Kate Feeney is a Learning and Development Consultant at Insights who was amongst 600 guests who attended The Talent Summit on March 1st 2017 at the Convention Centre Dublin. See her original post on LinkedIn
Here are her 5 takeaways from the event:
1. Sinead Kane is a Visionary
”I could choose to be blind, or I could choose to be a visionary. I chose to be a visionary.”
You might know Sinead as the Cork woman, with 5% vision, who ran 7 marathons on 7 continents, in 7 days. What you might not know about Sinead, is that she studied for her law degree 3 words at a time –painstakingly– using a magnifying glass. What you may also not know is that Sinead couldn’t secure a job as a solicitor after graduation because – employers were blinded to her potential, by her white cane.
Sinead took a voluntary position, and commuted from Cork to Dublin – a casual 6-hour daily commute – for 6 months. The takeaway for me here was: we’re kidding ourselves if we think we’ve cracked diversity and inclusion, and the time has come to address it. This message was reinforced by Director of Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Services, EY – Olivia McEvoy who eloquently noted:
“millennials are intolerant of intolerance, and they ought to be”.
2. Allow for Leaders in the Pack
Rather than being leaders of the pack, managers who facilitate a team’s development of leadership capability – win out. Bernard Brogan, Dublin superstar and Commercial Director of Pep Talk, put the success of the Dublin team, in part, down to the fact that management have encouraged the team to lead from within. In reviewing their success, or failure on the pitch – Brogan noted that the Dublin team are encouraged to come up with their own solutions and recommendations. New squad members are encouraged to lead training exercises, whilst more established players are asked to follow the lead of the newbies. Perhaps it’s this player empowerment that has nudged the Dubs to repeated All-Ireland success (perhaps it’s also influenced in part by our disproportionately large talent pool/population – before someone trolls me!).
Pep-Talk founder Michelle Fogarty and former HR Leader at Twitter EMEA, also emphasized the need for leaders to be honest about the challenges they’re facing in the recruitment process – and to invite candidates to come and help solve them. Later in the day, author, Dan Pink, sang from the same hymn sheet – reminding us that no one has ever sung the praises of a manager who: “watched my every move”.
3. Be a Culture Crafter (and Keeper)
Clodagh Logue shared her experience of crafting the culture at Fitbit, EMEA. It was very compelling to hear how the mission of Fitbit, to empower and inspire you to live a healthier, more active life, has been translated into an organisational culture by Clodagh and her colleagues. The mission, for example, is reflected in the goals of employees (everyone’s working towards a wellness goal of some description); the flexibility of working hours, and in the office fit out here in Dublin (yep, there is a meeting room with treadmills lined up opposite each other).
A particularly timely takeaway from Clodagh was in the importance of not just signalling the culture you want through signs, policies and symbols, but also protecting that culture by addressing behaviour that runs counter to the promise of that culture.
(I say timely because: Uber).
The type of culture that gets crafted of course is influenced in large part by who’s at the helm. We heard from Darrell Hughes, Deputy HR Director at Ryanair, that they don’t do slogans on the wall. It’s easy to conjure an image of Michael O’Leary rolling his eyes at such a thing.
Finally, culture is heavily influenced by the long-term strategy those in leadership employ. Jonathan Campbell of Social Talent shared compelling research on the model of organisational design / strategy that yields the best results. Exec summary: the commitment model, which employees are invested in and partnered with over as long a period as possible, is by far the most successful.
4. Know Thy Organisation
Shane McCauley, Director of People Systems and Analytics at Twitter, shared the outcome of organisational research that they’ve conducted into what their people want from their employee experience. By Shane’s own admission – there was nothing ground breaking in the research output. People want: to learn and grow, a great manager, challenging work, team work, great co-workers, and total reward.
What is potentially ground breaking is that Shane and his team at Twitter are endeavoring to put their research into action to fight attrition. Therein lies the art and science of organisational development.
