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One week into a new year and you are probably already sick and tired of hearing about the latest diet trend or exercise regimen that is “guaranteed” to make your New Year’s resolution to “get healthy” stick this time around.

Most medical professionals will tell you that (unfortunately) there is no silver bullet to a “healthier you”, and as it turns out, a good old fashioned healthy diet and consistent exercise routine tends to be just what the doctor ordered.

So what does all this talk about New Year’s resolutions have to do with HR and building great workplaces here in Northeast Ohio?

Well according to ERC’s 2015 Wellness Practices Survey, at three-quarters of local organizations, the connection is their formal wellness program. Take the analogy one step further, and you’ll quickly discover that wellness programs often suffer from the same plight as New Year’s resolutions—the best of intentions, but lacking in follow-through when it comes time for implementation. Despite becoming an almost standard benefit at many employers over the last several years, some wellness programs and individual wellness focused activities are now suffering from a lack of participation and interest on the part of the employees.

In fact participants in both the 2013 and 2015 ERC Wellness Surveys cited “effectively educating and incentivizing employees to participate in wellness programs” as the most common barrier to creating a successful wellness program at their organization.

To help both employers and employees make the most of what can be and should be an important piece of overall employee wellbeing, participating organizations in ERC’s Wellness Surveys offered the following advice on creating (or reinvigorating) a successful wellness program.

1. Offer wellness activities/programs that employees find useful.

This particular struggle is most easily addressed if met head-on at the program’s inception and can be as simple as a survey of employee’s interests in a list of potential activities under consideration. Understanding the basic demographics of your workforce can also help inform what types of programs make the cut. Gender, age, shift work (who will actually be around if you are offering programs on-site during the day), etc. are all useful statistics to consider, but don’t get too overzealous and start trying to dig into specific health related needs—HIPPA can get messy quickly.

By starting out with wellness activities that employees want to take part in, you are already ahead of the curve.

But don’t worry if you already have a program in place, it’s not too late to start taking your employee’s interests into account. In fact, a quick survey of your employees every couple of years to make sure the programming is still relevant isn’t a bad idea either.

2. Make the programming accessible—both geographically and intellectually.

If your organization is on the larger side or draws employees from a diverse geographic footprint, make sure the activities are easily accessible to as many individual employees as possible. Your employees are probably juggling a family life, the stress of work, and any number of other time intensive activities.

In short, their time is valuable, so partnering with a gym with only one location far on one side of town may not see the best results. Instead, consider offering reimbursement for a gym of the employee’s choosing or make the investment in an on-site gym or fitness classes.

Online programming can be an easy option, but make sure it is providing useful information that isn’t too overwhelming or too basic. One the one hand if the online articles, tracking mechanism, or lectures are overly technical and scientific employees might be turned off, but by the same token presenting overly simplistic information won’t do your employees any good either.

3. Use the resources you already have.

Many health insurance packages include an array of free resources that you the employer can pass along to your employees. All you have to do as the employer is promote them. But that is sometimes easier said than done—now someone has to be tasked with sending out the email reminders or monthly newsletters to help get employees on board. If financial resources are not available to create a new position (e.g. Wellness Coordinator) delegation or committee work can be helpful in prevent overloading a single individual with wellness related administrative tasks. Of course if all else fails, and you are determined to create a robust, successful wellness program, just ask for help. You may find that you have a multi-talented staff that is more than willing to share their kick-boxing expertise or vegan baking skills with their co-workers.

4. Get full buy-in on all levels.

As with most new initiatives, it is critical to get the full support of the top management team. Buy-in from the top can definitely be helpful when budget season rolls around, but when it comes to wellness programs, a more visible buy-in can be hugely helpful as well. Having the CEO out there trying to get to his or her 10,000 steps during lunch can be a great motivator and even a fun way for employees to interact casually with other employees that they may not typically encounter on a day-to-day basis. And of course keep in mind that the importance of buy-in goes beyond these specific activities to the bigger picture of what you are trying to achieve with your wellness program. If your end goal is to fully indoctrinate your organization with a culture of wellness, engaging employees at all levels is particularly important.

