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Engaging Minds and Hearts- The way forward

This blog post has been written by Amer Haleem, Country Manager, Productized Services, Hay Group India

Over the past few week, I have spoken at length about the five crucial challenges that businesses are likely to face in the next 15 years. Based on our extensive research, I have also tried to provide some solutions for organizations to keep up with these challenges and ensure that your workforce stays switched on! If I had to sum up the basic solution to all these challenges in one word, it would be ‘engagement’. ‘Engaging hearts and minds’ is the only way forward to ensure success. So, here are some quick takeaways to deal with each of these challenges. When in doubt, just refer to this and hopefully you’ll be able to chart a way forward towards engaging your employees.

Engaging Hearts and Minds: Preparing for a changing world – Ben Hubbard from Hay Group on Vimeo.

Transparency

Fact: Organizations need to be transparent- open and honest about how they reward, manage and develop their people

Quick takeaways

  • Assign responsibility for transparency
  • Work with reward colleagues to compare your pay scales
  • Develop a clear reward proposition
  • Create career paths that allow people to reach their potential
  • Review your performance management framework
  • Use your employee survey
  • Monitor external forums in addition to internal sources like the employee survey
  • Establish and monitor real-time, internal feedback channels
  • Assess your leaders’ internal communications

Collaboration

Fact: So here’s the thing. Globalization, coupled with digitization, equals quick change. Keeping up with that implies ‘never-seen-before’ levels of collaboration.

Quick takeaways

  • Embed digital tools to help people work together more effectively
  • Establish formal cross-company teams
  • Encourage communities
  • Consider introducing buddying and mentoring schemes
  • Encourage two-way knowledge sharing between older and younger generations
  • Analyse your employee survey results
  • Make sure you are asking the right questions in your survey
  • Formalize each individual’s role in making collaboration happen, whatever the level
  • Reward and recognize collaborative behaviour
  • Avoid celebrating alpha-type personalities who go all out to beat their targets
  • Make your top team lead by example

Agility

Fact: They say that the only constant is change and this stands to be true, even in the context of the present fluid business environment. An engaged workforce makes an organization agile.

Quick takeaways

  • Reinforce the need for managers to provide ongoing training for their teams
  • Support and promote decision-making at all levels
  • Conduct regular pulse surveys alongside your annual employee survey
  • Assess your communications strategy around change and future company vision and goals
  • Analyze your structure for unnecessary approval layers that delay decision-making
  • Assess where digital tools can speed up decision-making and problem-solving

Innovation

Fact: The biggest mistake an organization can make at this point is to believe that innovation is limited to the job profile of R&D

Quick takeaways

  • Generate a culture of innovation
  • Assess your leaders’ styles
  • Create clarity
  • Reward and recognize innovation
  • Foster collaboration
  • Bring new ideas and thinking into the organization
  • Make innovation part of your recruitment strategy
  • Signal that the business supports risk-taking
  • Formalize experimentation
  • Give employees opportunities to listen to and understand customers
  • Encourage innovative thinking from the outset
  • Enable people to be inventive
  • Expand people’s horizon

Productivity

Fact: Focus on innovation, but don’t end up neglecting productivity. Organizations need to focus on operations and ensure that their employees are productive.

Quick takeaways

  • Stay focused- don’t take on all challenges at once
  • Be fair- promote a sense of equality through clear communication
  • Guard against complacency- Avoid the trap of routines
  • Define authority- Clarify employees’ decision- making responsibilities
  • Draw lines of responsibility- Specify accountabilities
  • Emphasize the importance of well-being
  • Assess opportunities for digital tools to increase productivity
  • Don’t be afraid to make bold organizational decisions

It seems like a long to-do list and it won’t be easy to strike the right balance. But, since these are the key challenges of the future- the right time to start paying attention to them is now!

Interested in keeping your workforce engaged and enabled? We now bring to you a very exciting offering. Download our ‘Engaging hearts & minds’ report now to avail the offer.

Get our e-Report Now >>

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Engaging Minds and Hearts- Innovation must take center stage

This blog post has been written by Amer Haleem, Country Manager, Productized Services, Hay Group India

Everything is evolving. Fact established already. So, how can any organization believe that ideas can remain stationary? As the business environment evolves quickly, companies will have to focus on keeping up with this quick pace. Technological change and globalization will only add pressure to think rapidly and think afresh. I have spoken about the six big megatrends that are changing the global business environment and through this series of blogs, I try and provide a few solutions.

Amongst the five major challenges that organizations are bound to face in the next 15 years, we’ve already spoken about collaboration, transparency and agility. As you may have guessed from how I started this post, the focus today is on innovation. But, before I dwell on that further, I’ll once again state the obvious- the solutions to most of these challenges is directly linked to ensuring your workforce stays engaged and enabled.

