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How to Jump Start Leadership within Your Organization

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With Baby Boomers on the brink of retirement, one of the impending issues facing organizations today is the ability to identify leaders. This could be partially blamed on the fact that less than half (48 percent) of UNC’s Leadership Survey respondents reported that their companies have a formal process for developing high-potential employees. Companies looking to accelerate employees to leadership positions should seriously consider developing a formal process. Currently, organizations reported that on average 16 percent of their workforce as being identified as high-potential employees. Creating a leadership development plan could expand organizations talent pools and set them up for greater success.

Who knows your business better than you? No one. That’s why when you take responsibility for developing your own leadership plan, you can ensure that the organizational values are incorporated and reflected in the final product. Before you can begin crafting an effective leadership development plan you must first define what effective leadership looks like in your business. In knowing this, you can decide more easily which program offerings are best.

Follow these five steps to get you started:

Step One: What does leadership look like in your company?

Take a good look around at the leaders in your organization. What makes them successful leaders? Avoid the cliché definitions of leadership such as “team player” and “hard worker.” Think beyond the typical traits we associate with leadership and really find what attributes set these people apart. Find out what really drives them to reach the goals they’ve set for themselves and their departments.

Step Two: What changes do you want to see?

Building a leadership development program for the sake of adding it to your corporate resume is a wasted effort. While it is an added recruiting tool, the goal is to impart leadership skills onto your employees that will enhance their value and improve overall productivity. As a side note, align the changes you wish to see with the current company culture to ensure a positive response.

Step Three: Who will participate?

Although looking to upper level employees to fill leadership gaps makes sense, companies should consider taking a more proactive approach, developing talent across the board. A study by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School shows positive trends among companies. In fact, ninety-two percent of companies reported that their development dollars are being allocated to all employees, not just their high-potentials. With this strategy, companies are positioning themselves for success when the time comes to fill skill shortages.

Step Four: Let the planning begin

Once you have answered steps 1- 3 you can then begin planning the actual program, and there are several factors to consider:

  1. Length. Weekend trip or weekly training workshop? Consider what makes sense for your business and employee schedules. Also consider time, budget and repeatability. Weekend trips can be fun and engaging but sometimes costly and hard to maintain, so having on-going weekly workshops can be just as engaging for less money.
  2. Materials. What do you need to get your point across? Maybe it’s speakers, written materials, inspirational videos or maybe a combination. Whatever it may be, make sure to include this into your budget planning and scheduling so you have ample amount of time to prepare. If lesson sheets or PowerPoints are options, consider creating generic templates that can be reused to save time.
  3. Activities. Sometimes “doing” is more impactful than telling. It is likely that your employees have sat through plenty of workshops and appreciate a new perspective or delivery. Feel free to get creative. Look here for ideas on fun and interactive leadership activities.

Step Five: How effective were you?

After the conclusion of any new process, an evaluation should follow. Distribute surveys and ask participants to provide feedback about their experience. Keep in mind leadership development is a process, so check back in after six months to see how effective you were.

An internal leadership development program is not the golden ticket, but it is a valuable tool that provides employees with necessary leadership skills. So, as your planning out your next budget, consider investing in leadership and development. When the time comes to fill critical positions, you’ll have a great talent pool to dip into.



Author Bio: As a Human Resource Professional with over 20 years of experience, Jenny has extensive experience in management, mentoring, policy development and recruiting. Jenny's team player mentality and leadership abilities make her an elite HR Director who is always on top of the latest HR trends. She relentlessly directs associates and executives to achieve their maximum potential for both themselves and their companies.

The 1 Thing Efficient, Happy and Motivated Employees Have in Common

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Efficiency, happiness and motivation: These traits characterize the ideal employee, but how can today’s employers inspire their workforce to have more of each? Through the use of carefully chosen technology. Here’s how technology factors in to developing your employees into the best they can be.

Click here to see Jacob Morgan’s SHRM-certified on-demand webinar “How to Win the War for Talent and Crush the Competition” on how the world’s top companies are redesigning work around their people by focusing on three environments: culture, technology and the physical workspace.

Efficient employees

Of course, your employees are not machines. Efficiency for your business means employees are doing the right things at the right time; as management consultant Peter Drucker put it, “Efficiency is doing better what is already being done.” The work you hired them to do is performed with excellence.

