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Managing Staff

Young Workers No Longer Get The On-the-Job Training They Need – So They’re Finding It Elsewhere

With companies training people less, the most valuable path to success may be pioneering your own career.

Stephane Kasriel

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There’s an inside joke among execs that goes something like this:

A chief financial officer, looking to save costs on training employees, asks the chief executive officer, “What if we spend money on training and they leave?”

To which the CEO responds, “What if we don’t and they stay?”

Unfortunately, over the last several years, it’s the cost-cutting CFOs who have been winning out way too often.

According to Peter Capelli, director of The Wharton School’s Center for Human Resources, companies want workers they don’t have to educate, and his research has found that employers don’t train young workers like they used to.

In 1979, per Capelli, the average young worker received 2.5 weeks of training per year. By 1995, training time fell to just 11 hours.

More recent comparable data has been hard to find, says Capelli, but the Wharton professor says that by 2011 “only a fifth of employees reported receiving on-the-job training from their employers over the past five years.”

Related: Can staff training increase my turnover?

What’s going on here is something that’s often called the tragedy of the commons. Society as a whole is better off if workers are properly trained. Trained workers mean more productive ones, which mean more productive companies and greater overall economic output. However, individual companies are better off if they leave the cost of training to their competitors. More companies these days, it seems, want a free ride.

Of course, the consequences for young professionals are tragic and costly: Traditional jobs aren’t providing them with new skills and therefore aren’t setting them up for success in their careers.

Unsurprisingly, young workers aren’t happy with their employers, so they’re leaving – constantly. Disengaged from their jobs unlike any other generation and seeking new skills, they’re job-hopping. In 2015, according to Gallup, millennials changed jobs three times more often than older generations. Gallup estimates that turnover costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion per year.

More options available

As depressing as those stats can sound, the truth is that recent grads and young workers have more options to learn skills and craft their careers on their own.

Since 2011, when Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, began to gain public attention, their popularity has grown exponentially. Last year, by one estimate, 23 million people signed up to take their first MOOC. All told, since 2011, more than 800 universities have offered over 9,000 courses to 81 million registered users, according to the same report.

Sure, MOOC students want to enrich themselves for enrichment sake but learning work-relevant skills are a key motivation, according to multiple studies.

Going their own way

For many recent graduates, expectations of entering the workforce haven’t matched up with reality; Gallup found that millennials are less “engaged” with their full-time jobs than any generation before them.

But, there are a lot of reasons for hope. Enabled by new technologies, today’s young professionals have more opportunities than ever before to train themselves and be their own bosses. And, it turns out, millennials have already gotten the message: According to Upwork’s Freelancing in America 2017 report, young workers – unhappy with full-time jobs and aware of the fact that employers won’t train them – are increasingly choosing to go their own ways, becoming their own bosses and training themselves.

The report also found that almost half of millennials (47 percent to be exact) have freelanced over the past 12 months – a participation rate higher than any other generation. And 56 percent of those millennial freelancers have participated in skill-related education within the last six months (versus 35 percent of gen- Xers and 28 percent of baby boomers), according to the survey.

And to be clear, the vast majority of millennial freelancers are doing so because they want to. Sixty-four percent of them say they started freelancing more by choice, not necessity.

Related: How to Build Skills, Loyalty and Profits With Staff Training

The takeaway for hiring managers

This trend means that reaching today’s talented youth is transforming before our own eyes. Put simply, to leverage the skills of many of the most talented, self-driven young workers, businesses increasingly require different hiring strategies.

Many HR departments have taken notice. Half of U.S. companies are using freelancers, according to Upwork’s 2018 Future Workforce Report. That’s up 16 percentage points from the same time last year.

For those who haven’t taken notice, as a new graduating class enters the workforce, now’s the perfect time to rethink your hiring strategy — because if you don’t, you’ll miss out on some of the best talent.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

As CEO of Upwork, the largest freelancing website, Kasriel is an expert on the future of work and the rise of flexible, remote teams who believes that people should have location independence and companies should be able to access the best regardless of where it happens to be. Kasriel built and led a distributed team of more than 300 engineers located around the world as Upwork's SVP of Engineering before ascending to be CEO. His book Hire Fast & Build Things details how to use freelancers to power businesses. Kasriel holds an MBA from INSEAD, a Master’s from Stanford in Computer Science and a BS from Ecole Polytechnique in France.

Managing Staff

How To Build Better Employee Engagement

Here are my 10 tips for managers wishing to build real engagement.

Dr John Demartini

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Everything begins with values; with the top three highest priorities in an individual’s life. These are the source of that person’s primary purpose and the underlying determinants of their perceptions, decisions and behaviours.

In the context of managers wanting to help their teams to develop mindsets geared towards connection, conversation and experimentation, within a healthy environment, the process must begin with value determination.

