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Adapting to Change: it’s About the Transition

September 20, 2013 By: azjogger Category: Management, Training, Workforce

From: Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), Leading Effectively   

You know change is hard. But did you know that the ability to adapt to change is the No. 1 success factor for leaders?

CCL research has found that successful executives in North America and Europe:

  • Adapt to the changing external pressures facing the organization
  • Adjust their management style to changing situations
  • Accept changes as positive
  • Revise plans as necessary
  • Consider other people’s concerns during change

But what do you need to do to adapt and respond well to change?

A new CCL guidebook, Adapting to Organizational Change, distills the knowledge and best practices that will help you flex and adjust during changing times.

The first thing you need to do to manage change and be adaptable is understand there is a difference between change and transition.

Change is defined as the situations and occurrences that impact organizations and individuals, such as a new boss, a move to another location or a shift in policy. Change creates the need to move from the way it used to be to the way it is now.

Transition is the internal psychological process of adapting to a new situation. Transition can happen quickly or slowly. It is the process of moving successfully from the old to the new.

Another key strategy is to identify how the changes affect your feelings and thoughts. For many leaders, change challenges their experience with being right or in control. Feelings of anger, fear, powerlessness or frustration, as well as being stressed and exhausted, are common. But if left unresolved, negative feelings and thoughts become more intense, which can lead otherwise successful people to derail.

A final strategy for navigating transition is to guide oneself through three stages. William Bridges, a leader in the field of change management, says transition involves:

An Ending. Let go of the past; honor and grieve the ending but accept it. To fully experience change as an ending, try some or all of these strategies:

  • Learn all you can about the nature of the change without first judging it.
  • Take stock of who is losing what.
  • Define the precise details of what is over and what is not.
  • Admit to yourself and others that the change has occurred.
  • Actively seek information from all relevant sources about the change.
  • Let others know the facts and feelings that you have about the change.
  • Mark the ending in a meaningful way.
  • Take note of what has been lost and what has been gained.

The Neutral Zone. This may be the most uncomfortable transition stage. This is the time of confusion, of living with a clear ending but having no clear beginning. It is also the time for clarity to develop and point you to a new beginning. Tips for this stage:

  • Realize that uncertainty is an integral stage between an ending and a new beginning. Don’t expect to know everything or to be perfect.
  • Set short-term goals to move through uncertainty and advance toward a new beginning. Take stock of what you need to accomplish those goals and identify opportunities that will help you move forward.
  • Look backward to the ending and acknowledge what you had. Look forward to the beginning and the possibilities it could create.
  • Connect to your values. When you feel uncertain and confused, your personal values provide direction.

New beginning. Utilize the clarity that developed in the neutral zone and accept the challenge of working in a changed environment. When moving through the new beginning, experience it as a fresh start. To do so:

  • Imagine what the new beginning looks and feels like. Symbolize the new beginning in words, images and thoughts.
  • Give everyone a part in the new beginning; find a place for all relevant parties to the change.
  • Create strategies for tackling new problems and meeting new challenges.
  • Re-emphasize the reason for the change and recognize that reason as why you are beginning anew.
  • Find ways to mark your success.

People experience organizational change in many different ways and the process of transition will vary. As a leader, you must deal with your own personal uncertainty and resistance to change. Recognize that your process of going through endings, neutral zones and new beginnings will affect your work and the people around you. With greater awareness of the human side of transition, you will be more adaptable — and able to help others adapt to change as well.

A Broad Perspective: A Must-Have for Promotion

August 17, 2013 By: azjogger Category: Management, Training, Workforce

From Center on Creative Leadership, “Leading Effectively” August 2013

The more responsibility you have and the higher up you go in your organization, the more important it is to see beyond your own functional area.

CCL has found that a broad organizational perspective is one of the most important factors in the advancement of executives. Looked at another way, having a narrow functional orientation can lead to derailment. A promotion might take you beyond your level of competence — you may be pushed out, demoted or fired.

If you are too narrow in your perspective, you can expand it, according to CCL’s Ellen Van Velsor, author of the new CCL guidebook, Broadening Your Organizational Perspective.

