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Foste g,
stron hips
relati ork to
at w talent

CAREERS We unveil

AND the ndings

of the AMBA

Careers Survey

Getting to grips with

the jobs market in
a volatile world
ng a
Buildi alent
globa rk to
netwo s the
addre ecit
skills d

+ HARMAN's Regional Head for Europe, describes the importance

of talent strategy, post-acquisition + the value of recognition
Careers and Talent Special 2017

04 0 30 0 Michael Mauser
Editor's letter Treating HARMAN's Regional Head for
employees as adults Europe and President of its Audio
07 0 Talent management Division talks about culture across
should focus on the a 30,000-strong business
talent strategy
AMBA's Aarti Bhasin 34 0
on managing evolving Nurturing Positive
skill sets relationships at work
Creating a workplace,
08 0 that encourages Maximum potential
The future of jobs strong and supportive Investing in the unique skills of
The REC's Tom relationships will every member of staff
Hadley investigates enhance productivity,
recruitment trends and reduce turnover
39 0
12 0 The global
What is talent? talent network
Is it time to drop Creating a talent Recognition
the 'talent' label to alliance with partner Giving colleagues recognition boosts
maximise everyone's organisations, rather engagement as much as receiving it
potential for success? than competing, could
revolutionise talent

18 0 management

44 0
The Regional Head Employee
of HARMAN Europe, recognition
on the role of talent Receiving recognition
in developing for work is positive,
breakthrough but giving employee
technologies recognition can also
deliver value
24 0 Love your team
Careers Research 48 0 Having strong, supportive working
relationships boosts producitivity
Analysis of the Attracting and
salaries, bonuses and retaining women
career trajectories
in business
of MBA graduates
A guide for men
in 145 countries
who want to make Top talent
Build a talent alliance to
a difference
network with the best

Head of Editorial
David Woods-Hale

Art Editor
Sam Price

Deputy Art Editor

Jim Ladbury

Sarah Wild

Is it time to redefine what

Research and Media
Relations Executive
James Menzies

'talent' actually means? Editorial Assistant

Kevin lee-Simion
Have businesses become so obsessed numerous occasions, analysing the latest
Digital Content and
with 'talent', that they're completely talent and career development metrics. I've Community Manager
overlooking the fundamentals? hunted down groundbreaking initiaitives to Jack Villanueva
'Talent' has become an all-consuming facet address the ongoing talent conundrum like a
of people strategy across businesses large sniffer dog. But, in so doing (and I'll hold my
and small. Over the past 20 years, employers hands up here) I may well have been part of
have ushered talent into 'pools'; they've the problem. We've completely over-thought
constructed complex talent 'pipelines'; the talent challenge and spent too much Head of Commercial Relations
Jack Ingram
4 they're focused on nurturing it; they've time devising ever-more complex strategies,
repeatedly attempted to manage it; and - if matrices and formulae for something that is
McKinsey is to believed - they've even gone the core asset of business and requires a back Senior Commercial Executive
Emily Wall
into all-out war with each other to secure it. to basics approach. For many companies,
And what has happened? 'Talent' is people are not 'their greatest asset' but their
Employer Relations Manager
apparently the victor and businesses world only asset. As such, everything a business
Aarti Bhasin
wide are still desperately grappling to nab does, should have 'talent' at its core.
the 'best' people for the roles they need This special edition of Ambition is Head of Events
Leah Carter
to ll. dedicated to talent, but we're taking a back-
In its 20th Global CEO Survey, published to-basics approach. In fact, as Laura Wigley Marketing Manager
earlier this year, PwC revealed that CEOs points out in her article (page 12): 'If you Paul Lambden

'recognise the need for human talent', with have the right people, matched with the Membership Manager
52% planning to increase headcount in 2017, correct roles, where they can use their natural Tariro Masukume
but 77% were concerned that a shortage of talents, supported by the right ongoing
Digital Projects Manager
key skills could impair their companys ability development, it will lead to maximised Mike Kelly
to grow. More than eight out of 10 businesses performance for your teams and the
Finance and
in the US struggle to ll the roles they need, business.' It couldn't be simpler. Could it? Commercial Director
according to Manpower Group; and a quarter Once we've dened (or redened) talent, Catherine Walker
of jobs in the UK a shocking one in every it's easier to think about how to recruit,
Membership and
four remain unlled due to lack of adequate empower, engage, develop and recognise Operations Director
talent (UK Commission for Employment the right people for your business and, on the Martin Reid
and Skills). ip side, as individuals, nd the businesses in
Chief Executive
I've written about talent for my entire which to thrive as an employee, as well. Andrew Main Wilson
career and I've been bogged down, on David Woods-Hale, Editor, AMBITION
Assistant to the CEO
Amy Youngs

Copyright 2017 by The Association of MBAs (AMBA). All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. Membership enquiries
While we take care to ensure that editorial is independent, accurate, objective and relevant for our readers, AMBA accepts no responsibility for reader
dissatisfaction rising from the content of this publication. The opinions expressed and advice given are the views of individual commentators and do not
necessarily represent the views of AMBA. Whenever an article in this publication is placed with the nancial support of an advertiser, partner or sponsor, Accreditation enquiries
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Gain insight on leading global

their own mould, or applying the if the

face ts method.
Many employers tell me that
their biggest frustration is receiving
applications from candidates who dont
know anything about the company in
which they apparently want to work. It
is therefore incumbent on individuals
to really do their homework when
applying for jobs, so they can be sure
this is the right employer for them and
a culture in which they will thrive. They
can also use their networks to identify
suitable opportunities. The AMBA
Community provides a platform to
connect and foster global relationships.
Feedback from AMBAs Employer
Network reveals a growing need for
candidates to be able to demonstrate
their worth to a potential employer
using data-driven examples of how

they meet the organisations values.
While human nature dictates that we
are generally not good at showing off,
the recruitment process provides the

talent strategy
perfect opportunity for candidates to
demonstrate what they can bring to an
organisation. No one else is going to
do this for you. 7

for turbulent times

According to the CIPD denition,
talent management seeks to attract,
identify, develop, engage, retain
and deploy individuals who are
considered particularly valuable to an
organisation. This raises the question:
AMBA's employment relations manager Aarti Bhasin says the secret once you have been successful in
is to manage evolving skills sets in an ever-changing world passing the rigorous recruitment

process, then what?
In order to be seen as valuable to
he recruitment landscape us again and again that cultural t an organisation, individuals have to
in the UK is changing as takes precedent over skills, in terms be willing to learn; open to feedback;
a consequence of the EU of recruiting the right people for the and take ownership of their role and
referendum and, more right roles. The leadership guru Peter responsibility for their decisions.
recently, the 2017 general election. Drucker once famously declared: They must also be prepared to
Political uncertainty has a ripple effect Culture eats strategy for breakfast. evolve their skill set continually to
into economics and continues While this may be true, if the meet the demands of the modern
to reverberate across the entire recruitment process is not managed business world.
business landscape. correctly, organisations could be Returning to the point about
Putting this into the context of accused of hiring people who t into uncertainty, we need future talent that
people strategy, the sheer number is sure, certain and prepared to go the
of unknowns facing business leaders, extra mile so organisations can ride
puts even more pressure on HR within 'The sheer number through turbulent times. But this can
organisations both large and small of unknowns facing only happen if this talent is engaged,
to understand their talent capabilities
business leaders puts enabled and empowered by their

even more pressure on

in order to remain competitive. organisation, and talent leaders must
Coupled with this volatility, culture be prepared to make a case to protect
has become a buzz word in the HR to understand their this valuable asset regardless of what
leadership lexicon as experts tell talent capabilities' may come.

Getting grips to
with the future of jobs
in a post-Brexit world
Business leaders will help to shape the future of jobs through the decisions they make about
recruitment and management practices, writes Tom Hadley, Director of Policy, Recruitment &
Employment Confederation

