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Gender Diversity At The Top Of The Ladder: Will Hope Become Reality?

Universities are educating more and more women

Education is a major factor enhancing development and quality of life. As highlighted by the United Nations, it has become a priority in international development goals. In recent decades, the share of young adults (25-34 year-olds) reaching tertiary education [1] across all OECD countries increased to 44%, which is significantly higher than the 27% for their 55-64 year-old counterparts (OECD, 2019). In Switzerland, 53% of young adults had a college degree in 2019, while this figure was as low as 26% in 2000. In an increasingly competitive world, education works as one of the main signaling systems for individuals (if you manage to get a high enough GPA from a respected university, you are signaling to future employers that you might have some valuable skills). Yet education remains flush with inequity, and the increase in educational attainment is more pronounced for certain categories of the population.

For example, did you know that in almost all OECD countries, more women attend college than men? If you’ve had the chance to visit a university campus recently, you might have noticed. A concrete example is EHL, one of the leading hospitality management schools in the world based in Switzerland, where 59% of bachelor students are women. This figure is in line with recent OECD data showing that 57% of young adults with a university degree are women, versus 51% for 55-64 year-olds (OECD 2019, Education at a Glance Database).

Many female college grads don’t make it to the top of the ladder

Overall, statistics show that universities are educating more and more women, with most majoring in business administration studies [2]. Logically, the proportion of women in top management positions – especially finance-related ones – should reflect this general trend … but this is where the figures don’t exactly add up.

In the European Union in 2019, women accounted for 28% of publicly-listed companies’ board members and only 18% of executives, versus 15% and 10% in 2012 (Eurostat, 2019). In other words, the trend is positive, but most female college grads don’t make it to the top of the ladder. Moreover, significant heterogeneity remains across countries, and large changes occurred predominantly in countries that voted quotas into law. Finally, women have easier access to management positions in certain industries. For example, 33% of senior top managers in the hospitality industry in 2015 were women, slightly below education (41%) and healthcare (41%), which contrasts with construction and real estate (18%) and mining and quarrying (12%) (Statista).

Men and women make decisions differently

Things are starting to change, albeit slowly, and gender diversity has become a central concern from a social, political, and governance point of view. Given the current overall positive trend showing that women are more present in boards and executive committees, it is important to understand the consequences of having more women in high-skilled financial positions. Indeed, gender diversity might bring diverse experiences, perspectives and incentives into the discussion and improve the decisions that are made.

The literature documents that gender-based differences include behavioural aspects in terms of planning, decision-making, risk tolerance, and overconfidence (Ittonen and Peni, 2012; Khlif and Achek, 2017). Indeed, men and women make decisions differently (Lee et al., 2019) and female top managers tend to be more diligent and conservative, less overconfident, and more risk averse.

Much-needed research is on the way

To understand the consequences of increasing gender diversity in high-skilled financial/accounting positions, researchers from EHL and Grenoble Alpes University are currently working on a project investigating Swiss publicly-listed companies. The goal is to analyse how audit quality is impacted by the interplay of women in the auditor-auditee relationship. Descriptive data show that, between 2010 and 2017, the percentage of audit committees (a committee composed of board members in charge of the oversight of the financial reporting process) with at least one woman increased from 13% to 39%.

Regarding audit reports, it appears that they were signed by at least one female auditor in 26% of the cases in 2010, and 35% of the cases in 2017. These increasing trends are important factors that might impact the negotiation and the relationship between the auditor and the client, the auditing process itself, and the subsequent accounting information quality. For instance, several studies document that women audit partners provide higher quality audits in Finland, Sweden and the UK (Ittonen et al., 2013; Cameran et al., 2017), and that female directors are more effective in dealing with complex audit tasks and judgments (Chung and Monroe 2001; O’Donnell and Johnson 2001; Neidermeyer et al., 2003; Lee et al., 2019).

The results of the study will be released soon. For the moment, however, the figures tell us that women are becoming increasingly present in high-skilled financial functions although there is still a long way to go to reach parity.

[1]Tertiary education is defined by the World Bank as “including both public and private universities, colleges, technical training institutes, and vocational schools.”
[2]Most tertiary-educated people have a degree in business administration or law (25%), while less than 5% have a degree in information technology, natural sciences, mathematics, or statistics (OECD, 2019).
[3] Castell Research Project
[4]Data covering 31 US publicly-listed firms.

Source: Poretti, C. (2021) | Hospitality Net: https://www.hospitalitynet.org/opinion/4103539.html

Covid-19: Hoteliers Review Their Human Resources Strategies

Major hotel chains are reducing their workforce.  The business is performing 50% below normal levels in the European market and Asia Pacific, excluding China [iii] ; Marriott’s CEO Arne Sorenson said that the hotel business was running almost 75% below normal levels. This is the reason behind Marriott’s decision to cut off two-thirds of its 4,000 corporate employees at the Bethesda, Maryland head office, which means approximately two-thirds of corporate staff abroad will also be furloughed.

