Summary of “How to Teach Employees Skills They Don’t Know They Lack”

After spending billions of dollars a year on corporate learning, U.S. companies probably assume that their employees have the knowledge and skills they need to carry out their jobs.
One global technology company my team works with, for example, discovered that, on average, its sales employees didn’t understand or know about 22% of its product features, even though they believed they did.
It’s often more prominent among experienced staff, which is particularly problematic because, as the go-to people in their circles, they often pass incorrect or incomplete information and skills on to others via to peer-to-peer learning and training.
How does a company, manager or individual employee correct a competency gap about which no one is aware? As a physician who studies brain function, biological variation and how people learn, I have some suggestions.
Corporate training programs need to be redesigned to better engage learners and empower them to admit what they don’t know.
Better learning models are instead adaptive-that is, molded to each person’s needs by probing what they know and don’t know, then offering tailored content as the learner performs well or struggles.
When corporate learning programs prompt employees to admit to that they’re guessing in the same way, they, too, begin to see the previously hidden gaps in their skills and knowledge.
With a mindful approach that allows learners to probe their knowledge, uncover what they don’t know, and admit when they are unclear, incompetence is uncovered and, thus, no longer unconscious: Employees know what they don’t know and their employers can do something about it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Great Storytelling Connects Employees to Their Work”

We go through the motions, phoning it in, but engage in our work less than we are capable of.
There is a lot a leader can do to help employees feel a deeper sense of motivation in their work.
When you feel connected to the moral purpose of your work, you behave differently.
The first responsibility of leaders – whether front line supervisors, middle managers, or executives – is to compensate for the inevitable alienation that complex organizations create, and provide employees with a visceral connection to the human purpose they serve.
People’s feelings about their work are only partly about the work itself.
They are equally, if not more so, about how they frame their work.
In one study we did at a large healthcare provider, we examined why some employees were somewhat casual about hand hygiene while others were zealots.
We stop seeing past our work to the people we affect.

The orginal article.

Summary of “LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner Just Shared Some Brilliant Career Advice”

With a 97 percent employee approval rating on Glassdoor, LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner has developed a reputation as one of the most beloved CEOs in the world.
Of course, good leadership involves maintaining interest in your people’s work, and offering helpful advice when appropriate.
Effective leaders know that good listening is an art.
If you saw an employee engage in a dangerous behavior, you wouldn’t wait too long to correct it, would you? Similarly, you should positively reinforce your employees’ good behavior when you see it-to encourage them to continue.
Show your people you’ve got their backs by staying by them even when they make mistakes do more than tell people where they should go-set the example and show them the way.
Leaders who recognize the importance of humility and emotional intelligence are the ones who are able to inspire.
These leaders concern themselves with action instead of position.
“There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority, but those who lead inspire us. Whether they’re individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead, not because we have to, but because we want to.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Help an Employee Who Rubs People the Wrong Way”

No matter the specific behavior, your employee is clearly rubbing people the wrong way.
“You want neutral observations, such as, ‘I observed X in the last meeting, and the impact was Y.” It’s also wise to strategize how your employee might respond to your comments.
“Emotions are contagious. If you go in full of awkwardness, that will radiate itself. If you go in with a desire to criticize, you are more likely to have a combative conversation.” Think, too, about how you plan to raise the topic with your employee, and consider the physical setting as well.
Imagine you believe your employee alienates fellow colleagues by constantly interrupting them.
“Stand your ground, and don’t let your employee reframe your message,” she says.
Finally, Su says, you should “Offer to be your employee’s sounding board.” You could say, “I’m happy to prepare with you before the next team meeting, or to debrief with you afterward.” It’s smart to get your direct report “Involved in how to solve the problem by brainstorming ideas and suggestions together,” Webb adds.
You’re more likely to see a shift in behavior if your employee feels as though he’s had an opportunity to help come up with a solution.
The employee – we’ll call him Peter – would constantly interrupt his colleagues, roll his eyes during meetings, and be much too forward with his often unwarranted feedback.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Motivate Employees to Go Beyond Their Jobs”

As a result, a critical task for successful managers is to motivate their employees to engage in these extra-role behaviors, which researchers refer to as “Citizenship behaviors.” Given the importance of citizenship behavior for organizational success, it is important that managers help employees find the best possible ways to go beyond the call of duty in order to help make work more meaningful and less depleting.
These are important decisions because research shows that when employees are willing to go beyond their formal roles by helping out coworkers, volunteering to take on special assignments, introducing new ideas and work practices, attending non-mandatory meetings, putting in extra hours to complete important projects, and so forth, their companies are more efficient and effective.
As a result, a critical task for successful managers is to motivate their employees to engage in these extra-role behaviors, which researchers refer to as “Citizenship behaviors.”
As this work continues, consensus is emerging that citizenship behavior tends to have negative implications when employees go above and beyond at work not because they intrinsically want to, but because they feel that they have to, or when they are unable to carry out their regular job duties and be a good citizen at the same time.
Given the importance of citizenship behavior for organizational success, it is important that managers help employees find better ways to go beyond the call of duty in order to help make work more meaningful and less depleting.
Whereas job crafting captures how employees redesign their formal role at work, citizenship crafting is based on the notion that employees can proactively shape the ways in which they to go beyond the call of duty such that they not only contribute to the organization, but that they are also personally meaningful, rewarding, and consistent with their strengths.
First, to the extent that jobs contain tasks that align with employees’ intrinsic motives, and are absent of tasks that employees feel forced to complete, job performance tends to be significantly higher; as such, citizenship crafting should result in higher quality and more impactful acts of citizenship.
Finally, citizenship crafting should reduce the need for managers to rely on extrinsic sticks and carrots to motivate employees to go the extra mile.