ow will the jobs

market evolve over
the next ve years?
How can business
leaders play their part
in enabling individuals
and organisations to
thrive in the post-EU era?
These are the questions being asked
within political and business circles, and
these debates are playing out against a
backdrop of seismic shifts in the broader
world of work. For future business
leaders, there are two key aspects of the
UK labour market that require attention.
First, the evolving employment market
is having a huge impact on individual
career paths. The traditional notion of
a career ladder is being replaced by a
career lattice, whereby individuals move
between jobs frequently to gain different
experiences and boost their prospects.
Second, the ability to pre-empt
how rapid societal and technological
developments will impact on the
workforce will become increasingly
important for business success. Falling
candidate availability is ramping up the
scale of the challenge and there is no
10 doubt that accessing people with the
skills, attitude and energy required will be
one of the leadership priorities over the the biggest challenge of the are falling as ination increases, REC
research shows that starting salaries
coming years. are on the rise. Candidates who are
EU referendum has been falling prepared to take the associated risks of
WHAT IS THE SHAPE OF THE JOBS moving jobs are beneting from generous
MARKET TODAY? supply of people to meet demand offers as employers complete for the
The Recruitment and Employment talent available.
Confederation (REC) publishes data every The question for business leaders is
month about the labour market. Our construction, food production, and for how long is it sustainable to increase
April 2017 Report on Jobs shows strong logistics. Recruitment professionals have salary offers? Many smaller businesses
demand for staff in the private sector, with agged 60 specic job roles for which it are already feeling the pressure. The
rising levels of vacancies. Permanent job is particularly difcult to recruit, ranging public sector is also losing out on skilled
placements in the UK rose for the ninth from teachers, marketing managers and workers as individuals recognise the
consecutive month in April. compliance specialists to warehouse staff, opportunities to boost their income in
However, despite growing demand, care workers, drivers, electricians, chefs, the private sector. As the scale of the
the data also shows that the rate of job cleaners and receptionists. people challenge becomes clearer,
growth is slowing; this is primarily due There are worrying signs that the business leaders and politicians need
to a lack of suitable candidates to take skills shortage will worsten. Half of UK to get to grip swith the situation so that
the jobs available. So far, the biggest employers (49%) are concerned about UK organisations and individuals can
challenge created in the wake of the EU the availability of candidates. At the same continue to thrive.
referendum result has been falling supply time, 78% of employers report having
of people to meet demand. little or no spare capacity within their WHAT ARE THE IMMEDIATE PRIORITIES?
This is not a new problem. Candidate existing workforce, which means their Skills, immigration and industrial strategy
shortages, especially in highly-skilled areas ability to seize new opportunities will are just some of the labour market
such as engineering, technology and depend on the accessibility of the skills issues that the major parties picked
medicine, pre-date the EU referendum. and talent they need. up on during the pre-election rush for
However, over the past year we have For job-seekers, there is some good votes. At the REC, we are calling for
seen this skills shortage spread to other news among the danger signs. In contrast a balanced approach to immigration
sectors such as hospitality and catering, to ofcial data indicating that real wages which reects business needs. Any new
The business community must take a brings together leading employers and
lead in creating a tipping point on the labour market experts to consider what
inclusion agenda by promoting innovative the future labour market will look like
hiring practices and making change and how policymakers should respond.
happen. The late author and academic The RECs aim is not only to pre-empt
Stephen R Covey once remarked forthcoming challenges, but to inuence
that strength lies in differences, not the direction of travel based on the
in similarities. Boosting inclusion to knowledge and insight of the recruitment
challenge groupthink and widen talent industry, which is on the frontline of the
pools is becoming a habit of many jobs market.
highly effective organisations. Now is
the time to drive this agenda to make PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE
the most of the post-EU environment. In an age of accelerating change and
For future business leaders, this places disruption, the UK needs an agile and
an emphasis on the skills required to vibrant labour market that is underpinned
manage the diverse and multi-general by good hiring practices. Over the course
workforce of the future. of the Brexit negotiations, a core focus
More generally, the government needs must be to protect the UK jobs market and
to address the skills gap by reforming ensure that the post-EU landscape is one
education and training so that people in which both demand and supply of staff
are provided with the skills employers remains buoyant. Our message to the next
will need in the future. Improving careers government is an aspirational one: 'Lets
advice and information for people of all build the best jobs market in the world'.
ages would be big step forward in this Globalisation, growing diversity of
regard. The business community can play contractual arrangements, new job
a pivotal role, for example, by seeking out and career expectations, digitalisation
ways to collaborate with schools to help and demographics are all major drivers
embed employability skills within reshaping the way we work today. These
the curriculum. changes will also require a major shift in
management practices and capabilities. 11
immigration system must be agile and WHAT ARE THE LONGER-TERM A key conclusion from last years World
pragmatic enough to respond quickly CHALLENGES? Employment Conference in New Delhi was
to the evolving labour market. Many Londons Evening Standard columnist that the pace of change will accelerate
sectors rely heavily on workers from the Anthony Hilton recently made the and require more people to make sense
UK, and this reliance is not going away. point that, while politicians are focused of this constantly evolving employment
Unemployment in the UK has reached primarily on Brexit, there are greater landscape. Successful business leaders will
the lowest level since 1975 the idea challenges in jobs and education be the ones who engage with these trends
that there are UK nationals waiting ahead. This is certainly something that and nd the opportunities they present.
in the wings to take the jobs we are picking up at the REC from What does a great jobs market look
currently occupied by EU interactions with our members. like? It is one that provides job and
workers is unrealistic.
At the same time, Any new At a recent meeting with
the REC Legal & Financial
progression opportunities for all, promotes
inclusion and diversity, and ensures that
business leaders must
recognise the need to
immigration system Services sector group,
specialist recruiters
there is real synergy between the needs
of employers and the skills and attitudes
do more to improve must be agile and identied automation and of jobseekers. Nurturing a dynamic and
their offering to
potential employees,
pragmatic enough to AI as a greater business
threat to agencies
agile 21st-century jobs market is key to
economic and social wellbeing; this will
especially tapping
into underrepresented
respond quickly supplying qualied legal
staff than any post-EU
provide opportunities for individuals to
progress throughout the world and will
groups. Hirers should be to the evolving referendum uncertainty. drive business growth through skills and
looking at how they can
reach out to people who
labour market The REC has recently
launched the Future of Work
Future business leaders will help to
might nd it more difcult to Commission to look at these issues shape the future of jobs through the
take on full-time work, such as and how they might play out against decisions they make about recruitment
parents or older workers. They should the backdrop of Brexit and management practices.
also evaluate how they engage with and rapid technological and
groups such as disabled people. Often, demographic change. Tom Hadley is Director of Policy,
this is about structuring work differently to Chaired by former UK Employment Recruitment & Employment
t a candidates needs and lifestyle. Minister Esther McVey, the Commission Confederation


Maximising the
potential of

every individual
Is it time to lose the talent label and invest
in the unique skills and qualities of every staff
member? Tailoring development opportunities
to individuals is good for individuals and for
business, argues Dorchester Collections
Laura Wigley

Dened in the Cambridge

Dictionary as a group of suitable,
skilled people who are
available to be chosen to do
a particular type of job,
the dreaded talent pool
has caused much debate in
business circles over the years.
Should it be called a talent
pool?; is the talent pool dead?; what
value do they bring?; do they cause
more harm than good?
For me, there is some validity in using
talent groupings within an organisation.
However, businesses must change their
here appears to be a potential attitudes towards these pools, as well as
misconception around what talent is and the type of development delivered to
who displays it. Some might say this is groups, to ensure a real return to
a result of the fear around the war for the company.
talent, as coined by McKinsey in 1997; a I would argue that we should review
scramble for those who sit at the top of the concept that talent pools are only
the bell curve, the brightest and the best, for those identied as high potential. It
the high potentials, in an attempt to nd simply creates a two-tiered culture which
the next generation of leaders to take has potentially wide-ranging impact on
businesses forward and achieve results. individuals and their organisations.
And so, the traditional view that It causes a Pygmalion and Golem
talent means an individual who has effect: a phenomenon whereby high
the capability to be a future executive expectations lead to an increase in
or leader has formed. Organisations performance and lower expectations
14 have based their talent criteria around to reduced performance. Professor
denitions such as McKinseys: strategic Robert Rosenthal and Professor Lenore
mindset, leadership capability, emotional Jacobson found this in their 1968 research
maturity, communications skills, Pygmalion in the Classroom.
entrepreneurial instincts and delivering At the beginning of the study, a
results. Those who meet these criteria are group of students were told they
placed into high-potential groups and were intellectual bloomers and their
given development. Those who dont, are teachers were informed of this. When
sh left to climb the tree their IQ was retested at the end of the
But the reality is, as Einstein stated, project, this group showed signicant
everybody is a genius if they know increases. It was also found that, with the
what they excel in and are given the students who were expected to succeed,
opportunity to shine. Which surely means,
that everyone is talented. Its not just teachers offered more time to answer
those who are vocal about striving for questions and gave them more detailed
success. Nor is it only those who meet feedback and greater reassurance and
certain criteria and are perceived to be
the top people in an organisation. In order to recognise encouragement. They even smiled and
nodded at this group of children more


all individuals as talent, and often than they did at those who were not
classed as talent.
One of the reasons for this traditional
denition around top talent, according
to develop a wide range of While sceptics question the validity
of this study, it demonstrates that an
to The Economist in its 2006 article on
the war for talent, is that companies
skills across the organisation, individual can be positively or negatively
inuenced by the expectations placed
do not know how to dene talent nor
how to manage it. Consequently, they
a culture of continuous upon them. It creates a placebo effect:
telling an individual that they are talent
choose the easiest option defaulting to
leadership behaviours, placing people
learning is required results in them acting as such working
harder and achieving more. Yet you run
into high-potential talent pools in order the risk of switching off a much higher
to measure, manage and grow capability. proportion of your workforce.

This is why pigeonholing someone who If we adopt this perspective then, as through secret squirrel methods it only
demonstrates a set of behaviours into a business leaders, we need to work with adds fuel to the re. If people dont know
pre-dened high-potential talent pool is, all of our people to help them dene the what a development programme is, who
in my opinion, awed. Everyone is unique. way they do things, their aspirations, and gets offered it and what they gain from it,
We all have different interests, priorities, what they want to be involved in, rather it becomes a big mystery perceived to
strengths and weaknesses. When we, as than telling them who they are and what be only for the special ones.
leaders, have a deep understanding of they should do. This can be achieved I accept that, as a business, you
what these are, we can place our people through creating exible approaches may need to include development
into the right environments to develop, to people development, allowing each programmes for potential executives,
challenge and test these talents; we can individual to guide their own personal but any such programme needs to be
help them grow, both for their benet and pathway. For example, at Dorchester completely transparent, giving people the
for ours, enabling everyone to maximise Collection, we have removed competency opportunity and, most importantly, the
their potential. frameworks and mandatory employee choice, to decide for themselves whether
We should consider whether were completions from our performance they want to participate, and are ready
going to get the best out of our teams reviews, instead increasing the focus to do so. Encourage people to
by putting them in a pool or box on personal strengths and aspirations, put themselves forward for these
and teaching them the same things as allowing our team members to dictate schemes, rather than thrusting
everyone else, or by excluding them from how the processes work for them. opportunities upon them.
a development group because they are We also need to encourage openness Currently 55% of people placed within
deemed unworthy. around development opportunities. Stop a high-potential talent programme
I believe we owe it to our team creating opportunities that are accessed drop out within the rst year (SHL Talent
members to treat them as individuals, Management, 2014). I suggest that the
understanding and developing their retention rate would be far greater with
inherent talents and ensuring they an opt-in approach.
are in fullling roles that play to their
strengths. The only way talent pools will CULTURE OF CONTINUOUS
have any validity is when they recognise Line managers have ongoing LEARNING
each person as an individual and take While a mindset shift of this kind
the form of specialist development conversations with team could seem like a scary prospect for
groups for a wide range of talents. organisations, by moving from an all- 15
These should comprise collections of members and can identify encompassing, formulaic, process-driven
talented individuals who have their
own development plans, growing and curate opportunities approach to talent management, towards
one that is tailored to individuals, you
their contribution to the business and are likely to attract the right people into
themselves in their unique way. for our people the right development programmes.
This results in greater motivation,
TALENT ALCHEMY engagement, productivity and,
Talent is a science, after all. If you have ultimately, protability for the business.
the right people, matched with the Some leaders baulk at the idea of
correct roles, where they use their natural offering personalised development to all,
talents, supported by the right ongoing seeing it as costly and time-consuming;
development, it will lead to maximised however, I disagree. Development no
performance for your teams and the longer constitutes a training course,
business. You dont need to cherry taught to all in a classroom or online.
pick the top 10% to achieve this. This Helping a team member grow and reach
talent formula could be used across the their personal potential means using
organisation, at every level. Imagine the everything available to them including
benets if you did. the development opportunities that
The key to this type of approach is surround us every day, such as mentoring,
determining the organisation you want to networking, reading, the internet and
be. For some, a competitive culture and job shadowing.
hierarchy works its how they want to In order to recognise all individuals as
be dened as a business and its the type talent, and to develop a wide range of
of culture they strive for. I can see this skills across the organisation, a culture
may have its positives. However, my own of continuous learning is required. To
perspective is that organisations perform create that culture, you need to open
best with a culture that is nurturing, your mind to the value of non-traditional
supportive, values diversity and where development sources, from the yoga
being transparent and holistic is key. someone has mastered to manage stress

