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What makes a company desirable for women to work? Many say it comes from such reasons as a corporate culture that’s supportive of gender diversity, flexibility in hours and work requirements to accommodate family and life balance, competitive compensation and benefits, training and continued professional development, and career advancement opportunities.  If your organization is one that features these benefits (or more!), then it could be an ideal nominee for “Top Companies for Women to Work for in Transportation.” This is the first year this program will be featured in Redefining the Road, the official magazine of the Women In Trucking Association, with the goal to highlight companies in the industry that are friendly for women in BOTH driver and professional capacities.  Now's your time to vote for up to five companies that you think embody important attributes required to be a "Top Company for Women to Work For in Transportation." There are 65 nominated companies that have made the final cut based upon the following criteria: Corporate culture that’s supportive of gender diversity Flexibility in hours and work requirements to accommodate family and life balance Competitive compensation and benefits Training and continued professional development Career advancement opportunities > Select UP TO 5 COMPANIES - click here to access the list of nominated companies> Then access your ballot to vote for these companiesOnly one vote per device is allowed. Encourage your colleagues and others in your network to vote.  You need not be a WIT member to vote. 
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Imagine this. One of your top sales managers has asked to meet with you. You settle into your morning coffee, take a seat at your desk, and invite the sales manager into your office. Right away, you notice something off in his tone.  And then it happens … he delivers his two-weeks’ notice. Business leaders too often find themselves blindsided when a star employee decides to quit. In many cases, this event is a rude wake-up call to those who failed to see the warning signs of a disengaged employee. Effective leaders know and understand their people as individuals, where they fit on the team, and how they each contribute to the bottom line—especially those serving as frontline managers. Such managers walk alongside you and are your gateway to the inner workings of the company. Without them, leaders are at a loss regarding organizational climate. They also shine a light on how key people are performing and the progress they are making in relation to departmental and enterprise-wide goals. Leaders should make it a priority to connect with their managers, foster teamwork, and challenge them to exceed expectations. Most importantly, they must make sure that managers know they are valued. But leaders who become immersed in operational oversight and strategic planning at the expense of relationships are, ironically, more likely to drive turnover and less likely to see the resignations coming. If the problem has already occured, it’s crucial to survey the situation, get a clear understanding of what went wrong, and use the experience as an opportunity to ensure that other top performers do not follow suit. Gaining Clarity If your top performer gives notice, you still have time to turn the situation around. Why has he decided to leave? Understanding the underlying reasons behind your employee’s decision is the first step to remedying the situation. Is it because you haven’t given him enough support and attention? Does he feel undervalued, and if so, why? Is there too much conflict across the team? Is he no longer satisfied with the work? Leaders sometimes assume top performers don’t need their time or advice. After all, such employees have already “made it,” so it’s better to focus on people are aren’t getting it done. This is a mistake. Coaching and development will only stick with people who are genuinely interested in improving. Remember to always make meaningful connections with your top people. When top performers feel that leaders have their best interests in mind, they will be more engaged in the work and more committed to shared success. If the situation cannot be changed and the employee has made a final decision to leave, it’s up to you to learn from the situation and modify your approach to ensure that other top performers don’t feel tempted to explore other job opportunities. Leading for the Future It should go without saying that recognizing top performers and acknowledging their contributions to the company drives engagement and loyalty. When top employees do move on to other opportunities, the transition does not have to be chaotic. Effective leaders will already know who their high-potential employees are and will be grooming them to rise through the ranks when leadership positions become available. Businesses that thrive in challenging times will be those that identify and develop the leaders of tomorrow. Hi-po development programs are an excellent method for ensuring that an organization has the leadership bench strength required to do so. When a key manager leaves, there is often a suitable candidate within your own company who can successfully take on the challenge. Are you already aware of which team members have the potential to be leaders? (Note that being a hard worker or being reliable isn’t the same thing as being a leader.) Do you have a plan in place to mentor and develop these employees? If the answer is “no,” then it’s time to get to work. To learn more about Caliper and special discounts to WIT members, visit www.calipercorp.com/wit To find out more about how Caliper can help you retain and engage your employees, visit www.calipercorp.com or email info@calipercorp.com. Caliper is a human capital analytics company leveraging decades of data and validated assessment results to predict and select high-quality candidates. Caliper partners with all types of organizations, industries, and sectors – from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and from government agencies to non-profits. We help companies reduce the risk of bad hiring decisions; build high-performing teams; and engage, develop, and retain their employees. Contact us to learn more.