Alison Hodgson, Country HR Director for McDonald’s, also called out how studying their own workforce has shaped their strategy regarding recruitment. Research revealed that working-mothers, for example, really like working at McDonald’s because of the flexibility it affords. Knowing this means McDonald’s know who to target, with their recruitment ads – to find people who will thrive in their organisation.
5. Do – Learn – Re-Do
In 2016, Lieutenant Commander Darragh Kirwan, and his crew, rescued 14,000 people whilst deployed on a humanitarian mission to the Mediterranean. In explaining the preparation involved for such a mission, the Commander referenced the defence forces learning philosophy which is: train for the known and educate for the unknown.
My takeaway regarding the approach the Defence Forces takes to education is: the recognition of the importance of reflection – in tackling the unknown. After every element of the operation, the crew conducted a wash-up session to codify what worked, what didn’t, and what to do next time. How often do we do this with precision in corporate learning?
Posted by Kate Feeney, Learning and Development Consultant at Insights on 7 March 2017
How To Beat The January Blues
How To Beat The January Blues
Here are small, yet effective, measures you can take to improve your wellbeing in the workplace that can spread into your personal life in a positive, affirming way. Work/Life Balance Sir Ken Robinson noted in his keynote speech at Talent Summit 2018 that, although the invention of emails was promised to save us time, we have since found that, if anything, we are less and less able to leave work behind in the workplace. It is now part of most people’s routines to check their phones first thing in the morning and reply to work-related emails at all hours of the day, always thinking about what needs to be done. It’s important that you ‘work smart, not long.’ This means actively leaving work behind in the office, working efficiently during the day so you don’t feel compelled to continue with it after hours. If the quantity of work you are being expected to complete within working hours is too much to do so successfully, be sure to speak up and discuss the manageability of your workload with your supervisor. Communication is key – they’re going to keep piling on the work as long you stay quiet about how overwhelmed you are, so make sure you speak up and be heard before it becomes too much to handle. Employers won’t know where the pressure lies unless you tell them. If you’re unsure of how much your work life spills over into your personal life, why don’t you try keeping a log for a month? Jot down in a diary how many hours you work every day – not just when you’re sitting at your desk, but when you’re thinking about work at home, composing emails and returning calls out of hours. It may build a more objectively troubling picture than you can see currently from the inside. Make The Most Of Your Breaks Don’t be afraid to make the most of the breaks you are allotted at work. Once you’re on a roll, it’s tempting to power through lunchtime and eat at your desk, one eye always on your computer screen. Try and avoid doing this when you can. Take a walk, practise mindfulness or meditation, experience new places to eat, socialise with co-workers or friends who work nearby. “But I don’t have time to meditate!” I hear you exclaim. Yes, you do! ‘Meditation’ is not always synonymous with pulling on yoga pants, lighting up a stick of incense and adopting the lotus position. You can meditate absolutely anywhere – in a local park, at a café… even sitting at your desk! If you’re not confident leading your own meditation, you can find five-minute guided sessions free online, like this one here. There are also some great customisable apps you can get on your phone, such as Timer and Headspace. It is impossible to overvalue the importance of taking time to relax, clear your head and focus on your own wellbeing. You’ll find this re-energises you for the rest of the day, as well as provide an invaluable opportunity to assess your current state of mind and mentally address any emotional concerns or anxieties. You may also be pleasantly surprised at how easily solutions pop into your head when you take just a few minutes to collect your thoughts. Communication This one works both ways for employers as well as employees. Communication is the key to destigmatising conversations about mental health. In his TEDx talk on workplace mental health, Tom Oxley says ‘you don’t make people unwell by talking about mental health – you give them the opportunity to speak out sooner’. There’s a flawed unspoken terror that speaking out about mental illness will