First, determine what is getting in your way. It may be, in part, organizational forces. But it may be your own behaviors that are holding you back. Do you tend to:

Over-rely on strengths? Too much success in one area can lead you to over-rely on what has been working for you so far. Any strength can become a weakness, leaving you with a gap or limitation when it comes to the next job opportunity.

Ignore a flaw? You probably know your weak spots, or you’ve been given feedback about something to improve. Ignoring this insight is a missed opportunity — one that can potentially derail your career.

Avoid untested areas? If you shy away from a function or area, the lack of knowledge and experience may become an obvious gap. Don’t think, “I’ve made it this far” and assume it won’t matter down the road.

Focus on one type of work? Deep expertise is not a replacement for a variety of experiences. A track record of working in different areas or on different types of work demonstrates the versatility needed to move up in an organization.

Underlying these four patterns is the inability to learn, to take a risk and to be challenged by something new. So, go after a variety of challenging experiences — but be sure you will learn from them.

To boost your ability to learn from experiences, rather than just run through the paces, pay attention to three factors:

Willingness to learn. Understand that new experiences may provoke fear or anxiety. Your performance may suffer in the short term. What is your motivation and commitment to engaging in and learning from a new experience? How will you handle the emotions that come along with it?

Ability to learn. When going through a new experience you will want to determine what is important for you to learn. This requires vulnerability. Are you able to seek and use feedback? Do you learn from mistakes? Are you open to criticism without being defensive?

Learning versatility. You also need to understand how you learn — what’s your learning style. Once you’ve identified the tactics you prefer and use most often, you can try new learning tactics to make sure you learn the most from your experiences.

With a solid understanding and commitment to learning, you can find and create experiences to broaden your organizational view. As a result you will strengthen your overall leadership abilities, enhance your opportunities for advancement and improve your ability to adapt to an uncertain and turbulent world of work.

Developing Leaders Within an Organization

May 08, 2013 By: azjogger Category: Management, Training, Workforce

By Andrea Zintz

The idea of having a succession plan is often associated with company  ownership, but it really applies throughout any organization. When leaders move  on-retiring, getting promoted or choosing to take their talents elsewhere-it can  leave a significant void that can be problematic right away and for the long  term.

Developing leaders from within is one of the best things you can do to  ensure you don’t end up with a leadership deficiency.

A number of best practices exist with regard to internal leadership  development, and they all have one thing in common: buy-in from the top is a  critical component for success. In addition to saying the right things regarding  the importance of “bench strength” and education/training, top leaders must  continually espouse developing leaders as something that’s a highly regarded  company value.

 

With that thought in mind, let’s take a look at three best practices that can  be used to develop leaders within an organization:

Have a formal executive development program in place. This can be  outsourced or run internally, and ideally it will be tiered, offering different  tracks for senior managers, mid-level managers, supervisors, and even those who  aspire to join the management ranks. With advances in online learning, leaders  can tap into programs from wherever they’re located.

It’s best to supplement  classroom training-which alone can end up being rather weak-with on-the-job  experience in the form of stretch assignments and team projects that accelerate  the learning process. However, collaboration and on-the-job reinforcement must  remain a necessary component.

Employees need to be able to put concepts and  ideas they’ve been learning to work, and they’ll benefit from receiving coaching  and feedback along the way.

Encourage leaders to teach. Education comes in many forms; it can be as  simple as having a discussion at a staff meeting about the work implications of  an assigned article or case study. When leaders take the time to share their  knowledge, what results can be quite powerful. Serving as a mentor or coach can  ramp things up even more, since that provides line-of-sight support and a place  to go with questions, and it may result in career-building opportunities for the  person being taken under a leader’s wing.

Pay attention to the makeup of your leadership team. The need for diversity  aside, it’s important to create an environment of inclusion, so people feel  listened to, and believe they have a path to leadership. Ask whether you’ve  inadvertently excluded women, people of color or those with varied cultural  backgrounds-and what valuable points of view you are thus missing.

I’ve heard an  analogy that diversity is being invited to the party, while inclusion is being  asked to dance when you’re there. When people are challenged to stretch beyond  what they know, that builds leaders.

