5 Secrets To Ace Project Manager Training

5 Secrets To Ace Project Manager Training

You’ve poured your heart and soul into building a dream team. You’ve recruited talented individuals with diverse skill sets, and you’re confident they have what it takes to crush any project. But then, reality hits. Deadlines start to slip, communication breaks down, and that initial spark of excitement fizzles out. Sound familiar? The truth is that even the most talented teams can flounder without strong leadership. That’s where Project Manager Training comes in.  Investing in your project managers equips them with the tools and strategies they need to guide your team to success. When your project managers are skilled at planning, execution, and risk mitigation, everyone wins – increased team productivity, happier employees, and a stronger bottom line for your organization. Let’s dive deeper into the how and why of Project Manager Training and explore how it can transform your project teams from good to great.

Where to start with project manager training?

So, you’ve identified the need to invest in Project Manager Training, but with all the options, where do you begin? The good news is there’s a training approach to fit every budget and learning style.
  • Internal Knowledge Power:  Many organizations offer internal workshops facilitated by experienced project managers within the company. This is a cost-effective way to share best practices and ensure training aligns directly with your organization’s specific processes and tools.
  • External Expertise: For a broader perspective and exposure to industry best practices, consider external Project Management Training courses. These programs can be delivered in person or online and often cater to different experience levels, covering topics from project management fundamentals to advanced topics like Agile or Waterfall methodologies.
  • Certification:  Taking it a step further, certifications like the PMP (Project Management Professional) offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) validate a project manager’s competency and knowledge. While not always mandatory, certification demonstrates a commitment to the profession and can enhance career prospects.
Now, let’s talk about those methodologies we mentioned earlier. Imagine project management as a culinary adventure. Waterfall is like a classic recipe – a linear, step-by-step approach where each phase is completed before moving on to the next. Conversely, Agile is more like a fusion food truck – flexible and adaptable, allowing for course correction as you go. Project Manager Training equips your team with the knowledge and skills to navigate both these popular methodologies and many others so they can choose the right approach for the project at hand. Read more: Manager Development: What Is The Fuss About?

Common Challenges and How Training Equips You to Conquer Them

We’ve talked about the power of Project Manager Training, but let’s be honest: project management isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Even the most skilled project managers can face some common pitfalls.  But fear not! Project Manager Training equips you with the communication and stakeholder management skills you need to keep everyone on the same page. This includes active listening techniques, clear and concise reporting, and managing stakeholder expectations effectively. Another common challenge is scope creep. Remember that client who keeps adding “just one more little thing” to the project? Scope creep can derail timelines and budgets faster than you can say “missed deadline.” The good news is that Project Manager Training teaches you to define project scope upfront, manage change requests effectively, and keep your project on track. Risk management is another one that keeps project managers up at night. Projects are inherently risky—unexpected roadblocks can pop up at any time. But with the right training, you’ll be prepared. Project Manager Training equips you with the skills to identify potential risks, develop mitigation strategies, and course-correct when necessary. And let’s not forget the importance of time management and resource allocation. Juggling multiple tasks, deadlines, and team members can feel like a high-wire act. Project Manager Training provides the tools and techniques you need to become a master scheduler, ensuring the right resources are allocated to the right tasks at the right time.

Crafting a Powerful Project Manager Training Program

We’ve established the challenges project managers face and how training empowers them to overcome them. Now, let’s build a robust Project Manager Training program that equips your team with the skills to conquer any project. Here’s a comprehensive framework that addresses the common pitfalls we discussed:

Laying the Foundation

  • Planning, Scheduling & Budgeting: A solid foundation is key. This module should cover core project management principles like project life cycle, work breakdown structures, creating realistic timelines, and developing accurate budgets.
  • Effective Communication & Stakeholder Management: Equip your project managers with active listening skills, clear communication strategies, and techniques for managing stakeholder expectations effectively.
  • Risk Management & Mitigation:  Projects are inherently risky. Train your project managers to identify potential risks proactively, develop mitigation plans, and adapt to changing circumstances.

Choosing the Right Tools for the Job

Not all projects are created equal. This module should introduce project managers to popular methodologies like Agile and Waterfall and industry-specific approaches relevant to your organization. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each methodology allows them to choose the right approach for the project at hand.

Time Management Masters

Juggling deadlines, tasks, and team members can feel overwhelming. This module should equip project managers with time management best practices, including using project management software effectively, resource allocation strategies, and techniques for staying on track.

Tech-savvy Project Managers

Project management software is a game-changer. Train your project managers on popular tools like MS Project or Asana, focusing on features that streamline tasks like scheduling, communication, and resource management.

Resources for L&D Professionals

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Here are some resources to help you design or deliver a top-notch training program:
  • Online Learning Platforms: Platforms like Udemy and Coursera offer various project management courses, allowing you to create a customized training curriculum.
  • Industry-Specific Training Providers:  Consider partnering with industry-specific training providers offering specialized project management training tailored to your company’s unique needs.
  • Books & Case Studies: Encourage your project managers to delve deeper with books and case studies on successful project management methodologies and real-world applications.
By incorporating these elements and leveraging available resources, you can build a Project Manager Training program that transforms your team from good to great. Remember, a well-trained project manager is invaluable, leading your team to project success and driving positive outcomes for your organization.

Actionable Tips for Powerful Project Manager Development

We’ve explored the key components of a successful Project Manager Training program, but even the most well-designed curriculum can fall short if not delivered effectively. Here are some actionable tips to steer clear of common mistakes and ensure your training truly empowers your project managers:

Building Practical Skills

Memorizing project management principles is only half the battle. Project managers need to be able to apply their knowledge in real-world situations. Here’s how to make your Project Manager Training practical:
  • Case Studies & Simulations:  Don’t just tell, show! Incorporate real-world case studies that showcase successful project management approaches. Take it further with simulations or project management games, allowing participants to practice their skills safely.
  • Hands-on Exercises & Role-Playing:  Learning by doing is key. Integrate hands-on exercises that challenge participants to apply concepts like creating project plans or managing stakeholder expectations through role-playing scenarios.
  • Project Management Software Exploration:  Don’t just talk about project management software – show them how to use it! Dedicate time for hands-on exploration of popular tools like MS Project or Asana, focusing on features that directly address common project management challenges.

A Multi-faceted Approach

People learn in different ways. A one-size-fits-all approach to Project Manager Training won’t cut it. Here’s how to cater to diverse learning styles:
  • Varied Training Methods:  Move beyond traditional lectures. Incorporate group discussions, interactive workshops, and visual aids like presentations and infographics to cater to visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.
  • Prerequisites & Needs Assessments:  Not all project managers start at the same level. Consider prerequisites or conduct a needs assessment to gauge project management experience and tailor the training content accordingly. This ensures basic foundational knowledge for beginners and dives deeper into advanced topics for experienced project managers.
Read more: Finding The Missing Pieces: What Makes Leadership Training Successful

Fostering Continuous Growth

The world of project management is constantly evolving. Here’s how to encourage a culture of continuous learning within your project management team:
  • Post-Training Coaching & Mentoring: Learning doesn’t stop after the training session. Offer opportunities for post-training coaching or mentorship programs where project managers can receive personalized guidance as they apply their newfound skills to real projects.
  • Access to Online Resources:  Provide ongoing support by offering access to online resources like project management blogs, webinars, and knowledge-sharing platforms. This allows project managers to stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices.
By following these tips and focusing on practical application, varied learning styles, and continuous development, you can avoid common Project Manager Training pitfalls and ensure your program equips your team with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in today’s dynamic project landscape. 

Conclusion

Remember that frustrated feeling when well-assembled teams underperform? Ineffective project management can be the culprit. But by investing in Project Manager Training, you’re equipping your team with the tools and strategies to navigate challenges and deliver project success. Don’t wait – leverage the “secrets” we’ve unveiled in this blog. From crafting a comprehensive program with practical exercises to catering to diverse learning styles and fostering continuous development, you have the roadmap to design or refine your Project Manager Training program. By empowering your project managers, you’re investing in the future success of your entire organization. So, take action today and unlock the true potential of your project teams!

Performance Management Training: Empowering Managers To Manage Better

Performance Management Training: Empowering Managers To Manage Better

Remember that feeling of dread when you knew performance review season was rolling around? Yeah, us, too. For many employees, performance reviews felt like a stale, once-a-year formality – a checkbox exercise that did little to motivate or inspire. However, for organizations, effective performance management is crucial. So, what’s the disconnect? Why is a system so critical to success often met with such a collective sigh? The truth is that traditional performance management practices have fallen short. Many organizations rely on outdated methods that emphasize paperwork and blame growth and development. Managers feel overwhelmed and underprepared to deliver meaningful feedback, while employees feel confused and disengaged. As an L&D leader, you know the struggle of creating training programs that bridge this gap. You need to equip managers with the skills they need to navigate complex conversations, set clear expectations, and provide constructive feedback – all while keeping the focus on employee growth and development. That’s where performance management training comes in. It’s not about adding another layer of complexity; it’s about empowering managers to become actual performance coaches, creating a system that benefits individuals and the organization.

Performance Management Training: Equipping Managers for Success

Imagine this: you’re a manager juggling deadlines, projects, and a talented team of individuals. Performance review season rolls around, and suddenly, you’re faced with a stack of forms and a vague sense of unease. How do you set clear goals for each team member? How do you deliver constructive feedback, not critical? And most importantly, how do you help your employees reach their full potential? This is where performance manager training comes in. Think of it as investing in your most valuable asset – your people. Practical performance management training equips you with the skills and knowledge to become an actual performance coach, guiding your team toward success. Read more: Performance Management 101 for Leaders: 5 Steps to Ace the Process

What is Performance Management Training?

Performance management training is a targeted program designed to develop the skills and knowledge managers need to conduct effective performance conversations, set clear goals, and provide actionable feedback. It’s about moving away from the traditional “check-the-box” approach and creating a dynamic system that fosters continuous learning and development for you and your team.

Key Components and Objectives

Think of it as a toolbox filled with essential skills:
  • Goal-setting Mastery: Learn to craft clear, measurable, and achievable goals (SMART goals) with your team members, ensuring everyone is aligned and motivated.
  • The Art of Feedback: Master delivering clear, constructive, and actionable feedback. This training will equip you with frameworks and techniques to make feedback conversations positive and productive.
  • Performance Conversations that Count: Gone are the days of awkward, yearly reviews! Performance management training teaches you to conduct regular, focused conversations that keep your team on track and motivated.
  • Coaching for Development: Learn to coach effectively to unlock your team’s potential. This will help your employees identify their strengths and weaknesses, set development goals, and reach their full potential.

How Performance Management Training Drives Organizational Success?

Investing in performance manager training isn’t just about helping your team; it’s about propelling your entire organization forward. Here’s how:
  • Increased Employee Engagement: Employees who feel supported and valued are more engaged and productive. Performance management training empowers managers to create a culture of growth and development, leading to a happier, more motivated workforce.
  • Improved Performance: Clear goals, ongoing feedback, and coaching your teams as a leader improve performance. By equipping managers with the right tools, you can unlock your team’s full potential and drive results.
  • Reduced Turnover: Disengaged employees are more likely to leave. Performance management training helps create a positive work environment where employees feel valued and have growth opportunities, leading to lower turnover rates and a more stable workforce.

Common Pitfalls of Performance Manager Training

Let’s face it: performance reviews can feel like a minefield for managers. One misstep – a confusing goal, some vague feedback – and suddenly you’re knee-deep in frustration and disengaged employees. But fear not, fellow manager! Here’s the good news: these pitfalls are avoidable. By understanding the common roadblocks and equipping yourself with the right tools, you can confidently navigate the performance management landscape. Let’s take a closer look:

A. Lack of Clear Communication Channels

Imagine this: You spend ages crafting SMART goals for your team members, feeling confident they understand exactly what’s expected. Fast-forward a few months, and their performance review is…well, let’s just say it’s not what you envisioned. The culprit? A communication breakdown. Performance management training emphasizes the importance of clear, two-way communication. It equips you with the skills to have open and honest conversations about expectations, progress, and roadblocks.

B. Inconsistent Feedback Delivery

Remember when you aced a project, but your manager only mentioned it in passing? Inconsistent feedback is a major pitfall. Performance management training highlights the power of regular, constructive feedback. You’ll learn how to deliver feedback in a way that’s actionable and motivating, helping your team members continuously improve.

C. Ignoring Employee Development Needs

Employees crave growth opportunities. They’ll eventually feel stagnant and disengaged if you fail to address their development needs. Performance management training equips you with coaching skills to help your team members identify their strengths and weaknesses, set development goals, and reach their full potential. Read more: Questions To Ask And Never Ask : A Comprehensive Guide On Performance Reviews

Elements of a Successful Performance Management Training Program

We’ve talked about the pitfalls and the promise of performance management training. Let’s get down to brass tacks and explore what makes a truly impactful program. Here are the key elements that will help you build that bridge to success:

Establishing a Comprehensive Training Framework

A strong training program starts with a clear roadmap. This framework outlines the goals, target audience, and learning journey. Performance management training isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. A good program tailors content to address managers’ unique needs and challenges at different levels.

Key Training Topics and Modules

Think of your training program as a toolbox with essential skills. Here are some core modules that will equip you to excel in performance management:
    •  Performance Management Fundamentals: This module provides a solid understanding of effective performance management’s core principles and objectives.
    • Goal Setting and Alignment: SMART goal setting is crucial for aligning individual goals with organizational objectives. This module will teach you how to collaborate with your team to set clear, measurable, and achievable goals.
    • Feedback and Coaching Techniques: Regular, constructive feedback is essential for employee development. This module will explore different feedback models and coaching techniques to help your team members learn and grow.
    • Performance Evaluation and Improvement Strategies: Performance reviews shouldn’t just be a formality. This module will equip you with the skills to conduct effective performance reviews that motivate and guide continuous improvement.

    Learning from Experience

    Let’s face it: theory is important, but real-world application is key. A strong training program incorporates real-life examples and case studies that resonate with managers’ day-to-day experiences. This allows them to see how the concepts translate into practical scenarios and helps them develop problem-solving skills.

    Interactive Training Methods and Tools

    Gone are the days of dry lectures and monotonous presentations. The most effective training programs use engaging methods, such as role-playing exercises, simulations, and interactive workshops. These methods keep participants actively involved and help them retain information more effectively.

    Continuous Learning and Development Opportunities

    Performance management is an ongoing process. A strong program recognizes this and provides ongoing learning opportunities. This could include access to online resources, coaching sessions, and refresher courses. By fostering a culture of continuous learning, you empower managers to stay up-to-date with best practices and refine their skills over time. By incorporating these elements, you can create a performance management training program that equips managers with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive. 

    Resources for Building a Winning Performance Management Training Program

    So, you’re ready to create a performance management training program that transforms your managers into performance coaches? Awesome! But where do you begin? Fear not, L&D leader, there’s a treasure trove of resources at your disposal:
    1.  Pre-built Blueprints:  Skip the design headache! Leverage pre-built PowerPoint templates specifically designed for performance management training. These templates provide a solid foundation to kickstart your program development.
    2. Performance Management Training Courses and Workshops: Looking for a more structured learning experience? Consider enrolling your managers in dedicated performance management training courses or workshops. These programs offer in-depth training delivered by experts in the field.
    3. Online Learning Platforms and Modules: The beauty of online learning platforms is their flexibility. You can access bite-sized modules on specific performance management topics, allowing managers to learn independently.
    4. Collaborating with External Training Providers and Consultants: Don’t go it alone! Consider partnering with external training providers or consultants who specialize in performance management. Their expertise can be invaluable in designing and delivering a customized program for your organization.
    Remember, choosing the resources that best suit your needs and budget is the key to success. 

    Conclusion

    Let’s recap: we explored the challenges of traditional performance management, unpacked the power of performance management training, and delved into the key elements that make a winning program. Here’s the bottom line: effective performance management training isn’t just about checking a box; it’s about empowering managers to become true performance coaches. Equipping them with the right skills and knowledge can create a culture of continuous learning and development, leading to a more engaged, productive, and successful workforce. So, L&D leaders, are you ready to take the next step? Risely is here to partner with you in developing a customized performance management training program that propels your organization forward. Let’s unlock the potential of your managers and unleash the power of a truly compelling performance management system!

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    Manager Development Goals And How To Reach Them: Opportunities And Areas To Focus On

    Manager Development Goals And How To Reach Them: Opportunities And Areas To Focus On

    You’ve meticulously crafted a development program for your high-potential employees, but their managers just aren’t on the same page. Confusing feedback and a lack of clear direction leave these future leaders feeling frustrated and uninspired. Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common. But there’s good news! Data from Gallup shows that organizations with well-trained managers see a whopping 70% increase in employee engagement. That significantly boosts morale, productivity, and your bottom line. So, how do we bridge this gap and empower managers to become effective development coaches? The answer lies in establishing clear manager development goals. These goals are a roadmap that equips managers with the knowledge and skills to nurture and develop their teams. By focusing on specific manager development areas and creating targeted manager development opportunities, you’ll transform your managers from bystanders to active partners in building a high-performing leadership pipeline within your organization. Let’s discuss this in more detail!

    Why Invest in Manager Development Goals?

    So, L&D leaders, let’s dive into the compelling reasons why investing in manager development goals is crucial for organizational success.
    • Boost Employee Engagement and Retention: What sets organizations apart with high employee satisfaction and retention rates? It’s often the presence of effective managers. When managers are equipped with the right development goals, they have the tools to engage and motivate their teams effectively. This increases productivity, creating a positive work environment.
    • Improve Team Performance: Effective and well-trained managers guide their teams toward achieving goals and foster a culture of collaboration and innovation. With the right development opportunities, managers can unlock their teams’ full potential and drive performance to new heights.
    • Develop Future Leaders: Investing in manager development isn’t just about the present—it’s about shaping your organization’s future. By providing managers with opportunities to grow and develop, you’re creating a pipeline of qualified candidates for future leadership positions. 
    • Enhance Employer Brand: In today’s competitive talent market, a strong employer brand is essential for attracting and retaining top talent. Organizations known for their commitment to manager development have a distinct advantage. They attract ambitious professionals who are eager to learn, grow, and advance their careers. Investing in manager development not only benefits current employees but also enhances your organization’s reputation as an employer of choice.
    Investing in manager development goals is a strategic move that pays dividends in employee engagement, team performance, leadership pipeline, and employer brand. 

