Traveling for work is something that many professionals will have to do eventually. To avoid problems and ensure a smooth work experience, HR should double check this quick and simple checklist during the planning process, before someone departs, and after they return.
If you’re the one doing the traveling, double check this list as well and send it to whoever is responsible for organizing the trip.
Before the trip
Most of the preparation that needs to be done is before someone actually gets on a plane. Here’s what you need to pay special attention to.
Passport expiry date
Ensure the passports of everyone going on the trip are valid for at least 6 months after your intended return date. This is to make sure no one gets stuck in a country with an expired passport.
Double check this requirement, since it may vary from country to country.
There are some countries you may need a visa to travel to, depending on your passport. Check your eligibility and attain the valid visas if needed.
Tickets to event
Flying to attend an event or conference? Make sure you purchase tickets beforehand and each attendee has a copy of theirs.
Check your flight
Double check your flight landing time, timezone difference, and length of stopover. Having too long of a stopover is an opportunity for some work, but it’s better to get someone to their destination as soon as possible. Avoid flight layovers that are more than 4 hours.
Pay attention to the change in timezone. If you’re flying over the day before a big meeting, make sure the timezone change doesn’t cause you to miss it. Look at the landing time in the destination country to make sure you can meet any scheduled appointments.
Location and WiFi
When booking accommodations, pay attention to location and amenities, specifically, WiFi. Find a place that’s in a safe area, close to wherever your obligations or purpose for traveling is. WiFi is also important because it’s likely you will need to do some work while you are traveling, and having Internet at your home base will help with this.
Share the schedule
Does everyone know where they need to be certain dates while they travel? If you’re traveling for a conference, this is easy. What if you’re traveling for client or investor meetings? Make sure you share out the schedule with everyone, including sending calendar notices to the people you plan to meet with to confirm meeting times.
During the trip
During the trip itself, it’s important to stay organized and focused, and travel prepared.
Remember to bring your portable WiFi with you when you go out
Set alarms for important meetings
Try to sleep and eat on time, especially helpful if there’s been a timezone change
Review your schedule for the next day the night before
After the trip
You made it through! After a trip, debrief the rest of the team on what happened, and submit a post-mortem report. This report should detail what went right, what went wrong, and suggestions for next time.
Document any additional expenses needed for reimbursement, and congratulate yourself on getting through business travel!
Digital transformation offers the opportunity to optimize, expand, and streamline processes, but for employees, it often means taking on risk. Employees switching to new tools, new work processes, and even new roles will experience skills gaps and job insecurity, which can lead to resistance, even in the face of positive change.
Taking the steps to communicate changes to your workforce, educate employees to avoid skills gaps, and empower your employees throughout the digital transformation process will ensure better success.
Managing Open Communication
While many organizations struggle with balancing sharing information, with the goal not to share too early in case of a restructure but also not too late, conducting open and honest communication from the start is always your best policy.
While this may reduce morale if your digital transformation includes restructuring some departments, clearly communicating how you will move, retrain, or help individuals in those roles will help to quell anxieties and problems.
You have to communicate:
What digital transformation is
The benefits to the organization and to the employee
New tools being introduced
What training will be provided to help employees adapt
What is expected of employees
Which roles will be created, which will be obsolete
Options for those in roles with outdated skills
When changes will take place and how quickly they will be adopted
Rather than simply creating talking points for managers, consider hosting town-halls or open meetings, where teams can openly discuss what they expect, how they can benefit, and what digital transformation will mean for them in their role.
Get Teams Involved
Part of digital transformation is switching to digital and cloud-based tooling, employee assessment, processes, and competencies. While you can conduct these changes completely independent of your workforce, you can also empower them by keeping them involved. Conducting town halls with employees will allow them to help choose new tools based on individual team needs. Interviews and meetings will allow experienced persons to help set competencies and skills needed in specific roles. And involving teams with their own processes, such as through a managed portal, will empower individuals to control how they work.
While no one should be able to make arbitrary changes, involving individuals, openly asking what they want, and allowing them to see and take part in the decision-making process will empower them to improve their work-environment, while giving HR live feedback on how things actually work.