When upper management supports these best practices, and makes sure that  developing leaders from within is part of the company’s organizational values,  the results will be far- reaching. Employees will understand where the company  is trying to go and how they can play a role in getting it there, and those who  seek to move into leadership roles will have the resources and  well-defined pathways to make that happen.

Andrea Zintz, President, Strategic Leadership Resources We are trusted  advisors on shaping the future through leadership development. Our business is developing current and  future leaders and leadership teams to build the capability for fulfilling the  strategic vision of their enterprise

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7681562

Start Making Sense and See Your Career More Clearly

May 08, 2013 By: azjogger Category: Marketing, Social media, Workforce

From: Center for Creative Leadership, Leading Effectively

Career paths and development strategies are increasingly self-directed. How do you gain the information and insight needed to steer your course?

One essential strategy for getting a clear view of yourself, your context and your career is to seek “sense-making” relationships.

“Other people can help us see more clearly how specific activities or behaviors or experiences fit into our career path and our development,” says Regina Eckert, co-author of a CCL white paper, Through the Looking Glass: How Relationships Shape Managerial Careers. “This process of sense-making is an important and often overlooked aspect of why relationships are valuable.”

Sense-making is simply the process of assigning meaning to a phenomenon or development. From a career perspective, a CCL study found that relationships help managers to make meaning of their work and development in three key ways:

1. To Guide. Some relationships help managers define what they want to achieve and why. Friends, colleagues, mentors, parents or other more experienced or senior people may guide informally by sharing their experiences and perspective. Guiding can also be very direct in the form of practical advice and tips.

Guidance can also come in the form of what not to do. Learning from other people’s mistakes or the consequences to their own career decisions is a powerful source of guidance.

2. To Affirm. People who know a manager’s field and/or organization are in a position to affirm, encourage and build confidence. These relationships are helpful for calibrating what’s going on in one’s own career development, as well as in the career market inside and outside his or her organization.

Affirmation is especially needed in the absence of obvious career paths and multiple (often competing) choices to make.

3. To Stretch. Another form of sense-making comes from a challenge to managers’ implicit beliefs about their potential and career goals. Some relationships push them to rethink or reframe a situation or experience.

For example, working with someone who has a very different perspective or take on an issue is a huge opportunity. This often feels uncomfortable, but it opens the door to deeper understanding and new possibilities.

“If you don’t have people to help you make sense of your career development, your context and your goals, our research shows you that you have two choices: Either you seek out relationships that give you the sense-making support you need, or you change your existing relationships to be more relevant for your career and development,” says Eckert.

“Depending on your personal circumstances and the kind of support you’re lacking in your relationships, you can decide which avenue is more promising for you.”

Help Wanted to Steer Career

Do you have relationships with people who help you make sense of your work, your organization, your career? Ask yourself:

  • Who guides me? Who is a role model?
  • Who affirms my own interpretations and sense-making?
  • Who stretches and challenges my sense-making? Who adds perspective?

If you don’t have relationships to help you understand and navigate your work life, who can you turn to? How would you go about changing and re-vamping existing relationships so that they meet your needs?

Changing Culture: 4 Phases, Not Four Steps

April 16, 2013 By: azjogger Category: Management, Operations, Workforce

From: Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), Learning Effectively

Changing culture is about changing minds.

Executives, leadership teams and entire organizations need more mature minds to deal with the increased complexity, uncertainty and inter-connectedness of our world.

 CCL’s approach to changing culture is focused on growing bigger minds and fostering the thinking that allows for creative action in the face of complexity. Based on five principles, we use four broad, overlapping, reinforcing phases:

Discovery learningdetermining willingness. What is the feasibility of entering the culture-change process? This is a mutual learning phase between CCL (as facilitators) and the client (as change agents and organizational leadership). It begins with an assessment of the current level of leadership culture and a look at the capability required by the business strategy.

Players’ Readinessdeveloping understanding. What are the long-term implications of integrating a new culture into the organization’s work? What is senior leadership’s ability to engage in the change process? It requires a commitment to participate in public learning — practices that many conservative institutions will decline.

Game Board Planningframing the change process. What does culture change look like? How does interdependent leadership play out in business and leadership strategies, the learning process and organizational work targets? What are the beliefs and behaviors required? As senior leaders’ understanding of the change process grows, they are better able to frame the change challenge and engage other leaders.

