How to Use People Strategy to Assess Your Organizational Health

Contrary to popular belief, people strategy is not synonymous with HR strategy. While HR strategy focuses on shaping culture through policy, people strategy puts the focus on the corporate ecosystem. It’s about creating an environment that empowers people to thrive while growing the bottom line accordingly.

A strong people strategy is strongly correlated to good organizational health. According to McKinsey, 80% of companies that make concrete strides to improve organizational health enjoy significant advantages over competitors.

If you trust that your people have been astutely deployed, you can trust them to provide crucial insights into the health of your business.

What Do We Mean by Organizational Health?

When I refer to organizational health, I’m talking about how well the arms of the organization work together. Employee engagement, retention, and culture are indicators of health, but they don’t define it. A healthy organization is united behind their leadership and able to translate vision into action. These organizations maintain a sharp focus on the organization’s goals, and are able to adapt to industry trends in order to get there. 

Healthy organizations consistently demonstrate excellent communication throughout all levels of leadership. They also embrace ongoing innovation as critical to longevity.

People Strategy as an Assessment Tool

If you’re already leveraging people strategy in your organization, chances are you already have the right people in the right roles. However, even with the right roles in place, the company may still be experiencing pitfalls like communication breakdown, siloing, resistance to change, or a lack of innovation. As the leader of your team, many of these concerns could be deliberately hidden from you.

The objective of assessing your organizational health is to uncover how to optimize it. This must be an empowering conversation through which line managers feel safe to confide in you about their department’s challenges—even if they don’t yet have a solution.

Use these simple questions as conversation starters to guide your assessment. Meet with direct reports prepared to listen, and encourage the open sharing of concerns and ideas.

Build your people strategy skills by downloading our free resource, Performance Management Innovation. This quick but powerful read provides insights on how feedback from your people may define the future of your business.

Question 1: What are the biggest concerns facing your department?

Keep this question open-ended. Your direct report may mention anything from concerns about their team, to issues around productivity, to larger worries about the future of products or the company as a whole.

Leave your ego at the door before engaging in this discussion. It should come as no surprise that honesty is a key feature of a healthy organization. Just like a healthy relationship, your team must find tactful ways to deal with difficult truths.

Whomever is answering this question will likely feel “put on the spot.” They may dance around serious problems to avoid consequences when what they desperately need is support. To gain their trust, remain encouraging and engage them for details and examples. As they let their guard down, the full picture will start to form—and hopefully, so will a path forward.

Question 2: How can we better leverage the talent in your department?

Sometimes, the value people bring to their roles isn’t contained within their job description. Perhaps you have a department whose team dynamic is exceptional. Or, you may have a certain person whose innovative ideas surpass their level of influence.

Leaders who work closely with their teams can identify these strengths, but without being asked, they may not see an opportunity to amplify their benefits.

Frame this conversation with the intent to build smarter processes, reward creative thinking, and inform your people strategy going forward.

Question 3: What is preventing your department from meeting its full potential right now?

Generally speaking, the people we put into leadership positions are not the complaining type. We seek leaders who bring us solutions, not problems. While this judgment frequently serves us well, there’s a risk of enculturating a “blind spot” in which leaders avoid talking about issues they cannot solve.

This question implies a willingness to correct company infrastructure that impedes progress for an area of the business. Perhaps the internal software the company relies on is chronically inefficient with certain tasks. Or, perhaps some leaders are having trouble working together.

Pinpointing the stumbling blocks within each department will allow you to course-correct your people strategy, mediate inter-departmental issues, and optimize business operations.

For people strategy to be effective, it requires the ongoing input of—you guessed it—your people. To take advantage of the people strategy tactics that have helped other New York firms grow, contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.

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Can You Fix a Toxic Work Culture Without Firing Your Team?

We’ve all been there in our careers. One day, you look around and realize something just feels wrong. The tension between employees can be cut with a knife. The tone of certain people’s voices seems strikingly insincere. The mood in the office seems joyless.

In my career, I’ve experienced a number of toxic workplaces like this (and trust me, I certainly knew that I had accountability for this as a head of HR). An unhealthy work environment takes a heavy toll on employee morale, which has a domino effect on productivity and employee retention.

What Does a Healthy Corporate Culture Look Like?

As leaders, we want our organizations to thrive, not simply survive. The responsibility is ours to ensure each team is operating smoothly. Ideally, that looks like:

  • A supportive team dynamic. In the average workplace, people treat one another professionally and avoid conflict. However, a truly healthy organization is one in which people feel comfortable disagreeing and listening to conflicting ideas.
  • An efficient “well-oiled machine”. People value healthy workplaces and want to keep them that way. A healthy culture motivates people to give their best work and contribute consistently.
  • An influx of attractive resumes. Great work culture is highly sought after. As your organization develops a positive reputation, you’ll notice more interest from top talent.

We all want to see these things happen in our organizations. However, from time to time, it’s not uncommon for our companies to experience the occasional ‘slump’.