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Let’s get this out of the way first:  Millennials have been such a frequent topic in hiring discussions recently that managers are admitting to being positively fatigued by the word.  If you’re in that camp, it may come as good news that soon it won’t even be the right word when we’re talking about younger, less-experienced workers. Some Millennials have been in the workforce for well over ten years, and—are you ready for this—you’ll be receiving job applications from Generation Z pretty soon. You may even have one or two as interns! So, when you see the word “Millennial” in this article, think twenty-something. In fact, if you’ve hired inexperienced staff members recently, chances are you have a few twenty-somethings on your team. You’ve also probably encountered a lot of bad press about this age group, to the degree that there’s apprehension regarding how different generations can function in the same work environment. The aim of this article is to get past the negative connotations and discuss how to successfully hire and manage twenty-something employees.   Many leaders of older generations say it can be challenging to integrate younger people into the labor force. Armed with the right attitude and fresh knowledge, however, it doesn’t have to be difficult at all. Here are five tips to get moving in the right direction: 1. Don’t make assumptions or believe stereotypes. A big shift has taken place in the world of work. The Millennial generation—those born roughly between 1980 and 1998—is now the largest in the workforce. This trend will continue, with immigration adding more numbers to this group than any other. The Millennial population is projected to peak in 2036 at 81.1 million. In addition to overtaking the Baby Boomers in population size, Millennials are more racially and ethnically diverse than the other adult generations. Once you factor in the diversity of life experiences, along with the intrinsic personality variations that occur across all populations, it becomes clear that members of this generation are far from a homogenous group sharing collective goals and motivations. Managing individuals as individuals is always the wisest approach. 2. Know who you are and how you are wired to manage. Just as individual contributors bring their own intrinsic motivations and experiences to work with them, so do managers when interacting with and leading their staff members. The better awareness you have of your own management style, the more effective you will be working with your team members. Instead of thinking, “I’m from Generation X/a Baby Boomer and am different from the younger generation,” think “I have my own set of motivations, strengths, and inhibitors, just like this person who is new to the workforce. How can we best work together and complement each other’s styles?” 3. Learn as much as possible about your applicants. A whole industry has sprung up around helping job seekers shape resumes and cover letters to conform to keyword searches, and they are seldom written by the applicants themselves, so you’re often looking at a product rather than at a document that gives insight into the person’s potential. The good news is that tools exist to balance things out in your favor. Behavioral interview guides give you a legitimate preview of how applicants will look on the job, and pre-employment personality assessments uncover intrinsic motivators like detail focus, customer service orientation, and self-direction. Knowing this information not only helps you make informed hiring decisions, it enables you to develop targeted and productive coaching and development plans. Just make sure you are using an assessment instrument that has been scientifically validated. 4. Evaluate your job descriptions, and be detailed about entry-level responsibilities. It may sound like a silly question, but it’s worth asking: When was the last time you updated the language in your job posting? Business is in a constant state of flux thanks to rapidly changing technologies and consumer demands. It follows that jobs themselves evolve and requirements change. Younger applicants may not have the experience you’re looking for, but they might be just who you need in terms of skill sets. However, no one will know if the job requirements haven’t been updated in 12 years. Also, thinking back to intrinsic motivation, be sure to spell out exactly what is expected, task-wise. You’ll attract more appropriate applicants with accurate breakdowns of job duties than with arbitrary demands of experience. 5. Share your company’s culture and work environment. We hear a lot of chatter about “what Millennials want,” which should be viewed as a false narrative. No group of people so vast and diverse can possibly be put in one box. People of all generations are different from each other, twenty-somethings included. Therefore, there’s no need to wonder, “How can I rejigger things so this company looks more appealing to the new generation of workers” and go chasing after an elusive, all-purpose explanation of what such people want. A better approach is to take a serious look at your company culture and your work environment and highlight it when you promote the company. Is it a supportive, collegial setting that emphasizes teamwork? Or a competitive one where self-reliance and independent thinking is valued? If your options are A) sifting through thousands of applicants trying to figure out which ones are viable candidates and B) Taking an honest look at your culture and sharing your insights, choosing the second option is the most effective way of hiring people who will fit your environment. To learn more about Caliper and special discounts to WIT members, visit www.calipercorp.com/wit   To learn more about how to better engage and retain your millennial talent, visit www.calipercorp.com or email info@calipercorp.com. Caliper is a human capital analytics company leveraging decades of data and validated assessment results to predict and select high-quality candidates. Caliper partners with all types of organizations, industries, and sectors – from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and from government agencies to non-profits. We help companies reduce the risk of bad hiring decisions; build high-performing teams; and engage, develop, and retain their employees. Contact us to learn more.
