The Opportunity of 2021: Staging a Purposeful Comeback for Your Organization

With 2020 officially behind us, it’s time to focus on the opportunity of 2021! The workplace has a good, albeit flexible handle on the fact that we must provide new skills for employees, teams and cultures to meet the demand of the future. Let’s go 2021!

Remote, socially distanced, outside or in lock down, businesses and their leaders are ready to make up for lost time and navigate the future. The theme with which we are all approaching our comeback is a combination of gratitude, caring, people, community and impact for others.

Both individually and organizationally we are craving, wanting, needing, planning and orchestrating “The Purposeful Comeback.” It’s a framework to create next generation leadership that will see our organizations into the future. Mastering “The Purposeful Comeback” roadmap and tools below will help you create real and lasting success, growth, business results, and engagement for your people and workplace culture.

1. Winning Mindset and Energy

Companies don’t outperform their leadership and the same is true of teams. Creating a purposeful comeback in 2021 starts first with focusing on leadership using integrated purpose as the path to organizational success. We as individuals must show up every day as our best self. That means putting on your oxygen mask first – you can’t help anyone if you don’t first help yourself.

Mindset:

Your mindset really, really matters. Everyone from Marcus Aurelius to the Buddha to Victor Frankl and lately the best, Mel Robbins, has shown us how important thoughts and beliefs are in creating success for ourselves and others. To stage “The Purposeful Comeback” in 2021 we must cultivate a mindset that is positive, self-aware, growth minded (see Carol Dweck’s phenomenal book, Mindset), and other-focused. Changing our mindset is about changing that talk track in our head.

Physical Energy:

We know that moving your body daily has a positive effect on the mind. Studies have shown that “exercise improves brain function, structure, and connectivity. These brain improvements are directly linked to improved learning, memory, and cognitive function.” Showing up as a leader in 2021 starts with taking care of the temple and setting aside time for the essentials: exercise and nutrition, adequate sleep, and recharging. We must make them a daily habit.

 

2. The Audience is the Hero of Any Story You Tell…So Make Them One!

Want to become a real purposeful leader? Figure out how to create meaningful followers.   Create meaningful followers through this simple basic tool: learn how to build relationships from the inside out. First, with yourself and then with others.

You know the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have done unto you. But do you know and understand the Platinum Rule?

The Platinum Rule says this: treat others how they want to be treated. It’s other-focused and becoming other-focused is what you need to really succeed in the year ahead. Putting the focus on treating others how they want to be treated will help you build stronger relationships and relationships are the key to success. Make them the hero because they are! Use these two principles to help you:

-Remember WIFTHEM: This is an acronym for “What’s in it for them.” In every interaction, positive or negative, you must consider what the other person wants and how they are looking to benefit.

-Consider the Action: What action do you want your audience to take that can and will benefit them? This action will benefit you, too, of course.

 

3. Know Thyself to Help Others

Impact is created by working from the inside out. If you want to help others you must Know Thyself. If you don’t know or understand yourself, you’re almost guaranteed to get it wrong with others.

So, how do you start? First, just START. We teach the following framework to our clients inside our new on-demand coaching product, Hooga. Knowing yourself comes from really understanding and being able to articulate the following four core concepts about yourself:

-Strengths

-Values, Passions, and Skills

-Brand

-Story

This is the value you bring to others and the world. Getting really clear on this allows you to demonstrate your value to your peers, team, and clients.

 

4. What’s Your Story?

Humans have always told stories. From huddling around a fire to hieroglyphics to books to the vlogs, blogs, and podcasts of today, we have an innate desire to share our own stories and discover those of others. Storytelling allows you to captivate an audience, shape thoughts, and communicate purpose and value.

What do you do? Why do you do it? What impact do you create? Why does it matter to you, to your client, to the world?

Remember, your story is not a script. It’s not static or boring. It recognizes the audience and what’s important to them, then captivates them through the use of humor, drama, and narrative arcs. Want to learn to create impact? Then become your own best storyteller.

 

5. The New ABC’s “Always Be Connecting”: Bridge the Gap

We all come to the workplace with different life experiences, skills, and values. We come from different generations, cultures, and backgrounds. We are driven by the need for human interaction, to belong, to be part of a community. We are better together, and we know that (more on that in a second), yet technology, socioeconomic disparity, and generational differences easily divide us.

To seize the opportunity of 2021, we have to find a way to bridge the gap between us so we can pull together and connect. COVID-19 and remote work certainly hasn’t made this any easier. It’s also forced us to acknowledge the diversity (or lack thereof) in our workplaces and community. 64% of applicants say that they consider diversity and inclusion when considering a job, yet only 55% of people think their organizations have policies to promote it. Even more troubling, 90% of them say they’re not treated with respect at work, discriminated against, and even harassed.

Which means it’s even more important that we make this the year we figure it out once and for all. Learn how to connect pure and simple. There are so many ways. Just one way we devised is our B.R.I.D.G.E. the Gap system, an integrated six-step plan that will help you unleash the potential of your employees and your workplace.

 

6. It’s Better Together: Teams

We cannot do it alone. You know that and I know that. Yet the greatest dysfunction of teams persists in our workplaces today. For some organizations, getting their teams to work together efficiently and in harmony is one of their greatest challenges.

Solving the team divide starts by focusing on and ensuring these principles are present in your workplace:

– Do your people feel safe enough to share their ideas, true opinions, and feelings?

– Is your workplace culture one that empowers, connects, and inspires?

-Are your employees engaged and connected to the purpose and impact of their work?

-Is everyone on the team working in alignment with the team’s values?

