Steve Hoskins, managing director of Stop At Nothing (SAN) Australia told L&D Professional
how organisations can ensure their learners are happy, focused and high-performing, regardless of what time of year it is.
“The main challenge I see for L&D professionals is getting leaders in their organisations [C-level, board, management team leaders] to see that the previously coined ‘soft-skills’ of the people that work with and for them are far more important that the ‘hard skills’ and on-the-job knowledge,” he explained.
“People leave people, not companies. People are attracted to companies for what they represent, what they make…what they do…what they represent.”
Hoskins said managers spend untold sums on attracting talent to their organisations and then once they are inside the company, it can be all too easy to just let the people ‘sort it out amongst themselves’ in regards to their aligned goals and happiness levels.
“We need leaders to truly open up to getting the collective employee base to be able to be themselves at work, encourage an environment of open and honest dialogue, have structured check-measures to ensure this is happening via skip-level meetings from the intern to the CEO,” Hoskins said.
“The work culture needs to embrace external programs that get everyone talking with each other, looking after each other and realising that whilst we need leadership and hierarchies to operate a functional business, we are all human beings.
“We should spend more time being rather than doing, more time caring less time protecting, more time listening less time speaking, more time asking less time telling. Provide more trust and watch employees reward the trust given.”
Hoskins said talent know what they need to do in their job tasks as organisations test well for that through the interview process. What he sees lacking is a focus by managers on the ‘type’ of people they bring into their companies.
“Are they going to enhance our culture? Are we bringing diverse people into the company to ensure we aren’t all the same?” he said.
“The performance review process needs to be transparent and reward behaviour over achievement financially. Share the fruits of company performance with all employees.”
Hoskins said people tend to work for non-financial benefits over their pay and bonuses.
“If we provide connected, caring, encouraging and fairly rewarded workplaces, our learners will stay and continue to foster high performance amongst others in the company for years to come,” he said.
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It’s not unusual for many anxious learners to become restless and switch jobs at the beginning of the new year, particularly if they’re feeling undervalued. However, this is not outside the control of organisations.