All the way down to the hotel operation level, the international brands are facing the critical issue of redundancy during this current COVID-19 crisis, regardless of each owner’s specific cash flow situation.

GAS HR

What are your underlying drivers for retention or downsizing strategies?

This article will navigate through the upsides and the downsides of these two strategies: Retention or downsizing. We will provide you with examples and reflections that you may find useful to evaluate your best actions.

The underlying variables of the post-COVID-19 business plan are related to economic and governmental policies, and they are not consistent worldwide. Therefore, in this document, we are not going to provide our opinion nor recommendations. Nevertheless, our hotel asset management team can provide best practices and adapted approaches to each particular hotel.

STRATEGY ONE: TO AVOID COVID-19 LAYOFFS

PRO “ Instilling Loyalty Among Your Staff”

The corporate value of international hotel brands includes the relevant element of employee caring. For example, Marriott states that they put people first and their value is “Take care of our associates and they will take care of our customers.” Besides the written contract, the hotel chains have built psychological contracts with their employee that create unwritten expectations in the employment relationship.

As such, the handling of employee-related issues would determine if the psychological contract is perceived as being kept or breached. The breach can severely damage the motivation and performance of the staff.

In this hyper-connected world, information about mishandling labour-related issues could be quickly propagated and damage the employer branding of the hotel chains. However, it could be an opportunity for hotel chains to show that they care for the well-being of their employees. For instance, Hilton has announced that it will team up with 30 leading companies to provide temporary jobs, in addition to the common practice of covering health benefits. Furthermore, Accor will allocate EUR 70 million in a fund to cover those employees without medical insurance or social security that present COVID-19 health issues and to support front-line healthcare professionals & non-profit organizations. The fund has been raised from the unpaid year 2019 dividends.

The determination to maintain a positive attitude towards staff-caring and experience throughout the crisis is crucial for the recovery phase. There is no doubt that the different hotel brands will restart the competition for the talents in the industry once the market starts to recover. Good employer branding can be a competitive edge. Besides employees do not forget when you support them during tough periods.

CON “Adding Substantial Pressure to Your Cash flow”

When occupancy is plummeting to single digits, cash flow management becomes the lifeline of nearly all the hotels. As labour costs, regardless of the hotel category, generally represent the largest component of operational expenses, multiple hotel chains including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Accor and MGM have announced furloughing schemes as a component of their COVID-19 responses in order to slash costs.  Furthermore, these hotel chains have also declared a different degree of pay cuts for the remaining employees. For example, CEOs put a halt to cash dividends and reduced salaries to senior executive teams by 50% [iv].

The cost-saving exercise should be conducted in a way that allows the hotel to recover quickly once the demand comes back. A salary cut policy is required at every level to survive; in other words, we all need to tighten our belts until the ramp-up stage.

The significance is that, if the termination of the employment contract is not an option, some businesses may be only left with one choice: a total shut down. When planning different financial scenarios, it is essential to manage the working capital for the short term and medium term. Owners need to start pro-active discussions with their banks or other investors to increase their debt service, (we have published another article specifically on this topic).

On 28th March, the Wujiang Hotel Chain, an emerging hotel chain that was formed under the investment of C-trip last year, was the first hotel chain to collapse in this crisis. Xiaodong Ma, the CEO of this hotel chain, has announced they will terminate all employment contracts by 30th April [v] . There is no doubt that the ban on unilateral termination of employment contracts in China during the lockdown has greatly contributed to the downfall of this one-year-old hotel chain [vi].

STRATEGY 2: TO EXECUTE COVID-19 LAYOFFS

PRO “Team optimisation and transformation”

The drastic drop in business has forced many hotels into a minimum level of operation. At the same time, the crisis has made it easier for the operators to identify who are the core staff and who are the weaker team players. We all know that layoffs are necessary and that they open up an opportunity to review the organization to optimize productivity, reduce long term costs and often improve the overall operation/guest experience.

In addition, the Human Resources department should optimize the workforce according to several variables that will impact the labour cost structure:

  • Adjust the business plan with several tentative re-opening dates.
  • Adapt the workforce to different ramp-up occupancy levels.
  • Reorganize F&B team to the gradual opening of the various outlets (the same applies to other operating departments).
  • The well-being of employees: Motivate, train (e.g., new hygiene procedures) and reassure the team after this challenging period.

CON “Consideration of recruitment & re-training costs, and reputation”

As China’s economy is slowly shifting towards recovery mode, many labour-intensive companies, including hotels, have found themselves short of workforce. The reason for this labour shortage varies; but one of the reasons was that some employees were reluctant to return for fear of infection.

Since 2016, many industry analysts have been expressing concerns over a labour shortage at all levels, especially in the operational departments. This phenomenon is highly detrimental to the industry, as hotels’ operation requires a set of expertise in every department. The labour shortage can be statistically proven by the increasing labour cost percentage at hotels.

