How to Be a “Glass-Shattering” Organization

by Colleen Ammerman and Boris Groysberg

Summary.   

Advancing gender equality is certainly desirable, but may not seem vital during this turbulent time — yet that assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, losing sight of gender equity right now is likely to put you at a real disadvantage when the pandemic begins to recede. The benefits of gender equity are numerous, but there are 10 that tend to hold true across the board — and are particularly critical in these uncertain times.

Advancing gender equality is certainly desirable, but may not seem vital during this turbulent time — yet that assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, losing sight of gender equity right now is likely to put you at a real disadvantage when the pandemic begins to recede.

The barriers women face in the workplace are already well-documented, and there’s mounting evidence that the situation is getting worse amid the pandemic. In the U.S., women made up 80% of workers who left the labor force in September 2020. Women of color are shouldering a greater share of these job losses. Many women who have held onto their jobs have found their work and parenting responsibilities all but impossible to manage, or have been penalized for caregiving. And women who are not caring for children or other dependents are by no means exempt from tougher career challenges in our newly-virtual workplaces, as we have noted previously.

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How to keep your cool in high-stress situations

by Robert E. Quinn, David P. Fessell, and Stephen W. Porges

A CEO called one of us (Robert) for help. The company she was leading was on the cusp of a huge opportunity related to a new technology. But she was stymied and stuck.

One of the representatives for an investor in the project was extremely assertive and self-interested. They had intimidated several of her company’s strong board members, who were now withdrawing the financial support they had already committed. The entire endeavor was at risk.

It took 20 minutes for the CEO to describe all the complexities. As she did, Robert felt a knot in his stomach. She expected him to add value and yet he was struggling to even comprehend the issues. He worried that he wouldn’t be able to help and a part of him just wanted to end the call and distance himself from this mess. Rather than doing that, he understood that his anxiety was a signal to slow down. He began to self-regulate.

Recent research in the field of neuroscience, specifically polyvagal theory, offers insights into this process of self-regulation and how you can move from a “fight or flight” response to a higher state of openness that invites collaboration, creativity, and thriving. Studies have shown that specific tactics, which we’ll explain more below, can help us navigate our natural tendency to be defensive when confronted.

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3 tips for managing long-term remote work in 2021

By: Jen Colletta

With more organizations making remote work permanent, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Remote work was one of the biggest HR stories of 2020—and it’s not looking like the headlines will be much different this year. As the pandemic rages on, many employers are keeping their workers at home for the time being, and potentially permanently, creating new priorities for HR leaders as we head into 2021.

When organizations had to quickly pivot to remote work early last year, HR leaders scrambled to ensure workers had the proper technology, revamp processes to support business operations and create new ways for employees to collaborate. Now, HR is tasked with making such strategies sustainable for the long term. As part of our look ahead to HR’s role in 2021, we recently spoke with several HR leaders about what the initial shift to remote work showed and how HR can take these lessons into this year. Here’s what they had to say:

Rely on your data. Organizations that were most successful in transitioning to remote work in 2020 were those that embarked on comprehensive data collection and analysis about their work forces, says George Penn, vice president, advisory in the Gartner HR practice. That approach enabled employers to “understand employee situations, preferences and engagement drivers to rapidly adapt their strategies in the areas of wellness, inclusion, performance and rewards.” Those organizations were then better prepared to enact “responsive and dynamic programs,” Penn says, a model that will prove vital in 2021. Read more here.

Invest in the tech to support remote processes. Modern Hire CEO Karin Borchert predicts that remote and hybrid work will likely “stick around long after the pandemic is over.” As such, now is the time, if employers haven’t, to ensure technologies are in place to support management, engagement and performance evaluation. Hiring should also be a particular focus for technology selection, she says. “Because of the success large enterprises saw with recruiting, hiring and on boarding new employees, they will likely keep their hiring processes 100% virtual post-pandemic, as technology allowed them to make smarter hiring decisions in a way that in-person interviews could not compete with.” Read more here.

Are you remote-first, or remote-friendly? Long-term remote work can only be successful if all employees are remote, as allowing some, but not all, employees to work from home could impact business efficiency, productivity and culture, says Job van der Voort, CEO and co-founder of HR tech provider Remote. So, employers need to approach 2021 with a remote-first mindset, focused on providing employees the tools, resources and support for successful remote work. Read more here.

Source: HRExecutive

To see the future more clearly, find your blind spots

by Eric J. McNulty

After being bombarded with disruption in 2020, executives can better prepare for the next crisis by considering new perspectives.

It was the year we saw it all. And 2020 was also the year we didn’t see it all coming. Wildfires. Floods. So many storms in the Atlantic that meteorologists had to resort to the Greek alphabet to name them. Global protests over racial and economic inequality. And, of course, the pandemic.

What is surprising is that we were surprised. In a recent PwC study, 69 percent of responding organizations had experienced a crisis in the past five years and 95 percent expected to face one. We all watched Australia aflame in the months before the pandemic. California, too. It was only three years ago that multiple storms rattled the Gulf Coast in the United States in rapid succession. And climate watchers had been predicting that there will be more of these severe weather events in the future.

And the pandemic? Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, H1N1 influenza in 2009–10, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), first reported in 2012, and the Ebola outbreak in 2014–16 foreshadowed that a deadly, global, infectious disease outbreak was overdue. I warned about MERS, and public health risks in general, in this publication in 2013. It was not the most shared article of that year. Not by a long shot.

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Still Adjusting to Remote Working? I’ve Been Doing It for 20 Years.

by Eric Hanson

For the past ten years, I’ve been fortunate enough to work remotely and managed teams who do the same for over two decades. As a result I was prepared for 2020’s exodus from the office. I made the important decision to live in Northern California, away from the major tech hubs of and not once did I feel like my career path was stifled. In fact, I was promoted to my current role as CMO while working from home. Based on my experience, I’ve outlined three key things for other to consider as we approach this post-pandemic economy.

Successfully running hybrid teams 

While we’re all remote now, the New Year is expected to usher in a more hybrid work setting. Many employees will remain at home, some in the office, and others will choose to do a bit of both. Either way, the office won’t look like it did in February. My team has discovered new ways of working this year, especially as parents are dealing with challenges we never thought possible. Solutions involve offering flexible hours or a part-time schedule for parents, while they assist their children who are distance learning. No matter the situation, being flexible and empathetic is critical.

Supporting the personal growth of your employees is also one way to ensure the longevity of your team. There’s no reason that career-path exercises of the past can’t remain intact while everyone is remote. Make sure you’re still facilitating career development discussions on a regular basis. Share clear feedback, kudos and areas for growth the way you would in person. In the end, everyone involved will feel more excited, rewarded and challenged in their roles.

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