Volunteers Are My Cup Of Tea

I never realized…

Most of my work life I led or followed salaried, hourly and contract employees. I never realized the difference leading and following volunteers could make!

With employees there was always a need to demonstrate and justify how changes would benefit them, the customer, the organization, etc. And even then, only some of them would truly engage and commit to the journey.

With volunteers it’s significantly different. They already have an understanding of the ‘cause’ or ‘reason’ for the change. They offer to lead or follow depending on the need at the time. Of course, not all volunteers are this eager, but I have found most to be engaged, interested and willing to commit time and effort to help achieve the shared outcomes we all have in common.

Volunteers may initially appreciate or need the sharing of the ‘greater good’ that underlies the ‘cause’, but they don’t question it or need to be reminded every little bit. They already own it and value it without constant communication. Not to say, I haven’t found the need to help them regain focus occasionally, but their energy and engagement tend not to flag.

This is not to say that many employees aren’t committed and invested in the organizations they work for; it’s just that the percentage that are seem small compared to my experience with volunteers.

Volunteer, if you have never had the experience, and learn firsthand!!!

Call with questions or to discuss 330-329-3137

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The Ideal Work Environment to Attract Talent (Guest Blog)

Not long ago, E&Y released a report titled “Differentiating for Success, Securing top talent in the BRICs”, detailing attitudes towards work and establishing the ideal employer value proposition for BRIC-based (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) companies. Though the findings focused on the BRIC countries, the lessons for companies in other countries worldwide are obvious—especially when we look at the similarities across all countries.

No matter where the respondents were, they were all looking for a high-energy, comfortable environment, where they could collaborate to get the work done. What this means for recruiters is that emphasizing these aspects of the job will attract the young talent they are looking for.

E&Y also offered five strategies for securing top talent. We will explain each briefly:

“Strategy 1: Accommodate different career goals across countries and professions.” Career pathing is very important to workers, particularly young ones, across the globe. People want to see how they will be able to grow in their careers by working with your organization.

“Strategy 2: Build a differentiated employer brand by country and profession, internally and externally”. Because cultures vary, it is critical to keep those differences in mind, when you are building internal and external employer brands.

“Strategy 3: Develop the behavioral styles of co-workers and leaders to enhance engagement.” Each of us has particular learning and work styles. When individuals are developed in keeping with those styles, everybody wins. People are more productive and engaged, because they are doing the right work for them.

“Strategy 4: Craft work environments to match country preferences.” Preferred work environments are also different within diverse cultures, e.g., ergonomic design is more important in Brazil than it is in other countries. Focus on what is most important to the workers and you will have success in attracting them.

“Strategy 5: Tailor compensation and benefits to individual and cultural differences.” For a long time now, we have advocated a cafeteria-style approach to benefits. Allowing people to choose the specific benefits they want eliminates waste and produces a more highly engaged workforce.

Wise employers will take this advice to heart. As labor markets tighten, advice like these strategies will become vital for attracting top talent.

To read the entire report, visit http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/EY-Securing-top-talent-in-the-BRICs/$FILE/EY-Securing-top-talent-in-the-BRICs.pdf

Copyright 1998-2014 by The Herman Group, Inc. — reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From “The Herman Trend Alert,” by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3547 or http://www.hermangroup.com. The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc.”

If you are interested in implementing any of the above strategies, please connect with Cook Consulting at 330-329-3137.

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Keep the Business Context Clear, Clean and Simple

Keep the Business Context Clear, Clean and Simple

When leading change at any level; keep the Business Context clean, clear and simple.

You might ask, “What is a Business Context?”

Well, it could be any number of things that identify and define what the ‘end state’ of change will be.  Sometimes, for simple changes, it’s future targets or goals compared to current performance that define the desired outcomes for change.  And, when more complex change is undertaken, it could be stories or even metaphor pictures that clarify and give depth to the difference between today and the future.

Business Context is usually larger than the future vision alone and encompasses where we currently are positioned relative to the future.  Frequently, the strategies that will be employed to achieve the future vision for change are included.

A few slides, stories or posters are typically all that are needed to engage those who are implementing the change with enough understanding and retention to enable them to take independent action while still staying aligned.

Interested?  Give a call (330) 329-3137 and let’s talk.

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