Diagnosing a Toxic Work Culture

Toxicity rarely occurs in a vacuum. In most cases, the source is an issue within the company that is making people feel stagnant, stressed, or useless. In these cases, the signs surface in behaviors like:

  • Low engagement from teams in collaborative projects
  • The formation of silos within departments
  • Team members seem to avoid interactions with leadership
  • People seem reluctant to contribute new ideas

In these cases, there may be an urgent need for a change in leadership tactics, processes, and/or employee development.

The annual performance review won’t cut it anymore. Download our complimentary insights article, “Performance Management Innovation” to find out why.

Consider Your Role in the Solution

Ultimately, as leaders, we are responsible for our teams. We can make decisions about external resources or technologies that can help us arrive at solutions, but it’s up to us to demonstrate the culture we want. We can take action against toxic work culture by:

  • Opening ourselves to communication. Asking a middle-manager to report the problems of the department is akin to asking them to play Russian roulette. Open lines of communication with all levels of the team.
  • Foster emotional intelligence. Eliminate language that makes teams feel patronized or replaceable. Reward good work, and reward others who recognize it. Make a genuine effort to empower all teams to feel valued for their contributions and potential.
  • Increase transparency. You should trust your team, so be honest with them. Help them understand the challenges and successes of the business, and invite them to celebrate and contribute.
  • Demonstrate follow-through. Conversely, if you say you’re listening to their ideas, make good on it. Ensure communication from each team member is followed up on, even if you can’t action their ideas. It’s better to hear a ‘no’ with a good reason than radio silence.

No matter why we sense toxicity in the workplace, we have a role to play in curing it. To determine if your leadership style may be playing a part in your corporate culture’s biggest challenges, take East Tenth Group’s Balanced Leadership Assessment today.

Sometimes a new approach to leadership is the right path forward. If this resonates with you, I encourage you to contact my team and I at East Tenth Group.

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How to Motivate Your Most Creative Employees

Within any team or organization there are going to be team members who consistently come up with unique and effective methods of getting things done. Whether that’s identifying how to streamline an existing process or coming up with a new method of achieving a goal, some individuals have a tendency towards more creative problem-solving than others.

The most effective leaders are able to recognize these seeds of innovation, nurture them, and turn them into advantages which allow their organization to get a leg-up on the competition.

However, this approach is less commonplace than you may think: many of the organizations I’ve worked with at East Tenth Group struggle to put in place the right process, culture, and leadership necessary to turn ideas into innovations, which de-motivates their most creative employees and causes them to underperform.

This mismanagement is only aggravated by the fact that managing creative team members requires a different approach, as many studies have shown that creative individuals are possess different values, abilities, and personality traits than their peers.

With this in mind, below are some of the suggestions I’ve shared with our clients who have struggled to keep their most creative employees from under-performing:


How to Motivate Your Most Creative Employees

Assign them to the right roles

Regardless of the industry, people perform better when there’s a strong fit between the work they do and their natural tendencies as an individual. This explains why some people thrive in some roles, but not in others.

As a result, if you want to motivate your most creative employees, leaders must take the extra step of assigning tasks which are meaningful and relevant to them.

Studies have shown not only that creative people experience higher levels of motivation when they feel what they’re doing has meaning, but also that they perform worse when they don’t feel a connection to the work they are doing. This is critical for leaders to know and understand, as mismanaging these team members may lead to a decrease in productivity.

Build a Diverse Team

Innovations don’t occur in a vacuum. As a social species, we need to be around other people who can inspire, challenge, and motivate us to discover new and better ways of solving problems.

At East Tenth Group we believe that diversity is one of the most effective ways to build and manage great teams, and surrounding your creative employees with individuals whose skills and personalities complement their creativity is the most effective method of capitalizing on their ideas.

Take time to ensure that your creative team members collaborate regularly with people who are detail-oriented, organized, and grounded in their thinking, otherwise you may find yourself with a room full of good ideas and nobody to implement them.

Are you ready to start motivating your most creative employees? Take action now and download East Tenth Group’s complimentary ebook “Managing Others” today.

Challenge Them

Few things demotivate creative employees like feeling as though they aren’t being challenged at work. In fact, data shows us that 46% of U.S. workers feel that they are overqualified for their jobs, which means one trick to motivating your most creative employees is to regularly push your employees beyond their comfort zone.

To take a proactive approach to employee development, begin by developing a personalized development plan for your creative staff, and invest in building an engaging and supportive workplace which inspires those team members to continually push their boundaries.

Apply Pressure (But Not Too Much)

“Necessity is the mother of invention” is an English proverb which means, roughly, that the driving force behind most innovations or ideas is a need, and many leaders take this approach to heart – often to the detriment of their teams and creative staff.

High-pressure environments can harm an employee’s mental health and well-being, which can reduce their productivity. However, motivating your most creative employees and maximizing their output means applying some pressure in the right contexts.

Understanding how to build and manage great teams can be tricky, which is why leaders must take the time to self-assess and understand their own leadership gaps before leaning too heavily on their creative staff.