Pushing Digital Transformation
Many people are afraid of automation, with 37% expressing anxiety over automation in one survey. Most roles cannot be fully automated, simply because it’s difficult to replace human ingenuity. If you can quell anxieties relating to job insecurity, you will go a long way towards bridging gaps in change resistance.
Teams should see digital transformation as an opportunity to automate tedious manual processes, to improve and digitize tooling and processes (and perhaps combine them), and creating time and space to focus on business-critical activities.
At the same time, you should be prepared to offer training for new software and processes, work to move individuals into new roles as theirs become obsolete, and communicate how you will take care of your people to ensure talent retention throughout the shift.
At the end of the day, digital transformation is about employee empowerment. Digitally transformed companies offer more solutions, better tooling, more transparent information, and better access to resources, all of which greatly benefit those on the work floor. Your primary goal should be to communicate this in as clear a fashion as possible, while creating programs to bridge knowledge and skill gaps created by the change.
Coaching is an extremely valuable tool that can help you to train new leaders, balance weak points in skills and behavior, and bring new people into your company culture.
Coaching, or one-on-one training, typically through both example and advice, will help employees to build themselves at every level, and it is something that will benefit your organization.
At the same time, fostering a culture of coaching, where individuals automatically reach out and help others, automatically receive coaching on entering the organization, and are able to reach out for that support as needed, can be difficult.
Ultimately, investing in coaching skills will pay off across your organization.
Who Should Know Coaching?
While nearly everyone in your organization can benefit from learning coaching skills, it’s most important that your leaders and managers develop these skills.
Team leaders and project managers should be able to step up to help anyone who is struggling, should be able to respond to negative employee assessment, and should be able to help individuals improve weaknesses to meet expected or desired behavior/skills profiles.
Instilling a culture of coaching across a larger percentage of your organization is also beneficial. Peer coaching is extremely helpful, especially in one-on-one situations where feedback is beneficial (nearly all situations).
Here, you can consider coaching as including behavioral elements such as giving and receiving feedback, supporting and expanding on someone’s thinking, challenging performance and pushing for excellence, and engaging in short but impactful conversations. As you can probably guess, this is beneficial at every level of an organization.
Assessing Coaching Culture
The first step to determining how to create a culture of coaching is to simply determine what you already have. This can range from a great deal to very little and will often rely on other specific factors such as emotional intelligence, behavior, and introversion/extroversion of you workforce.
You can create a specific assessment for coaching or use existing employee assessment data alongside quick surveys asking for information.
How well is coaching understood?
Is coaching implemented in talent retention?
Is coaching actively used to develop competencies in-line with performance models/benchmarking?
Is coaching embedded into existing processes and policies?
How effective is existing coaching?
Do individuals have a mindset of helping and guiding others?
Once you know where you’re starting, you can create a training program to begin to tackle gaps and create your culture of coaching.
Introducing Change as a Positive
The largest barrier to introducing coaching as a culture is typically related to change management. If people think that they are too busy, the organization is too high-demand, or they simply don’t have time to adopt coaching, they won’t do so.
Address coaching as part of individual responsibilities, make it part of their role, and make time for it, even in top leaders.
Bring on External Coaches
Learning by example is one of the most important elements of coaching. Bring on quality external coaches to teach coaching to internal people. This means using selection criterion so that your hired coaches act as positive examples inside your organization, while teaching the skills you need.
Your coaches should be able to:
Utilize assessment tools to build on employee strengths and cover weaknesses
Help individuals achieve career goals
Build collaboration and emotional intelligence across teams
Address problems as they appear
Offer custom help and roadmaps to individuals in need of support
They should also be able to act as an example as you develop internal coaches and coaching skills across your organization.
Align Your Organization
When you introduce training and workshops or even mentoring and coaching to foster coaching across your organization, it’s important to ensure your organization is aligned with new information. This means creating policies and processes that support coaching.
Are coaching skills reviewed during performance review?
Are managers and leaders given support to be good coaches?
How are coaching skills embedded in needed competencies? Is coaching reflected in needed competencies?
Do you reward coaching?
Do job descriptions and roles include coaching? Do they make time for coaching?