5. Incentivize, when you can.

Even with all the struggles and barriers to participation discussed above, many organizations are running very successful wellness programs. If better health isn’t enough of a motivator, money is bound to do the trick. Keep in mind that there are specific limitations as to how much and how the monies are distributed for each individual and for different types of activities. Cost can also be a strong disincentive against certain behaviors, most notably tobacco usage. The Affordable Care Act provides a detailed breakdown of allowable incentives and disincentives should you choose to go down the path of incentivizing your wellness program. If you aren’t quite ready for the monetary commitment, remember that food or other small non-monetary incentives can help improve the effectiveness of your programming by bolstering attendance at lectures or participation in fitness challenges.

Much like the New Year’s resolution you made a week ago, setting your organization’s wellness program up for success can seem overwhelming. But with the help of the advice above and a little extra hard work and perseverance in 2016, you too can get to the gym 4 days a week and get your employees to show up for the nutritionist you’ve booked for that lunch-n-learn next month.

View ERC's Wellness Practices Survey Results

This report summarizes the results of ERC’s survey of organizations in Northeast Ohio on practices related to health care and wellness.

View the Results

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A new year brings New Year's Resolutions. The most common personal resolutions are to be more health conscious, work out more, and spend more time with friends and family. But what about your professional life?

As HR professionals, there are many aspects of the workplace that you are responsible for. HR is constantly growing and becoming more important to organizations. In keeping with this growth, the new year creates a great reason to do better this year than the last for not only the HR department, but the organization as a whole. Here are a few practices to consider.

1. A flexible work schedule.

According to a national survey administered in 2013, nearly one-third of employees indicated that they “do most of their work from a remote location.” Today, more and more employers are looking into options other than the typical 9-5. There are many options to a flexible work schedule, including compressed work weeks  (i.e. allowing variable start and end times), job sharing and part-time schedules.

2. Give employees positive feedback on a regular basis: not just during performance reviews.

This one is crucial. Though a financial reward is great, many employees are looking for positive feedback more than once a year. Make sure the feedback is timely, appropriate, and genuine. This will go a long way with the employee and makes for a more positive workplace environment overall.

3. Review HR policies and procedures.

It's important to be consistently up-to-date with all of the changes that happen in the HR community. You are the organization's quarterback. If an employee has a question, they will come to you first. By staying on top of current changes, you will be an important asset to the organization.

4. Implement training programs.

Training programs are a great way to get everyone in your organization on the same page. Maybe you would like to get all of your managers together for a class on supervisory training. Or maybe you just want a refresher on employment law. Don't forget to check out ERC's full list of training offerings.

5. Update your LinkedIn profile.

This is one that constantly gets overlooked. Most people set up their LinkedIn account and then never think to update it again. It's important to not only stay active on LinkedIn, but to make sure you have an updated profile. After all, your LinkedIn profile page is a representation of you - make it stand out! As such, consider a professional portrait photograph for your profile picture versus a 'selfie'.

6. Meet with department heads and staff members to figure out how the HR department can improve.

This is a great way to make your employees feel like they have a voice within the company. It can be formal, with a scheduled meeting, or more casual with just a survey. Whatever way you prefer, make sure your employees feel like they are involved with the organization they work for.

7. Identify local vendors willing to offer discounts to your employees.

Preferred partner networks are a great way for your organization and employees to save money. Talk with your employees to see what kind of programs interest them, and then reach out to local vendors.  

8. Read a blog post a day.

This one is simple. Just read. Find a website you enjoy, such as TLNT or the HR Bartender (and of course, the ERC Blog) and see what it has to say. Staying informed is the most important thing you can do for yourself and your organization.

9. Streamline the new hire paperwork packet and update the employee orientation packet.

It's one of those jobs that sounds tedious, but once you do it, you will be glad you did.

10. Update your employee handbook.

This is another tedious and time consuming project - there's no sugar coating that. However, it's an easy way to answer employee questions and keepeveryone on the same page when it comes to employee benefits and expectations.