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What makes a company desirable for women to work? Many say it comes from such reasons as a corporate culture that’s supportive of gender diversity, flexibility in hours and work requirements to accommodate family and life balance, competitive compensation and benefits, training and continued professional development, and career advancement opportunities.  If your organization is one that features these benefits (or more!), then it could be an ideal nominee for “Top Companies for Women to Work for in Transportation.” This is the first year this program will be featured in Redefining the Road, the official magazine of the Women In Trucking Association, with the goal to highlight companies in the industry that are friendly for women in BOTH driver and professional capacities.  Nominations of companies close July 16 at 5pm Central. What is the process to qualify? Step 1: Nominate the OrganizationExplain in 75 words or less what makes this company worthy of being recognized as a great place for women to work. Also be prepared to indicate if the nominated organization demonstrates any or all of the above characteristics. Nominated companies must be a WIT member. Nominate by July 16.  Step 2: Online VotingThe marketplace (both WIT members and non-members) votes and helps to validate all nominations. Voting takes place July 18 - August 15, so be prepared to encourage your workforce, business partners, and other key stakeholders to vote! Step 3: Receive RecognitionWinning companies will be featured in the cover story of the Redefining the Road magazine (Edition 3 2018) in November.  > Nominate Your Organization Now
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The importance of effective teamwork has never been more critical than it is now. Why? Simply put, businesses aren’t run the way they used to be. In the past, organizations had a clear top-to-bottom hierarchy, departments were self-contained, and neat borders existed between individual roles. Such a set-up may appeal to our sense of order, but, as we all know by now, silos aren’t particularly efficient or agile in today’s business environment. Thanks to technological innovations in an ever more global economy, a new world of possibility has opened up regarding how we conceive, develop, and deliver products and services. And it takes a new kind of teamwork to pull it off successfully. Team members are much more likely to be geographically dispersed these days, and more and more teams include contract specialists, rather than permanent employees, in their ranks. Client’s expectations regarding speed of delivery and responsiveness fairly demand a complex array of technology and processes behind the scenes as well. To make these efforts come across as seamlessly as possible, there are a lot of moving parts. Those “moving parts” are team members. Furthermore, projects are typically cross-functional nowadays, with no one taking exclusive ownership. Even the short article you are reading involved the participation of people from three functional areas within my organization. Next time around, a different ad-hoc group will be making another piece like this come together. The good news is that those dreaded silos are finally coming down. The challenging (not bad!) news is that it takes a mix of good leadership and good data to maximize the new model of teamwork. In other words, team effectiveness doesn’t happen by accident. As leaders, we need to guide the process. Here are some practical steps to get moving in that direction: 1.  When forming project-based teams, create a spreadsheet that will allow you to track a wide-range of assets that potential team members can provide.  This will allow you to balance the team's capabilities and assign members to roles or tasks that will allow them to play to their strengths. Some assets to consider might include technical skills, functional area of expertise, personality attributes, communication styles, developmental goals, career aspirations, and geographic location. 2.  Determine the leadership style to which the team will best respond and then consider how you can deliver it.  For example, will they be more motivated to perform if you provide them with strategic direction and coaching and empower them to figure out the execution?  Or will they require more detailed coordination and supervision? 3.  Facilitate a discussion with the team members to establish "rules of engagement," a list of agreed-upon guidelines to guide how you will work together. Some common rules of engagement might include making sure each person has an equal opportunity to share his or her ideas during discussions, starting and ending meetings on time, and following through on agreements made or proactively communicating to other team members when one will not be able to fulfill a commitment. 4.  Consider ways of using technology to support the team's effectiveness.  For example, try video conferencing when team members are not all located in the same office, or record meetings to make information available to members who are not able to attend a specific session. 5.  Connect various data points stored in your HRIS to make better decisions.  