Also, other than payroll, there is a key factor that justifies the value of raising the labour costs: Training. When hotel management executes a training plan for different levels of staff, the costs included in this are training materials, supplies, certification programs and instructor fees. A thorough training will have a direct positive impact on productivity, customer satisfaction, revenue growth through upselling and enhance employee satisfaction that leads to lower turnover.

It is logical to interpret similar situations that would occur in other sectors in the recovery phase; keeping the current staff may be a sound strategy for minimizing the cost of rehiring. As hotels in China rely on the domestic labour force, it can be estimated that the increase in hiring cost after the crisis can be even steeper for countries which are mainly relying on foreign labour. 

Last but not least, owners and operators should consider that downsizing has a reputational risk, especially if the crisis is short. Before making any decision, it is important to consider the following: What are the hotels core values? How do owners and operators want to be recognized in the market? How will this impact in the recovery period? 

The list of pros and cons of each strategy seems to be limitless and we are only listing out the general considerations. As such, please do not hesitate to share with us your thoughts and considerations on your staff retention and downsizing strategies.

Source: EHL Insight | https://hospitalityinsights.ehl.edu/hoteliers-human-resources-strategies

The Micro-Habits Of Natural Leaders

Organizations are transitioning from a hierarchy to a network; a shift from a formal command-and-control structure to self-organized networks. What does this mean for leadership?

In a network-based organization, leadership is personal leadership. Leading oneself gives one the ability to lead others. I refer to this progression as natural leadership, as opposed to the formal or titled leadership.

Groups form and dissolve continuously and spontaneously around natural leaders working on themes that are relevant to the organization. The CEO establishes the themes and sets the constraints while teams self-organize around natural leaders. Purpose is centralized while power and influence is decentralized.

All leadership is evolving to become personal leadership, which carries both credibility and influence. Leaders at the center of social change have always shown these traits, from Gandhi and Martin Luther King to Mother Teresa and Mohammed Yunus. People drawn to such leaders say: I believe you because I see that you have walked the path you are asking me to take. I am willing to put myself in the path of difficulty because I resonate with your vision and your authenticity.

The essential question is: How does one evolve into a natural leader?

My answer lies in what I call the micro-habits of natural leadership: small, simple actions done consistently over long periods of time, which create significant positive change in you and also have a positive impact on others.

While I am guilty of not having done this all the time, I have learned what truly inspires others about your leadership is the grit and consistency to conquer your own instincts. Here are a few simple micro-habits I follow:

Walk for ONE hour every day: Sitting is the new smoking. The more you sit, the faster you age. Today the second-most common reason for visiting a doctor (the common cold comes first) is lower back pain. If you sit for six hours every day for 10-20 years, you lose seven years of healthy life. I aim for work-life integration rather than work-life balance. While I do not go to the gym, I build in an hour of walking into my schedules by having walking meetings, especially right after lunch. 

Drink ONE glass of water (with lemon) first thing in the morning: One of the simple habits is to drink one glass of warm water first thing in the morning, with a squeeze of lemon. Science tells us that although the lemon water is acidic by nature, by the time it hits the stomach it turns the environment of the stomach alkaline, which reduces acidity and heartburn.

ONE act of kindness every day: People are healed by gratitude. Whether it is helping someone cross the road or stopping to ask someone how they are and genuinely listening, research shows that giving helps the giver more than the receiver. The phenomenon termed ‘the helper’s high’ has mysterious healing powers as well.  Go-getter is good, go-giver is better. 

Make ONE introduction a week: Adam Grant in his book Give and Take, talks about making introductions – the simplest but most powerful form of giving. I have tried to maintain the habit of making one meaningful introduction a week. The art is to think about two people who should meet but have not, connect them, and get out of the way without expecting anything in return. 

Write ONE hand-written card every week: In a digital world, the power of the written word has increasing value. There is a capture and transfer of human energy that only happens when you write. I keep a stack of blank cards with me all the time, so that I am able to spontaneously write a short note of appreciation.

Mentor ONE person: Find one person in more difficult circumstances than you are and offer help with your experience rather than money. You will be surprised by how much the act of mentoring changes you. Just one act may not be helpful but doing one small act for a long period to the same person can change a life. 

Read ONE book a week; write ONE blog a month; teach ONE class a year: This is three micro-habits put together, but start where it makes sense for you. Reading even 20 minutes a day allows you to read around 20 books a year. Writing a blog is an excellent way to refine your own thinking about a topic that interests you. Teaching not only helps you improve your own thinking and learning but exposes you to your own biases. 

Sleep is sacred: It is important to sleep the same eight hours every night; if you cut it to six, the effect is same as two days of non-sleep. We can actually increase our performance by 29% just by sleeping well. 

Start with a micro habit so small that it cannot fail, and then do it for 66 days (it takes anywhere between 21 to 66 days, depending on the person, for an action to become a habit). 

Life is a dance between making it happen and letting it happen. So, do small things repeatedly and leave the rest to the universe. You will be surprised by the change.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2019/11/15/the-micro-habits-of-natural-leaders/#119055f4da3a

Emotional intelligence: Is EQ the X-Factor that makes successful leaders in the workplace?