Playing the Gamebuilding capability. Once senior leadership has internalized the change work and discerned the way forward, they begin to move the new culture forward into the broader the organization. The same beliefs and practices that moved the leadership culture at the top are taught, practiced and required elsewhere in the organization.

The four phases are not a list of simple steps to take, cautions CCL’s John McGuire.

“Many of the traditional serial, step-by-step change management methodologies regard human beings as things to be managed,” McGuire says. “But we’re not things. We’re complex beings with minds and imaginations and beliefs. We have to engage and participate in order to learn and change.”

“We know this work is not for everyone,” McGuire continues. “But if senior leadership is fully engaged, they become adept at their own collaborative learning. Then the senior team is able to immerse larger numbers of leaders from across the organization and develops toward a critical mass for enterprise-wide change. Our goal is to eventually involve everyone in the organization in a learning process that creates trust, ownership and increasing forms of interdependence.”

3 Types of Leadership Culture

Organizations that grow from dependent to independent to interdependent leadership cultures become increasingly capable of creative action in the face of complexity.

  • Dependent: A form of leadership culture or mindset based in conformance or tradition.
  • Independent: A form of leadership culture or mindset based in heroic individual achievement.
  • Interdependent: A form of leadership culture or mindset based in the collaboration of otherwise independent leaders and groups.

Leadership: Don’t Ignore the Young Ones

April 07, 2013 By: azjogger Category: Management, Training, Workforce

From: Center for Creative Leadership, Leading Effectively Feb. 2013

It’s never too early to learn leadership, according to a CCL survey.

Fully 90 percent of respondents believe leadership development should start before age 18 — and certainly should be part of early-career learning.

The study, and CCL’s work with youth and young professionals, gives insight into what leadership skills matter most and how businesses can invest in next-generation leaders.

What should youth leadership development be developing?

Our survey — along with growing interest in CCL’s leadership initiatives for K-12 and university groups — clearly signals the need for leadership development to be a part of every student’s educational experience. If so, what should be the focus of youth leadership efforts?

One way to look at it is to consider what leadership skills young people need to enter the workforce. Here’s what we found from our survey.

The five most important competencies for young people entering the workforce today are:

  1. Self-motivation/Discipline
  2. Effective Communication
  3. Learning Agility
  4. Self-awareness
  5. Adaptability/Versatility

In comparison, the five most important competencies for young people entering the workforce 20 years ago were:

  1. Technical Mastery
  2. Self-motivation/Discipline
  3. Confidence
  4. Effective Communication
  5. Resourcefulness

Looking ahead, in 10 years the most important competencies will be:

  1. Adaptability/Versatility
  2. Effective Communication
  3. Learning Agility
  4. Multi-cultural Awareness
  5. Self-motivation/Discipline
  6. Collaboration

Notice that effective communication and self-motivation/discipline appear on all three lists — these may be core and enduring competencies that could receive more developmental focus during the high school and college years. Learning agility, too, is a “master” competency or core skill that fuels other skills and allows us to learn from experience.

Two competencies that appear on this future skills list — multi-cultural awareness and collaboration — are driven by the increasing interconnectivity and interdependence of our work and lives. Fortunately, these skills can easily be developed through project-based learning in high school and college, as well as through early leader development experiences on the job.

What can businesses do to develop next-generation leaders?

