Tag Archives: employee-engagement

Driving talent engagement through social

Talent is the biggest challenge organizations are facing in today’s environment where the millennials are taking charge. Employers all over the world are looking to find ways to keep employees engaged. Gallup research shows that only 13% of employees around the world are actively engaged at work, and more than twice that number are so disengaged, that they are likely to spread negativity to others.

If people are not engaged, how can leaders attain those business objectives that are critical to improving organizational performance? And, at the same, we need our leaders to engage employees.

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An engaged employee becomes an asset to the team, department, business unit and organization by continuously thinking about the bigger picture. In his book, Getting Engaged: The New Workplace Loyalty, author Tim Rutledge explains that the truly engaged employees are attracted to, and inspired by, their work (“I want to do this”), committed (“I am dedicated to the success of what I am doing”), and fascinated (“I love what I am doing”). Engaged employees care about the future of the company and are willing to invest the discretionary effort – exceeding duty’s call – to ensure that the organization succeeds.

Talent engagement is not a goal, it is a state of being; focus should stay on sustaining it.

Most organizations have an annual employee engagement survey which helps leaders assess the engagement levels but it’s…

Read the complete article on People Matters or on LinkedIn.

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Leadership is NOT about designation, but compassion! Do you have it?

My last few weeks have been really busy and I have spent a lot of time at work, which presented an opportunity for me to observe people and their leadership styles. My current focus at work is to lead the ‘Early Professional Hiring and Journey’ for IBM India Sales and Distribution and under this exciting strategical effort, we are inducting a cohort.

An illustrated lot of leaders is interacting with the group and sharing their priceless information. Along with that, I am nudging the group to look for skills and characteristics which appear beneath the surface but impact the leadership and the leader; and more so, people who work with the leaders. And then imbibe those.

Leadership Khalid Raza #SocialGlamor

While I can create a fancy laundry list of actions each leader need to be cognizant of but I am not a guru and no one is a disciple here. Let’s uncomplicated it. You must have read in Talent Mantra: People should lead – People. Rest is just waste! that even if people have great roles, they may leave the organization if the people they work with create a hostile environment.

Compassion is the only differentiator between a designation and a leader who gets respected and admired. While talented people grow, sometimes those who just stick also move up the pyramid. However, at the top, compassion becomes a strength and the only key to engage and drive people.

I would also recommend you to read this blog in which a lot of people shared their idea of a good leader: What makes a good leader?

Read this small story about a person working with a freezer plant.

It was almost the day end. Everyone had packed up to check out. A technical snag developed in the plant and he went to check. By the time he finished it was late. The doors were sealed and the lights were off. Continue reading

Talent Mantra: People should lead – People. Rest is just waste!

The ability to connect with people and understanding their emotions is the key to people management. Some managers miss that point. – Khalid Raza

I was listening to Karan Thapar yesterday where he had a panel talking about employment and engagement. One of the panelists, Aruna Jayanthi, CEO, Capgemini India Pvt Ltd, shared how ‘people should be leading people’ and that this should be the mantra. She asserted that even if people have great roles, they may leave the organization if the people they work with create a hostile environment.

Especially managers play a great role. We all have been hearing this since dogs were tied with sausage how ‘people leave managers’ and yet managers pay least focus on people. Some of them are oblivious and some do not care – in either case they cost organization more than they create value. In turn these managers become the biggest cost heads for organizations.

People lead People Khalid Raza #SocialGlamor 1Let me also share this short story which I got as a forward in one of many Whatsapp groups I am part of..

There was a king he had 10 wild dogs. He used them to torture and eat all ministers who made mistakes. So one of the ministers once gave an opinion which was wrong, and which the king didn’t like at all. He ordered that the minister to be thrown to the dogs. Continue reading

If it Clicks, it’s Social!

Our super charged, hyper-connected workforce needs active, social and open leaders. Cherish or perish! – Khalid Raza [Tweet this]

BRANDfog’s 2014: The Global, Social CEO survey results are out. It provides the crucial reality check which some of our leaders may not wish to see. The survey primarily focuses on the C-suite’s social media engagement and business leader involvement.

