By now, you’ve probably identified at least one employee who is struggling with the all-remote transition, even if they were once fully engaged with their work and colleagues. Indeed, remote work is hard, especially when it’s unexpectedly sprung on a corporate culture; working relationships are simply different when work happens remotely. Sudden workplace changes of this sort can cause employee engagement to drop.
As workplace dynamics continue to evolve from the effects of the pandemic, it’s a good time to check in on your organization’s cultural health. One perennial problem for some companies: the presence of bias, which can emerge in a whole range of behaviors both subtle and overt, unintentional and deliberate, and frequently can be directed at employees from “different” cultural backgrounds.
As remote work practices have come to define the “new normal” for most organizations, the question arises: How can my colleagues and I be more effective communicators through online meeting and conference call platforms?
Few things are as intimidating for those starting in corporate America as writing reports, especially when you are coming from the outside. Whether you are new to the country, industry or workforce, this is a difficult process. When I started a research and development job as a recent chemistry Ph.D., I was unpleasantly surprised to learn that I was required to write a biweekly report adhering to an awkward list of rules, such as being under one page but with no restrictions on font. My peers' reports often consisted of text blocks of 10-point type compressed within quarter-inch margins, with no white space between paragraphs. My first attempt at a ‘biweekly’ was sent back with red marks all over it. The work was fine, but it was written for the wrong audience.
It’s still early in the new year, and having recently refreshed your employees’ development plans, you’d like to level up to more frequent development discussions. As with a physical fitness goal, one key to development plan success is to avoid having both manager and employee overwhelmed by too much, too soon. In my recent article “Replacing the Annual Review with Regular Check-ins: A Manager’s Plan of Action” for Training Industry, I provide a blueprint to simplify planning development goals and corresponding check-in discussions. Read on for highlights.
Congratulations! In your role as a manager (or as an HR pro helping new managers), you’ve successfully recruited and onboarded a high-potential multicultural employee. And at year-end review time, you’ve carefully aligned the employee’s development needs with job competencies and future career objectives…but is that annual process enough to help them succeed? Not according to experts Beverly Kaye and Julie Guilioni, who advocate in Help Them Grow or Watch them Go that employee development works best when it’s top of mind all year round. And while this observation holds true for all employees, it is especially critical when it comes to employees whose cultural norms and communications skills present challenges that the once-a-year performance review conversation may not adequately address (see my post “Performance Evaluations of Multicultural Employees: Three Things to Keep in Mind”).
It’s hard to believe we are already well into fall. In New England, that means colder weather, apple picking, pumpkins, and football. For many organizations, the season is also filled with a flurry of talent management activities, from onboarding and training to gearing up for the annual performance review process… Definitely a busy and potentially daunting time for most HR professionals.
Intersectionality is key to breaking down barriers, increasing trust and fostering open, honest communication that supports all employees. This, in turn, leads to tangible business benefits.
“We don’t just have one identity — our identities are made up of many things, both physically and culturally, and the intersections matter.” — Elise Birkhofer, global lead for Google’s largest employee resource group
Have you ever encountered a performance review in which a manager criticizes a behavior that’s tied to an employee’s cultural norms rather than to performance issues?
SpringBoards Consulting CEO and founder Nadia Nassif talks about her experience working in Tokyo, the challenges that multinational workers face and how to coach them for successful careers.