Tag Archives: employees

Almost Half of US Jobs at Risk of Automation

Approximately half of American jobs could be replaced by automation in the coming years, and roughly one in four are at risk of being lost to foreign competition, according to a study recently published by Ball State University.

Image: Study: Almost Half of US Jobs at Risk of Automation

“We do not wish to be alarmist,” the researchers said. “Both trade- and automation-related economic growth are hallmarks of a vibrant economy. The findings of direct and indirect impacts of displacement are not homogeneous across populations. The negative long-term impacts of displacement have been found to be worse for low-skilled, less-educated workers, who are likely to work in more vulnerable jobs.”

Employees at risk of losing their jobs to automation are low-skilled workers with lower wages, while virtually all labour markets are susceptible to job losses because of foreign competition. The U.S. economy has already lost about 71,000 retail jobs to machines since the beginning of this year, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Inspire Loyalty with Your Leadership

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As the leader of your business, you’re surely aware that the loyalty you inspire in your employees is more than just important; it’s essential, according to Murray Newlands for Entrepreneur.com

Beyond producing improved results from your employees and reducing turnover in your staff, the loyalty you encourage in your team — through the behaviours that you exemplify –will extend itself to your customer base, and beyond.

Loyalty isn’t something you can just gain, at the drop of a hat. To be a leader truly worthy of loyalty takes hard work and requires self-inquiry and a clarity of mind. After all, who can follow someone who doesn’t even know what he or she wants or is headed? Inspiring loyalty may take personal work, but it will be worth the effort when you have a team that will follow you to the ends of the earth.

There are many ways to inspire loyalty, but here are eight ways, the best leaders inspire loyalty, in even the most doubtful employees.

  1. Great leaders give their trust to others, without reservation.

Constantly looking over your employee’s shoulder to second-guess his or her work creates a sense of personal doubt, especially if there has been no pertinent reason to mistrust the staffer’s expertise. Great leaders give their trust to others, without reservation, and those others are then motivated to not only give trust back, but to work harder to meet the expectations of someone they respect.

  1. Employees learn in an encouraging environment.

In the short and long-term, all people need to feel as though their work, and by extension their lives, has meaning and positive progression. If there is no opportunity for learning in an

encouraging environment, employees may start to feel stagnant and resentful.

  1. Employees are encouraged to follow their passions and stretch beyond what they thought was their capacity.

Employees who are encouraged to follow their passions and stretch beyond what they thought was their capacity are sure to have deeply loyal feelings toward a leader who fosters that development.

  1. Leaders are right there in the trenches when needed.

A leader is perhaps expected to have more responsibility than do employees, but that doesn’t mean that the leader is “above” any work that needs to be done. Some of the best leaders I have known are right there in the trenches when that’s called for. If you’re too good to get your hands dirty with your team, your team members will start to see their jobs as menial and unimportant — just as you do. But, if you do whatever it takes for your company to be successful, so will everyone around you.

  1. Leaders are completely clear about their mission and values.

A leader’s clarity creates a compass by which his or her team can navigate. If you aren’t completely clear about your mission and values, it’s obvious to anyone in your employ that following you will lead nowhere. So, be communicative and definitive about your wide-reaching vision and your day-to-day tasks to enable your team to see that your leadership is true.

  1. Great leaders know that cultivating care for their employees creates love and loyalty in return.

Of course there are boundaries around personal relationships at work, but within those boundaries, there is room to recognize that the people who work for you are humans, dealing with trials and tribulations beyond the next budget meeting. Do you know when your employees have major life milestones, like a birth, death, marriage or divorce? Great leaders know that cultivating care for their employees creates love and loyalty in return.

  1. Honest leaders will keep team members. Honesty promotes confidence and trust.

Nothing inspires loyalty more than being honest. Open communication does two things: It creates confidence and trust, and also helps create feelings of inclusion. Being part of a team that works together will make any employee think twice before leaving or making a detrimental decision. Honest leaders will make team members stay much longer than they would have with a leader who hides information.

  1. The greatest leaders create loyalty through their words and actions.

The greatest leaders in the world are not revered because they demanded loyalty — they created loyalty through their words and actions. With everyday care and personal conviction, you too can create a company that is full of employees who are devoted, hard-working, and unwavering.

read more at entrepreneur.com

Empower people and unlock productivity

Empowering people is such a key to unlocking productivity, yet so few do it well. Bill George of Harvard asks the question for Huffington Post.Rowing eights

 “Where is the spiritual value in rowing? It is in losing of self entirely to the cooperative effort of the crew.” — George Yeoman Pocock, boat builder, 1936 Olympic gold medal winner

Stepping into a Zappos Call Center is like walking into a circus. Phones ring, voices rise, and laughter bounces around the room. If you closed your eyes, you’d think you’d entered a loud family reunion, not a billion dollar company.