Here are the three results from this year’s 15-question survey:

  1. Social CEOs make better leaders: Between 2012 and 2013, the perception that C-Suite and executive participation in social media leads to better leadership, increased from 45% to 75%.
  2. Social CEO engagement leads to brand trust: A company whose C-Suite executives and leadership teams use social to communicate on core mission, brand values and purpose is more trustworthy.
  3. Social media is modern PR: One of the most insightful survey results is that social media has become the new age PR for executives, especially for brands in crisis.

None of this should be a surprise. We believe that being social and open helps us become more human, real and effective. Being social is not an event or a box to tick, it is who we are as people, it is a state of being! It is about transformation and reinvention. (Tweet this)

Social Leaders #SocialGlamor Khalid Raza

Legacy solutions and systems (like email and team rooms), still garner a lot of support from the leaders when it comes to implementation and usage. Social is too often the second choice solution for leaders and their management teams. If that continues as the modus operandi, Gartner research estimates that 80% of social business initiatives would deliver disappointing results over the next three years. Not surprising again!

This article from Gerald C (Jerry) Kane, an associate professor of information systems at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, highlights three reasons why social business initiatives fail:

1. Managers go into social business with unclear goals.
2. Initiatives start as pilots, and then fizzle out due to modest participation.
3. Companies expect social initiatives, even pilots, to deliver a financial return on investment.

The problem lies at a very deeper and basic level – right in the minds of our leaders. The ‘change’ has been painful and agonizing.. Here’s one example:  continuing to rely on email is the ‘only’ or preferred way to work. Email, corporate intranets and knowledge management solutions are clearly not ‘old’ technologies, but in the context of true collaboration they are outdated, old school, and rely on  rigid methodologies, hierarchy and structures that don’t take full advantage of the free-form approach of enterprise social collaboration.

In IBM, we understand this challenge. Interestingly, the power and potential of social is also its biggest roadblock! Supporting efforts and enablement programs can only do so much. The journey of a leader to become social and open has to be undertaken by the leader himself or herself.

Here are a few steps every leader can do take to make social click for them:

  1. Identify your calling: Social won’t happen for you because it is happening for others! Find your own reason how social can make you a better leader, a better colleague, and find your own unique voice. Once you are cognizant of the reason, the rest of the journey will be easy. If social does not click for you, then you are in the wrong place. Many leaders skip this step.
  2. Focus on solving the problem: This means becoming more effective and productive. It can be knowledge-sharing, digital eminence, collaboration, sales, and knowledge-management. Don’t do it for a scorecard, do it for yourself. Or else you will fail.
  3. Social is all about authenticity and being real, aka organic: Unless you are a celebrity doing social to “be” what other people want you to be, inorganic social activity is a waste. It may gratify you for a bit, but it will do harm. Build your #socialglamor each day, with honest, sincere and vulnerable social participation.
  4. Define the end result you want and not the ROI: Emails do not have any ROI and we never ask for it. For social, return on investment comes up often.  Spend the time to visualize the success you want to achieve with social and that will put you on the right path.
  5. Walk the talk: Let go of control, be self-aware and vulnerable. Social is all about being out there, with everyone else on a level playing field.

Great leaders have always been about equality and inspiration. They knew that real value comes from merit and teamwork. The corporate creations of corner offices, private suites, concierge service and round tables made this less possible.

First few lines of this amazing video seal it for me.

“There are a lot of people, who say: ‘But I tried once or twice… and it didn’t work out’. And so they use that as an excuse not to ever come out again.”

I leave you with this.  How do you want to be remembered? As a person who clicks in the true spirit of social or someone for whom social needs to be clicked, a box to be ticked? Share your thoughts.

Hola, Mi nombre es Khalid

Barranquilla has been a great host so far, with sumptuous food and amazingly warm people. The impression with which we came, has transformed into a delightful experience. The rich culture and the amazingly aromatic coffee makes this place THE place to be.

But wait, there is a catch. All is not awesome when it rains in Barranquilla! Arroyos (intermittently dry creeks) can become dangerous. We were advised by our security officer to be alert and careful with arroyos when it rains and we all wondered if the warning held any merit. Everything looked so calm and peaceful.