    Building Better Managers: 5 Core Areas of Focus

    Manager development goals are a roadmap that equips managers with the knowledge and skills to nurture and develop their teams. By focusing on specific areas and creating targeted opportunities, you can transform your managers from active partners in building a high-performing leadership pipeline within your organization. Let’s delve into some essential manager development areas that will empower your managers to become effective development coaches for their teams:

    Strategic Thinking and Business Acumen

    Have you ever encountered a manager who struggles to connect the dots between lofty company goals and their team’s day-to-day activities? This disconnect can be incredibly demotivating for employees. Equipping managers with strategic thinking skills empowers them to bridge this gap. Why it Matters:  When managers understand the bigger picture and how their team contributes to the organization’s success, they can create clear, actionable plans that inspire their teams and drive results. Development Opportunities:
    • Workshops on business acumen: These workshops can provide managers with a foundational understanding of key business concepts like finance, marketing, and operations.
    • Leadership development programs: These programs can help managers develop their strategic thinking skills, such as conducting market analysis, setting SMART goals, and making data-driven decisions.
    How to Measure Success:
    • Track progress on achieving departmental or team-specific objectives aligned with broader company goals. Did sales quotas skyrocket after a strategic planning workshop for managers? Measurable improvements in team performance are a strong indicator of effective development.

    Effective Coaching and Development

    Great managers are more than just taskmasters; they’re coaches who identify and cultivate their teams’ potential. The manager development goals in this area focus on helping managers provide targeted coaching and development opportunities for their employees. Why it Matters:  Effective coaching empowers employees to grow, develop new skills, and reach their full potential. This translates to increased engagement, improved performance, and a more motivated workforce. Development Opportunities:
    • Training on coaching methodologies: Programs that teach managers to provide constructive feedback, set development goals, and hold effective coaching conversations are essential.
    • Peer coaching circles: Establishing peer coaching circles allows managers to share challenges, exchange ideas, and practice coaching skills with colleagues.
    How to Measure Success:
    • Monitor employee performance improvements. Did employee proficiency increase after receiving coaching from their manager?
    • Track engagement in training programs. High participation rates in coaching-related training indicate a willingness to develop these skills.

    Performance Management and Feedback

    Imagine a scenario where employees are unsure of what’s expected of them or where feedback is unclear. This lack of direction can be incredibly demotivating. Manager development goals in this area focus on ensuring clear expectations are set, progress is monitored, and constructive feedback is provided to drive performance improvement. Why it Matters:  Effective performance management systems create a culture of accountability and continuous improvement. When employees understand expectations and receive regular feedback, they are empowered to take ownership of their performance. Development Opportunities:
    • Develop standardized performance metrics: To ensure performance evaluations are objective and fair, create clear and consistent metrics that align with departmental and organizational goals.
    • Implement feedback management tools: Provide managers access to online tools and templates to streamline the feedback process and facilitate ongoing communication.
    How to Measure Success:
    • Track completion rates of performance reviews. Consistent completion rates indicate that managers are prioritizing performance conversations.
    • Assess employee sentiment towards feedback methods. Hold focus groups to understand how employees perceive the feedback they receive.

    Communication and Conflict Resolution

    Strong communication skills are a cornerstone of effective leadership. When managers can clearly articulate expectations, actively listen to concerns, and foster open team communication, trust flourishes, and collaboration thrives. Manager development goals in this area focus on developing managers’ communication and conflict resolution skills. Why it Matters:  Clear and transparent communication builds trust and psychological safety within teams. Furthermore, effective conflict resolution skills ensure that disagreements are addressed constructively. Development Opportunities:
    • Conflict resolution training: Equip managers with strategies for mediating conflict, facilitating productive discussions, and finding solutions that work for all parties involved.
    • Team-building exercises: Activities encouraging collaboration and communication can help build trust and improve team dynamics.
    How to Measure Success:
    • Observe team dynamics during meetings. Are team members engaged, actively participating, and comfortable expressing their ideas?
    • Track resolution rates of conflicts. A decrease in unresolved conflicts indicates that managers are effectively addressing team issues.

    Building and Leading High-Performing Teams

    A high-performing team is more than just a collection of talented individuals. It’s a cohesive unit where members seamlessly work together towards a shared goal. The manager development goals in this area focus on equipping managers with the skills to build and lead such teams. Why it Matters: When managers cultivate a positive and productive team environment that fosters collaboration, leverages diverse strengths, and celebrates success, they unlock their team’s collective potential, leading to superior results. Development Opportunities:
    • Training on diversity and inclusion: Equip managers with the knowledge and skills to build inclusive teams where everyone feels valued and empowered to contribute.
    • Recognition and reward programs: Implement programs that acknowledge and celebrate individual and team achievements to boost morale and motivate high performance.
    How to Measure Success:
    • Track team performance metrics relevant to your industry. Are key metrics improving over time, indicating a more effective team?
    • Conduct team climate surveys. These surveys can provide insights into employee perceptions of leadership, teamwork, and overall team dynamics.
    Focusing on these core manager development goals can empower your managers to become effective coaches and development partners for their teams.

    Additional Considerations for Manager Development Goals

    We’ve explored some core manager development goals that can equip your managers with the tools they need to become effective leaders. But before you hit the ground running, let’s delve into some additional considerations to ensure your manager development goals deliver maximum impact:

    1. Alignment is Key

    Imagine crafting a meticulously designed development program for your managers, only to realize it doesn’t align with your organization’s overall goals. This misalignment can lead to wasted resources and a confused leadership team. When MDGs are aligned with strategic goals, managers develop the skills and knowledge they need to contribute directly to the organization’s success. This creates a unified front where everyone is working towards the same vision.

    2. Data-Driven Decisions

    Imagine improving your golf swing without knowing your weaknesses. It wouldn’t be very effective, would it? The same applies to manager development. To make informed decisions about MDGs, conduct needs assessments to identify areas for improvement across your management team. By using data to identify skill gaps, you can tailor your MDGs to address your managers’ most pressing needs. This ensures your development efforts are targeted and yield the most significant results.

    3. Individualized Impact

    A one-size-fits-all approach rarely works in L&D, and manager development is no exception. When crafting their MDGs, Consider each manager’s unique strengths, weaknesses, and career aspirations. Personalized goals resonate more deeply with managers and foster a sense of ownership over their development journey. When goals are aligned with individual aspirations, managers are more likely to be engaged and motivated to achieve them. By incorporating these additional considerations, you can ensure your manager development goals are well-defined, strategically aligned, data-driven, and personalized. 

    Progressing and Measuring Manager Development Success

    So, you’ve established a solid foundation with well-defined manager development goals. It’s time to translate those goals into action and measure their impact. Here are vital steps to ensure your MDG program thrives:
    • Develop a Training and Development Plan:  Craft a roadmap for each manager, incorporating targeted training programs, personalized coaching sessions, and mentorship opportunities to achieve their goals.
    • Provide Ongoing Feedback and Support:  Regularly assess progress through check-ins, offer constructive feedback, and provide resources and support to help managers overcome challenges on their development journey.
    • Utilize Performance Management Systems: Integrate MDGs into performance reviews. This will create accountability and allow you to track progress throughout the year.
    • Measure Impact on Business Outcomes:  The true test lies in the results measured by the right training effectiveness metrics. Look for measurable improvements in team performance, employee engagement, and overall business success – a testament to the effectiveness of your MDG program.
    Following these steps can transform your MDGs from a strategic plan to a powerful driver of leadership growth and organizational success. 

    Conclusion

    Effective leadership is paramount; by setting and achieving clear manager development goals, you equip your managers with the skills they need to become successful coaches, foster high-performing teams, and drive positive business outcomes. This translates to a win-win situation: managers gain valuable knowledge and growth opportunities while organizations experience increased employee engagement, improved performance, and a stronger leadership pipeline for the future. So, L&D professionals, take action!

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    One-on-one Meetings That Don’t Make Your Team Sigh

    One-on-one Meetings That Don’t Make Your Team Sigh

    One-on-one meetings! If you are anywhere close to a performance review session, your calendar might be crowded by the team. But there’s more: most effective managers do not wait for performance reviews to knock before leading a one-on-one meeting. Instead, they consistently organize such review meetings with their team members. And the impact is palpable – managers who recognize the importance of solid one-on-one catch-ups are in sync with their team members. Their relationships go beyond the professional workspaces and develop into practical ways to connect. If you are here, undoubtedly, you want to join this league. So, let’s figure a way out to make your one-on-one meetings top notch!
    Simply put, a one-on-one meeting is a conversation between a manager and an employee to get to know each other. The discussions can range from career progression to addressing concerns and providing support and coaching. All in all, they are an opportunity for the manager to show that they are present and willing to help while creating a safe space for the team member to share their thoughts. Remember, it’s a two-way conversation, not a critical monologue session. The focus should be on topics beyond work rather than on taking status updates.
    One-on-one conversations involve connecting emotionally and creating dedicated space and time for meaningful interactions. View these one-on-one conversations as a holistic approach that encompasses feedback but begins with establishing strong connections.Ashish Manchanda, Manager Story

    But what’s the point? Why should you take one-on-one meetings seriously?

    If you are thinking, why bother? Here are several incredible reasons to invest your time and energy in one-on-one meetings. 
    • First, these meetings allow managers to gain deeper insights into their team members, aspirations and needs through attentive listening. They also help employees discuss things that don’t come up in shared and public spaces. By showcasing authenticity and vulnerability as a leader, you can empower your team to emulate.
    • Second, it establishes you as a confidante and trustworthy supporter of your team members. When a manager creates a safe space and truly listens, it allows the team members to place trust and loyalty in them. Psychological safety is not a buzzword; it matters (high psychological safety takes the risk of turnover as low as 3%, as per BCG), and one-on-one help helps you create it big time. 
    • Third, it makes your working relationship super smooth. How easy is it to go to your manager and say you need some time for professional development? Pretty great, right? That’s what consistently keeping up with one-on-one meetings allows team members to do. It creates a working relationship free of facades and mutually focuses on developing the team and individual.
    Before heading on to crafting perfection, let’s look at what we typically miss: what makes a one-on-one meeting bad? Think of your own experiences. Did you ever have a one-on-one catch-up with that left you seething with anger, or worse – sad?  Here’s why it happens: 

    People are different

    It’s no surprise that people vary, and so does everything about them that is needed to build a solid working relationship. This includes their communication styles, personalities, ways of working, and much more. When these two don’t align, one-on-one meetings often become a competition or argument instead of a collaborative discussion. 

    The manager tells without showing

    Picture a one-on-one meeting going like this: a manager starts on a good note and urges their team member to be open and honest about everything – the good, bad, and the ugly. But on the flip side, the manager does not follow their word and shares little of their perspective. As a result, the team member does not get a concrete example of how vulnerability or authenticity can be expressed. Instead, they are left with something sinister – an unfulfilled promise and a space that makes them uncomfortable as they walk out of the meeting room while sighing and thanking themselves for not blurting out everything. 

    The manager takes the lead

    Heading into a one-on-one meeting with the attitude of a team meeting where you direct everyone to this or that backfires big time. It’s crucial to understand that one-on-one meetings are not a one-way channel to share your thoughts with a person. A manager’s role in a one-on-one meeting extends to facilitating their team to overcome hesitation and truly express their needs and thoughts. Focusing on listening, not speaking. Not asking questions, going ahead without an agenda, and not taking feedback from the team members are the most common problems in bad one-on-one meetings. 

    Defensive behavior and high guards

    Sometimes, one-on-one meetings could fail if the team members are not ready to open up and share their thoughts. After all, it takes two to clap. In such instances of defensive behavior from a team member, focus on building rapport with them and creating a sense of safety that helps them put their guard down. Initially, the process could be slow, but it ultimately leads to solid returns. Remember that personalities and communication styles vary, and accommodating them is necessary to create solid one-on-one relationships.

    Let’s think boundaries

    We started by taking note of one-on-one meetings as something that creates a solid working relationship, one that is marked by authenticity and care on both sides. Yet the moment we head out of strict professional space, we walk along a delicate line – one where we, as managers, might end up encroaching into their personal lives. Criticism that goes to the person instead of the professional hurts the commitment to creating good relationships and safety at work. Hence, boundaries matter. 
    The structure and frequency of one-on-one meetings are critical factors that differentiate them from other water cooler conversations. What else? The agenda, questions, and updates matter, too! Let’s use an example to see this one in action. We are heading into a one-on-one meeting with a manager named Andrew to see how it goes.  First, let’s focus on the structural things. Before heading into a meeting, we need to collect some ingredients: 

    How to schedule one on one meetings?

    Yep, we need to schedule a meeting before conducting one, unsurprisingly. Ideally, schedule the meeting a few days before it happens and do so at a regular cadence. Irregularity and lack of frequency can be a source of disappointment, as they show that the matter is not severe enough to give due thought and planning. The ideal cadence for one-on-one meetings depends on your context. While a manager new to the team should keep the frequency high, those dealing with senior reports need more time for in-depth discussions. Remote managers doing one-on-one meetings can take it up frequently to compensate for limited interactions. Team size matters too—after all, you can’t spend a week on one-on-ones alone! Moreover, your team will have something to say about it, so do take their opinions on the frequency of meetings. Managers hold one-on-one meetings weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, depending on their team’s structure and needs. A monthly routine can be a great way to start—it gives enough time for developments to progress and enables reviews. Define a suitable time limit that does not take away from your team’s productivity while allowing a good discussion. Anywhere between 20 to 40 minutes is a good place to start. Once the meeting is set, we can move forward. While speaking of the frequency of one-on-one meetings, it’s essential to acknowledge that keeping them far away or canceling them at the last minute is a sure-shot red flag. If a meeting cannot happen, find an alternative to compensate for the lost chance at connecting; it shows that you care.

    Defining the one-on-one meeting agenda

    An agenda helps you set the tone and purpose of the meeting right from the start. One-on-one meetings can often falter because they seem like an unnecessary vanity exercise imposed by management. Having set agendas and topics to discuss can help you avoid that. Moreover, scheduling the meeting in advance allows your team members time to prepare and share their agendas and topics.  Here’s how Andrew sets the agenda in our example one-on-one meeting with his team members: 
    • Step 1: Add critical points to discuss along with the meeting invite. It helps the team members prepare and ensures them about the contents of the discussion, creating comfort.
    • Step 2: When the meeting starts, clearly reiterate the agenda, like this: “Thanks for meeting with me today, Alex. I wanted to touch base on a few key points. First, let’s discuss your current projects and any challenges you’re facing. Then, I’d like to discuss your goals for the upcoming quarter. Lastly, we can address any support or resources you might need from me or the team. Does that sound good to you?
    • Step 3: Add Alex’s points to discuss in the meeting.
    With this sorted, we can move on to the next step of conducting good one-on-one meetings.

    Talking progress in a one-on-one conversation 

    One focal point of a one-on-one meeting is discussing progress on the plans you made last time. In addition to work-related areas, you can discuss professional development and personal growth. For instance, your team member might have started a course on time management after you pointed out the need for more timeliness. Ask about it. It shows that you care and remember what’s happening with them.  Here’s how Andrew asked Alex about her previous work:  “How are things progressing with Project X? Are you on track to meet the milestones we set? I noticed you encountered some issues last week. Can you update me on how you’ve tackled those challenges?“ Keeping progress in mind also defines a routine for one-on-one meetings and keeps the conversation consistent. Consider taking notes to know what to ask in the next one. Forgetting is easier than we remember.

    Using feedback in a one-on-one meeting 

    Constructive feedback is the cornerstone of growth and a crucial element of one-on-one catch-ups. As a manager, take some time to outline the critical areas where you want to share feedback. Keep the basics in mind: the feedback should be constructive, give it right in time, and help with the resources and support needed to implement it. Afterward, transfer it to the progress of your one-on-one conversation and keep moving.  It can go like this: “I’ve been reviewing your recent work, and overall, I’m impressed with the quality and attention to detail. However, I noticed a few areas where there’s room for improvement, particularly in communicating updates to the team. Let’s work together to refine your approach.”  And it should not go like this: “Your performance has been subpar, and frankly, I’m disappointed. You need to step up your game or start looking for other opportunities. I don’t have time to babysit you through every task.
    • does not tell what to improve or how 
    • the tone and language are threatening 
    • does not provide guidance 
    Critically, ensure that feedback is not personal. You can use interesting techniques like the feedback sandwich to deliver it effectively during a one-on-one meeting.  Next up, be open to feedback, too. Remember that one-on-one meetings are a two-way street. Ask your team member what they think about the team and your management; their feedback can help you improve your and the team’s performance. Here’s how you can prompt your team members to share their thoughts during a one-on-one meeting: 
    • Follow it up after a discussion: “Additionally, is there any feedback you have for me or areas where you think I can better support you?
    • Go specific if you feel the need: “Is there anything about our team’s communication that you find challenging?
    All in all, give them the space you took up earlier. Keep the questions direct as well as open-ended. Feedback from their side can take both positive and negative sides once again. While receiving feedback in a one-on-one conversation, actively listen and ask more questions to understand things better. Creating a safe space is essential for your team members to open up and demonstrate that you are open to feedback and willing to change things if needed. After all, growth is for the collective. Check out more examples of feedback here:

    Building rapport in a one-on-one conversation

    One-on-one meetings are your tools to bring candidness into the workspace. It fuels the team with positivity and care toward each other. Moreover, it’s your chance to build loyalty and gain support from your team members. Taking the time to check in on how the team member feels, address any concerns, and offer support that demonstrates empathy and strengthens the manager’s bond with the team member like Andrew does by asking this – “Before we wrap up, I’d like to check how you feel about your role and our team dynamics. How are you finding your workload lately? Is there anything outside of work impacting your performance that you’d like to discuss?“ Building rapport with your team members goes beyond discussing work-related matters and includes showing genuine interest in their well-being and professional development. For instance, Andrew asks Alex about her progress in guitar lessons.
    I remember you mentioned your interest in learning guitar. Have you had a chance to practice that lately?“ And to make it even better, there’s something that Andrew adds –
    I used to play the guitar during my college days as a member of our band. Let me know if I can be of any help. It’s been a while since I picked it up.“ It creates a shared interest and relatability for the two to connect. Sometimes, your team members might be going through personal troubles that impact everywhere; you can become a source of empathy and reassurance. Focus on listening empathetically and providing guidance in suitable ways. Rapport building is not about ticking boxes; it’s about showing up and caring as your team needs you to. Sometimes, they might feel uncomfortable, especially when your team is new to one-on-one meetings. In such situations, take the lead and set the tone right. Don’t head in with tiredness; that will make your team members feel the same. Instead, push the energy you want the discussion to have. Keep your tone and demeanor open to conversation, and demonstrate friendliness with your body language. Don’t forget to keep your phone aside for a while and the conversation the attention it truly deserves. Now, you might think that you are doing everything right. You have a checklist of topics to discuss and exude your best energy, yet the catch-ups don’t seem right. You might not be seeing the other perspective. While managers and employees agree that one-on-one meetings are important, Hypercontext found a key area of disagreement: how well are the one-on-ones going? 72% of managers believed their employees were motivated after a discussion, but the number sinks to 58% when team members are asked. Does your team disagree similarly? You can find out with Risely!  First, take the free one-on-one meeting skill assessment for managers here. It will give you a detailed analysis of the skills you need to conduct one-on-one meetings effectively. Second, ask your team to assess your one-on-one meeting skills. The best part is that this assessment is anonymous. You get a cumulative score representing what your team thinks, and their privacy is protected.  Next, ask Merlin about it; Merlin is Risely’s AI coach, who is present 24*7 to help out managers who want to unleash their true potential, just like you! The first three conversations with Merlin are free here. Along with getting tips, you can practice discussions through role plays, where Merlin acts like your team members, and your conversations are reviewed. One-on-one meetings foster authentic relationships and trust between managers and team members. These meetings provide open communication, enabling managers to gain deeper insights into their team’s aspirations and concerns. By actively listening and giving support, managers can create a safe space where team members feel valued and empowered. Structuring these meetings with clear agendas and frequent check-ins reinforces their importance and facilitates meaningful discussions. Moreover, building rapport through genuine interest and empathy strengthens bonds and enhances the work environment. Ultimately, investing time and effort in one-on-one meetings cultivates a culture of collaboration, growth, and mutual respect within the team.