-Is there a culture of trust in your workplace?

-Do people communicate with each other effectively, openly, and often.

-Do you empower accountability? Do you ask great questions?

-Got a strategic vision or plan and is it shared universally?

 

7. Make Culture Last: Sustainability

In order to drive and sustain “The Purposeful Comeback,” you need to do the work and then create a system. An integrated system to sustain culture and engagement is necessary for our organizations.

Your system will need different parts, so ask yourself what that system would look like in your organization and what it should include. We recommend having systems to create and sustain purpose, to grow the next generation of leaders and develop their skills, to share in a purposeful vision and story and that all employees be able to articulate it and their own value, and to further coach employees to be their best, work from the inside out, and deliver on the organization’s core values.  Start now by devising your system.

 

8. Pay it Forward: Cultivating Disciples

Seizing the opportunity of 2021 and creating “The Purposeful Comeback” is about looking to the future of your organization. What comes next? Who will lead in five years? In ten? How will you continue to evolve and stay relevant in a changing world?

Create those next generation leaders (your disciples) from within. Get clear on your purpose, define it, live it, and then empower your people to buy in to that purpose. When you can do that, then you’ll become known to clients, the market, and even potential employees. Look at all the top companies of today. Most were once unknown operations working out of someone’s garage. They got really clear on their purpose, wove it into the fabric of everything they do, and then the world caught on and embraced them.

 

You can do the same in your organization. You have all the tools you need. Start now with this roadmap to cultivating your Purposeful Comeback in 2021 and if we can help, please reach out. You control what happens to you, your team, and your organization this year. Start now to make it the best year yet and maximize your impact!

The 6 Simple Ways to Pump Up Your Career or Business for Success in 2021

2021 is here. The time of year where we pledge to take the lessons from the past twelve months to make ourselves better has officially arrived. Even though, between us, making ourselves better is every friggin’ day for types like us.

2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic shit show has changed absolutely everything about our lives forever. From the way we work, to the way we celebrate our holidays, and, most of all our lens for purpose-based behavior. So, looking for ways to reinvent your relevance, to pump up your career or business, and to create the impact and success you were meant to have in 2020?  Let’s go….

Focus on developing your skills with these 6 Simple Ways to Crush It in 2021. Know them, understand them, internalize them, and reach out to us for help implementing. We’ve got your back!

1. Create Good Habits

Good habits for you are foundational. You can’t make a difference or impact anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself first.

Good habits can slide, however, so it’s time to bring them back in the New Year! If your habits were a little lacking in 2020, now is the time to really commit and change your life.

Good habits look different for every person. Do what works for you.

At a minimum, they should include some daily commitment in each of these key areas: health, fitness, relationships, reflection, and growth. Want examples? Here are some keystone habits you might consider adding to your daily routine this year:

Exercise for 30-60 minutes every day.  Or just move for a set period daily!!!!

Eat With Awareness: Be cognizant of what you eat and how it makes you feel.

Meditate Daily.

Focus on Gratitude.

Connect With Others Who Lift You Up Daily: face-to-face or on the phone/Zoom with one person every day.

Learn and Grow: Spend fifteen minutes each day reading or listening to a podcast for self-development.

The list goes on from there. Need more ideas? Reach out to us anytime and we can suggest some micro changes you can make to your daily habits.

2. Know and Understand the Power of Relationships

Good and healthy relationships matter! They are the single most important life/work skill. So, work on them. Follow your ABC’s: Always Be Connecting. The most successful people in the world know, understand, and practice this. However, we generally suck at cultivating new relationships and strengthening our existing ones. COVID-19 and social distancing definitely has not made this any easier.

Great communication is one of the critical components of relationship-building. You can probably think of a few examples from your own life where poor or miscommunication contributed to hurt feelings, anger, and even relationship damage. This is why it’s so important we learn to communicate at a high level. We published a recent blog all about communication – click here to check it out and learn some new tools for success.

If we want to succeed in 2021, we have to put aside our excuses and commit to learning this critical skill. Don’t forget – one of the most important relationships is the one you have with yourself. This year, go deep with others AND yourself to create impact.

3. Understand and Leverage Your Strengths

If you’ve been through our Strengths & Story workshop or coached with us, you know we start by helping you identify your strengths. One of our favorite tools is StrengthsFinder, though that isn’t the only way to get a handle on what you bring to the table. Your friends, family, peers, and bosses can all help you identify the areas where you naturally shine.

Come up with a list of your 3-5 top strengths and then audit your life by asking a series of questions:

– How are you already using your strengths to your advantage?

– What areas of your job or career are a mismatch for your strengths?

– How can you do more of what you’re good at in the future?

To be successful in 2021, lean in to your strengths, what makes you uniquely great, and be able to articulate them. Knowing, understanding and explaining how to really leverage your strengths will help you help others. In turn, this will help get you exactly where you want to go, whether it’s a promotion, new job, or new business.

4.Know Your Values, Passions, and Skills

In our book, Chasing Relevance, we presented a simple equation:

Strengths + (Skills + Passions + Values) = Your Value to Others

Once you’ve identified your strengths, it’s time to focus in on identifying your values, passions, and skills. These four things together constitute the value you can bring to others. When you know and can communicate that value, you can create more impact, more success, and play a bigger game.

Start right here and now by learning the difference between values, passions, and skills and brainstorming a short list for each.

-A Skill is something we have that others would value or that gives value to others. A Skill is something learned, developed, or honed, rather than a natural predisposition.

-Passions are those things that make your heart sing, that light you the hell up. These are usually easier to identify and often found by considering the answer to this question: what would you do if money didn’t matter?