their people to the right opportunities they can pitch their abilities to their
and give them the freedom to create managers demonstrating how they can
development goals that play to their support the business and
strengths and aspirations. We absolutely where they can get involved and
shouldnt say this is what talent looks request the development that is right for
like in our business and then rank our their journey.
people based on this. In my opinion, that To encourage all employees to view
is closed-minded and detrimental themselves as talented, and identify
to peoples engagement and to where their natural talents lie, some work
business sustainability. needs to be done around the perception
Initially, the focus should be on of talent and who excels in particular
developing leadership coaching skills areas. One way to achieve this is through
in our line managers and educating proling a much wider range of success
and exploring with them what is within stories. Typically, career success centres
their control when it comes to people around those at the top and links directly
development. We also need to teach to prot or sales; measurable targets.
our people, at every level of the If an organisation isnt willing to place
organisation, that it is ok to say no to the spotlight on anything other than
being developed in a specic way, at a nancial benets or leadership capability,
particular point in time and that it wont then its never going to be ok for
impact negatively on their career within someone to say actually, I dont want to
the organisation. Thats very challenging be a leader, but I would like to have this
for businesses with highly structured opportunity instead.
development processes and hierarchies; We have to be better at celebrating
however, the way the world is moving, its different talents and receptive to the
the only way to engage and retain the needs of our people. If were encouraging
right people for the business. them to be proactive in asking for
development, we must be ready to listen.
SHIFTING TALENT RESPONSIBILITY And, if their business case is strong, we
16 It cannot, however, be left solely to the must be open to offering them the type
organisation to spot and nurture talent. of learning they need.
Individuals must also step up and take
responsibility for their own development CHANGE TAKES TIME
levels, making them more effective at if they wish to continue to grow. Whether This kind of change does not happen
work, to the counselling qualication that thats a promotion, enhancing their skills overnight and, at Dorchester Collection,
has helped an individual with listening and capabilities, mentoring others or were only at the start of the journey
and reasoning. Marathon training taking on additional responsibility, it ourselves. This isnt an A to B transition.
may teach an individual discipline and all must start with the individual and all Businesses need to dene and evolve the
commitment. Typically, these out-of-work begin with a true understanding of who culture they create in their organisations
activities are not seen as career-related they are and where they want to get to. on an ongoing basis. Therefore, as
learning; but why not? We have to make Once they are clear about these factors, leaders, we must review and progress our
developing talent human, relatable, open, talent approaches alongside this.
transparent and holistic. Who we develop, and how we develop
To a large extent, achieving this lies them, sends out a strong message about
with our line managers. They are the who and what we value as a company.
people who have ongoing conversations To get this right, we should ask ourselves
with team members and can identify and
curate opportunities for our people. They
Everybody is a genius. But regularly whether our vision, values
and talent strategies send out a clear
need to get to the bottom of what people
want, their motivations and what really
if you judge a fish by its and coherent message to our teams.
Are we optimising our performance by
drives them. Only then can they put the
right mechanisms in place to support and ability to climb a tree, it supporting each of our team members to
be their best? Or are we simply forcing
encourage them to reach their potential.
This is why, as employers, we must will live its whole life our sh to climb trees?

believing that it is stupid

invest in developing the skills that are Laura Wigley is the Global Talent
required for these deeper coaching and Development Director for
conversations, to uncover the talents luxury hotel management company,
our team members possess. After this, Dorchester Collection (www.
we must empower leaders to match
08 September 2017
Lima, Peru

Join us in the capital and largest city of Peru,

Lima, on 08 September 2017 for an evening
of networking and relationship-building with students
and alumni of AMBA-accredited programmes.

At this event, you will find out more about the benefits
available to you as a AMBA Member as well as having
the opportunity to hear brief extracts from exclusive
interviews hosted by Andrew Main Wilson (AMBAs
CEO), with CEOs from Unilever, Western Union and
the worlds largest marketing agency WPP.

An exclusive AMBA Member event:

Find out more at

future after acquisition:
enhancing scale,

Michael Mauser, Regional Head of HARMAN Europe, talks about the role of talent
in developing breakthrough technologies and retaining independence following
the companys acquisition by Samsung. Interview by David Woods-Hale.


WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR harder. Our headcount has increased by

more than 10% in the past few years
people and Im impressed that our AUDIO DIVISION AT HARMAN
ACHIEVEMENTS IN YOUR engineers continue to drive innovation INTERNATIONAL INDUSTRIES
OWN CAREER? for growth and keep us in our technology
leadership position. Take our Summit I am fortunate to hold a position that
I started at HARMAN 20 years ago. Before Audio technology thats a high-end allows me to combine my two great
that, I was at Daimler-Benz Aerospace audio concept for cars. passions, audio and automotive, with my
working in various nance and controlling Then this year came Summit Next; it general management instincts.
roles. Since joining HARMAN in 1997, Ive is a revolution of the in-car experience Im responsible for growing a global
been fortunate to work in a number of which is future-proof due to technology business and expanding leadership for our
departments across different disciplines. that delivers over-the-air updates via car audio solutions and consumer audio
In the early days I was predominantly in digital stores and apps. It provides an brands. We have a range of products and
nance, including CFO of the automotive exciting portfolio of solutions designed own brands including: JBL, AKG, Mark
division. Then I progressed into general to transform how people will engage with Levinson, Harman Kardon, Innity, Revel
management and led the connected car their vehicles including features like in-car and Lexicon. We expanded our portfolio
business. Now, as the head of Lifestyle phone conferencing and in-car theatre. in the car audio space by licensing brands
Audio, our business is to increase market including Bang & Olufsen, B&O Play,
share and retain our world market HOW HAS YOUR MBA Bowers & Wilkins and Canton.
leadership in in-car audio and consumer QUALIFICATION MADE Working in both the automotive and
audio products such as headphones, A DIFFERENCE TO YOUR consumer business means I get to enjoy an
home speakers and portable speakers CAREER PATH? extremely varied workload and thats a real
from leading brands including JBL, AKG My MBA was really an entry card to my privilege. On the way to work I might be
and Harman Kardon. professional development. My technically- borrowing a test car to assess a new audio
One of the most difcult challenges orientated MBA included courses on technology before heading to a meeting
we face is nding good people. People mechanical engineering and programming. with our engineers to review our latest
make our business what it is and they are I had a natural interest in manufacturing and headphone design. Next, Im talking to a
at the heart of any organisation and its engineering and my technical MBA made car manufacturer about how we can
20 success. One of our key targets is to keep the difference. It opened doors for me and help them differentiate their cars.
nding qualied people with a passion for gave me a good business and nance base Increasingly, Im in discussion with our
sound. Our company is experiencing rapid which allowed me to expand into general colleagues at Samsung about blue-sky
growth, which makes recruitment even management, while my passions drove my technology collaborations.
career direction. My goal is to drive innovation and
build customer relations in this highly
competitive business. We aim to stay
faithful to what our brands stand for and
make them relevant in our ever-changing
world. We have to continue to invest in
R&D and in marketing to maintain our
leadership position.


Over the past 20 years, HARMAN has
completely transformed itself and I am
really proud of our agility to be more

relevant than ever in a changing world.

There was signicant change in the past
10 years as we grew into an international
company with a global footprint and
locations all over the world. Even
during the economic crisis post-2008,
we continued to focus on and invest in
innovation and R&D. Weve seen double-
digit growth year on year in recent times
and much of this has come from customer
desire to be connected wherever they are.
Thats very true in the car; just looking at
the numbers, they are staggering. Today,
more than 30 million vehicles rely on our
connected car and audio systems and our
automotive business generates 65% of our
almost $8 billion sales.
Our acquisition by Samsung is a move
that we, as well as analysts and our
customers see as very positive. If we just
look at how the phone has become an
extremely powerful smart device, then potential to make a positive contribution safe and intuitive. We are developing a
in-car technology is set to follow suit to the deal. Expect to see us put more range of control strategies such as voice,
and is already evolving at a stratospheric focus on breakthrough technologies and gesture, and eye tracking on top of the
rate. Thanks to smart technology and continue our ongoing commitment to traditional buttons and screens.
connectivity, phones have become R&D investment. On a business front, Samsungs
sophisticated devices and we know cars
commitment to allow HARMAN to operate
will follow the same trajectory and be even
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES AND as a standalone company means that
more powerful. We see our alignment with
OPPORTUNITIES YOURE CURRENTLY we can remain agile, work on disruptive
Samsung as a huge benet for technology
FACING BOTH AS A LEADER AND technologies and build on the track record 21
development. We are elevating a
AS AN ORGANISATION? that has delivered double digit growth for
connected life wherever you go, at home,
There is an integration phase with our shareholders.
in the car and on the go.
any merger. Combining two innovation
Our automotive expertise and access
to a majority of the worlds nest car
powerhouses with a shared vision of
speed, innovation and technology, will DO YOU THINK, AS A
manufacturers was a huge draw for
Samsung. It was seeking to expand its
allow us to maximise opportunities. The
automotive and technology markets are
automotive activity and HARMAN can
facilitate that. We can equally draw on
some of the most competitive out there
and our combined strength, knowledge
Samsungs knowledge in connected
mobility like 5G, display technology and
and experience is going to be a huge LONG-TERM STRATEGY
user experience. Together I think we can
asset as the boundaries between car
and consumer devices become even IN ANY BUSINESS, OR
enhance the customer experience that
keeps consumers loyal to our brands.
more blurred.
We are already seeing that big tech
We are proud that Samsung
recognises the success of HARMANs
companies are keen to be part of the ON BEING AGILE AND
connected car, a space in which we are
management team and it has clearly
stated our technology leadership and
already rmly established. Their desire CONSTANTLY REACTING
commitment to innovation means that
is fuelled by the fact that autonomous
cars mean that more of us will have time
we will operate independently under the
existing management team. Thats a huge
to enjoy infotainment in the car and the
tech rms dont want to miss out. There
vindication of the strategy we have been
are some interesting ideas from some Strategic planning, especially in the
working on and we can now accelerate
of them but the car still requires very long-term, is even more relevant in a
that. Overall, the Samsung acquisition is a
specic expertise and interface and we fast-changing world. It would be very
booster to HARMAN as an independent
have the established relationships and easy to be distracted by short-term
company as it brings scale, innovation
understand the requirements. Its a harsh opportunities but I dont believe that is
power and technology expertise.
environment from a temperature, vibration where success lies.
In our Lifestyle and Automotive
and legislative point of view too. Its also I am a big fan of The Three Box
divisions, weve clearly got a lot of
fundamental that the in-car experience is Solution by Vijay Govindarajan.