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    Leader Competence: The Cornerstone of Effective Leadership Development

    Leader Competence: The Cornerstone of Effective Leadership Development

    Imagine you’re leading a talented team, but somehow, projects are stalling, and motivation seems slipping. You see the potential in your people, but something’s missing that extra spark to ignite their full capabilities. This is where effective leadership development comes in. Think of L&D as equipping your team with the right tools and knowledge to excel in their roles and inspire and guide others. Here’s where the concept of leadership competencies takes center stage. These specific skills, behaviors, and knowledge define successful leaders within your organization. The same approach applies to building a high-performing organization. Just like athletic prowess needs refinement, effective leadership requires targeted development. That’s where Leadership Development (L&D) programs come in. But simply enrolling leaders in workshops isn’t enough. To truly empower them, you need a well-defined framework – a roadmap that outlines the specific competencies crucial for success.

    What is Leader Competence?

    Imagine yourself leading a project. You need the knowledge to set a clear direction, the skills to navigate challenges, and the right behaviors to motivate your team. That’s the essence of leadership competencies – a combination of what you know and can do and how you act that propels your team toward success. Think of it this way: strong leadership is like a three-legged stool. One leg represents your knowledge about the industry, the organization, and effective leadership principles. The second leg is your skillset, encompassing your ability to delegate tasks, solve problems, and communicate effectively. Finally, the third leg is your behavioral traits, like your ability to inspire, build trust, and foster collaboration within your team.

    Why is it Crucial to have Clearly Defined Leadership Competencies within an Organization?

    A shared understanding of what effective leadership looks like in your company is a compass for several reasons.  Firstly, it allows you to design targeted L&D programs. Instead of a generic one-size-fits-all approach, you can tailor development programs to address specific competency gaps identified within your leadership team. This ensures leaders receive the precise training and resources they need to hone their skills and knowledge in critical areas. Furthermore, clearly defined leadership competencies provide a standardized performance evaluation and development framework. Having a clear picture of the leadership behaviors expected at each level. This enables you to objectively assess your team’s strengths and weaknesses, identify areas for improvement and set specific development goals. It’s like having a roadmap—you know where your leaders are currently positioned and how to help them bridge the gap to reach their full potential. Finally, a well-defined competency framework is vital in selection and succession planning. When promoting individuals or choosing external candidates for leadership roles, you have a benchmark against which to measure their capabilities. This ensures you select individuals with the specific knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to thrive in leadership positions within your organization. It’s like having a perfect recruiting filter – you can confidently identify the right talent to lead your team forward.

    Crafting a Leadership Competency Framework

    So, we’ve established that clearly defined leader competence is the building block of effective leadership development. But how do you translate this understanding into an actionable framework? Think of it like building a house—you need a solid blueprint to ensure a sturdy and functional structure. Here’s where L&D leaders like yourself step in. When crafting a leadership competency framework, there are three key considerations to keep in mind:
    • Alignment with Organizational Strategy: Just like a house needs to fit the landscape, your framework should be an extension of your organization’s DNA. Ask yourself: what are our core values? What are our long-term goals? The competencies outlined in your framework should directly support these objectives. For instance, if innovation is a core value, the framework might emphasize competencies like creativity, risk-taking, and embracing change.
    • Leadership Levels:  Imagine a two-story house – the structural requirements for each floor would differ. Similarly, the leadership competencies required at various levels within your organization will vary. Front-line leaders might need a strong focus on coaching and development, while senior management might require strategic thinking and the ability to navigate complex business landscapes. Tailoring competencies to specific leadership levels ensures targeted development and equips leaders with the tools they need to excel in their respective roles.
    • Industry Standards:  While every organization has its unique culture and goals, staying informed about industry best practices is crucial. Researching relevant leadership frameworks within your industry can provide valuable insights and ensure your framework incorporates the essential competencies recognized and sought-after across the field. This ensures your leaders are effective within your organization and possess the skillset to compete effectively in the broader industry landscape.
    By carefully considering these factors, you can build a robust leader competence framework as the cornerstone for a successful L&D program. Remember, this framework is a living document – it should adapt to your organization’s and industry’s evolving needs. Regular review and updates will ensure it remains relevant and continues to empower your leaders to drive success.

    Deconstructing the Framework: Core, Behaviors, and Proficiency

    Now that we have the blueprint let’s delve into the specific components that make up a well-defined leadership competency framework. Imagine this framework as a detailed architectural plan – it outlines the essential elements that contribute to building a strong and successful leadership foundation.
    • Core Competencies: They are the fundamental building blocks of effective leadership, applicable across all organizational levels. Think of them as the pillars that support the entire structure. Core competencies include communication, strategic thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making. These skills are crucial for leaders to effectively navigate challenges, guide their teams, and achieve organizational goals.
    • Behavioral Indicators: Here’s where the framework comes alive. Vague statements about possessing a competency aren’t enough. We need to translate those general abilities into concrete actions. This is where behavioral indicators come in. For each core competency, you must define specific, observable behaviors demonstrating successful performance. For instance, a behavioral indicator for “communication” might be “Effectively communicates complex information to diverse audiences, tailoring the message and delivery style to ensure comprehension.” These indicators provide a clear picture of the successful application of competency in everyday situations.
    • Proficiency Levels:  Not all leaders are created equal. The expertise required for each competency will vary depending on the leadership level. Imagine a building with multiple floors; the foundation’s structural requirements differ from those needed for the rooftop. Similarly, proficiency levels establish the expected level of skill development for each core competency at different leadership stages. For instance, a first-line leader might need a basic understanding of strategic thinking, while senior management would require a more advanced ability to formulate and execute complex organizational strategies. Defining proficiency levels ensures targeted development and equips leaders with the appropriate skillset corresponding to their roles and responsibilities.
    By incorporating core competencies, behavioral indicators, and proficiency levels, your leadership competency framework transforms from a theoretical concept into a practical tool. It equips you to assess your leaders’ strengths and weaknesses and identify areas for development.

    Putting the Plan into Action: Leveraging the Framework for L&D and Beyond

    We’ve meticulously built the blueprint and identified the essential building blocks. Now comes the exciting part: putting the leadership competency framework into action. This leader competence framework is not merely a theoretical document; it’s a powerful tool designed to empower your L&D initiatives and propel leadership development within your organization.
    • Integration with L&D Programs:  Imagine your framework as a project management tool. As different tools are used for various construction stages, the framework can be seamlessly integrated into diverse L&D programs to address specific leadership needs.
    • Workshops: When designing workshops, map the learning objectives to the core competencies outlined in the framework. For instance, a workshop focused on communication skills can target behavioral indicators like “actively listens to understand different perspectives” and “tailors communication style to different audiences.” This ensures the workshop content addresses the competencies deemed crucial for leadership success within your organization.
    • Coaching and Mentoring:  The framework is a guiding light for coaching and mentoring sessions. Leaders can leverage the defined behavioral indicators to identify areas for improvement and set specific, measurable goals. Mentors can then provide targeted guidance and support, helping leaders develop the necessary skills and behaviors to excel in their roles.
    • Assessment and Development Planning: Performance reviews become more objective and focused when the framework is used as a yardstick. By evaluating leaders against the established behavioral indicators and proficiency levels, you gain valuable insights into their strengths and weaknesses. This data then paves the way for personalized development plans. Leaders can identify competency gaps and choose appropriate training programs, coaching sessions, or mentoring opportunities to bridge those gaps and enhance their leadership capabilities.
    The impact extends beyond current leaders. The framework becomes valuable for identifying high-potential individuals and guiding their development journey. Aspiring leaders can utilize the framework to understand the competencies expected at different leadership levels and proactively seek opportunities to develop the necessary skills and behaviors. 

    Challenges and Solutions to Building a Robust Leader Competence 

    While a well-defined leader competence framework offers many benefits, the road to implementation isn’t always smooth. Here, we delve into some common challenges organizations face and explore effective strategies to overcome them:
    • Lack of Stakeholder Buy-in:  Building a framework requires collaboration from various stakeholders, including senior leadership, HR, and L&D professionals. Without their active involvement and support, the framework might be perceived as an HR initiative rather than a strategic tool for leadership development.
    • Subjectivity in Defining Competencies:  Translating abstract leadership qualities into concrete behavioral indicators can be subjective. Relying solely on individual opinions can lead to inconsistencies and a framework that doesn’t accurately reflect the organization’s needs.
    • Generic Framework, Limited Applicability:  A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. A generic framework that fails to consider the specific context, industry, and leadership levels within your organization will lack relevance and hinder effective development.

    Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles and Maximizing Leader Competence Effectiveness

    • Foster Collaboration:  Ensure active participation from key stakeholders throughout the development process. Conduct workshops, involve senior leaders in defining leadership expectations, and obtain buy-in from HR and L&D teams responsible for implementing the framework.
    • Data-Driven Approach:  Don’t solely rely on opinions. Gather data through surveys, focus groups, and leadership assessments to identify the specific competencies crucial for success within your organization. Industry research and benchmarking can also provide valuable insights.
    • Tailored Framework Design:  Develop a framework specific to your organization’s needs and industry context. Consider the different leadership levels and tailor the required competencies and proficiency levels accordingly.
    • Communication and Transparency:  Once the framework is established, clearly communicate it to all employees, particularly leaders and aspiring leaders. Transparency fosters understanding, ensures everyone is on the same page regarding leadership expectations, and encourages individual development efforts.
    • Continuous Monitoring and Improvement:  The framework is a living document, not a static one. Regularly review and update the competencies based on evolving business needs, industry trends, and feedback from stakeholders. This ensures the framework remains relevant and effective in driving leadership development within your organization.
    By acknowledging these challenges and implementing the suggested solutions, you can navigate the development and implementation process effectively. 

    Wrapping Up

    Effective leadership isn’t a stroke of luck; it’s a product of targeted development. Clearly defined leader competence – the knowledge, skills, and behaviors required for success – is the building block for this development. A well-crafted competency framework serves as the blueprint, outlining these essential competencies, establishing specific behavioral indicators for assessment, and defining the expected proficiency levels at various leadership stages. So, L&D leaders, the power lies in your hands. By implementing robust leader competence frameworks, you can transform leadership development from a scattered effort into a strategic initiative.  

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    Confused by L&D Metrics? Here’s How to Focus on What Matters

    Confused by L&D Metrics? Here’s How to Focus on What Matters

    You’ve undoubtedly witnessed companies celebrating a record number of employees completing leadership training programs. Champagne toasts erupt, press releases tout the accomplishment, and everyone feels a sense of accomplishment. But fast forward a year, and the celebratory mood sours. Managers express disappointment as the promised improvements in team performance and employee engagement fail to materialize. New skills aren’t being applied, and frustration mounts. This scenario exemplifies a widespread pitfall in L&D: overemphasizing vanity metrics. Metrics like course completion rates provide a feel-good narrative but fail to capture the true impact of training programs. They paint a surface-level picture, neglecting the all-important question: did the training translate into tangible results? This is where a deeper understanding of L&D metrics becomes crucial. If you have been in a similar situation, keep reading to see how to avoid it.

    Definition and Significance of L&D Metrics

    In the dynamic landscape of organizational development, measuring the effectiveness of training programs goes beyond simply counting participants or completion rates. This is where L&D metrics come into play. They act as a compass, guiding us to understand how learning initiatives translate into tangible results. L&D metrics encompass a comprehensive set of data points that assess the impact of ongoing training programs on various aspects. By leveraging L&D metrics, organizations gain valuable insights that empower them to:
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of training programs: Metrics provide a data-driven approach to assess whether the training is meeting its intended objectives.
    • Identify areas for improvement: Analyzing data helps pinpoint weaknesses in the program’s design, delivery, or content, allowing for targeted adjustments.
    • Optimize resource allocation: Metrics ensure that resources are invested in programs that demonstrably yield positive results.
    • Demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) of L&D initiatives: Data enables organizations to quantify the tangible benefits of training programs, justifying their continued investment.

    Why Real Metrics Matter More Than Vanity Metrics?

    While L&D metrics offer valuable insights, it’s crucial to differentiate between actionable and vanity metrics. Vanity metrics present a superficial picture of training activity, often focusing on surface-level achievements that don’t necessarily translate to actual skill development or improved performance. Here are some commonly used vanity metrics in L&D:
    • Number of training hours completed: While attending training sessions is essential, focusing solely on the duration doesn’t guarantee knowledge retention or application.
    • Course completion rates: High completion rates might indicate program accessibility but don’t reveal how much participants learned or how effectively they can apply the acquired knowledge.
    • Participant satisfaction scores: Positive feedback about the training experience is valuable but doesn’t necessarily reflect whether participants gained the necessary skills or are implementing them in their work.
    Over-reliance on vanity L&D metrics can lead to a false sense of accomplishment and hinder the identification of areas where the program might be falling short.

    Focusing on Actionable Metrics

    While vanity metrics might offer a comforting illusion of progress, true organizational growth necessitates a shift toward actionable metrics. These metrics act as a bridge, directly linking learning activities to real business outcomes. They move beyond simply measuring training completion and delve into the heart of the matter: did the training translate into tangible results?

    Why Actionable Metrics Matter?

    Focusing solely on vanity metrics creates a misleading narrative. High completion rates and positive satisfaction scores paint an incomplete picture, neglecting the crucial question: are employees applying the acquired knowledge and skills in their daily work? Actionable metrics address this gap by measuring the following:
    • Changes in behavior: Do leaders exhibit the desired behaviors learned during the program, such as improved communication, delegation, or problem-solving skills?
    • Skill application: Are participants actively utilizing the learned skills in real-world work situations?
    • Team performance: Do teams led by trained individuals demonstrate measurable productivity, efficiency, or improvement in goal achievement?
    By prioritizing these metrics, organizations gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of their L&D programs and their ultimate impact on the bottom line.

    Examples of Actionable Metrics:

    Actionable metrics provide a comprehensive picture of the program’s influence, encompassing various aspects:
    • Increased Employee Engagement: Does the training lead to a more motivated and engaged workforce, fostering a positive work environment and a stronger sense of ownership?
    • Improved Productivity and Performance: Do trained employees demonstrate a measurable increase in output, efficiency, or the ability to achieve set goals?
    • Reduced Turnover Rates: Does the training contribute to a more satisfied and committed workforce, leading to lower employee turnover rates?
    • Positive Impact on Customer Satisfaction: Does the training equip employees with the skills and knowledge to deliver exceptional customer service, leading to higher customer satisfaction scores?
    By measuring these metrics, organizations can assess the true value of their L&D investments. They gain a data-driven understanding of how training programs contribute to:
    • Enhanced employee capabilities: Employees gain the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles.
    • Improved team dynamics: Teams function more cohesively and efficiently, achieving goals collaboratively.
    • Stronger customer relationships: Employees are better equipped to deliver exceptional customer service, fostering loyalty and satisfaction.
    • Achieving strategic objectives: The training program directly supports the organization’s strategic goals, driving sustainable growth and success.
    Actionable metrics empower organizations to move beyond the limitations of vanity metrics. They illuminate the true impact of L&D initiatives, ensuring that training programs are not merely expenses but strategic investments that yield measurable results and contribute to achieving long-term organizational objectives.
    While the shift towards actionable metrics offers a plethora of benefits, the journey isn’t without its roadblocks. Here, we explore some common challenges organizations face in transitioning from vanity metrics to a more impactful measurement approach:
    • Quantity over Quality: Traditional metrics often focus on the volume of training delivered (e.g., number of training hours, courses completed). This approach prioritizes completion over learning outcomes. Solution: Move beyond simply counting hours. Focus on assessing knowledge retention, skill application, and behavioral changes in participants.
    • Misalignment with Business Goals: Vanity metrics might not directly connect to the organization’s strategic objectives. This creates a disconnect between training efforts and desired business outcomes. Solution: Ensure L&D initiatives are aligned with the organization’s strategic goals. Design training programs that address specific skills and behaviors required to achieve those goals.
    • Inability to Measure Impact: Vanity metrics often fail to capture the true impact of training on crucial aspects like employee performance, employee engagement, and retention rates. Solution: Integrate metrics that assess these behavioral changes and business outcomes.
    • Limited Actionability: Vanity metrics often provide limited insights for actionable improvements. They tell you what happened (e.g., training completion) but not how it impacted the organization. Solution: Focus on metrics that provide clear direction for improvement. Analyze data to identify areas where the program might be falling short and use those insights to refine the training content, delivery methods, or assessment strategies.
    • Resistance to Change: Shifting from a culture of vanity metrics to a data-driven approach might encounter resistance from stakeholders accustomed to traditional measurement methods. Solution: Foster a culture of continuous improvement and data-driven decision-making. Showcase the benefits of actionable metrics in demonstrating the tangible value of L&D programs.
    Overcoming these challenges requires a multifaceted approach:
    • Leadership buy-in: Secure the active involvement of senior leaders in advocating for the importance of measuring the impact of L&D initiatives.
    • Collaboration: Establish clear communication channels between L&D professionals, HR, and business leaders to ensure alignment between training programs and organizational goals.
    • Data collection and analysis: Invest in robust systems for collecting and analyzing data relevant to actionable metrics.
    • Continuous evaluation: Regularly review and refine L&D programs based on the insights gleaned from data analysis.
    By addressing these challenges and implementing a data-driven approach to L&D measurement, organizations can unlock the true potential of their leadership development initiatives.

