Making the Case for Career Development In Organizations

In a recent study by Work Institute (2017), career development – or lack of – was one of the most common reasons why employees leave an organization, which can cost over $4,000 per employee (depending on the level). This can cause not only a fiscal impact but also a disruption in work flow that creates havoc within.

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What is career development and why is it so important? I would venture to say that almost every employee wants to develop their SKA’s, i.e. skills, knowledge and abilities, to be more effective in their work and to help them move up the ladder in their career. Career development defined is “an ongoing process by which an individual progresses through a series of stages, each of which is characterized by a relatively unique set of issues, themes, and tasks” (Greenhaus, Callanan & Godshalk, 2010, pg. 13).

Career developmental stages often are tied in with our natural progressions of life and the various stages we go through as we age. The tasks that we do at 20 will not be the same as those in our 40’s. Knowing these stages helps us to set goals and strategies to navigate each stage. Organizations, who provide such opportunities that will help with this navigation become valuable to a worker, who also feels valued, thus gaining both loyalty and retention by the worker.

Career pathing should be a given in every organization; there should be a plan, as well as career offerings, for every employee as this would not just help employees to know the direction they would like to go but it also would help their manager to benchmark how that worker is performing. It would gauge areas that may need strengthened in their performance but also what they can build on. The report cited that 2 out of 10 (out of 240,000 surveyed) left their employee due to the lack of growth and feeling unchallenged and unable to use their SKA’s to their fullest.

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I believe organizations need a “Career Center,”or a separate “Performance Management Department” within; this would be a place where employees could come and get help with their career paths, as well as find trainings and tools/resources to help with their professional development. Such a department would be a great partnership with managers to help them help their employees in their development, which would be a win all-around.

Having a separate center would also allow managers time to do their job; time has been one of the biggest reasons I’ve heard leaders give for why they aren’t focusing on career development so having a one-stop location, where the manager could partner and collaborate with experts in this area, would give them peace of mind by knowing development is taking place. It’s a great offering for workers who will feel invested in. Happy, developed workers equate to happier, higher-performing and fiscally sound organizations.

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! http://www.cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com

What Eclipse?

I feel so disappointed – the eclipse went by but it was so cloudy here in Florida that there wasn’t much to see. I’m glad I didn’t invest in those glasses but I did make a viewer with a cereal box, to which I could see a few shadows. Glad I watched (with envy) of those cities in the direct path and watch what they got to see; there was even a couple who got married for the purpose of the infamy but it was cloudy and rained but, the sun may have smiled on them, as they got to experience the darkness at the last minute.

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I did wake up today with renewed energy, which I’m attributing to the pull of the planets and rotations. Whatever the reason, I’m grateful for this renewed feeling. Today is a great day to cleanse and purge – out with the old and to set new intentions for the future. Look, also, at the way this eclipse brought people together all over the country, who only wanted to focus on experiencing this phenomenon and not the divergence which we’ve been seeing lately.

While I feel disappointed I didn’t get to experience what I thought I might, I am still grateful for the day and renewed hope it has brought me. What about you – has there been any effect you’ve experienced?

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! http://www.cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com

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You are appreciated for the work you do, whether you know it or not. Just as we need to focus on the end-user of our work, we need to be mindful that the end user is thinking of you – when they use the goods and services you produce, they are appreciative of the person who was responsible.

You may not know always know this but when a client (or customer) returns to your business or organization for what you offer, they are showing their appreciation through their actions.  Appreciation can be shown in different way – it’s not always through words and it’s not always transparent.  But  I don’t think many workers keep this aspect of appreciation in mind, just as I don’t think a lot think of their end-user, when performing work functions.

Doing so would make the work more memorable and pleasurable as there is a larger purpose to the work we do. As a small business owner, I’ve been schooled to keep the pain point of my ideal client in mind and help to satisfy their need through my programs and services. For those who work in a job, this is great advice to be cognizant of,  as well.

Keeping this in mind would give you a purpose for the work  you do, and not just for the paycheck. It would make going to work more enjoyable when you remember that  you are making a difference in someone’s life. We don’t always need to hear this but need to keep in mind that we are, in fact, appreciated in a bigger realm.

How appreciative you are when you get up to the alarm clock, when you get in the car you drive, or when you answer your cell phone? Someone was responsible for the production of them. Thank the person who did – they may not hear it but you will feel better; it’s the paying forward that matters. It alters our perspective to a bigger realm which leads to more satisfaction, more productivity in our work, and just being a better human being all-around.

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! http://www.cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com

Leaders – Help Your People Through Times of Change

One of the most frustrating situations I see workers face is during times of organizational transition, such as mergers or acquisitions. I am always left wondering why the effects of such change are not given more consideration, particularly the impact on workers.

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I have found that communication seems to take a back seat when it comes to informing employees about any changes, what they mean for them, how different things will be, and care about the emotional toll change can take. I have spoken with some leaders on this topic and have gotten responses, such as: “We’ll wait until the change happens as we don’t want them to worry” and “We don’t want information leaked out until it happens – it could cause disruption.” Seriously?