11. Earn your PHR, SPHR, SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certification.

Because the HR profession is constantly changing and evolving, it is important to be certified or recertified to continually update your HR competencies and knowledge.

12. Reorganize your personnel files.

With a new year comes new paperwork and files. Clean out your desk and filing cabinets.

13. Need HR resources, training, or consulting? ERC can help!

ERC helps organizations create great workplaces by providing HR Resources, Training, and Consulting services. ERC offers HR content and tools, compensation & benefit benchmarking data, experienced HR Advisors, and access to an exclusive partner network.

ERC Training provides customized learning and development solutions that enhance the skills of managers, supervisors, leaders and the general workforce. ERC Consulting helps organizations attract and retain talent through assessments, coaching, and consulting services, with a specialty in compensation & benefits.

Get more articles like this one delivered to your inbox.

Join the thousands who receive ERC's weekly newsletter to stay current on topics including HR news, training your employees, building a great workplace, and more.

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Your emerging leaders are your rising managers and leaders in the making. But how do you spot an emerging leader and then develop them into a leadership role? Picking the right people and training them the right way is essential. That's why we've provided five (5) qualities these talented employees usually embody plus 5 ways to develop them.

1. Achiever.

Emerging leaders are smart and talented high-achievers in their current roles. They consistently produce more and better work than their peers, are considered subject-matter experts, and know how to attain results by their own accord and through others. They are driven to accomplish great things.

2. Change agent.

Emerging leaders are often agents of change in their organizations. They are likely to initiate new ways of doing things and are proponents of taking risks to further the organization. They share ideas, aren’t afraid to embark on new projects and opportunities, and may challenge the status quo.

3. Developer.

Emerging leaders not only show an interest in developing themselves and their own capabilities, but also have the ability and interest in training, developing, mentoring, and coaching other employees. Many have a natural knack for building talent and want to see others succeed and grow to their fullest potential.

4. Team-player.

Emerging leaders are collaborative, great teammates, and good communicators. They seek others’ input and opinions, use it to shape their ideas, and generate consensus. They have strong soft-skills and have emotional intelligence when it comes to dealing with others. They are well-liked and well-respected by their peers and get along with others easily.

5. Business-savvy.

Emerging leaders are business savvy. They are strategic-minded, show business acumen, and have a good understanding of the market and industry in which your organizations operates.  

Disclaimer: It's important to use these general qualities as simply a guide - an example of the types of attributes that typically characterize these employees. We encourage you to identify specific leadership traits that are important to your own organization since they may differ and vary in every workplace. In addition, after you have identified these individuals, use these five critical tools to develop your emerging leaders.

1. Challenging projects.

Talented up-and-coming leaders need challenging assignments that stretch them to new heights. Identify strategic projects, high visibility assignments, strategic business opportunities, lean/efficiency projects, and short-term assignments in other divisions/departments and perhaps in tandem with your executive team. The more exposure your emerging leaders can receive from senior leaders, the better.

2. Mentor or coach.

Emerging leaders will benefit from a senior-level mentor or coach. Ideally, the mentoring or coaching relationship should be structured with regular meetings at least quarterly (and if possible monthly or more frequently) and target specific skills that the rising star needs to develop.

3. Opportunities to lead.

Rising stars want opportunities to lead others and practice managing key initiatives. Designate them as leads on major projects or initiatives and on special committees, teams, or sub-groups. Allow them to mentor or train other employees such as new-hires or junior-level employees. These opportunities will help build their leadership abilities to prepare them for future roles in your organization. 

4. Development plan.

A development plan is necessary for your high potential. It can be very basic or it can be highly detailed. The important part is that it must exist. There must be a living document or plan that is created to help get your rising star from point A to point B in the organization. Why? Lack of structure in developing others leads to lack of accountability by all the parties involved in the development process.

5. Formal training.

Emerging leaders have likely never been taught the fundamentals of leadership and management and need to be educated on them and engage in classroom experiences that help them build critical skills in communication, presentation, change management, performance management, conflict resolution, and more.