The orginal article.

Summary of “As Your Company Evolves, What Happens to Employees Who Don’t?”

Some individuals who fit our company in its infancy became a weaker fit over time.
Much of the dialogue around company fit assumes that it’s a concrete concept: Round pegs go in round holes and, once they’ve found the right spot, stay there.
You don’t have to sit on the sidelines and watch your company’s culture evolve away from your best employees.
No test reveals everything about a person, but learning about what drives someone can help you see where they would fit best in your company.
We encourage employees to discuss their goals and plans for the future openly with their managers, even if those plans don’t mesh with their current roles or don’t involve staying with the company.
In contrast, less-experienced but high-aptitude hires may need more training feel and may be a bit overwhelmed in the beginning, but they have the raw ability and desire to grow with your company and adapt to the needs of the position.
Fit between employee and company is not a one-time check on a list of hiring criteria; it’s a constantly evolving relationship that changes to meet the needs of the time.
Don’t leave your company culture and employee fit to chance.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Case for Investing More in People”

“Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything,” wrote Paul Krugman more than 20 years ago.
There is a virtuous cycle between productivity and people: Higher levels of productivity allow society to reinvest in human capital, and smart investments result in higher labor productivity.
Of course, low productivity can depress wages, but in recent decades, wages haven’t grown as much as expected even during periods of robust economic productivity growth.
“For most of the last half-century – 84 percent of the time since 1966 – average wages have grown more slowly than would be predicted based on productivity and inflation growth,” The New York Times reported.
The evidence suggests the former: We could improve productivity if we stopped systematically underinvesting in human capital.
Giving managers more time to do deep thinking can unlock innovations that can have a significant impact on productivity.
This is the gateway to the discretionary energy that multiplies labor productivity: An inspired employee is more than twice as productive as a satisfied employee and more than three times as productive as a dissatisfied employee.
Robert Gordon, a macroeconomist at Northwestern University, has shown that periods of breakout productivity in the United States were not the result of capital deepening, but of what economists call total factor productivity, a catch-all measure for the impact of technological innovation.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Signal v. Noise”

As captain of the ship, you survey the seas - what your board is telling you, what your customers are telling you, what the market is telling you, what your employees are telling you - and steer the ship in a certain direction.
Making the call is only half the battle - the other half is communicating the call.
Leadership is making the call but explaining the call, too.
You can pose all the questions you want in surveys, have one-on-ones with each of your employees, gather their input at an all-hands meeting But it’s all moot if you don’t close the loop and say what you’re doing or not doing with it.
If you receive a piece of feedback that isn’t practical or doesn’t align with the company’s direction, tell your employees that.
If you don’t, employees will wonder, “What ever happened to that idea I suggested?” They’ll assume that you’re not open to receiving new ideas, and they’ll hesitate to bring up feedback the next time around.
Employees saw weeks go by, and wondered what happened to the survey responses.
The CEO eventually heard through the grapevine from an employee that some folks were worried that they were gearing up to fire a bunch of people - which wasn’t true at all!

The orginal article.

Summary of “Email and Calendar Data Are Helping Firms Understand How Employees Work”

These sorts of analyses are helping EY, where some of us work, by working with Microsoft Workplace Analytics to help clients predict the likelihood of retaining key talent following an acquisition and to develop strategies to maximize retention.
Using email and calendar data, we can identify patterns around who is engaging with whom, which parts of the organization are under stress, and which individuals are most active in reaching across company boundaries.
Using data science to predict how people in companies are changing may sound futuristic.
These sorts of analyses are helping EY, where some of us work, by working with Microsoft Workplace Analytics to help clients to predict the likelihood of retaining key talent following an acquisition and to develop strategies to maximize retention.
Understandably, there may be privacy concerns about examining an individual’s email or calendar, even in a work context.
We used an analysis of anonymized email and calendar data to predict what impact the number of direct reports a manager had on the ability of specific teams to collaborate.
We will always need professional change managers to interpret this data and to design the right sorts of ways to work with employees during transformation or external emergencies, such as the travel ban.
What these data science tools can do is make our responses faster and more targeted and tell us what worked in a faster, more reliable, and less invasive way than was previously achievable.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Successfully Work Across Countries, Languages, and Cultures”

Rather than assuming we’ll work in one location, in our native culture, we will need new skills, attitudes, and behaviors that help us work across cultures.
The CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani, realized that doing business in multiple languages prevented the organization from sharing valuable knowledge across the organization’s existing global operations, as well as those that were being newly established.
The English language, Mikitani predicted, could revolutionize both how Rakuten employees worked and how they interacted with the rest of the world.
One, because global work is by definition likely to bring employees into contact with cultural differences and culturally diverse practices, the ability to adapt smartly could be the difference between success and failure.
Two, positive indifference makes work life that much easier in a global firm because employees are open to learning and exploring new terrains.
Seeking commonality is important to a global work orientation because it draws colleagues from diverse cultures closer, which in turn translates to more effective collaboration and teamwork.
Brazil reported the largest extent of these self-reported voluntary interactions at nearly 52%. In comparison, the U.S., which had the lowest voluntary interactions with other subsidiaries, hovered around 2%. This behavior is important to global work orientation because, my research finds, in general, when interactions are high, there is a greater ability to develop trust and shared vision among international coworkers.
Tacit knowledge can become more explicit; sharing information or best practices can become advantageous; and learning from one another’s common experiences can accelerate the spread of business efficiencies across the global organization.

The orginal article.