Zappos employees work in a fiercely proud culture. Only 16 years after founding Zappos, CEO Tony Hsieh has made the online shoe-retailer into one of best places to work in the world. Zappos employees not only love their work, they care deeply about others in the community.

How did Hsieh do it? He did it by empowering his employees to lead. In Eyewitness to Power, David Gergen writes, “At the heart of leadership is the leader’s relationship with followers. People will entrust their hopes and dreams to another person only if they think the other is a reliable vessel.”

There was a time when leaders thought their role was to exert power over others. No longer, today’s best leaders — people like Ford’s Alan Mulally, General Motors’ Mary Barra, and Google’s Larry Page — recognize their leadership is most effective when they empower others to step up and lead. That’s exactly what the new generation of Gen X and Millennials expect from their leaders, and they respond with great performance.

Tony Hsieh focuses on relationships first and business second. In good times and bad, Hsieh’s communications are authentic, funny, and informal. He speaks directly and personally to his colleagues. As Hsieh says, “if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff…will just happen naturally.”

Hsieh reflects traits of an “empowering leader.” These leaders have discovered that helping people find purpose delivers superior results than forcing subordinates to be loyal followers. By giving others the latitude to lead, they expand their own potential impact.

So, how can you empower others? In Discover Your True North, I profile five things great leaders do.

  1. Treat Others as Equals: We respect people who treat us as equals. Warren Buffett, for example, gives equal attention to every person he meets. He has the same sandwich and Cherry Coke combination with a group of wide-eyed students as he does with his close friend Bill Gates. Buffett does not rely upon his image to make people feel he is important or powerful. He genuinely respects others, and they respect him as much for those qualities as for his investment prowess. By being authentic in his interactions, Buffett empowers people to lead in their own authentic way.
  2. Listen Actively: We are grateful when people genuinely listen to us. Active listening is one of the most important abilities of empowering leaders, because people sense such individuals are genuinely interested in them and not just trying to get something. The leadership scholar Warren Bennis was an example of a world-class listener. He patiently listened as you explained your ideas and then thoughtfully contributed astute observations that came from a deep well of wisdom and experience.
  3. Learn from People: We feel respected when others believe they can learn from us or ask for our advice. The best advice I ever got about teaching came from my Harvard Business School (HBS) colleague Paul Marshall, who was one of HBS’s greatest teachers. He told me, “Bill, don’t ever set foot in an HBS classroom unless you genuinely want to learn from the students.” I have taken his advice into every class I have taught for the past 12 years, telling MBA students and executives, “I feel certain I will learn a lot more from you than you do from me.” The students find that hard to believe at first, but they soon see how their feedback helps me understand how today’s leaders and MBA students think.
  4. Share Life Stories: When leaders are willing to be open and share their personal stories and vulnerabilities, people feel empowered to share their own stories and uncertainties in return. On Thanksgiving eve in 1996, I sent an e-mail to all Medtronic employees, expressing my gratitude for the support Penny and I received following her ordeal with breast cancer and chemotherapy. We were overwhelmed by the number of people who spontaneously shared their stories with us.
  5. Align around the Mission: The most empowering condition of all is when the entire organization aligns with its mission, and people’s passions and purpose synchronize with each other. It is not easy to get to this position, especially if the organization has a significant number of cynics or disgruntled people. Nonetheless, it is worth whatever effort it takes to create an aligned environment, including removal of those who don’t support the mission.

Leaders of every organization have an important responsibility to articulate how their company contributes to humankind. At Medtronic, our mission was to restore people to full health and wellness. At Disney, it’s to make people happy. Even at the most “boring” business-to-business company, the business can play a powerful role in improving the lives of its stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, and community.

With leadership comes responsibility. As Clayton Christensen wrote, “No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement.”

It’s time to lead authentically. You can do so by focusing on empowering others.

Follow Bill George on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Bill_George

AVOID THESES COMMON LEADERSHIP MISTAKES

1. Offering No Reward System Or Praise For Employees

Worthy employees follow orders and work hard every single day. Nothing will demotivate them more than when their good work is not recognized or rewarded. Leaders must recognize the effort employees put into their work and show appropriate appreciation. A reward system not only improves the morale and loyalty but also the performance and productivity of team members.

2. Punishing Employees On Good Performance

The biggest mistake any leader can make is using the guise of promotion or advancement to increase an employees work load without offering any financial compensation. This is not the right way to treat your most loyal and productive employees.  As well, a good leader will address the longer hours or excess workload and help their employees manage it better

3. Lacking In Communication

Stay up-to-date with all the latest information and developments. Learn the skill of communication, and be the first to inform your team members regarding things that may help them improve and perform better.

4. Becoming Too Much Of A Friend

Employees desire to have leaders that they get along well with, but being too friendly may put a leader in an awkward position when it comes to taking tough decisions. Do not allow people to take advantage of how nice you are to them. Maintain a good balance between being their boss and their friend.

5. Not Embracing  Change

Another mistake is to think that you can control how all things happen in the organization. Sometimes it is beyond anybody’s control to stop a change. A leader needs to go with the flow in such situations, and use the change to the company’s best advantage.

