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To schedule a free telephone consultation or to find out more about the services I offer, please call 310-568-5593 or email me at mallen@pepperdine.edu.

 

News & Events

 

Interested in seeing how to Apply the Principles of Strategic Talent Management to Talent Acquisition? I'll discuss on April 14, 2020 on this free webinar: https://go.criteriacorp.com/Applying-the-Principles-of-Strategic-Talent-Management-to-Talent-Acquisition_Social.html

 

Hear me share my thoughts on the need for Strategic Workforce Planning on this HCI podcast:

https://www.hci.org/podcast/strategic-workforce-planning-introduction

 

Fun podcast in which I talk about leadership and coaching on the Concierge Coaches Show: https://www.latalkradio.com/content/concierge-coaches-show

 

Connecting your learning & development programs to business results is something I'm passionate about. I'm grateful for @DaveStachowiak for giving me the opportunity to discuss it on his terrific Coaching for Leaders podcast: https://coachingforleaders.com/podcast/leadership-development-business-results-mark-allen

 

Come hear me at SHRM in Las Vegas on June 23, 2019: "Everything You Need to Know About Launching and Managing a Corporate University"

 

The latest book by Mark Allen, Aha Moments in Talent Management, has been released by ASTD Press. The book is available at Amazon.com or ASTD.org.

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TALENT MANAGEMENT BLOG

 

Talent Management During the Crisis—Part 1: Employee Engagement

 

March 25, 2020

 

“Never let a good crisis go to waste.”—Rahm Emanuel

              

               I am becoming increasingly aware that a lot of people managers are ignoring good talent management practices during the COVID-19 crisis. I know this because so many managers ignore these practices even during the best of times.

               The thinking is that when you’re managing a crisis there isn’t time for a luxury like talent management—we’ve got to figure out how to get the work done. But talent management isn’t a luxury—it’s what drives productivity. With so much of the American workforce working remotely, keeping productivity up is more important than ever. That’s why I will be writing this talent management blog focusing on talent management during this crisis. We’ll start with one of the most important factors in talent management: engagement.

Employee engagement is a proven leading indicator of productivity. As employee engagement goes up, productivity goes up (as does retention and safety). That’s why so many organizations have made employee engagement a priority. And while employee engagement is difficult under the best of circumstances, it’s especially challenging when people are isolated and not having contact with co-workers.

People crave human contact. One of the last “tugs” that keep people on jobs even if they’re dissatisfied is connections to co-workers. Even people like me, card-carrying members of the Introverts Club (a club that has very few meetings), still need occasional human contact. That’s why it’s more important than ever that we focus on doing whatever we can to focus on keeping our employees engaged.

The problem with saying we want our employees to be engaged is that we never finish the sentence. Engaged with what? If I press people to actually finish the sentence and tell me what they want their employees to be engaged with, they usually say the organization. That’s a correct answer, but not a complete one. We also want people to be engaged with their own work, with their co-workers, and, since retention is a by-product of engagement, with their managers (remember, managers are the leading cause of voluntary turnover).

Fortunately, there are things we can do to drive engagement, even during this stay-at-home crisis. First, we must remind people how important the work of our organization is. Whether you are on the front-lines of providing healthcare or keeping the country’s supply chain moving or simply helping to keep the economy going and keeping people employed, each organization’s work is important.

Secondly, we must remind each employee that their work is important and their contribution is important. Remember, both organizational purpose and individual contribution are vital components of motivation and engagement.

Managers must focus on frequent and regular connection with employees. Fifteen of the top twenty drivers of employee engagement relate directly to an employee’s direct supervisor. Employee engagement is driven by conscious direct contact between manager and employee.

Finally, we must remember how important it is for employees to be engaged with each other. Remember, employees tend to have social (non-work) interactions with colleagues every day. Whether it’s group lunches, birthday celebrations, watercooler conversations (are there watercoolers anymore?) or simply brief “How was your weekend?” conversations, social interactions are part of the fabric of everyday work life. Fortunately, there are way to include these interactions even during a stay at home order.

My friend Monica has organized happy hours for her colleagues. A few times a week at the end of the workday, a group of co-workers get together on Zoom. The can talk about anything—except work stuff. She even decided to add a dose of whimsy by encouraging people to wear their favorite hats to the happy hour get-together. I’ve even heard of groups of colleagues having a virtual cocktail hour in which everyone sits down with a drink while they socialize virtually. Zoom has proven to be a wonderful tool for facilitating online meetings and classes. It has the same capability to assist in socialization.

While employee engagement might not be on the forefront of your mind during this crisis, productivity and employee retention should be. And employee engagement is the most powerful driver of productivity and retention.  

 

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