  • Seek new and creative ways to partner with educational institutions — universities and K-12 — to better prepare young leaders. Southern Methodist University’s Lyle School of Engineering is incorporating leadership content into the curriculum for all 999 engineering students. CCL has also begun a multi-faceted leadership development program involving students, faculty, staff, board members and parents for Ravenscroft, a K-12 private school in Raleigh, NC.
  • Provide support to existing youth leadership programs run by nonprofits and schools. Good programs exist but reach far too few students and are usually under-resourced. For example, CCL and the Greensboro, NC YMCA created an innovative program with 28 modules involving leadership and mentoring for African-American and Latino youth during their high school years. The work is now fully run by the Greensboro Y, but other youth organizations could benefit from program enhancements, financial support and mentoring support for programs like this.
  • Establish two-way, cross-generational leadership and mentoring programs. Pair a young person, either just in the workforce or soon to enter the workforce, with an older, experienced employee for co-mentoring. The youth have much to offer in mentoring their more experienced and/or longer-tenured bosses and coworkers — typically they are comfortable with technology and the pace of change, have good multicultural awareness and adaptability, are willing to learn and eager to make a difference. The more experienced leaders can offer insight on career direction, ideas for greater effectiveness, feedback and opportunities for development.
  • Provide leadership opportunities. Be sure your early-career employees have mentors and bosses who know how to develop others and will give them opportunities to practice their skills in a real leadership context. Intentional, planned job rotations, developmental assignments and involvement with a variety of projects and on cross-functional teams or task forces are effective strategies. Coaching and leader development programs are also good ways to build the self-awareness so critical for leadership.
  • Encourage employees to “own” their leadership role and development. Help people (at all levels in the organization) see themselves as the person in charge of their job, in coordination with others on the team and in alignment with the organization’s goals. Remind them that it is important to seek frequent feedback on  performance, get coaching (formally or informally) on areas where skills need to develop, and do all they can to learn outside of their current skill set and knowledge base. Let them know they can develop off-the-job, too — being on a local Board, directing a community project or creating something new on their own.

Developing Leaders: Today’s Methods Vs. Tomorrow’s Problem

November 23, 2012 By: azjogger Category: Management, Training, Workforce

From: Leading Effectively, Center for Creative Leadership (CCL)

The greatest challenge ahead is not a leadership challenge. It’s a development challenge, argues CCL’s Nick Petrie.

Nick Petrie took a yearlong sabbatical at Harvard University with the goal of answering one question — what will the future of leadership development look like? He looked across fields (education, business, law, government, psychology), reviewed leadership development literature and interviewed 30 experts in the field.

A gap in skills leaders need 

What he found was a profound gap between today’s methods of developing leaders and the skills leaders need to deal with more a complex, volatile and unpredictable reality.

The methods organizations use to develop leaders have not changed (much) in decades. The majority of managers are developed from on-the-job experiences, training and coaching/mentoring.

Leaders are no longer developing fast enough

“While these are all still important, leaders are no longer developing fast enough or in the right ways to match the new environment,” says Petrie.

Petrie identified four trends shaping leader development — trends that top management as well as training and development professionals must grapple with as they figure out ways to prepare for the future.

In an upcoming CCL Webinar, Petrie will address these four trends and potential responses.

 Vertical development will matter more. There are two different types of development: horizontal and vertical. Horizontal development focuses on new skills, abilities and behaviors. It is technical learning and competency-based. Horizontal development is most useful when a problem is clearly defined and we have known techniques for solving it. Vertical development, in contrast, refers to the mental and emotional “stages” that people progress through. At each higher level, adults “make sense” of the world in more complex and inclusive ways.

The methods for horizontal and vertical development are very different. Horizontal development can be “transmitted” (from an expert), but vertical development must be earned (for oneself). Horizontal development cannot be relied on as the sole, or even primary, means for developing leaders.

People must own their development. The current model encourages people to believe that someone else is responsible for their development — human resources, their manager or trainers. But people develop fastest when they feel responsible for their own progress.

“We need to help people out of the passenger seat and into the driver’s seat of their own development,” says Petrie.

Individual leaders are less important. Leadership development has come to a point of being too individually focused and elitist. There is a transition occurring from the old paradigm in which leadership resided in a person or role, to a new one in which leadership is a collective process that is spread throughout networks of people. Leadership development should focus more on what is needed in the system and how we can produce it.

The question will change from, “Who are the leaders?” to “What conditions do we need for leadership to flourish in the network? How do we spread leadership capacity throughout the organization and democratize leadership?”

We need a new era of innovation. There are no simple, existing models or programs, which will be sufficient to develop the levels of collective leadership required to meet an increasingly complex future. Instead, an era of rapid innovation will be needed in which organizations experiment with new approaches that combine diverse ideas in new ways and share these with others. Technology and the Web will both provide the infrastructure and drive the change. Organizations that embrace the changes will do better than those that resist it.