For example, you may consider team members' career plans and performance evaluations to provide stretch assignments to high-potentials.  This can be a great way to accelerate employee development and concurrently further project-team performance. 6.  Weigh both qualitative and quantitative information when making talent-management decisions.  In a team context, if an employee is considered to be a "ready-now" successor but is not able to relocate, you may want to look for other ways to recognize his/her performance other than offering a promotion that would require the employee to take an ex-pat assignment. Team leader or team facilitator roles can be a stepping stone. To learn more about Caliper and special discounts to WIT members, visit www.calipercorp.com/wit To find out more about how Caliper can help you develop more effective teams, visit www.calipercorp.com. Caliper is a human capital analytics company leveraging decades of data and validated assessment results to predict and select high-quality candidates. Caliper partners with all types of organizations, industries, and sectors – from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and from government agencies to non-profits. We help companies reduce the risk of bad hiring decisions; build high-performing teams; and engage, develop, and retain their employees. Contact us to learn more.
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By Brian Everett, Lead Strategist for the Women In Trucking Association and Industry Thought Leader in Transportation Marketing and Sales Last month, I met with more than 40 sales, marketing and business professionals in transportation and logistics at the Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel during a transportation marketing and sales conference. The dialogue at this conference was provocative - and extremely relevant in today's competitive market in North American transportation. I was particularly impressed with the gender balance of those who attended - a very balanced mix of high-level men and women, most of whom made significant contribution to the discussion. Here are just a few of the items covered: State of Canada’s Transportation IndustryPart of the discussion included context around the state of the commercial freight industry in North America, and how marketing and sales metrics are helping to drive productivity in the industry. Attendees expressed some concerns over potential changes in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and their impact on trade (and ultimately transportation and logistics activity) between companies in Canada and the United States. There’s also ongoing concern over tight trucking capacity and how to creatively address it to maximize productivity and profitability. The ongoing challenges involving the driver shortage also continue to contribute to capacity problems. Of course, the Women In Trucking Association will continue to play an important role in helping its members (and the industry at large) to recruit more female professionals drivers! Many attendees expressed relative optimism about the current state of the transportation and logistics industry. In fact, it was recently reported that market spot market load volumes through TransCore Link Logistics’ LoadLink load board reached an all-time high in recent months. Canadian and cross-border load volumes surpassed all previous records, surging 81% year-over-year and 41% compared to December 2017. Intra-Canada loads accounted for 20% of the volume, and reached a 51% increase year-over-year. Cross-border load postings represented 77% of the data submitted by LoadLink users. Loads leaving Canada to the U.S. were up 99% year-over-year, while loads entering Canada surged 92%. Currently, TransCore is a member of the Women In Trucking Association.  What’s Next for Canadian Transportation and Logistics?These and other issues likely will have an impact on the Canadian freight business. But there are many remaining questions asked by the attendees: Can the strength of the economy and stock markets be sustained? How will the ELD mandate play out?  How much will freight rates increase? To what extent will North American supply chains be disrupted by capacity shortages? Will NAFTA be terminated and how will this play out in the three participating countries in 2018 and beyond? Stay tuned as Women In Trucking members from Canada continue to weigh in. More Mergers and AcquisitionsOne attendee suggested that merger and acquisition activity will likely continue in certain sectors of the Canadian trucking industry. “While there are thousands of truckload carriers throughout North America, no truckload carrier controls more than five percent of the total market,” one attendee said. “With interest rates relatively low and the supply of truck drivers still tight, this appears to be a good time to gain market share and drivers through mergers and acquisitions.” In addition, for companies trying to gain an entry into the last-mile delivery business, he said a purchase is an optimum way to learn the business and gain needed expertise. Even for companies in the last mile business, an acquisition can stretch geographical coverage. 
