While it’s too early to tell when businesses will reopen or in-office work will resume, the way we picture the ending can tell us a lot about leadership. As we grapple with sobering unemployment numbers and hear of economic woes in nearly every industry, leaders face a balancing act of staying calm and reassuring, while also being realists about the state of their business.The question is what role optimism plays in maintaining the health and productivity of a team. Is the weekly jobs report half-empty or half-full? Positivity improves most aspects of job performance. It’s simply easier to stay productive when you feel a sense of purpose, growth or difference making. And it’s harder to maintain a rosy outlook when it feels like all is lost.Humans are hard-wired for optimism. It seems most people would prefer a distorted view of reality than one that delivers a cold truth. When Jim Carey’s character in Dumb and Dumber asks about his chances for dating Lauren Holly’s character, she gingerly replies that the odds are about one in a million. Her answer makes him ecstatic, exuberantly proclaiming, “so you’re telling me there’s a chance!”Many of us are choosing to see the economy through Jim Carey’s eyes. We believe there will be a “v-shaped” recovery. And there’s reason to believe the changes we’re experiencing during these times will have a lasting positive impact. We’ve wanted flexible working hours. We’ve been yearning to work from home. And now that we have these things, we’re unlikely to let them go.We’re basically biased toward optimism. As Thai Sharo, a cognitive neuroscientist at University College London, noted, “when it comes to predicting what will happen to us tomorrow, next week, or fifty years from now, we overestimate the likelihood of positive events, and underestimate the likelihood of negative events.” When it comes to seeing how the pandemic will end, our nature compels us to believe that it will all be magnificent. And why not? Reevaluating our conditions of employment in light of rapid change should have a positive effect on society.The optimists among us have pointed out how pollution levels are way down. The canals of Venice have turned clear. Animals are flourishing in cities. And we’re all suddenly interested in baking bread. When it comes to work, we’re becoming more empathetic, more flexible, and have a newfound appreciation for essential workers. These are all genuine reasons to be optimistic.Even as we’re grappling with insecurity and rapid change, great leaders can empower us with hope. According to Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, ManpowerGroup’s Chief Talent Scientist, the best business leaders combine internal pessimism (in order to see deficiencies and foresee problems and threats), with optimism (exuding a sense of positivity and nurturing hope in others). To be sure, this feels intuitively better than the reverse: being internally overconfident while projecting external insecurities.The best leaders are the ones rallying their employees to see the best possible outcome. If they work in sports, they’re reminding their employees of how much the world will need them when they come back. If they work in the restaurant business, they’re pointing to the indelible cultural fabric that restaurants provide to our cities and towns. Privately, they’re grappling with the unknowns of whether there will be a baseball or football season, or whether the restaurant customers will be ready when they finally switch on the open sign.No one can see how this will end. But the best leaders enable their teams to see the happiest ending. Their external optimism is encouraging them to strive for that result. Even if the odds are just one in a million. They’re telling them they have a chance.To see more on this topic from Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, see here.
How Do We See This Ending?
How Leaders Can Foster Innovation in Times of Crisis
The leaders that emerge in today’s crisis will help innovate to solve the problems of tomorrow. In times of uncertainty and turmoil, leadership matters even more because the leader sets the tone for how an organization responds. Businesses need to be guided with a steady and reassuring hand, and yet pivot and be agile when the situation demands it. Grit, persistence and collectiveness are some of the traits of an innovative culture, and they are needed to face some of our biggest problems. As businesses face crisis on a global level, here are a few ways leaders can step up and help to foster an innovative culture when it’s needed most. Learnability is a must Learning quickly is more important than ever in times of massive change. Leaders need to have not only a high IQ and EQ, they also need a high Learnability Quotient, or LQ. Today’s problems are so complex and multi-faceted that they require learning as fluid situations unfold. Leaders need to be role models by seeking out different experiences, unusual perspectives and by being open to fresh ideas, ever as they foster a culture of learning in their organizations. Experimentation and communication When we are in uncharted territory, leaders must also have an understanding of the technical skills required to effectively transform their business in times of change, such as how to suddenly shift to remote work. They should surround themselves with experts and take time to stay informed of the latest trends, challenges and opportunities facing their organization and how to communicate those needs quickly throughout the workforce. Ability to adapt for the next crisis Crisis and transformation does not create a once and done situation. Change is dynamic, so agility and continuous adaptation is essential. Feedback is important to informing what steps leaders should take. Leaders need to innovate, experiment and learn fast and support their teams to do the same. Tomorrow’s environment is just beginning.