But, things do change in a heartbeat. We were out last night for dinner and it started drizzling. When we came out after an hour, the streets had formidable water streams (reminds me of Bangalore lol), although it did not really rain at all! I wonder what happens when it really rains. And today I found this sign on the road.

BxtTi1JIQAEoAUMGoing back to what we came here for, on Monday we met our clients, the Agencia Colombiana para la Reintegración (ACR) team, and spent a day at their office in Barranquilla. This government agency office was different and all the employees greeted us with a bright smile. Of course learning ‘mi nombre es Khalid’ really helped. In the coming days I will pick up some more Spanish as Dani has been super kind to teach me some of it already.

The Colombian Agency for Reintegration (ACR) is a subordinate entity of the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia. It is in charge of coordinating, advising, and executing, in partnership with other public and private entities, the social and economic reintegration of the demobilized people from the Organized Illegal Armed Groups (OIAG).

It is really painful to hear the stories of how OIAGs have tormented the canvas of the society and comforting to see that agencies like ACR are relentlessly working on a solution despite all odds. We (Dani, Jordan and I) are fortunate and honored to be working with the ACR team and helping not just local society but entire Colombia change for the better.

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Our CSC team and ACR team: (L to R) – Khalid Raza, Andres (ACR), Leena (ACR), Dani, Diana (ACR) and Jordan

After two days of unlimited experience-rich moments, I am looking forward to the rest of my assignment. Keep reading and Hasta Mañana!

Are you a Walter Mitty?

Find that what makes you happy; work should always be a labor of love! – Khalid Raza

Think about this…80 percent of the 18-44-year-olds check their smartphones as soon as they wake up. It’s highly likely that your networks are reaching for their phones and scanning their newsfeed as they start their day. No wonder every Monday morning, the social networks are mostly buzzing with ‘I hate Monday’ posts. Today, of course was no different.

monday-bluesI, for one get seriously excited about Mondays. Productivity gives me a buzz and therefore the start of the week finds me bright eyed, raring to go.

And that makes me wonder, why is today’s workforce so disengaged? What is missing? It isn’t that the organizations do not have those fancy activities and programs to ‘try’ to make them happy. Organizations are trying to do everything under the sun to keep employees engaged and excited about work. For example: Quiz contests, team outings (the worst of all), cricket tournaments, some flash mobs (I seriously do not get it), potlucks, dance, fashion fests, so on and so forth. Do they work, maybe yes, maybe not! I am not suggesting all this is a waste of time, but what about before and after these activities? How would you sustain the buzz and the engagement?

I was talking to a few young millennials (Yes, I am a millennial too) and for us the ‘experience’ is more important than anything else. I asked this guy, “The org is doing so many events, why do you still want to leave your job?”, and he looked at me, wondering if I am from Mars and quipped, “Dude, my job sucks! And these events won’t take that away!” He was right. These wonderfully orchestrated colorful events are worth zilch when it comes to ‘real’ employee engagement. Employee engagement is not an event, it is a state of being, and you won’t get there with events! (Tweet this)

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty SocialGlamorLast night, I was watching, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a light but enjoyable film by Ben Stiller where the protagonist (Ben), a day-dreamer escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

I am not saying we all should become Walter Mitty (why not though) but why are we stuck in jobs which do not inspire us, but may have promised us fatter packages? Why is it that only compensation inspires us while we know that money would never be enough? Why do we want organizations to keep us engaged? Why can’t we be engaged at work?

I am interested to know your thoughts – Do Mondays make you happy or sad? There is a discussion happening on Facebook, feel free to add your bit.

Read this blog on LinkedIn

You can make your workplace ‘happy’

shutterstock_124097521My Sametime (IBM internal instant messaging tool) status says ‘Let’s interact’ as I feel the more we connect the more productive we become. I never liked the plain old vanilla ‘Available.’ I see the green button, I know you are available. I also like what Tim Collins, Director, HR Talent, Development & Resources, IBM and my manager has as his ST status, ‘How can I help you?’ In this era of virtual connectivity, the more genuine human emotions we express, the better it is for all of us. It goes a long way in bringing people closer in the world ‘w i d e’ web. Continue reading

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