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"Talent is now the most scarce and valuable commodity on earth, so companies who really understand how to attract, retain, and manage people will win.”- Josh Bersin, principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP. (1) It is undeniable that the demand for talent across the business world has been picking up for the past few years, and the things employees value most have shifted as well, partly because of generational attitudes and partly because new technologies redefining the workspace. How can HR departments effectively respond to this challenging business environment? Part of the answer can be found through the use of People Analytics. By analyzing the personality traits and intrinsic motivations of current talent, companies can make data-driven decisions related to hiring, employee development, retention, and team selection to ensure that an organization is successful now and in the future. “HR and People Analytics have the potential to transform the way organizations hire, develop, and manage people” says Jason Geller, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Leading organizations are already using talent analytics to understand what motivates employees and what makes them stay or leave. These insights help drive increased returns from talent investments, with huge consequences for the business as a whole.” (2) Although People Analytics has the potential to deliver significant value to an organization, the adoption by HR professionals has been slower than expected. Common reasons for hesitation in People Analytics implementation include: A perception that HR teams are not yet staffed with individuals who are fluent in the collection, aggregation, comparison, and analysis of various datasets. Additional training may be required around the skills needed to translate People Analytics into decision-making insight. However, some People Analytics solutions are designed specifically for non-technical leaders in order to empower them with critical human capital insights and real-time analysis. A lack of awareness regarding the variability of People Analytics solutions. That is, some platforms are easy to use and responsive for non-technical users, and others are not. A belief that People Analytics will require a lengthy implementation process with significant IT resources. In actuality, some applications can be implemented in a few days, at most, and without the need for internal technical support. A concern over limited access to the data required to power People Analytics solutions. Relevant data related to individuals and teams can be efficiently collected by many advanced People Analytics providers. Once appropriate data have been collected and an advanced People Analytics platform in in use, HR leaders will be able to: Rapidly assess and analyzing hundreds of candidates for an entry level position and predict potential fit for future positions. Conduct career-path and bench-strength analysis for existing teams. Compare recently promoted senior leaders to their new teams or predicting the fit of potential managers with various teams. Identify high-potential candidates for emerging-leader programs. Target onboarding programs to suit maximize each new hire’s development. Assembling teams with a proper mix of strategically focused individuals who can facilitate, implement, and execute. Mine existing talent pools (full-time, part-time, and contractors) for people that can fit a wide range of positions. People Analytics plays a critical role by supporting a full range of talent-planning and talent-management strategies. Many of the current challenges and barriers can be overcome once HR leaders commit to embracing a technology that enables when to answer the big questions and gain tremendous competitive advantages. Sources:1. Nov. 4 2014 – The People Analytics Market Heats Up With New Cloud Offerings.2. Managing Talent Costs with Talent Analytics Technology – Deloitte CFO Journal. To learn more about Caliper and special discounts to WIT members, visit www.calipercorp.com/wit To learn more about how people analytics can enhance your talent management process, visit www.calipercorp.com or email info@calipercorp.com.  Caliper is a human capital analytics company leveraging decades of data and validated assessment results to predict and select high-quality candidates. Caliper partners with all types of organizations, industries, and sectors – from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and from government agencies to non-profits. We help companies reduce the risk of bad hiring decisions; build high-performing teams; and engage, develop, and retain their employees. Contact us to learn more.