How to Build Your Personal Brand in Uncertain Times
Right now, it can feel for everyone like we’re preparing for a future of work that may look very different than today, with working from home on the rise and jobs rapidly transitioning between industries. This can make it feel like it’s difficult to prepare for the next phases of your career, but there are foundational steps you can take to bolster your brand. Here are steps to take to build your personal brand that lasts through uncertainty and into the future. Build or update your LinkedIn profile Your LinkedIn profile is essential as a foundation of your personal brand. After you have identified your career mission statement, you can build your digital brand online. Then use it to promote your skills, accomplishments and goals. If you have already taken these steps, use this time to review your content to update any outdated content, photos or text and make your profile relevant for today. Harness audio and videoEvery platform from Facebook to LinkedIn supports streaming video directly on their sites. This allows for greater expression of your soft skills like public speaking, leadership and presence. If video isn’t your favorite medium, there are other digital options to spread your message, including the rising podcast industry. Tools like Anchor.fm now make it possible to start a podcast with little equipment or training, using tools as basic as your phone. Focus on learnability None of us know exactly what the future of work will bring, but we do know that it will require constant learning on the job. In order to meet these new challenges, learnability is necessary. Learnability is the desire and ability to continually learn and grow throughout careers. Ask yourself, when was the last time you read something from an unusual perspective? When have you taken the time to wrap your head around a new industry? To keep your learnability skill sharp while uncertainty swirls, take the time to find unfamiliar topics, dig beneath the surface and keep growing. Find out your Learnability Quotient. In this time of uncertainty, roles in the future will require adaptability and resiliency. Increasingly, they are about what you are willing to learn, adapt and apply for tomorrow’s needs. By building your personal brand now, you will be able to project these values to the marketplace that needs them.
Starting A New Job Remotely
When you’re starting a new role, your typical first day might consist of meeting with your new manager, picking up your equipment, trying to learn the names of your co-workers, and working out where the post room, toilets and printers are. But what if your new job is remote? How will you get to know your colleagues, get up to speed on your role, or know who to contact when you have questions?Here are a few ways to make your first remote day on the job a great success.Understand the onboarding processReach out ahead of time to your line manager or HR contact to find out what onboarding will look like. The organisation might mail a laptop to you, or they may ask you to use your own device. They might take you through an induction on your first day via Zoom, Skype or Microsoft Teams, or perhaps they will email you an employee handbook. The company itself may still be trying to formalise its remote working procedures, so the process may not be as smooth as usual. Make sure you discuss the logistics of the onboarding process beforehand and fully understand what to expect.Practice the “route”It’s common to travel to the location of your new job before your first day to make sure you don’t run into any issues or get lost. The same is true of a virtual first day. Start to log on early to allow yourself plenty of time in case of technical difficulties. Make sure all the appropriate software is downloaded ahead of time and you know how to use the technology.Pay attention to your presenceIt’s likely that your first day will consist of at least one virtual meeting with your manager or your team. While you may be used to working from home in casualwear, remember to dress professionally in order to make a good first impression. Pay attention to your virtual environment, including the lighting in your room, items in the background, and try to minimise external noise.Find out how your team communicatesIt’s important to learn how your manager and your wider team prefer to engage with each other. Do they rely heavily on email, or do they tend to utilise video or voice calls? Do they use any internal networks such as Teams, Slack or Yammer to keep in touch? With regards to your manager, do they like to receive queries as they come up via email, or would they rather tackle everything in a weekly one-to-one call? Are there particular times of the day or week that they prefer not to be disturbed? Keep in mind that your colleagues