somehow worsen the problem, as if it’s contagious or seem as if you conjured it up into existence within your own mind. The reality is that many sufferers don’t feel able to speak up due to the prejudice surrounding mental health, and the fear that their workplace would not be supportive of them if they did so. The best way an employer can foster an atmosphere of positivity, health and wellbeing is to ensure that their workers know that they are free to talk openly about any feelings of stress, anxiety or depression and won’t face indirect penalisation for doing so. The first reaction of many employers is to offer a struggling staff member limited time off to recover, then expect them to return to work and continue as usual. While time off may be a solution for some employees, bosses should also consider the advantages of offering flexible working hours to affected workers. Tom Oxley strongly advocates for good communication practices between employers and employees to ensure that no one ever feels alienated from their place of work, and that anxieties don’t build up over time into uncontrollable crises. In turn, employees should communicate to their employers about their feelings on mental health in the workplace, as far as they feel comfortable to do so. Being transparent about how you’re feeling and what you need from your job to help you recover will give your boss the tools to help you in the way that’s most beneficial for you. If you are worried that taking time off would only serve to isolate you from the company, voice that concern. Your employer should want to get the very best out of you – they hired you for a reason. It’s in their interest to give you the support you need. Create a Healthy Routine Studies have consistently proven a strong link between mental health and physical health, and specialists are adamant that one of the best ways to maintain good mental wellbeing is to look after your physical welfare. Your job can be intellectually demanding, with long hours and difficult tasks taking a toll on your mental health. Your job is also more than likely sedentary. Indeed, scientists have connected the rise in global obesity to the increasing number of jobs that don’t require any form of physical activity. It can be hard to find the time to exercise during a busy work week, but it’s important you look after your body – the injection of endorphins from exercising can only beneficially impact your mental wellbeing. Take a stroll during your lunchbreak, do 30 mins of yoga before work, or even try training for a half marathon over the course of a few months. The same can be said for your diet, avoid that pastry to go with your coffee and instead be sure to stock up your desk drawer with nutritious snacks rather than sugary ones, such as nuts, fruit and protein bars. Snacknation has published an extensive list of delicious office snack ideas if you’re dry on inspiration. These are just a few ways you can work to improve your mental wellbeing in the workplace, which will in turn hopefully boost your productivity, energy happiness and eliminate the possibility of coming down with the January blues. While mental health is something we can’t always necessarily control, we can impact the way in which we talk about it, breaking down the harmful social barriers that currently ruin constructive discussions on preventative measures.
Sir Bob Geldof Announced as Keynote Speaker for Talent Summit 2020
Sir Bob Geldof Announced as Keynote Speaker for Talent Summit 2020
Political activist, humanitarian, philanthropist and rock icon, Sir Bob Geldof is confirmed as the keynote speaker for Talent Summit 2020. Talent Summit, Europe’s largest HR & Leadership Conference, which is run by Sigmar Recruitment, will take place on Wednesday March 4th, 2020 in the Convention Centre Dublin. Keynotes from over 20 national and international expert speakers will be given on talent; attraction, development, leadership, performance and transformation strategies. There will be real life case studies from successful global and local brands, as well as panel discussions and audience Q&A. The central theme of Talent Summit this year is The Human Renaissance - The Rise of the Humanity in the Workplace. Key topics covered on the day will include: The Future of Work is Human: How do we redeploy human intelligence to supplement artificial intelligence Hire for Human Instinct: Recruiting hacks in a hyper competitive market. How the Working World is shaping The World: Social activism is increasingly becoming the pride in organisational purpose, with leaders expected to actively affect what truly matters in order to engage. The Evolving role of the CHRO: Shaping strategy through hearts