    How Risely Bridges the Gap with Actionable Metrics?

    Having established the challenges and importance of transitioning from vanity metrics to actionable L&D metrics, let’s delve into how Risely’s features bridge this gap and empower organizations to measure the true impact of their leadership development initiatives. Risely’s Features:
    • Daily Nudges: These targeted micro-learning opportunities go beyond traditional training modules. Daily nudges reinforce key concepts, promote knowledge retention, and provide opportunities for applying learned skills in real time. This continuous reinforcement fosters behavioral change, a crucial aspect of measuring actionable metrics.
    • Skill Center: This comprehensive library provides leaders with on-demand access to resources and tools aligned with their development needs. By tracking skill usage and engagement within the Skill Center, Risely offers insights into Knowledge acquisition and Skill application.
    Through these features, Risely directly contributes to measuring actionable metrics like:
    • Changes in behavior: Daily nudges and the Skill Center’s practical resources encourage consistent application of learned skills, leading to observable behavioral changes in leaders.
    • Improved team performance: By equipping leaders with the necessary skills and fostering a culture of continuous learning, Risely indirectly contributes to improved team performance metrics like productivity, efficiency, and goal achievement.
    By leveraging Risely, you can move beyond vanity metrics and demonstrate the true value of their L&D investments, ultimately driving positive change and achieving strategic goals.

    Conclusion

    While traditional L&D metrics might provide a superficial sense of accomplishment, true organizational growth necessitates a shift towards actionable metrics. These L&D metrics bridge the gap between training activities and tangible business outcomes, ensuring that your investment in leadership development yields measurable results. Risely empowers you to move beyond vanity metrics. Our features and AI coach, Merlin, provide a comprehensive approach to measuring the true impact of your L&D programs. Don’t let vanity metrics hold you back. Sign Up on Risely today.

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    5 Impactful Leadership Coaching Styles For Your Team

    5 Impactful Leadership Coaching Styles For Your Team

    Have you ever wondered what sets great leaders apart from the rest? It’s about more than just authority or expertise but their ability to effectively coach and develop their teams. Imagine you’re working on a project, feeling lost in the woods, when your manager steps in not to dictate but to guide you, nudging you towards clarity and success. That’s the magic of leadership coaching in action. Think about it – leadership isn’t just about being at the helm but empowering others to navigate stormy seas confidently. And that’s where coaching comes in. As a Learning and Development (L&D) manager, you’re not just a bearer of knowledge but a cultivator of talent and a beacon of support. Today, we will discuss the fascinating world of leadership coaching styles

    5 Leadership Coaching Styles

    The Directive Coaching Style

    You’ve got a team buzzing with energy, but they need a clear path forward. That’s where the Directive style shines. It’s like being a compass in a storm, providing clarity and direction when required. So, what exactly is the Directive Coaching Style? It’s all about giving precise instructions and guidance and steering your team toward success. Think of it as laying down stepping stones for your team to follow. For instance, imagine you’re launching a new project, and your team needs a roadmap. You step in, outline the goals, and chart the course. That’s directive coaching in action, providing a clear framework for progress.

    Characteristics of Directive Coaching Style

    The Directive Coaching Style carries several distinct characteristics that set it apart:
    • Clarity: Above all, this style emphasizes clear and explicit guidance. It’s about leaving no room for ambiguity. When you employ the Directive approach, you provide precise instructions and expectations, leaving little doubt about what needs to be done.
    • Structured Approach: The Directive style often follows a structured approach to problem-solving and decision-making. There’s a systematic nature to how tasks are assigned, deadlines are set, and progress is monitored. It’s like having a roadmap that everyone can follow.
    • Results Orientation: At its core, the Directive Coaching Style is focused on results. It’s about achieving goals efficiently and effectively. Leaders using this style keep their eyes on the prize, driving their team toward success with unwavering determination.

    Examples of Directive Coaching Style

    • Providing Clear Instructions and Guidance: Imagine you’re leading a team tasked with launching a new product. As the L&D manager, you employ the Directive Coaching Style to ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. You provide clear instructions on the project timeline, deliverables, and quality standards. By laying out a structured plan and detailing expectations, you empower your team to work efficiently and effectively toward achieving the project goals.
    • Urgent Situations or Crisis Management: A sudden disruption in the supply chain that threatens to derail your production schedule. In such urgent situations, as the L&D leader, you step in decisively, providing clear directives to address the crisis. You mobilize the team, assign specific tasks, coordinate efforts to minimize the impact and find solutions swiftly.
    In both scenarios, the Directive Coaching Style provides clarity, direction, and prompt action, ultimately facilitating successful outcomes in facing challenges and uncertainty.

    The Collaborative Coaching Style

    The Collaborative Coaching Style is characterized by inclusivity, mutual respect, and active participation among team members. In this approach, the coach is a facilitator rather than a sole decision-maker, fostering an environment where ideas are shared and consensus is reached through collaboration.

    Characteristics of Collaborative Coaching Style

    • Open Communication: Team members are encouraged to express their thoughts, opinions, and concerns freely. The coach facilitates open dialogue, creating a safe space for honest communication and feedback.
    • Shared Decision-Making: Decisions are made collectively, with input from all team members. The coach values diverse perspectives and seeks consensus to ensure everyone feels heard and appreciated.
    • Trust and Respect: Trust forms the foundation of the collaborative relationship between the coach and team members. A mutual respect for each other’s expertise, contributions, and perspectives fosters a positive and supportive work environment.

    Examples of Collaborative Coaching Style

    • Fostering Teamwork and Collaboration: Consider a virtual team spread across different locations. You create opportunities for asynchronous collaboration through collaborative tools and platforms, allowing team members to contribute ideas, provide feedback, and collaborate on projects regardless of geographical constraints. You cultivate a culture of inclusivity and teamwork by leveraging technology to foster collaboration.
    • Encouraging Employee Involvement in Decision-Making Processes: Imagine your organization is undergoing a strategic planning process. As the L&D leader, you leverage the Collaborative Coaching Style to promote employee involvement in decision-making processes. You conduct focus groups, surveys, and brainstorming sessions to gather input from employees at all levels of the organization. Involving employees in the decision-making process fosters a sense of ownership and commitment to the organization’s goals, leading to more significant alignment and buy-in.
    The Collaborative Coaching Style promotes teamwork, inclusivity, and shared decision-making, resulting in a more engaged and empowered workforce capable of achieving collective goals and driving organizational success.

    The Facilitative Coaching Style

    The Facilitative Coaching revolves around guiding individuals or teams through self-discovery, problem-solving, and personal growth. Rather than providing direct solutions, the facilitative coach empowers others to explore their capabilities, develop critical thinking skills, and take ownership of their actions. 

    Characteristics of Facilitative Coaching Style

    • Active Listening: The facilitative coach listens attentively to understand individuals’ or teams’ perspectives, concerns, and aspirations. Through active listening, the coach builds rapport, fosters trust, and creates a supportive environment for exploration and learning.
    • Questioning and Reflection: Instead of offering immediate answers, the facilitative coach poses thought-provoking questions to stimulate reflection and critical thinking. By encouraging individuals to explore different perspectives and possibilities, the coach facilitates deeper insights and enhances problem-solving skills.
    • Empowerment and Autonomy: The facilitative coach empowers individuals to make decisions, take calculated risks, and learn from their experiences. By providing autonomy and support, the coach fosters a sense of ownership and accountability, motivating individuals to pursue their goals with confidence and determination.

    Examples of Facilitative Coaching Style

    • Supporting Employees in Problem-Solving: When a team encounters a complex technical issue that requires innovative solutions. As the L&D manager, you guide the team through a structured problem-solving process, employing the Facilitative Coaching. You encourage brainstorming sessions, facilitate discussions, and ask probing questions to help team members identify root causes, explore alternative approaches, and develop creative solutions collaboratively. By fostering a supportive and empowering environment, you enable the team to address challenges effectively and enhance their problem-solving capabilities in the long run.
    • Empowering Employees to Take Ownership of Their Development: As an L&D leader, you engage employees in reflective conversations about their achievements, challenges, and career aspirations during performance review discussions. By encouraging self-assessment, soliciting feedback from peers and stakeholders, and offering developmental opportunities tailored to individual needs, you foster a learning, accountability, and empowerment culture where employees feel motivated to pursue excellence and contribute to organizational success.
    The Facilitative Coaching promotes self-discovery, empowerment, and personal growth, enabling individuals and teams to unlock their full potential and thrive in dynamic and challenging environments.

    The Transformational Coaching Style

    The Transformational Coaching Style revolves around inspiring and empowering individuals to reach their full potential by fostering a shared vision, encouraging innovation, and promoting personal and professional growth. 

    Characteristics of Transformational Coaching Style

    • Visionary Leadership: Transformational coaches articulate a compelling vision of the future that resonates with individuals’ values and aspirations. They inspire others to embrace change, challenge the status quo, and pursue ambitious goals with passion and purpose.
    • Empowerment and Trust: Transformational coaches empower individuals to take ownership of their roles, responsibilities, and career development. They cultivate a culture of trust, autonomy, and accountability, enabling individuals to explore new ideas and experiment with different approaches.
    • Authenticity and Empathy: Transformational coaches lead with authenticity, integrity, and empathy, building meaningful relationships based on mutual respect, understanding, and support. They actively listen to individuals’ concerns, celebrate their achievements, and provide constructive feedback to facilitate growth and development.

    Examples of Transformational Coaching Style

    • Inspiring and Motivating Employees Towards a Shared Vision: Consider a scenario where an organization embarks on a strategic initiative to expand into new markets and drive innovation. As the L&D manager adopting the Transformational Style, you inspire and motivate employees to embrace the organization’s vision, values, and strategic priorities. Through storytelling, vision casting, and inclusive communication, you paint a vivid picture of the future, highlighting the initiative’s opportunities, challenges, and collective impact. 
    • Promoting Personal and Professional Growth Through Mentorship: Employees who aspire to advance their careers and develop organizational leadership skills. As the L&D leader, you serve as a mentor and guide, offering personalized support, guidance, and encouragement to help employees achieve their goals. You provide constructive feedback, challenging assignments, and developmental opportunities tailored to the employee’s aspirations and growth areas. You can nurture a culture of mentorship and learning where individuals feel empowered to seek guidance, take risks, and explore new opportunities for growth and development.
    The Transformational Coaching Style inspires, empowers, and uplifts individuals to reach their full potential, pursue their passions, and positively impact their organizations.

    The Non-Directive Coaching Style

    The Non-Directive Coaching Style is characterized by a facilitative approach that empowers individuals to explore their thoughts, feelings, and solutions through self-discovery and reflection. The non-directive coach adopts a more hands-off approach, allowing individuals to lead the coaching process. 

    Characteristics of Non-Directive Coaching Style

    • Questioning and Exploration: Rather than offering immediate solutions or advice, the non-directive coach asks thought-provoking questions to stimulate critical thinking, self-awareness, and exploration. The coach encourages individuals to delve deeper into their values, beliefs, and motivations through open-ended inquiries.
    • Empowerment and Autonomy: The non-directive coach empowers individuals to take ownership of their personal and professional development journey. By fostering autonomy and self-reliance, the coach instills confidence, resilience, and a sense of agency in individuals, enabling them to make informed decisions.
    • Reflection and Growth: The non-directive coaching process encourages individuals to self-reflect, introspection, and continuous learning. By exploring past experiences, identifying patterns, and envisioning future possibilities, individuals gain valuable insights, clarity, and direction for growth.

    Examples of Non-Directive Coaching Style

    • Encouraging Self-Discovery and Reflection: Imagine an employee struggling to navigate career transitions, define their professional goals, and overcome self-doubt. As the L&D manager practicing the Non-Directive Coaching, you create a supportive coaching environment that encourages self-discovery and reflection. You help employees explore their passions and values through empathetic listening and powerful questioning, uncovering hidden talents and untapped potential. You guide the employee in identifying their aspirations, setting meaningful goals, and developing actionable plans for growth and development. 
    • Nurturing Creativity and Innovation Within the Team: A team facing creative blocks, brainstorming fatigue, and a lack of inspiration. As the L&D leader, you facilitate creative coaching sessions that ignite the imagination, stimulate curiosity, and unlock innovation. You encourage team members to explore diverse perspectives, challenge conventional thinking, and embrace experimentation. Through open-ended questions and creative exercises, you inspire individuals to tap into their creativity, explore new possibilities, and generate breakthrough ideas. 
    The Non-Directive Coaching Style promotes self-discovery, creativity, and innovation by empowering individuals to explore their thoughts, feelings, and solutions through reflective inquiry and open dialogue. 

    Wrapping Up

    This blog explored five leadership coaching styles; each style offers unique approaches to leadership development, ranging from providing clear guidance to fostering self-discovery and innovation within teams. Understanding the diversity of leadership coaching styles is crucial for effective development. It enables leaders to adapt their coaching approach to different situations, personalities, and organizational needs. L&D managers should explore and adopt suitable coaching styles that align with your team dynamics, goals, and values. 

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    Elevate your skills with Risely today and embark on your journey towards becoming a more effective leader.


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    Redefining Leadership: Uday Parmar’s Blueprint for Success

    Redefining Leadership: Uday Parmar’s Blueprint for Success

    Becoming a new manager is an exciting milestone in every professional’s career. With new responsibilities and expectations on their shoulders, you must have heard them saying I will not be the stereotypical manager you have seen. No micromanaging, no bossing team members; I will be the cool boss the team can come to. But do you know, according to research conducted by CEB, 60% of all new managers fail within the first 24 months. And the main reason behind it is lack of training. Under work pressure and stress to prove themselves, they end up giving out orders and stop empathizing with the team. Unknowingly, they become the stereotypical manager they always dreaded. Take a moment to reflect on the managers you’ve encountered throughout your career. If you are lucky, there must be one who stands out in your memory – a manager who left a mark on your career. What traits set them apart from these stereotypical managers? They must be those who understand that with great power comes great responsibility. Leadership is not about standing tall but bending down, rolling up your sleeves, and working twice as hard as everyone else.  Today, we will explore the managerial journey of a leader with a similar approach, Uday Parmar, co-founder of Lilypad, an e-commerce platform for electric vehicles. Despite his extensive global travel and studies, Uday remains humble. He thinks that taking on leadership roles has made him even more grounded. He has 20+ years of experience in international sales and business development. Apart from this, he finds joy in mentoring people, hitting the gym, and spending time with his furry friend. Ready to be inspired, challenged, and a little humbled as a leader? Uday’s story might give a friendly nudge to those managers who once aimed to be great leaders but might have lost their way.

    Humility and Teamwork: Uday Parmar’s Formula for a Thriving Team

    Uday Parmar has 15+ years of experience managing teams in traditional job roles and in the startups he founded. Like most new managers, he didn’t have formal training and felt unprepared for the challenges. However, what set him apart was his desire to improve himself continuously. Uday approached his managerial role with an open mind, eager to learn and acquire new skills from everyone around him, regardless of their position or years of experience. This commitment to constant growth and learning played a crucial role in shaping Uday into the adaptive leader he is today.
    I was terribly unprepared for it – and have learned, unlearned, and re-learned multiple times over these years. Uday Parmar
    In his initial days as a manager, Uday faced a challenge, which helped him understand that this managerial journey will never be linear and that he will have to reinvent himself based on the situations and team members. Looking back, he recalled one situation wherein one of his high-performing team members disagreed with Uday’s approach to the campaign. Rather than forcing his view on the team member, Uday took an unconventional route to find common ground. He split the team into two groups, each running a different campaign style – one aligned with Uday’s strategy and the other following the team member’s approach.  At the end of the 4-week campaign trial, Uday was surprised by the outcome: his strategy, combined with trust in his team members, resulted in fewer meetings than the alternative gung-ho phone-based approach. 
    I was amazed to learn that my well-thought-out and time-tested methodology resulted in limited success. It taught me a valuable lesson, for sure. Uday Parmar
    This experience left a lasting impact, shaping two key learnings that became the foundation of his leadership style. First, managers should never have the know-it-all attitude, and second, managers can also learn from their team members, not just the other way around. This incident taught him the importance of humility and that even though you’re a manager, you don’t always have to have all the answers. Learning from others, especially those in your team who might have valuable insights, is necessary. 

    Uday Parmar’s Approach to Managerial Challenges

    Despite Uday’s years of experience, he still faces challenges as a manager. He has shared two of his most common challenges that many fellow managers would relate to. Firstly, getting the entire team to progress and move along smoothly toward a common goal, and secondly, helping teams spend time on what they have as priorities, as opposed to company priorities. Uday acknowledges that getting everyone on the same page and ensuring cohesive progress is not a walk in the park. That’s why his leadership style thrives on giving everyone a voice. He believes that when every team member has a say, there is a greater sense of ownership and commitment. By fostering an environment where everyone’s input is valued, Uday found that teams become self-motivated, adding value and working independently towards shared objectives.
    I am a believer in ‘What gets measured gets done.’ Uday Parmar
    He has also shared a simple yet powerful philosophy. He emphasizes regular measurement and reporting to stay focused and unbiased. He believes many team management problems get solved if one knows what to measure, how to measure, and how to report. He emphasizes. This approach addresses challenges and fosters a proactive environment driven by clear goals and accountability. Uday’s strategic approach to measurement and reporting is not just a solution but a dynamic process fostering continuous improvement. By implementing these practices, managers can navigate the challenge of aligning team focus with priorities, promoting a culture of transparency and data-driven decision-making within their teams.