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“Do psychometrics really work with regard to hiring and development?” After all, people are the most valuable asset in an organization, so it makes sense to explore all avenues for hiring the best talent. In considering personality tests for that purpose, everyone is looking to gain a competitive advantage, but no one wants to waste money. However, companies may be asking the wrong question. They shouldn’t be wondering whether psychometrics instruments work; they should be asking, “Are we using psychometrics instruments correctly?” Most companies are using scientifically validated instruments offered by legitimate assessment companies, not some dollar-store questionnaire or a free phone app. The purpose of an authentic psychometric tool is to quantify personality drivers, and a well-designed and properly constructed assessment will do just that. How companies apply the findings determines whether it “works” or not. Unfortunately, some users of psychometrics-based assessments view the tool as a crystal ball that can magically reveal whether a job candidate is “good” or “bad.” In fact, assessment results are merely data, and the results are neutral without context. It’s what businesses do with the data that makes assessments useful. On a fundamental level, companies would use the tool by comparing an applicant’s personality drivers to the known requirements for the position they are looking to fill. Consider a Staff Accountant role in this scenario. Ideally, management would look for applicants with detail orientation, extended task focus, and responsiveness to rules and structure. On the other hand, a CFO candidate should display strategic thinking, business acumen, and influential communication as drivers. Even within the same functional area--accounting in this example--different motivators are needed for different roles. But treating assessment results as a one-and-done value is selling short all the ways psychometrics tools can improve and support overall hiring and talent-management effort. Here are five reasons to incorporate them into the hiring process that go beyond simply identifying strong candidates:   Psychometrics improve consistency in hiring practices Companies that use psychometrics-based assessment tools on an enterprise-wide basis are able to ensure all applicants, regardless of functional area, are screened on identical criteria. A properly constructed assessment instrument is EEOC compliant and removes race, gender, age, and disability factors from a job candidate’s psychometric profile. While no hiring or promotion decision should ever be based solely on the results of an employment assessment, such a tool can act as an internal filter in limiting unconscious assumptions. Psychometrics reduce hiring-manager bias Some managers have slightly inflated egos and believe the true and only path to great performance is by hiring people just like them. If they’re perfect as managers, it only makes sense to bring in others who are almost as perfect! The problem with that approach, besides its utter subjectivity, is that it overlooks some important facts:  It takes different sets of motivators to successfully perform different jobs within a department, and having a team with a diversity of talent always trumps putting a bunch of people in a room with redundant skill sets. Once the attributes required for success in a given role are known, teams can hire based on objective job models instead of on biased “gut feelings.” And on the subject of job models… Psychometrics enable management to measure applicants against top performers in similar roles Pre-employment assessment results would be useless if there was no way to sort the information in a meaningful way. The good news is that the practice of psychometrics has been around for quite a while, and extensive research has gone into connecting the results of past assessments with top performance in different jobs and industries. In a study conducted of 300 new sales hires across a range of industries and company sizes, researchers found that companies, by integrating a valid assessment into the hiring process, can double their chances of hiring a top-quartile salesperson. What this means for HR professionals and hiring managers is that their applicants’ psychometric profiles can be compared to top-performance metrics for critical positions. For example, if a company is hiring a salesperson, they can see how well the applicant’s personal drivers measure against the ideal-performer job model. Psychometrics provide a foundation for analytics data This is the age of big data, an unstoppable wave of complex statistical analyses that are informing everything from athletic performance to marketing strategies to the development of artificial intelligence technology. Many companies are collecting and utilizing big data on all aspects of their businesses, including talent management. By collecting psychometrics data on existing team members, it’s possible to identify high-potentials and future leaders, reorganize for improved performance, and spot organizational talent gaps. Psychometrics lay the groundwork for employee development Many HR professionals fail to get their money’s worth from assessment results by discarding the findings once the hire has been made. Here’s a secret about psychometrics data: They don’t just show performance drivers and motivators; they reveal inhibitors as well. Imagine someone is hired to oversee a branch location or a small business unit. This individual’s assessment results suggest strong communication, an ability