 

Motivating Your Most Creative Employees Starts With You

As leaders, we know that it’s our responsibility to ensure that every project stays on-track and meets our goals, but being focused on our end goal often means that we neglect to effectively manage and inspire our teams.

Ensuring that that our teams are thriving and achieving their maximum potential requires us to take the time to develop the skills we need. Our Balanced Leadership™ Programs were carefully designed to help CEOs and other organizational leaders assess their strengths and weaknesses and develop the leadership habits necessary for long-term success.

If you’ve been struggling to motivate your most creative employees, I encourage you to contact my team contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.

 

 

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Women CEO using technology for recruiting in 2019.

The Top Recruiting Trends to Watch for in 2019

Your list of top recruiting trends in 2019 has arrived!

As we draw close to the end of a challenging, difficult year on a global scale, CEOs and executive leaders are realizing the importance of building a strong team and a resilient organization. In order to cultivate a resilient team that can withstand professional challenges, the responsibility for finding, onboarding, and sustaining a best-in-class team of individuals often falls on HR experts.

Both the clients of East Tenth Group and I are incredibly lucky to have such a supportive team of people standing by our side. However, it is no feat of luck that created this powerful team. Instead, it’s our focus on building a diverse, inclusive, and future-forward group who empower our clients and propel our business forward.

With the new year approaching quickly, it’s vital that HR leaders and C-Suite executives familiarize themselves with the top 2019 recruiting trends that can transform teams and recruit professionals who can seamlessly integrate with your organizational mission and values.

The Top Recruiting Trends of 2019

1. Investing in AI Recruitment Technology

With 52% of acquisition leaders reporting that identifying ideal candidates is the most difficult aspect of recruitment, AI recruitment software such as SmartRecruiters and TopFunnel can save recruitment leaders time while they review the applicant pool with ease.

AI recruitment software is developed with the goal of screening applicants in seconds, sharing only the most qualified prospects to help simplify the search for prospects who will best compliment your organization.

2. Varying Working Environments and Schedules

Looking for the top recruiting trends in 2019 that will increase employee retention and recruiting success? Consider providing a flexible work environment and schedule as a part of your recruitment strategy.

Offering both future and current employees with a level of autonomy over their schedule and chosen working environments can help empower your employees, and even create more productive teams.

Surprisingly, survey results from the Society of Human Resource Managers demonstrate that 89% of companies who merely offer flexible work options report having better retention rates. This offer of a flexible schedule gives people a sense of freedom and the ability to balance their professional and personal lifestyles. Some companies already taking advantage of this 2019 recruiting trend include Netflix and FlexJobs.

In recent years, both the quality and quantity of collaboration software and platforms have increased, making it easier than ever to work collaboratively with your team, no matter where you are in the world. Platforms like Trello, Google’s G Suite, and Monday enable both leaders and their team members to track projects, make suggestions, and communicate with ease.

3. Practicing Behavioral Recruitment Processes

As an HR leader, it’s easy to continue using the recruitment, hiring, and onboarding practices that have been used for years. Although the review of both paper and online cover letters and resumes are still important facets of a well-rounded hiring strategy, future-forward organizations are beginning to practice a tactic known as behavioral interviewing.

Typically, an interview between an HR leader and potential hire runs along a sometimes scripted, competency-based review of previous work experience.

However, by taking time to consider an individual’s potential for growth and learning rather than solely at their experience allows leaders to bring in a broader range of capabilities and talent into the interview room, where you can discuss the ideal qualities that will level-up your team.

This recruitment tactic of finding high-potential professionals doesn’t stop after the interview. For real organizational impact, make sure that your focus during the onboarding practice spans farther than simply introducing your company and policies to new hires.

Instead, provide meaningful training that solidifies the qualities and skills that add to your team.

For leaders, this process means practicing the skills needed to be an actionable leader, including being high-touch throughout the onboarding process and communicating expectations clearly.

Are you ready to apply these top 2019 recruiting trends to your organization? Start by downloading our complimentary Insights Article “Creating an HR Strategy That Delivers ROI” now.

4. Building a Powerful Company Brand

Your company’s recruitment process begins long before you develop a job description or advertisement. In today’s digital-driven realm, potential applicants have more power than ever in learning both the positive and negative aspects of your company’s work culture.

Websites like Glassdoor provide transparency into the inner workings of your business, sharing first-hand reviews of the type of working environment you’ve designed.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to focus on cultivating a powerful brand, and why this tactic is critical when assessing which of these 2019 recruiting trends to implement in your organization. Social media marketing is a vital aspect of presenting a positive brand in today’s digital world. Your posts portray an image of your brand that is accessible any time of day, to anyone in the world.

To use social media platforms as a powerful recruitment tool, consider sharing the unique aspects of a healthy work culture you offer your employees. Whether it’s a focus on mental wellbeing or your dedication to providing a work/life balance, make your mark as an innovative business online.