6. Making Hasty Decisions With Recruitment

When you need more manpower to handle a huge workload, it is still essential, you carefully manage staff selection. Better to employ temporary staff to cope with the immediate problem until you have assessed long term personnel requirements. It is costly to employ and train full time staff members.  Will they be an asset to the company and a good fit with the existing team? Take the time needed to select a candidate that has the best qualifications for the position and right temperament for your organization.

7. Not Being Clear Regarding the Organization’s Goals

Job descriptions must be precise. Employees must know their job function and to whom they are responsible for their work output. They need to feel part of the team and know the company’s mission and goals. Regular work reviews are mandatory at which good work is commended but also unsatisfactory work addressed.

8. Copying Others Instead Of Being Original

Leaders need to be authentic. Don’t try to copy others. Sure adopt good techniques and strategies you have observed others use but adapt them to your unique business situation. Learn from others but find your unique voice.
“A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.” – Ralph Lauren.

 

Improve productivity by hiring people with disabilities

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Retired Walgreens Senior Vice President Randy Lewis and his son, Austin. Lewis is the author of the new book, “No Greatness without Goodness: How a Father’s Love Changed a Company and Sparked a Movement.

The book isn’t only exceptional reading for business leaders who want their companies to become more efficient and profitable, but it also provides nuggets of wisdom and real life lessons for people who have the desire to build stronger and more meaningful relationships with those around them: friends, neighbours and co-workers.

During a speech in front of 5,000 Walgreen’s store managers at a conference in Las Vegas, he shared that “nearly 70 percent of individuals with disabilities and 95 percent of people with severe cognitive disabilities, like his son Austin, would never hold down a job.” This is not because people with disabilities cannot do the work, it’s because many employers fail to realize that hiring people with disabilities will actually increase the overall performance among all of their employees.

In the book, Lewis details how, with the inspiration from Austin, and the encouragement of his wife and strong support from the team at Walgreens, the company’s distribution centres not only met their first hiring goal of having 10 percent of its workforce being people with disabilities by 2011 — with some centres having 40 to 50 percent of their employees being those with disabilities — but they also witnessed increased productivity at the distribution centres that had hired people with disabilities.

Lewis also highlights in his book that there any many types of disabilities, especially in regard to employment, but what people need to keep in mind, be it at work or in public, is that people are people, regardless of whether their disability is visible to the world or not. “When hiring people with disabilities people ask me: what kind of disabilities can you hire? Or what kind of disabilities can you not employ? That’s always a common question.” Lewis said that what he and others discovered is that every disability is a spectrum. “We haven’t found a disability we can’t employ; we just can’t employ everybody on the entire spectrum. Just like with people ‘without disabilities,’ we can’t employ everybody on the spectrum of the typically able,” he noted. “I think the biggest thing that people overlook is that they’re people. They see their disability, they’re afraid about making a mistake; they’re afraid about using the right words. They feel uncomfortable and they fail to see the person,” he shared. “By the way, if you make a mistake with the right intent, with love, it doesn’t matter, people see that. They see the intent.” “Leaders need to love. If they don’t love, then they’ll never gain the trust. Here’s the deal: worthiness. Worthiness — that’s what Austin taught me; that everyone is worthy,” Lewis emphasized

Lewis reminds us not to forget this important truth.  “Work is what sustains us and love fulfills us“.

“So if the book helps to remind somebody that, oh by the way, I’m infinitely important in this universe. And, by the way, so is everybody else. Then my job is done,” Lewis said.

“Use every opportunity to help others see meaning in their work. They will be transformed from brick layers to cathedral builders”.

“An important lesson for employers is TLC, T is for teach, L is for love and C is for challenge. If you only remember one of the three, remember love.” said Lewis. He also adamantly believes that there’s a longing inside people to make a difference in the world, because everyone has value. We are worthy, that’s the good news of faith. I’m part of something bigger and I’m loved and I’m worthy,” he explained. “I’m one person and everybody’s an infinitely important and worthy person too.” Recognizing that people have intrinsic value to God and his Christian faith are two things that Lewis is not afraid to share, because it has provided strength for his family, and enabled him to impact the world by helping employers see that people with disabilities, once given the opportunity, can become valuable employees. “God has gotten a lot bigger as I’ve gotten older. Fear has kept me quiet in the past when I should have spoken up. It has kept me still when I should I should have acted. “There were times when I was afraid, and that’s when faith came in, and knowing that I was not alone,” he said. “Throughout this process, I was not alone.” Lewis noted that some people believe that what’s been achieved at Walgreens was a monumental and difficult task, but he said that not taking action, when he could have, bothered him much more than any potential failure.. Lewis also highlights in his book that there any many types of disabilities, especially in regard to employment, but what people need to keep in mind, be it at work or in public, is that people are people, regardless of whether their disability is visible to the world or not.