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Manager need to be better coaches

99% of the time managers are bothered about numbers and delivery dates. But they fail to coach their team which leads to low performance and attrition. If you are a manager, right away think when was the last time you had a word with your team members about:-

  • What they want to achieve in their life
  • Are they enjoying their work or not
  • And what you can do to enable them to be better professional
Image credit:- whatedsaid.wordpress.com

As a manager, your growth depends on the growth and progress of your team. It’s your team who will achieve those number which will lead to the achievement of your numbers. So I have given you enough reasons why you should be coaching your team. Let’s understand what type of managerial coaching works really well.

Most of the time managers are involved in reactive coaching. Reactive coaching means you are giving your inputs or reactions after the outcome. Please note that outcome may or may not be complete. Example of reactive coaching

  1. Sales manager:- “This is not the type of prospects you should reach out”
  2. Marketing manager:- “These are not the channels which will help us generate more leads”
  3. Technology/Product manager:- “This is not what customer is expecting from our product”

Proactive coaching means you are giving your inputs or helping your team-mate in defining what can be done to achieve the desired outcome. As a manager, here you are not spoon feeding or doing micromanagement, but giving directions that this is probably how we should approach the problem in hand. Example of proactive coaching

  1. Sales manager:- “These are the type of prospects you should reach out”
  2. Marketing manager:- “These are the channels which will help us generate more leads”
  3. Technology/Product manager:- “Here are the high-level requirement and use case customer is expecting from our product”

You are a manager because you have seen more in world than your team mate. At least that’s what companies assume or your team-mates perceive. Now let’s talk as manager, what are common barriers in providing the proactive coaching:-

  • As a manager you are not on top of your team members work, tasks & to-dos , work partners and challenges.
  • Your team member is expecting coaching in area where you lack experience.
  • As a manager, you are so much evolved and skilled that you can’t imagine what could go wrong or what could be challenges faced by your team member.

Following proactive coaching in my team has shown results for me. My team is more engagement and performing far better compare to when I was the reactive coach.  Unless you keep yourself into the execution and NOT onto the execution, you will never realize the importance of coaching and enabling your team to achieve more than what is required.

What I learned in Asia’s biggest techHR conference

Last week, we at team qilo participated in the Asia biggest techHR event. We got an amazing response for our cloud-based technology solution. But rather than talking more about how it went for us, let me share top 10 learning from techHR -2016.

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  1. Gerry Crispin, one the recruiting industry veteran, shared that “give a good experience while hiring,  and get more candidates. Give a bad experience, and you’re losing candidates before they even apply”.Start treating your prospective employees in a way you will treat your first customer, and you will start attracting awesome talent.
  2. Josh Bersin shared his views on how new age technology tools are changing the way people are managed, assessed, engaged and learn at the job.
  3. More and more business and HR leaders in India are realizing the importance of people focused technology solution and how it can enhance their business success.
  4. Organizations are adopting cloud-based solution more than the in-house solution to reduce the time and cost in implementing the technology.
  5. HR technology 3.0 is on the way and big ERP vendors are not able to invent and innovate at the same speed.
  6. New age solutions need to be employee-centric and should be habit-forming products which enhance day to day professional experience of the employee.Design think is what is missing in all the tools which are today consumed by employees.
  7. Performance management is changing for sure. It has to a continues process, more meaningful , should enable managers to become coaches and enable employees to be more productive.
  8. People analytics solutions are improving at a very fast pace. And rather than just showing vertical bars and pie-charts, technology solutions should throw meaningful data to the leadership of organizations to drive their talent strategies.
  9. Employee engagement needs to move beyond the surveys. It has to be real time and it has to bring impact at the bottom of the pyramid.
  10. Organization who will understand the way people want to work,engaged and deliver will succeed in future.

And by the way, did I mentioned that we got High-fives from Josh Bersin, the guru of HR technology. Josh’s word’s like “this is the kind of solution organizations needs and I am glad that startup’s like you are doing it here in India” was music to our ears.

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Create a culture where people live the brand

How do you create highly engaged and measurable solutions for brands that help connect the employees?

In today’s business environment, it is imperative for businesses to build a high performance based work culture. To do so, you need a powerful EVP – a free-flowing connector between the brand, the business and people. A powerful EVP enables organizations to attract the right people to deliver the right values in the right way. Everything starts with the brand. Our employer brand engagement solutions work across the talent life cycle and integrate brand and business. The idea is to create a performance based culture that not only asks of but allows people to ‘live the brand’. This is done through attracting the right talent, constantly engaging with them and eventually making them the evangelists for the brand.

Attraction: Signaling the change, creating awareness and drawing attention and interest for the brand. Building on the motivators and differentiators

Engagement: Forming an emotional or rational attachment between talent and brand.

Advocacy: Ensuring an experience, which builds positive cognitive and emotional affirmation that in turn encourages word of mouth advocacy.

Measurement of an engaged talent force has to be on a continuous basis. A robust and scientific culture audit is one of the key tools we use to evaluate employee engagement levels with brand. Employer Brand Perception is also a great way to measure how engaged the current talent is and how potential talent perceives the brand. Fostering an engaged culture in the workplace is not a one-time effort. Companies whose engagement statistics improve after a particular effort aren’t done with the task. Rather, it’s important to measure engagement periodically.

How important will be talent’s contribution for growth/survival of businesses enterprises in the coming times?

