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It's Not My Fault! Creating Accountability in Business

Accountability, both in business and in personal life, is defined as taking personal ownership to ensure responsibilities are achieved as expected. It is a mindset that a leader must possess and then foster throughout their organization. To fully grasp accountability in business, it might help to first understand the opposite of accountability.

Consider the typical teenager and how they’d likely respond when asked to explain why they received a failing grade or were issued a speeding ticket. Refusing to accept accountability, they’d claim, “It’s not my fault!” They’d then go on to explain, “the teacher hates us and asked questions on topics that we never learned” or “the officer let everyone else go but stopped me because he is after teenagers.”

Every adult was once a teenager and likely went through this phase of refusing to assume accountability. Unfortunately, some never completely snap out of it and live their entire lives believing that their shortcomings, to a certain extent, are the fault of someone else. In contrast, those who do understand and embrace the concept of accountability never take a victim mentality but rather accept personal ownership of the areas for which they have accepted responsibility. They then guarantee a result and focus all of their energy to ensure that it happens. If you manage a business, such a high level of accountability can be a huge asset to your company.

Does this ring true for you? If I were your boss and demanded a “guarantee” from you on all of your goals for this year, would you give it to me?

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Role of Leaders Culture of Customer Centricity

Choosing to create a culture of customer centricity involves many specific actions, processes, initiatives, and methods to make sure the outcome is not only what is intended, but also expected, in order to make a real difference to the overall success of your organization. As such, it is the role of a great leader to help their people do what is necessary to bring customer centricity to life, within the broader context of many other equally crucial and demanding activities. In this video, Phil Geldart, author of “Customer Centricity: A Present and Future Priority,” explains the role great leaders play in a customer centric culture.

Video Transcript

Phil Geldart: And so you work your way all the way up the organization and you realize, to be truly customer-centric, you need to equip every level of leadership with the skills and the behaviors and the mindset to think about the customer, and to translate that mindset into action themselves.

Customer centricity is a culture. It’s not easy because it means that everybody in the organization is thinking about the customer. The reason that’s not easy is because many people in the organization never actually meet a customer. They never talk to a customer and they feel, “oh, customer centricity is what happens at the front lines.” What happens at the front lines is customer service; within the organization, it’s customer centricity.

So now: I’m an employee, how do I start thinking about the customer? How do I start evaluating whether the decisions I’m making are actually going to benefit the customer? I’m going to look at my leader. I’m going to expect my leader to be there to help me think about the customer, to show me how to think about the customer, to remind me about thinking about the customer. If my leader doesn’t do that, I’m just going to focus on my job. So, the leadership is vital within any organization, if you truly want to be customer-centric.

Which leads to an interesting question: do the leaders know how to do that? Because the leaders know how to do their job. And it’s difficult for them to think about the customers because they, too, have leaders. And so you work your way all the way up the organization and you realize that to be truly customer-centric, you need to equip every level of leadership with the skills and the behaviors and the mindset to think about the customer, and to translate that mindset into action themselves. And then to equip them to take those skills and that thinking, and coach their employees to do the same. You can’t have customer centricity without great leaders who are modeling that behavior and coaching others to do the same.

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4 Strategies for Becoming an Inclusive Leader (and Why It Matters)

Adopting an inclusive leadership style benefits individuals, teams, and the organization as a whole. Research by Deloitte has found that leaders who create an inclusive culture for their teams see a 17 percent increase in performance, a 20 percent boost in decision-making quality, and a 29 percent better collaboration. Inclusive leadership respects and values individual differences in work styles, learning, ideas, and communication, and leverages those differences for the benefit of the team and organization. Here are four strategies for becoming a more effective leader by focusing on inclusion.

1. Treat people fairly

When you recognize the traits, experiences, and working styles that make each person unique, you allow employees to bring their full selves to work for the benefit of the team. Inclusive leaders recognize individual differences and treat others fairly in light of those differences. Research shows that fairness is highly valued by employees and helps to build their engagement at work. A survey of full-time employees found that after fair compensation, “treating the workforce fairly” was named the second-most important workplace attribute.

It’s important to note that treating people fairly doesn’t mean treating everyone the same. Inclusive leaders assess individual strengths and preferences and strive to align each individual with the role and work that best fits their knowledge and skills. For example, individuals who bring an analytical skillset may be better matched to certain projects than those who are more creatively inclined. Leaders who take an inclusive approach also offer individuals on the team equal opportunities for growth to ensure they have chances to learn and develop their skills.