might still be trying to work out their preferences as they adjust to their new routine. But knowing your colleagues’ communication styles will help you integrate with the team more quickly and foster positive interactions.Make yourself knownUsually when you start a new job, you’d immediately be introduced to lots of people in the office and learn what they do. You’d also find yourself bumping into new people in the elevator or the kitchen and forging new relationships that way. This process is likely going to take a bit longer and require more effort when you’re starting remotely. Let people know you’re the new person in any online networks like Slack or Yammer, or by sending some short emails to other people in your division. If there’s a team meeting, try to find a moment to introduce yourself and your role. You might even need to remind people who you are when contacting them by email or on a conference call, since they won’t be seeing you on a day-to-day basis. Before making a comment on a group call, simply state who you are and mention that you’re new to the company.Find work buddiesSince you’re not going to be chatting to colleagues in the kitchen over a cup of tea or having a welcome lunch, it’s a good idea to proactively reach out to individuals to get to know them better. Set up a virtual coffee chat to find out about their roles, the projects they’re working on, and anything they think you should know about the organisation. Share any questions you might have and ask for recommendations on other individuals you should get to know within the business. What insights can they share with you about the culture of the organisation?Seek out opportunitiesThe pandemic is causing workplace disruption like we’ve never seen and circumstances are evolving rapidly. Due to the fast-changing situation, you might find yourself not as busy as you expected, or even that certain projects you anticipated working on have been shelved and other tasks prioritised. Don’t complain, but rather try to identify opportunities where you can add value. Reach out to others to offer your help, and speak up in meetings to suggest ideas. Think about the additional value you can bring to the business.There’s no doubt that this is a difficult time to transition into a new role. But by being proactive, patient and flexible, you can smoothly integrate with your new team and prove your worth to the organisation.Credit: ManpowerGroup UK
How Can I Make My Workplace More Inclusive?
How can I make my workplace more inclusive? While culture starts at the top, you can help take steps to make your organization fair, equitable and committed to conscious inclusion. A diverse workplace is a healthy workplace. It’s everyone’s responsibility – and to everyone’s benefit – to help develop a workplace that is welcoming and inclusive. Here are ways everyone can help move your company forward. Understand conscious inclusion Conscious inclusion is the desire, insight and capacity of people to make decisions, do business and to think and act with the conscious intent of practicing inclusion. To that end, ManpowerGroup has a comprehensive survey exploring gender, generational and geographical differences in attitudes towards women in leadership. The report presents seven practical steps to reach the tipping point where women will accelerate into leadership roles. While leaders are responsible for implementing ways to support inclusive leadership, everyone in the organization can educate themselves with the principles, discussions and benefits of conscious inclusion. Be a coach and a mentor If you’re making your way up the ladder, it’s important to look around to see who else you can assist. One way of supporting others is to provide coaching and mentoring. Where can you give back? It is important to identify which topics require mentoring support and which require coaching. Mentors typically have specific expertise in the area in which the mentee requires support. If you have an area where you can help others, you can help the organization thrive and become more inclusive. Plan for the future Over time, all organizations will become more diverse. By 2050, there will be no racial or ethnic majority in the United States—diversity will be the norm. Talent—in all its diversity—is the most potent competitive differentiator. If you want your organization to be competitive 20 years from now, start thinking about how you can contribute to its inclusive culture through mentorship programs, hiring beyond traditional talent pools and widening your network. If you are thinking about how you can contribute to an inclusive workplace, you have already taken an important first step. From there, taking action and working with others can make the goal a reality. And when an organization can innovate with multiple perspective, everyone wins.