Technology goes hand-in-hand with efficiency, and that can make your employees happier! In fact, as reported by Access Perks, 92% of employees say having the tech to efficiently do their jobs improves their overall satisfaction in their work. Employees don’t want just any technology; make sure you’re offering the latest tech that can help them perform better in their roles.

Happy employees

Whether your employees are happy can affect many things within your workplace. More than a feeling your people exhibit from 8 to 5, happiness speaks to their satisfaction in their role within your company. When your employees love what they do, that’s how you know they’re happy in their jobs.

The employee experience is the sum of all things good or bad in an employee’s time at your company. A positive employee experience leads to happier employees who are more willing to accept growth and change, and are emotionally prepared to handle the occasional setback.

Jacob Morgan, author of The Employee Experience, describes technology as a key factor in building a positive employee experience. His research shows that 81% of workers say technology is the most important factor in their happiness at work, and 86% say that when their company’s technology is ahead of the curve, they love their job. When employees love their jobs, they become more motivated for the success of the company that has invested in them.

Motivated employees

According to Forbes magazine, motivation leads to productivity, allowing for more work to get done and boosting your bottom line. Chances are, no matter the quarter, your HR team has looked for innovative ways to motivate and engage employees. Incentives, prizes and pizza parties are obvious choices in the search for employee motivation, but is a “prize” the best method?

One powerful motivator that isn’t just another prize is technology; according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, at 48%, nearly half of the American workforce says that new technology is an effective motivator. Are you providing the state-of-the-art, user-friendly tech that can motivate your workforce?

Technology that is up-to-date and simple to use can help you provide the environment your employees need to thrive.  As tech-dependent millennials make up a larger share of the workforce, and Generation Z digital natives begin their careers, technology increasingly becomes a critical part of the employee experience.  Help your employees meet their maximum potential by providing the right technology to keep them efficient, happy and motivated.

Looking for a deeper dive into the employee experience? Check out the HR Break Room podcast episode, “Happy Employees = Happy Customers: The Equation for a Winning Workforce” with author Jacob Morgan.

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Posted in Blog, Employee Experience, Featured

braeden.fair

by Braeden Fair


Author Bio: Braeden Fair produces webinars and podcasts for Paycom, in addition to writing content for the company’s blog and its employee culture magazine, Paycom Pulse. A graduate of Oklahoma Christian University, he managed social media for the college’s student life division and worked in the broadcasting departments of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas-based sports-talk radio station The Ticket.

Employer Brand

Why Your Employer Brand Matters

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Hello. My name is Amy, and at one time, my Coca-Cola rugby shirt was my most prized possession. Chances are you – or someone you know – had at least one and felt the same way. Those preppy, color-blocked beauties with the classic Coca-Cola scroll were pure Americana. They were so rad.

They were also uncomfortable. The material was thick and hot, the boxy shape was cumbersome and the collars were stiff. So what would inspire millions of sensible people to pay good money and outfit themselves in one? The answer: brand power.

Brands amplify the personal traits and characteristics of which we’re most proud. Brands show others who we are and want to be. They’re a fiercely personal association that sways our decision-making, regardless of whether we like to admit it, and they’re just as powerful today as they were in 1985.

If you don’t believe me, just embroil yourself in a debate about Macs vs. PCs, or Target vs. Walmart. Two things will happen immediately. First, regret will overwhelm you. Secondly, as voices rise and tempers flare, you’ll see that brands continue to serve as an extension of who we believe we are.

Great expectations

While the influence brands have over us remains strong, what we expect from them has changed. Today, companies can’t win customers by building a brand the old-fashioned way, with logo-emblazoned gear, slick photo shoots and ads in glossy magazines. Cultivating a trustworthy brand requires transparency. We want to know which brands mirror our values and operate in a way we believe in, too.

And we can, thanks to the internet. Now, not even the slickest ads in the world can spare brands from the destruction that negative reviews, an exposé on unethical practices or a shocking YouTube video can bring. The power of shaping a brand now lies with the company who owns it and the customers they serve.

Why it matters for HR and recruiting

So what does this have to do with your company’s reputation as an employer, aka your employer brand? Everything.