Is coaching part of your onboarding process?
Is coaching part of your leadership pipeline?
Is coaching or are coaching skills included in leadership and promotion criterion?
Creating a support system to remind, reward, and promote coaching will help individuals to develop it. In addition, offering training, backed up by good examples and further coaching, will help individuals at every level to adopt coaching as part of their mindset. And, when leaders adopt coaching techniques as part of management, they will push that on to their teams.
Emotional intelligence has quickly risen in popularity as more and more organizations recognize its importance. With value in employee retention, job satisfaction, collaboration, and conflict resolution, emotional intelligence plays into nearly every part of the modern workforce.
But it’s difficult to test for, with the four recognized aspects of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management being vastly different from scorable skills such as math and software engineering.
Emotional intelligence training helps to bridge those gaps, fostering needed skills in existing employees, improving them in new hires, and ensuring everyone is on the same page and using relatively the same styles of communication and emotional understanding.
Work is about people and interactions, and training people to navigate those interactions will improve their ability to work, manage stress, manage people, and improve their private and personal lives.
Testing for EI
Most people will have a range of emotional intelligence skills and will be strong in some and weak in others. Conducting testing will help you identify weak spots so that you can react accordingly. MSCEIT, EQ-I 2.0, ESCI, and Genos are among the most common emotional intelligence tests, each with its own pros and cons.
For example, MSCEIT tests for abilities, EQ-I tests for personality traits, ESCI tests for competency, and Genos tests for Genos.
Introducing Emotional Intelligence
Most people are already somewhat aware of emotional intelligence, with some studies suggesting that 80% of Millennial employees consider it to be important.
However, you can work to introduce EI in several ways. Books such as Working with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman and The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book are both easy and accessible options.
You can also recommend articles, talks, and even discuss core principles with managers, who can push those concepts to their teams.
Investing in workshops and training programs is the most efficient way to push emotional intelligence but will require a higher investment.
Push for Social Responsibility
One of the easiest ways to create a sense of emotional intelligence is to push for social awareness. Social responsibility, including volunteering, creating positive changes, donating to charities, and helping out others is one of the easiest ways to get others to feel empathy.
Here, exercises such as having teams volunteer for a charity, creating opportunities for teams to take on each other’s work, creating processes that support teams sharing responsibility and work, and otherwise recognizing what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes will help with this.
For example, you can:
Create team-building exercises to share background information and interests
Play weekly board or video games together
Spend 15-20 minutes every morning getting coffee or tea together
Share work-style tables to openly communicate work and communication styles
Recognizing Emotions and Behavioral Cues
Many people struggle to recognize the emotional and behavioral cues of others, because they are interpreting those cues through their own “lens” of experience.
Introducing behavioral and emotional training to help individuals, but especially team leaders and managers, to recognize those cues and behaviors is one of the most important things you can do to foster emotional intelligence.
For example, if someone doesn’t have the tools to recognize someone else is distressed, they can’t respond in an emotionally intelligent way.
Emotional intelligence can be learned, but different people will likely be more or less skilled in it. Just like IQ, different people will score higher or lower, even with the same training.
Changing how you think and react to others is difficult and will require working on specific things you excel or fail at, such as empathy, self-regulation, labeling emotions, and so on. However, it will pay off in terms of improved productivity, increased job satisfaction, and better relationships.
Employee assessment tactics like behavioral competencies are extremely popular in HR, and often for good reason.
Recognizing how and why an individual will react and act in any given situation gives leaders the opportunity to put those people into work environments where they will excel, to offer training to help people excel, and to recognize when people will and will not work together.
Behavioral competencies are also more and more often used to find and root out characteristics that will allow teams to work well together.
But, are they enough to ensure teams will work well together? That depends on the competencies and the people involved.
In most cases, behavioral competencies can add a great deal to team-building,
Building Around Key People
In most cases, the ideal way to build a team is to set its purpose, define a team objective fitting into larger business objectives, and identify key roles and responsibilities that will fulfill that.
For example, if your team is set up around the goal of improving UX, you know you need a UX manager and supports for that person.
While not every team has a key role, many do, and you should select your key role and build the team around that person when possible.