What leaders, who have these types of view, don’t recognize is that employees have a sense that ‘something’s up’ and feel anxious and worried about what’s to come. It seems there is not a lot of forethought prior to making a change.

As an example, I recently had a client whose company was merging with another; however, when they first started coming to me, they were told they would just move to the new company and their pay/benefit and title would stay the same. However, shortly after they were informed they had to interview for their job but were not told much about the new position being considered for. Now the client was feeling anxious and unsure now of IF they had a job.

A week went by and the client learned they had the job, but there was no title given, job description or orientation to the new company or duties. After another week, the client came in feeling demoralized as their new job was actually a step back; they still had no job description or org structure to know where her reporting lies. It also became apparent to the client that the company was facing their own uncertainties for the direction they were going or how all would fit, all of which should have been factored prior to the merger.

Our work consisted of helping the client to create strategies to cope and deal with the new position, conversations she needs to have with her boss to gain more clarity, and working to embrace the change, i.e. developing resiliency.

Here are some tips to help workers through organizational change, whether small or large:

Plan – ensure you have all your ducks in a row prior to making any changes; ensure policies and procedures are updated to reflect the new way; ensure job descriptions reflect new duties and are given to workers; provide an orientation to acclimate workers to the new way so they can feel more comfortable with the new; have a time-table for implementation.

Communicate – I can’t stress the importance of keeping workers in the loop as to what is going on; just because you haven’t informed them does not mean they do not know as information gets leaked out somehow; other times, workers can sense when change is in the air – these all lead to speculation that goes through the grapevine and can create a sense of uncertainty and worry, or misinformation that can be detrimental (broken trust). Let workers know the how’s and why’s of change, how will it impact them, when any change is about to occur, and being open to hearing their concerns. This will help to calm their fears that can lead to resistance and help them to be open and embrace changes you are making.

Have Check-Ins – be sure to follow up regularly with employees to see how they are doing and determine any need to help them work through any difficulties they may find. If you are a new leader in a role, have consideration for your new employees as you are coming into their space, where they have had a relationship with their former boss, as well as ways of working; take time to get to know them and hear their points of view on work processes, team dynamics and the like, as this will build trust and calm fears. Check-ins can be done both individually and with the group in order to create cohesiveness. If time is a factor, designate a contact person for this role.

Recognize It Will Take Time – don’t rush to make too many changes in a short amount of time; workers, especially those with long tenure, have been used to both the work and the environment which leads to resistance (the fear of the unknown) so making big changes can create fears and uncertainty, both of which are poison to productivity and quality work. You will find some workers embracing the change, others who will say they are okay but secretly are resistive, and there will be those who will be downright skeptical and unaccepting. Being cognizant that resistance will occur and allowing for time to work through change will lead to more acceptance. Your attitude will set the tone.

How you present and handle change will set the tone for their success; give consideration of the feelings of your workers is half the battle and will recreate new attitudes. Help them and they will help you to ensure a successful new organizational future.

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! http://www.cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com

 

School’s Back – 9 Tips to Ensure Success

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For a good majority of the country, school is back in. Many kids have already started. But there are many adults who will also be in school – some returning and some just entering to get either a bachelor’s master’s or a doctorate. What an exiting time and kudos to those who are!

As a professor in higher ed, I have seen good students and those who need reminders of why they are getting their degree to begin with. As one who has made – and crossed – the journey in all three degrees, I can attest as to how arduous a trek it can, especially if you are working and raising family, among other obligations. Again, I’ve done all.

So, to ensure your success, here are nine tips that can help you on your journey:

  • Plan – planning out assignments, their due dates, along with your other obligations, will keep you focused and in control for how your time will go. This includes: study times for readings or research, writing assignments, or times to attend class. In class will be scheduled but online classes are left to you, so plan your time wisely. A suggestion is to have a calendar and then enter all the dates so you won’t have to wonder of due dates, etc.
  • Be Engaged – be sure to participate in discussions, questions asked and the like; participation is usually counted in your grade (this can dependent by instructor) but this also is where experiential learning occurs. Hearing the opinions and insights from your peers, as well as them sharing their work environments, can open your mind to other knowledge and experiences to make better decisions or to see hope in your current situation. You can also show your expertise and be a subject matter expert which is great validation that you’re on the right track
  • Be Informed – don’t just read assignments; go outside your scope and read other publications or research on the subject. Survey within your organization as to the opinions or experiences of others; I’m always impressed when I have students who have taken the initiative to do their research on subjects and concepts.
  • Challenge the Status Quo – don’t always take concepts and theories as fact; challenge their validity and reliability, as well as applicability, to your work environment or how they relate. Show that in your writing and discussions. Ask questions of your peers as this stimulates more critical thinking and analysis, as well as points-of-view.
  • Review Feedback Given and Use It – be sure to read feedback given by your instructors; they have taken time to help you with your writing or other assignments so give the same courtesy and read it; but, also, listen to it. Feedback is to validate your thoughts and opinions; to give you an outside perspective or give needed resources; and it also is there to challenge your thoughts and to enhance your writing and how you communicate. Make corrections on grammar, word phrasing, and citations. This applies not just to school but also to the workplace, where you are expected to write and think critically. You may not be aware, but employers do look at how you write, no matter if it’s as simple as an email; it can hold you back in some way.
  • Communicate – with your professors of an adverse situations that may occur. We recognize that work issues will occur, kids will get sick, and the like, but be sure to notify your professor when an issue first arises, not later or after-the-fact. We are more willing to work with students when we know but not after. It doesn’t help with participation or how we may view a student. Treat school as you do your job.
  • Focus on the end-result – always keep in mind the reason you are getting your degree, which is a commitment. Hopefully, it is to enhance your learning and not just because you have to; education is meant to enhance your knowledge and skill-base and shows proficiency. Yes, employers are requiring higher and higher levels of education but just having a degree does not guarantee expertise or success; keeping the end-result of how you will use this education helps to get through.
  • ‘This, too, shall pass‘ – as the saying goes, school will not last forever. Yes, there will be times when you can’t pick up the book or write another word; yes, it will interfere with hobbies or family time; heck, you may even hate it (we all do at one time or another). But there is an ending. Keeping this in mind helps to get through those detestable days and keeps you going; this is why placing your focus on the end result will keep you motivated and get you through.
  • Enjoy the journey – take deep breaths and appreciate that you have this opportunity and, I can’t stress enough, the end-result of what you want by obtaining this degree. Focus on the positives and it will elevate your excitement and commitment to your journey.