to influence customers, and composure in challenging situations (all desirable attributes in such a role). However, the results also indicate the new hire might have difficulty getting organized and coordinating people and resources. Such findings would enable management to know where the support is needed and where coaching efforts should be focused. In an ideal world, applicants would always line up perfectly with the top-performer job model for a given role. In reality, people have weaknesses and often need coaching and support to overcome them. With psychometrics results on hand, companies skip the painful step of finding out the hard way what new hires’ limitations are. Such data can support onboarding and training plans, coaching and development, and grooming for future promotion. To learn more about Caliper and special discounts to WIT members, visit www.calipercorp.com/wit To learn more about how to enhance your hiring process, visit www.calipercorp.com or email info@calipercorp.com.  Caliper is a human capital analytics company leveraging decades of data and validated assessment results to predict and select high-quality candidates. Caliper partners with all types of organizations, industries, and sectors – from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and from government agencies to non-profits. We help companies reduce the risk of bad hiring decisions; build high-performing teams; and engage, develop, and retain their employees. Contact us to learn more. Additional Resources from Caliper: Whitepapers 7 Traits of Great Leaders 7 Qualities of an Effective Personality Assessment 10 Most Common Hiring Mistakes Helping Millennials in the Workplace Be Successful How to Write an Effective Job Description The Evolving World of Sales Caliper’s Women in Leadership Study How Leaders Grow E-books How to Get Millennial Employees Up to Speed and Engaged Faster Managing Generational Work Styles
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You will be replaced. Don’t feel bad; it happens to all of us. It’s the cycle of life in the business world. But whether you are taking on a new role or sailing into retirement, it’s important that the person following your footsteps is ready and able to tackle the challenge. Hopefully, that person is already on the payroll. In a very practical sense, developing and retaining leadership talent is both a strategic and economic necessity. By filling positions internally, you can reduce the time needed to reach proficiency, limit hiring costs, and eliminate turnover resulting from a poor fit with your organizational culture. Without a “ready-now” candidate on staff, organizations often compromise on the leadership qualities they want simply to fill vacancies. It’s worth noting that many current executives say that they weren’t prepared for their first leadership role. Since your company, like most, may not have the time or resources to develop leadership skills in everyone, it’s wise to devote your energy toward identifying and developing those with the highest potential to succeed. Here are some tips for focusing your succession effort: 1. Have a clear vision of where the business is going. Depending on your growth goals and plans, you may need different kinds of leaders tomorrow than the ones you have today. Executives tend to look for people who remind them of themselves, so put aside your ego and think critically about future needs and who can best address them. The focus should be on developing leaders who can run the organization as it will be, not as it is now. Succession plans must be closely linked to business strategy. 2. Don’t waste time having leaders choose their replacements. Stop completing those pesky replacement-planning forms! Instead, develop a high-potential pool of ready-now candidates to take on a variety of leadership responsibilities. Great leadership does not usually spring from specialized expertise, either. Acquiring a broad range of experiences allows leaders to develop a deeper, richer understanding of the organization as a whole. 3. Make your time investment in Succession Planning worthwhile. Do you have the same discussions about the same people each year only to find that they are not getting any closer to being ready? Succession planning is a futile effort unless it acts on a working, evolving guide to employee development. Cast a wide net throughout the organization when identifying leadership potential, and you may be surprised by the talent that already exists in the company. Also, the criteria with which you assess potential must be objective and fair. Every team member should know what it takes to be considered a future leader. 4. Provide real development for real people. People learn by doing. The worldwide primary methodology for simultaneously developing leaders, building teams, and improving organizational capabilities is Action Learning. Development by working on real, important, and urgent business problems is transformational. To learn more about Caliper and special discounts to TMSA members, visit www.calipercorp.com/wit To learn more about how to build an effective succession plan, visit www.calipercorp.com or email info@calipercorp.com.  Caliper is a human capital analytics company leveraging decades of data and validated assessment results to predict and select high-quality candidates. Caliper partners with all types of organizations, industries, and sectors – from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and from government agencies to non-profits. We help companies reduce the risk of bad hiring decisions; build high-performing teams; and engage, develop, and retain their employees. Contact us to learn more. Additional Resources from Caliper: Whitepapers 7 Traits of Great Leaders 7 Qualities of an Effective Personality Assessment 10 Most Common Hiring Mistakes Helping Millennials in the Workplace Be Successful How to Write an Effective Job Description The Evolving World of Sales Caliper’s Women in Leadership Study How Leaders Grow E-books How to Get Millennial Employees Up to Speed and Engaged Faster Managing Generational Work Styles