2. Encourage communication and collaboration

Recognizing the benefits of having a variety of perspectives on a team is at the core of inclusive leadership. Inclusive leaders pull individuals together to share their ideas, knowledge, and experiences, making sure that everyone has the chance to contribute. Some of the ways you can practice more inclusive communication and collaboration include:

  • Asking for input from individuals who are new to a topic or seem apprehensive to speak up in meetings.
  • Encouraging cross-team collaboration on key projects.
  • Leading by example and frequently demonstrating teamwork with leaders in other departments or functions.

3. Use cultural and emotional intelligence

Inclusive leaders recognize that not everyone sees problems and opportunities through the same lens, nor do all individuals manage their emotions in the same way. Leading a team requires developing a sensitivity to the ways that individuals respond to different leadership styles. One individual on the team may appreciate it when a leader spends time listening to their frustrations, while another may look to the leader for a motivating pep talk. Developing strong emotional agility will enable you to use different leadership strategies to motivate and support each person on the team.

4. Seek continuous learning

Part of being an effective leader is being committed to your own learning and growth. At the same time that new ways of working are introduced in the workplace, so too are new ways of thinking, communicating, and collaborating. Inclusive leaders recognize that no one has all the answers and that it’s necessary to seek out opportunities to sharpen their leadership skills, as well as the skills and knowledge of everyone on the team. Examples of how to demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning include:

  • Being willing to learn from feedback and work to achieve a better outcome after a failure.
  • Seeking to overcome biases and outdated beliefs.
  • Engaging in ongoing training and development opportunities.

Inclusive leadership helps to ensure the organization realizes the full benefit of different perspectives and ways of working. Without it, employees can miss opportunities to grow and perform to their potential. When leaders have the desire and capability to be more inclusive, the whole team is positioned for greater success and healthier team culture.

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The 10 Qualities of a High Performance Culture

Creating a high-performance culture is a journey that has the potential for many pit stops and breakdowns along the way. Plastering your company’s desired idea of a high-performance culture throughout the walls of the company is certainly a step in the right direction, but a company’s culture is really defined by what the people of the organization do.

In a great culture, people contribute to their fullest. Unfortunately, most organizations leverage only about 70% of an individual’s contributions. The remaining 30%–what the company doesn’t get—is the high performance. Here are 10 qualities a high-performance culture must consistently demonstrate:

1. Embrace a change mindset.

Change is central to innovation and growth. To get ahead of the competition, companies reinvent jobs, processes, structures, and work practices. Ultimately, the future of most businesses and individuals depends on the ability to change, learn, and to grow, which means each individual on the team must demonstrate a change mindset.

2. Develop strong leaders.

Creating a high-performance culture composed of individuals eager to outperform requires leaders who constantly inspire and engage employees to be the best they can be. Strong leaders build loyalty and inspire people to work hard to fulfill their job duties. Leaders need to engage, align, inspire, and mobilize individuals and teams to create a high-performance culture.

3. Empower people to make decisions.

Companies with high-performing cultures encourage individuals to ask questions, make decisions, and act upon those choices. High-performance cultures trust individuals’ decision-making abilities and create environments where they feel like owners. In this setting, individuals who feel empowered to solve problems and try new approaches to old problems or procedures tend to be more enthusiastic about their jobs. And, individuals who feel this way are less likely to become disengaged or seek work elsewhere.

4. Adopt a strategy of continuous improvement.

High-performing companies constantly strive to simplify, improve, and align their processes to respond to events effectively and to eliminate unnecessary procedures, work, and information overload. These companies also measure progress, monitor goals, and report everything that matters to everyone in the organization so that all individuals have the necessary information to drive improvement.

5. Establish meaningful core values.

Companies with this type of culture ensure that their commitments are aligned with established core values and have clear ethics supported by organizational policies.

6. Develop a coaching mindset.

Companies with high-performing cultures insist that coaches make their people feel valued and powerful; ask questions and listen; offer reflections, observations, and suggestions; and schedule debriefing sessions. Individuals in coaching roles take responsibility for their own development and performance, too.

7. Enhance training and development.

Engaged organizations recognize that setting their people up for success will result in continuous improvement and growth for individuals and for the company. Talent is viewed as an asset and customized training and development plans align with the organization’s overarching objectives and direction, providing individuals with clear career pathways.