If your organization hasn't yet embarked on identifying and developing your emerging leaders, consider doing so. Not only will it help you prepare for future management and leadership openings, but it will also help you engage and retain these critical employees that you likely can't afford to lose.

Emerging Leader Training Series

Have the emerging leaders within your organization been identified? Do they have the skills and knowledge needed to best represent your organization? In this 3-part series, participants will learn tools to present themselves more effectively and enhance their contribution to the organization.

Learn More about Emerging Leader Training

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ERC is excited to announce that we’re one of three Ohio companies to win the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2018 When Work Works Award!

This prestigious honor, which is part of SHRM’s When Work Works project, recognizes employers that excel at offering a variety of employee initiatives such as work-life fit policies, flexible scheduling, and transition to parenthood programs.

According to SHRM, the award is earned after a rigorous assessment that emphasizes the real-life experiences of employees and incorporates national benchmarks of employer practices from the National Study of Employers and the National Study of the Changing Workforce. Two-thirds of an applicant’s winning score is based on a survey of its employees.

Nationwide, the 97 winning worksites in 35 states and the District of Columbia provide insight into the best practices of effective workplaces and related emerging trends.

Winners represent industries ranging from technology and manufacturing to finance and health care. SHRM adds that all honorees are proving that effective and flexible workplace practices can work in organizations of all sizes.

When Work Works is a nationwide SHRM initiative that brings research on workplace effectiveness and flexibility into community and business practices.

ERC’s client service team accepted the company’s When Work Works Award from Cleveland SHRM at Corporate College East. 

Left to right: Hayley McQuate, Annie Dohnal, Melissa Koren, Sam Marx

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Amy Franko: The Five Dimensions of the Modern Seller - Vimeo

Modern sellers are agile, entrepreneurial, holistic, social, and ambassadors. Amazon best-selling author and sales trainer Amy Franko describes each of these integral dimensions for success in the new sales economy in this video.

Does Your Salesforce have What It Takes to be Modern Sellers?

Find out January 30 as Amy presents Strategic Selling for Professional Services.

Details & Registration

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As an expansion of our training, consulting, research, and HR support services, we’re pleased to announce that we’ve launched the ERC Women’s Leadership Institute.

The mission of this enterprise is to help employers recruit, retain, and advance women in the workplace through research-based solutions and development services. Dr. Kathleen Buse has been named the Director of the ERC Women’s Leadership Institute.

The Institute offers HR consulting, training, workshops, keynotes, career development, and a Women’s Leadership Development Intensive Program. These services provide employers and individuals with actionable steps to enact meaningful and prosperous change.  

“Five decades of research verifies the link between more women in the workplace and improved business performance,” said ERC President Kelly Keefe. “We’ve launched our Women’s Leadership Institute to help organizations and women within them embrace and capitalize on that knowledge.”

Studies show that organizations with greater gender diversity have higher levels of financial performance, innovation, problem-solving ability, and employee retention. There is also evidence that gender-diverse companies are more socially responsible and have better reputations.

“We’re thrilled to have someone of Kathleen’s caliber and experience lead this charge,” said ERC Senior Vice President Carrie Morse, who oversees the Women’s Leadership Institute. “We’re equally excited about the impact these new services and programs can have on our customers and members.”

Prior to ERC, Dr. Buse was President of Advancing Women in the Workforce and Advancing Women in STEM. She was also co-creator and Faculty Director for the Leadership Lab for Women at Case Western Reserve University, where she became an award-winning researcher and top-rated educator.

Dr. Buse earned a Ph.D. in Management from Case Western Reserve University, an MS in Electrical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a BS in Chemical Engineering/Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. Her industry experience includes Kodak, Lubrizol, Avery Dennison, and Sherwin-Williams.

Dr. Buse notes that, while women make up 51 percent of the population and 47 percent of the U.S. workforce, they’re underrepresented in leadership roles and other critical professions. She adds that females comprise just 5 percent of CEO positions in S&P 500 companies and 12 percent of the engineering workforce nationwide.

