Working with career minded, talented women Catherine J. Woodman has discovered three common internal challenges: confidence, finding voice, and fatigue.
Every April I’m awestruck by those tough little daffodils appearing amid snow and slush. Seemingly fragile they break through the harsh, cold winter earth and emerge with yellow smiles and spirited vibrancy. What comes to mind is resilience. Resilience – ability to quickly recover and maintain positive functioning despite stress and change.
Resilience is tenacity, fortitude and agility. Thoughtful parents strive to instill these characteristics in our children knowing they’ll be needed during inevitable harsh, cold life challenges.
The Chairman finished speaking and sat down, arms crossed. He’d put forward an impassioned argument for the merger; a great deal, negotiated over many months, a capstone of his career.
Sam stood slowly, hands planted firmly on the boardroom table, looked the Chairman squarely in the eyes and said “I am opposed. This deal tears the company apart, will lead to massive lay-offs and will ruin the brand and reputation we have built over the past 50 years.”
Is Sam wearing pants or a skirt?
For years, employers have been hearing that three generations in the workplace is a recipe for disaster. We’ve been told they all have different requirements and approaches to work, particularly Gen Y, otherwise known as Millennials. And woe to those organizations that are unable or unwilling to understand and address those needs.
On October 21st, 2014, HRANB held a professional development session in Moncton, where I had the pleasure to be the guest speaker. The topic was Performance Reviews. After a brief introduction and a few observations from the podium on the current state of performance reviews, we decided to try a unique initiative. Given that we had over 90 human resource professionals in the room, I wanted to have a discussion focused on the best and the worst aspects of performance review systems and processes.
Employee engagement has headlined top business blogs and articles for over a decade and although we are making some inroads, many employers and managers still don’t understand what engagement is—let alone how it can impact their bottom line. Top 500 firms in North America do, however, tend to be more in tune with the benefits of an engaged workforce; namely decreased turnover and significantly increased client satisfaction, revenue, earnings per share and profit (up to 2.5 times that of competitors with low engagement).
The role of women in the workforce has changed dramatically over the last 40 years. Yet challenges exist for aspiring female leaders, as women are persistently underrepresented in the highest levels of organizations. A study by Catalyst suggests that among the Fortune 500 Executive Officer positions, only 14.6% are held by women. And, rather than continuing to grow, this number has stagnated in recent years.
Strong leadership is an essential ingredient in organizational success. Understandably, the topic of leadership attracts a lot of attention. Organizations train, develop, align and build capacity to enhance leadership capabilities. Yet, all too often, the focus becomes perfecting policies and plans to achieve operational excellence. Despite the most thoroughly considered strategies, I am constantly amazed by how often leaders completely miss the mark in execution because they don’t have a supportive following.
The stakes in leadership have always been high, but they are getting higher. Leaders today must execute strategy, drive innovation, and build talent for the future. They are under more pressure and more scrutiny than ever before. But at the very moment we need our leaders to be their best - to be truly great - many leaders disappoint and fail us. Recent studies have shown that only 7 percent of employees trust and have confidence in their senior leaders to look out for their best interests.
There is almost always a palpable sense of fear when an organization decides to conduct an employee engagement survey for the first time. What if my employees are unhappy with the leadership of the organization? What if my employees feel under compensated or overworked? Employee engagement surveys, if developed appropriately, should assess a host of different areas across an organization, including leadership effectiveness, career development opportunities, work-life balance, and job design.