to the challenge of retaining talent,

His strategy for leading innovation is: won an award as top employer in the
we have established what we think is
German Automotive industry for the fth
a very solid strategy consisting of
The present manage the core consecutive year and weve just been
different components.
business at peak protability recognised as a top employer in China.
We make succession planning a top
priority throughout the organisation. With
The past abandon ideas,
practices and attitudes that ARE EMPLOYERS that commitment, we develop talent
and offer rewards accordingly. The pace
could inhibit innovation
ADEQUATELY HARNESSING of tech innovation is non-linear so we
The future convert breakthrough
ideas into new products and business
THE MOST APPROPRIATE are under constant pressure to review
talent requirements and plan to remain
TALENT MANAGEMENT successful. A huge benet of succession
planning is we ll up to 80% of roles
I think that long-term planning is equally STRATEGIES, IN TERMS through internal promotions.
critical for our staff and the business. We
have a responsibility to give them a clear
OF RECRUITMENT AND Other programmes we support are:
The HARMAN Womens Network
sense of direction in order to meet long- ENGAGEMENT? created to foster women's
term goals. It has been said that without To be the best-connected technologies professional development
longer-term goals employees cannot company in the world, we must create a to help attract, develop and
perform to the best of their ability. Our culture of connectivity where we source retain successful women across
role as leaders is to set the course and talent from everywhere, let it grow and HARMAN. Development is focused
provide the stability and condence to share it. We must learn from each other, on leadership, advancement and
ensure employees are motivated fully build on ideas and expand our thinking so career-broadening opportunities
throughout the journey. we can attract and keep top contributors, through a variety of tools
as well as inuence the world around us. including information, education
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE TRENDS Diversity and inclusion are critical drivers of and networking.
IMPACTING MOST ON EMPLOYERS strong teams because they help attract the HARMAN University is a
STRATEGY GLOBALLY? best talent and stimulate more meaningful comprehensive online and
Operating in a global market also means collaboration and innovation. In response location-based learning resource,
22 ghting the war for talent on a global designed to develop leadership,
level. We are competing with other business, functional and technical
big players in our different industries skills. Its mission is to stimulate
to nd and hire the best talent to help a learning culture and provide
us shape the future of our business meaningful opportunities for
and the industry as a whole. Talented professional development.
professionals are increasingly mobile, Through engagement, we
have highly transferable skills and are maximise the brilliance of
very well informed about different HARMAN's extraordinary talent,
industries, their job opportunities and ultimately making our company
market value. stronger and more successful.
The challenge is not only acquiring Be Brilliant HARMANs
new talent but also retaining talent comprehensive global employee
within the company, as there is a general recognition programme. It
trend of decreasing employee loyalty. provides an exciting opportunity
We do our best to keep the stakes high for all employees to recognise
for our employees and we are fortunate and reward each other for
to be rewarded with loyalty. For example, demonstrating our company
this year we had a colleague in our values: integrity, innovation,
management team celebrate 30 years inclusion, teamwork and respect,
of service at HARMAN. Also we recently and excellence.

I mentioned Summit as an in-car
innovation we are extremely proud of.
It includes some powerful technologies

that are unique to HARMAN. For experience and work with some very
example, it offers Individual Sound talented people. Younger generations
Zones, a technology that allows each car Michael Mauser is President of appear more willing to embrace this
occupant to hear a different audio source approach and they want to try different
without having to wear headphones.
the Lifestyle Audio division and roles, work in different countries and
Everyone is sceptical, asking how can it regional head of different environments. I welcome this
work without bleed from other sources HARMAN Europe. and believe a broad range of experience
but once they try it, they are blown away! Michael is responsible for all aspects of his division, is hugely benecial in communicating
Its the end to those arguments about which develops, manufactures and sells highly with different people. We are
what to listen to and you dont have to innovative and industry leading car audio solutions, increasingly a global race but its also
have your audio interrupted just because as well as best-in-class consumer audio products important to appreciate and respect the
a phone call comes into the car. for the home and on the go. He oversees an fact that we are individuals.
But we arent just about luxury organisation of more than 5,700 employees with
systems. We have also demonstrated engineering, manufacturing, sales and marketing
this year that small and entry-level cars
shouldnt have to miss out on great
centers around the globe. Michael reports to
President and CEO Dinesh Paliwal and is a member
sound. Targeting on-the-go consumers,
such as millennials, the Voyager Next
of the executive committee.
Since joining HARMAN in 1997, Michael has
audio system is made for customers held several senior management positions of HOW DO YOU ENSURE
craving customisation. This full range
portable audio system features JBL
increasing responsibility. Michael was co-president
of HARMANs automotive division, as well as co- THERE IS A CLEAR MISSION
Connect technology that allows it to
pair with multiple compatible JBL smart
president of HARMANs infotainment and lifestyle
divisions. Michael was also senior vice president
audio devices for powerful, concert-like of nance and chief nancial ofcer of HARMANs YOUR REGIONS?
sound wherever you happen to be. automotive division until 2010. Our people are the reason why HARMAN
The VOYAGER Sub can be popped Prior to joining HARMAN, Michael spent seven is where it is today. We understand this
into and out of the vehicle for seamless years with Daimler-Benz Aerospace Inc. now and take care of our staff by developing
listening on the go. Onboard the vehicle, Airbus Group SE where he worked in various and rewarding them.
it functions as an additional subwoofer; controlling and nance positions. Everyone here at HARMAN makes a
outside, it can pair with multiple Michael holds an industrial MBA from the difference and we want to ensure that 23
compatible smart audio devices for University of Stuttgart in Germany. each voice is heard.
powerful concert-like sound. We have established some
mechanisms and tools, as mentioned

HOW DO YOU ENSURE earlier, which help us create an

atmosphere and workplace where
THERE IS A CULTURE OF with a chief technology ofcer to lead and
support internal crowdsourcing projects as
every employee has the opportunity to
grow and evolve as a personality and
All our 30,000 employees, including
We advocate open communication
THE ORGANISATION? 13,000 engineers, have an opportunity to through personal visits and town
Innovation is one of HARMANs core make suggestions and we reward them. halls, CEO calls, newsletters and
values and at the heart of everything We also monetise our patents, selling other platforms. Importantly, our
we do. I think if you dont innovate, you them to some of the biggest communication is two-way as we want to
quickly become irrelevant. There are many tech companies. hear from our teams around the world.
solid and established businesses that have
but its fair to say that focus really AND DEPARTMENTS; DO YOU AGE OF THE NEW NORMAL?
accelerated about 10 years ago. Our BELIEVE THIS IS A RARE TRAIT I feel we are at a very exciting point in
CEO Dinesh Paliwal was instrumental AND HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE the world; its a period of massive change
in changing our corporate structure to TO ADAPT? affecting all of us, but also one of huge
enable innovation. As a big business, we Its not a rare trait at HARMAN. We opportunity. Technology is genuinely
looked really hard at communication and have many examples. We look for changing our lives more rapidly than
realised that we needed to break down talent across divisions, functions, at any time in the past 150 years and
barriers between brands, departments and geographies and develop them the next big thing is always around the
and regions to reignite our collective for future opportunities. People with corner. Our goal is to master the change,
creativity. That way, we think people can MBAs and the right character traits can we dont wait for it. We drive innovation.
talk together and collaborate, stimulating become business leaders at HARMAN. We are in great shape to benet from
their imaginations. We created a structure I have been very lucky to gather the new normal.

AMBA Careers
Report 2017
James Menzies, Research Executive
at AMBA, provides an analysis on the
career trajectories of MBA graduates
in 145 countries

The research reveals that completing an

24 MBA is not all about nancial gain but
MBAs report their qualications have
also enabled them to make a positive
difference in the world

METHODOLOGY Of the total respondents, 11% strongly they agree or disagree. KEY TERMS
This survey was designed to were from the UK, 7% from Greece PayData, a third-party 'Pre-MBA' refers to the time period
determine the value of an MBA and 6% from India. More than consultancy, independently a year before MBA enrolment.
qualication. It collected 3,355 35% of respondents were aged 35 administered the survey. 'Post-MBA' refers to the time
online responses from MBA or under. Respondents provided India, China and the UK are period a year after graduating from
graduates, representing 121 information on their career path. classed as their own distinct an MBA.
nationalities. The online survey Opinions were also measured regions; the Eastern Europe region 'Current' refers to the time the
was distributed to alumni via through closed-ended statements includes Russia; and the Oceania survey was completed by the
Business School staff and AMBA. where they were asked how region includes Fiji. respondent (June / July 2016).

Figure 1: Change in management team seniority among respondents

40 38% 38%
35 33%
At the time of completing the survey,
participants indicated that the most
popular type of organisation in which 30%
to work was either in the industrial 25% 25%
/ manufacturing sector, with 14% of
respondents reporting that they work 20
in each of these sectors (Figure 1). 16%
In contrast,1% or less of 15 15% 14%
respondents reported working in
organisations in the legal, media or 10
utilities sectors during any of the time 6% 6%
periods analysed. 5 3%
2% 5%
Pre-MBA Post-MBA Current

14% of mba CEO / President

Senior manager / Senior professional
Board level / Director
Middle manager / Middle professional

graduates work Junior manager

in the industrial
or manufacturing
At the time of completing the survey, a
quarter of respondents (25%) reported
working in general management
positions and almost one in ve
(18%) of respondents worked in sales
and marketing positions. In terms of
functional areas within organisations,
legal and communication roles were
the least popular career choices for
respondents, with each accounting for
1% of the total sample.
Prior to completing their MBA, 15%
of respondents worked in general
management roles, however, 18% of
respondents reported working in such
roles post-MBA.
Likewise, only 4% of respondents
indicated that prior to studying for an
MBA they worked in a strategy and
planning role, yet 13% of respondents
reported they worked in such a role a
year after graduation; an increase
of 8%.

