why not two

Companies hire people to do one job. Why not two? Or Three?

I’m not saying people should perform in two or three jobs simultaneously. I’m saying that companies should visualize a trajectory that features progression and evolution between different (internal) jobs.

Doing so requires insight into learning paths. Regarding both hard – and soft skills.

Definitely worthwhile looking into. The degree to which companies can convince people to choose for them as an employer correlates heavily with the degree to which companies can provide a career perspective.

ruin your brand

Bad news travels far swiftly. Almost three-quarters (72%) of job seekers say they share negative experiences with companies where they apply online.

Offering a bad experience to potential candidates is, by and large a surefire way to drive your employer brand into the ground.

What’s worse, some initiatives are so simple to implement. So simple, in fact, that it’d be a shame not to do it.

React. A simple message to acknowledge that the candidacy has been received successfully goes a long way. If at all possible, including the typical response time in that message makes a huge difference.

Image ordering online, checking out without any indication whatsoever regarding delivery. How many customers would purchase again with that same company, or leave an enthusiastic review?

one rule

There is one crucial rule Elon Musk forgot about or deliberately chose to disregard.

Recently, some news outlets reported that Musk told Twitter employees they should expect 80-hour workweeks, no more free food, and some other arguably hostile announcements.

Whether it’s personal – or professional relationships, seduction generally works better than coercion.

Maybe, by exemplary leadership alongside creating a culture so good, that people don’t mind working double shifts, employees would automatically choose to go the extra mile.

Maybe, similar to the trend we’re seeing in Silicon Valley at the moment, it’s a (rather harsh) way of letting people go. Threatening them with a bad time could cause employees to pack up and go.

invisible

The notorious double q, “quiet quitting,” isn’t a new phenomenon. What has, however, changed drastically recently is its visibility.

Almost three centuries ago, workers on assembly lines would have people hovering over them while the latter watched the workers and their productivity levels.

Today, Corona has accelerated and increased working-from-home initiatives. Making employees’ productivity, or lack thereof, much less visible.

At the risk of introducing a communistic undertone, Lenin once said, “Trust, but verify.” Without proper initiatives to check in with employees, the risk of them sliding into quiet quitting mode is substantial.

Those initiatives should be tailor-made and personalized. Small talk just won’t cut it. Apply a (scientifically sound) model to measure employee engagement to get ahead of the dreaded double q.

unexpressed lingering

Unexpressed negative emotions don’t die… Ever. Instead, they fester.

In a professional relationship between an employer and an employee, frustrations are usually expressed when it’s too late. An exit-interview is interesting, but then, the damage has been done. The insights unearthed during such interviews can be leveraged for other employees, but the actual employee who voiced the issues has passed the point of no return.

Exit-interviews are good, stay-interviews are better. Negative emotions should be intercepted quickly, so they can be expressed, preventing a nasty festering wound from manifesting itself. Consider implementing frequent and recurring stay-interviews.

logic shift

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson once went on a camping trip. After dinner with a bottle of wine, they call it a night. A little later, Holmes wakes up and immediately wakes up his trusted friend.

“Watson, look at the sky. What do you see?”

“I see millions of stars, Holmes,” Watson replied.

“So what do deduce from that?”

“Well, astronomically, we can deduce that there are millions of galaxies and planets. Astrologically, I see that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically it tells me that the time is about a quarter past three. Meteorologically we will have a nice day tomorrow. Theologically, I see that God is mighty and that we are a little and inconsequential part of the universe. What do you see, Holmes?”

Holmes remains silent for a moment. “Watson; this is one of those important moments where we must apply logic. Don’t you see? Someone has stolen our tent!”

We could write books, jampacked with theory around the difficulties in recruiting human resources. Until we deduce that candidates hired leave within the first year. Hiring talent through the front door while the back door remains open isn’t sustainable.

Sometimes we must apply logic and shift perspective.
Retaining talent isn’t enough. Talent remaining onboard against their better judgment isn’t beneficial to either the talent or the employer.
Retention, built on top of engagement, that’s where it’s at.

quiet quitting

Newsflash. Quiet quitting has been around for years. The term might be new, but the phenomenon, unfortunately, isn’t.

In 2016, 50% of employees were looking for another job within the first year of employment. Before the so-called “Great Reset,” only a small percentage actually followed through and changed jobs. The remaining people felt stuck in their jobs, unmotivated, and often actively disengaged.

The cumulative loss in productivity, profits, and personal well-being is straight-up bad.

Identifying which employees are motivated — and to what extent is — possible. The results could be used for job crafting, internal mobility, coaching, and much more.

Currently, those insights are rarely generated, let alone applied. Companies are often forced to react when it’s too late. The potential gains of mapping employee engagement proactively are enormous.

backwards innovation

How to crush innovation in reverse.

Often, the path towards innovation looks like this; a novel idea is conceived or embraced. The processes within organizations are adapted to facilitate this novel idea, and finally, the novel idea gets executed.

Sometimes, oddly, it’s the other way around. Sometimes, a particular way of working shifts automatically due to market demand. The procedures are adopted upon realizing that the current processes in place don’t foster the new way of working. Until finally, the novel idea manifests itself in a crystal clear manner.

For example, the way we used to hire people largely depended on a job description. Many companies hiring people for themselves — or intermediaries such as recruiting agencies hiring people for other companies — are now somewhat forced to move away from the classic job description. Why? The chances you’ll find other purple squirrels (white ravens) in times of labor market scarcity — let alone keep them — are zero to none. Especially starting from the job description that the purple squirrel is currently fulfilling. As it turns out, they often combine multiple jobs. Should we then create a new job description that combines multiple jobs?

Looking at required skills (both hard skills and soft skills) instead of sticking to relatively static job descriptions might prove to be a solution. The downside, though, is that if the purple squirrel were to be replaced, or the capacity should be increased, one purple squirrel might add up to two or more purple squirrels.

Due to labor market scarcity, the skills-based approach is currently being embraced, albeit ad hoc. Now it’s time for companies to adopt the processes that should go along with skills-based hiring so that the ideology can ultimately thrive.

white raven

That one employee that, when he/she/x leaves causes the company to collapse. These so-called white ravens, black swans, or purple squirrels aren’t only a dream to work with; they’ve gathered so much knowledge and expertise in your company that they can’t be missed.

HR departments often (try to) anticipate a catastrophe such as the departure of white ravens by trying to hire exactly the same kind of profiles. Now, signing the first white raven probably involved moving heaven and earth. Let alone finding another one. Moreover, keeping them.

The classic approach to starting from function profiles is rather rigid and tough to scale. Starting from, which hard-skills and soft-skills are required for a job on the other hand, is a leap many HR departments and their companies have to take. When it turns out that these white ravens combine multiple jobs or function profiles within one job, and thus can’t be replaced by one other person, that’s where the biggest challenges are.

without knowing

Would you allow your salespeople to meet with an existing customer without them knowing how much money they’re spending with your company?

Why would we allow HR to coach employees without them knowing what they’re working on?