“It’s been ERC’s purpose since 1920 to help organizations make their workplaces great. Our Women’s Leadership Institute is another exciting and significant way we hope to do that,” said Keefe. “The business case for adding and advancing women in the workplace is too compelling to ignore.”

The ERC Women’s Leadership Institute helps employers recruit, retain, and advance women in the workplace through research-based solutions and development services.

View the Services

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The announcement from e-commerce behemoth Amazon that the company would be raising its minimum wage for all U.S.-based employees as of November 1, 2018 captured headlines across the country, especially in the world of HR.

In the days and weeks that followed, additional details about cuts to bonuses and stock options, as well as concerns from existing employees about internal pay equity kept HR experts on their toes. With plenty of opinions flying around about why Amazon chose this path and what it would mean for wage growth in general, ERC recently conducted a brief poll to get a first-hand look at what employers are really experiencing (or not) in the wake of the Amazon minimum wage increase.

Methodology

Between Thursday, October 25 and Wednesday, November 7 a total of 82 organizations responded electronically to ERC’s “Amazon Minimum Wage Impact Poll.” In order to provide the most reliable and accurate results, data was cleaned, all quantitative data was analyzed using statistical software, and qualitative data was either coded or thematically summarized as applicable.

Poll Findings

The poll consisted of two questions, plus demographic data. Just over half of the poll participants represented manufacturing organizations and employed between 51 and 200 employees (see FIGURE 3). The first question focused on the reactions employers have seen from their existing workforce and in their recruitment and hiring efforts since the Amazon minimum wage announcement. The second question looks at the response of the employer and any steps that have been taken by organizations in direct response to the announcement.

Figure 1: Experiences employers have had with employees or potential employees since the Amazon minimum wage announcement was made

Figure 1 illustrates that the most common issue employers have experienced thus far is a reduced applicant pool for entry level job postings. Several participants mentioned that they had also experienced issues during the hiring process. More specifically, one participant noted that their organization saw an increase in the number of applicants not showing up for scheduled job interviews while another employer had an applicant accept a job at Amazon after their organization had already offered the individual a job paying less than the $15 per hour minimum.

The second most common occurrence cited, employees inquiring about future compensation, appears to have some energy behind it within the few organizations within which the question arose. The actual number of employees asking about future compensation at any given organization ranged from just one employee up to as many as 100 employees one larger employer.

Similarly, the number of employers impacted by the other changes to their workforce, i.e., employees quitting or asking for higher wages, are not large. However, within the impacted organizations these do not appear to be entirely isolated incidents, with most of this sample subset reporting between three to five employees either quitting or asking for higher pay.

Figure 2: Steps taken by employers in direct response to the Amazon minimum wage announcement

Figure 2 shows a real interest on the part of employers to at least assess where their organization’s wages fall in the external market, with 20% already making plans to conduct a compensation analysis of some sort. A full 10% of the sample (8 organizations in total) reported that they have already increased wages in direct response to the $15 per hour rate now being provided by Amazon.

A slightly different approach, is that of simply communicating and educating existing employees. From Total Rewards statements to annual meetings, employers are implementing various mechanisms to better inform their workforce about the full width and breadth of the cash and non-cash compensation they receive. In still other cases, compensation analysis is being used in conjunction with the communication strategy.

Takeaways

Ultimately, it appears that the impact of Amazon’s $15 per hour minimum wage has been a mixed bag for organizations thus far. Some employers haven’t noticed any change in their talent recruitment and retention efforts and have not taken any actions that would suggest they are particularly concerned about what the impact on their workforce will be in the future – and this includes some manufacturers.

However, it should be noted that since the October 2 announcement from Amazon, 56% of the 82 participating organizations have experienced at least one of the incidents listed in Figure 1 (related to hiring, wages, or turnover) and 44% of the sample have taken at least one of the steps listed in Figure 2 (related to compensation analysis or employee communications).

Clearly, the economic impact of Amazon’s minimum wage increase over the long term remains to be see. However, based on ERC’s research to date, we can definitively say that in the short term, both employers and employees have taken notice and are already making changes large and small in direct response to Amazon’s  minimum wage increase.