5. Utilizing Mobile Recruitment Capabilities

In 2016, we published a post titled The Future of Recruiting is Mobile. Of course, we have lived through the “future of recruiting” since 2016, and experienced recruitment trends that have surpassed our wildest expectations. However, the importance of targeting your recruitment process for mobile users hasn’t swayed.

Take a moment to consider how often you use your smartphone during the workday. From checking your emails while you’re on the go, to browsing impactful blog posts from your favorite industry leaders, mobile use in a professional environment has gone through the roof in recent years.

So what does this mean for potential hires for your company? Of course, they’re likely browsing job ads on their mobile device, and in 2018, the popular search engine giant Google implemented practices that rank mobile-friendly websites higher on search engine result pages.

By making sure that your website and all job postings are mobile-friendly ensures that your content is reaching high-potential hires.

Modern leaders will continue to face challenges in finding and retaining best-in-class employees. However, by staying flexible in your hiring practices and implementing the top 2019 recruitment trends this year and beyond, it’s possible to develop a recruitment and HR strategy that delivers the ROI intelligent companies are looking for.

As you move into 2019, take time to reflect on your existing recruitment habits and design a plan that will enable your teams to thrive.

 

If you’re looking to connect the dots between leading a business, leading teams, managing others, and managing yourself, our Balanced Leadership™ Framework is designed to help HR and C-Suite professionals to refine their skills and put engaging recruitment and retention strategies into action.

Are you ready to move confidently into 2019 and uncover new leadership capabilities? If so, I encourage you to contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.

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Improving Employee Retention New York

5 Proven Strategies for Improving Employee Retention

Improving employee retention doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, most organizations don’t determine the leading cause behind their retention issues until a valued employee decides to leave, and an issue is identified during the team members’ exit interview.

Employee retention is one of the biggest challenges facing any modern organization. In fact, Josh Bersin found that employee turnover costs the average business anywhere from 1 to 2.5 times the employee’s salary.

Not to mention the “soft costs” associated with low employee retention, including decreased employee engagement, additional training costs, lowered productivity, cultural impacts, and more.

With these factors in mind I often find myself wondering: why aren’t CEOs and other C-Suite leaders identifying and improving employee retention issues before employee turnover becomes a challenge?

If your organization has struggled with low employee retention, I invite you to apply these six strategies our clients have used to increase employee engagement and decrease employee turnover:

1. Improving Employee Retention Starts with Recruiting

One of the critical factors associated with low employee turnover is hiring candidates who are the right fit for your organization. By focusing on job fit and cultural fit over specific qualifications, you can increase the likelihood that your new team member will work synergistically with other staff, and will contribute to your organization in a positive way.

Other factors to consider when recruiting a new hire include:

  • Longevity. Look for candidates who have worked in their previous role for at least a few years. This not only demonstrates their ability to perform in their role, but also indicates that they were actively engaged within the company and dedicated to helping it succeed.

  • Extracurriculars. Individuals who play team sports, sit on committees or boards, or who volunteer regularly have demonstrated engagement and investment in causes that aren’t solely self-serving.

2. Develop Education and Succession Plans

Promoting from within helps reduce the amount of time spent sourcing, interviewing, and onboarding new recruits to your organization. It also works to enhance the employee experience by providing clear paths to success and demonstrating to team members that they are contributing to the company’s ongoing success.

However, employee education and succession planning should never be an afterthought. By making individualized development and training plans available to every team member you can encourage self-directed learning and development necessary for employees to feel empowered and invested in your organization.

3. Offer Enviable Benefits

“Employee benefits” means so much more in the modern workplace than just healthcare or paid sick leave. While paid sick leave is generally considered a “must have” by today’s standards, leaders must think creatively in order to attract and retain the best and brightest from the upcoming generation of workers.

Deloitte has predicted that Millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce as early as 2025, which means forward-thinking leaders need to be investing in workplace benefits such as:

  • Flexible or telecommuting options. 35% of Millennials say they value schedule flexibility over pay, so consider offering more flexible options as an alternative.

  • Generous health benefits. Employees who feel confident that their workplace is invested in them will reinvest their energy into the business.

  • Invest in paid maternity and paternity leave. While unpaid maternity leave is mandatory in the United States, unpaid leave puts undue strain on new families. Consider investing in parental leave for your team members as a way of demonstrating your organization’s investment in their staff.

4. Strive for Openness and Transparency

Open, ongoing communication creates a shared sense of purpose and community within an organization. I recommend investing the time to meet regularly with team members and departments heads to discuss challenges and opportunities. I also recommend encouraging an “open door” policy where staff can speak frankly without fear of repercussions from management.

If you’re like other busy CEOs that East Tenth Group has worked with in the past, then regular meetings may not be feasible for your schedule. If this is the case I recommend scheduling in at least one hour per week where your office door is “open” and team members can walk in and discuss any challenges they may be experiencing with you.

5. Use HR Data to Make Decisions

Technology is disrupting multiple aspects of the modern workplace experience, and one area where HR can step up and start improving employee retention is by investing the right HR tools.