Figure 2: Reasons for choosing

to study an MBA 0% 20% 40% 60% 80%
The increases descibed, coupled
Career progression / promotion 80% with post-MBA drops in production
and manufacturing roles (-4%), ICT
Higher earnings 56% positions (-2%), and research and
development (-2%), suggest that
Career change, e.g. different
industry or function respondents used their MBA to
move into more generalist leadership
positions, rather than pursue
Set up my own business 21% specialised positions after graduation.
To learn / gain more skills and
The number of respondents in
knowledge about the contemporary
business environment 76% junior management roles decreased
To make better business contacts from 30% pre-MBA to 16% post-MBA,
/ improve professional networks 35% whereas the percentage of senior
To increase my international managers / senior professionals
mobility, e.g. work abroad/establish a
global career 34% increased from 15% pre-MBA to 25%
post-MBA (Figure 1).
To distinguish oneself from
competitors within the job market 50%

To build my condence 41% More than a third (34%) of respondents

completed an MBA to increase
international mobility, work abroad or
establish themselves in a global career

More than a third (34%) of graduates completed an

(Figure 2) and, of this, 65% agreed or
strongly agreed that their expectations
had been met (Figure 3).
mba to increase international mobility Almost nine out of 10 respondents
(87%) agreed or strongly agreed
26 that their MBA had prepared them
Figure 3: Hindsight satisfaction of MBA based on original reasons for study for working in a global business
environment and 75% agreed or
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% strongly agreed that the MBA had
33% given them the opportunity to travel
Career progression / promotion 49% 15% 4%
and work abroad.
In addition, almost eight in 10
Higher earnings 25% 49% 21% 5% (78%) respondents agreed or strongly
agreed that they would be prepared
Career change, e.g. different to work in a developing country
industry or function 22% 44% 27% 6%
to further their career or enhance
their experience.
Set up my own business 14% 43% 33% 10% The research revealed that the
To learn/gain more skills and 2%
most popular reason to study for
knowledge about the contemporary an MBA was career progression
business environment 52% 45% 1%
and promotion (80%). Of the
respondents that chose an MBA for
To make better business contacts /
improve professional networks 24% 54% 19% 3%
To increase my international
mobility, e.g. work abroad /
establish a global career 21% 44% 29% 7%

To distinguish oneself from

competitors within the job market 30% 54% 14% 3%
21% of graduates
completed an MBA
To build my condence 39% 49% 9% 3%
to set up their own
Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree business
Figure 4: Benets of having
an MBA according to
graduate respondents Figure 5: Factors
that inuence
Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree career choice

Having an MBA has increased my

Having an MBA has accelerated opportunity to travel / work outside my
my career home country

21% 28% 35% 35% Career progression

and promotion

3,806 points
4% 6%
in terms of career
progression An improved
work-life balance

40% 1,882 points

following their 47%
course, 82% of MBA My MBA has prepared me for working
in a global business environment
My MBA has helped me nd more
exible work e.g. part-time or

graduates said their 12%

contract work High

3,012 points
expectations had 13%
2% 9%
been met
The opportunity to
work abroad

1,144 points
career progression / promotion
opportunities, 82% agreed 51% 26%
or strongly agreed that their 53%
expectations had been met. Working for an
Graduates who completed I am more condent and ambitious My MBA has helped me get a more innovative start up

since completing my MBA intellectually stimulating and 570 points

the survey were asked how far engaging role
they agreed with a number
of statements regarding 34% 14% 36%
the outcomes of their MBA.
Respondents were positive about
1% 2% Demanding /
varied role
their MBA with 87% agreeing or
strongly agreeing that theyre more 1,223 points
ambitious post-MBA (Figure 4).
When asked how far they agreed
with the statement working
for a responsible / sustainable
Working for
organisation is as important as a a responsible
/ sustainable
high salary, 86% agreed or strongly
agreed with this statement. 994 points
My MBA has given me a solid under- Having an MBA has enabled me to
Respondents were asked standing of the impact of start my own business
to attribute a point value to sustainability issues on business
corresponding ranking, relating to
12% Other
various questions about inuences 27% 22%
affecting their career choices (1st 144 points
choice = 3 points, 2nd choice = 7% 11%
2 points, 3rd choice = 1 point) as
outlined in Figure 5. This ranks the
factors inuencing career choices.
The opportunity
Career progression and promotion to make a positive
difference to
opportunities came out on top business and society

with 3,806 points. 43% 1,574 points

44% 33%

Figure 6: How far do respondents agree

that their MBA is valued by employers?

4% 4% 3% 2% 4% 4% 5% 4%
100 10% 8% 6%
21% 19% 13% 15% 22% 24% 28% 29%
13% 30%
50% 57% When asked to respond to the
54% 53% statement my employer actively
60 47%
recruits MBA graduates there were
signicant regional variances in terms
of response. More than four out
40 of ve respondents based in India
(81%) agreed or strongly agreed to
27% this statement, whereas only 25% of
25% 24%
20 21% 20% respondents based in Eastern Europe
18% 17%
13% 14% 14% indicated the same.
The only region in which more than
50% of respondents agreed or strongly
agreed to the statement my employer




N is currently operating a programme











L. M



that sponsors employees to study



D (E













MBA programmes were those in



Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree China and Hong Kong (51%). All other
regions only reported an average of
The survey conrmed that, in every region studied, more than 75% of respondents agreed or strongly 26% of respondents that agreed or
agreed that the knowledge gained from their MBA meets their employers current business needs. strongly agreed to this statement.
Respondents in China and Hong
Kong (84%), agreed or strongly agreed
28 that their MBA was strongly valued by

More than 75% agreed that the knowledge gained from employers (Figure 6).
The survey conrmed that in every

their mba meets their employer's current business needs region studied, more than 75% of
respondents agreed or strongly
agreed that the knowledge gained
from their MBA meets their employers
Figure 7: How far do respondents agree that their MBA knowledge meets current business needs (Figure 7).
their current employer's needs?

2% 1% 1% 1% 4% 2% 2% 2% 5% 3% 3%
14% 18% 16% 22% 9% 21% 15% 15% 19%
11% 13%
55% 56% 59%
80 59%
57% 54% 59%
65% 56% 59%


29% 29% 28%
26% 24%
20 21% 21% 23%




















D (E














Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree

adults, consumers
and human beings
Career and talent management should
focus on the individual and be designed
around them, writes Lucy Adams


oming from an HR
background I can say
that theres nothing
an HR director likes
more than producing
highly strategic and
beautifully crafted
programmes. I did it many times when I
was at the BBC, creating amazing talent
development programmes and then
being slightly confused when they
failed to get the recognition I thought
they deserved.
It was only after I left corporate life, and
had a chance to really think about how
things had been done, that I realised my
fatal mistake. In all the strategising, Id
forgotten about the core purpose of the
HR function: to treat employees as adults
(not children), as consumers (not staff) and
as human beings (not just a cog in the
corporate machine).
I call this the EACH model: Employees as
Adults, Consumers and Human beings.
When it comes to career and talent
development, every HR director and every
leader should be thinking about each
individual; about the experience they 31
have before they join an organisation and
during their tenure with that company. It
should not be about formulating fancy
processes through which to put people, but
about creating an experience that enables
individuals to connect deeply with the
organisation and be willing and able to give
their best.

The parallels between creating a superb
employee experience and the consumer
experience are numerous: the need to
attract talent and deploy them quickly; to
retain great people and for them to act as
advocates for your brand. Yet, while the
customer experience is well understood
and embedded, the design of a
great employee experience is still in
its early stages.
As consumers, were used to being
able to personalise our experiences.
We can create our own Spotify play lists
rather than listen to generic radio stations.
We can pre-set our driving seat to our
preferred position. We like the feeling that

personalisation gives us, just as we like Effective brand alignment does not creates an environment in which people
being able to follow the news we want necessarily mean we have to provide are unprepared to challenge authority,
to read about not just whats on the same experience for every employee. speak up, try something new, and take
terrestrial TV. In the same way that consumer risks. How is the Holy Grail of greater
Why is it that this personalisation ends organisations work hard to align the productivity and creativity attainable
at the entrance door to work? The rot expressions of their brand to their when the company culture is one of wait
seems to set in during the recruitment different consumer segments, we and be told what to do, and if you dont
process when you cant speak to anyone can strive to create employee experiences do it, youre in trouble.
in the organisation and just get sent that vary depending on their different In terms of talent development, if you
generic communications both when its needs and desires. treat people as children it has a knock-on
good news inviting you for an interview, Based on different types of employee, effect. Employees can become almost
or news of a rejection. Employment we can vary approaches to recruitment, infantilised. They feel less ready to make
contracts and the induction processes performance management, development responsible choices and expect the
are tedious and standardised and reward and careers while remaining true to our employer to make all decisions around
frameworks are universally applied. brand promise. their welfare. Thats certainly not
In research that we conducted at an environment thats going to
Disruptive HR, we asked 300 senior HR TREAT ME AS AN ADULT encourage talent development
professionals about their approach to So much of what we do when we and career progression.
induction, performance and reward manage people at work is based on the
and 70% said that they used a one-size- parent-child relationship. Let me give an TREAT ME AS A HUMAN
ts-all method, showing that were a example. It was one day, not long after I Its amazing how quickly our processes
long way from providing a customised started at the BBC, that it started to can dehumanise an experience. Take
employee experience. snow heavily. One of my team came to induction and onboarding. Recruits
Perhaps its because weve created me and said: Its time to write an all-staff and new talent are usually put through
silos. Marketing departments have email. Why? Because we needed to let a vanilla offering of PowerPoint slides
become the custodians and guardians of them know about the weather and that crammed with bullet points from every
the brand, while HR departments work perhaps they should consider making possible department. Not a great
separately and rarely overlap. In fact, their way home. introduction to a new employer.
there are sometimes direct contradictions: Seriously. Smarter companies do this better.
32 from the fast-moving tech company that These were highly intelligent, educated They spend time learning about their
sends out wads of paper employment individuals yet we didnt trust them to new talent, nding out how they can best
policies to new employees before look out of the window and make a welcome them and deploy them within
they join, to the insurance company decision for themselves. the organisation. Wipro BPO, an India-
that promises peace of mind but lets Not only is this relationship based global leader in business process
redundancies drag on for months. unsustainable in a modern age, it also outsourcing, does exactly this. It uses
The good news is that there are
some companies making great strides
in bringing the consumer experience
into their employee experiences. Virgin
Trains asked its marketing department
to use its approach to customer
segmentation to help understand its
3,500 employees. Called the Amazing
Colleague Experience, this process went
deeper than the traditional employee
engagement survey. They then used
the results to create meaningful,
employee-driven initiatives.