“The future of leadership development is evolving, with many paths and little clarity,” Petrie acknowledges. “The answers will be discovered along the way on the messy path of innovation.”

Learn more! Sign up for Future Trends in Leadership Development, a CCL Webinar with Nick Petrie.

What Does it Take to Lead Innovation?

September 17, 2012 By: azjogger Category: Management, Operations, Workforce

From Leading Effectively magazine, Center for Creative Leadership

Does your organization stifle creativity even as leaders push for innovation? Have well-meaning efforts to become “more innovative” stalled or fallen short?

In a new white paper, “Becoming a Leader Who Fosters Innovation,” CCL’s David Horth and Jonathan Vehar argue that actively pursuing innovation requires considerable resources and deliberate focus — and that innovation leadership is often missing.

In the paper, Horth and Vehar create a picture (and to-do lists) for leaders who seek innovation but have been frustrated by lack of results. They draw on recent studies, best practices and hidden gems, as well as their own research and experience working with individual leaders and client organizations. They share

The differences between innovation thinking and business thinking — and how leaders need to manage the tension between them. Leaders and organizations that are able to switch between these two modes of thinking will find a powerful antidote to complexity and an engine that can help them thrive — even during uncertain times.

Two myths of innovation … No. 1: Individual Creativity Can Be Mandated and Managed. No. 2: Simply Unleashing Creative Talent Can Help You Navigate Complexity.

Three essential building blocks of innovation leadership — the tool set, the skill set and the mind-set. A collection of tools and techniques are needed to generate new options, implement them in the organization, communicate direction, create alignment and cause commitment. Innovation leaders also need a framework that allows them to use their knowledge and abilities to accomplish their goals. The mind-set is the fundamental operating system of the creative thinker and distinguishes those leaders who enable creative thinking and innovation from those who shut it down.

Specific actions

Horth and Vehar also offer specific actions you can take to help your organization develop innovation leadership, including:

  • Create a mandate for change, backed by a strategy that embraces innovation. If you are not senior enough to create the mandate, gather peers around you who share your passion for innovation and collectively approach those who can create the mandate, or scale it back to a level where you have authority to make it happen. Use the IBM 2010 CEO Study, IBM 2011 Creative Leadership Studies, 2012 Capgemini Innovation Leadership Study and other evidence to get their attention.
  • Model what it will take individually and collectively for the organization to become more innovative. It is particularly important for senior leaders to walk the talk. Make managing the tension between business thinking and innovative thinking a priority.
  • Communicate challenging strategic issues throughout the organization. Use them as vehicles for promoting collaboration and seeking creative ideas.
  • Create highly diverse teams to address strategic issues. Help them overcome limiting differences so diversity becomes a source of novel ideas.
  • Give people access to creative methods and experiences. Even those with creative potential get stuck. Readily available tools, methods and experiences help them reframe and think differently about challenges and opportunities.
  • Design and build systems to nurture innovation. Look for low-cost ways to test and prototype new solutions.
  • Champion ideas that don’t quite fit, and network with your peers to find a home for them. Actively break down barriers to innovation, including internal politics and destructive criticism, as well as hurdles, gates and other unnecessary systems.

Read the full white paper: “Becoming a Leader Who Fosters Innovation.”

Why Hire a Company for Employment Investigations?

August 22, 2012 By: azjogger Category: Jobs, Management, Operations, Workforce

By Leslie Saleson

The recent economic recession has led to an increase in the work force that  is available to potential employers. An unfortunate consequence of this increase  in available employees is that, given the degree of competition for each  available position, many potential employees might be tempted to be less than  forthcoming on their employment applications. One potential remedy for the  potential consequences of such circumstances is to conduct “pre-hire” or  screening employment investigations. Among the many advantages to conducting  such investigations are to:

Confirm Credentials of the Prospective Employee

It is a widely appreciated fact that many employees have, at one time or  another, indulged in some form of “resume enhancement” in which they will  overstate their academic and/or professional records. While many cases of this  practice are later found to be essentially harmless, there could later be  serious repercussions if employees are found to have lied about matters such as  teaching credentials or certification in technical fields.

