Highly engaged, but with yesterday?

Happy, committed and engaged people really do perform better at work, although there is – or at least one would hope – a difference between love and enthusiasm. I’m enthusiastic about Ajax FC, prawn toasts and historic monuments – I’m nothing if not single-handedly diverse - but none of these are relationships that I’m seeking to actively consummate. But what we might call ‘the happiness industry’ seems insistent on wanting to see the L-word as often as possible.

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Taking it on-board, not taking it on the chin

Where feedback is concerned, there is a shared responsibility that underpins the efforts of both giver and receiver: the genuine intention to support the future creation of better work. Giving it is a responsibility to be wielded with intelligence, and receiving it opens up options and avenues that may previously have been closed to us.

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In-sourcing – the new out-sourcing?

Maybe what lies at the nub of the idea of disbanding the HR function is the concept of sense of purpose – not for ourselves, but as judged by other people. It’s not our own answer to ‘what are you here for, exactly?’ that’s the issue, it’s how other people see it: not the purpose we think we serve, but the one that others think we do. Or, more critically, don’t.

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Put yourself in her shoes for a moment …

75% of men “believe that teams with significant numbers of women perform more successfully”, which may surprise female readers who had anticipated that a larger percentage of men remained in denial. Their pleasure might falter, however, when they learn that only 19% of men thought that reaching the top level of organisations is harder for women.

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Book Review – Turning Learning into Action: A proven methodology for effective transfer of learning by Emma Weber

Turning Learning into Action by Emma Webber is a welcome addition to a canon that is surprisingly small given that it deals with a problem that each year wastes over $500 billion worldwide. Subtitled “A proven methodology for effective transfer of learning”, it is a book for L&D practitioners rather than academics, but its purpose is the promotion of the author’s proprietary solutions rather than the creation of a community of practice.

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Foot in mouth or fingers in ears? Feedback is a matter of give and take

David Silverman recently published an interesting article at Strategy & Business about the importance of listening, using a real world example as a metaphor. You can partly guess the example from his article’s title: George Harrison: Now That Guy Knew How to Listen. His essential point – that listening is a vital element of communicating – is important, but we need to remember that working life does not consist of a series of impressive solos.

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A long but broken engagement?

Back in April 2010, we wrote about the MacLeod Review, a government review into the complex and timely issue of employee engagement. Judging by the frequency with which we read about the topic in the HR/L&D press – and are even requested to comment or write for the same media outlets ourselves – it is not in that category of organisational issues that we can mark down as essentially a fad. On the contrary, engagement is the issue that will not go away. But are organisations listening to the sources that provide evidence of the need to make changes (or even the benefits of doing so)? The verdict is less clear.

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