So much of what we do
when we manage people
at work is based on the
parent-child relationship

the valuable induction period to nd

out more about their employees unique
perspectives and strengths, leading to
a 33% higher retention rate in the rst
six months.
As business leaders, we need to
recognise that creating a powerful
brand is no longer enough for talented
employees. As Director of People for the
BBC, attracting employees was never
the issue. The power of the brand pulled
through thousands of applications from
talented and wonderful people every
year. The real challenge was making sure
the employee experience lived up to that
brand image.
There are plenty of highly imaginative
ways to attract employees. Digitally,
through referrals, videos and clever
adverts. While the competition is erce,
this can be where our imagination ends.
Effective brand alignment does not
As soon as the employee signs on
the bottom line of the standardised necessarily mean we have to provide the
contract, it can feel that theyre entering
a different organisation.
HR needs to consider what experience
same experience for every employee
it wants people to have and work back
from that. This thinking has already the off-site activities they share at the silos in organisations, to create an
led companies to discard their annual GoDaddy. Others might respond best to environment where marketing can work
performance reviews. Theyve moved away peers giving them awards them for being with HR, with facilities management, with 33
from the Nine Box Grid system, which has supportive. Other companies such as IT, with operations, with nance, and
been used for years to evaluate and plot Netix have just totally got rid of bonuses. with the board. Its not about ownership.
a companys talent pool, usually based By understanding your employees, you Its about collaboration. Then you can
on performance and potential. Instead, can create personalised experiences for create an amazing and holistic employee
smart companies are moving to frequent them that recognise them, reward them experience that stretches through an
talent and career discussions at leadership and motivate them to stay on. employees life cycle from the start
meetings. Theyre treating their employees of their career through their talent
as adults, trusting them to create their DESIGN THE EXPERIENCE development and beyond their tenure
own self-directed learning opportunities, Creating a great employee experience with your company.
instead of putting people on standardised is not the job of HR. It has to be led and
training programmes. lived by every leader in the organisation.
Managers and employees have to buy Lucy Adams is the CEO of Disruptive
REWARD AND MOTIVATE ME into it. And it needs to be unique to HR ( and the
Author Dan Pink rightly questions your organisation. Dening or reafrming former HR Director of the BBC.
whether money is the big driver and what you stand for as a brand is She grew frustrated with the lack
motivator we think it is. I like shopping. integral to the development of your of innovation and fresh thinking in the
Why is it when I spend a lot, that Im really employee experience. profession and wanted to nd new
delighted when Im given a personal Its what makes AirBnBs rebrand of HR ways of tackling old problems. She
thank you gift, or even just a few free to Employee Experience so powerful. Its now runs Disruptive HR to help HR
samples? Its unexpected. Its personal. Its mission and brand is built around creating Directors and business leaders to do
timely and I feel like someone cares. Its a world where you can belong anywhere. things differently.
just the same with rewards at work. And its this idea of belonging that sits at Lucy is the author of the bestseller
The annual, net-after-tax bonus never the heart of their employee experience. HR Disrupted, a book packed with
gives us as much joy as the thoughtful Jacob Morgan of The Future practical ways to innovate your
and personalised gifts. Companies are Organisation states that creating a great approach to leading people in a
beginning to think creatively about how employee experience is about getting disrupted world.
they can reward and motivate people. three environments right: the cultural, HR Disrupted is available at
And you cant standardise this approach. the technological and the physical.
Some of your employees might appreciate The rst step has to be breaking down Disrupted-Lucy-Adams/dp/1910056502

How to foster
at work and
retain talent

Creating a welcoming workplace, which encourages

supportive relationships between co-workers, will have
a tangible impact on productivity, job satisfaction and
employee turnover, writes Nick Goldberg


your workforce at risk. On a more positive outside of working hours, a disheartening

note, our research unveiled that nearly statistic. If extra-curricular outings are not
nine out of 10 (88%) employees would on the cards, make it a point to hold more
discuss a resulting problem with their line relaxed team meetings that allow people
manager. That is a huge plus. If those 88% to discuss business without the pressures of
of employees seek their line managers deadlines or client-facing decorum.
counsel, it could mean nearly nine out of
ten problems have the potential to be PROVIDE PLENTY OF
addressed and xed within your company OPPORTUNITIES FOR
hen people ask me what keeps you up from the get go, without your needing FEEDBACK
at night, my answer is almost always to invest in anything other than what you If your employees are not happy at work,
making sure I hold on to key talent. In a already possess. they need to be able to tell you, and it
bid to optimise business productivity, most is your job to provide an outlet for such
companies and leaders will focus their CREATE A WELCOMING disclosures. If this isnt made possible, you
efforts on hiring the best, while others will ENVIRONMENT leave your employees with no choice but
xate on obtaining the latest technology If there is a direct correlation between to reach for social media platforms, which
to ease their employees day to day positive relationships at work and low staff in our day and age can make or break your
activities. Some ponder the importance of turnover, as I believe there is, theres no company. Remember: three quarters of
offering bonuses, boosting pay or granting time like the present to encourage these. millennials in other words, your current
employees more holiday entitlement. All Every employee who walks through the pool of upcoming talent are proactive
are crucial of course, but to me, the key door of a business must be welcomed from in seeking out the opinions of existing
to both talent retention and employee the outset, briefed about the opportunities or previous employees when it comes
satisfaction is most often overlooked: your company holds for them, and told to applying for a prospective role. Take
fostering positive, supportive relationships what they can reasonably expect from heed while theres still time to protect your
at work. I know it sounds trite, but the their colleagues and line managers. Its organisations reputation.
research doesnt lie. also worth mentioning, from the start, what
According to a report entitled Opinium, recourse your employees have, should they BRANCH OUT AND DIVERSIFY
based on a survey by Lee Hecht Harrison face challenges or problems. Most companies focus on line manager
Penna, 41% of workers would leave their relationships, but theres a breadth of
36 job due to a poor relationship with their ARRANGE SOCIAL OUTINGS possibilities that expand the potential for
manager and a further 31% due to a poor Socialising helps develop working employees to relate to, and support, one
relationship with a colleague. relationships, but all too often it falls by another: think peer-to-peer groups, and
So harbouring an environment in the wayside. Indeed more than half of our mentorship programmes.
which employees do not get along with survey respondents (51%) claimed they
co-workers could put three-quarters of never socialise with their line managers CONSIDER SETTING UP
Only one in 10 (11%) of those we surveyed
had access to the alumni group of a
previous employer, making it unlikely
that they would eventually come to feel
part of a larger community beyond their
employment by that company.
Alumni groups signal that you value
former employees as talented individuals,
irrespective of whether they still work for
you. They also give you the opportunity to
stay in contact with previous staff members
and make the phenomenon of boomerang
employees (who leave an organisation and
then make their way back) more likely. After
all, 78% of employees we surveyed stated
that they would consider returning to a
previous employer if the terms were right.


A positive rapport between staff members
allows for honest two-way career
conversations. Make sure youre keeping

tabs not only on how employees are feeling,

but on where your people see themselves Stress colossally decreases feel they are getting and what
going, and why they want a particular productivity and hinders management believes it is
position. Set aside time to discuss how they creativity. Prevent stress-related giving shrinks.
can get there. Draw an outline, devise a plan absences by providing channels
and agree to track progress together. for people to address issues Teamwork makes the dream
early on. work. Though its tempting
ADAPT YOUR METHOD TO to see the corporate world
YOUR AUDIENCE More than three in ve through an analytical lens of
The most effective ways of supporting employees worry about prot, humans are social animals
relationships between co-workers will vary losing their job, at least some who perform better together, as
according to age and industry. For instance, of the time, according to part of supportive teams.
weve found that 18-34 year olds are much MAKING WORKING our survey. This cannot be
more likely than their older counterparts RELATIONSHIPS conducive to efcient working. If you have teams who get
to consider colleagues close friends (60% A PRIORITY In addition, only around one along, with members who
vs. 43%) so, while going for drinks or team in four managers said they feel like teammates, you are
lunches may help forge strong relationships Positive relationships, are condent enough to succeeding in building and
between some people, it probably characterised by open broach uncomfortable, career- extending your network
wont be useful to everyone. More communication, reduce related topics such as salary of contacts. After all, todays
senior staff members often have to juggle employee stress. When our increases, delayed promotions employee might be tomorrows
family responsibilities with growing survey participants were asked and development needs. If client, and/or your greatest ally
professional ones. to rate their stress (1=lowest, relationships between co- when securing new business.
10=highest) the majority of workers are made paramount,
ESTABLISH BOUNDARIES full-time UK workers rate theirs career aspirations can be Enabling free and open
If you are a senior leader, remember that, at 7 out of 10. A sixth (17%) discussed freely, difcult communication allows
within the work environment, staff should say they feel very stressed and conversations are made employees to drop their guards,
not be confused with friends, no matter almost a tenth (8%) admit to possible, and the perception which all too often stands in the
how many pleasant lunches and late nights not enjoying their current role. gap between what employees way of their best ideas.
you have shared. Being over-friendly with
some people in the workplace makes it 37
harder for other employees to approach
you, and for honest conversations to be work, its important not to take advantage A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT
had. Your colleagues may no longer see of this: a fth (20%) of UK employees take We are living through changing times: the
you as impartial if youre chummy with a work home in the evening or at weekends vast majority of UK businesses (94%) have
select few, and neutrality is vital, no matter at least a few times a week. And half (48%) recently undergone, or are due to undergo,
how senior you are. Go out to celebrate of workers admit to checking work emails signicant workforce changes, but more
shared successes and to mark life events, outside of work hours. Make sure you are than a quarter of respondents (27%) dont
but be mindful of what you choose to share building supportive networks while drawing think their senior management has what it
with your desk neighbours. clear lines and placing emphasis not only takes to manage that change successfully.
on your team producing greater results, It has never been so crucial to place
A positive rapport but also on employee wellbeing. Make the employees at the centre of all plans

between staff
happiness of your employees a badge of relating to workforce transformation to
honour on a par with prots. better navigate uncertain times and avoid
members allows for disengagement and a devastating loss of
honest, two-way Though its important for experience and
trust in management. Investing in human
interactions, making sure employees
career conversations seniority to be respected, its vital that every relate to one another with respect, and
individual is held accountable. Make sure conduct themselves in a open manner will
PRIORITISE EMPLOYEE youre not turning a blind eye to improper allow everyone to deliver their best work.
WELLBEING behaviour simply on the grounds of Furthermore, it will steer your organisation
Never abuse relationships by making someones seniority, or for fear of a difcult clear of low productivity and high turnover
unreasonable demands on your co-workers. conversation. and prevent the loss of capable talent.
Senior managers who abuse relationships Ensure you give all employees a voice, Ensure your employees feel connected.
by asking junior staff to pick up their dry regardless of rank, and assess all members I believe this to be a sure way of retaining
cleaning or work beyond reasonable ofce of your team regularly, from interns to line staff, enhancing their performance and
hours may generate resentment. managers. Millennials are known to prefer future-proong your bottom line.
Though establishing a friendly, atter structures at work; retain key talent
supportive workplace will invariably by showing you not only understand, but Nick Goldberg, CEO, UK & Ireland,
motivate employees and encourage hard respect, such an outlook. Lee Hecht Harrison | Penna
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the talent
Creating a talent alliance with partner
organisations, rather than competing to
attract recruits, could revolutionise talent
management, writes Jon Reed

This is a worrying trend and one that

begs the questions: is a war for talent the
right approach in modern business? Is it
realistic to view talent and attraction in a
competitive, self-serving way?
As the age-old adage goes, if you
always do what youve always done, youll
always get what youve always got.