-Values are your real deal principles or standards of behavior. These are NOT the things you value like family, friends, and security. Your Values are your personal code or way of being.

5. Develop a Personal Brand

You might not think of it this way, but you have a personal brand and story. Just like a corporate brand, your personal brand says something about you. When people work with you, speak with you, interact with you, they have certain expectations of what that experience will be like. Just like how we look at the Apple logo and think quality, sophistication, and leading-edge technology, people look at us and form opinions of our brand.

The good news is, just like a corporate brand, you have control over your personal brand and story. You get to choose who you want to be and how you want to be perceived by the world. You just need to then deliver on that promise every single time.

After the rough year we had in 2020, you might be ready to reinvent and refresh your personal brand and image for 2021. We can help! Reach out to us to learn more about our on-demand coaching product, Hooga. It includes a great module all about finding and living your personal brand.

6. Learn How to Tell a Connective Story

In this hard and scary year that disconnected us from our teams, peers, clients, friends, and family, we learned the value of connection. Being able to form connection with others quickly, no matter the medium, is one of the most critical skills for our success in 2021.

At launchbox, we teach our clients how to tell their or their company’s connective story. A connective story is one that communicates your own value to others in a way that demonstrates the impact you can make for them. Think of it as an answer to the age-old interview question, “Why should I hire you?” While we might not be job hunting and going on interviews, every single conversation we have with others is built around versions of that same question. “Why should I listen to you?” “Why should I trust you?” “Why should I continue working with you?” Connective stories answer these unspoken questions. They also allow space for the other person to feel heard. Being able to listen and absorb feedback is as important, if not more important, than what you actually say.

 

After reading through this list, you might find that you’re doing okay in a few areas while lagging behind in others. Or maybe you’re struggling in all six areas.  That’s fine. Just start!!!!  Start from where you are and make a commitment right now to doing something about it. If you want tomorrow to be different than today, then you need to be different.

We want to help get you there. It is what we do. From personalized coaching, team training, leadership development, to on-demand training with Hooga, we can help you make this your best year yet.

Go ahead, test us. We’ve got your back with these 6 Simple Rules to Coach Yourself to Success.

What Are the Three Big Things Holding You Back from Success in 2021?

One of our most popular blog articles ever is this one: The 5 Most Common Fears That Are Keeping You from Success. However, fear isn’t the only thing that keeps us from success. Well, what does? After training over 20,000 young employees and their managers, we found they were simply underdeveloped in three key areas critical to personal success.

Dig in and be honest with yourself about where you could use some improvement – growth is essential and worth the work. We can support you so can start creating the impact you want to have on the world. Start now with the most common areas where we see people holding themselves back:

  1. You Don’t Know Your Strengths

We all have our own innate talents and strengths – yes, even you! However, if you’re struggling to see the results you want in your career, it might be because you’re not working from your strengths. This usually happens to people for two reasons:

  • You’re not aware of what your strengths even are so you don’t know how to leverage them in your current role.
  • You’re not aware of your strengths AND you’re currently in a role that’s mismatched for the strengths you actually have. In other words, you’re working outside of your “zone of genius.”

No matter what the reason, the first step to solving is to get clear on your strengths. At launchbox we love the StrengthsFinder test – we actually recommend it inside of our on-demand coaching program, Hooga. Start by taking the test to discover your strengths. Then figure out how to make them work for you. Just being aware of them might be enough to create change, but probably not. Do the work and really think about whether the strengths you have fit the role you’re in. If they don’t match up, you might want to think about changing positions, jobs, or even careers! If they do match up, spend some time thinking about how you can better leverage your strengths for success.

 

  1. You Don’t Know How to Articulate Your Story

Once you’ve identified your strengths, you need to get clear on your story: who you are, where you’ve been, and what you have to bring to the table (e.g. your strengths!) Your story is your “connection currency” – it’s how you build real deal relationships with other people and form connections. When you have a well-defined story, you can use it at any time to strengthen relationships with people you already know, make new bonds, pitch a client, etc. Humans are hardwired to tell stories – so make sure your story is your competitive advantage! Use these three questions to get you started:

  • Who am I?
  • What is my experience so far?
  • What value do I bring?

Want detailed help? Hit us up for assistance. Our app coaching program, Hooga, walks you through discovering and developing your story.

 

  1. You Don’t Know How to Communicate Effectively

Communication is a really, really big deal. We spend a lot of time here at launchbox not only talking about why communication is important, but how to do it better. Because quite frankly we suck at it.

Luckily for us though, better communication is a coachable and learnable skill. All of us are already in possession of the #1 most important communication tool we could ever need – our ears! Great communicators are great listeners. They also ask great questions. So, if something’s holding you back in your life and career, take a hard look at how you’re communicating. Are you talking more than you’re listening? Is it all about YOU? Do you ask questions and not really listen to the answers? It’s easy to slip into poor communication habits, but our relationships (especially in this virtual world of work) need us to figure this out. Click here to check out a recent blog we did with 5 more tools you need for great communication.

 

These are 3 of the most common ways we see people holding themselves back. For a more personalized evaluation and recommendations for improvement, reach out to us about our one-on-one coaching. We’ve helped hundreds of individuals kickstart the next chapter of their story through our high-performance coaching solution – get started today.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy to start improving your life now, check out Hooga. With Hooga you’ll build a strong, sustainable foundation that will allow you to unlock the best version of yourself on your terms. Try it now!