8. Share information.

Creating a culture of transparency, openness, and trust by encouraging the free flow of information can give companies a powerful competitive edge. This happens when individuals share knowledge and ideas because they’re part of a culture that wants them to do so. It’s also important to encourage open and honest debate and urge people to report errors or concerns without fear.

9. Make work enjoyable.

High-performing companies that incorporate fun and engaging activities into their cultural fabric report many positives including higher morale and productivity, reduced stress levels, lower absentee and attrition rates, and an increased ability to attract and retain key people. While individuals are encouraged to have fun at work, they also work hard and are judged on their successes and job performances.

10. Measure culture.

High-performing cultures are characterized by an ability to align, execute, and renew. Moving towards and maintaining a high-performance culture requires measurement along the way to determine where progress is being made. As the age-old saying goes, what gets measured, gets improved.

Creating and maintaining a high-performance culture is challenging, and it can be done. Ultimately, though, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to culture. The specifics of a high-performance culture are unique to your company because they’re based on what will work best for you to reach your destination.

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The Real ROI of Leadership Activites

Calculating ROI is one of the biggest hurdles decision-makers face when determining which leadership activities to include in organizational development and training initiatives. Although some metrics are more difficult to quantify than others, approaching leadership development with measurement in mind can help you identify the activities that will offer the best return on investment. When evaluating which leadership activities are the best fit for your organization, consider how each option contributes to the following.

Increasing Engagement

One of the first steps in any type of training is engaging participants. How does the leadership training you are considering compare to your current approach? You can measure and compare engagement by conducting feedback surveys both during and after training events. This is an important metric for training because when participants are not fully engaged, they are less likely to retain new information.

Learning for the Long Term

When you invest in leadership development or any other type of training, you want the new knowledge and skills they’ve acquired to last. This is challenging with all types of individuals because the forgetting curve indicates that people forget most of what they have learned in about a week. However, the rate of learning decay depends heavily on how the information was presented in the first place. For example, an individual might remember only 5 percent of the information delivered at a lecture, compared to 75 percent if they learn by doing, otherwise known as experiential learning. When selecting specific activities, make sure you have a mix of delivery types to promote engagement and therefore, longer-term learning.

Connecting to Real-life Application

Leadership activities that successfully convey the theories behind improving performance provide value, but the best ROI will happen only when those theories are applied in real life. Look for a training approach that includes on-the-job application as a key component. This might come in the form of hands-on training, role-playing, or a debrief of experiential learning activities. Tracking behavior change on the job will help you evaluate whether your organization’s leadership activities are producing the desired results.

Retaining Knowledge

In addition to selecting an information delivery method that promotes better retention, it’s important to reinforce new knowledge in order to combat learning decay. After participating in activities and connecting them to the workplace, implement a measurement and reinforcement plan to encourage participants to retain information and apply their new skills. When individuals know that their performance is being measured, they are more likely to strive to meet clear benchmarks, especially if they have recently learned new skills that will help them achieve those goals.

Impacting the Business

Perhaps the most important metric when determining the ROI of leadership activities is how the business is impacted. The specific objectives you choose to monitor will depend on your organizational goals, but might include:

  • Decreasing the number of customer service complaints
  • Increasing the productivity of teams
  • Improving the efficiency of a specific process
  • Decreasing the employee turnover rate
  • Improving employee satisfaction

 

The methods used to calculate ROI will vary depending on the metrics you are measuring and they won’t always appear in terms of dollars and cents. For example, increasing engagement in these activities won’t directly translate to a financial return, but it is a key component of reaching your overall business goals. Regardless of your organizational development goals and the development initiatives you implement to support them, you won’t know whether you have achieved them unless you have a measurement system in place.

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Personal Development in Healthcare

Just as you approach the overall health of individual patients, you must also address the health of your entire healthcare organization. This includes building a strong backbone for your institute by developing mid-level managers. Providing personal development tools that will help them grow and thrive as supervisors and maintaining a robust leadership pipeline are essential for creating an environment that enables you to deliver superior patient outcomes. In this video you’ll learn why patient outcomes depend on personal development in healthcare.

Video Transcript

In 2008 the Institute for Healthcare Improvement came up with what was called Triple Aim. Improving the health of the general population, enhancing patient care, and then also producing per capita costs of healthcare focusing on that. Does anyone other than myself see
something huge that’s missing from that?