So to cut to the chase, the biggest mistake an organization can make at this point is to believe that innovation is limited to the job profile of R&D. Ideas are not limited to a specific job function and companies have to ensure that their employees know that. We believe that innovation needs to be part of an organization’s work culture and people have to be engaged to adapt to this environment. It is therefore absolutely mandatory for employers to be committed to innovation and keep their talent engaged. Be it involving employees in innovative projects or allowing them to think without hesitance- organizations need to ensure that their people never stop thinking.

Now, a reality check. Where do we stand at present? Hay Group’s research reveals some worrying facts.

Employees aren’t convinced that their companies are innovative enough when it comes to improving how work is done. Almost half (44 percent) do not rate their organization highly for using new technologies and creative approaches to enhance performance. More still (47 percent) feel their ideas aren’t put into practice. Therefore, it’s not surprising that almost two fifths (39 percent) of workers say their company isn’t innovative when it comes to developing new products and services.

It’s not a pretty picture and this is clearly a crucial challenge that companies will face in the next 15 years. So, what can you do to ensure that innovation is deeply embedded into your organization’s core values? Based on our research, here is a glimpse into some of the measures that you can take to keep up:-

  • Generate a culture of innovation
  • Assess your leaders’ styles
  • Create clarity
  • Reward and recognize innovation
  • Foster collaboration
  • Bring new ideas and thinking into the organization
  • Make innovation part of your recruitment strategy
  • Signal that the business supports risk-taking
  • Formalize experimentation
  • Give employees opportunities to listen to and understand customers
  • Encourage innovative thinking from the outset
  • Enable people to be inventive
  • Expand people’s horizon

It seems like a long to-do list. But, you can start with something as simple as putting teams together and giving them the time and the space to come up with innovative solutions to the problems they face. Innovation is absolutely mandatory for success and neglecting its significance can spell disaster for organizations.

Interested in keeping your workforce engaged and enabled? We now bring to you a very exciting offering. Download our ‘Engaging hearts & minds’ report now to avail the offer. 

Get our e-Report Now >>

Engaging Minds and Hearts- The need for ‘Big Collaboration’

This blog post has been written by Amer Haleem, Country Manager, Productized Services, Hay Group India

In my last post, I spoke about the first big challenge in achieving and maintaining engagement- Transparency. Just to give you a quick recap- the global business environment is evolving at an extremely rapid pace and there are six megatrends that are causing this change. To be successful, organizations have to keep up with this change and use it to optimize their growth. To cut to the chase, our new research identifies five key challenges that businesses will be facing over the next fifteen years:-

  • Collaboration
  • Agility
  • Transparency
  • Innovation
  • Productivity

Now that I’ve provided you with the mandatory brief introduction, I’m going to move on to the ‘collaboration’ megatrend and provide you with some quick tips to deal with this challenge.

The collaboration challenge

So here’s the thing. Globalization, coupled with digitization, equals quick change. Keeping up with that implies ‘never-seen-before’ levels of collaboration. Yes, we always knew that working together as a team is significant for success. However, now the process has to be even quicker and more seamless. ‘Big collaboration’ refers to bringing together teams, functions and organizations, as businesses look out to find solutions to the complexities that they face in the current work environment.  In this context, it is absolutely mandatory to involve the individual in the decision-making process.

So, we know that the ideal scenario is one where an organization establishes the right culture, platforms and processes and equips its people with the right skills to cooperate with one another. But, where do we stand at present? Close to half (44 percent) of employees say their teams aren’t adequately supported by colleagues elsewhere in the business and almost as many (43 percent) are critical of communication between departments. In fact, two in five (40 percent) do not feel that there’s a cooperative culture at their organization.

Now that the facts are in place, and they aren’t very optimistic, here are some solutions. A quick check list of some things that you can do to keep up with your workforce’s expectation:-

  • Embed digital tools to help people work together more effectively
  • Establish formal cross-company teams
  • Encourage communities
  • Consider introducing buddying and mentoring schemes
  • Encourage two-way knowledge sharing between older and younger generations
  • Analyse your employee survey results
  • Make sure you are asking the right questions in your survey
  • Formalize each individual’s role in making collaboration happen, whatever the level
  • Reward and recognize collaborative behaviour
  • Avoid celebrating alpha-type personalities who go all out to beat their targets
  • Make your top team lead by example

It’s a long list of measures and we know that it’s no easy task to put them in place. But, since this is one of the key challenges of the future- the right time to start is now!

To know more about these key megatrends and ways to deal with them, download our new e-report- Engaging Hearts and Minds. 

Get our e-Report Now >>