I hope these tips are useful; they are meant to help you be more successful with your school experience so you can get the most out of it. Remember, you get out what you put in, so put your all in and be a success. Best of luck if this is your journey!

If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! http://www.cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com

Attracting What You Want In Your Life

The Law of Attraction states that everything you want to you attract, you will.  If you want happiness, then think happy. If you think negatively, you get negative. What you may not realize is that you have the power to change your mind to attract the things that you want.  When you keep them in front of you, visually, it will help your brain to work towards the things you want. Most people are not aware that they have the power to attract what they are thinking and feeling to get the out come they want. They don’t realize that there is a connection between our thoughts and feelings and the outcomes or results we want.

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The Law of Attraction is about thinking what you want, as opposed to what you don’t want, and focusing on the outcome.  If you don’t like the results you’re getting, you must change the thought.  According to Bob Proctor, a teacher of the Law of Attraction, “This is an orderly universe. Nothing happens by accident. The images you plan in your marvelous mind instantly set up an attractive force, which govern your results in life. You are a living, breathing magnet. Things…Conditions….Circumstances and People you know – and even some you don’t know – are marching to you like obedient soldiers to aid in the manifestation of your images.”.

The secret to getting the results you want, according to the Law of Attraction, is always attached to you. It all comes back to the power of the mind – your mind – and how you think.  If you think you will not be successful, you will feel you cannot be successful and you won’t be; but, if you think you will be successful, then you will feel and act successful.  Changing your mindset from the negative to the positive will bring you the things you want. However, it’s important to know that you must fully have belief in your intention or there will be a disconnect between your conscious and subconscious thoughts.

Stating your intentions in the present and what you want (as opposed to what you don’t want) – especially when you write them down – will attract them to you.  Saying positive affirmations, or using positive self-talk, such as “I deserve the things I desire”, will reaffirm this statement in your mind. You have the choice to live the life of your dreams, so choose to live it now!

If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! http://www.cyscoaching.com

The ‘Death’ of My Website

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A little over a month ago, I reported that my website got ‘hacked;’ someone from another country, whose “job” I’m told is to get into devices (websites, transaction machines, bank accounts, etc.) and create havoc. In my case, this person (or whoever they are) redirected my site to a pharmacy and would not leave me alone.

It continued for a over a week but, with the help of of a good web tech, plus installing another anti-virus program, it seemed to stop….until yesterday when I was notified by someone who tried to go to my site and  it said it was infected. I had had enough.

It seems these hackers today are so savvy now and relentless in their pursuit. I had no other option but to shut it down – it was too encrypted to save. Yesterday was the day my website ‘died.’

As silly as it may seem, I am struggling with this. I spent a lot of money on the site but it was more of my brand and identity that are gone – at least for the present moment. I now will be in rebuilding phase of a new site and it does give me the opportunity to make enhancements to it, something I had been wanting to do.

A few lessons learned so you take heed:

  • always protect your data – backup often
  • keep track of your traffic and numbers; Google yourself/your company often and see what’s coming up
  • do regular checks on your backends, as well as passwords
  • if something seems suspicious, it probably is
  • don’t think it can’t happen to you

This was a hard lesson to learn, as this is actually the second time this has happened to me – the last was back in 2010. Why I’ve been targeted I don’t know; I’m not one of the ‘big fish’ but they have been able to find me; I can look at this as an upside in that I’m out there enough to be found. I also don’t look at this as ‘they won’ as they now don’t have me to make money off of; unfortunately, it means they will set their sights on someone else. Don’t let it be you.

If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! email: barbara@cyscoaching.com

 

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