Here, employee assessment to determine behavioral competencies becomes extremely valuable.
Balancing New and Experienced People
While it’s not always possible to put together a completely internal team, it’s always a good idea to ensure that most of your team has experience in the organization, experience with processes, and experience with company culture. You can achieve this by onboarding new hires into other teams so they can build experience before moving them into an existing team, by creating a new team from existing employees, or by creating teams composed of about 75% experienced people and 25% new.
Here, you can use tools such as employee benchmarking and success profiles to determine when new people are or are not ready to move into a new team, which will obviously have much less in terms of established work-methods and goals.
Leveling Emotional Intelligence
Ideally, everyone on your team should have a high level of emotional intelligence. However, this isn’t always possible. Your goal should be to review the needs of key roles and move people into the team who can meet those needs.
For example, if someone is largely in a supportive role, they have to be good at collaboration and understanding communication.
However, they also have to be able to take on some autonomy, complete work to get it out of the way of the key role and be able to speak or up discuss when they think things are not going well.
Fitting Skills and Competencies Together
Behavioral competencies do not typically include hard skills such as software design, which means you will have to balance both hard skills and competencies to create a strong team.
Someone who is very good at their job may miss competencies such as dedication and creativity, which may be necessary for the team. If you have an excess of skills and not enough behavioral competencies, you may find that work slows through lack of drive, creativity, or motivation.
If you have people with desired behaviors but not enough skills, you may have to actually pause the team to train employees. A balance of both, so that everyone has time to catch up while still contributing, is likely your best option.
No matter how your teams work, it’s important that they be able to work at the same level, be able to communicate in the same ways, and that they all contribute to team goals. This may be realized through creating a support network for a single employee, creating a team of equals who each contribute in different ways through different behaviors, or through creating a balance of hard skills and behavioral competencies. In every case, simply looking at behavior won’t help you to create your strongest team.
As January draws to a close, it’s important to make sure your company and employees are set for a successful 2019. This includes understanding your company’s values, goals, and resources, as well as knowing what is expected of them.
The values of your company are important for everyone to know, because it’s what your brand stands for. For example, if you value transparency, your team should know to always default to transparency rather than secrecy.
Values are important so your team knows how to act professionally, and what values they must align the decisions in their role with.
Knowing overall goals
The big goals of your company can be considered your mission statement. These goals are vital to keep the business defensible, unique, and sustainable. When the entire company knows and strives to hit your company goals, it drives your overall success.
This is important for everyone to know so that they can ensure every action they make pushes the company further towards their big goals. It’ll also show each team member how their role is vital for reaching those goals, which creates a sense of purpose.
Using your resources
Each company has a set of resources that are available to different departments. Each team member should know what resources they have access to. This helps keep everyone well-equipped, knowledgeable, and capable of doing their jobs well.
For example, if someone is working on your ads team, give them access to their budgets, software tools, and any consultants your company may use.
Finally, make sure every team member knows what s/he is accountable for. This is important so that they can take ownership of the metrics and tasks they’re responsible for, and analyze what went wrong if something isn’t done. It will also help prevent them from stepping into another department’s resources and tasks, unless asked, to avoid confusion.
When your team understands their responsibilities, overall company goals, brand values, and the resources they have available to them, they’ll be best equipped to do their jobs well this 2019.
One of the most crucial issues facing management is preserving employee commitment to company goals and objectives. It is important that you know and understands yourself and the world of work.
Career counseling will guide and help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to make future career and life decisions. It helps you identify the factors influencing your career development and help assess your interests, abilities, and values.
Dr. Maria Vida G. Caparas is a GENOS Emotional Intelligence Practitioner and a licensed Psychologist. She is also a Wiley-Certified Everything DISC Trainer. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in her Ph.D. Psychology at UST. She also obtained a Diploma in Public Management from UP Diliman as a government scholar.
Dr. Caparas is a seasoned trainer with extensive and invaluable services in both government and corporate offices. She served as Vice President of HR in New San Jose Builders, Inc. In GMA Network, Inc., she wrote for Kapuso Magazine as Managing Editor. She also became the Dean of the Graduate School at the Manila Central University. Dr. Caparas has also conducted numerous training programs for various topics such as Competency-Based Training, Competency-Based Recruitment, Training Needs Analysis, Job Evaluation, etc.