and minds. Future of L&D: Digital learning and human skills development The Power of Team: Unleashing performance through people Leading Through Compassion & Empathy: Insights from humanitarianism Corporate Action v. Climate Action: Corporate citizenship is fast becoming the strategy of choice to attract and keep the best. Welcoming the announcement, Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig, Sigmar CCO and founder of Talent Summit (pictured above with last year;s keynote Monica Lewinsky) commented: “We are delighted to announce Sir Bob Geldof as our keynote speaker for Talent Summit 2020. Widely recognised as one of the leading global humanitarians of our time, Bob has always looked to promote sustainability and wellbeing of those less fortunate through his activism. “In an era of digitisation, shifting demographics and corporate citizenship, aligning what truly matters to people in their working world and the world at large matters more than ever before. Sustaining the impact of people and their wellbeing in the workplace and our impact on the world requires a resurgence of humanity in all we do. We look forward to hearing insights from Bob’s activism and humanitarianism to gain a deeper understanding of how we can lead with more compassion and empathy. Now, more than ever before, it is crucial for talent leaders to gather to debate and share strategies for how we can adapt, transform and lead as global/corporate humanitarians with more compassion, kindness and empathy. We are the first generation of talent leaders to experience this rate of change and the last to affect that change for the better.” Early bird tickets for Talent Summit are now available for purchase until Jan 31st. Please see www.talentsummit.ie for further details
How to Organise Yourself in 2020
How to Organise Yourself in 2020
A new year is a time for new beginnings and fresh starts. Are you back in work this week with the best of intentions to start on the right foot, but you're finding it hard to get started? We have made a list of things to help you start your new year by being more organised and help you to have a very productive 2020. Start Your Day Right If you're overrun with many different tasks at the one time and find it difficult to know how to structure your day in the most productive way possible, don't worry, you're not alone. A simple solution is to try coming into work 10 - 15 minutes before you are due to start and use that time to make sure your desk is tidy and you lay out all the tasks you need done on that day and during the week in a notebook or use an online tool such as Google Tasks or Google Calendar. Write a list of what you need to do today and a list of the deadlines you have for the week. Taking the time to do this in the morning before emails start flying in and your phone is going off will start you off on a productive path and it should help to keep you on that path throughout the day. Prioritise Once you know what you want or need done in your day/week, the next step is to learn what tasks are the most important. One of the key elements to being organised is being able to prioritise the important stuff and know what needs your time first. A handy way to decide this is by using the below table. For every task you need to complete, you should evaluate each one by placing it in the below table. You should never have more than two priorities that fall in the box of ‘urgent and important’. The rest fall under the other categories of ‘important and not urgent’, ‘urgent but not important’ and ‘not urgent and not important’. Always structure your time around the urgent and important things. This short film about prioritising might inspire you... Ask For Help Most days you will handle your workload just fine on your own, but every now and then when you see your to-do list is particularly long, sometimes the best (and only) way to get things done is to ask a colleague for help. If you have too many urgent and important items on your to-do list, you should go to your boss to look at delegating some of your workload or see if some deadlines can be adjusted. Missing a deadline is much worse than letting someone know in advance that you need some help to get something done. Being organised doesn't mean you must manage everything yourself, it's being able to look at your workload and know how it will be done and when it will be done. Being organised is a skill, but it is one we can all learn very easily. Setting aside time every day to get organised is half the battle. Why not start this year by settng your new years resolution to give yourself time every day to get organised and prioritise? You'll see it makes all the difference to your day!