    Drawing Wisdom from Colleagues and Experiences

    Uday’s leadership learning extends beyond his own experiences; he picked a few things through observation and a few from colleagues. While working as a director at EY, he encountered the challenge of the dearth of quality content because of an inexperienced team. Rather than waiting for solutions from the content team, Uday sought advice from Harsha, Head of Forensic Technology at EY India.
    Harsha taught me a valuable lesson DIY(Do it yourself). Uday Parmar
    Harsha provided a simple yet powerful solution to the problem: “Why do we need to wait for others when we can do it ourselves.” Reflecting on this, Uday shared that day he learned there are times when managers have to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. He understood the invaluable lesson of leading by example. This hands-on approach sets him apart as a boss who practices what he preaches, emphasizing the importance of taking the initiative.
    I observed that not communicating the challenges team members were going through created a wall between managers and their teams. Uday Parmar
    To ensure there’s no communication gap between him and his team. Uday actively takes steps to dismantle the barriers. How does he do it? Through a combination of an open-door policy and candid self-disclosure. Firstly, he promotes an open-door policy. He encourages the team to discuss challenges, share ideas, and solve problems openly. This policy acts as a bridge, creating a culture where communication flows freely in both directions, eliminating awkwardness. Secondly, Uday breaks away from traditional leadership by openly embracing vulnerability, sharing his weaknesses, shortcomings, and areas where he may lack understanding. This honesty isn’t a weakness but a demonstration of Uday’s authenticity as a leader. It establishes a safe space where team members feel comfortable sharing and building trust and mutual understanding.

    Uday Parmar’s Tips for Effective Leadership

    For aspiring managers, Uday offers three golden tips: Be Yourself: Uday suggests new managers not to pretend to be someone they are not, just for the effect. According to him, authenticity is magnetic and helps build real connections. When managers are genuine, they attract trust, inspire others, and foster long-term relationships within the team. Empower Your Team: New managers often feel the need to prove themselves by handling everything on their own. However, Uday advises against this approach. Instead, he encourages managers to share responsibilities and delegate tasks. When team members are given opportunities and responsibilities, they can showcase their capabilities and untapped potential. By empowering team members, Uday believes that new managers can build a stronger, more capable team and create a workplace where each member feels valued and motivated to contribute their best. Embrace Your Ignorance: The third and most important tip is acknowledging that nobody knows everything. Admitting something you are unaware of without shame creates an open and transparent environment. Uday advises new managers to learn from their team and mentors and even from mistakes. Embracing your lack of knowledge encourages continuous learning and improvement for you and your team.

    How Can Risely Help?

    Uday Parmar has developed their leadership style by working as an leader in different companies and developing his own startup, an opportunity only some aspiring managers may have. But here’s the thing: we miss out on the nitty gritty and don’t always have the support to overcome similar challenges. That’s where Risely steps in as a solution. Risely is an AI buddy for managers, offering the guidance that every manager needs to unleash their true potential. With tailored steps and insights, Risely empowers you to solve challenges in simple steps: 
    • Identify your challenges: The journey begins when a manager starts by defining their challenges. From 50+ challenges, managers and team leaders can identify the issues hurting their team.
    • Test your skills: In the second step, skills and qualities, such as expectation setting and prioritization skills, are tested with the help of leadership skill assessments to see how well you have achieved these critical functions. These assessments help us create detailed reports for skills and abilities.
    • Start growing: Now comes the good part: where your progress becomes Risely’s agenda. Managers can start making progress with the help of daily nudges, toolkits, and the interactive AI coach – Merlin, who is there for you through thick or thin, whether day or night. 
    Sounds exciting? You can start a free conversation with Merlin now!

    Kickstart your leadership development journey for free now!

    Learning from mistakes is great. But what if we skip them? Find the loopholes in your skills with Risely’s range of assessments today.

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    The Gen Z Manager’s Diary: Chelsi Mehta’s Ride to the Top

    The Gen Z Manager’s Diary: Chelsi Mehta’s Ride to the Top

    For the last few months, Gen Z entering the workforce has been a hot topic for everyone. From casual water cooler conversations to social media debates, everyone has an opinion about them. Whether it’s the latest workplace meme or a shared eye-roll at their unique lingo, we’ve all had our fair share of interactions with this generation.  Some might find their lingo amusing and their work ethic a bit unconventional, but there’s an undeniable truth that we can’t ignore. Whenever a new generation steps into the professional world, it brings a breath of fresh air that workplaces have been silently waiting for.  What sets GenZ apart? Well, they are the first generation to grow up with digital exposure. Because of this, they are motivated and conditioned to ask questions, kickstarting crucial conversations about topics often overlooked– like work-life balance, mental health, and inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Today, we will share the professional journey of Chelsi Mehta, the Gen Z poster child. She has been a powerhouse in the creative industry for the past two years. She’s donned various hats of copywriter, ghostwriter, and creative manager. Currently, she is freelancing and managing a small team. When she is not crafting the next big thing in the creative domain, you’ll find her lifting weights like a boss and dishing out rants on social media. Now, that’s what you call a dynamic personality, right? Let’s uncover Chelsi Mehta’s intriguing journey as she reshapes workplaces on her terms! We will unravel how she went from being an employee to being her own boss in such a short span. Join us as we share the challenges she faced and the lessons she learned, and grab some awesome tips for all you aspiring managers! 

    LinkedIn Leap: Seizing the Opportunity with Zest

    During the monotonous days of lockdown, Chelsi, much like many of us, embarked on a journey of self-discovery. Boredom and frustration prompted her to explore different hobbies; in this quest of self-discovery, she rediscovered her old passion for writing. Little did she know this would lead to a remarkable career at that time.
    My writing journey started very early, even though I did not realize it started in my childhood when I used to write small notes to my mother about my day. Chelsi Mehta
    In conversation with Risely, Chelsi reflected on her journey and realized she always had creative ideas and used to pen them down, but she had never considered it a career. Things changed when she turned her personal experiences into short blogs during the lockdown. Her writing received a lot of appreciation, and she was encouraged to open her own website. Later, her writing career took an unexpected turn when she started researching businesses, crafting impactful business case studies for them, and writing content for SaaS companies.
    People have always told me I am a fast learner, which has been my greatest career advantage. Chelsi Mehta
    In 2021, she stumbled upon a LinkedIn post searching for writers. Despite being unfamiliar with LinkedIn and copywriting then, Chelsi’s continuous pursuit and determination helped her get the internship. She swiftly climbed the ranks, exposing her to handling various clients early on. Her quick learning abilities eventually drove her from an intern to a managerial position in no time.  Starting this journey wasn’t a walk in the park. Chelsi’s progress, while remarkable, wasn’t handed to her on a silver platter; it demanded hard work and resilience. Let’s explore her challenges as an individual contributor with her managers.

    Chelsi’s Learning Curve: Challenges and Insights as an Individual Contributor

    As an individual contributor, she faced many challenges with her managers that ultimately played a pivotal role in shaping her management style. Let’s delve into the hurdles she navigated as an individual contributor.
    My managers lacked transparency and effective communication, resulting in a gap in expectations. Chelsi Mehta
    Chelsi shared one situation where her managers didn’t tell her what was expected and the deadline, which created confusion. This confusion led to a delay in delivering work to the client. And instead of fixing the problem by communicating openly, the manager blamed the team for not meeting expectations. This experience made her realize the importance of clear and transparent communication. Now, she always talks openly and shares information with her team, avoiding misunderstandings and ensuring everyone is on the same page.
    You must be present as a manager and reach out to the team and ask if they need help. Chelsi Mehta
    Chelsi ensures transparency and open communication in her team by starting with a collaborative mindset. She initiates conversations beyond professional aspects, focusing on personal interests and goals during the hiring process. This approach creates a lasting impression and fosters a sense of collaboration. She stays involved throughout, checking in on her team daily, addressing any challenges, and ensuring they feel supported. She emphasizes being present consistently, not just assigning tasks and disappearing, but genuinely caring about their well-being. Even when work falls short of expectations, she maintains honesty and communicates openly about the team’s performance and her thoughts, fostering a culture of trust and transparency.

    Chelsi Unplugged: Overcoming Managerial Challenges with Finesse

    Chelsi handles challenges like a pro—only writer’s block can make her feel momentarily lost. Yet, she openly discussed some hurdles she noticed in her management style during a tough time in her career; she has shared her journey of overcoming them and consistently working to refine her managerial skills.
    Initially, being patient with team members with different personalities became a significant challenge while juggling various roles and responsibilities. Chelsi Mehta
    Chelsi faced two main challenges as a manager, which are interlinked in more than one way. First, managing her workload while being patient with her team proved to be a significant challenge. The second challenge was effectively handling different personalities. As a manager, she juggles various responsibilities, from overseeing operations to writing for clients, and this balancing act became daunting.  During a one-on-one conversation, she realized the impact of her shortcomings as a manager on team members’ growth and productivity. She recognized that she became impatient under the heavy workload and commitments and struggled to develop meaningful relationships with her team. This conversation served as a wake-up call, prompting Chelsi to acknowledge the need for patience in managing her workload and understanding and respecting the diverse personalities within her team.  Facing challenges head-on, she implemented smart strategies to overcome them. First, she embraced self-reflection. This awareness paved the way for improvement, helping her stay calm and focused amid challenges. Taking a step further, she worked on her communication skills. She started expressing herself more clearly and adopted a patient tone. This shift in communication style created a more positive and productive work environment. Recognizing the importance of support, Chelsi became a more guiding manager. She understood the value of clear guidance and thoroughly explained tasks to her team members. This proactive approach ensured everyone was on the same page, fostering better understanding and collaboration within the team.

    Beyond Management: Chelsi Mehta’s Tips for a Well-Rounded Career

    Chelsi embraces a distinctive approach to managing people; she considers herself more of a leader than a manager. According to her, every manager should adopt a leadership mindset beyond task completion—it’s about sparking positive change and making a lasting impact. According to her, the difference between a manager and a leader is that a manager ensures tasks are done, and a leader aspires for more, focusing on influencing and inspiring teams to create an environment where everyone flourishes. Now, let’s explore her tips for implementing this leadership philosophy.
    You will grow and learn skills by observing what’s happening around you and not through theory and courses. Chelsi Mehta
    Inspired by Oppenheimer’s insight, Chelsi emphasizes the limitations of theory with the quote,” Theory will take you only so far.” In today’s time, she advocates for a hands-on approach to learning. Her advice to newcomers is straightforward: invest time in homework, research, and practical experience. She urges professionals to dive into their chosen field, understanding its nuances and identifying personal motivations. She discourages vague questions and champions proactive learning—initiates by doing and observing. 
    Just being a manager won’t ensure your growth; you have to do different things to ensure growth. Chelsi Mehta
    Chelsi highlights the importance of not getting stuck in one routine, comparing it to eating the same food daily—eventually, you’ll lose interest. She suggests that professionals keep reinventing themselves through observation, leading to growth and personal satisfaction.  By this, she means combining professional tasks and hobbies to ensure continuous growth. Leaders can gain a valuable edge by staying aware of their surroundings, keeping up with industry changes, and being connected to shifts. Engaging with mindful and relevant content acts as a guide through dynamic changes, preventing you from staying stuck in your comfort zone. She emphasizes the significance of staying excited and engaged in various aspects of life, both at work and beyond.

    How can Risely help?

    Chelsi Mehta has developed her leadership style by learning through experience and mistakes without any safety net, making her journey more inspiring. But here’s the thing: we miss out on the nitty gritty and don’t always have the support to overcome similar challenges. That’s where Risely steps in as a solution. Risely is an AI buddy for managers, offering the guidance that every manager needs to unleash their true potential. With tailored steps and insights, Risely empowers you to solve challenges in simple steps: 
    • Identify your challenges: The journey begins when a manager starts by defining their challenges. From 50+ challenges, managers and team leaders can identify the issues hurting their team.
    •  Test your skills: In the second step, skills and qualities, such as expectation setting and prioritization skills, are tested with the help of leadership skill assessments to see how well you have achieved these critical functions. These assessments help us create detailed reports for skills and abilities.
    •  Start growing: Now comes the good part: where your progress becomes Risely’s agenda. Managers can start making progress with the help of daily nudges, toolkits, and the interactive AI coach – Merlin, who is there for you through thick or thin, whether day or night. 
    Sounds exciting? You can start a free conversation with Merlin now!

    Kickstart your leadership development journey for free now!

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    Rising to the Challenge: Shruthi Kamath’s Path to Becoming a Manager

    Rising to the Challenge: Shruthi Kamath’s Path to Becoming a Manager

    “Can I really do this?” It’s a question that echoes in the minds of countless professionals contemplating a leap into management. The fear of the unknown, the anxiety of making decisions that impact others, and the worry about losing the familiar comfort of their existing roles – these are the emotions that grip many aspiring managers. Meet Shruthi Kamath, a Senior Customer Success manager with nearly eleven years of professional experience. She deals with client communication, understands their requirements, and gives them the experience of the product and services. Shruthi is a creative and self-driven person who enjoys turning her ideas into reality. She always gives her best in every project she takes on. But as a manager, like so many others, she was initially scared at the mere thought of becoming a manager. We’ll talk about her fears and hesitations about taking on the role and how she turned those feelings around and became the excellent manager she is today. Her professional story demonstrates how embracing the unknown can lead to remarkable professional and personal growth.

    A Change of Heart: How Support and Self-Discovery Overcome Hesitation

    “I thought I could never become a manager because it never seemed like my cup of tea.” Shruthi Kamath
    Initially, when Shruthi got an opportunity to become a manager, the idea didn’t sit well with her. She had reservations, mainly because of the negative stereotypes associated with the managerial role. The common belief that team members often dislike their managers weighed heavily on her mind. In retrospect, Shruthi’s reluctance to take on a managerial role primarily stemmed from her concern about positively impacting her team. The thought of stepping into a managerial role brought the weight of wondering whether she could contribute positively to her team’s dynamics. The hesitation wasn’t rooted in self-doubt but rather in a genuine desire to ensure that her influence on the team would be constructive and beneficial. This thoughtful consideration lingered in her mind as she contemplated embracing the role of a manager.
    “Managing people is a challenging task.” Shruthi Kamath
    Another reason why the idea of stepping into a manager’s shoes didn’t initially appeal to Shruthi was the complexity associated with the managerial role.She had always been the kind of professional who thrived on improving and streamlining processes. The thought of whether she could effectively manage it all made her uncertain. After all, managing people is often considered one of the most challenging tasks in the professional world. As a manager, the to-do list seems endless. You need to understand each team member’s unique work style, what motivates them, and how to inspire them to achieve their goals. You have to ensure that the work gets done on time and that your team is content working under your leadership. And, as if that wasn’t enough, you still have your own tasks to complete. The sheer magnitude of it all made her wonder if she could juggle it successfully. After some conversations with her colleagues and seniors, Shruthi began to see the manager’s role in a new light. It dawned on her that this might be the next step for her growth and professional development. With her seniors’ and colleagues’ support and encouragement, she decided to take the leap. Stepping into the managerial role turned out to be an enlightening journey and became an opportunity for self-discovery, too. With every interaction, she learned valuable lessons, not just about managing others but about understanding herself better. 

    Early Days of Leadership: Shruthi Kamath’s Managerial Challenges

    “I would explain the tasks at hand clearly and would still sense a little doubt in the room.”  Shruthi Kamath
    For Shruthi, a first-time manager, the initial hurdle she faced was ensuring that her team members fully grasped the task at hand, aiming to bridge potential communication gaps. Often, she found herself in a situation where she would explain things to her team, only to realize that her message hadn’t landed as intended. Sometimes, it was frustrating for her to repeat herself and still be uncertain whether her explanations had truly resolved the issues or if her team truly understood her. This challenge became a significant learning curve, pushing her to find more effective ways to communicate her ideas and tasks. As the meticulous professional that Shruthi is, she was determined to solve this challenge; after a few trial and error methods, she found a method that worked for her team.
    “To tackle the communication gap effectively, I started doing a simple exercise after discussions.” Shruthi Kamath
    To handle the communication challenge head-on, Shruthi initiated a simple yet clever exercise within her team. She began by articulating what needed to be done and then asked her team members to repeat what was articulated once she had finished. It was an easy yet effective approach designed to uncover gaps in understanding and ensure that her messages were crystal clear. This exercise not only made it easier for her to identify communication gaps but also allowed her team to actively participate in the process of bridging those gaps. It was a step towards fostering a more cohesive and communicative team where everyone was on the same page.
    “I had a hard time understanding the team’s point of view and building empathy.” Shruthi Kamath
    Another significant challenge Shruthi grappled with was seeing things from her team’s perspective to understand what was causing delays and struggles. At times, it seemed to her like they weren’t doing their job properly. It was a learning curve for her, a journey of self-discovery. She realized that in her role as a manager, it was crucial to comprehend what her team members were going through. Without this understanding, frustration might have been her default response when they didn’t meet her expectations. So, she embarked on a mission to bridge this gap. She knew that it was vital to get to the root of the issue. Shruthi discovered the importance of diving into her team members’ backgrounds, understanding their challenges, and providing support where needed. She understood that without this empathy, simply reprimanding them for not meeting her demands wasn’t a constructive approach. Shruthi made it a practice to connect with her team members personally. She engaged them in conversations where they felt safe to open up and share their concerns. By creating this atmosphere of trust and open communication, she discovered a whole new dimension to her role as a manager. It wasn’t just about directing tasks; it was about being there for her team, understanding their struggles, and helping them overcome obstacles.
    “I used to get worked up easily if something didn’t go according  to the plan.” Shruthi Kamath
    Shruthi used to find herself quickly getting worked up when things didn’t go according to plan, often reacting critically in the face of unexpected challenges. Recognizing this as a challenge, she embarked on a mission to improve her approach. Her turning point came when she realized that not everything unfolds as planned. Instead of reacting impulsively, she opted for a more measured response. When confronted with a situation that triggered frustration, she chose to sit with it, allowing herself to process the emotions it evoked. Only when she felt composed and clear-headed did she engage with the situation. This transformation wasn’t just about managing her reactions; it was also about fairness. She understood it wasn’t right to react abruptly with her team members for circumstances beyond their control. This shift in her response and perspective marked a significant milestone in her managerial journey.