Not only can the latest HR tools save time by automating processes, streamlining feedback, and increasing alignment and communication between teams, but reviewing data can identify retention trends and challenges including:

  • Recurring periods of high employee turnover. Identifying when you’re losing staff can help you locate the issues leading up to these periods of employee loss.

  • Correlations between commute time and turnover rate. Are your staff who commute the farthest leaving the fastest? Research has shown that commute time contributed to more ‘voluntary turnover’ than experience and tenure.

Be Prepared When Turnover Occurs

As much as we may wish that it wasn’t the case, employee turnover is inevitable.

I, like many of our clients know the sting of losing a “rockstar employee” and encourage you to take this change in stride. I also encourage you to Take.Action.Now and to use the exit interview as an opportunity to thoroughly review as many of the elements that led to the team member’s decision to leave as possible. By being proactive in this situation you can work to increase employee retention over time.

By addressing the specific items that contributed to an employee’s decision to leave your organization you can use this as an opportunity to focus on improving the employee experience moving forward.

The best leaders are those who take the time to regularly self-assess and identify the challenges keeping them from true leadership. Are you ready to take the next step?

I invite you to contact myself and the East Tenth Group team to discover how we can help, and would love to hear your feedback on this post via our Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter profiles.

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Remote Team Management Techniques for Busy Leaders

Remote working and team management is becoming increasingly common in the modern workplace. With our near constant connection to the digital world, it’s easier than ever before for leaders to work while they’re out of the office or even run entire companies digitally. According to statistics from Global Workplace Analytics, 20-25% of the U.S. workforce telecommutes occasionally or permanently, on a regular basis.

Whether your business is run entirely remotely by a global professional team, or you’re a busy leader who often spends more time on business trips than in the office, juggling your professional responsibilities while travelling can be a challenge. This is especially true for C-Suite executives and other organizational leaders with employees and colleagues who count on their expertise and advice while carrying out daily tasks, optimizing strategies, and keeping business progressing forward.

Although keeping in touch with your team on a remote basis may be difficult at times, there are ways that busy leaders can overcome communication hurdles with a few simple habits and tactics. Use the following tips and tricks to stay engaged while you’re travelling extensively to keep your team and business thriving.

1. Create a Culture of Trust

Without trust, working remotely isn’t sustainable. As a leader, it’s up to you to delegate tasks to employees that you trust to get the job done, as they cannot necessarily “check-in” regularly for updates and management.

It’s vital to create a culture of trust to maintain high engagement throughout your team. High engagement has been described as a strong connection with professional colleagues and is often found in employees who find meaning in what they do on a daily basis. However, it is possible for excellent leaders to cultivate this culture of trust, even when you’re out of the office regularly. Try implementing the following strategies to increase trust and engagement:

 

  • Give team members autonomy in their tasks and positions. When an employee feels free to make well-informed decisions, they are more likely to be engaged in their position on the team.
  • Build your professional relationships. Employees and leaders should feel comfortable with one another and be fully invested in both the team and company. Take time to connect with your employees regularly and make sure that they know you care about their well-being.
  • Create open lines of communication. When communication strategies are clear-cut and accessible to an entire team, people feel empowered to reach out for assistance and advice on an as-needed basis.

 

2. Make Time to Connect With Your Team

Connection is the heart of a business, between an organization and their clients, and more importantly, between team members who keep the business running. As a leader who must remotely manage a team on occasion or permanently, it’s also up to you to reach out to your employees regularly.

Make this regular time for connection and collaboration a part of your daily schedule. Whether you prefer putting reminders in your calendar for video conferences or scheduling one-on-one meetings with individual team members, you’ll have a better professional relationship when all parties feel connected to overarching organizational goals and each other.

These check-in’s don’t have to be lengthy. In fact, many leaders find it helpful to schedule these calls during commutes or for days with an anticipated low workload. However, deliberately attempt to make these video or phone calls rather than digital messaging. Hearing a voice or seeing a face allows for more genuine discussions, decreasing the chance of misunderstandings that can cost valuable time and effort.

3. Find the Communication Tools that Work for Your Team

Remote team management wouldn’t be possible without communication tools, and streamlined processes that help all team members use them correctly. Communication isn’t just a facet of team management, but rather, it’s a strategic effort to use time efficiently and optimize outcomes.

Software developers have reacted to the increase in remote working in past years and created future-forward online platforms to help busy leaders manage their teams remotely. Some best-in-class examples of project management systems and communication channels include:

Basecamp

Basecamp is an incredible project management and team communication software that allows users to monitor a wide array of necessary business functions, such as documents, scheduling, tasks, and important discussions. This easy to use platform creates an online environment for leaders to organize and navigate through projects, making sure that work is delegated to the right team members at the right time.

Google Drive

Google Drive is a secure cloud file backup and storage system that can be accessed through a user’s Google account. Rather than sending large files over email and having each team member organize the project in their own way, sharing files on Google Drive allows for a collaborative and accessible process.