The 5 Tools You Need for Great Communication and Feedback in the Remote Workplace

We get inquiries all the time from people who are seeking strategies and tools to deliver effective communication and feedback in the workplace. Why? Because we all generally (technical term here) suck at communication and relationships and they really, really matter. Now more than ever in this new era of remote and disconnected work, we must hear each other clearly. With 60-93% of all communication happening nonverbally (depending on which study you’re referencing), there’s not a lot of room for mistakes. We must be able to effectively communicate with others, no matter what the medium, if we want to be successful in the rapidly evolving future world of work.

Below, we’ve compiled 5 of our best tools for the most effective communication and feedback in the “new” workplace:

Listen More Than You Speak

One of the most important tools for effective communication and feedback in the workplace is to practice the art of actually listening to the person you’re speaking to. Too many times we ask questions without bothering to listen to the answer. Your ears are the #1 most important communication tool you have! Yet, we’re often too busy thinking about what we’re going to say next or worrying about something else entirely to really listen to the person who’s speaking. So, make the commitment to listen more than you speak – it will shift your focus from “self” to “others” which is a critical component of relationship building.

Give Feedback 365

The old way of annual performance reviews is dead and has been dead for a long time. The workplace changes too rapidly, especially in this era of forced remote work, for annual reviews to be of practical use to us. Instead, give real-deal feedback in the moment when it’s needed. When you give continuous feedback to employees, peers, clients, and even your bosses, you allow for iterative micro-adjustments. We’re not always going to get everything right or have the correct response for every situation. Feedback allows for those tiny shifts that can add up to massive change to actually happen.

Ask Great Questions

You’ve heard me say this over and over again. Learn how to ask great questions. It is one of the most effective communication tools in your toolbox. Great questions are open-ended, nonjudgmental, supportive, and help you go deeper to mine for the crystals below the surface. The power of the question can move a room, create trust in an instant, create empathy and connection immediately. Questions are a lifeline in communication, and don’t forget to listen to the answer for the follow up of a whopper question. If you’re not sure how to ask great questions, pick up a copy of Chasing Relevance or reach out to us for help.

Communicate Better

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably looking for ways to up your communication game and learn how to better connect with others. One of the most effective ways to do that is to change the way you communicate. Adopt our GPS Communication Strategy and watch how your conversations and relationships change. GPS stands for Gratitude, Permission, and Shared Experience. It’s a framework you can apply to every conversation, but especially the tough ones. Click here to check it out. Let’s practice anytime you need it.

Recognize What is Needed from Your People and Celebrate Success

Finally, we must make a habit of recognizing the good and bad and speaking of them and celebrating all the wins from big to small. Beyond fostering stronger relationships with our team members, recognizing the status, fatigue or challenges and speaking of them creates trust and empathy. People feel heard and part of the tribe. Of course, recognizing the successes throughout and the wins also allows you to give positive feedback in the moment (remember Feedback 365) and reinforces the behaviors you want to continue. Plus, everyone likes to feel like they’re understood and doing a good job, that they’re making a difference, and that what they do has meaning.

 

When it comes to effective communication and feedback in the workplace, it isn’t something you perfect overnight or that you ever even master. Instead, it’s something that needs constant attention and cultivation if you want to reap the benefits. However, with the right tools, tips, and strategies at your disposal, you can up your game quickly and create success. If you liked the concepts we shared in this article, reach out to learn how we can support you with personalized, on-demand coaching, workshops, and training for yourself and your team. Make sure to ask us about our new coaching product, Hooga!

Communication is the Most In-Demand Skill for the Future of Work: Here’s How to Up Your Game

Turns out, we were right! In a recent report from LinkedIn Learning, communication is the most in-demand skill for today’s job market. From day one we, launchbox, predicted that the most in-demand job skill people would need to get hired, promoted, or change careers would be great communication and connection with others. The Swedish job search engine, Jobbland.se, found that “effective communication was cited in job postings at more than 35 times the frequency of other soft skills such as empathy, conflict resolution, adaptability, and dependability.”

Communication is in demand now more than ever and that’s not changing anytime soon. When we peel back the layers and look at why this skill dominates recent job postings, we can see that while uncertainty, tolerance and diversity require communication, the pandemic has also increased the need for effective communicators.

The global workplace had been heading in this direction all along. With the increased use of AI and robotics in the workplace, a growing remote workforce, and technology allowing us to connect with people around the world, it’s never been more important that we know how to actually talk and listen to each other and establish connection. The ability to communicate along with the other soft skills like empathy and leadership will be your competitive advantage in the years ahead.

At launchbox, we focus on helping people bridge the gap by connecting with themselves and others. We have the tips and tools to help you increase the effectiveness of your communication, build stronger relationships, and create trust. In particular, we specialize in no BS, on-demand coaching that helps you quickly cut to the root of your problem so you can up your game and create impact for others. When it comes to better and more effective communication, put these 4 tips into practice this week and watch what happens:

 

Make it About Others

Remember WIFTHEM:  What’s in it For Them? This acronym is the backbone of great communication. It’s not about you anymore. People don’t care unless they know what’s in it for them. This is as true for the hiring manager on the other end of the phone as it is for your coworkers and clients. You must be able to demonstrate and articulate the value you bring to others. Before your next conversation or interview, take a moment to think about what the other person is really looking to achieve from their interaction with you and then DELIVER.

 

Ask Great Questions

Another way of making sure you’re staying other-focused, or to understand what people need from you, is simply to ask great questions. Great questions are open-minded, non-judgmental, and supportive. They allow you to begin the process of going deeper, to drilling down below the surface level to uncover needs, motivations, and challenges. When you understand what’s really driving and motivating someone, you’ll know how to make it about them and create value. Asking great questions gets you there!  Lead employees, teams, clients and yourself all by understanding where to meet them.