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When it comes to identifying high-potential (hi-po) leaders, the 9-Box has become a familiar template, largely because of its highly publicized usage at GE. However, the template provides no guidance on how to define “high potential.” Many large organizations view high potential as the capacity to reach a certain executive level (such as Vice President) within a specific time frame (5 years, for example). But that approach is not meaningful in smaller companies with fewer management layers. Any size organization can have difficulty differentiating genuine hi-pos from people who are solid performers but have limited potential to succeed in much more complex roles.  As noted in a Harvard Business Review article (“How to Keep Your Top Talent”; May 2010), only about 30% of high-performing leaders have significant advancement potential. Put another way, 70% of high-performing leaders do not qualify as high potential! What this suggests is that a track record of high performance is a necessary, but not sufficient, factor in determining advancement potential.  Steve Hrop, PhD, a former head of talent management for a major corporation and now an executive coach and succession-planning consultant, has catalogued a set of 15 predictive indicators that help identify those with the most advancement potential.  Keep in mind that no individual will demonstrate all 15 indicators, but genuine high potentials will demonstrate more of them than individuals with less potential. The indicators are: A highly inquisitive nature A willingness to seek and utilize feedback Self-confidence without arrogance A focus on lifelong learning An ability to communicate directly without being disrespectful A willingness to hold oneself accountable and avoid excuses Business acumen (e.g., when presenting to senior management, links analysis and recommendations to a real business issue) An eagerness for opportunities to step outside of the comfort zone A proactive (versus reactive) approach to getting things done; a self-starter who takes action without waiting to be asked or told Resourcefulness in the face of obstacles or ambiguity A high “reserve capacity” (a good analogy is two college students studying for the same test; both achieve an A, but one required many more hours of study than the other; same result, but vastly different expenditures of time and energy). A cross-functional perspective and an avoidance of “silo” thinking An “outside-in” perspective (e.g., is aware of external “best practices” and industry trends versus thinking “inside the box” of his/her company) The capacity for effective time management and prioritization Is outcome focused and understands return on investment when considering where to allocate time, money, and resources Once you identify your hi-pos, what are the best methods to develop them? While research shows that on-the-job learning is critical to development, the best learning experiences occur when leaders are operating outside their comfort zone, not the core activities they can perform in their sleep. Special projects involving complex, cross-functional problems where every member of the project team is outside of their comfort zone is an ideal vehicle for accelerated leadership development.  These types of projects are called Action Learning. The principles of Action Learning can be applied to individual leaders too, not just groups. For example, if you have a middle manager who exhibits most of the indicators listed above, assign a solo project on a topic relevant to your business (for example, a research project focusing on competitors, customers, or external trends that could impact your business), followed by a presentation to a group of senior executives. A project of this type can have a positive impact on several leadership competencies such as strategic thinking, business acumen, and communication.  To learn more about Caliper and special discounts to TMSA members, visit www.calipercorp.com/wit To learn more about how to identify your high-potential employees, visit www.calipercorp.com or email info@calipercorp.com.  Caliper is a human capital analytics company leveraging decades of data and validated assessment results to predict and select high-quality candidates. Caliper partners with all types of organizations, industries, and sectors – from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and from government agencies to non-profits. We help companies reduce the risk of bad hiring decisions; build high-performing teams; and engage, develop, and retain their employees. Contact us to learn more. Additional Resources from Caliper: Whitepapers 7 Traits of Great Leaders 7 Qualities of an Effective Personality Assessment 10 Most Common Hiring Mistakes Helping Millennials in the Workplace Be Successful How to Write an Effective Job Description The Evolving World of Sales Caliper’s Women in Leadership Study How Leaders Grow E-books How to Get Millennial Employees Up to Speed and Engaged Faster Managing Generational Work Styles
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