Google Docs is another great way for leaders to delegate tasks and collaborate on projects online. With the ability to comment, make suggestions, and edit with more than one user in the document, Google Docs are handy for collaborative calls and meetings to organize thoughts and work through projects with ease.

Slack

Although we suggest that remote communication with employees should ideally take place over a voice or video call, there are times where this type of communication is not an option for busy leaders. Slack is the perfect alternative for remote team management and communication.

Slack allows teams to chat informally in an online space that almost feels like a digital office. Whether you need to have a quick one-on-one chat with a team member or a team-wide discussion to carry out a specific task, Slack creates an easy route to connection and open communication, even while you’re out of the office for extended periods.

GoTo Meeting

Occasionally, busy leaders find the need to hold formal meetings with clients, employees, and colleagues. When this is the case, you require a professional meeting platform. GoToMeeting is used by leaders worldwide because of its valuable features and easy to use interface.

If you’re a busy leader looking to optimize your processes and engaged with your employees while you manage business remotely, use the above techniques to keep your best-in-class team moving forward.

At East Tenth Group, a quadrant of our Balanced Leadership Framework is managing others. Download our complimentary Managing Others ebook to take a deep dive into leading through change and creating environments where your employees can thrive. For our latest actionable insights, subscribe to our newsletter and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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Integrating HR Tools for Talent Management

The HR department is much more than the administrative powerhouse in an organization. As an industry, HR is traditionally viewed as the area of a company where salaries are decided, safety presentations are developed, and where new hires go through the onboarding process. However, enterprise-level leaders are quickly realizing how critical this department is in retaining high-potential employees and creating future-forward strategies for a balanced scorecard throughout the company.

The modern HR department is also responsible for Talent Management strategies and processes, dictating the development and increasing the retirement of high-potential employees for business success. According to Workable, this vital function of HR operations ensures that:

  • High-potential employees are coached to real professional goals
  • Succession and hiring plans are developed to sustain growth
  • New hires and current employees experience comprehensive employee training programs
  • Existing employees are engaged, motivated, and rewarded for positive action and results

Talent Management is key for effective employee engagement and reducing overall employee turnover. Gallup found that businesses are only maximizing 5% of their current high-performance workforce, which are those employees who are talented, engaged, and have been in the organization for 10+ years.

Talent Management within HR helps companies to coach and engage employees, guiding them to reach individual goals and reach their full professional potential. Superior Talent Management can only be achieved with an effective and well-organized HR department.

“We know that better quality talent – in key roles – delivers better business results. This implies that there’s potential value in activities that improve talent quality,” says Marc Effron, President of The Talent Strategy Group. Marc, as many know, is the go-to expert in the talent management space, especially over these past 5 years. He aims to help HR leaders in creating effective Talent Management processes with an approach that highlights Simplicity, Accountability, and Transparency. We at ETG are big proponents of Marc and his teams work.

Best-in-class HR groups realize that these principles are essential for creating future-forward company strategies and aligning employees with a professional culture and environment that allows them to thrive.

Technology is a major facet of any modern business, and new tech tools are allowing HR departments to transform how they operate through the automation of key HR functions and the enhancement of Talent Management endeavors.

How HR Tech is Changing the Industry

The current state of the HR industry is undergoing a massive shift, thanks in part to this enhanced HR technology. New HR tech is allowing for greater organizational Talent Management, providing HR leaders with a seat at the decision-making table of their company.

According to TechTarget, the new generation Software as a service (SaaS) Talent Management tools are leading the way in the rise of HR tech. With minimal investment and frequent automated updates, cloud-based software is allowing HR leaders to make proactive decisions and generate sustainable analytical data about current employees.

With platforms and tools like the cloud, analytic tracking, and social media channels changing the way that organizations are using Talent Management software, HR leaders are enhancing their processes and creating strategies help increase employee engagement. Integrating these HR tools for Talent Management is helping HR managers on multiple business levels, including:

Learning and Development

Technology and online tools are assisting executives meaningfully enhance their leadership in innovative ways, and the same goes for creating meaningful employee learning and development (L&D). Tech like the cloud and mobile-based software is altering how employees interact with their daily workload and how HR professionals reinforce their L&D experiences in the organization.

When paired with effective customizable, in person, one-on-one professional development, accessible online L&D information helps to drive employee engagement and skills both on and offline.

Enhanced Company Culture and Increased Engagement

As Ian Davies describes in Forbes, HR managers are leaving annual employee surveys behind and instead utilizing feedback apps for regular and relevant feedback from their employees. When HR is equipped with real-time feedback on an employee’s daily experience, strategies and tools can be modified to enhance their engagement. Feedback applications also allow HR to gain insights into how employees view an organization and the overall workplace culture to help leaders restructure and align ongoing training and the work environment to retain high-potential talent in the long run.