 

Use Our GPS Communication Strategy

Having conversations, whether difficult, with or without conflict, or just to demonstrate support, is a way of life in business. Having conversations that end painfully is never productive. So turn it around and have winning conversations. Use our GPS communication strategy to make sure you’re delivering impactful messages that are moving the relationship forward, rather than damaging it. GPS stands for Gratitude, Permission, and Shared Experience. It’s one of the fundamental frameworks we teach inside our Strengths & Story workshop. To learn more about how to use GPS in your workplace, click here to read our blog and grab our free worksheet that will guide you through the process.

 

Own Your Story

Before you can hope to communicate more effectively with others and create better relationships, you must first work from the inside out to really understand who you are and what you have to offer. Your story matters. It is the connection currency that you use to increase trust, build stronger relationships, and ultimately get things done. Think about it this way: how can you possibly connect to others if you can’t even connect with yourself? Start now by doing the work to get in touch with your own story. If you need help, just reach out – we’ve had thousands of people go through our Strengths & Story workshop and we’re ready to help you, too.

 

The future of work is now. Seize opportunity and chase relevance by up leveling your communication skills. Whether you’re trying to get the job, changing careers, have your eye on a promotion, or are launching your own business, great communication really really matters. We can help. Contact us to learn more about our personalized, on-demand coaching program that will help you get the results you’re looking for.

How to Attract and Retain Talented Tech Employees

(Today we’re sharing a guest post from our friends over at Career Karma. Attracting and retaining talented employees is the name of the game for any business, but especially in the rapidly-changing technology sector. To help you compete and stay ahead of the competition, here are three ideas you can implement to help you hold onto your most talented employees.)

 

The American workforce is going through a period of disruption, the likes of which have never been seen before. Advancing technology was always going to merge with the workforce, that much was clear. However, the recent Covid-19 pandemic accelerated this change via the widespread integration of remote work at companies. Rather than first getting their feet wet with technology, many companies were forced to take the plunge.

Not surprisingly, traditional jobs have begun to decline more than they already were, as more and more companies see the importance of tech jobs. Online business is the way of the future, and securing tech employees who can propel your company above the competition should be the number one priority of any human resources division. The question, however, revolves around where to find this talent and how to attract them to your company. Fortunately, both aspects of that question have prominent solutions.

Source From Different Educational Backgrounds

Far too often, companies focus solely on going to universities and colleges around the country in an attempt to hire recent graduates who have no experience. However, one of the best ways to attract top tech talent is to show that you are willing to source employees from different educational backgrounds.

An alternative to the traditional four-year path, that has been rising in popularity, is attending an intensive trade school that prepares students for specific fields. In fact, CNBC discussed how the premium that comes with a college degree is declining while trade school attendees are able to become skilled workers and already have some industry experience.

Popular options such as General Assemblyoffer multiple courses in pressing tech fields such as web development and engineering immersion. An added benefit of attracting potential employees from trade schools is that they graduate far quicker than their college counterparts. When it comes to finding talented tech employees, the specialized training received from trade schools makes this a great option.

Offer Jobs With a Wider Variability of Tasks

In the past, employees with traditional jobs typically had one daily task that they excelled in. Tech students and employees are different than these traditional workers, though, and provide more freedom and variability in their work. Harvard Business Review discusses how employees of today want to feel as if they are performing meaningful work.

To that end, offering numerous tech jobs at your company can attract new types of tech talent. One such dynamic tech field is data science which is growing at an exponential rate. The day-to-day tasks of a job such as this change daily and can provide a great source of dynamic work to any talented employee.

As a company, numerous tech jobs need to be offered to employees to keep them interested in applying to your company. The best way to stay up to date on this is by modernizing your company and ensuring you are adapting to the times as they change.

Competitive Benefits

When it comes to actually retaining your employees, it is incredibly important to offer competitive benefits. Keep in mind that the different generations of your employees will require different things to retain them. Millennials typically prefer benefits that are structured to give them more freedom and paid time off.

Consistently offer feedback options amongst your employees and ensure that none of the criticisms that arise line up with some of the common reasons for leaving a job. This can help you to keep your company as an attractive place to work for tech talent. The most important key to retaining talented tech employees is to understand what they desire and to be knowledgeable about their specific demographics.

In the end, one of the best benefits of a job is undoubtedly the salary. It is also important to make sure that you are offering comparative salaries to your employees and not giving them less than they are owed.

 

When it comes to attracting and retaining talented tech employees, it’s important to think outside the box. The workforce is changing and so are the employees who make it up. Benefits and perks that attracted workers from past years are no longer relevant. Millennials and Gen Z are the future of the workforce and benefits that appeal to them do not appeal to older employees. Understanding the demographic of your company and where you are hiring your employees is important to take the steps needed to retain your talented workforce.

Humans (People) Really Really Matter: The Workplace of the Future Needs Humans (Real People) Now More Than Ever

“Humans (People) are underrated.” Elon Musk tweeted those words back in 2018, but they still ring just as true in 2020. Humans (People) ARE underrated. Especially in the workplace. In the keynotes and workshops we’ve delivered for organizations around the world who want to get a handle on what the future of work will be, we posited that all these discussions about the future overlook most important person: the worker, yes the People.

Back in 2016, the World Economic Forum predicted that Emotional Intelligence would be one of the top 10 skills people needed to cultivate in order to thrive in 2020. Well, it’s 2020 and guess what? In the midst of a global pandemic, remote work, and social distancing, we need People more than ever. But when the threat of COVID-19 is gone, we won’t stop needing People. The need for human skills (emotional intelligence, creativity, people management, etc.) will only continue to grow as our workplaces become increasingly automated.