Doing These 10 Things will make you the Best Boss in the World – According to Google
Doing These 10 Things will make you the Best Boss in the World – According to Google
Today, 16th October is officially known as Boss’s Day. It’s a significant day considering we all have a boss or we are a boss, but what we want to know is makes a great one? You can go to great lengths to hire the best team but without a great manager the team will ultimately fail. Google is acutely aware of this, so for the last 10 years they conducted extensive research on this topic under the code name Project Oxygen. The goal? Figure out what makes the perfect manager, so companies like Google could train its leaders to be the best in the worlds. The research has paid off, as over the years Google has seen improvement in employee turnover, satisfaction, and performance. Want to know what make the perfect boss? It all comes down to these 10 behaviours… 1. A Good Coach A great boss allows their employees to solve their own problems. Rather than doing everything themselves, they teach others to do the work so they can be responsible for their own tasks. Taking the time to teach staff and encouraging them to upskill makes for a more empowered staff. A great boss allows their employees grow and guides them as much as they can. 2. Empowers Team and Does Not Micromanage Giving staff the freedom to do their job is key to being a great boss. Employees need to be trusted in order for them to succeed. Robert Gibbs, Chief Human Capital Officer of NASA is an advocate for this. During Robert Gibbs keynote at Talent Summit he explained how NASA’s raison d'être boils down to the flourishment of human kind, giving NASA the ultimate competitive advantage. Robert believes in “the power of presuming positive intent”. Belief goes a long way and sometimes to get the best out of people the best thing a boss can do is to just believe in them. 3. Creates an Inclusive Team Environment, Showing Concern for Success and Well-Being Putting emphasis on building social capital in the workplace is a trait of a great boss. Margaret Heffernan is an entrepreneur, CEO, writer and keynote speaker who understands that social capital takes time, focus and energy, but if the ingredients are right, can bind human capital to achieve success beyond measure. A great boss will know that loyalty, friendship and comradery in the workplace create a shared commitment to success, something we may struggle to replicate in the gig economy. In short, being trusting and trustworthy is the basis of creating a just work culture that inspires success. 4. Is Productive and Results-Oriented The best type of boss will motivate and inspire their team purely by just working hard at their job. If a manager is lazy and their team doesn’t really see them doing much it really just encourages the staff to do the same. Having a boss who is not afraid to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in to any given task is the type of leader that inspires their staff. 5. Is A Good Communicator — Listens and Shares Information A great boss shares information from their staff. Having a transparent boss means staff learn more and are encouraged to be transparent themselves. A great boss is a good communicator but an even better listener. 6. Supports Career Development and Discusses Performance A great boss will always encourage their staff to develop, praise them when they do well and constructively criticise when it’s needed. Sir Ken Robinson is a believer in the importance of a culture that gives us the opportunity to engage in creativity and how creativity should be encouraged in our businesses. Humans are born with endless capacities but they need to be adapted in order to become abilities. Sir Ken uses a clever anecdote about learning to play guitar to explain his theory. We are all born with the capacity to play guitar, but we don’t have the ability until we learn to play the instrument. We need to open up our employees to new opportunities to learn and adapt skills and unlock talents they didn’t even know they had. Criticism is also very valuable to employees. A great boss will always praise their staff on doing a good job but will have the capacity to explain in a constructive way when work isn’t at it’s highest standard. This kind of behaviour encourages learning and development which is a key behaviour of a great boss. 7. Has A Clear Vision/Strategy For The Team A great boss had a plan. They know where their team is, where they are headed and what is needed to reach their end goals. A great boss needs to be catalyst for the team/companies vision. When the team loses motivation or drive, the boss needs to be there to remind everyone of the strategy and keep things in motion. 8. Has Key Technical Skills to Help Advise the Team Understanding every staff member’s job is crucial to being a great boss. A great boss will appreciate the work that goes into completing tasks and is on hand with useful advice when needed. If a boss has unrealistic expectations because he/she doesn’t understand their staffs role, employees will only ever feel like they are underdelivering and when they need advice they feel their boss doesn’t quite understand the problems at hand. A boss who has the technical skills will welcome their staff seeking guidance. 9. Collaborates Across Effectively A great manager always sees the big picture. They work for the good of the company as a whole and encourage their teams to do the same. A great leader will promote camaraderie and integration and encourage everyone to come together and work on goals that benefit the company as a whole. 10. Is A Strong Decision Maker A great boss is decisive and not impulsive. They are confident in their knowledge and make decisions that they stick to. Being a leader means being brave in your actions to lead and guide others. You need to be courageousness to lead beyond the odds, stick to your decisions to be a great boss. Google have really hit the nail on the head with these behaviours. If you can promote these behaviours and train your leaders using these 10 points from Google, you’ll build teams that will trust and inspire one another to achieve success beyond measure.