Consider a person who strongly believes in “fighting for peace,” who under normal conditions behaves moderately, even kindly. They may possibly come to brawl with someone who threatens or challenges their ideology of peace. The reason for their strong reaction is perhaps that they cannot separate themselves from emotions and is heavily invested in their belief in peace.

The emotional dimensions they may not be able to observe are perhaps of the biases with their notion or ideology, limiting beliefs and strong feelings. These emotions drive their feelings, resulting in their behavior and the way one communicates with themselves and others. This unyielding attitude forms a big barrier in one’s personal and professional development and growth.  

Such beliefs are also the mental impressions that are left by situations, thoughts, actions, and intents which an individual has experienced or learned in the past. These are the sort of psychological imprints that are below the level of normal consciousness and are the root of our impulsive behavior. 

When you think of a ‘great leader’, who comes to your mind? 

More often than not, it is someone who is trustworthy and honest, listens to the team, makes informed decisions, connects and collaborates, make others feel comfortable. Someone who rarely loses their cool whatever the problems be. 

These are all qualities of someone with a high quotient of emotional intelligence.   

That’s why emotional intelligence is such an important skill, as you need to tune into your own emotions to tune your performance. The saying goes, “emotions drive people and people drive performance”.

Emotional intelligence is also known as EI or EQ is one of the most popular and most researched psychological hypotheses of the 21st century. But it isn’t a new subject at all. Old Indian scriptures written 4,000 years ago such as the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagwat Gita have widely covered this psychological aspect of humans. 

Thanks to scholars such as Peter Solovey and John Mayer, Dr Daniel Goleman, Dr Richard Davidson, Dr Richard Boyatzis among many others, who have made Emotional Intelligence easily understood by almost everyone today. 

“When I wrote about Emotional Intelligence across various forums and discussions there is universality about the message that we can be self-aware, that we can manage our inner lives better when we come from a poised, calm, centered place and relate to other people with empathy, with compassion. The first part — the fundamental part — of emotional intelligence is self-awareness, and I think mindfulness is applied self- awareness,” said Dr Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, on its importance. Dr Goleman, who has spent two years in India studying mindfulness, resided in McLeodganj during his India stay. 

“During my stay at McLeodganj where Dalai Lama lives, I was studying mindfulness as a practice and also theoretically because I realised there were ancient psychologies in India that understood the importance of mindfulness as the ability for us to shape our mind and not just to be passive victims of how our circumstances shape us. When I tried to bring it back to the west it’s taken a while to take off and I think there’s hard evidence base that has helped it spread so effectively,” Goleman said.   

Emotional Quotient (EQ) vs Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

Most of us are familiar with Intelligence Quotient (IQ), which is primarily associated with our logical reasoning, ability to memorise information and retrieve items from our memory. On the other hand, Emotional intelligence (EI) deepens our empathy, our ability to sense the feelings of others.

In the past, it was thought that people with a higher IQ would outperform people with a lower IQ. More recently, thousands of research papers have shown that people with higher EQ outperform in life and it contributes as a dominant factor for success.  

In my professional career of the past 30 years, I have come across many situations where leaders/managers with high IQ, technological skills and experience fail to perform when promoted to a senior leadership positions or manage bigger teams. On the other hand leaders/managers with poise, smoothly managing most complex social situations without losing their control and make people comfortable in their presence tends to lead better.  

So, what is more important – EQ or IQ? A good balance of both brings the best results for organisational performance, but it is now proven that more often it is the soft skills of knowing how to treat people that are remembered by others, rather than a particular level of intelligence. 

Emotional Intelligence has grown popular in organisations — why? 

Organisations realised that having employees and leaders with higher emotional intelligence is essential for success. Eventually, who is more likely to succeed – a leader who screams and yells at their team when situations are hot and he’s under stress, or a leader who stays in control, and calmly assesses the situation?

In fact, recruiters today rely on the value of EQ as one of the key indicators for a person’s performance, teamwork, resilience, and longevity for the position. That’s one of the biggest reasons for wide acceptance of Emotional Intelligence as a major factor facilitating to superior educational and professional performance.

Why do organizations want leaders with high EQ?

We are emotional creatures who often make decisions and respond to stimuli based on our emotions. As a result, our ability to grow in EQ has an enormous impact on managing our relationships, decision making, and identifying opportunities. Emotionally Intelligent leadership works through emotions where they use this skill to positively drive emotions in teams and organisations. These positive emotions resonate in organisational culture bringing out the best performance and holistic wellbeing for everyone.

Teamwork, critical thinking, emotional balance, authenticity with compassion and empathy are few of those traits which play an important role in the success of a good leader in today’s time. Compassion, empathy combined with other social skills are equally important aspects to look for in a leader. He who lacks an aptitude to understand himself and at the same time is unable to recognize team emotions can never produce positive results.