 

Machines Don’t Erase the Need for Human Workers – They Create a New Need

A new article from MIT Sloan Management Review (Brynjolfsson and Beane) looked at the role of robots in our workplaces and made some surprising conclusions for our post-pandemic world. Chief among them is the idea that the workplace of the future will more than likely involve humans working alongside machines, rather than machines putting humans out of a job. In their interview with CNN, the researchers remarked that “there is a whole spectrum of having humans and machines work together. You can choose different points on the range in this division of labor, but in almost every case, you want humans doing some of the task.”

To summarize their findings, machines are great at doing certain things for us. Things that are repetitive and don’t require creative problem-solving. But that’s not all that happens inside our workplaces. We’re constantly challenged by unique problems, situations, and team dynamics. Things happen every single day that no machine could ever be programmed to deal with. But we humans are uniquely suited to solving the unpredictable. So rather than replacing our jobs, machines instead create a new need for humans in the workplace of the future – alongside new career opportunities.

 

New Jobs Will Emerge

Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum released a new report analyzing the workplace of the future to make predictions about the jobs of tomorrow. They identified seven emerging professional clusters and the necessary skills we should be cultivating for careers in each. In the summary of their report, they made the following remark: “While disruptive technology skills such as data science and AI skills will certainly be critical to the future of work, so will caregiving, leadership, and the ability to provide learning and development. In other words, the transition to the new world of work will be both human- and tech-centric.”

Machines aren’t going to replace us. Instead, they are paving the way for us to assume new roles – roles best suited to our own very human talents and skills. Our Strengths and Story. The most successful managers of tomorrow will be able to effectively integrate and leverage the best of both worlds inside their organizations. Yes, that means investing in your people, reskilling them, and ensuring they have a pathway to learn and grow. But we know how to help organizations do that. We’ve been doing it for years with our clients in all kinds of industries – and we can help you, too.

 

We’ll Have to Learn New Skills

We are living through what’s been called the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The McKinsey Global Institute predicts that as many as 375 million people will need to change their occupation by 2030 – just ten years from now! Which means there’s going to be a lot of people in the world who’ll need to go back to school, get retrained, reskill, level up, or otherwise dramatically alter the work they’re doing today.

Increased investment in automation and technology means we’ll have to lean harder on those things machines can’t take from us. Those soft skills we’ve been talking about for years – emotional intelligence, relationship building, connection, communication, trust. All things that you can’t program into a robot. They don’t come easy to some of us and they can be hard to teach. But nothing is impossible when you have a proven system that works. We have that system plus tips and tools to help you and your organization succeed and help you find your relevance.

 

We’ve been saying it for years and we believe it still: People matter now more than ever and they’re going to matter even more in the workplace of the future. If you want your company to grow and thrive for years to come, you need to put your focus on people right now. Use our 3-hack system to help: turn your workplace upside down to ask your people what they want and need from you, help them find meaning and purpose in their work, and reskill them for what’s to come. People are the heart of an organization and no amount of technology is going to change that.

If you need help equipping your people and your organization to succeed in the workplace of the future, reach out to us to learn how we can help through our customized workshops, personalized, on-demand coaching, keynotes, and more.

Employee Development in the Virtual Workplace Matters Now More Than Ever

Employee development really matters. It always has. But now look at this: we’re all working remotely, interacting virtually, and dealing with uncertainty, stress, and anxiety surrounding the pandemic. It’s never been more important to invest in employee development, especially for the younger generations, Millennials and Gen Zs. They want to matter in the workplace and want a career plan. We all did. How do we know all this? Easy, we just asked them! They’re human beings, too.

In Deloitte’s recent Global Millennial Survey, they found that 41% of Millennials and 43% of Gen Zs expressed concern over their longer-term financial future. Similarly, 40% of Millennials and 46% of Gen Zs worried about their job or career prospects. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, in diving deeper, they discovered that respondents felt less confident that they possessed all of the skills and knowledge necessary for future success.

Guess what employers – you have to be the guide! As an employer, it’s your job to make sure your people get what they need from your organization. And organizations that provide that support outperform their counterparts. It does not just happen and how you do training and mentoring matters. Good news, while the Deloitte survey found that companies are doing a better job of this (with 65% of Millennials and 68% of Gen Zs saying their employers are providing enough support in this area) we need to be doing more to win. Investing in your people is one of the key ways to make sure your organization not only survives this pandemic but thrives in the world that comes after.

At launchbox, here is how we help. We know each client is different and they need customized products and solutions to reach their goals. Increase your employee development offerings in the months ahead with these 3 simple ways to give your people what they need and want to achieve success:

 

Virtual Workshops

In this disconnected world, help your team pull together to solve the disconnect because we can’t afford for our people to be anything other than highly engaged in the workplace. We need them to bring their best selves to work every day. Offer a transformative system that will help your team find, build, and share connection. Then empower them through simple and unique tools and strategies to own their growth and get to that next level.

 

On-Demand Training

We’ve worked with thousands of young Millennials and Gen Zs and if there’s one thing we know about them, it’s this: they want things on their own terms. And that includes access to employee development training. MEET THEM WHERE THEY ARE. Try a system for coaching and mentoring that is sustainable over time. We use virtual training systems that employees can access anywhere on-demand called Hooga, however, just make sure they can access people when they need help. Help your people figure out how to work from the inside out, to discover who they are, and the value they have to contribute to the world. Then show them how to use their learnings about their own Strengths & Story to connect with others and build better relationships. Ask us how you can try Hooga for free today!