Advice for managers

Here are my 10 tips for managers wishing to build real engagement:

  1. Write down the job duties that your people actually have: Their current, accurate, and most up-to-date daily action steps.
  2. Spend some time determining what their values are. You can use the free online tool on my website – www.drdemartini.com
  3. Once you have determined your highest values (the three things that are most important to you in your life, where you demonstrate your greatest discipline, reliability, focus and productivity), you’ll need to find the links between employees’ job duties (Step 1) and their highest values. This is a very specific and detailed step, unpacked below.
  4. The question to ask is, “How specifically will performing this particular job duty help me to fulfill my current top three values?”

EXAMPLE

Let’s say one of your team members is a payroll administrator. Her job duties might include: checking how many hours employees have worked; calculating and issuing pay; deducting tax and other benefits; processing leave and expenses; calculating overtime; answering staff queries; and giving advice.

Let’s presume one of her top three highest-order values is her children. The way to connect what she does with what she values is to ask questions like these, in order to make links and help her see them in context:

  • Does working with numbers help you teach your children to pay attention to detail?
  • Does making calculations help you help your children with homework?
  • Does knowing the art of fair exchange give you a lesson to teach your children?
  • By doing your work, are you earning the income you need to fund your children’s education?
  • If it’s tedious work but you don’t give up, is that good role modelling for your children?
  • Does knowing about money management, and sharing this with your colleagues, help them to help their own children?
  • Does advising others make you better at giving your children counsel?

Related: Why Conflict Resolution Is A Matter Of Matching Values

  1. The magic number to shoot for is 20 links, not seven. Once you get to 20, for some reason, it ‘clicks’ and people can see that what they do every day is (or can be) valuable and meaningful. Be aware that some links are harder to find than others. Some are obvious; some, more tenuous.
  2. Look for fluency. If the employee hesitates or can’t answer the question easily or at all, this is a sign that the job duty is incongruent with their highest values and they are not going to be inspired about that particular duty. (In this case, keep asking them how that specific duty would or could help them to fulfil their highest values, until they can see a connection.)
  3. This is a big job. Value determination and link creation can take a whole day or more, the first time you do it, depending on the size of your team.
  4. To create better connections between your people, use the same process to cross-link others’ three highest values with your three highest values. Go through the entire team, making a list of values across everyone you manage. Look at the common threads. This will help you achieve more equitable leadership, better management and healthier relationships.
  5. For better work conversations, remember that dialogue comes from equal values (or else you simply have alternating monologue). Employees must know each other’s values. You, the manager, must master the skill of communicating your high-priority intentions, expectations and delegations in terms of each employee’s top three values.
  6. Intrinsically, people love solving problems that align with their values, so fulfilling their values will give them the courage to experiment.

Remember: People go to work every day to fulfill themselves, not for the sake of a company. For this reason, managers must enable their people to explicitly connect their own values with their everyday, real-world job duties, so that they become engaged, feel grateful for their collegial support system, and are inspired to go beyond the call of duty and to innovate.

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Managing Staff

6 Ways To Break Bad News To Your Team

We asked six leaders: How did you handle sharing the hardest news of your career?

Entrepreneur

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Being the bearer of bad news is never fun. But there comes a time in everyone’s lives, when they’ve got to step up to the plate. This is especially true in business. When you’re in a leadership position at a company, knowing how to deliver bad news is a crucial skill. To help you out, we asked six leaders for their advice on delivering bad news to teams.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. With a promise

“After the economic meltdown of 2008, we couldn’t afford to keep everyone on staff. Picking who stays and who goes is one of the most difficult decisions you have to make as CEO. I delivered the news with honesty and empathy at an all-hands meeting. We gave some severance, referral to an employment service and a personal reference. We also gave the option to rejoin our team once things were back on track, and some did! It was a homecoming of sorts, a healing moment.” – Ori Eisen, founder and CEO, Trusona 

2. With support

“In 2016, our office manager passed away. She was only 26. We called a mandatory meeting, let everyone know, and brought in grief counselors. The hardest part was controlling my own emotions in front of the company. This was a crucial moment, and the team needed a leader. We organised a memorial service to celebrate her life. It took time for the business to return to a normal cadence, but her impact remains at the company today.” – Rahul Gandhi, co-founder and CEO, MakeSpace

Related: 22 Qualities That Make A Great Leader

3. With transparency

“In New York, construction delays are as common as yellow taxis. But when you’re working to open a new restaurant location and have promoted staff to run it, construction delays don’t impact just revenue but your team’s livelihood as well. Delaying promotions for people who have worked hard to earn them is tough news to deliver. But we invited the team to the construction site to see the space and ask questions, and it helped everyone get on the same page.” – Otto Cedeno, founder, Otto’s Tacos

