Monday, November 28, 2016

Leading Through Uncertainty

We are living in uncertain, polarizing times. And, while it is understandable that political leadership takes the spotlight, we must not overlook the challenging realities that our organizational leaders are facing. Economic uncertainty, generational shifts, and socially polarizing opinions in the workforce will dominate the narrative for companies in 2017. People leaders at all levels of the organization will be subject to increased stakeholder scrutiny (from employees, boards of directors, consumers and governmental and community groups) and almost constant change. 

Leading through uncertainty requires a highly evolved set of skills and competencies. To understand what traits are most critical for your people leaders, download my white paper The Top 10 Competencies Your Chief People Officer Must Possess, or contact me directly. Your organization's ability to demonstrate proficiency in these leadership attributes will determine the success of your business in 2017 and beyond. 

Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group
Workforce Strategies for the New Economy

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Top 5 Drivers of Engagement

Millennials will soon comprise 50% of the U.S. workforce. As a result, they will set the tone and influence workplace practices for the foreseeable future. To determine the best strategies for engaging top talent, we must look to this generation for insight. Using Millennials as the norm, here are the top five drivers of employee engagement.
  1. Transparency of Information – Millennials require companies to be transparent with information in order to work effectively in their jobs and make decisions about their careers.
  2. Connection to the Corporate Strategy – Millennials need line of sight to the business strategy to perform in their jobs well, and to understand that their work has a purpose.
  3. Visibility – Millennials stay engaged when they get exposure to senior executives who are driving the strategy and who have their own experiences to share.
  4. Opportunity – Millennials are driven by opportunities to advance in their careers and to develop professionally. 
  5. Personalized Recognition – Millennials expect to participate in programs and receive rewards that are personalized and that recognize them for their time and efforts. 
Millennials will challenge employers to engage them in drastically different ways than their predecessors. In return, they will provide many of the necessary competencies and experiences necessary for companies to survive and thrive in the New Economy.

Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group
Workforce Strategies for the New Economy

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Post Millennial Workforce

As companies struggle to acclimate and flex to the Millennial generation’s ideals and behaviors in the workplace, many are also realizing that they must ready themselves for the next generation of employees that is fast approaching. The values and characteristics of this emerging cohort will begin to shape the workplace of the future within the next five years. Companies that ready themselves now for this new influx of talent will have the competitive advantage for years to come.  

Demographers use a variety of names to refer to the Post Millennial generation - Generation Z, The Pluralists, the Homeland Generation - but none of these titles has yet to stick. And while it is clear that the members of this generation will be the most technologically savvy in history, most of their other traits have yet to crystalize. To learn about the predictions for this upcoming generation and the implications for the workplace, download my whitepaper, “The Post Millennial Workforce,” or feel free to contact me directly for more information.

Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group
Workforce Strategies for the New Economy

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Top 10 Competencies for Your Chief People Officer

Over the past 15 years, I have worked with hundreds of Chief People Officers (CPOs) in a variety of industries and companies. I have also helped CEO’s hire for these critical roles, roles that have the power to significantly alter the performance and competitive advantage of a business. 

There has been a seismic shift in the way executives think about people, culture and workplace practices. They have come to understand that exceptional “People” leadership and systems are levers of operational and financial excellence. As a result, there is growing recognition that the background, skills and competencies of the CPO position are vital components to the success of the business as a whole, and that an alarmingly high percentage of current HR/People leaders do not possess what it takes to lead their companies into the future.

Companies require -- and deserve -- a highly evolved set of skills and competencies from their human capital leaders. To understand what traits are most critical, download my new white paper The Top 10 Competencies Your CPO Must Possess, or contact me directly.

Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group
Workforce Strategies for the New Economy

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Top 10 Most Promising Jobs for Millennials

The class of 2016 has graduated. And while some have secured employment, many are still weighing their options. According to a recent Fortune Magazine article, the most promising jobs for Millennials include some surprising contenders: 
  1. Physician Assistants
  2. Actuaries
  3. Statisticians
  4. Biomedical Engineers
  5. Computer & Information Research Scientists
  6. Market Research Analysts & Marketing Specialists
  7. Nuclear Engineers
  8. Elevator Installers & Repairers
  9. Petroleum Engineers
  10. Therapists
The list in unexpected, and challenges conventional views on what “opportunity” means. But for companies that are struggling to find and keep Millennial talent, it represents significant clues as to what Millennials need and want from employers this year. 

For more insight into what drives Millennials, download my whitepaper, 7 Secrets to Working with Millennials or contact me directly.

Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group
Workforce Strategies for the New Economy

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Meet Your Millennial Manager, Part 3 - Performance Management

This is the last in a 3-part series on Millennials as managers. Part 1 covered Millennials as hiring managers.  Part 2 offered strategies for communicating with Millennial managers. This post address Millennial managers and performance management.

Millennials see the conventional annual or semi-annual performance review as static and one-directional. As managers, they will replace existing performance management processes with real-time goal setting and feedback loops using technology that allows for multi-directional, multi-level, and often transparent comments about the performance of an individual, team or manager. This will be challenging for both staff and HR professionals from older generations, who will have to adapt to new performance metrics, collaborative feedback channels, and different compensation and advancement protocols.

Millennials also believe that the 9-5 construct of work is dead. The workplace of the past is one where productivity is measured by the number of hours you sit at your desk. To Millennials, the future of work requires a high degree of flexibility – from the employee and the manager. This means fluid working hours, technology that enables remote work, and relationships that extend beyond the office. For Baby Boomer and Generation X employees who have spent their careers conforming to fixed hours and mindsets about performance, this will take an enormous adjustment in thinking and scheduling.

Millennials now comprise the largest generation in the U.S. workforce and are rising in rank. The world of management -- and all of its conventional wisdom -- is about to be turned on its head. For more insight into this sea change, download my new white paper Meet Your Millennial Manager – A Survival Guide for Older Generations, or contact me directly.

Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group
Workforce Strategies for the New Economy

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Meet Your Millennial Manager, Part 2 - Communication

In response to recent requests, I am providing a 3-part series of guidelines for Generation Xers and Baby Boomers who report to Millennial managers. The first in the series offered older generations insight into Millennials as hiring managers.  This post covers communicating with your Millennial manager. 

Communication breakdowns between Millennial Managers and their older direct reports are often the result of a difference in the definition of “initiative.” For Gen Xers and Boomers, taking initiative means “figuring it out” on one’s own, without having to rely on or involve others. Removing one’s boss from the weeds and any unnecessary details, meetings and decisions demonstrates strategic thinking and high performance. In contrast, Millennials equate taking initiative with asking questions and collaboratively engaging one’s boss. As bosses, Millennials expect their direct reports to regularly (as in daily, if not hourly) update them on projects and include them in decision-making. 

Older generation employees will have to revisit the meaning of effective employee-supervisor communication and learn to collaborate more closely with their Millennial managers to keep them in the loop. For most, this will be a challenging but valuable exercise.

Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group
Workforce Strategies for the New Economy