Taking the trend of collaboration in
the workplace one step further by
working with other organisations could
revolutionise talent management.
What if we could create a network of
ack in the 1990s, management organisations that pull together in
consultants McKinsey & Company coined their recruitment and development
the phrase a war for talent, referring to approaches?; businesses that collaborate
the increasingly competitive landscape and share their talent for the greater
for recruiting and retaining talented good of the employment market and for
employees. More than 20 years later, this the collective good of their organisations;
battle cry remains. jointly responsible and fully engaged in
The landscape has changed, with the expanding the global talent pie while,
war for talent now a digital battle where at the same time, growing their own
the weapons are rmly in candidates businesses, achieving better engagement
hands, but businesses are continuing with their people and gaining access to
to ght to attract and retain the right better-rounded employees.
40 people: those who will enable the
organisation to grow, thrive and remain THE TALENT NETWORK
protable despite a constantly changing This may seem like a far-reached
and challenging economic climate. concept, but the approach is already
In its 20th Global CEO Survey (2017), being trialled in the charity sector, where
PwC found that despite the ever-growing organisations combine resources in order
debate around man vs. machine, CEOs to ll their organisations with the right
continue to recognise the need for people, collectively.
human talent, with 52% planning to Leading the way is a graduate
increase headcount in 2017. Yet it is development programme jointly
increasingly difcult to nd people with
the right skills; 77% were concerned that
this shortage of key skills could impair
the companys ability to grow.
In the UK, one in four jobs go unlled
due to skills shortages with two-thirds of
employers citing direct nancial impact
as a result (UKCES, 2015). A survey by
CRM technology rm, Bullhorn, found
that 81% of businesses in North America
struggled to nd the skills required
to ll jobs. In Asia the gure was 48%
(Manpower Group, 2016).

designed and delivered by Macmillan

Cancer Support and the British Heart
Foundation, two of the largest charities
in the UK.
Currently in its pilot year, four
graduates are invited to join this unique Seven-point plan for creating
programme, under which participants are
able to work for both charities for two
years. At the end of this period, each will
a talent alliance
be offered a full-time management role
in either charity. Be clear about who you are as Open up communication channels,
The benet to the graduates is a business: What is your purpose but be ready to argue in favour of
obvious they double their experience and what are your values? How your business case.
and exposure to the sector. Meanwhile, are these demonstrated? What Create the framework: Once
the charities increase their chances type of culture do you have? You you have partners on board, agree
of attracting the right people into cannot create an effective alliance together how the alliance could
their organisations via provision of a with others, without clarity about work in practice. This requires open
unique offer, while striving towards who you are. minds, comprehensive thinking and
their collective purpose of supporting What are you trying to achieve?: Is clear ground rules. Who will lead the
those affected by illness whether there a specic talent challenge that alliance? Where do responsibilities lie?
cancer or heart disease and driving youre attempting to address through Be willing to compromise: You
groundbreaking research in their a talent partnership? For example, are dealing with partners who have
respective elds. low-take up of certain roles, identied different employment approaches,
If accompanied by a shift in attitude, skills gaps within the workforce, or structures and ways of doing things.
this could prove a very viable option poor retention of high performers. For an alliance to work for all, there
for solving the talent crisis in other What does success look like needs to be compromise from each
sectors, ending the talent war and within this? party. What are your non-negotiables?
growing the global economy, in a Involve your people: Your Where can you be more exible?
collaborative manner. employees are the best judge of what Measure, evaluate, adapt:
will work within your business, so This isnt an overnight win for all 41
COLLABORATION OVER involve them early on. Create a cross- concerned. It will require commitment
COMPETITION functional group and ask them what and long-term thinking. Start slow,
Of course, in reality, this is easier said their career aspiration are. How would review often and alter the course when
than done. After all, were talking they view a talent alliance? With whom necessary. What are your timeframes,
about creating partnerships between would they partner with if they had how will you measure results, and what
businesses that have their own free rein? is your contingency plan?
cultures and values, people strategies, Connect with potential partners:
employment contracts, and particular These will be businesses that could
ways of doing things. These organisations add value to your talent offer, whether
in terms attracting talent or
developing individuals. They

The creation of are likely to be similar,

yet non-competing

talent networks is organisations, that share

your values and ethos.

essential for the

future sustainability
of entire sectors

often fail to share their people between partnership with one another. Once youre clear about your
sister businesses, let alone allowing their When going along this path, we objectives, get your own people
staff to work for partner organisations recommend starting small and taking it involved in deciding which types of
and potentially losing these people to slowly, identifying one or two businesses business / organisation could join your
them in the long term. For this to work, with which you could envisage partnering talent alliance. Ask them for their views
there would need to be some very in terms of talent attraction and for their aspirations in their career
clear ground rules and carefully thought- development. Get together to lay out and in life. Assess the feasibility of the
out plans. the rules and consider how it could work partnership organisations suggested.
However, the days of survival of in practice. Comprehensive thinking and The main issue to bear in mind
the ttest and knowledge is power open-mindedness are essential in this here is whether or not your potential
are drawing to a close. The world is process; thinking laterally and vertically, partner thinks like you. Do you have a
embracing greater collaboration thanks exploring all options to decide whether cultural connection and shared values?
to improved technology. Weve seen this partnership could be fruitful and how If not, then its highly likely a clash will
the rise of the gig economy, where that could happen. occur and competing views will have a
freelancing and taking on short-term Understanding where a collaboration negative impact upon the business. So
contracts are preferred by many workers. could add value is key to deciding who before attempting to develop any sort of
And weve witnessed the diversity and to partner with. What are you trying talent alliance, make sure there is clarity
inclusivity agenda racing up the list of to achieve? If the goal is to attract about who you are as a business and
priorities for organisations. talent, then, as with the example of what you stand for.
Companies that wish to survive and the partnership between Macmillan
thrive must take notice of the changing Cancer Support and the British Heart COMMITMENT AND TRUST
shape of the workforce. The world Foundation, identify which organisations To conclude, creating a talent alliance
of business has evolved into a place sit most comfortably beside your own, in is no mean feat, and is certainly
where collaboration and co-creation a non-competitive way, with whom you not something that can be decided
are desirable skills, and those who think might be able to attract the right calibre and created overnight. It requires
differently about talent will win through. of employee through the door. commitment, trust and excellent talent
And the tide is starting to turn: just In the same vein, if its about sharing management. However, it can be a game
over three-quarters of CEOs say they development resources, consider with changer if developed correctly not
have changed their talent strategies whom you could join forces in order just for the businesses involved, but the
42 to anticipate what business will look to broaden the learning opportunities entire industry or sector within which
like in the future (PwC, 2017). But they available to your people. they operate.
acknowledge that more could be done in The creation of talent networks is
essential for the future sustainability of
entire sectors. I challenge you to think

What if we could create a network of differently about your approach to

attracting and developing talent in
your business and to end this talent
organisations that pull together in their battle forever.

recruitment and development approaches? Jon Reed is Operations Director

of international employee
engagement experts, Purple Cubed

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The value
of promoting

Receiving recognition for your work is positive,
but the act of giving employee recognition can
also deliver signicant organisational value and
needs to be championed by business leaders,
argues Robert Ordever


verwhelming evidence, willingness to go above and
including extensive beyond
research from the O.C. desire to be working at the same
Tanner Institute, proves organisation in one year.
that appreciating Among UK employees, 69% agreed
employees, otherwise that giving others recognition helps them
known as employee connect better with colleagues and 74%
recognition is a viable agreed that giving others recognition
strategy that every creates a better organisational culture.
organisation should use
retain their people. Only 42% of respondents had given a
Recognition has a profound impact colleague recognition in the past week.
on business metrics such as culture, The UK ranked well below the global
turnover, innovation and engagement; average in terms of how often employees
however, most published studies that give recognition. Among UK employees,
measure recognitions impact have focused one in ve indicated that they either had
exclusively on the employee that receives never given recognition at work or that it
recognition. By focusing solely on the had been more than a year since they last
recipient of recognition, leaders do not gave recognition to another employee.
have a full understanding of recognition There are many reasons that
programmes and they underestimate the organisations struggle with employee
ROI recognition can truly provide. recognition. One of the top reasons is a
While recognition has an impact on disconnect between senior leaders and
those who receive it, the global study front-line employees. Within the study, 91%
from the O.C. Tanner Institute, of 3,496 of executives agreed that everyone has
employeees across four continents, nds the opportunity to be recognised at their
recognition also has a considerable impact organisation, but when the same question
on employees that give recognition. It is is asked to non-manager employees, this
46 this act of giving that can deliver signicant drops to 60%. This highlights that often,
organisational value and this needs to be the perceptions of management dont
championed by business leaders. match the reality of front-line employees.
Another challenge associated with
GIVING RECOGNITION MATTERS recognition is that many leaders have
The global study revealed that when falsely bought into the idea that social
employees who never / rarely give recognition means something similar to
recognition are compared to those that social media sites where online social
always give recognition at work, there interaction is all that matters.
is a 26% increase in engagement scores, The study asked how often employees engaged and 70% were actively innovating.
a 22% increase in actual work results observe other people receiving Overall, employees who gave, received,
and 33% rise in innovation. In the study, recognition: 41% of employees said they and observed recognition scored higher
recognition was dened as an expression hadnt observed anyone else receiving in every measure compared to employees
of gratitude or appreciation from someone recognition in the past month and 20% who did not do all three. This held true
else when they have done something hadnt observed recognition at work for even for employees who frequently did two
well at work or experienced a personal more than a year. Having two out of every out of the three areas of recognition.
milestone. Recognition may be as simple ve employees report that they hadnt When organisations create a culture of
as acknowledging, noticing, valuing or observed others receiving recognition in true social recognition, employees choose
caring about the work of others. the past month doesnt sound very social. to engage, innovate and stay at the
As employees give recognition more organisation longer.
often, the data shows increases in areas, POWER OF TRUE SOCIAL To be successful at social recognition, a
including their: RECOGNITION company needs to foster a culture where
motivation to contribute There is signicant value to be gained from employees celebrate each other. Senior
support of company values social recognition. True social recognition leaders need to encourage effort, reward
understanding of how teams occurs when employees frequently give, results and celebrate careers. Ongoing
contribute to organisational receive and observe recognition. Within effort should be recognised weekly or
success the study, only 17% of employees indicated daily; results should be rewarded each time
likelihood to recommend the that they frequently give, receive and an employee accomplishes great work; and
organisation to friends observe recognition at their organisation. careers of loyalty should be celebrated on
pride in the organisation Among those 17% of employees, 90% were employee work anniversaries.