4. With community

“The worst news my husband and I had to share with our employees, and kids, was that we’d decided to move our business from New York to Los Angeles. We gave employees the option to stay with us and relocate. Some came west, and others did not. We couldn’t guarantee that those who moved with us would love L.A., but we promised to figure it out together.” – Cortney Novogratz, co-founder, The Novogratz

5. With a plan

“One of my first experiences as an entrepreneur was running a restaurant, which I closed as a result of 2008’s downturn. I knew this was going to be life-changing for my team. We did everything we could to ease the disruption, and I leveraged my network to place laid-off employees in new positions – nearly 90 percent had jobs in just a few weeks. As a business owner, failure is hard, but it’s an opportunity to prove yourself as a leader.” – Michael Wystrach, co-founder and CEO, Freshly 

Related: 15 Of South Africa’s Business Leaders’ Best Advice For Your Business

6. With reason

“After I joined Interactions as CEO, my team and I identified significant roadblocks in our product development. We had been on an aggressive growth track, but it was clear we needed to right the ship. I told my board and team that we were shutting down sales to double down on R&D. Hitting pause was an incredibly hard decision, but it was necessary to ensure we were providing the best product and experience for our customers.” – Mike Iacobucci, CEO, Interactions

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Managing Staff

Why Small Businesses Are Unable To Pay Staff Salaries

Let’s look at it from a different angle and see if we’ll arrive at that same conclusion.

Matthew Mordi

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We’ve heard countless times the constant conflict between employers and employees over non-payment of salaries. Small business owners complain employees don’t understand what they have to go through to ensure the payment of staff salaries.

The moment they’re unable to meet up with the payment of staff salaries, workers accuse them of being wasteful when business was booming. So the age old story of members of staff not being understanding comes up again. The cost of running the business which includes maintenance of machinery, rents, paying off loans; all these and much more which sums up overhead cost.

While it’s true that overhead cost is usually the main challenge of small businesses, it’s true only in part. Let’s look at it from a different angle and see if we’ll arrive at that same conclusion.

Usually a lot of small business owners don’t save for the rainy day, neither do they invest income generated by the business for the benefit of the business. Personal savings and investment isn’t the same with that of the business. Small business owners tend to save and invest income generated by the business in their personal names.

Related: Start-Up Law:  I’m A Start-up Founder. Can I Pay Employees With Shares?

Let’s look at this scenario:

Mr A. is the owner of a grocery shop. People are patronising the business. Business is booming, everything seems perfect. At this point there is usually no problem paying salaries and overhead. This is the tricky part, what the employer does with the income the business is generating at this point apart from ploughing the money back into the business will decide whether he’ll be able to pay salaries when business is slow.

One would expect the owner of the store to not only save but also invest some of the income made by the business.

This is usually not the case because it’s at this point of booming business and perceived excess cash that the owner remembers he’ll pay himself more than he usually does (and that is if he pays himself salary), needs to move to a bigger apartment or better still, buy a bigger car.

The moment there is downturn in sales as a result low patronage, the problem of payment of staff salary begins. Mr A. makes it clear to his employees that the business isn’t turning in a profit and he’s using his personal money to pay staff salary. Therefore, he can’t keep on doing it and he’ll have to owe salaries.

This could have been avoided.

Do diligent – don’t dilly dally

What happened to the excess profit of years before? It’s obvious the employer hadn’t been diligent with the funds. Instead of investing the money to ensure it generates further income for the benefit of the business for the rainy day, the employer would instead use the profit for his own personal benefit.

If Mr A. had saved the money and income generated by his grocery store in preparation for the rainy day, the company wouldn’t be caught up in the quagmire it was put in.

A business is a separate entity from the founder, whether it’s a small or a large corporation they should stay so; separate. I’m not talking about the technicalities of whether it’s a company or business name. We have to realise that in order for the business to not only survive but also succeed, it must be separate from the owner.

This is one aspect small businesses must learn from large corporations with sound financial plan. There are times these corporations declare losses, yet they’re able to pay salaries! Money made by the business should be for the business. It’s not the time to buy that new car. If employers work with the mindset of paying themselves salaries (not excessive), it would go a long way to ensure the business is afloat even during uncertain economic times.

Related: How To Structure A Fair Salary That Will Motivate Your Sales Team

In fairness, some employers who own small businesses have been exceptional in this regard. However, the fact is, majority of small business owners don’t function with this mindset. Businesses, just like it obtains in our personal lives, have their ups and downs. The things you do or don’t do during the ups are equally as important as what you do during the downs. Save, save and save. You can’t go wrong with this. Invest, invest and invest. You can’t go wrong with this either.

That profit isn’t for spending; at least not yet. Invest the money like you would do with yours. Invest it in the name of the business. Let your business own shares in other businesses. This is sound business practice.

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