Currently, aside from serving as a Director of Learning and Development for People Dynamics, Inc., she teaches part-time in UST and De La Salle University. She has authored four books in Psychology and Human Resource Management. Already a fulfilled academician and HR and OD practitioner, she has received a number of awards and recognition.
Most people assume that the more time you spend at your job, the more work you’ll complete. Today, we know this isn’t true. We also know that spending more time can actually reduce productivity. This is especially true in the case of presenteeism, where employees are physically present but not really “there”. This happens due to illness such as a cold or flu, chronic illness, stress, sudden disasters or emergency, or even emotional turmoil such as a heartbreak. Presenteeism is also a very real problem, costing U.S. businesses an estimated $150 billion in lost work productivity each year.
While this problem is well-understood, most businesses still don’t have policies in place to create the emotionally intelligent processes that would work to combat presenteeism while boosting productivity through increased employee motivation and trust.
Practicing Emotional Intelligence
In many cases, employees will go to a manager or boss with a problem, will ask for time off, and will be denied. Leaders can also listen to clearly traumatic or problematic instances and respond with nothing. Giving time off can logically slow processes, can actually create bottlenecks, and may incur additional costs or other problems.
At the same time, if someone is focusing on something else, whether their own physical discomfort or emotional turmoil, they logically won’t be focused on work. This can result in reduced productivity, bitterness, or even decreased safety in the workplace depending on the location.
Creating a policy of emotional intelligence and recognizing other people’s needs is an important one. Here, a team leader could be trained to respond to emotional trauma with “Take a day off and recover”, giving employees room to actually process problems.
This applies to sick leave, family trouble, trauma (accidents, attempted mugging, burglary, natural disaster, etc.), and even chronic pain. Leaders should be able to recognize when an individual cannot focus or concentrate on work because of a problem, and then simply give them time to cope with that.
Developing Secondary Measures
While it’s nice to be able to say that employees can take time off whenever they need it, this can be difficult to allow for inside of small organizations and small teams. Taking a single key person out of play can result in bottlenecks and delays. How do you compromise?
This often requires creating business processes that allow for individuals to take time off. This can include structures moving immediate work to another team or qualified individual, allowing the individual to work from home or work half days, or having an agency or freelance team on call to fill gaps when necessary. While each of these will naturally be costlier than simply making someone work through illness or emotional turmoil, it will pay off in the long term.
Making Investments in Reducing Problems
Most presenteeism is caused by very preventable issues surrounding stress management, fatigue, lack of healthcare, substance abuse, and even lack of knowledge of how to take care of themselves. Making small investments into improving insurance availability, offering eye testing, offering stress management classes, and so on, can decrease presenteeism. Similarly, creating programs for more affordable healthcare for diabetes, programs to help people get treatment for substance abuse, and so on can greatly help you to reduce it.
Offering programs including time off, training, and better healthcare can and will reduce presenteeism. It will also work to boost employee morale, motivation, and company trust by showing that you are willing to take care of them. This will, in turn, boost productivity, reduce employee churn, and increase loyalty, which will benefit your organization.
Whether putting together a new team or rebuilding an existing one, the people you put into it are crucial in more ways than one. Good teams rely on a combination of factors to succeed, including a range of skills covering everything the team needs to achieve, adaptability, a sense of trust, and the ability to work well together.
This often means choosing people who work in similar ways, who balance each other out, and who are able to effectively communicate on the same level. For example, if you were to take a software engineer who excels at working alone and taking on most of the work, he might not do very well in a team requiring strict collaboration and interplay of ideas. Data from employee assessment and frameworks as well as emotional intelligence can help you to make the right decisions to create great teams.
Identify What’s Actually Needed for a Team
Creating a new team means identifying what the team should be doing, defining their scope, and then planning the team around that. This also means identifying workload, potential key players, and work environment.