Detection of Unreported Criminal History

For employment in many positions, particularly those involving a high degree  of public contact or access to substantial amounts of cash, many corporate  insurance carriers will refuse to insure anyone with more than a single  misdemeanor conviction. Since most applicants are aware of such restrictions,  many job applicants will not mention such a history, particularly if a  conviction occurred in a location that is not geographically near where  employment is sought.

Most corporate investigators will either maintain offices in several cities  or else will have working relationships with other investigators, making more  comprehensive criminal background checks more practical than if done by a  corporate human resource department with little practical experience in such  matters.

Confirm Provided Job History or Detect Unreported Work History

Another consequence of recent economic conditions has been an increase in the  number of job applicants per open position. While this could be interpreted as  an opportunity to hire only the most-qualified job seekers, it must be realized  that the weak job market gives these same job seekers an incentive to be less  than honest regarding what they will include in their resumes and job  applications. This may be the case when such job history includes instances  where job performance was less than expected by a previous employer. In such  potential instances, a well-conducted pre-employment investigation will help to  exclude purposely deceitful applicants.

Detection of Potential Corporate Security Risks

Certain aspects of an applicant’s employment or social history, such as  frequent job changes among menial jobs or a poor credit history, are known to be  associated with a higher probability that an employee may either be compromised  and coerced into some activity or may even “go rogue” and engage in illegal  activity of their own free will. An employee investigation can help uncover such  risk factors before any damage can be done.

To recap, a comprehensive employee investigation can go a long way to saving  an employer from later job-related unpleasantness.

To learn more about why Employment Investigations are important for employers, visit Threat Management and  Protection.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Leslie_Saleson

How to Reduce Employee Turnover

August 22, 2012 By: azjogger Category: Jobs, Management, Workforce

By Annette A. Dixon

Reducing staff turnover is an ongoing headache for many businesses. Factors  that contribute to this include long hours, workplace cultures that aren’t  supportive of work/life balance initiatives, as well as poor leadership. Experts  estimate it costs upwards of twice an employee’s salary to find and train a  replacement. And churn can damage morale among remaining employees.

But many employers are now finding that by creating and supporting a flexible  work culture where part-time work is easily accessible if desired, creates  loyalty, increases performance and reduces staff turnover. This can take time to  implement, and will often be a gradual process of ‘unwiring’ our 8am-6pm workday  mentality, but a commitment to leading by example, and ensuring buy-in from all  employees, will help smooth the way.

Tips to making it work include:

1. Be realistic – staff moving from  full-time to part-time need to adjust and manage their own expectations of what  they can achieve.

2. Prioritisation – for the employee, the  key to finding the balance is to make sure they are doing the important rather  than the urgent.

3. Strategic approach – as an employer you  should ensure that you have a big picture view of how it will work. Being  flexible and family friendly won’t be successful unless there are real  strategies in place on how this will work.

4. Support – part-time staff need the full  support of their leader, their teammates and family for it to successfully work  for everyone. Additionally they need support in the form of computer access,  laptops, iPads and mobile phones to be available. Trust is also an important  support factor – nothing motivates a good employee more than trust and  support.

5. Review – re-visit and discuss  compensation, benefits packages, and flexible work schedules at least annually.  Outline challenging, clear career paths. Employees want to know where they could  be headed and how they can get there, and reassurance that their flexible status  will not hinder this.

6. Recognition – it is easy to overlook how  important recognition and praise from managers can be, especially if an employee  is not in the office full time. Awards, recognition and praise might just be the  single most cost-effective way to maintain a happy, productive work force.

A very real benefit many employers find with flexible arrangements is  increased productivity – part-time employees may work fewer hours in the office,  but they are capable of being just as productive as full-timers, they don’t have  time to waste and are often extremely good at juggling a range of tasks. Not to  mention the cost benefits to your business from reducing staff  turnover!

Annette Dixon is a Human Resources professional qualified at Deakin  University, with over 12 years human resources management experience. She is  also the Director and Founder of the HR company End2End Business Solutions.

To learn more about how End2End Business Solutions can benefit your business,  visit http://www.end2endbusinesssolutions.com.au

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Annette_A._Dixon