processes and procedures to make things as efficient as possible, but you’re still not getting their best.
Gallup conducted a 142 country study on the State of the Global Workplace, and found the following shocking statistics:
- 60% of Australian employees are “not engaged” – meaning they lack motivation and are less likely to invest discretionary effort in organisational goals or outcomes.
- 16% are “actively disengaged”, indicating they are unhappy and unproductive at work and liable to spread negativity to co-workers.
- Only 24% are “engaged”.
So how do you get your employees engaged, motivated and working hard? Something that you have to earn – trust.
Without trust, your team won’t be working to the best of their ability. If they can’t trust in their leaders, why should they put in more than the minimum amount of effort?
Author and professor of economic sciences, psychology, and management at Claremont Graduate University, Paul J. Zak, measured oxytocin levels and brain activity as people worked, over eight years. Oxytocin is the hormone that affects parts of our interaction and behaviours including trust. His research showed that trust within an organisation is absolutely vital to performance, and also that there are eight ways to quantify and boost trust within a workplace. Luckily for us, Zak made these into an acronym – OXYTOCIN – so it’s easy to remember.
Let’s take a look at what OXYTOCIN stands for
Positive reinforcement (like rewards and recognition) has been shown to trigger the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is linked to motivation and effort, so it’s important to recognise and reward your team for great performance because then they’ll want to continue working to that high standard. Nobody likes working hard without that effort being acknowledged.
Expectations need to be set and made clear, so employees know what they’re working towards. Make sure that your team knows they’re part of the big picture, and explain just how they are. When you get your team involved in the mission, knowing that they are directly influencing the success of that mission and your organisation boosts their motivation and commitment to meeting and excelling at their goals and your expectations.
Micromanaging gets you nowhere; as a leader you must be able to effectively make decisions and delegate tasks. Foster a safe environment of learning – mistakes aren’t the end of the world, just make sure to learn from them – and your team members will thrive when given more responsibility, and work more autonomously knowing they won’t be punished for mistakes. They will feel motivated and empowered from being trusted to do important tasks.
Transfer refers to enabling your team to ‘job-craft’ – make their job their own, and make their own decisions about how they define success.
Research undertaken by the University of Michigan showed that allowing employees to job-craft resulted in higher levels of job fulfilment and engagement. This means less staff turnover as well.
Being transparent and open with information relating to your organisation builds trust with your team because it shows that you’re being honest with them. You’d be surprised how much time and effort is taken up when your team is wondering what’s going on, so be sure to practice openness when communicating with your team.
Team members appreciate being told what’s going on, even if it’s not always good news since it gives them a chance to voice their opinions and give their input. When employees feel heard, they also feel valued and so want to return the favour and work harder.
We have launched our NEW Performance Team Coaching Program – find out more HERE!
During his research, Zak saw a variety of studies that showed how important relationships (including friendships) are on retention, productivity, health and overall job satisfaction. Encourage relationship building amongst your team by providing plenty of team-building opportunities such as collaboration between departments, and making sure to reward great teamwork.
If your organisation isn’t getting across how important workplace relationships can be, then your team won’t be trying too hard to build their networks.
Invest in your team; provide them with training and opportunities for reward and advancement, and you’ll see a big improvement in their engagement. Your team will also trust you more, as they see how much you value them by choosing to invest in them. Feeling valued like this is a great motivator for employees to do their best.
The best leaders aren’t afraid to be vulnerable; being authentic and natural shows your employees that you’re human too and that they don’t have to be perfect because you aren’t either. When your team can relate to you, they’re inspired to be more open and honest as well. This allows them to ask for help sooner, instead of fearing being reprimanded, which means time isn’t wasted and work can be carried out more competently and efficiently.
Trust isn’t exactly something you can measure, but it’s a huge part of getting your team to consistently perform at their best. What Zak found from his research is that when you have people working for organisations that have an emphasis on trust, they are 76% more engaged, 50% more productive, and 50% more likely to stay in that organisation. You can’t argue with those results!
If you’re a leader who wants to step up your game and start encouraging a culture of trust in your workplace using resources backed by extensive research and with proven results, check out our Leadership Attitude Academy here, or book a coaching session here.
You might think that sounds crazy (or that I’m crazy for saying it) but hear me out – I have a great example in mind that will really get my point across! Rocking it isn’t just about the money you make or the high position you work your way up to, and I’ll tell you why.
Let’s take a look at Mark Zuckerberg, for example. He’s considered a successful CEO by anyone’s definition and has reached goals that any leader worth their salt should be trying to achieve in their personal and professional lives. When you think of success, many people think of the 34-year-old owner of Facebook. After all, his net worth is in the billions and he’s supremely influential thanks to his company. Just about everyone is on Facebook; it’s had an amazing impact on the way we live our lives and the way we do business.
Zuckerberg seems to have it all: wealth, a business that’s taken over the world, and a high approval rating from his employees. He’s lead his team to incredible heights – but does that make him a good leader? Not necessarily!
First, the good aspects of his leadership. Zuckerberg is open to challenging the status quo, and due to being so focused on the future, has managed to create a powerful platform for business and personal connections that are backed by a team that has their ideas and opinions valued, no matter their ‘rank’ in the company. Happy employees that feel valued will stick by their leader.
Vision, vision, vision. Anyone who works for Mark Zuckerberg, and even those who use Facebook, knows that his ultimate vision is to create a world that is connected and open. He is open about this vision and backs up his words with actions. Employees are inspired by leaders that are passionate about their vision, and actually working towards it.
Zuckerberg is also known for surrounding himself with and forming, business relationships that are beneficial to the company. When a leader can admit their faults and weaknesses, and bring in others who can fill those areas, they are demonstrating humility and are putting the business’s needs ahead of their ego – a sign of a great leader.
That all sounds pretty good, so what’s the bad side of Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership? Well, for one, he doesn’t always act in an entirely ethical way, as demonstrated by his responses to scandals about Facebook’s handling of user’s data. Recently, when news broke of user data being exploited by a firm, Zuckerberg was silent for five days before issuing an apology. Being silent for so long was not an example of great leadership – leaders must have responses and contingencies in place to manage situations when things go wrong. When there’s an issue like this with Facebook, Mark issues an apology but then something similar happens again. It’s not very ethical to compromise user data in this way and has resulted in many people leaving Facebook.
His slow response after the latest scandal shows that he really needs to work on his communication skills. How good of a leader can you be if you cannot communicate effectively?
In this digital age, where we can access the latest news instantly, leaders need to be quick and decisive with their communication. Silence isn’t golden when it comes to things like this!
I’ll let you make your own mind up about whether Mark Zuckerberg is a great leader or not; there’s so much that can’t be covered in a short blog like this. Consider, though, whether a less successful (or lesser, in general) leader, would be forgiven of some of the mistakes Zuckerberg has made in his career?
There is definitely plenty to take away for your own leadership journey, both good and bad, but my reason for this blog is to remind you that even if you become successful (whatever your measure of success may be) you must never become complacent in your leadership. Always practice authentic leadership, and you will become truly successful. Finally, leadership is about Attitude, Mindset, and Behaviour – and not about title or success.
Can I share something with you – the best leaders we work with truly understand this and how this contributes to their success and significance. It could make all the difference to you too – so contact us to find out more!
Want to know more about how to be a Great Leader or build Great Leadership within your Organisation – find out more about our Group and One on One Leadership Coaching Programs here at LeadershipHQ