Transferable Skills to Highlight on Your Resume
The economy has shifted at a rapid place, with some sectors losing workers while others can’t add talent fast enough to keep up with demand. For workers who find themselves searching for jobs, making the leap is possible. Here are transferable skills to highlight on your resume and consider when searching and applying for new roles in fast-growing fields like logistics or customer service.Critical thinkingAs organizations make pivots and fast-paced changes in response to the global workforce environment, workers can take concepts learned in their previous roles, and apply them to new opportunities. In their new roles, workers need critical thinking to take their knowledge and apply it to the interconnectedness of the workplace environment. When there isn’t a road map, the ability to think on your feet and also consider long-term implications is essential and in demand. Coordination and collaborationProject management skills will always be in demand, including the need to coordinate and collaborate among multiple people, skill sets, and teams. In any workplace, you’re often expected to juggle multiple projects at once, often over a long-term timetable. Employers will always need people who can set goals, check-in on progress regularly, get feedback, and use the resources of others around you. Time managementEvery workplace has the same amount of this limited resource: Time. People who can manage time and workload effectively will be valuable wherever they go. Managing workload effectively means understanding your own abilities and timeline, and also that of others around you. Those who know how to respect others’ time will always send out an agenda before a meeting, set timelines for projects, and create check-in targets to adjust if necessary. Active listening and communicationMore than half (56%) of employers say communication skills, written and verbal, are their most valued human strengths followed by collaboration and problem-solving, according to a ManpowerGroup global survey. That’s why developing these skills are important for any workplace, and they’ll only become more necessary during change. Finally, above all learnability is needed over the long term to adapt to an ever-changing economy. Learnability is the desire and ability to continually learn and grow throughout careers. Of all transferable skills, learnability is the foundation –– and will help keep you in demand for the future.
What Millennials Really Want
Welcome to the era of the millennial workforce. While this generation has been rising up the ranks, a new report from LinkedIn shows that millennials are projected to fare the best in the job market over the coming years. Three-quarters of 2,406 U.S. hiring managers surveyed said they plan to focus recruiting efforts on millennials over the next five years, according to the report. Millennials include those born approximately between the years of 1980s to 1997, which puts them prime into some of their most productive working years. The millennial workforce contributions also make sense in the context of their place in the global market. Millennials and Gen Zers make up roughly half the world’s population as 10,000 baby boomers retire each day, reports USA Today. So what do millennials want? According to ManpowerGroup research, both women and men want flexible, meaningful and challenging work. They understand they have a career ultramarathon ahead of them and want to achieve balance for the long run. For women, to pursue challenging work, it must come with flexibility. They continue to do most of the emotional labor and unpaid work at home – balancing work around commitments. As employers face a continued global skills shortage, millennials share in the following advantages as well as their preferences when seeking to develop their careers. Flexibility in work arrangements Today’s way of working may not be how tomorrow’s generation operates. According to a ManpowerGroup survey, a growing number of people are opting for alternative models over full-time permanent roles. Part-time, contingent, contract, temporary, freelance, independent contractor, on-demand online are all on the rise. This affords businesses the choice, flexibility and alternative ways of working that build resilience for less predictable futures. Younger millennials, in particular, are seeking out gig work. Positivity and optimism According to ManpowerGroup’s Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision report, millennials are remarkably upbeat about their careers. Two-thirds are optimistic about their immediate job prospects. Sixty-two percent are confident that if they lost their main source of income tomorrow they could find equally good or better work within three months. The majority of millennials globally see a promising future and successful careers ahead. They are the can-do, will-do generation. Growing into new roles Research shows that rather than having one job for life, millennials are focused on continuous skills development. Millennial talent provides organizations with employee traits like learnability and curiosity rather than a narrow set of defined “job skills.” According to Lory Antonucci, M.Ed., GPHR, Executive Talent Management Consultant for ManpowerGroup, while roles may also be actual positions (and someone’s job), they are first and foremost a combination of needed and valued skills, knowledge and outputs. Roles are about adapting to change now and in the future. As we enter a new decade, both employers and job seekers will have to adopt new ways of thinking about careers. With both experience and youth on their side, millennials are in a great position to capitalize and make the most of the 2020s –– on their own terms.