Human-Centric Analytics

Your employees are the heart of your organization, and integrating HR tools for better Talent Management includes utilizing big data to your advantage. Compiling human-centric analytics helps organizations understand:

  • How they can keep employees engaged
  • Why they choose to stay in a position or at a job
  • How they can increase professional skills for individual and business success

Josh Bersin notes that it’s important HR managers keep in mind that human-centric analytics spans far beyond simply measuring KPIs and retention rates. Ideally, these analytics provide measurable insights into topics like employee experience, productivity rates, and human capital.

In 2018, companies will learn to separate the meaningful from the possible in the HR analytics eld. That reckoning will show that HR analytics will provide incremental information but won’t fundamentally in uence HR’s practices, mission or focus.

Companies will move forward with more caution in this area in 2018. They’ll clarify the exact value they expect from analytics and better structure its work.

Integrating HR tools for Talent Management through human-centric analytics and data collection helps organizations create proactive solutions for employee engagement. With the help of tools like email pattern tracking and text analytics, HR managers and other C-Suite executives can access a deeper level of insights to create real-world employee solutions.

HR experts like Bill Kutik are predicting a surge of AI in HR tech to increase the functionality of existing technology, so HR managers should keep an eye out for these innovative platforms and services.

The Benefits of Utilizing HR Tech for Talent Management

For HR modernization to be truly effective, the HR tools selected are vital. HR tech allows businesses to operate as a collective of departments rather than separated teams who work independently of the other.

This shift from individual to collective has been generated in part thanks to HR tech based in the cloud. Cloud and mobile-based HR solutions provide accessible insights for both leaders and organizational employees to become aligned with their professional development and workplace culture.

With effective cloud technology, employees can view the information they need when they need it most. This information can range from professional development webinars to ongoing employee L&D and can be accessed on their preferred platform and device.

Another benefit of integrating HR tech for Talent Management is that cloud and mobile-based solutions provide a high ROI for the organization itself, with little upkeep costs or expensive updates. SaaS platforms and tools are continuously updating their software for peak efficiency and top-notch security enhancements to keep employee information safe while increasing the user experience.

With the right technology and software, HR managers can create actionable, flexible employee experiences for the modern workplace. Integrating HR tools for Talent Management provides the base for high-performing HR functions that can boast business-wide positive effects.

Leaders can leverage their HR tech with our future-forward Talent Management and people strategies. At East Tenth Group, we work hard to address your real issues, identify HR grey areas, and provide mindful expert assessments and support for all essential HR functions. Whether you’re looking for Talent Management or strategic people management insights, our expert team is ready to partner with you to help your business thrive.

Do you have an HR tool that helps you run your business successfully? Let us know your experiences with integrating HR tools for enhanced Talent Management in the comments. For more information on partnering with East Tenth Group, take action now take action now and subscribe to our newsletter for actionable insights, and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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Achieving True Diversity the Major League Soccer Way

Improving workplace diversity is not an easy task, but the responsibility lies with the top leadership of every company. Even when diversity is uncomfortable – and perhaps because it is uncomfortable – teams perform more effectively with more diversity of culture, gender, and ethnicity.

Benefits of Diversity in Team Performance 

Study after study delivers the same results: gender, cultural, and ethnic diversity are good for business. From board membership to R&D, from management to customer-facing roles, diversity wins.

  • Large-cap companies with at least one woman on the board outperform their peer group with no women on the board by 26 percent [Credit Suisse]
  • When conducting stock valuation, diverse teams were 58 percent more likely to price stocks correctly across markets and locations [National Academy of Sciences]
  • Diverse R&D teams were far more radically innovative (think: the next Uber) [Taylor & Francis]

Measuring diversity is more complex and more critical than just ensuring that you have representative members of each gender, race, or culture. To truly reach representative diversity in your organization, take a page from the efforts of Major League Soccer (MLS).

[Tweet “Diversity is more complex and critical than just having representative members of each culture.”]

Scoring Big on Diversity: Major League Soccer

Henry Johnson, co-president of Harvard Sports Analysis Collective, offers a different measure of diversity by using Simpson’s Index, typically used by ecologists as a means of measuring biodiversity, yet for Johnson’s purposes, was applied to American sports leagues. Simpson’s Index measures the probability that two individuals randomly drawn from the sample will belong to the same category. True diversity happens when no single category dominates the sample.

Major League Soccer is the only professional sport in which at least half of the players do not represent one race or ethnicity. In every other major sports league, more than 50 percent of the team members are of the same race, whether black or white.  And using Simpson’s Index, Major League Soccer is the only major league sports team to score well when two players are selected randomly, with only a 32 percent chance that the two selected would be of the same race or ethnicity.

MLS Hiring Practices

MLS has made a serious commitment to increase diversity and to ensure that all people are fairly represented in the company – not just with players, but with management and behind-the-scenes staff as well.

[Tweet “Make diversity a pillar of your organization for better team performance.”]

You can follow Major League Soccer’s lead by:

  • Making diversity one of the main pillars of your organization
  • Showcasing existing diverse culture
  • Using data to determine your success with diversity and making changes to improve

Is your organization really achieving true diversity, or is it merely paying lip service to the idea of diversity?