It is more important than anything else. People create companies and never the other way around. It’s imperative to have the right talent delivering value in the right way. It’s not only a given but critical to business success. Companies should foster an environment to build a passionate workforce and it will happen only if they are engaged at the brand level. Today companies spend millions on engaging with customers. Yes, that is what makes or breaks businesses. But taking one step back and engaging with those who create companies becomes the most important aspect of success.

How important is the consumer brand in attracting, retaining, and engaging talent?

A strong consumer brand definitely helps is attracting talent. However, retention and engagement can only happen with a strong employer brand. A testimonial to this is talent migration toward start-ups and small enterprises. A strong consumer brand is not necessarily a great employer brand, the motivators and differentiators for talent works very differently than consumers. Aligning and leveraging consumer brand’s strength to build strong employer brand can be done to attract, and engage talent.

What are the key arguments in favour of building a stronger talent brand compared to a consumer brand?

The consumer brand and the employer brand are two sides of the same coin. They have to complement each other. A great consumer brand will help in attracting talent, but the moment of truth happens at the employer brand level and that’s where you need to be the strongest in. A well-defined EVP along with living the brand are the core to building a passionate talent force. An employee who is engaged is one who feels committed to his organization and its goals and delivers business results.

When does a consumer brand overshadow the talent brand?

The investment made in the consumer brand is always far larger and becomes the face of the organization. It’s imperative to leverage its strengths and get the talent aligned to it. Defining a clear EVP and living by it makes an unbeatable combination. Its binds brand, business and people.

Enterprises’ wanting to be start-ups

There has been a panic attack amongst enterprise lately, trying to inculcate a start-up culture in their organizations. Has the dragon actually woken up? Or it’s just for fancy boardroom presentation.

Having spoken to business leaders in enterprise, two most worrying areas are innovation and new competition.

Competition, which they never thought existed or even, belonged to their vertical.

So why are they so unprepared? If you look back in history all evolved civilizations, were crushed by smaller groups like Viking, Mongols and the reason they lost was not because they were not prepared, the reason was they did not have a purpose and they were complacent.

The one big difference between a start-up and an enterprise is “Hunger”.

Hunger for success, for sustenance and for survival.

Changing the dress code and cool work place does not give you start up culture, its igniting passion, defining purpose.

The enterprises’ that are looking to change have to first starve and be hungry and that’s how they’ll build a culture that innovates, performs and strives for success.

Hungry KYA?

Communicate my fellow founder

As a founder and leader, you always and should be spending considerable time in communicating your vision and thoughts to your

  1. Co-founders ,
  2. Fellow team members and
  3. More importantly to your customers.

When I was leading my first startup, though I was talking to my customers , but I was not talking and giving required time to my co-founders and team members. I was talking on phone for few hours/minutes a day(we all were working from homes) and thought that all of us understood the vision and priorities. But I was wrong, we should have worked from same place alteast thrice a week to better understand each . And more then that I should have spent more time in listening to team member’s why they are not able to put 200% percent .Phones and emails are not right tools to communicate about vision, about understanding your team strengths and limitations. This has resulted in many  problems and misunderstanding for long period. And end result was dis-engagement between founders and team member’s.

 

Another bigger problem is when you start thinking that “Customers don’t know what they want”. And you day in and out keep putting in efforts to improve your platform based on your understanding. And you keep assuming that one fine day customers will click on that “Pay” button and you will get your first revenue. Sorry my fellow entrepreneur, that is not going to happen. Talk to them, understand what problems they face on your platform, what they will pay for, how they want to pay for your product/service, and then pivot your platform and pricing model accordingly.

So stop bothering about whether platform building is on track(as per your understanding) or and start bothering about what your co-founders, your team members  and your customers are saying.

How start-up winning team looks like

Team is one of the most important aspect and reason of start-up success and failure. Many founders fail to find right team members or start-up team parts away after working 3 to 6 months. At a same time many founders start their entrepreneurial journey by assuming that they can do everything and they don’t needs other people to succeed. This is a completely flawed assumption at your end. It’s a complete team game and not an individual show.

Per my experience working with-in start-ups, following are the attributes of a winning team:-

  • They have a clear leader: – Though 3 to 4 people have started working together, there should be one leader. Leader’s responsibility is to take all of them along in this long journey. He communicates with each team members continuously. Leader looks at points which can lead to conflicts within team and resolve them. Leader communicates and discuss long term vision to each founding team member day in and out and how possibility they will reach their.
  • They all respect and trust each other: – Building trust and respect with each other takes time. And special efforts are required from each of the founding team members to enhance the trust. Talking frequently, spending more and more time with each other helps in enhancing the trust.
  • They all have complementary skills: – When complementary skills are there in the team, each of the team member’s knows what they are responsible for. This leads to lesser conflicts within the team and brings in more focus.
  • Everyone willing to share the pie of wealth with others (if at all its generated down the line). Winning team members understand that sharing wealth will lead to creating a larger impact for themselves, for society and world.
  • There is no one who is bossy or dictator: – Many founders are inspired by Steve Jobs thinking that being bossy help in getting success. Understand that you are not Steve but you should be learning from Steve Jobs. Being bossy turn off people and creative negative work environment. Be humble and be yourself.
  • Every team member takes decision based on data rather than emotions or egos.
  • Team is focused on market need, customers and cash all the time:- Winning teams are always focused on what are the gaps in market, how they can fill that gap quickly , how they can reach out to early adopters/customers, how they can learn from customers what they want and how they can keep low cash outflow and can enhance revenue inflow.
  • Sense of urgency is missing is either of team members: – Start-up is all about executing and executing it fast enough. If any of the team member don’t understand this, your are best candidate to get listed in list of failed start-ups.