You’ve worked hard to create an engaged, loyal workforce. Then 2020 hits. Overnight we are sent to at-home workspaces working in physical isolation. We balance the stresses of health and wellbeing with maintaining performance in our jobs. Civil unrest has quickly heightened emotions and anxiety. All this and we’re barely past the mid-year mark. In a work world where our teams are distributed physically and mentally, how can we build and maintain trust among our workforce? Further, how do trust and belonging drive sustainable performance?
Today I’m sitting down with Iain Moffat, Chief Global Officer of MHR International, to talk about the importance of safety, relationships, and purpose as the cornerstones for building real trust in today’s workplace — and radically strengthening the company culture. These may be uncertain times, but creating a sense of trust and belonging in your workforce and your workplace gives people an anchor we all need — and it’s an incredibly effective way of sustaining the kind of performance and engagement that, in turn, sustains your business.
Before COVID-19 one of the most popular ongoing discussions at #WorkTrends was about the gig economy — which was already breaking open the traditional 9-5 model of working and shifting the perspective from payroll to project. Coworking, freelancing, independent contractors — we were looking at generational preferences and realizing that it was highly likely that we would not be bringing talent into the workforce the same way we had before.
Then came the pandemic, and suddenly we shifted to remote working and flexible schedules out of necessity — which as more than one colleague of mine has said is, after all, the mother of invention. And with that shift came the realization that we really can break out of the 9-5 mold, undo our adherence to staying in cities in order to be near our workplace, and detach from the need to stay on salary for being independently affiliated. There are, of course, tangible matters to address, including how we best source and hire freelancers with the chops and skills we really need. But here’s another revelation: HR is a great opportunity for hiring freelancers – and being a freelancer. Freelancers with HR talent are on the rise and for a number of reasons, we’re going to see more organizations turning to freelancers — and finding that both strategically and practically, it’s a win.
Today I’m welcoming Chris Russell, Founder, HR Lancers, and Jim Stroud, VP marketing, Proactive Talent, to talk about the enormous shift we’re seeing in how people work and how organizations hire — from salaried to gig. And that includes HR as well, which may surprise some of you. But with millennials leaving major metropolitan areas and remote working becoming the norm, freelancing is becoming a viable way to build a great HR team. We’ll talk about effective strategies for hiring the best and the brightest freelancers for HR, from best practices to best resources.
There’s so much uncertainty about what will happen to the workplace — whether we will wind up staying remote or mixing it up, or be able to return to a physical workspace. Will it be safe, will it be a best practice? There are a lot of questions facing us and we’re not going to have the answers for a while now, given what’s happening in the country with COVID-19.
Against this backdrop, we still need to hire people. And we need to find a way to onboard them into a work culture that inspires and engages them. Just how to do that has always been a challenge. But now it’s even more so — because we can’t rely on proximity to transmit behaviors or a sense of shared purpose, or energy, or enthusiasm. It all has to happen in a way that transcends physical boundaries and is effective nevertheless.
Today I’m welcoming John Baldino, President and Founder of Humareso, to talk about the best practices for onboarding your new hires into your workforce, no matter where you are — and how to uncover the blind spots in your onboarding process as well as your workculture to make onboarding a success.
The Supreme Court recently handed down a landmark Federal civil rights law that protects gay, lesbian and transgender workers from workplace discrimination based on sex, including gender identity and sexual orientation. The ruling extends protections to millions of workers nationwide, and it’s an incredible victory for inclusiveness and diversity. But on a day to day level, we have a lot of work to do. Even in workplaces that consider themselves inclusive, coexistence can be harrowing for those whose identity doesn’t conform to gender stereotypes.
In many ways and on many levels, we so often don’t know what our fellow coworkers are going through. We don’t see their struggles — and in some cases, that ignorance can make it worse. Since bias, diversity and inclusiveness are very much front and center for so many conversations about work, and they should be, I wanted to make sure we looked at how it is for LGBTQ employees. That’s a segment of diversity and inclusion we don’t focus on enough. So we’re going to head from an expert on the issue who’s developed a very effective methodology for increasing empathy and self-awareness. It’s a tool for reducing unconscious bias, microaggressions, and other challenges that LGBTQ employees face all too often, and creating a sense of camaraderie, collaboration and support that truly includes everyone.
Today I’m welcoming Elena Joy Thurston to #WorkTrends. Elena is an inspirational speaker and founder of the PRIDE and Joy Foundation, and she has an incredible life story. She’s here to talk about the connection between growing our self-awareness and making our work cultures truly inclusive.
Leaders today are grappling with very real and pressing challenges: keeping their workforce safe, balancing the need for business results with the need for compassion, staying ahead of new laws and regulations, grappling with whether or not to reopen and how to do it safely. As they put their hearts and minds into how to improve their work cultures on a very fundamental level, two factors to keep in mind: resilience — the ability to weather changes and struggles and bounce back intact, and diversity.
Forward thinking leadership means taking a clear stance on diversity that is effective and relevant. It’s one critical way to increase the resilience of your organization and your work culture. If you don’t address the problems that make your work culture brittle, it snaps under pressure. If you don’t aim to expand your workforce to represent as many diverse points of view as possible, you lose that ability to make the best decisions based on seeing all the possible angles. But if as a leader you don’t have a well-developed sense of emotional intelligence, you won’t practice the empathy and the clarity to understand the dynamics at work in your organizational culture, and steer your workforce through a crisis — any crisis. And you likely won’t be able to keep your best talent for very long.
Today I’m welcoming Melissa Lamson, CEO of Lamson Consulting to talk about the new imperative for leaders — to bring resilience as well as diversity to their organizations, and why the two go hand in hand.