You can use this to determine what is required in terms of skills, time management, prioritization, efficiency and speed, creativity, adaptability, willingness to learn, and collaboration. You can also use it to determine which types of people will excel on this team. If you’re building a slow-moving team that’s largely responsible for keeping everything running well, you know that highly creative workaholics are not the ideal fit for that team, they’ll quickly become bored and look for work elsewhere.
Identify Key Roles and Players in the Team
It’s extremely valuable to identify the core needs of your team first. This allows you to build your team around those people, so that you choose key roles and learn what they need in terms of communication, collaboration, and environment. Even if you’re hiring externally, it’s a good idea to know who you’re building the team around.
Let’s say you’re creating a new UX team. You need a senior UX designer in the lead role and everyone else in the team is there to support them. It’s important that you be able to design that team around their specific needs.
How do your key players communicate?
How emotionally intelligent are they?
What kind of guidance do they need?
What are their strengths?
What are their weaknesses that could benefit from augmentation?
What do they need?
Building a Team Based on Common Ground
Marcia Hughes, president of Collaborative Growth, identifies 7 key skills or behaviors individuals must have to work successfully together in a team. These include motivation, identity, emotional awareness, communication, conflict resolution, stress tolerance, and positive mood.
If you create a group of people with similar results on each of these points, they will be able to work together much more easily and productively. Someone who is significantly lower energy or more prone to stress than other members of his or her team will not excel in that team. While building these specific skills often requires significant time investment and training, you can do so internally when planning a team over the long-term. At the same time, you do have to mix people with higher and lower levels of motivation to avoid putting everyone with lower motivation into a single team.
While you can work to build teams around only skills, chances are that people won’t get along, may not be especially collaborative together, and may not be productive enough together. You can also work to develop desired traits such as emotional intelligence, motivation, or stress tolerance over time, with the understanding that lacking these things may reduce the overall productivity of your team at the start.
If you are looking for a program that will impact your leadership with “real” behavioral changes, then this is for you! The clamor for Emotional Intelligence as a “must-have” competency to move forward by the year 2020 (according to the World Economic Forum) drives the relevance of this program. This program is a six (6) module learning path that helps professionals develop emotional intelligence skills and improve their impact, influence, leadership, and resilience. The tools and techniques covered are applicable within and outside of the workplace, making the program game-changing for business and life-changing for people.
In the first session of the Future Fluent Leadership Series, you will explore the neuroscience of emotions and emotional intelligence, analyze emotionally intelligent leadership behaviors and the impact these can have, identify events that can cause positive and negative decisions and behavior in other, and determine a personal development goal for the program.
The neuroscience of emotions and the link between emotions, decision, behavior, and performance
Overview of emotionally intelligent leadership – what it is and why it’s an important core competency of leadership
David Rock’s SCARF model and how it can be utilized to facilitate better decisions, behavior, and performance
The investment for this module 1 lesson is P16,000 plus VAT, and includes all course materials and instruction from an expert facilitator.
Ms. Ruby Mañalac currently works as the Director for Marketing and Partnerships for The Profiles Group of Companies, which is composed of Profiles Asia Pacific, Inc., People Dynamics Inc., Profiles Academe, and Emotional Intelligence. She previously held the positions of Director for Operations and Training Manager. She has worked for various organizations mostly in the field of Sales, Marketing, Communications, and Training, not just in the Philippines, but also overseas. She’s recognized for her excellence in the fields that she worked on, gaining various awards like Top Rookie President’s Award in New York and New Jersey, USA.
A graduate of AB major in Communication Arts in UST, her other achievements include a certificate in Human Resources Planning and Acquisition from the University of Makati under PMAP and a certification for GENOS Emotional Intelligence as a practitioner. Last August 2017, she flew to Sydney, Australia to get certified at the IGNITE Train the Trainers GENOS Emotional Intelligence Program and went back to Australia this January 2018 to take the Genos EI Selection and Talent Management Course. She also attended the first annual Genos International Partner Conference: Game Changers in Singapore last June 2018, and was one of the speakers representing the Philippines.
Ms. Ruby is a top-notch and sought-after speaker for Emotional Intelligence, which is her advocacy and passion, leading her to be interviewed by ANC and CNN Philippines.