Diversity, even when it’s uncomfortable or difficult to implement, offers a big payout. The question isn’t, why is diversity so important, but rather why aren’t you doing more to achieve true diversity in your workplace?


As the CEO & Founder of East Tenth Group, Michelle leverages 25 years of business and experience as a strategic advisor and executive coach to help drive actionable people solutions and provide practical insights on business strategy to senior leaders. she and her team and are fiercely committed to the development and growth of people and companies because we believe that when people thrive, business thrives.

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Talent Strategy: The One Thing Your Business Needs This Year

Do you struggle to stay ahead of your talent needs? Do you find yourself realizing only after the need is desperate that you are missing the skill sets necessary to accomplish your goals? Talent acquisition is a common struggle for growing and midsize businesses. And if you don’t have a strong business strategy to begin with, you cannot devise a talent strategy to ensure that you meet your objectives. Organizations of all sizes benefit from developing a talent strategy rooted within their business strategy. According to Bersin by Deloitte research, regardless of the size, industry, or location of a business:

  • 70-80 percent of the organizations rated least effective at business outcomes lacked a talent strategy.
  • Organizations with a talent strategy were 2 times more likely to be in the top quartile of business outcomes.
  • Companies with a talent strategy in place performed 30 percent better than organizations without a strategy.

[Tweet “Companies with a talent strategy in place perform 30 percent better than those without.”]

Statistics like these can serve as a wakeup call for business leaders. Now is the time to evaluate and clearly define your business strategy to understand your talent needs. Growing and midsize companies don’t necessarily have the budget to implement a robust talent strategy. However, there are some practical, straightforward actions that you can take to reap immediate benefits to your bottom line:

  • Define and clarify business objectives that you are hoping to achieve in a given year.
  • Identify the skill sets and talent you will need to meet your objectives.
  • Integrate your brand identity, company culture, marketing, social media, and business operations to achieve better visibility and attract stronger talent.
  • Utilize technology and people analytics to

    improve your understanding of existing talent and future needs, to recruit more effectively, and to start shifting to a more sophisticated talent acquisition strategy.

[Tweet “Start with defining and clarifying business strategy to improve and refine talent strategy.”]

Talent strategy is the key to increasing strategic advantage, and it’s about more than just hiring people. It’s about attracting, hiring, and retaining the right people. Get started now.


As the CEO & Founder of East Tenth Group, Michelle leverages 25 years of business and experience as a strategic advisor and executive coach to help drive actionable people solutions and provide practical insights on business strategy to senior leaders. she and her team and are fiercely committed to the development and growth of people and companies because we believe that when people thrive, business thrives.

Learn More About Michelle

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Quit Worrying about Millennials. Gen C Is Here

The millennial generation may have introduced us to the need for immediate feedback, technology-based communication, and work-from-anywhere innovation, but those steps forward have now been adopted by an entire cohort of talented workers: Gen C. Gen C is the “connected” generation. Even more so than millennials, they are digital natives (or nearly), for whom technology is a constant part of their daily routine. They don’t watch TV or listen to the radio; they stream YouTube videos and listen to Spotify. They don’t use printers or landlines; they can’t, however, live life without apps.

[Tweet “Gen C is about mindset; there is no specific age, gender, class, or race differentiation.”]

Leaders must understand that Gen C is not a generational cohort defined by when you were born or the age group in which you fit. The connected generation runs the gamut from teenagers to people of retirement age. Being a part of Gen C is about mindset; there is no specific age, gender, class, or race differentiation. Being a part of Gen C means:

  • Being actively engaged in online communities
  • A willingness to try new social media platforms
  • An open-mindedness about the flow between work and life and balance
  • A deep desire to have meaning in work and play

[Tweet “To attract Gen C, you must reach them where they are – they are not going to seek you out.”]

Take.Action.Now.

To attract candidates from Generation C, you must reach them where they are – they are not going to seek you out.

  • Be visible on the platforms they use, and communicate the way they do (in small, digestible bits).
  • Communicate with them using their preferred methods of tweeting, texting, and snap chatting, instead of using email, phone, or messaging.
  • Nurture your existing talent, because Generation C won’t respond to a job posting on your website; they respond to word-of-mouth recommendations and peer recruitment.

If you’re seeking innovative, creative, and nimble talent, these are the people you need to attract. They are forward-thinking brand ambassadors with a flexible approach to solving problems, working with others, and communicating. They’ll eagerly be on board with things like Workplace for Facebook and be the more efficient users; they’re productive and communicative and always looking for newer, faster, better ways to do things.

If you have not already taken advantage of technology and social media to improve your recruitment strategy, then start communicating your tech-savvy and flexible culture. Actively social CEOs attract top talent on social media, and you can’t afford to waste another day.


As the CEO & Founder of East Tenth Group, Michelle leverages 25 years of business and experience as a strategic advisor and executive coach to help drive actionable people solutions and provide practical insights on business strategy to senior leaders. she and her team and are fiercely committed to the development and growth of people and companies because we believe that when people thrive, business thrives.

Learn More About Michelle

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