Just as consumers choose products based on brand identity, candidates choose jobs based on employer brand. Consumers want transparency. Candidates do, too. Review websites like TripAdvisor and Yelp offer consumers a forum to share honest experiences with thousands of people. Major job sites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn and Indeed provide employees a similar outlet.

And candidates pay attention. Much like consumers contemplating a big purchase, candidates planning to make a big move do research. Before applying, 62% of job seekers will use social media channels to evaluate a company and 76% will view an employee’s LinkedIn page, while 60% consider word-of-mouth to be their best source of information.

To nab today’s top talent, you must enter the conversation and cultivate your employer brand.

Isn’t that marketing’s job?

Although the similarities between the consumer brand and the employer brand would suggest it, that’s not the case. And shaping or managing your employer brand doesn’t just belong to HR, either. Because your employer brand has to portray your company’s employee experience accurately, everyone who has a hand in shaping that has a hand in cultivating the employer brand.

Download our new, FREE white paper: Discover Who Owns the Employer Brand? (Hint: It’s Not Just HR)

Once you understand the role everyone in your organization plays in cultivating the employer brand, you can begin making steps toward recruiting, hiring, onboarding and retaining the talent your business needs. Then, take some time to design an awesome (and hopefully comfortable) employer-branded shirt. Your workforce will be just dying to wear it.

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Posted in Blog, Featured, HR Management, Talent Acquisition

Amy Double

by Amy Double


Author Bio: Amy, a tenured professional in sales and marketing with over 10 years of experience, is dedicated to creating content focused on helping organizations achieve their business goals. As an experienced writer, Amy is committed to researching and blogging about topics that affect businesses across multiple industries, including manufacturing, hospitality and more. Outside of work, Amy enjoys reading, entertaining and spending time with family.

Financial Literacy for the Millennial Workforce

Dollars and Sense: Financial Literacy for the Millennial Workforce

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Budgeting, borrowing and debt management can be intimidating topics to even the most experienced professionals. But according to Harvard finance professor Mihir Desai, teaching financial literacy to today’s workforce — especially millennials — is important.

In our most recent episode of the HR Break Room podcast, Desai, author of The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return, discussed why and what employers can do about it. Here are three takeaways from that conversation.

Most millennials are in debt

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report stated that 81% of college-educated millennials surveyed said they had at least one long-term debt. In the same survey, 54% expressed concern about how they will pay back student loans, with only 27% actively seeking professional assistance to do so. These numbers indicate a growing need for financial education among today’s largest working generation, whose members witnessed the Great Recession a decade ago — the nation’s worst economic disaster since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Make your organization the go-to center

Offering financial education programs is an attractive perk to today’s top talent. Many of the brightest employees of this generation are eager to learn more about how they can better handle their finances. Whether they are paying back student loans, planning a wedding or preparing for their first child, understanding how to manage their income is going to be a huge priority them.

By offering employees workshops, lunch-and-learns or company retreats on the topic, you not only make your organization more attractive to talent, but you also win the loyalty of your workforce and build an even better employee experience.

Meet their needs head-on

Start by identifying the specific financial needs of your people. Hold department meetings or send surveys to learn their pressure points. Once you discover the most urgent areas, plan an event or create materials to address and assist those needs.

This could encompass a wide array of topics, including financial wellness, the power of savings through an employer, tax advantages, budgeting, and understanding 401(k) and retirement plans. Whether a series of seminars or a one-off class, any program geared toward their needs can generate outstanding loyalty.

As more young and in-debt employees enter the workforce, the more valuable and attractive such financial education will become. Offering your employees the opportunity to be financially more savvy than their peers could be the next step in ensuring your people are set up for long-term success.

For more about financial literacy for today’s workforce, read How Investing in Financial Literacy Improves Employee Retention and click here to listen to the HR Break Room podcast interview with Harvard professor Mihir Desai.

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Posted in Blog, Employee Experience, Featured, Millennials

Caleb Masters

by Caleb Masters


Author Bio: Caleb is the host of The HR Break Room and a Webinar and Podcast Producer at Paycom. With more than 5 years of experience as a published online writer and content producer, Caleb has produced dozens of podcasts and videos for multiple industries both local and online. Caleb continues to assist organizations creatively communicate their ideas and messages through researched talks, blog posts and new media. Outside of work, Caleb enjoys running, discussing movies and trying new local restaurants.

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