Organisations now look for employing a workforce with high Emotional Intelligence thus enabling them to achieve excellence rather than staying mediocre. Emotional intelligence offers a range of significant benefits for organisations:

Increased sales
Greater employee retention
A happy and productive workforce 
Enhanced customer service
Effective interpersonal relationships
Higher morale and easy working environment 
Better communication
Unique business branding

What makes up Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence is a skill that allows us to access emotional data in two ways:

  1. Inside World (Intrapersonal): Recognise, understand and manage our own emotions
  2. Outside World (Intrapersonal) : Recognise, understand and influence the emotions of others

Pillars of emotional intelligence 

Four specific character traits that define our level of Emotional Intelligence are Self Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness and Relationship Management :

Self-awareness/emotional self-awareness

Self-awareness is the first step in the journey towards emotional intelligence. It’s about paying attention to our own self, observing our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, habits, reactions and  behaviour.  

Self-management

Here we learn to recognise and regulate feelings, manage the way in which we communicate those feelings and emotions to others. The ability to keep disruptive emotions and impulses in check and maintain our effectiveness under stressful or hostile conditions is an essential part of self-management. It’s also an ability to recognise, generate and use emotions in cognitive tasks such as problem solving and creativity.  

Social awareness

Social awareness is an ability to read and understand emotions and feelings of others. It manifests three main human abilities: empathy, organisational awareness and service orientation.These abilities give people an awareness and sensitivity toward others’ emotions, needs and concerns. This skill comes with an additional ability where one can read nonverbal cues and facial expressions helping build a genuine understanding and true compassion for others that promotes to trustworthy relationships. 

It is even more important in profession wherever high human interactions are needed such as judges, lawyers, police,doctors, armed forces, etc.

Recently, I was training 55 young and senior police officers at one of the largest Police training Academy in the country. They showed great improvement in their leadership skills and emotional awareness after four days of back to back Emotional Intelligence training.

I have personally experienced that leaders with this sensitivity perform far superior than others and they play a critical role in organisational team performance with greater understanding and genuine compassion for others. 

Relationship management

Our failure or success depends when we collaborate and cooperate with others, hence relationship management plays an extremely important role in achieving personal and professional success.Relationship Management is one of the most critical social skills and draws a more intricate picture. Effectiveness of our relationships fulcrums on our ability to understand and fine-tune ourselves towards the emotions of other people. Our inability to control our emotional outbursts or lack of empathy towards others, reduces our chances for an effective relationships. As an effective leader, you will need to cultivate emotional ability to impact or convince people, foster long term support, be able to manage conflicts, find solutions and inspire teams. One needs to cultivate the following skills in order to build an effective relationship management. 

The good news is that Emotional Intelligence is like a muscle and with training it can be built and enhanced gradually. Emotional Intelligence and mindfulness improve your ability to lead and manage our own self and others more effectively to live a healthy, progressive and joyful life. 

Source: https://www.firstpost.com/tech/science/emotional-intelligence-is-eq-the-x-factor-that-makes-successful-leaders-in-the-workplace-7472431.html

How Human Resource Leaders Can Create and Maintain Better Employee Experiences

In our highly competitive and rapidly changing business environment, a company’s ability to disrupt and lead rests on its talent. But the workforce – and the way we work – also is rapidly changing, creating a new demand for leaders to shift their mindset from a focus on process to a focus on people.

In this new reality, in which talent is key to competitive advantage, every leader needs to think differently about their role in creating and maintaining employee experiences. Human resources executives can play a critical role here, helping build operating models that use enabling technologies to create an environment in which workers are treated like critical drivers of value.

The talent picture is complex as organizations respond to workforce pressures on four main fronts:

Diversifying workforce demographics. For the first time, corporations need to manage the presence of up to five distinct generational groups in the workforce, each with its own wants, needs, and motivators. These divergent requirements complicate the process of shaping company culture and delivering on the employee value proposition (EVP).

The rise of contingent labor. According to KPMG’s 2018 CEO Outlook survey, almost all companies in the U.S. (99%) use a contingent workforce in some capacity. Increasing use of contingent and “gig” workers complicates workforce planning, creating many possible ways to achieve an optimal workforce size, shape, or composition.

The shift to a consumer mindset. Employees are increasingly “shopping” for jobs, seeking tailored employment experiences that align with their personal goals and values. This mindset not only changes talent attraction and hiring strategies, it also increases the need for an employment experience that delivers a sense of deeper purpose and fulfillment.

Intelligent automation in the workplace. Automation technologies already have a deep impact on talent strategies. In addition to increasing productivity and streamlining time-consuming manual work, automation impacts workflows, increases employee reskilling requirements, and creates demand for new roles and new technical specializations.

In this evolving workplace, creating the right employee experience can help organizations attract and retain high-value employees who deliver competitive advantage. In these enhanced environments, these employees also can work more innovatively and more productively.

Research shows organizations with specific employee experience programs and strategies report up to three times higher profit growth. Part of this growth is due to lower operating margins stemming from employees being more innovative in how they work, but lower employee turnover also contributes measurable savings.