three-quarters of employees indicated

that if their organisation chose email as
the primary method to encourage them to
give recognition, they would want emails
at least monthly. Of these, 13% want emails
daily, 29% want emails weekly and 31%
want emails monthly. Email communication
is an easy way to reach all employees,
help them understand that recognition
is everyones responsibility and empower
them to give recognition.
In addition, survey respondents
indicated that recognition culture needs
to be championed by leadership. One
respondent said: If leaders and others
don't recognise employees much, it
doesn't motivate us to do it either.
Another employee emphasised that
leaders need to create a culture with more
genuine recognition.
Ultimately, leaders are the ones who
set the tone. Only a concerted effort from
senior leaders will allow organisations to
overcome the reasons employees are not
currently giving recognition.
Behind every employee receiving
recognition is an employee who decided
to give recognition. There are also many
employees who see this. Companies
To realise the full impact of recognition, To overcome these challenges, should equally weigh the person giving, 47
workplace culture needs to centre on organisations need to communicate the person receiving, and those who may
employees recognising the efforts of their why recognition is important and what be observing recognition because when
colleagues, celebrating with each other employees should be recognising their employees experience all three, the ROI
when great work is accomplished and colleagues for. When you switch the of recognition is maximised, increasing
reveling together in an individuals loyalty conversation to centre on the person giving employee engagement, wellbeing,
to their company and team. Recognition recognition and observing recognition, you innovation, productivity and revenue.
cannot be a set it up and forget it HR can open-up a unique opportunity to make Promoting open channels for all
initiative, but needs to be tied directly to an prescriptive recommendations to your employees to provide recognition will
organisations key initiatives and strategies. employees: you can teach employees why result in an elevated workplace culture.
it is important for them to give recognition. All employees should feel like they can,
OVERCOMING RECOGNITION After all, it is something every employee and should, provide regular recognition to
CHALLENGES has the power to do themselves. coworkers giving recognition needs to
What is preventing employees from giving But organisations should not focus be a universal action unrestricted to just
more recognition at work and creating this directly on the number of recognition top managers. While frontline employees
social recognition environment? moments that are happening, assign may feel like its not their place to provide
In the study, the top ve reasons recognition quotas nor mandate a certain recognition, or believe recognition should
employees gave for not giving more level of recognition moments. One of the be given in private, it is in an organisations
recognition were: most important attributes of successful best interests to do what it can to dispel
recognition is it feeling genuine, and these perceptions. The gains of giving,
1.IM SAVING RECOGNITION FOR quotas tend to cause more damage receiving, and observing recognition are
ONLY THE BEST WORK than good. Instead, when leaders and clear and businesses should reevaluate
2.I ALREADY GIVE ENOUGH employees understand the WHY behind how they can better nurture a culture
RECOGNITION recognition, WHAT to recognise, and are that fosters recognition, not just for the
3.I HAVE BUDGET CONCERNS FREQUENTLY reminded to use recognition recipients sake, but also for those giving
4.MY ORGANISATION DOESNT HAVE when appropriate, usage follows. and observing it.
A PROGRAMME TO GIVE In terms of communication,
RECOGNITION organisations vastly underestimate the Robert Ordever is Executive Director
5.I DONT FEEL EMPOWERED TO power of well-designed email campaigns at O.C. Tanner Europe
GIVE RECOGNITION to their employees. In the study, nearly (

ways to attract
Men and
women need to
collaborate to
nurture gender
equality in the
workplace, and
the benets of
this collaboration
make good
retain women business sense,
in business: Emma Nicholls

A guide for men who want

to make a difference

on't you think it is

remarkable that in
2017, there are still
organisations that
have ZERO women on
their boards and
in their Executive
and Senior Leadership teams?
The Lord Davies report, Women On
Boards (2011), set the UK a target of
having 25% of board positions of FTSE 100
companies lled by women by 2015.
The target of 25% was met and the
percentage of women in FTSE 100
boardrooms currently stands at 27%; and
yet there are currently only three female
chairwomen throughout the FTSE 100.
This is a call to action and men play a
pivotal role in increasing the number of
women in boardrooms of the future.
Having worked in a male-dominated
sector for many years, I created my
business, Your Red Dress, to help women
develop and realise their potential for
promotion through mentoring and
development programmes.
I promote the fact that men are key to
achieving gender equality and are often

left standing on the sidelines, not knowing To create an action plan for change, I these events. It is easy for a male HR
what they can do to help. encourage men to identify the key areas director to suggest that his female
There is room for men and women for improvement. In the earlier example, employee should attend because she is
to collaborate. Collaborative advocacy the organisation made the recruitment better placed to understand the issues.
for gender equality in the workplace process more transparnet; ensuring that However, by attending himself, he is not
shouldnt only be beneting women. It interview panels were always represented only showing his advocacy as a supporter
also allows men to bring their whole selves by equal numbers of women and men. of inclusion, but also gaining a better
to work, while also making good business understanding of the issues women face.
sense; inclusion fosters innovation and a
productive work environment. As part of my work, I attend
numerous female leadership HOUSEWORK
SEVEN WAYS MEN CAN networking events, conferences, and think Changing gender stereotypes
SUPPORT THE CAUSE tanks. I am always amazed now few men about duties isn't just for life at home.
attend or speak at these events. I often ask Women often take on more ofce
myself where are all the men? housework, such as organising the ofce
ATTRACTIVE TO WOMEN The men who do attend, are often parties, taking notes at a meetings and
It is human nature to want to called out as heroes and welcomed with training new recruits. Those tasks steal
associate ourselves with the in crowd. open arms. I dont believe that women valuable time from core responsibilities
Organisational culture can either make only want to meet other women at such and can keep a woman from participating
or break a talented woman. Recent events. The people who need to be there fully in business matters.
studies have shown that talented women are the decision makers and strategic I encourage women to stop
are leaving high paid jobs to set up in inuencers, and in many cases, these automatically assuming the role of the
business. This phenomenon is known as people are men. I encourage men, to feel helper and men to be more aware of this
the Glass Pyramid or Leaky Pipeline. the fear, step up, and start supporting trap and look out for it. Men should offer
Women consider how they would t to take the notes, get the coffees and not
in at the top table and, if what they see assume that a woman will take on these
is a lot of middle aged men, they will duties. Men can also encourage their male
believe that there is no place for them; peers to follow their lead; that way, they
a seat at the board is not an attractive become a role model and someone who is 49
value proposition. Men play a key role seen as a collaborator and a great leader.
in breaking this cycle by taking a closer
look at the brand they represent. Is it
a brand of inclusion and willingness to During my career, I have had
change? Senior male leaders can check the benet of male sponsors.
the inclusion temperature of their brand In particular, one operations director
by asking their junior and middle female supported and encouraged me to take
leaders the following questions: advantage of opportunities for promotion
What is your perception of us? and sponsored me to undertake my
How could you describe our brand? Executive MBA. I encourage men to look
This can be done through focus groups around their teams and identify women
or the use of an external interviewer. My who might benet from sponsorship.
recent research with one organisation Some men have told me that they fear
found evidence that women felt the top being too supportive of women in the
jobs were already earmarked for men and workplace because it might create
that the selection process was in some way gossip. It is 2017, we must move on
awed and biased. from such feelings of insecurity. If the
woman is talented and of high potential,
sponsorship can make the difference
between her rising to a senior position

Inclusion fosters or not. Surely, its worth putting aside fear

for that?

innovation and 5
I would like everyone at work

a productive work to undertake unconscious bias

testing, because without knowing your

own biases, you cannot do anything
about them. If you discover you have a

Collaborative advocacy for gender equality how are you assessing the risk of your
female talent walking out the door, and
what are you doing to minimise it?
at work shouldnt only benefit women - it also WATCH OUT FOR TIARAS

allows men to bring their whole selves to work 8 It is important for men to be
aware of 'Tiara Syndrome' to
watch out for it and ensure that
the 'tiaras' are getting the recognition
bias, you can then review your processes succession plan includes unconscious bias. they deserve.
and systems to remove those biases. For People will use their own limiting beliefs Tiara Syndrome is when a woman works
example, if you have a gender bias, you to predict the desires (or ambitions) and extremely hard to get all the stuff done,
might want to undertake your review ability of others. Could you set yourself a often picking up activities owned by others
of CVs for a vacancy with the names succession planning target? For example: ,and then wonders why she is not getting
removed, or with a female colleague. Our vision is to have a pool of emerging the recognition she knows she deserves.
talent and successors that has a ratio of She is expecting someone to come along
50:50, female: male by 2018. and place a beautiful sparkly tiara on her
A study published by the You might argue that would be head.
American Psychological impossible if your organisation is only Of course, this rarely happens unless
Association found that womens styles of 20% female in total. I would suggest that senior stakeholders are astute enough to
communication are more 'communal', is exactly why you need to set the 50% look out for these missing Tiaras.
using more emotional and social words target. Be disruptive remember not all So how can men help women to break
than mens styles of speech. Second, the successors have to come from within your this Tiara habit?
researchers tied womens perceptions internal market. The bigger your pool Look around and see if you can
of gendered words to previous research of identied female talent, the greater recognise the women in your teams who
on the nature of subtle wording your ability to attract more female talent might be suffering from Tiara syndrome;
differences in job advertisements. The becomes. Look harder, look wider and those women who are not hovering
50 authors hypothesise that to women, look deeply at your potential talent pools. outside your ofce all the time waiting to
masculine-sounding words alert them Dont forget to check your ight risk: tell you about their fantastic ideas, but
to the possibility that they will not t or who are delivering the work and ensuring
do not belong. The results showed that your objectives are met. How could you
women found that job descriptions with a create opportunities for these women to
masculine tone, less appealing. gain more visibility? Could you ensure
Organisations should take the that they are invited to key meetings?
opportunity to review the language Reect on how you value contribution and
they use to ensure it is more gender effort between women and men? Do you
neutral; not only in job advertising value the men because they are great at
but also in internal employee stepping up and presenting, and value the
communication channels. women because they 'get things done'?
Losing the Tiara can be tough for
women who gets things done and it can
PLAN take a while for them to build condence.
If you took out your succession What can you do to sponsor them in this?
plan today, could you tell me whether it In summary, there are lots of proactive
had a good mix of women identied as things men can do to encourage gender
successors within it? If not, why not? equality. Are you ready to step up and
I ask organisations to look at their plans be one of those men who will make
in more detail who is missing? Have you the difference?
excluded someone because you believe
that they are not ambitious, or have put
their career on hold because they have a Emma Nicholls is Founder and MD
young family? Are they different to your of Your Red Dress, which supports
typical successor? Could you have a job organisations in the attraction,
share as a potential successor? Are your development and retention of female
assumptions correct? talent, and enables women to achieve
If your organisation is dominated by success through transformational
men at the top, you may well nd your mentoring and development
08-10 January 2018 | Harbin, China

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