October 2019 – On closing the skills gap, one-on-one meetings, changing your mind as a sign of intelligence, and southpaws

  1. Not research, but a sound first-person account of the practices I work on with clients – “It’s easy to think that being a manager is as simple as assigning work and keeping schedules, especially when you’re new to it. The sooner you can engage with the thoughtful work of real management, the more successful you and your team will be. Thread ”
  2. A major disconnect between employers and job seekers: 77% of employers in a recent survey said their process is excellent or very good, but 84% of job seekers said they have had negative experiences with potential employers. (Randstad Sourceright) In addition, employers tend to consider their company career portal and Facebook most helpful for finding candidates, while job seekers prefer the company website and LinkedIn for finding openings.
  3. New research finds that 120 million workers will likely need additional training within three years, but only half of companies have strategies in place to close skills gaps. (IBM) Instead, companies are most concerned about finding workers with the requisite soft skills, including flexibility, time management skills, and communication skills. IBM also reports that it took more than 10 times as long to close skills gaps in 2018 than it did in 2014.
  4. Weekly 1-on-1 meetings can be an extremely effective way to increase employee engagement and retention. Half of employees who say that they have these meetings and find them very useful plan to stay with their current employer for at least five years. (15Five) Younger employees are also using check-ins for more than just work: 75% of Generation Zers have asked their managers for personal advice during a 1-on-1 meeting, compared to 23% of Baby Boomers.
  5. A survey by PwC found that for millennials, work is a thing, not a place. Flexibility no longer means what it did to older generations — the ability to work from home when a plumber is coming or a child is sick. Instead, it’s about employees shaping their jobs in ways that fit with their daily lives. That could mean working remotely or shifting hours when needed. (PwC)
  6. Nearly half (45%) of managers say they don’t feel confident developing their employees’ skills, and 70% of employees have not mastered the skill set needed in their current role. (Gartner) Managers spend less than 10% of their time developing their direct reports’ skills, even though managers who are good at it can increase their employees’ performance by up to 26%.
  7. In a recent survey, 20% of workers said they would replace their boss with a robot. Men and younger workers were most likely to pick the robot option; 41% of men under age 30 would pick a friendly robot over their boss. (Forbes) The most common reasons why people picked the robot were that they disliked their boss, thought their boss showed favoritism or incompetence, or thought their boss lacked people skills.
  8. Those who change their minds are perceived as lacking confidence, but demonstrating intelligence. (OB and HDP) Take-away: Managers who want to promote thoughtfulness in employees should take steps to ensure that people can change their minds without losing face.
  9. Want your manager to think highly of you? Show empathy to your direct reports. A study shows that managers who show more empathy toward direct reports are viewed as better performers in their job by their bosses. (CCL)
  10. If you happen to belong as I do to this unique tribe, you might be interested in learning that scientists have found the first genetic instructions hardwired into human DNA that are linked to being left-handed (BBC)



Work: In October my focus will be on content. Thinking and writing that will fuel my mentoring and coaching, my strategy consultancy, and the leadership programs I develop.

Music: I have been on the Baroque Music channel at Pandora just about every day.

Finished re-reading: Conscious Business by Fred Kofman.

Started reading: Filosofía mundana by Javier Gomá Lanzón.

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