    Shruthi’s Managerial Mantra: Active Listening and Constructive Feedback

    “As a manager, I assure that I am here and willing to listen to what my team says.” Shruthi Kamath
    Shruthi has the most visionary ideas in the room, and she recalls that when her managers heard her out and engaged with her thoughts, her job satisfaction and overall work engagement soared. Knowing the importance of out-of-the-box thinking, she, as a manager, carries this belief of active listening into her role. She considers it vital to encourage her team members when they approach her with their ideas. For Shruthi, being open and receptive to these ideas is a fundamental practice. For her, sharing ideas is not just about whether they will be implemented; it goes far beyond that. She never dismisses her team members’ contributions outright, nor does she label any idea as unimportant. Instead, she listens attentively, asking questions and showing genuine interest in understanding the concepts presented.  This approach is more than just about ideas; it fosters trust and a healthy rapport within her team. By demonstrating a willingness to consider and engage with her team’s input, Shruthi cultivates an environment where every member feels valued and respected. This trust and respect not only lead to stronger teamwork but also contribute to overall job satisfaction and engagement in the workplace.
    “I make sure to check in with my team regularly and give them constructive feedback.” Shruthi Kamath
    Shruthi’s experience in her career taught her the value of receiving constructive feedback, something she felt she had been lacking in her career initially. As a manager now, she has made it a point to ensure that her team members receive the feedback they need. What sets her approach apart is her skill in delivering feedback in a manner that doesn’t leave her team members feeling disheartened. She takes a thoughtful approach to identifying the right way to provide feedback, always aiming for a constructive conversation. Her feedback isn’t about making her team members upset; it’s about helping them improve their work. She provides them with clear guidance on how they can enhance their performance. Shruthi’s feedback strategy involves beginning with something positive, acknowledging the areas where they’ve excelled, and then gently introducing areas where there is room for improvement. This balanced approach creates an atmosphere of growth and development, where her team members can receive feedback with an open mind, knowing it’s geared towards their success. This approach ensures her team members feel supported and motivated to enhance their work continuously. As Shruthi’s journey as a manager unfolds, she’s shown a remarkable ability to recognize her shortcomings and proactively address them. Her determination to avoid falling into the stereotype of managers she once feared has fueled her growth in this new role.  While she humbly admits she still has much to learn, it’s impossible to ignore her genuine enthusiasm when discussing her newfound role. For Shruthi, the real charm of being a manager lies in the trust her team members place in her. It’s not just about overseeing projects and making decisions—it’s about those moments when her teammates approach her with problems or seek her advice. To her, there’s nothing quite as rewarding as being a reliable source of guidance and support for her team. Witnessing her colleagues look up to her, trusting her judgment, and seeking her assistance has become the most fulfilling part of her managerial journey. As Shruthi continues on this path, it’s evident that her journey as a manager is not just a professional milestone—it’s a personal evolution.

    How can Risely help?

    Shruthi Kamath has developed her leadership style and perspective through her experience and seniors’ guidance. Her journey to overcome hesitance and become a confident manager is commendable. However, it’s essential to recognize that not all managers have the same time, resources, and opportunities to perfect their leadership style. Every manager is unique in their leadership style and challenges. That’s where Risely comes in. Risely offers a platform for managers to seek the guidance and support they need to navigate their leadership journey. It provides tailored steps and insights to help managers refine their approach and achieve their true potential. Here’s how Risely solves challenges for many Managers like Shruthi:
    • Identify your challenges: The journey begins when a manager starts by defining their challenges. From 30+ challenges, managers and team leaders can identify the issues hurting their team.
    • Test your skills: In the second step, skills and qualities are tested, such as expectation setting and prioritization skills, to see how well managers have achieved these critical functions. Based on these assessments,  they learn about their  skills and abilities with detailed reports.
    • Start growing: With time, managers can start making progress with the help of daily nudges provided by Risely. It dynamically supports the manager’s  progress through resources like toolkits, samples, and assessments.
    Risely, the AI co-pilot for leadership development, makes the road easy for up-and-coming managers and team leaders. While you are navigating the new ways of a managerial role, Risely takes the lead on your growth and creates personalized learning journeys leading toward your professional goals. In a busy world, it’s the buddy you need to succeed! 

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    Understanding Modern Leadership: Ananya Narang’s Perspective on Team Management 

    Understanding Modern Leadership: Ananya Narang’s Perspective on Team Management 

    Founders and managers, the unsung heroes of the business world, often find themselves juggling various challenges. From instilling accountability to motivating their diverse team members, these leaders carry the weight of creating a harmonious and productive work environment.  One of the biggest hurdles for leaders is managing people. It’s like trying to find your way through a maze, but instead of walls, leaders are dealing with different personalities, work styles, and expectations from team members. Their job is to make sure everyone works well together. This means dealing with personal conflicts, helping the team do their best, and ensuring everyone stays motivated to reach the same goals. Then there’s the issue of time. Managers always feel like they’re racing against the clock. They have many things to do – overseeing important projects, attending meetings, and ensuring their team is happy. It’s like trying to fit too many puzzle pieces into a small frame. These challenges might not be talked about as much as they should be, but they’re real for managers and founders. In this manager story, we will hear from Ananya Narang, who has faced these challenges head-on. She will share her experiences, insights, and strategies that helped her and can help other leaders like her. Ananya Narang, founder of Entourage Marketing, aims to empower startups and founders on their path to success. Her startup has a straightforward mission: to assist emerging startups in becoming strong and influential players in their respective markets. Ananya’s professional journey is nothing short of captivating. Over the past 2-3 years, she has worn many hats in the dynamic field of content and marketing. Her roles ranged from freelancing to collaborating with renowned brands and their marketing departments. This diverse experience has given her a unique perspective, enabling her to understand how each stakeholder approaches and solves complex marketing and content department challenges.

    The Unpredictable Nature of Leadership: Challenges of Ananya Narang’s Journey

    “Nobody can ever prepare themselves for a leadership role because there is a new set of challenges every day.” – Ananya Narang
    Considering her prior work with numerous founders and in-depth discussions about their entrepreneurial journeys, Ananya had a semblance of what lay ahead. She mentally felt well-prepared, believing she knew the challenges that awaited her. However, life has a knack for throwing curveballs when you least expect it. As a founder, Ananya was in many complex situations in the initial months; the only thing that helped her get through was her perseverance to make a mark for herself. 
    “In the leadership role, you don’t only have to deal with your team but also several other stakeholders- clients, ecosystem partners, influencers and what not!” -Ananya Narang
    Ananya identifies that the most persistent challenge she grapples with as a founder is the complex task of comprehending diverse individuals within and outside the team. She recognizes that each person possesses a distinct thought process, coping mechanisms for various situations, and unique communication styles. Achieving a balance between her team members, stakeholders, and their distinctive communication styles and work approaches while effectively conveying her perspective in different scenarios stands out as an ongoing struggle that demands continuous adaptation and learning.
    “Sometimes, as a leader, keeping track of time becomes very challenging.” -Ananya Narang
    As a leader, effective time management remains a vital responsibility. This role requires a delicate balance between providing valuable support to team members and ensuring that essential tasks are not incomplete. It’s also crucial to remember that, amid these responsibilities, leaders must also prioritize and manage their personal lives. Disrupting the equilibrium can have far-reaching effects on a leader’s personal and professional life. To manage time effectively, Ananya has shared a few tips she follows to remain productive and on time.
    “One of the most undermined assets is calendar blocking.” -Ananya Narang
    Ananya advocates a proactive approach to time management for fellow founders and leaders. Her advice centers on maintaining a meticulous calendar and planning daily to maximize productivity. Even for a brief 10-minute call, she stresses the importance of scheduling it beforehand. This practice ensures that both parties are well-prepared, minimizing the likelihood of missed calls or disorganized meetings. Additionally, Ananya employs a strategic approach to managing her time. She begins her day by tackling the toughest calls and addressing the most significant challenges head-on. This proactive stance allows her to confront critical issues as the day’s first task, ensuring a focused and clear mindset. Throughout her day, she carefully allocates specific time slots to address conversations based on their priority levels. This systematic approach keeps her well-informed about her team members’ concerns and critical information and facilitates effective leadership and timely issue resolution. By structuring her day in this manner, she exemplifies a thoughtful and organized leadership style, ensuring that her team’s needs and commitments receive the attention they deserve.

    Ananya’s Top 3 Strategies for Building Long-term Vision in a Team  

    Ananya is a leader who refrains from micromanaging. Her leadership style revolves around illuminating the impact of her team’s work, ensuring they comprehend the “why” behind their tasks, and presenting the bigger picture. Rather than controlling every detail, she empowers her team by fostering understanding and a sense of purpose. But she also understands showing the bigger picture is easier said than done. She has shared a few steps that helped her open up this broader view to her team.
    “It is important for candidates to understand the culture of the company.” -Ananya Narang
    In the modern workplace, GenZ’s unique expectations have reshaped the dynamics between managers and employees. A Deloitte study revealed a trend: Gen Z values purpose and job satisfaction over higher salaries, challenging the conventional wisdom about workplace motivation. Ananya is one of those leaders whose strategy revolves around illuminating the bigger picture for her team. She passionately communicates the company’s mission and visionary goals, fostering a profound understanding among her team members. This shared vision not only instills purpose but also fuels a collective passion, pushing the team toward common objectives. In the face of these shifting paradigms, leaders like Ananya play a pivotal role, inspiring teams to work harmoniously towards shared goals. By focusing on intrinsic motivators and offering a compelling vision, Ananya’s approach not only ensures the company’s success but also cultivates a motivated and resilient workforce.
    “Illuminate the ‘Why,’ and motivation becomes the ‘How.” -Ananya Narang
    Ananya’s second step in creating a long-term vision involves explaining the “why” behind every task. Through her leadership experiences, she has consistently witnessed the transformative power of team members, understanding the significance of their work. This understanding, she believes, kindles a profound sense of purpose and commitment, eliminating the need for external motivation. Ananya’s leadership approach is intricately woven with this principle as she strives to unveil the deeper purpose behind each task, ultimately inspiring her team to give their absolute best. In her eyes, spoon-feeding tasks are equally counterproductive as spoon-feeding solutions. Ananya ardently advocates that it’s not just about instructing people on what to do; it’s about teaching them how to think. This leadership style promotes independence, cultivates critical thinking, and sparks innovation within her team. As a result, her team members approach challenges with confidence and creativity, knowing they possess the skills to navigate them effectively.
    “My main job as a leader is to just Communicate” – Ananya Narang
    The third step in Ananya’s strategy for nurturing a long-term vision among her team members involves a deeply personalized approach. Ananya goes the extra mile by regularly sitting down for one-on-one discussions with each team member, delving into their dreams and personal goals. It’s a unique approach that showcases her genuine care and commitment to their success. As Ananya sees it, communication is at the heart of leadership. She emphasizes the importance of conveying the right message to the right people, and she practices what she preaches. From individual meetings to full-team gatherings, she believes in the power of regular and effective communication to ensure that her team is on the same page and moving toward their long-term vision. It fosters an environment where team members see themselves as contributors to the organization’s goals and individuals whose growth and ambitions are supported by their leader. Ultimately, Ananya’s commitment to understanding and assisting her team in achieving their aspirations contributes to establishing a dedicated, motivated, and loyal group of professionals aligned with the company’s long-term vision.

    Tips for Leaders to Understand Modern Employee Expectations

    From Ananya’s perspective, the evolving workforce landscape demands leaders to elevate their management strategies. 
    “Work is not just about making money anymore.” – Ananya Narang
    Changing workplace expectations of employees is influenced by many factors, such as evolving generational dynamics and societal shifts, which have brought forth a shift in how we perceive work. Work is no longer just a means of earning a paycheck; it carries more profound sentiments like fulfillment, acknowledgment, personal growth, recognition, and respect. Therefore, founders and managers must delve into what their employees seek from their work environment. Understanding and analyzing these desires within the working ecosystem is pivotal to effective leadership to keep them productive and engaged.
    “When there is no trust, there is no team.” – Ananya Narang
    She believes managers shouldn’t perceive themselves as sitting at the top of a hierarchy, detached from their team members. Instead, they should position themselves at the center, among their team. By doing so, managers can foster trust and rapport with their team members. When team members perceive their manager as one of them, someone who understands their challenges, concerns, and aspirations, they are more likely to trust and respect that manager. This trust is essential for effective leadership because it promotes open communication, collaboration, and a sense of unity within the team. In the world of startups, leaders like Ananya tackle some real challenges, from dealing with unique personalities to racing against the clock. Ananya’s journey shows us that leadership is full of surprises – no two days are alike! Her secret sauce? She understands her team, shares a clear vision, and cheers on their personal goals. Nowadays, it’s not just about making money; it’s about finding meaning, satisfaction, and personal growth. Ananya’s story is a reminder that trust, understanding, and clear communication are the keys to excellent leadership – building a team that’s motivated and super loyal!

    How Risely helps managers achieve their true potential? 

    Ananya Narang has developed her leadership approach and perspective through keen observation and experience. Her focus on communicating with team members rather than giving orders must resonate with many busy managers and leaders juggling multiple tasks while trying to build their businesses. However, it’s essential to recognize that not all managers with this mindset have access to the same level of time and patience. Every manager is unique in their leadership style and challenges. That’s where Risely comes in. Risely offers a platform for managers to seek the guidance and support they need to navigate their leadership journey. It provides tailored steps and insights to help managers refine their approach and achieve their true potential. Here’s how Risely solves challenges for many Founders and Managers like Ananya:
    • Identify your challenges: The journey begins when a manager starts by defining their challenges. From 30+ challenges, managers and team leaders can identify the issues hurting their team.
    • Test your skills: In the second step, skills and qualities are tested, such as expectation setting and prioritization skills, to see how well managers have achieved these critical functions. Based on these assessments,  they learn about their  skills and abilities with detailed reports.
    • Start growing: With time, managers can start making progress with the help of daily nudges provided by Risely. It dynamically supports the manager’s  progress through resources like toolkits, samples, and assessments.
    Risely, the AI co-pilot for leadership development, makes the road easy for up-and-coming managers and team leaders. While you are navigating the new ways of a managerial role, Risely takes the lead on your growth and creates personalized learning journeys leading toward your professional goals. In a busy world, it’s the buddy you need to succeed! 

    Kickstart your leadership development journey for free now!

    Learning from mistakes is great. But what if we skip them? Find the loopholes in your skills with Risely’s range of assessments today.

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    Guidance for effective leadership as a General Sales Manager

    Guidance for effective leadership as a General Sales Manager

    Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” – Thomas Edison
    Are You Ready to Captain Your Sales Team to Success? A Guide to Becoming a Remarkable General Sales Manager Imagine yourself at the wheel of a high-performing sales team, navigating the ever-changing currents of the market with confidence and skill. As a General Sales Manager (GSM), your leadership can propel your team to new heights or leave them struggling in the wake of missed opportunities. But what does it take to be a genuinely remarkable GSM? This article isn’t just another dry job description. Think of it as your roadmap to sales leadership excellence. We’ll dive deep into the essential qualities and strategies that will transform you from an excellent manager to a game-changer, guiding you through:
    • The core responsibilities of a GSM: From setting targets and coaching reps to building a winning culture, understand the full scope of your role.
    • The secrets to unlocking sales success: We’ll unveil the proven strategies for motivating your team, exceeding targets, and building a pipeline that keeps your business thriving.
    • The attributes that make a truly remarkable GSM: Discover the essential qualities that set apart the best leaders, from strategic thinking and communication mastery to emotional intelligence and resilience.
    • The challenges you’ll face and how to overcome them: From managing diverse personalities to navigating market fluctuations, we’ll equip you with the tools to conquer any obstacle.
    Remember, becoming a remarkable GSM isn’t just about ticking boxes. It’s about inspiring your team, fostering a culture of collaboration, and driving results that leave a lasting impact.Are you ready to take the helm and lead your team to sales victory? Buckle up, grab your metaphorical compass, and embark on this journey together.

    What does a general sales manager do?

    A General Sales Manager is crucial to any organization’s growth and profitability. Their role encompasses overseeing sales operations, managing teams, fostering client relationships, and ensuring customer satisfaction.  Strong communication skills and decision-making abilities are crucial to be effective in this role. Additionally, a proven track record in sales is vital as it ensures that they can drive business growth and success. A general Sales Manager has experience managing sales teams, and creating effective sales strategies is essential. The responsibilities of a General Sales Manager include developing sales plans and strategies to meet or exceed revenue targets, analyzing market trends and data to identify opportunities for growth, coaching and training sales teams to improve performance, building solid relationships with clients, negotiating deals and contracts with customers, and ensuring that customer satisfaction remains high. Read More: Be a Star Sales Manager: Top 6 Skills needed and ways to enhance them

    Understanding the Importance of a General Sales Manager

    The role of a general sales manager cannot be overstated in driving sales success and ensuring efficient operations and profitability. They lead the sales team, inspiring a collaborative and motivated work environment. Nurturing client relationships is critical for long-term success as it builds trust and loyalty. They can also catalyze business growth, identifying opportunities and implementing strategies to capitalize on them. Businesses that understand the importance of an effective general sales manager can benefit significantly from their leadership and guidance. Some essential qualities of a successful general sales manager include excellent communication skills, sound judgment, adaptability, and a deep understanding of customer needs. A skilled general sales manager should also have a strong sense of accountability, lead by example, and create a culture of excellence within the sales team. They must thoroughly know the market trends, competition, and industry developments to make informed decisions that drive business growth. An excellent general sales manager should be able to align the team’s goals with broader organizational objectives while keeping track of key performance metrics such as conversion rates, lead generation numbers, revenue growth rates, etc.

     Catalyst for Business Growth

    • A highly effective General Sales Manager catalyzes business growth by developing and executing growth strategies that drive revenue and expand market share.
    • They identify new market opportunities and stay ahead of changing trends to foster innovation and adaptability.
    • Collaborating with other departments creates synergy and maximizes the organization’s overall performance.
    • They continuously improve sales processes and drive high-performance standards to achieve exceptional results.
    • Their confident and solution-oriented approach ensures long-term success and profitability.

    Ensuring Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

    Ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty is crucial for the success of any dealership. Building solid customer relationships is key to fostering loyalty and encouraging repeat business. Effective communication is vital in addressing customer concerns and resolving any issues.  A General Sales Manager can enhance customer satisfaction by providing excellent customer service, promoting positive word-of-mouth, and attracting new customers. Understanding customer needs and preferences allows tailoring sales strategies to meet their expectations better. Implementing customer feedback and suggestions is essential for continuously improving overall satisfaction and retention. By focusing on customer satisfaction and loyalty, a General Sales Manager can drive success and growth for the dealership. Read More: Two Sides of the Same Coin: Customer Satisfaction and Employee Satisfaction

    The Roles and Responsibilities of a General Sales Manager

    As a highly effective General Sales Manager, your role encompasses developing strategies to achieve sales goals while overseeing and providing leadership to the sales team. Your responsibilities include
    • Ensuring customer satisfaction
    • Maintaining strong client relationships
    • Driving profitability for the sales department
    By implementing sales management processes and best practices, you can optimize the performance of your dealership in the competitive market. Your expertise in managing sales operations, team dynamics, and nurturing client relationships will be vital in meeting targets and maximizing revenue. With your solution-oriented mindset, you can overcome challenges and propel your sales team to success.