Which is why Triple Aim has now turned into Quadruple Aim, because the fourth element now is the staff itself, and the health of the staff. Do we just simply say congratulations you’re now a nursing supervisor, here’s 12 people, try not to mess it up. Or do we provide them with tools for success? Is there succession planning? Are there thoughts around this? Do we develop our leaders?

I will tell you without question, those mid-level managers are your most critical function, both on the clinical and non-clinical side.Think of the human body. You could have the most brilliant brain, which is your strategic plan. You could have the most brilliant rank-and-file,which is your legs. But if your spine is weak you are done, and your spine are your mid-level managers.

Personal development at all levels of the organization is critical, but if it doesn’t start, and live, and thrive in that core of your mid-level managers, those nursing supervisors on the clinical side, those supervisors on your non-clinical side, you have very little chance of getting to that ultimate goal of superior outcomes for your patients, and creating a superior reputation for your institute.

 

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How To Motivate Others? Be a Leader Worth Following.

Think back to the best boss you’ve ever worked for. How would you describe them? Often, words such as inspiring, motivating, caring, and authentic come to mind. It’s these leaders that employees want to follow and who make a lasting impact on their career.

 

Outstanding bosses are able to combine their interpersonal and communication skills to inspire the people they lead. It’s these skills that motivate others and creates within them a desire to follow, or be part of, their vision. Although interpersonal and communication skills are often considered to be something people are born with, it can be broken down into different techniques that can be learned, making it possible for every leader to be one that others want to follow.

 

 

There are ten traits that together combine to create a leader that has the ability to motivate and draws others to be part of their team.

1. Be Happy.

It projects a sense of personal confidence and well being and tends to make others feel positive about the culture and excited about the team they find themselves on. Employees want positive work relationships and when their leaders foster a happy environment it increases motivation, morale, and stronger bonds.

2. Be Decisive.

Others will be confident in your leadership, the direction, and actions being taken if decisions are made quickly and those decisions are well-informed. Most importantly, a decisive leader makes decisions that are clear and final.

3. Be Knowledgeable.

Being well-prepared breeds confidence. It allows the decisions that are being made to be done so decisively, and on the basis of relevant information and facts.

4. Listen.

Everyone appreciates being heard and being listened to. When employees know that their thoughts are being considered, they feel freer to express their ideas, opinions, and perspective. One study found that employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel motivated and empowered to perform their best work.

 

5. Have Innovative Ideas.

Being prepared with ideas, alternatives, and new solutions that others have not considered, naturally allows people to turn to the one with ideas for suggestions and direction. Be prepared by thinking in advance of possible ideas which are creative or innovative, and certainly different from those which are usually put forward.

6. Communicate Clearly.

Acquiring the ability to communicate in a way that can be understood by others is an essential leadership quality. Leaders who communicate clearly help teams understand expectations, give feedback and coaching that results in performance improvement and develop deep, authentic connections with others.

7. Be Encouraging.

Everyone wants to know if they’re doing a good job. Encouraging others is demonstrating the ability to spot something positive in the midst of a task, or at its completion, and then speaking encouraging words. When you’re a leader, your words are magnified and hold immense power. When you positively affirm an employee, that encouragement motivates the employee to continue.

8. Create an Atmosphere of Fun.

People enjoy working in a fun-filled environment, and often a little bit of creative thought and energy focused on creating an environment that is a pleasant one to work is worth the effort. For example, one of our leaders at Eagle’s Flight has a kids bowling set at the end of a long hallway. Any time a team member has a “win” they get to take a bowl. This motivates the entire team, creates an atmosphere of fun, and celebrates that employee’s success.

9. Tell the Truth.

We may believe people would rather not be told the truth, however, this is rarely the case. In most instances, people appreciate the truth if it is delivered clearly and kindly. This in turn creates trust that people are able to rely on what you say.

10. Be Enthusiastic.

Attitudes are contagious. When you’re enthusiastic this energy overflows to others. Remaining positive, outgoing, and excited about the future will result in others wanting to be part of that excitement and follow your leadership.

Leadership traits are learnable and by consciously making an effort to exhibit these ten traits, your employees will be more motivated and inclined to follow your lead. By doing so, one day, when your employee is asked to think of the best boss they’ve ever worked for, hopefully, they describe you.