Industry Type Percent
Manufacturing 55%
Non-Manufacturing 34%
Non-Profit 11%
Organizational Size Percent
1-50 11%
51-200 55%
201-500 26%
Over 500 9%
Let ERC Consulting help your organization develop a competitive compensation and benefits strategy.

Get Started

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Pay and work conditions have always been important factors when it comes to obtaining top talent in the workplace. However, employee engagement has been shown to be one of the key factors when it comes to retaining that top talent.

Employee engagement is all about how you feel, how you are respected, how you are listened to, and how you are an integral part of the day to day operation. We talked with ERC's consulting department about employee engagement and how companies can be sure to retain top talent.

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts

Employee engagement doesn’t have a set definition. However, everyone agrees that you must have that “it” factor.

Perhaps the most important thing is for an organization to agree upon what engagement is within the context of their unique business needs, and then translate that definition into action. 

It’s an attitude, a belief, and a behavior. It’s a special blend of job satisfaction, organizational commitment, job involvement, organizational citizenship behaviors, and empowerment.

Measuring employee engagement: It’s a process, not an event

Topor says with all social science cases, the measurement of employee engagement is not an exact science.

You’ll want to find a reliable, valid, and practical prescriptive measure that focuses on key drivers of engagement, including autonomy, job design, training, and organizational support.

Engaged employees will be more likely to go that extra mile for their customers, co-workers, managers, and organizations.

Research has shown that engaged employees and companies feel a sense of community. Measurement of engagement can be associated with:
  • Higher levels of job performance
  • Higher levels of customer advocacy
  • Higher levels of profitability, growth, and customer satisfaction
  • Higher efficiency, innovation, and creativity
  • Lower turnover
  • Fewer absences and accidents
Disengaging practices serves as barriers for employee engagement

When employees feel disconnected from their work, their managers, and their top leader, some company leaders are not even aware. Also, leaders/managers may not even believe in employee engagement or be Ill-equipped to enhance it.

Some managers may feel threatened by relinquishing decision making authority and control, even if they’re open to it; and learning how to delegate effectively is quite a challenge.

There needs to be less micromanaging of tasks and more focus on the job as a whole, as well as the person doing it.

Some other reasons employees become disengaged are:
  • Reactive decision making that fails to address problems in a timely manner
  • Inconsistent management style, which leads to perceptions of inequality and unfairness
  • Little to no consideration for employee work-life balance
  • Lack of visibility of top leaders
  • Lack of fluidity in all communication
  • A negative attitude of managers, where there is an obvious lack of trust and respect toward their employees

Other factors could be that managers lack soft skills, that they have little concern for metrics, outputs, and results, and view employee engagement as just a check-box on the to-do list and a quick fix that can be improved overnight.

5 secrets of top companies The successful companies that not only attract but obtain top talent, have these 5 qualities down to a science:
  1. Culture: Top leaders constantly promote a strong, transparent, authentic culture. This gives employees a ‘line of sight’ between their jobs and the mission and vision of the organization.
  2. The Power of Value: Managers sincerely appreciate their employees, and make it known. They will make employees feel valued, respected, and supported,.
  3. Communication: Employees feel they are able to voice their ideas and are listened to. This goes for both day-to-day jobs and in other decisions that impact their department or organization. There is a mutual sharing of problems and challenges and a commitment to arrive at joint solutions. Employees always have a say in what goes on around the work environment.
  4. Reputation is Key: There is a shared spirit of trust and integrity. Employees believe that the organization shares their values and integrates them into everything they do. Employees should have pride in who they work for.
  5. Personally Tailored Best Practices: The best practices are those which have been custom-developed for the organization. Employee engagement is not a “one size fits all” process. When engagement is tailored to individual employee needs, there is better communication and a sense of appreciation.

Research shows that high employee engagement leads to increased retention, productivity, and business success. Not only will you be able to attract top talent, but with employee engagement you will be able to retain it.

Interested in learning more about engagement surveys?

Submit your contact information and receive instant access to a brochure that overviews what is included in ERC's engagement surveys and our process for conducting and assessing.