Creating this new kind of employee experience demands that leaders look at operations through a customer experience lens. This must be built on assessments and analysis, not just company programs, but also the wants and needs of each employee from their career, their workplace, and their employer. From there, the company can begin to shape tailored experiences for a multi-generational workforce with many different employee types.

And leaders can’t be limited to just insights from annual performance reviews or opinion services: They need to keep a finger on the pulse of the current employee experience. What do workers want across their digital, social, and environmental experiences? Is your organization meeting those needs?

Mechanisms and technology that allow for real-time feedback and sentiment analysis can ensure that workers feel heard and allow the organization to respond swiftly in the moments that matter. This feedback can also provide opportunities to iterate on the delivered experience based on worker responses and fill the gaps in the EVP.

Enhancing employee experiences means placing a greater emphasis on the structural elements that shape that work and thus shape the employees’ day-to-day experiences within the organization. Employees need to be surrounded by a platform of human-centered services that are provided or supported by HR. This means that instead of focusing on process, the HR organization of the future will be more like a platform or service provider that meets the needs of different “internal customers” or worker groups in many different ways.

All of these elements must come together in order to support transformation.

For instance, KPMG recently worked with a company in which fierce competition from emerging fintech firms put this long-standing, multinational financial services company under intense pressure to modernize. To create a business capable of meeting evolving customer expectations and competing in the digital world, they needed to make significant changes to their workforce, technology, and culture. The people agenda would drive this change, but they also needed access to in-depth insights into the future of the finance industry and the contribution of technology to business strategy.

The firm’s current HR information system required a large IT team to support, run, and customize it, with associated cost implications. This, together with many broader challenges in human capital management, meant that millions of dollars were exiting their business. They needed to move from a system that performed core HR administration to one that helped them drive talent and performance. They also needed to modernize their operations through better processes and self-service.

A key consideration was whether to implement a new HR platform. KPMG helped shape the firm’s HR transformation strategy, vision, and road map, utilizing pre-configured tools, templates, transformation enablers, and methodologies from KPMG Powered Enterprise. This helped manage risk, provide clear scope, and support business value.

Today, the firm better enables their workforce and leaders to drive the change necessary to become a modern financial services organization.

In this digital age, with the emerging and increasingly fierce war for talent and skills, creating an employee experience that differentiates employers and actually retains talent will be critical. Traditional, task-focused workplace cultures are a significant barrier to true digital transformation. Addressing and quickly closing the employee experience gap needs to be a business priority for every leader today. Instead of making transformation a goal, make it a way of business.

Source: https://hbr.org/sponsored/2019/10/how-human-resource-leaders-can-create-and-maintain-better-employee-experiences

New program to boost qualified human resources in industry

The Industry and Technology Ministry continues to back the academy-industry cooperation it launched last year by announcing a new industrial doctorate program.

According to a ministry statement released Monday, monthly scholarships of TL 4,500 will be provided to doctoral students accepted in the program, aiming to increase qualified human resources in the industry.

Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said university-industry cooperation is vital for countries to become more competitive.

He noted that the program was being conducted as an integral part of Turkey’s “National Technology Movement” vision, adding that the government wanted to recruit qualified academic staff in industrial sectors.

As part of the program, 75% of accepted students will be funded by Turkey’s Scientific and Technological Research Council (TÜBİTAK), while the remaining will be met by private organizations.

If doctoral students meet the criteria of academic success determined by TÜBİTAK, they will continue to work abroad for six months.

Since its launch last year, the program drew a lot of attention from universities and industrial organizations. It has so far accepted a total of 517 doctoral students.

Source: https://www.dailysabah.com/business/2019/10/15/new-program-to-boost-qualified-human-resources-in-industry

Building Real Relationships To Empower Female Leaders

The Fellows Program selects top-performing women from around the world in an effort to connect them to each other, as well as other female executives and members of the IWF, through mentorship, education, and the execution of a personal legacy project. The customized leadership training includes two week-long executive educational modules at the Harvard Business School and INSEAD designed specifically for female leaders. 

“The program with the IWF makes you collaborate together so quickly and so intensely, that I guarantee that even if I don’t see any of these women in three years, I will be able to pick up the phone and say that I need their advice, and the conversation will flow like we saw each other just yesterday,” Laurier said. 

The members of the current cohort of IWF fellows hail from 12 different nations, including the United States, Turkey, and Jamaica. Yet, the group’s international character has not prevented them from forming a connection that transcends their cultural differences. 

“To be with other women in this same position, there is a sisterhood of sorts that develops,” de Oliveira said. “We support each other a lot because we see that we face the same barriers everywhere in the world.”

These sincere partnerships are invaluable to the women in both their professional and personal lives. Laurier feels that it is imperative to work at relationships by being curious and honest—a belief that the IWF’s mentorship component has only reinforced.   

