The last two years have been a test of survival for most companies across the globe. If you’re a part of the lucky number of companies to have survived, you now have new challenges to grapple with.
Many organizations are
finding that employees at every level need intense development to meet
the company's goals. With budget cuts during the pandemic, companies had to let
go of many employees.
Now, they are searching to fill needs rising in the new climate of the business post-lockdowns.
The problem is the roles are being filled with bodies, but no resources are given to ensure these employees have the support and development to fill those roles well.
I am hearing this problem from every client I meet with. Covid caused a ton of turnover. Many were promoted or elevated to a position not because they were ready for it, but because they are the readiest and the need is great.
One client who is a senior level manager was almost in tears during our session last week when explaining that she herself wears three hats, barely has time to eat lunch most days, but has to fit in basic soft skill conversation development with every member of her team.
Her question to me was, "How do I upskill our entire workforce, while I continue to do my own job?”
Assuming that one department or person can handle their current job PLUS the task of training and development is a mistake that will lead to more turnover of overworked and under-appreciated leaders.
Now, as companies are able to breathe, the question is…
How does a company emerge stronger than before when so many are left feeling overwhelmed by their team's needs?
Developing your team will produce greater employee
engagement. We know today's workforce wants more than
just a good paycheck for their work. The pandemic gave space for people to
realize they want more from their jobs.
According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace, only 20 percent of employees are engaged in the workplace and 69% of employees say they’d work harder if they were better appreciated.
Employees want to feel they belong, that they are making an impact, and that their employer cares about them as a person.
Investing in the development of your team shows that you care and allows them to feel valued and appreciated. When this happens, turnover will slow, and you will begin to create a culture of loyalty and appreciation.
According to another Gallup poll, companies with more employee engagement have substantially better customer engagement, higher productivity, better retention, fewer accidents, and 21% higher profitability
It is imperative to understand that investing in your team's soft skills or "people skills" has immediate ROI.
How your team deals with each other, your guests, and new hires, directly impacts the bottom line. Follow the trail of every conflict between colleagues or between employees and clients and you will find a hit to the bottom line in some way. It might be through paying for employee time trying to resolve issues, lost employees, or lost clients.
This, however, is not a lost cause. Development is possible even when you don’t have employees devoted to this or an unlimited budget to put towards development.
What I’ve found that doesn’t work is one-off workshops. Lecturing on a topic once a quarter, without ongoing development, just isn’t going to give you the ROI needed to emerge from this time on top of the game.
What's needed is learning that can be:
- accessible anywhere and anytime with the option of review down the line
- is followed up with by consistent conversation and accountability
- is cohesive for all employees, enabling a unifying practice of soft skills
Impactful development can be accomplished in a variety of ways:
1. One-on-One Coaching: This type of personalized development will hone the exact skills that each team member needs. This can be given by supervisors or can be outsourced. I have found that companies who outsource leadership development for their executive team reap rewards all the way down the line as those skills will be taught and passed along. Executives who are developed will put those tools into practice and there will be a culture shift in the company.
2. Group coaching: This is a great way to develop teams of managers or specific department so that there is a cohesive style of communicating, client servicing, and conflict resolution. This can also be done utilizing leadership development books as a springboard for discussions and group development. This eases the vulnerability each team member needs to bring to the discussions when the focus is on the book. Yet, cohesive leadership principles can be instilled.
3. Onboarding and Leadership Programs: These programs are a BIG impact at an affordable price point. They enable the entire company to unify in their development of soft skills. Start all employees with the onboarding program, and they will begin with full knowledge of over 45 topics giving practical tools and skills to succeed.
Set your team leaders on the path to full development with the Ready. Set. Advance. Program and help them realize what is needed to lead well. Most do not have the confidence in their leadership skills to step into leadership positions fully. Give your teams what they need to produce results for the company. Help your managers and leaders know how to resolve conflict, communicate clearly, time manage, and motivate their teams to succeed.
I have made it my entire business to create ways for companies to develop their employees because throughout my 25 years of experience, I have realized this is the make-or-break point for companies. They will either be successful and have a culture of appreciation and loyalty or barely be scraping by with high turnover and resources wasted in hiring and marketing because they haven’t invested in creating a company people want to work for.
Companies that realize now is the time to invest in their team's skills, focusing on communication and people skills, and utilizing a consistent approach are the companies that will come out of the last two years stronger and more inclined to reach their stretch goals.
This is a massive opportunity to adapt to the changing climate of the market in a way that sets your company up for immense success.
I've spent years studying and developing communication skills specifically for leadership and the workplace. Conflict prevention and resolution is fundamental in leadership development and I coach leaders to develop key skills and tools to help their team excel.
If you'd like to develop these skills, there's several ways I can help!
> Read my book "Uplifting Leaders! How to have difficult conversations that motivate and inspire". This is a great first step as this book is packed with real life examples from my years of experience along with key tips and tricks to navigating difficult conversations in the workplace.
> Schedule some one-on-one coaching with me to develop a specific plan for you to reach your maximum potential.
> Bring me into your team to assist with team communication strategies. This looks like group coaching with individual coaching as needed.
> Sign up for one of my online development courses. These courses are designed for employees and leaders to develop key skills at their own pace.