View the Engagement Brochure

 

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Plenty of organizations are developing leaders internally and creating their own leadership development programs. Research, however, shows that investing heavily in leadership seminars, workshops, retreats, books, and so on, won't necessarily create the leaders you want. While these tactics can greatly aid the leadership development process, in the long run, you may still fail to build true leaders.

Here are some common reasons why leadership development efforts fail and don't create the leaders you want, as well as suggestions for how you can increase the likelihood that your leadership development efforts build your employees into the leaders that you need and desire.

1. Many leadership programs aren't designed well.

Leadership development programs or initiatives are often poorly designed, either internally by those who are not leadership experts or by those who do not have any real experience leading others. Also, sometimes leadership development training is merely based on a single leadership model, or does not fit the leadership needs of the organization, which can limit its effectiveness.  

A successful leadership development program should be created by an expert in leadership development who has experience leading others. Determining the credibility of any leadership development model, and whether it is research supported, is also crucial.

Additionally, the program and its content should be customized to the needs of the organization. Off-the-shelf programs rarely work in developing leaders.

2. High potentials aren't given the experiences they need.

Leadership development has historically been focused on classroom learning, which while essential to the process, cannot adequately prepare leaders by itself. Rather, high potentials need many different on-the-job experiences to help prepare them for leadership, including working on real organizational issues and challenges individually, with peers, and on teams.

Emerging leaders also need chances and assignments to apply the things they learn; mechanisms to help them sustain what they learn; and the ability to experience hardships, mistakes, and failures, and work through these with the support and guidance of other more experienced leaders.

In addition, they need others to help them develop on their path. Most leaders are sought out, encouraged, and mentored by others who see leadership potential within them. These relationships are critical to their development, and important in sustaining the motivation to get them through challenges and rough patches on their journey to the top.

As a general best practice, the principle of 70/20/10 should be applied to leadership development, in which 70% of learning comes from experience, 20% comes from coaching and mentoring, and 10% comes from formal learning activities such as workshops and seminars.

3. High potentials don't "own" their own growth.

Leadership development is not a one-way street where the employer initiates all of the development. Leadership development is also a personal, inward, character-building and growth process involving developing deeper self awareness, confidence, credibility, influence, courage, and the heart and mind of a leader. Much of this can't be taught in a classroom or in the workplace.

In the end, developing "the leader within" must be the personal choice of a high potential. Without their personal commitment to growth, particularly in these areas, their development into successful leaders will be ineffective.

4. Management skills are mistaken for leadership skills.

How often does your organization mistake a great manager for a great leader? "Manager" and "leader" are typically used interchangeably, but there's a stark difference. Managers don't always make great leaders...and leaders don't always make great managers.

Managers excel at organizing, planning, coordinating, controlling, managing work to accomplish specific results, and measuring those results. Conversely, while leaders also need to know how to manage the work, they generally excel at innovating, influencing, inspiring, and empowering others as well as creating and rallying employees around a common vision.

On a similar note, the wrong people are frequently chosen for leadership development. Organizations may not understand the proper methods of leadership assessment in order to select the right individuals to participate in leadership development. Or, they may select individuals solely based on technical competency.

5. The culture doesn't support development.

Finally, leadership development failure can be a systems issue. If your organization does not have an enabling culture nor offers appropriate resources (budget, time, etc.), the process can fail miserably. Leadership development must be a priority. If it isn't, the results will show.

Similarly, this includes senior management support. Current leaders, especially the CEO and senior leaders, must play a role in developing future leaders.

If they don't make the time to do this, don't buy into their involvement in the process, or don't play their part in the development process, leadership development can fail.

There are so many other reasons why leadership development could fail, but making sure that your organization selects the right people for leadership, fosters a culture that supports development and growth, and designs an effective leadership program will help you lessen the likelihood that your leadership development initiative fails.

Leadership Development Training Courses

ERC offers a variety of leadership development training programs at all levels of the organization.

Train Your Employees

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Download this free printable Daylight Savings Time Change Poster to alert your staff of the impending time change on Sunday, November 4, 2018.

Download the Poster

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