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3 Benefits of Developing Coaches Within Your Organization

Good leadership is about more than just developing strategies and delegating tasks. Excellent leaders are skilled at helping others gain new skills and guiding them on a path that leads to performing better and reaching personal goals. When this aligns with organizational goals, everybody wins: Employees enjoy personal growth and a work environment that supports it, and organizations build a high-performing, engaged, and loyal workforce.

When leaders are actively invested in developing employees’ skills and competencies, they will see their efforts bear fruit. In addition to strong training and development programs, coaching plays a valuable role in developing and engaging talent day to day, leading to a broad range of benefits such as empowered employees, improved performance, and higher engagement.

1. Empowered employees

Coaching helps empower employees to come up with solutions and implement their ideas. This benefits the organization because empowered employees know they have the freedom to be proactive and make decisions that will improve the company.

Why Empowerment Matters

When employees understand the boundaries and freedoms that have been defined for them, they are able to use their knowledge and skills to the fullest. Research from the University of Iowa shows that employees who work for organizations that promote employee empowerment are more engaged, take more initiative, and report greater job satisfaction. When employees are granted the autonomy to make decisions within their scope of expertise, not only do they feel valued, but they also make their organization more responsive, more innovative, and, ultimately, more productive.

How Coaching Helps

Identifying the appropriate level of autonomy for individuals is not as simple as using a template. Because each employee has a different working style and every task has unique requirements, boundaries have to be determined at the individual level. Often, when an employee has too much freedom, they can feel overwhelmed. On the other hand, when they are too restricted, they can become frustrated and disengaged because their talents are not being used to the fullest.

When employees work directly with coaches to determine the right balance between freedom and restrictions, they are able to grow to their potential. As employees learn and develop, their boundaries should be adjusted to continue the cycle of empowerment. Communication is a critical element of this process. Coaches must both listen to the recommendations of empowered employees and have the ability to provide the honest feedback that will help them grow.

2. Improved performance

Another benefit of coaching is that it can greatly improve individual performance.

Why Performance Matters

Most employees want to do a great job. In addition to providing training and the necessary resources to do the work, organizations that also provide one-on-one coaching are able to improve individual performance, which ultimately leads to better organizational performance.

However, Gallup research shows that traditional approaches to performance management are falling short and not reaching stated performance management goals. Only two in 10 employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work. When only 20 percent of employees feel motivated, it is nearly impossible to achieve organizational excellence.

How Coaching Helps

The importance of ongoing interactions in a coaching relationship cannot be overstated, especially when the goal is to improve performance. It starts with providing clear direction for a specific task or goal and laying out a path to achieving it. If the interaction stops there, the employee might be able to successfully complete the task based on the clear direction, but if that’s all they get from their manager, it’s a missed opportunity for improving performance.

A good coach will periodically check in—ideally, at least once a week—to discuss the progress that has been made, help overcome any hurdles, and highlight areas for improvement. This continued engagement enables the employee to make incremental (and sometimes drastic) improvements that will allow them to become an overall better performer. Modeling behavior is important, but even the sharpest employees cannot rely on observation alone. When coaches explain why something is done a certain way and how that method evolved, employees gain new knowledge and can apply it to other work.

3. Higher engagement

Improving employee engagement is a goal for many companies, and coaching is one way to get individuals to stay tuned in.

Why Engagement Matters

Gallup estimates that the cost of poor management and lost productivity from employees who are either not engaged or are actively disengaged is between $960 billion and $1.2 trillion per year. This loss can have a major impact on the bottom line, especially for companies with larger workforces.

Despite this dismal statistic, the modern workforce wants to be engaged. Employees want to understand how their roles connect to the larger team and to the organization as a whole. According to the Gallup study referenced above, employees who strongly agree that they can link their goals to the organization’s goals are 3.5 times more likely to be engaged. Unfortunately, only 44 percent of employees say that they can see this connection.

How Coaching Helps

Engagement is directly linked to the frequency of communication with a manager and the content of those conversations. The same Gallup report indicates that employees who receive daily feedback from their manager are 3 times more likely to be engaged than those who receive feedback once a year or less.

Gallup has also found that employees who have had conversations with their manager in the past six months about their goals and successes are 2.8 times more likely to be engaged. This is a substantial return for a relatively small investment of time and energy from a coach. However, only 20 percent of employees say that they have talked with their manager in the past six months about steps to reach their goals, indicating a lost opportunity for increasing engagement. It’s clear that communication needs to happen more frequently and that it must address employee goals and successes.