Employers in Singapore Report Weakest Hiring Outlook Since 2009: ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey
8 Singapore employers report Net Employment Outlook of -28% for Q3 2020 - the weakest in 11 years. 66% of employers expect hiring to return to pre-COVID-19 levels within the next 12 months, with over a quarter surveyed estimating that it will take 4 to 9 months. Employers in six of the seven sectors expect payrolls to decline during the coming quarter.Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector, Manufacturing sector, Services sector and Wholesale & Retail Trade sector report their weakest hiring intentions since 2009.SINGAPORE (9 JUNE 2020) – Employers in Singapore report bleak hiring outlook for Q3 when surveyed during the circuit breaker, reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the labor market in Singapore.Singapore employers were asked how do they anticipate total employment at their company to change during the July – September period as compared to the current quarter. Out of 266 surveyed, 11% of employers forecast an increase in headcount, 38% anticipate a decrease and 46% expect no change. The resulting Net Employment Outlook is -28% after accounting for seasonal variation. These are the weakest hiring intentions reported since 2009, declining by 37 percentage points when compared with the previous quarter and by 40 percentage points in comparison with the third quarter of 2019. 66% of employers surveyed expect hiring levels to return to pre-COVID-19 levels within the next 12 months. Hiring activity is expected to recover gradually – 20% of employers estimate this will take within 3 months, 25% predict 4 to 9 months, 22% expect it to take 10 to 12 months. Meanwhile, 15% of respondents estimate it will take more than a year. On the results, Ms Linda Teo, Country Manager, ManpowerGroup Singapore, comments, “COVID-19’s impact on businesses has affected hiring sentiments for the next few months. Most employers are putting non-critical hiring on hold and focusing on streamlining their current headcounts instead during this unprecedented time.”Employers in six of the seven sectors expect payrolls to decline during the coming quarter. The weakest labor market is forecast to be the Mining & Construction sector with a reported Net Employment Outlook of -57%, which is also the weakest Outlook reported since conducting the survey in Singapore in 2003. Weak hiring prospects are also reported in the Services and Manufacturing sectors as well, with reported Outlooks of -35% and -21% respectively. Elsewhere, employers in Finance, Insurance & Real Estate and Transportation & Utilities sectors report Outlooks of -3% and -1%. Meanwhile, employers in the Public Administration & Education sector report modest hiring plans with an Outlook of +10%.Compared to the previous quarter, hiring intentions weakened in six of the seven sectors, most notably in the Mining & Construction sector, where the Outlook sharply decreases by 67 percentage points. Hiring activity is also expected to decline significantly in the Services sector, where the forecast is 47 percentage points weaker. Meanwhile, employers in four sectors – Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector, Manufacturing sector, Services sector and Wholesale & Retail Trade sector – reported their weakest forecasts since 2009. In contrast, employers in Public Administration & Education report relatively stable hiring intentions when compared quarter on quarter but Outlook is weaker by 14 percentage points when compared to last year. “Amidst the bleak hiring climate, job seekers can still find pockets of opportunities, especially in the Public Administration & Education sector due to ongoing government initiatives to stimulate hiring and upskilling during this challenging time. Job seekers finding difficulty in landing a job in current market conditions can consider upgrading their skills to better position themselves when hiring activity picks up,” says Ms Teo.Employers in three of the four organization sizes report weaker hiring plans during the next quarter. Companies under the Micro category report the positive hiring intention of +3%, while hiring climate is the weakest in Medium-sized organizations, with a reported Outlook of -34%. “With most companies putting non-essential hiring on hold, micro-sized firms face less competition in hiring the in-demand talent they need,” added Ms Teo. Employers in four Asia Pacific countries and territories expect to grow payrolls during the next three months, while a decrease in payrolls is anticipated in two, with no change in one. Hiring plans weaken in six of the seven countries and territories when compared with the previous quarter, while remaining unchanged in one. In a year-over-year comparison, Outlooks weaken in all seven. Japanese employers anticipate the strongest labor market in the region, while the weakest hiring activity is expected in Singapore and Australia.NOTE:Net Employment Outlook: This figure is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating total employment to increase and subtracting from this the percentage expecting to see a decrease in employment at their location in the next quarter. To view complete Singapore results for the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, visit: www.manpowergroup.com.sg/meosTo view global survey results, visit: www.manpowergroup.com/meosThe next ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey will be released on 8 September 2020 and will forecast labor market activity for the second quarter of 2020. The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey is available free of charge to the public through their local Manpower representative in participating countries. About ManpowerGroup SingaporeEstablished in 1995 in Singapore, ManpowerGroup works with a range of manufacturing, resources, mining, transport and logistics, government, blue chip investment and retail banks, IT vendors and outsourcers, telecoms service providers and infrastructure, utilities and engineering services companies. In Singapore, the ManpowerGroup suite of solutions is offered through Manpower®, Experis®, and Talent Solutions. More information on ManpowerGroup Singapore is available at:www.manpowergroup.com.sgAbout ManpowerGroupManpowerGroup® (NYSE: MAN), the leading global workforce solutions company, helps organizations transform in a fast-changing world of work by sourcing, assessing, developing and managing the talent that enables them to win. We develop innovative solutions for hundreds of thousands of organizations every year, providing them with skilled talent while finding meaningful, sustainable employment for millions of people across a wide range of industries and skills. Our expert family of brands – Manpower, Experis and Talent Solutions – creates substantial value for candidates and clients across more than 75 countries and territories and has done so for over 70 years. We are recognized consistently for our diversity - as a best place to work for Women, Inclusion, Equality and Disability and in 2020 ManpowerGroup was named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the eleventh year - all confirming our position as the brand of choice for in-demand talent. See how ManpowerGroup is powering the future of work: www.manpowergroup.com.