    Overseeing Sales Operations

    In the conversation with Mckinsey, Linda Crawford, executive vice president and general manager of Salesforce.com’s Sales Cloud says Selling is a “knowing” skill today -Most of the prospects salespeople encounter today are pretty well educated on the products and services the sellers are providing. A General Sales Manager must possess diverse skills and competencies to oversee sales operations. They are responsible for managing sales operations to meet targets, analyzing sales data to gain valuable insights, and optimizing sales processes for enhanced efficiency. Additionally, they develop and implement sales strategies that align with the organization’s goals and collaborate with other departments to ensure cross-functional success.  By leveraging their expertise in sales management, these managers drive profitability for the sales department while nurturing client relationships. Their ability to adapt to changing market dynamics and technological advancements, such as the internet, is crucial for achieving exceptional results. When hiring a General Sales Manager, businesses should prioritize those with a proven track record, strong leadership qualities, and a clear understanding of customer satisfaction.  A competent General Sales Manager maximizes sales team performance and meets sales goals, moving the business toward success.

    Team Management and Leadership

    To grow as a General Sales Manager, it is essential to possess skills in team management and leadership. A manager is responsible for recruiting, training, and guiding the sales team, ensuring they have the skills to succeed. They establish
    • Clear sales objectives and expectations
    • Offering guidance and support to assist their team in meeting targets
    A general sales manager is crucial in maintaining loyalty and driving business growth by nurturing client relationships and ensuring customer satisfaction. They possess effective communication and interpersonal skills, strong decision-making and problem-solving abilities, and a proven track record in sales. This position requires a deep understanding of the sales management landscape, emphasizing achieving sales goals and building a successful sales team. Hiring the right general sales manager can significantly impact a business’s success while overcoming the challenges faced in this role is crucial for long-term success. Cultivating a sense of teamwork and collaboration among team members is crucial in creating a positive and fruitful work environment. Additionally, acknowledging and rewarding sales accomplishments motivates the team and reinforces a culture of excellence and high performance. By prioritizing team management and leadership, General Sales Managers can navigate their dealership toward success and growth.

    Nurturing Client Relationships

    Successful general sales managers understand the importance of nurturing client relationships. They build long-term connections with clients, ensuring their satisfaction and loyalty. By regularly communicating with clients, they gain a deep understanding of their needs and provide effective solutions.  Moreover, these managers identify upselling and cross-selling opportunities to boost sales and profitability. In addition, they immediately address any concerns or issues clients raise, resolving them immediately and satisfactorily. With their strong customer focus and solution-oriented approach, general sales managers play a crucial role in fostering positive client relationships, ultimately contributing to the success of the sales department and the overall business.

    Job Description of a General Manager in Sales

    To ensure the smooth operation of the sales department, a general sales manager collaborates with other managers to align goals. They develop and implement sales strategies and plans, analyzing market trends and competitors. Focusing on profitability, they monitor and report on sales performance, making adjustments as necessary. 

    Education and Experience Requirements

    • A bachelor’s degree in business or a related field is essential to gain a strong foundation in sales principles and techniques.
    • Proven experience in sales management is crucial for understanding the dynamics of the sales department and achieving sales goals.
    • Familiarity with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems and sales software is necessary to manage and analyze the sales team’s performance effectively.
    • Excellent leadership and communication skills are vital for guiding the team toward success and nurturing a culture of collaboration.
    • With the right educational background and practical experience, a general sales manager can confidently lead their sales department and drive profitability.

    Essentials skills and competencies for an effective general sales manager

    • Effective Negotiation and Persuasion Skills: A General Sales Manager must possess exceptional negotiation and persuasion skills. These skills are essential for not only closing deals but also for maximizing profitability. Whether negotiating with clients, suppliers, or team members, finding common ground and achieving mutually beneficial outcomes is critical.
    • Analytical and Problem-Solving Abilities: Analytical thinking and problem-solving are key competencies for a General Sales Manager. These abilities enable them to analyze complex market trends, identify sales opportunities, and develop effective strategies to overcome challenges. They can guide their team toward success by staying ahead of market changes and proactively addressing issues.
    • Motivational Leadership: Motivating and inspiring a sales team is crucial to a General Sales Manager’s role. Motivational leadership sets the tone for the entire sales department. They foster a positive work environment through effective motivation where team members are driven to perform at their best. They not only boost morale but also lead to improved sales performance.
    • Exceptional Communication Skills: A General Sales Manager must excel in written and verbal communication. Effective communication is essential for interacting with clients, colleagues, and stakeholders. Clear and concise communication helps convey strategies, goals, and expectations, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
    • Results-Driven Mindset: A results-driven mindset is at the core of a General Sales Manager’s approach. They are focused on achieving and surpassing sales targets. This drive to consistently deliver results propels the sales department’s success. It also instills a culture of performance excellence within the team. By harnessing these essential skills and competencies, a General Sales Manager plays a pivotal role in driving the sales department’s success and nurturing valuable client relationships. Their ability to negotiate effectively, analyze market trends, motivate teams, communicate clearly, and focus on results makes them a linchpin in achieving sales objectives.

    What Makes a Successful General Sales Manager?

    Successful general sales managers are known for their leadership skills, which they use to inspire and motivate their sales teams. They establish clear objectives and guide them to achieve them. Their decision-making is informed by data and analytics, allowing them to drive sales performance confidently. Furthermore, their adaptability and willingness to collaborate with other departments ensure that they maximize sales opportunities. To be a general sales manager, one must possess excellent communication skills to build relationships with customers and internal stakeholders. They should also have a deep understanding of the market trends and customer preferences so that they can design strategies accordingly. A key component of successful sales management is setting achievable targets for the team while providing them with the necessary support and resources to meet those goals. The sales manager also prioritizes training and professional development opportunities for their team members. This helps their employees grow and increases the team’s overall skill level, resulting in better results. Lastly, consistent monitoring of team performance metrics like conversion rates, lead generation, and customer satisfaction scores can help identify areas for improvement and guide future decision-making.

    Key Performance Indicators

    Specific key performance indicators (KPIs) can be used to evaluate a General Sales Manager’s effectiveness. These KPIs provide valuable insights into the sales department’s performance and overall business profitability. Some essential KPIs include:
    • Conversion rates and sales cycle length
    • Customer acquisition and retention rates
    • Average deal size and profit margins
    • Sales team productivity and quota attainment
    Tracking these metrics allows the general sales manager to gauge their strategies’ success and identify improvement areas. For instance, increasing sales revenue and growth rate indicates successful sales initiatives, while high conversion rates and shorter sales cycles indicate efficient sales processes. Additionally, customer acquisition and retention rates reflect the effectiveness of nurturing client relationships. These KPIs are powerful tools for monitoring progress toward sales goals and making data-driven decisions to drive business success.

    Effective Communication and Interpersonal Skills

    Effective communication and interpersonal skills are essential for a general sales manager. It is vital to communicate clearly and concisely to ensure that all team members have a shared understanding, which promotes unity and efficiency. Actively listening is essential to comprehend customers’ and team members’ needs and concerns, as it supports problem-solving and decision-making.  The ability to resolve conflicts also contributes to a positive work environment, fostering teamwork and collaboration. Furthermore, showing empathy and understanding helps build rapport and trust with customers and team members, resulting in stronger relationships and improved sales outcomes.

    Strong Decision-Making and Problem-Solving Abilities

    General sales managers possess excellent decision-making and problem-solving abilities. They can analyze situations and make decisions based on data, which leads to increased sales performance. Sales heads are adept at making quick decisions even in difficult circumstances, enabling them to respond promptly to changes and opportunities in the ever-changing sales industry. Their problem-solving skills help them identify and address issues hindering sales performance, ensuring continuous improvement.  Additionally, their creativity and innovation allow them to develop unique solutions that meet the demands of customers and the market. By constantly evaluating and refining sales strategies, they optimize results and contribute to the dealership’s overall success. A highly competent GSM with these abilities is essential for effective sales operations. Top-performing sales leaders today focus on the very important relationship between themselves and the CMO. Companies need to get past fighting about leads versus closed deals and start focusing on the pipeline because that’s where the rubber meets the road between sales and marketing.

    Proven Track Record in Sales

    A proven track record as a sales executive or sales representative can enable effectiveness as a general sales manager because it demonstrates several vital qualities and experiences:
    • Understanding of Sales Processes: Sales executives and representatives have hands-on experience in sales processes, customer interactions, and closing deals. This understanding helps them guide and support their sales teams effectively.
    • Product and Market Knowledge: They are well-versed in the company’s products or services and have insights into market dynamics. Product and Market knowledge is valuable when making strategic decisions and setting sales targets.
    • Sales Techniques: Sales professionals have mastered various sales techniques, objection handling, and negotiation skills. They can mentor and coach their team members, sharing best practices for successful selling.
    • Customer Relationship Building: Building and maintaining strong customer relationships is a core skill for salespeople. General sales managers can emphasize the importance of customer-centric approaches to their teams.
    • Performance Metrics: Sales executives are accustomed to working with sales metrics and KPIs. They can use this experience to set realistic goals, monitor progress, and implement data-driven strategies for improvement.
    • Motivation and Leadership: A successful sales career often involves self-motivation and leadership. Sales managers who have been effective as representatives can inspire and motivate their teams to achieve sales targets.
    A strong sales background equips individuals with the practical knowledge, skills, and leadership qualities necessary to excel as general sales managers, making them well-prepared to lead and drive their sales teams to success.

    What Challenges does a General Sales Manager face and How to Overcome Them?

    Sales managers face numerous challenges affecting their ability to drive sales and achieve targets. These challenges include:
    • Balancing Multiple Responsibilities: This can be challenging for sales managers who have to handle various tasks such as coaching sales reps, monitoring performance metrics, creating sales strategies, and managing customer relationships.
    • Adapting to Changing Market Trends: Market trends are another challenge as they require constant updates on the latest industry trends and customer preferences. 
    • Motivating and Managing Sales Teams: Sales managers must also encourage and manage their team members effectively to consistently meet their targets. 
    • Dealing with Rejection: Salespeople are often rejected more than accepted, leading to demotivation and burnout. To overcome this challenge, sales managers must provide support and training to help their teams better manage rejection. 
    • Staying Updated with Industry Advancements: Sales managers must remain relevant in the competitive market. Continuous skill development through training programs or attending industry events can help them stay updated on the latest techniques and technologies. 
    Overcoming these challenges requires practical time management skills, resilience, and continuous development of relevant skills. Overall, overcoming these challenges requires a combination of soft skills, such as helpful communication leadership abilities, along with hard skills, such as data analysis, CRM management, etc., for successful outcomes in the long run.
    In essence, Risely is a comprehensive platform that empowers managers with hard and soft skills, enabling them to tackle challenges effectively and achieve successful outcomes. Risely is like a helpful toolkit for managers. It gives you the tools you need to do your jobs better. Whether it’s learning new skills, staying organized, or dealing with challenging situations, Risely has your back. It’s like having a mentor and a set of handy tools all in one place. So, when you sign up with Risely, you’re not just getting a product but a partner to help you succeed in your job. Sign up

    Conclusion

    The role of a general sales manager requires a unique blend of skills and experience. Besides solid leadership and communication, they should have a proven sales track record. Excellent general sales manager impacts the business, driving sales, improving teams, and fostering excellence. A sales manager must handle various challenges, from managing operations to nurturing client relations. A general sales manager can make a significant difference in achieving your goals. Continual training is crucial to keep managers updated on market trends and best practices, staying ahead of competitors.

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    Mastering the Art of Hiring: A Comprehensive Hiring Manager Interview Guide

    Mastering the Art of Hiring: A Comprehensive Hiring Manager Interview Guide

    Hiring the right talent is a cornerstone of an organization’s success. In today’s competitive job market, the role of a hiring manager is more critical than ever. Hiring managers need a structured and practical approach to identify the best candidates who will meet the job requirements and align with the company culture. That’s where a well-crafted hiring manager interview guide comes into play. This blog explores the art of hiring manager interview guide. We delve into the importance of having a comprehensive interview guide, the steps to create one, and tips to conduct interviews effectively. Whether you’re an experienced hiring manager looking to refine your approach or a newcomer to the hiring world, this guide will provide you with the insights and tools needed to make informed and strategic hiring decisions. 

    What is the role of the hiring manager in an interview?

    The hiring manager plays a pivotal role in the interview process, where they are responsible for several key tasks:
    • Defining job requirements: The hiring manager first determines the qualifications, skills, and experience required for the open position. This involves creating or updating the job description and specifying the candidate evaluation criteria.
    • Screening resumes and applications: Hiring managers review resumes and job applications to shortlist candidates who meet the basic job requirements. They identify candidates whose backgrounds align with the position’s needs.
    • Developing interview questions: Crafting interview questions that assess a candidate’s qualifications and fit for the role is another key responsibility. The hiring manager may also collaborate with the HR team or interview panel to create a comprehensive set of questions.
    • Conducting interviews: The hiring manager typically leads or participates in candidate interviews. They ask questions, evaluate responses, and assess how healthy candidates match the job requirements. This involves in-person, phone, or video interviews.
    • Assessing cultural fit: Hiring managers often evaluate whether candidates are a good cultural fit for the organization. They consider how well a candidate’s values, work style, and personality align with the company’s culture.
    • Collaborating with the interview panel: In larger organizations, the hiring manager may work alongside an interview panel that includes team members, department heads, or HR professionals. They coordinate with the panel to ensure a comprehensive evaluation of candidates.
    The hiring manager’s role is critical in ensuring that the right talent is brought into the organization, and their ability to assess qualifications, cultural fit, and potential contributions is central to the hiring process.

    Need for a Hiring Manager Interview Guide

    A hiring manager interview guide is an essential tool for several reasons:
    • Consistency: It ensures that all candidates are evaluated using the same criteria and questions, promoting fair and consistent assessments.
    • Legal compliance: A well-structured guide helps hiring managers avoid asking illegal or discriminatory questions, reducing legal risks.
    • Effective screening: It helps hiring managers focus on critical aspects of the job and candidate qualifications, improving the efficiency of the screening process.
    • Improved decision-making: An interview guide ensures hiring managers cover all relevant topics, leading to more informed and confident hiring decisions.
    • Structured assessments: The guide helps hiring managers rate and compare candidates objectively, reducing the impact of biases.
    • Candidate experience: A structured interview can create a positive candidate experience, enhancing the company’s reputation.
    • Onboarding: An interview guide can help hiring managers identify the best candidates for onboarding, leading to higher retention and better performance.
    • Feedback loop: It encourages hiring managers to provide feedback and share insights with HR and other team members, leading to continuous improvement in the hiring process.
    • Training tool: It is for new hiring managers, helping them understand the organization’s expectations and best practices.
    In summary, a hiring manager interview guide is a valuable tool that streamlines the hiring process, enhances fairness, and helps organizations make well-informed and strategic hiring decisions. It is essential for maintaining consistency, reducing legal risks, and ensuring a positive candidate experience.

    How to create a hiring manager interview guide?

    Creating a hiring manager interview guide involves several steps to ensure the directory is well-structured and effective. A step-by-step process to make a comprehensive hiring manager interview guide:
    • Understand the job requirements: Start by thoroughly understanding the job requirements and the skills, qualifications, and attributes needed for success in the role.
    • Identify key competencies: Identify the essential competencies and qualifications for the job. This might include technical skills, soft skills, experience, and cultural fit.
    • Develop a list of standard questions: Create a list that addresses the key competencies. These questions should be open-ended and designed to elicit detailed responses from candidates.
    • Behavioral and scenario-based questions: Incorporate behavioral questions and scenario-based questions to assess how candidates have handled relevant situations in the past.
    • Legal and ethical considerations: Ensure all questions are legal and ethical, avoiding topics like age, gender, religion, or other protected characteristics.
    • Rating system: Develop a rating system or scoring criteria to assess candidates’ responses. This system should align with the competencies and qualifications identified earlier.
    • Guidelines for follow-up questions: Provide guidelines for when and how to probe further or ask follow-up questions to get more detailed candidate responses.
    • Explanation for each question: Include explanations in the guide, detailing why the question is relevant and what you are looking for in the candidate’s response.
    • Sample answers: Provide sample answers or indicators of what constitutes a strong response for each question. This helps hiring managers evaluate candidates effectively.
    • Scoring sheet: Create a scoring sheet or evaluation form that hiring managers can use to rate candidates’ responses during the interview.
    • Training and explanation: Provide training and explanation to hiring managers on how to use the guide effectively. Offer examples and scenarios to clarify the expectations.
    Creating a hiring manager interview guide is an ongoing process that requires collaboration, training, and adaptation. It’s essential for maintaining consistency, fairness, and objectivity in the interview process and ensuring that suitable candidates are selected for the organization.

    How can a hiring manager prepare for an interview?

    Hiring managers can prepare for interviews effectively by following these steps:
    • Review the job description: Familiarize yourself with the job description, including the qualifications, skills, and experience required for the role.
    • Understand the company and culture: Ensure you have a strong understanding of the company’s mission, values, culture, and goals. This knowledge will help you assess a candidate’s potential cultural fit.
    • Study the candidate’s resume: Carefully review the candidate’s resume to understand their background, work history, and accomplishments.
    • Develop interview questions: Create a set of interview questions that align with the job requirements and competencies. Include a mix of standard, behavioral, and scenario-based questions.
    • Standardized rating system: Establish a standardized rating system or evaluation criteria to assess candidates consistently. This system should align with the competencies and qualifications required for the job.
    • Sample answers and indicators: Include sample answers or indicators of what constitutes a strong response for each question in your interview guide. This will help you evaluate candidates effectively.
    • Probing and follow-up guidelines: Develop guidelines for when and how to probe further or ask follow-up questions to gain deeper insights into candidates’ responses.
    • Prepare for a positive candidate experience: Plan the interview logistics, such as the location and timing, to ensure candidates have a positive experience.
    • Active listening: Practice active listening during interviews to ensure you fully understand candidates’ responses.
    • Feedback and follow-up: Plan for timely feedback to candidates and colleagues involved in the interview process. Offer constructive feedback where appropriate.
    By preparing effectively, hiring managers can conduct interviews that are consistent, fair, and aligned with the organization’s needs and culture, ultimately leading to better hiring decisions.