 

Individual One-on-One Coaching

For the employee, manager, or executive who desires to take their development to the next level, we believe in direct individual or group high-performance coaching that is tailored to the needs of the individual. Make sure you place an emphasis on creating a connection to self first, so they can then build the tools to win with others. Through one-on-one coaching you will help them discover, develop, and articulate their own impact: we call it Strengths & Story. Once you help them become self-reliant and create the work competency of knowing who they are, you can believe they will better connect to coworkers, team, boss, clients, etc. to deliver value and create greater impact for them and you.

 

The world as we knew it has changed. It’s time for us to step up and invest in developing next-generation leaders within our own organizations. We are here to help! If you’re not sure how to start, click here to reach out and book a free call with us.

Connecting in the Virtual Workplace: B.R.I.D.G.E. the Gap

Now the need for connected and engaged workforces has never been greater, thanks to COVID-19! Remote and separate work is killing us. Our 5-year focus has been connecting the generations in the workplace. We developed a winning workplace formula to connect the Millennials, Gen Zs, and every generation. B.R.I.D.G.E. the Gap.

Companies of all sizes and shapes around the world are now forced to confront heightened culture issues inside the workplace.  The need for a system to help them B.R.I.D.G.E. the gap around generation, gender, race, religion, whatever, is daunting. Our workplace connection system is guaranteed to work when companies authentically believe and deploy it.

FACT: The most important life/work skill is relationship building. The ability to build relationships is your connection currency. B.R.I.D.G.E. is a 6-step framework that solves today’s most challenging workplace issues. Learn more about how to B.R.I.D.G.E. the Generation and Diversity Gap below and if you’d like help implementing, reach out to us.

B.R.I.D.G.E. the Gap in Your Workplace

 

B: Bust Myths

No matter what specific challenge you’re facing in your workplace, it starts by checking your assumptions at the door. We all buy in to myths, biases and beliefs about the people we work with that may or may not be true. But make a commitment right here, right now, to stop placing people in a box. Instead, lean in and really listen. Understand and welcome that diversity, it creates better business results – just check out this study from Deloitte. If you connect to yourself by busting myths you are free to inquire and listen to your own strengths.  Once you understand yourself, you’re ready to engage with others to find the strengths in them. Busting myths starts with understanding and identifying what people are really bringing to the table – not the baggage or labels you’ve assigned to them.  That is what leaders that transform the workplace do.

R: Real Deal

Authenticity and trust are two of the most important ingredients for creating strong relationships and real leadership. And, now that we’re all working remote and dealing with the uncertainty, anxiety, and frustration of life during a pandemic, it’s become more important than ever that your workplace colleagues know you’re there for them. Be interested and interesting.  Care and put in the effort to be vulnerable.  It pays in connection currency.  Stop making excuses and blaming others (colleagues, friends, etc.) and start becoming genuinely interested in your team, their ideas, solutions, and strategies. Challenge yourself to learn as much as you can about everyone: What makes them tick? What motivates them? What inspires them?  What are their goals? Simply ask great questions and then go deeper to form rock-solid relationships.  My 19-year-old son told me this week that the greatest gift I gave him was the ability to understand, practice, and shape question asking. He said with that he could enter any room of 200 and find something in common with every person and build relationships.  Now I want to test that skill.  Anyone have a room of 200 during COVID?

I: I Own It

Let’s face it: it’s easier to blame others and make it someone else’s problem when you don’t have to hang out with them in the break room or stare at their cubicle all day. But real leaders step up and own their side of the street. When things go wrong, take responsibility. And when things go right, own that too. You must have personal accountability in everything you do if you want others to own their stuff, grow, change, and show up differently.  You want to change the world change yourself because what happens to you is because of you.

D: Deliver Value

If you’re familiar with my views, you know I’m always talking about delivering value to others. Without that, you’re dead to me and everyone else. Value is a big freakin’ deal! I believe if you show up, serve, and focus on how to consistently give values to others, your life and your results will change tremendously. So how do you personally connect, mentor, lead, motivate, engage, and add value to those around you? Where are you crushing it and where could you do better? And has it changed since the pandemic began? When will you recapture some of the magic you had before you went remote? And, how?

G: Goals in Mind

In the virtual workplace, it’s more important than ever that people have a clear sense of what a company’s goals are and what the vision is for the future. A shared vision and shared goals allow people to get into alignment with each other, regardless of their differences or past experiences. If you’re a leader, it’s up to you to create that vision and then lead with transparency and purpose. If you’re a team member, check in with yourself and ask great questions like: How does what I do help achieve the company’s goals? Why am I important to the company? Most importantly, given the radical changes we’ve gone through, what goals in mind do you have for workforce development?  Now more than ever, adapting to change in economies is not just about cost-cutting and risk assessment, it’s about finding and training the right leaders that will persevere in the new uncertainty. DO you have a system for that goal? If so, it better relate to connecting people.

E: Empower Success

Our signature program, Strengths & Story, centers on helping individuals discover and articulate their own strengths to others. Why do we focus on highlighting strengths rather than correcting weaknesses? Because we want to empower people and help them discover what is already special about them. Everyone has their own innate superpowers so help your team recognize and cultivate their gifts. Then, celebrate them when they succeed!

 

As we went through the B.R.I.D.G.E. acronym, I hope you noticed that even though we’re using B.R.I.D.G.E. as a means to close the gap between self and others, we kept the focus on the self – specifically, on you! That’s no accident. The only person we can control in all situations in ourselves. So creating change and getting the results we want starts with us doing the work from the inside out. If you need help stepping up and becoming the leader you want to be, we offer personalized, on-demand coaching. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you and your team!