Goal-setting through coaching also leads to better engagement, but only 30 percent of employees strongly agree that their manager involves them in the process of setting goals. These employees are nearly 4 times more likely to be engaged than other employees, but for the ones who are not involved in goal-setting, the consequences can be damaging. According to Gallup:

 

“Unfortunately, the majority of workers tend to sense an unfairness or injustice in how their performance is managed and evaluated. They are held accountable for work that they don’t always have the tools or support to accomplish successfully, and they often are not even invited to a conversation about how work could be done more effectively.”

Coaching can help eliminate these negative feelings. Actively setting goals together, creating milestones to achieve them, and tracking progress along the way give employees the chance to be involved in their own development and feel that their leader has their interests in mind.

Creating accountability through coaching and goal-setting also helps improve engagement because employees own the results of their actions and behaviors and are accountable to both themselves and their coach. When individuals know that they are responsible for completing a task or behaving a certain way—and have the skills and competencies to do it—they are motivated to stay engaged and meet their goals.

Develop Coaches Within Your Organization

The benefits of coaching extend beyond just increased engagement, better performance, and empowered employees. Developing leaders from within the organization helps build the leadership pipeline and grows institutional knowledge.

Teaching leaders how to be coaches also helps them become better at their jobs. They learn how to give and receive feedback, set measurable goals, and track milestones. They must also model the behavior they want to see in their employees, which means they are more accountable for their own actions and behaviors. All of these skills can be applied in future leadership positions, as well.

Leaders don’t automatically know how to be good coaches, but they can be taught with leadership development that offers practical strategies for coaching teams toward sustained performance improvement. Just like any other skill, coaching can be taught through experiential learning. It can also be honed over time through real-life practice and additional training to learn new techniques and approaches. If you want to empower employees, improve individual performance, and develop an engaged workforce, consider making an investment in developing coaches within your organization.

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The 12-Step Process That HR Needs for Unleashing the Full Potential of Their Workforce

The key to unleashing employee potential lies in establishing the right processes and programs to support leaders and employees at various stages of the HR cycle. The HR cycle is a 12-step process that individuals go through throughout their employment journey from hiring to promotion or role change. In our guide, Using the HR Cycle to Unlock the Potential Within the Organization, we present the strategies and initiatives that HR can pursue to leverage the HR cycle for long-term organizational success.

Recruitment, Orientation, and Onboarding

The recruiting and onboarding steps of the HR cycle present an opportunity for HR to ensure that new hires align to the goals and culture of their organization. The beginning of the HR cycle is the time to examine recruiting activities and ensure they position your organization for future success. During these stages, you can:

  • Showcase your culture. Ensure that recruiting activities and tools highlight your culture as much as the details of the position you’re trying to fill. Use your company career page and social media to express to candidates the personality of your organization and aspects of the culture.
  • Think about orientation partnerships. When a new hire joins, they need to know where the copier is, but they also need to become acquainted with the leaders on their new team that can help them adjust to cultural and work norms. HR can connect new hires with the leaders who will support their success.
  • Train managers to be master communicators. There are many stakeholders in a new hire’s orientation, but people managers have a special role to play in communicating performance objectives and expectations. HR can provide the tools and training support to ensure managers communicate expectations with ease.

Development Plan and Performance Review

The start of a new role, whether the individual is a new hire or a recent transfer, is an ideal time to establish a development plan that will define performance excellence, as well as the skills and experiences needed to get there. You recognize the importance of talent development, but what are some specific actions you can undertake to leverage the HR cycle at this critical stage?

  • Develop a three-year plan. Identify individual development needs and establish a three-year development plan to address them. Specify training program options and work experiences needed for long-term performance excellence.
  • Establish two-way feedback mechanisms. Development planning should also include employee input on their development needs, as well as the experiences they believe will sharpen their leadership skills.
  • Institute quarterly reviews. Quarterly reviews provide real-time opportunities to deliver feedback and address any performance concerns before they become a larger problem.

Succession Planning, Annual Review, and Rewards

The next steps in the HR cycle should work together to motivate individuals to perform to their full potential. Performance results and the rewards tied to them will determine an individual’s opportunities for growth and promotion.