Distance Learning: How to Continue Education Remotely
Learning can take many forms. The desire and ability to quickly grow and adapt one's skill set to remain employable throughout their working life, or learnability, can be practiced both in-person and remotely. Professional development doesn’t have to be attending a conference or a four-hour workshop. Here are ways to continue learning remotely and foster career development. Focus on the future Continue career conversations with your manager, even if they are virtual. Don’t lose sight of the goal: Getting ahead both today and in the future means constant learning and development. Leverage technology training It’s not always possible to train everyone together. That’s where technology can come in and reach multiple workers on a flexible schedule. Social media chat forums allow real-time peer discussions to address challenges. E-learning, videos, and gamification are all options that ensure learning can take place anywhere, anytime. Shift to microlearning Conferences and workshops build in breaks and socialization for a reason. Taking downtime helps keep attention fresh and facilitates learning to sink in over time. Harvard Business Review recommends focusing on microlearning, or short lessons on a single topic in a five to 10-minute segment. Take educational breaks Your brain was not designed to be constantly “on” throughout the day, and you need recurring breaks to replenish your focus on tasks. But your rest can be productive, rather than simply scrolling through social media. Give your brain a boost with your break. You can use an app that teaches you a new language, do a crossword puzzle, or read a chapter in a book. Search for something that energizes you to be more productive later.
Tips for Leading Virtual Meetings
Running efficient meetings can be a difficult task under the best of circumstances. It can add to the challenges if all attendees are remote and reliant on technology. Here are tips to keep virtual meetings running smoothly. Set an agendaIt’s second nature to interpret physical and facial cues in person, but the task becomes harder when you can’t easily see everyone’s screen at once or if there is a lag in audio or video. This can lead to uncertainty about who should be contributing or people accidentally talking over each other. An agenda can help clarify a meeting by sharing ahead of time who is starting a conversation and then who is contributing. Over time, the flow will become more natural. Encourage participation In a time of physical distancing, it’s important to still connect with others on a human level and encourage active participation. Getting everyone to speak up in a remote setting can feel like a challenge since it’s easier to “hide” in a digital setting. First, provide time to talk socially, even putting aside time at the beginning or end of the meeting to share personal stories and small wins. Especially when there’s no physical place to gather, everyone needs a virtual watercooler. Second, manage participation by following five steps outlined by Harvard Business Review, which includes making sure the problem is felt by participants, and no more than five minutes goes by without people working on active solutions to problems together. Use meeting chat –– politely In a physical meeting, attendees can bring hands-outs, charts or slides. All those items can be used virtually by uploading and sharing links and attachments in the chat channel of the meeting for context about topics at hand. It can also be used for texting and asking questions while another person is speaking. But also use this politely by not dominating a conversation in the chat, just as you wouldn’t talk over someone in an in-person meeting. Use the chat function to supplement conversations, not replace them. Set up office hours and take breaksNot every virtual interaction has to be a formal meeting. Many online meeting tools like Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business allow you to set a status, where you can open up your virtual door and let others virtually drop in to ask work questions –– or just to chat. Don’t schedule back-to-back meetings which can lead to virtual meeting fatigue. Take a break away from the screen to give your brain a chance to switch gears between meetings.'Finally, remember to be patient with colleagues and with yourself as you adjust to virtual meetings. It will be an adjustment for many people. And when someone forgets to mute their mic –– inevitably –– just politely remind them that everyone can hear. We’ve all been there.