How Millennials and Gen Zs Are Navigating the Pandemic: Stress and Resilience Revisited for the Young

Each year, Deloitte releases their annual survey about the youngest generations in the workforce, Millennials and Gen Zs. I look forward to their report because it’s full of valuable research and statistics we use to inform much of the work we do here at launchbox by bridging the gaps with our clients.

Conducting a study of this size and magnitude is a serious undertaking that takes months and months of work. So what do you do when a global pandemic arrives and changes the world as we know it almost overnight? If you’re Deloitte, you take your original research and back it up with a pulse survey to see how some of the original respondents are faring amidst extreme change. Then, you use that data to publish a survey that offers one of the most informative and well-researched pictures of how young people are doing at work and at home even as they face an uncertain future.

Hint: they’re doing better than a lot of us would have thought. And the younger they are, the better they’re doing with uncertainty.

Below, we break down some of the key findings in the 2020 Deloitte survey and what this means for employers who are struggling to connect their remote employees to each other and their teams.

 

Key Finding #1: Millennials and Gen Zs Are Less Stressed Now Than They Were and That Means No More Business as Usual

Deloitte’s original survey was conducted between November 2019 and the early weeks of 2020. In that survey, 48% of Gen Z respondents and 44% of Millennial respondents reported that they were “stressed all or most of the time.” But in the pulse survey Deloitte conducted in April and May of 2020, they discovered an 8% decrease in stress for both generations. This is despite the fact that about 25-30% of respondents actually lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. Pretty crazy what a huge reset will do to a generation or two.

What does this mean for employers? It means that many of your younger employees aren’t going to want to go back to business as the old usual. For some, the pandemic has had measurable benefits and they’re going to want to keep them. Things like the ability to work remote, flexible schedules, a reduction in calendar obligations, and more. 69% of Millennials and 64% of Gen Zs reported that they believe having the option to work from home in the future would relieve stress. After the pandemic is over, 64% of Millennials and 60% of Gen Zs said they would like the option to work from a remote location from frequently. So as an employer, ask your people what they want from you and their workplace. What parts of life pre-pandemic do they miss? And what do they hope stays in the past? We know they miss connection – look at the bars! However, do they need work connection 24/7 like we thought? No. They want to be trusted and also have more control and freedom about how and where they live and work. Pandora’s box is open.

 

Key Finding #2: Job Loyalty is Increasing Amongst the Younger Generations

A common complaint I hear from the older generations is that Millennials and Gen Zs “aren’t loyal.” They job hop a lot and when something’s not working for them, they are quick to seek alternative employment rather than stick it out to see if it improves. It’s one thing I love about the youth – they refuse to settle for anything less than what they think they deserve.

Yet in Deloitte’s primary survey, and contrary to popular belief, “more millennials said they’d like to stay with their employers for at least five years than would prefer to leave within two years.” In fact, just 31% of Millennials respondents to the primary survey shared that they intend to leave their current employment within the next two years, down from 49% in 2019! Interesting because we are seeing this with our clients too. They really want more safety and belonging. If you trust them and grow them, they will want to stay. Imagine that.

Deloitte hypothesized that the increase in job loyalty amongst the younger generations is due to their employers doing a better job addressing their needs, creating a diverse and inclusive working environment, and supporting their development through training and mentorship, among other factors. Across both generations, 71% of respondents felt that their employers were doing a fairly good job at creating a working environment that is inclusive and diverse. And roughly 70% of Millennial and Gen Z respondents felt their employer was making a positive impact on the local community. As an employer, pay close attention to these findings. We know that some of the things young people want from their employers include opportunities to learn and grow, transparency, real-deal authentic communication, and purpose and contribution. Make sure you have a system in place that gives your people what they want. Need help? Reach out to us – we have actionable tips and hacks that will help you create that system inside your business.

 

Key Finding #3: The Pandemic Has Increased Individual Responsibility and Empathy

If there’s one thing we can all agree on about the pandemic, it’s that we’ve all been affected in one way or another. Some of us dramatically, others marginally. Yet the coronavirus pandemic has emerged as one of the defining moments in living history, uniting us against a common enemy. For our young people, it’s had the positive effects of increasing their empathy for others and encouraging them to get more involved in supporting their local community. In Deloitte’s pulse survey, 75% of respondents across both generations reported, “once restrictions are lifted, they will take actions that have a positive impact on their communities. Seven in ten said they already have done so.” Three-quarters of respondents also mentioned that the pandemic had made them more aware of and sympathetic towards the needs of different people around the world.

What does this mean for employers? It means your younger generations, who were already pre-disposed to wanting to make a difference by doing work that matters, have had their innate generational desire towards purpose and contribution reinforced by recent events. Which means you really have to get this right with them! You need to connect them to their purpose, help them see that the work they’re doing matters, and give them the tools to create impact for others. It’s a tall order, but we think you’re up to the challenge. And we recently launched a new virtual product, Strengths & Story, to help. Your employees will learn how to identify their strengths and connect to their story so they can create an impact that matters. Contact us to learn more about getting access to this product for your team.

 

Click Here to Read the Full 2020 Survey From Deloitte

 

Did any of these key findings surprise you? Are their areas you know you need help in? We’re here for you. We’ve helped companies from start-up to Fortune 500 bridge the gap in their workplaces and solve for success. Reach out to us to claim your complimentary call and learn what we can do to help you succeed!