“It’s so important to build real relationships with people that are going to want to be generous toward you and who you will be connected with,” Laurier explained. “And eventually you’ll be able to help them too and return that favour. But it’s not a simple exchange, it’s a relationship that you invest in.”

De Oliveira also believes in the transcendental power of meaningful relationships in the workplace. Her vision of leadership contrasts leading and managing as having two distinct effects on employees: managing will get the work done, but leading will push people to new heights. She herself has come to realize how much of an effect she can have by broadening her horizons beyond pure productivity.

“This program has made me realize that it’s important to focus not just on work but also to leverage the capital that you gain from your work to advance social causes like diversity,” de Oliveira mused. 

The legacy project that each fellow completes advances the social agenda that the women’s leadership can contribute to. De Oliveira is working with a professor from her alma mater, the École Polytechnique de Montréal, to encourage more women to join the university as leaders and instructors. 

“The beauty of diversity is to bring something new to the table,” de Oliveira elaborated. “What we want to see is different generations, cultures, and genders. That’s when you get the most out of a group, but it can be hard to put together that kind of team. That’s why the legacy project is about using our social capital and power to contribute to society in some way.”

While the two participants appreciate the bond that the program fostered among its participants, they found that the women-only environment also illuminated the necessity for gender diversity in the workplace. 

“We often found ourselves thinking we need the perspective of the men here,” she said. “A workplace with just men or just women doesn’t reach the right equilibrium. Men are typically better risk-takers, but they go too fast. Women will rely on facts. So, what you need is someone who is able to say, ‘let’s do this,’ but also someone who is able to take the time and consider the blind spots of a decision. That’s what makes a good team.”

Despite their plentiful careers, both Laurier and de Oliveira remain humbled by the opportunity to participate in the fellowship. When touring the Harvard and INSEAD campuses, Laurier recorded videos to send to her family as a thank you for enabling her to make it to two of the world’s best business schools. 

“If you stop pinching yourself in life, that’s when you stop being a good leader,” Laurier said. “You can’t take anything for granted. Leadership positions are filled with opportunities and you have to be grateful for that, always.”

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/karlmoore/2019/09/27/building-real-relationships-to-empower-female-leaders/#5d65b51e3151

The Power of a Clear Leadership Narrative

Great leaders build amazing communities. They do so in a variety of ways and over an extended period of time. One of the most effective tools to accomplish that is to shape and articulate powerful narratives of what’s possible. Effective leaders share stories about what great leadership looks and feels like when individuals come together as teams, and teams come together as communities, with a unifying sense of purpose and collective ambition. 

This insight has emerged from both survey data and dozens of C-suite-level interviews as part of a major global study, Future of Leadership in the Digital Economy, that MIT Sloan Management Reviewis conducting with Cognizant. In this new world of work, where being connected and resilient are of paramount importance, 82% of our global survey respondents and virtually all of those interviewed indicated that an individual in the digital world would need a certain level of digital savviness to be an effective leader. Yet, when asked what skill or behavior was the mostimportant to leadership effectiveness, the answer was being able to articulate a clear sense of purpose, vision, and strategy. What at first seems old is new again: Clarity of communication in a hyper-speed world is a key difference maker in the eyes of current managers and leaders from around the world.

To gain a better feeling of the texture that forms the fabric of this insight, consider this comment from Susan Sobbott, former president of American Express Global Commercial Services: “In the digital economy, physical presence can’t be mandatory to be an effective leader. You have to be able to lead people from many different cultures, in many different locations, and often with imperfect information because things are moving so fast,” she says. Her simple and elegant solution to this decades-old challenge reflects the power of a clear leadership narrative. “You have to be able to see a story emerging and to articulate that story in a way that has meaning and inspiration for a wide range of people. You have to convey your passion and beliefs through a powerful narrative.”

Why Finding Your Leadership Narrative Is Important

We analyzed our survey responses from more than 120 countries and conducted a sentiment analysis and heat-mapping exercise to identify the most important leadership behaviors in this new economy. The traits that emerged were authenticity, transparency, trust, inspiration, the ability to connect and invest in others, analytical capability, curiosity, and courage, among others. Few would argue that these behaviors and attributes are necessary, yet by themselves, standing independently, without the context needed to create meaning or catalyze change, they run the risk of being considered buzzwords. Stories help prevent that from happening, and that’s where the power of creating your leadership narrative comes into play. Developing a powerful narrative demands that you, the leader, take a stand on what you believe in, what you are about, and what impact you hope to create as you set out to form teams and build communities. The leader behaviors and attributes listed earlier become your means of communicating to others who you are, as well as your expectations for others concerning how you will lead together in your organization. It’s about finding and sharing your voice.