    Tips for hiring managers to conduct an interview effectively

    An effective interview is crucial for hiring managers to identify the right candidate for a job. Here are some tips to help hiring managers conduct interviews effectively:
    • Review the candidate’s resume, the job description, and any relevant materials before the interview.
    • Ensure that the interview space is comfortable, well-lit, and free from distractions.
    • Start the interview with a friendly greeting to help candidates feel at ease. Building rapport can lead to more candid responses.
    • Use open-ended questions to encourage candidates to provide detailed responses. Avoid yes/no questions.
    • Pay close attention to the candidate’s responses. Active listening demonstrates your interest and allows you to gather valuable information.
    • Record important points during the interview. This will help you remember details and make comparisons between candidates.
    • Keep the interview on schedule and ensure that you cover all planned questions and topics.
    • Use the same questions and evaluation criteria for all candidates to ensure a fair and objective evaluation.
    • Be mindful of unconscious biases. Avoid making assumptions about candidates based on factors unrelated to the job.
    Effective interviews are a critical part of the hiring process, and following these tips can help hiring managers make informed and fair hiring decisions. Hiring done? Read about onboarding next: 10 Ways For Re-Onboarding Remote Employees

    Conclusion

    In the world of recruitment, hiring managers play a pivotal role. They are the gatekeepers of talent, entrusted with identifying the right individuals to drive an organization forward. The process of interviewing candidates, however, can be complex and challenging. That’s where a well-structured hiring manager interview guide comes into play. As we conclude this exploration of the hiring manager interview guide, it’s evident that having a comprehensive and thoughtful approach to interviews is a game-changer. A practical interview guide ensures consistency, fairness, and objectivity throughout the hiring process. It empowers hiring managers to make informed decisions that align with the company’s needs and culture.

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    Revamp Your Hiring: 14 Top Recruitment Best Practices for 2023

    Revamp Your Hiring: 14 Top Recruitment Best Practices for 2023

    Staying ahead of the curve is crucial in the ever-evolving talent acquisition landscape. Recruitment is more than just filling job vacancies; it’s about finding the right talent efficiently and effectively. To excel in this endeavor, you need a well-crafted toolkit of best practices that adapt to the changing needs of the industry. Welcome to our blog on recruitment best practices for 2023. As the competition for top talent intensifies, these 14 recruitment best practices have emerged as the cornerstones of successful recruitment strategies. Each of them is designed to attract the best candidates, streamline the hiring process, and enhance the overall candidate experience. Throughout this blog, we’ll explore each recruitment best practice in-depth, providing explanations, examples, and insights into how they benefit your recruitment team.   Let’s dive into the world of recruitment best practices and unlock the key to building a winning team in 2023.

    What is recruitment? Why is it important? 

    Recruitment is identifying, attracting, and selecting qualified individuals to fill job vacancies within an organization. It’s a critical function of human resource management and is pivotal in shaping an organization’s success. Recruitment ensures an organization has the right people with the necessary skills and qualifications to meet its objectives and contribute to its growth.  Reasons why recruitment is important: 1. Talent acquisition and quality workforce: Recruitment is essential for identifying and attracting a pool of candidates with the skills and expertise needed to drive an organization forward. It’s the primary means by which an organization acquires the human capital required to perform tasks, meet goals, and remain competitive in the marketplace. 2. Skill diversity: Recruitment allows organizations to access diverse skills and experiences. By bringing in individuals with different backgrounds and talents, a company can build a well-rounded workforce capable of solving complex problems and adapting to changing market conditions. 3. Innovation and growth: Recruitment drives innovation and growth. New hires can inject fresh ideas, perspectives, and energy into an organization. They can help an organization remain agile, seize opportunities, and stay ahead in a dynamic business environment. 6. Succession planning: Recruitment is critical for succession planning. Organizations need to identify and groom talent from within, and external recruitment can fill gaps when internal talent isn’t readily available. In summary, recruitment is the gateway to building a skilled and motivated workforce that drives an organization’s success. It’s not merely about filling positions; it’s about selecting the right individuals who align with the company’s culture and values, possess the required skills, and have the potential to contribute positively to the organization’s growth and competitiveness. 

    14 Recruitment best practices for 2023

    14 recruitment best practices for 2023 are as follows: 1. Employer brandingBuilding and promoting a positive employer brand helps attract and retain top talent. It’s essential for showcasing your company culture, values, and reputation. It increases the attractiveness of your organization, leading to a higher volume of qualified applicants. Example: Use social media and company website to highlight your work culture, share employee stories, and showcase workplace awards. Tip: Regularly update your online presence, engage with employee reviews, and leverage unique selling points. 2. Data-driven decision-making: Use data and analytics to inform recruitment decisions. This practice allows you to optimize your recruitment strategies based on quantifiable results. Example: Analyze recruitment metrics like time-to-fill, cost-per-hire, and source effectiveness to refine your hiring strategies. Tips: Invest in an applicant tracking system (ATS) for data collection and analysis. Provide training on data interpretation for your team. 3. Diverse sourcing: Seek candidates from various sources to increase diversity in your candidate pool. A diverse workforce can bring a range of perspectives and talents to your team. Example: In addition to job boards, utilize employee referrals, career fairs, and online communities for sourcing candidates. Tip: Develop a diversity and inclusion hiring strategy and actively engage with underrepresented groups. 4. Inclusive job descriptions: Craft job descriptions that appeal to a diverse range of candidates, including those from underrepresented groups. Avoid biased language that may deter qualified applicants. Example: Use gender-neutral and inclusive language in job postings. Tip: Conduct job description audits to identify and remove biased language. Train your team on writing inclusive job descriptions. 5. Candidate relationship management (CRM): Implement a CRM system to build and maintain relationships with candidates, even those who aren’t immediately selected. This helps create a talent pipeline for future needs. Example: Use CRM software to track candidate interactions, follow-up, and communication. Tip: Train your team on CRM software usage and data privacy compliance. Segment your candidate database for personalized communication. 7. Social media recruitment: Leverage social media platforms for recruitment purposes. Social media offers a vast and engaged pool of potential candidates. Expand your reach to passive job seekers, allowing for a wider talent pool. Example: Use LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to post job openings, share company culture, and engage with potential candidates. Tips: Create a social media recruitment strategy, including content sharing and engagement guidelines. Use analytics to measure the effectiveness of your social media efforts. 8. Video interviews: Incorporate video interviews into your hiring process, allowing candidates and hiring teams to connect regardless of location.Reduces scheduling conflicts and interview time, making the process more efficient. It also allows for a global talent search. Example: Use video conferencing tools for initial interviews or pre-recorded video responses to interview questions. Tip: Train your team on best practices in video interviews and use good audio and video quality technology. Ensure a fair and consistent interview process. 9. Employee referral programs: Encourage current employees to refer potential candidates. Employees often refer individuals who align with the company culture and values. It increases the likelihood of finding candidates who fit your company culture and are endorsed by current employees. Example: Establish a referral program that rewards employees for successful referrals.  Tip: Communicate the referral program clearly to employees and provide regular updates on job openings. Ensure that the referral process is straightforward. 10. Skill and behavioral assessments: Use skill and behavioral assessments to evaluate candidates’ qualifications and suitability. It ensures that candidates meet job requirements and have the desired skills and traits, leading to better hires. Example: Administer technical tests, personality assessments, or role-specific exercises. Tip: Choose relevant assessments for each position and standardize the evaluation process. Train your team on assessment administration and interpretation. 11. Candidate experience enhancement: Improve the overall candidate experience to attract and retain top talent. Positive experiences create brand advocates, even among candidates not selected. It also improves the likelihood of future applications. Example: Provide timely feedback, clear communication, and a smooth interview process. Tips: Map the candidate journey, identify pain points, and implement changes to address those issues. Train your team on providing a stellar candidate experience. 12. Automated resume screening: Implement resume screening tools that use artificial intelligence to analyze and rank resumes. Reduces time spent on manual resume screening, streamlines the process, and enhances consistency. Example: Use AI-based software to review and shortlist resumes based on specific criteria. Tips: Fine-tune your screening criteria with hiring managers and regularly update the AI model for improved accuracy. 13. Role-specific job boards: Post job openings on job boards specific to your industry or job role to target relevant candidates. Increases the likelihood of attracting candidates with the right skills and interests. Example: Use platforms like GitHub Jobs for technical roles or Behance for creative positions.  Tips: Research and select job boards that align with your hiring needs. Optimize job listings on these platforms for visibility. 14. Candidate assessments tailored to roles: Develop role-specific assessments for candidates, aligning the evaluation process with the job requirements—more accurate evaluations of a candidate’s capabilities for the specific role and improved hiring decisions. Example: Create unique coding challenges for software engineer candidates or a customer service scenario for support roles.  Tips: Collaborate with hiring managers to define role-specific assessments. Regularly review and update the assessments as job requirements evolve. These 14 recruitment best practices are essential for 2023 and beyond, helping recruitment teams attract, select, and retain the best talent while improving efficiency and diversity. By implementing these practices, organizations can stay competitive and responsive to the ever-evolving job market, leading to more successful hires and a more robust employer brand.

    Conclusion

    As we conclude our exploration of recruitment best practices, it’s evident that these 14 strategies are the compass that guides your organization to talent acquisition success in 2023 and beyond. In the fast-paced world of recruitment, staying ahead requires adaptability and a commitment to excellence. These best practices provide the roadmap to achieving just that. The ever-changing job market demands a holistic approach to recruitment that goes beyond traditional methods. From embracing the power of employer branding and data-driven decision-making to fostering diversity and enhancing the candidate experience, these practices offer a multifaceted solution to the challenges of modern recruitment.

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    Communicating Employee Benefits is Essential: 5 Hacks to Do it Right

    Communicating Employee Benefits is Essential: 5 Hacks to Do it Right

    Employee benefits are crucial in attracting, retaining, and engaging employees. However, it’s not enough to simply provide benefits; effectively communicating them is equally important. In fact, poor communication of employee benefits can lead to misunderstandings, low utilization rates, and even employee dissatisfaction.  This blog post will discuss the importance of communicating employee benefits and the consequences of ineffective communication. We will also identify common challenges in benefits communication and provide five effective hacks for successfully sharing employee benefits. Lastly, we will outline the critical components of an effective benefits communication strategy and emphasize the crucial role of HR in implementing it.

    The Importance of Communicating Employee Benefits: An Overview

    Now, as an employee benefits manager or an HR professional, why focus excessively on communication? After all, providing great employee benefits is fantastic and helps retention big time. But that only happens when your team knows about the benefits. That’s where communicating employee benefits effectively comes into play. To sum up, it can help you in the following ways: 
    • Higher Understanding and Appreciation from Employees: When employees know their eligible benefits, they are more likely to use them! This simple factor highlights the need for communicating employee benefits. Without sufficient communication, employees would not know about their options. On the other hand, communication ensures that they fully appreciate and utilize them. 
    • Higher Usage and Value for Money: Your organization will pay the cost of employee benefits. Hence, it is in the best interest to ensure that they are also being utilized effectively. It can be especially beneficial for areas like healthcare and insurance.
    • Better Retention and Employer Branding: Good employee benefits are critical to ensuring you have an excellent reputation as an employer that helps attract the right talent. Communicating benefits can spread the word further and enable a good brand reputation for your team as an employer.
    • Employee Satisfaction and Engagement: Communicating employee benefits and resolving queries regarding the available benefits offers employee engagement opportunities. Moreover, it ensures higher employee satisfaction by demonstrating care.

    What if you don’t communicate about employee benefits?

    Ineffective communication of employee benefits can have severe consequences in the HR department. When employees receive unclear or confusing information about their benefits, it can lead to misunderstandings and confusion. It can result in low morale and decreased engagement among employees. Furthermore, the lack of clear communication may cause employees to make uninformed decisions during open enrolment, potentially leading to adverse financial and health outcomes. It is crucial to effectively communicate benefits to ensure employee well-being, engagement, and overall satisfaction.

    Identifying the Challenges in Benefits Communication

    • Jargon and using precise language often limits understanding and usage of employee benefits. 
    • Limited resources make it challenging to create a comprehensive communication plan. HR leaders face difficulties in effectively communicating diverse benefits programs. 
    • Communicating the relevance and importance of benefits information can be challenging for HR professionals. Personalizing messages for different employee segments is crucial for successful benefits communication.

    Role of Clarity and Avoiding Jargon in Employee Communication

    Clear and concise communication is vital in helping employees understand the details and value of their benefits package. By avoiding jargon, employees can easily comprehend benefits information, reducing confusion and increasing their engagement with the programs. Using simple language and avoiding technical terms improves overall benefits comprehension and enables employees to make informed decisions. Ensuring clarity and avoiding jargon in employee communication is crucial for a successful benefits program.

    Five Effective Hacks for Successfully Communicating Employee Benefits

    Hack 1: Utilizing Emails for Regular Benefit Updates

    Regular benefit updates can be effectively communicated through emails. This convenient and easily accessible medium keeps employees informed about changes and updates to their benefits. By utilizing email analytics, engagement can be tracked to ensure that messages are reaching employees. Automated email campaigns can be tailored to deliver targeted benefits information based on employee preferences. Including eye-catching visuals and concise summaries in emails enhances the effectiveness of benefits communication.

    Hack 2: Enrolment Process Simplification and Assistance

    Streamlining the enrollment process reduces confusion and simplifies employee choices. Step-by-step instructions and guidance during enrollment enhance the employee experience. Assistance through HR representatives or online chat support makes the process easier. Online tools and resources help employees navigate smoothly. Simplifying complex benefit explanations with visual aids improves understanding during enrollment. By following these hacks, successful benefits of communication can be achieved.

    Hack 3: Incorporating Personalization in Benefits Communication

    Personalization in benefits communication is essential for increasing relevance and enhancing employee engagement. By tailoring communication based on employee demographics, preferences, and different life stages, employers can provide the most relevant information to their employees’ needs. Data analysis and segmentation can be utilized to offer personalized benefits recommendations, boosting employee satisfaction. Targeted messaging and content ensure employees receive the correct information at the right time. Incorporating personalization in benefits communication is a great way to create a successful benefits program and promote employee well-being.

    Hack 4: Leveraging Digital Signage for Visual Communication

    Leveraging digital signage for visual communication is a powerful way to communicate employee benefits effectively. By displaying important messages in various locations within the workplace, digital signage grabs employees’ attention and increases engagement. With eye-catching graphics and concise messages, it improves benefits comprehension. The real-time updating capability allows for timely communication. Placing digital signage in high-traffic areas ensures maximum visibility and reach among employees. This hack is a great way to enhance the success of your benefits program.

    Hack 5: Using Employee Apps for Direct and Efficient Communication

    Employee apps offer a convenient and direct channel for communicating employee benefits. With push notifications, important updates are never missed, ensuring employees stay informed. These apps also provide interactive features like surveys and feedback, fostering engagement. Mobile accessibility allows employees to access benefits information on the go, promoting convenience and flexibility. Two-way communication through employee apps facilitates straightforward clarification and question-asking, enhancing understanding and engagement. Using employee apps is a great way to ensure successful benefits communication in today’s digital age.

    Critical Components of an Effective Benefits Communication Strategy

    To ensure successful benefits communication, clear and concise messaging is crucial. In includes:
    • Tailoring messages to the specific needs and preferences of employees enhances engagement. 
    • Utilizing multiple communication channels, such as emails, digital signage, and employee apps, ensures maximum reach and impact. 
    • Regular updates keep employees informed about any changes or updates to their benefits. 
    • Personalization of communication creates a sense of relevance and importance, leading to better understanding and utilization of the benefits program.

    Importance of Audience Identification in Crafting Messages

    Customizing benefits communication is crucial for successful employee engagement. Understanding employees’ demographic and psychographic characteristics can tailor messages to their specific needs. Identifying communication preferences ensures messages are delivered through preferred channels. Segmenting the audience based on age, job role, and life stage helps create targeted and relevant messages. Addressing different employee groups’ specific needs and pain points enhances the effectiveness of benefits communication. Valuable insights can be gained by conducting surveys or focus groups to understand employee preferences and requirements better.

    The Power of the Right Communication Channel

    Choosing the appropriate communication channel is vital in ensuring that messages about employee benefits are effectively received and understood. By utilizing a combination of channels such as email, intranet, and social media, organizations can reach a diverse workforce and cater to their specific preferences. Leveraging technology, including mobile apps and text messaging, enables instant and convenient communication while considering employees’ habits and likes to help determine the most effective channel. Adapting communication channels to accommodate remote or distributed workforces ensures inclusivity.

    Content Development for Engaging Employee Communication

    Creating visually appealing and easily understandable content enhances employee engagement. Providing clear instructions and step-by-step guidance helps employees navigate benefits enrollment processes. Incorporating storytelling techniques and real-life examples makes benefits information relatable and memorable. Using infographics and visuals effectively communicates complex benefits information. Including FAQs and access to additional resources facilitates self-service and empowers employees. By following these best practices, HR teams can develop compelling content that engages employees in their benefits communication, leading to a more informed and satisfied workforce.

    Monitoring and Evaluation of Communication Effectiveness

    Regularly assessing the efficacy of benefits communication is vital for identifying areas requiring improvement. Valuable insights can be gained by monitoring metrics like open rates click-through rates, and gathering employee feedback. Conducting surveys or polls effectively gathers such feedback, enabling organizations to shape future communication strategies. Analyzing communication data and making data-driven adjustments enhances overall effectiveness. Continuous evaluation and refinement of processes ensure ongoing improvement.

    The Crucial Role of HR in Employee Benefits Communication

    HR professionals are essential in developing and implementing an effective benefits communication strategy. They are crucial in ensuring accurate and consistent information is conveyed to employees. HR can provide guidance and support during the benefits enrollment process, helping employees navigate through it seamlessly. By advocating for employee feedback and incorporating it into communication strategies, HR leaders create a more personalized and engaging experience. Leveraging their employee engagement and communication expertise, HR professionals drive participation and understanding, ultimately leading to a successful benefits program. Read more: 6 Tips For HR Leaders To Ensure Healthy Employee Relations

    Conclusion

    To effectively communicate employee benefits, HR departments must overcome the challenges and utilize hacks that have proven successful. HR can ensure that employees are well-informed about their benefits by using emails for regular benefit updates, simplifying the enrolment process, incorporating personalization in communication, leveraging digital signage, and using employee apps. However, it is essential to remember that an effective benefits communication strategy goes beyond these hacks. It involves identifying the audience, choosing the proper communication channels, developing engaging content, and monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the communication efforts. HR plays a crucial role in bridging the organization and its employees. By implementing a comprehensive benefits communication strategy, HR can ensure that employees understand and appreciate the value of the benefits provided to them. Remember, effective communication is critical to maximizing the impact and utilization of employee benefits. So, invest time and effort in crafting a robust benefits communication strategy to reap the rewards of a satisfied and engaged workforce.

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