Keep an eye on these activities to ensure you have the right programs in place for organizational success:

  • Create succession plans. Design your succession management program so that high-potentials get priority for key leadership roles and dominate your leadership pipeline.
  • Utilize annual reviews. When quarterly reviews come together into an annual appraisal, identify training and development needs and incorporate them into next year’s budget so that they remain a priority.
  • Rewards and recognition. Link rewards and recognition to a cultural transformation, thereby rewarding the behaviors you want to encourage most.

Career Management and Development

The career management discussion should be a two-way discussion that allows individuals to express their career aspirations to their managers and then discuss options and avenues they can explore to achieve their career goals. HR has an opportunity to support this last step of the HR cycle by ensuring managers are prepared for these discussions and have the necessary skills to communicate career development opportunities with clarity. Role-plays and experiential training opportunities can expand a manager’s toolkit, preparing them to answer the tough questions and engage with their direct reports in meaningful ways.

Leverage Every Step of the HR Cycle

In our extensive guide, we explain how each of the 12 steps of the HR cycle represents an opportunity for HR to deepen leadership talent and capability within the organization. The steps to unleash full workforce potential start at the candidate selection process and repeat each time an individual is promoted or moves into a new role.

HR can be the catalyst for ensuring business leaders have the required skills to support and develop employees as they move along the HR cycle, building organizational and leadership capability along the way.

 

The HR Cycle.png

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4 Ways to Build a Culture of Safety in Your Workplace

Safety in the workplace is a critically important issue, particularly in industries such as construction, manufacturing, mining, and healthcare. According to the National Safety Council, every seven seconds, a worker is injured on the job, leading to loss of productivity, missed days at work, or even loss of life. Although it’s true that individuals must adhere to safety regulations and wear proper safety equipment, having a culture of safety will ensure that employees not only follow safety rules but also are fully committed to achieving safety in the workplace.

Building a culture of safety is a powerful way to ensure that every individual at every level in the organization takes personal accountability for the safety of each other, patients, and the general public. Here are four ways to build a culture of safety.

Create a Roadmap for Change

To fully achieve a culture of safety, you first need to understand your current reality. Surveys and focus groups are two ways to understand current employee attitudes about safety and to identify specific challenges and opportunities related to changing the culture. Creating a roadmap for culture change also requires a clearly articulated safety objective. Whether your goal is to become the industry leader for safety or to reduce illness and injury in the workplace by a specific amount, it will be important to clearly state the goal and the metrics you will use to chart progress. That way, everyone can recognize and celebrate success when you get there.

Ensure Leadership Support

Individuals on the front lines who are working directly with patients, hazardous materials, or heavy machinery are not the only ones responsible for ensuring safety in the workplace. In fact, leaders have a critical role to play in building a culture of safety, including:

  • Championing safety as a critical aspect of ongoing company success through regular digital and in-person communication
  • Dedicating sufficient resources to equip the workforce with the knowledge and skills they need to ensure safety
  • Recognizing employees whose behaviors align with the company’s safety culture goals

Build Knowledge and Skills Through Training

To build a culture of safety, you need more than a traditional safety training program. Traditional training programs are great for providing instruction on how to use equipment or follow certain procedures, but they won’t bring about true culture transformation. To achieve a shift in culture, it’s necessary to provide employees with learning experiences that enable them to think differently about safety and take ownership of their role in creating a culture of safety. When employees attend training that focuses on building a safety mindset, they develop a strong conviction for promoting safety and learn how to:

  • Adopt shared responsibility for safety in the workplace
  • Take actions that ensure their safety and that of others
  • Proactively suggest ways to improve safety through improvements to existing processes and protocols

Measure Results and Reinforce

Any culture change effort requires ongoing reinforcement to ensure individuals retain lessons learned in training and don’t fall back into old habits. Digital learning reinforcement, assessments, and coaching from company leaders will help to ensure the safety culture becomes further embedded in everyday employee activities. Reinforcement activities aren’t meant to teach new information or add more to employees’ workloads. Rather, they should be designed to reinforce what was taught in training, in bite-sized increments over time, so that individuals can incorporate those reinforced lessons into their workdays. In partnership with reinforcement activities, ongoing measurement of results based on clear metrics will help everyone recognize and measure progress.

Meeting your workplace safety goals can be a reality when employees and leaders work together to demonstrate their commitment to a culture of safety. With a roadmap to success, the support of leaders, and training that helps develop a new safety mindset, everyone in the organization will be equipped to improve safety in all areas.

 

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