In a recent interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, late-night comedian Stephen Colbert talked about his search to “find his show.” For months his show struggled in the ratings, not because it lacked comedic appeal or impact, but because it had no thesis or arc that held it together. Once he and his writing team took a stand on what they believed in and followed through on those beliefs transparently, authentically, and courageously, Colbert believes they found their show, and since then he has commanded the No. 1 slot in the ratings. To find your personal leadership narrative, you need to figure out what great leadership means to you. David Schmittlein, dean of MIT’s Sloan School of Management, made a similar point while being interviewed for this study. “A great leader must be willing and able to display the courage it sometimes takes to stand by well-founded convictions — to take a stand on a decision that may be unpopular,” Schmittlein states. “It is about finding your narrative — what you believe in — and not being a willow in the wind. A well-thought-out leadership narrative helps create meaning and motivation for others.”

How we work is changing, but why we work and what we hope to achieve through our work remain largely the same. We want to be part of something larger, something special, something that helps make this world we live in a better place. Your leadership narrative can motivate others in important ways. Finding your narrative — one that expresses authentically, transparently, and courageously what you believe in as a leader, what you are about, and indeed what you are willing to fight for — will let you begin to unite individuals into teams, and teams into amazing communities.

Source: https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/the-power-of-a-clear-leadership-narrative/

Resume design: 5 creative ways to improve yours

IT leaders know how little time a hiring manager has to spend skimming CVs when filling a role. The same rule of thumb applies to your own resume. “Let’s face it, your resume is going to get no more than about 30 seconds of the reviewer’s time on the initial pass,” says Stephen Van Vreede, a resume writer and career adviser for IT executives, “so make it count. Ensure that they read the information on your resume that matters most for the role in question.”

That means IT leaders should not only carefully consider the information they include in their resume but also how they deliver that information. That’s where design comes in. Smart use of options like color, typeface, shading, or even infographics can catch the attention of a resume reader and get them to engage longer with the document.

So you’re not an artist? No problem. The Enterprisers Project talked to some IT resume and career experts about some simple but effectual design tips to help your resume stand out in the stack.

1. Inject some color

One measured way to add some color to a resume is with borders or shading. “IT leaders and people hiring IT leaders do not like things to be really different, typically, but using subtle borders and shading functions for color that can help move the eye through the document more easily is recommended,” says Lisa Rangel, founder of resume writing and job search consultancy Chameleon Resumes. “A subtle use of color can make one’s resume pop alongside others.”

IT leaders might even consider using a colored font in moderation. “Evidence suggests that although executives don’t always like resumes with color, they actually spend about twice as long reviewing resumes that use color professionally,” Van Vreede says. “The key here is to be strategic and consistent about when and where the colored font is used. I suggest sticking with blue.”

2. Find a new font

Sure, you probably know to avoid the aptly named Comic Sans, but your CV can also get lost in a sea of Times New Roman. “Make your resume visually distinctive by avoiding overused fonts,” says Charlotte Weeks, career coach and past president of The National Resume Writers’ Association. “Some great alternatives are Tahoma and Verdana.”

3. Be bold

Wanda Kiser, president and CEO of Elite Resume Writing, advises her clients to include a branding statement near the top of their resume that defines their unique value and signature strengths. Van Vreede suggests using bold fonts to highlight key points in the resume that define that brand and help them jump out. Another option is to embolden keywords or core competencies in a list of accomplishments, says Kiser.

4. Chart your wins

The use of an infographic or two will grab attention – and more importantly, communicate the business value IT leaders can deliver. “Try the use of a chart or graph to depict a financial win – the implementation of an application that saved money or increased productivity, for example – to convey a subliminal impression of being an overall business leader and not just an IT person,” suggests Rangel.

5. But try to stick to two pages

What about the bottom-line design question: How many pages should you use? 

“You only have a minute – or sometimes just a few seconds – to stand apart from the competition,” says Kelly Doyle, managing director at Heller Search Associates, a recruiting firm specializing in CIOs, CTOs, CISOs, and other senior technology executives. “So keep it easy to read and to the point.”

For those with less than a decade of experience, a one-page resume will probably work. Three pages is the absolute max. For most IT leaders, a two-pager equals the sweet spot, says Rangel.

By: Stephanie Overby – Source: https://enterprisersproject.com/article/2019/5/resume-design-5-tips

Tourism employees demand 320% salary increase

Employees in the Tourism industry are demanding a 320% salary increase iin the ongoing salary negotiations in Harare.

Clement Mukwasi‚ the president of the Employers Association for Tourism and Safari Operators said the negotiations are moving towards a deadlock.

“Salary negotiations for the tourism industry underway in Harare . What do the employees representatives want ? A 320% increase,” Mukwasi said. “The employers have offered an inflation based adjustment as a cost of living allowance. These two are leading towards a deadlock.”

Analysts have argued that the tourism companies should pay the employees in forex since they charge most of their services in forex. 

In March  the tourism companies awarded their employees a 55% cost of living adjustment across the board, after the National Employment Council (Nec) for the tourism sector signed a collective bargaining agreement.

“Employees and Nec settled for 55% for all sectors and this will run from March 1 to June 30. Within that period, we will be monitoring performance of the economy and see whether we would adjust the allowance upwards or downwards, “Mkwasi told the media then.

Source: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-business-sc-local-byo-162700.html