Six Mistakes to Avoid When Transitioning to Remote Work

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Mar 26, 2020 4:25:35 PM right

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is fundamentally altering the way many organizations operate as organizations around the country are sending workers home to work remotely. That means, for a great many people, working virtually is a new reality. As corporate leaders, managers and individual workers make this sudden shift, it’s critical to maintain productivity, ease anxiety and continue to collaborate effectively. 

With that said, there are smart ways and not-so-smart ways to approach remote work. To ensure a smooth and effective transition to virtual work and teams, here are 6 common mistakes that individuals and managers should avoid. 

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Topics: Team Dynamics, Performance Management

Strategies for Managing Existing – or Unexpected – Virtual Teams

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Mar 23, 2020 3:19:19 PM right

For many of the millions of Americans being asked to work from home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, working virtually with team members may be a novel event. Managers and HR leaders will need to find ways to keep their virtual workers and teams motivated and maintaining performance levels, whether the virtual team is out of necessity right now or by design. 

Having worked with organizations across the country to build highly effective virtual teams, and with our own network of coaches that work virtually, here are several strategies to implement within your virtual teams to ensure business continuity and success. 

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Topics: Team Dynamics, Performance Management

The Relevancy (or Lack of) Resumes in Hiring

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Mar 16, 2020 10:34:11 AM right

Ever wonder why resumes are still a part of most hiring processes? Are they even relevant anymore? The answer is yes… and no. It’s complicated. Here’s why – their relevance has shifted in today’s business environment. While traditionally resumes were used as the primary “selling tool” for candidates vying for a job, today they mainly serve as a digital footprint so hiring managers can find candidates – i.e. it makes candidates “searchable.” 

Yet, many would argue that is where the value of resumes comes to a halt. Here are a few of the reasons why:

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Topics: Performance Management, HR Analytics

Avoid These 3 Common Pitfalls to Data-Driven Talent Management

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Mar 11, 2020 10:20:45 AM right

With the advancements in data collection and analytics, more and more HR departments are taking a data-driven approach to talent management and harnessing the power of hard facts and numbers. The reality is talent management can be very subjective, relying on gut feelings or opinions when judging future potential, leadership capability or selecting best fit candidates. Utilizing data to remove bias and inconsistency in these practices has become the new, better standard.

However, while data-driven talent management offers enormous potential in more effective people related decision making, it can pose several challenges. Here are 3 pitfalls to avoid when considering a data-driven talent management initiative:

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Topics: Performance Management, HR Analytics

The Fit Factor in Employee Disengagement

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Feb 19, 2020 11:45:00 AM right

Nearly 30% of employees aren’t engaged at work, and some of those are actively disengaged – meaning they intentionally damage what others have built. While the cost of disengagement can be as much as 34% of an employee’s salary, it also impacts your ability to attract top talent, voluntary turnover rates, stress and low morale among other employees and customer satisfaction. Clearly, worker engagement should be a serious business concern.

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Topics: Team Dynamics, Coaching and Training, Performance Management

Why You Should Blur the Line Between HR and L&D

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Feb 11, 2020 1:17:08 PM right

With an ever-increasing demand for skilled workers in America, to the tune of 7 million open jobs, it is evident we lack the talent supply to meet current hiring needs across most sectors. A massive skills gap is projected to leave an estimated 2.4 million positions unfilled between 2018 and 2028, with a potential economic impact of $2.5 trillion, according to Deloitte

At the same time, we are in one of the most challenging environments in U.S. history given not only the speed at which disruption caused by technology is affecting the workplace, but also the acceleration in the pace of change. Navigating this landscape requires businesses to equip current and future workers with the skills necessary to take on new roles and to help upskill existing workers to offset talent shortages.  

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Topics: Team Dynamics, Coaching and Training, Performance Management

5 Top Benefits of HR Predictive Analytics

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Feb 4, 2020 1:05:30 PM right

The growing technological capabilities to capture, track and measure talent-related data have presented tremendous opportunities to better combine the scientific and the human aspect of HR to build a workforce that is efficient and high performing. In fact, a report by Oracle revealed that HR uses analytics more than any other vertical, outdoing even finance.

Predictive analytics has taken the raw potential of reams of data and turns it into predictive insights which are actionable across nearly every aspect of HR – from talent acquisition, performance and productivity to upskilling. Here are 5 of the top benefits of using predictive analytics in the HR function:

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Topics: Performance Management, HR Analytics

What's Missing From Today's Executive Onboarding Program

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Jan 23, 2020 4:19:44 PM right

According to a new global study, the majority of U.S. executives received no formal workplace onboarding in their most recent roles. Furthermore, when it comes to grading onboarding experiences on a scale of 1 to 100, executives in the U.S. rate theirs as mediocre with an average score of 59.

After investing heavily in recruiting and hiring a new member of an executive team, many organizations fail to maximize that investment when ineffective onboarding leads to dissatisfaction, poor performance or turnover. In fact, almost 60% of executives report it took them six months – and close to 20% said it took more than nine months – to have a full impact in their new roles.

While you can’t control every aspect that factors into an executives’ performance and longevity in a role, implementing a robust, data-driven onboarding program can greatly improve your odds. Considering executive failures can cost up to 40 times the base salary of leaders, which can translate to a multi-million-dollar mistake, HR leaders can’t afford to ignore the critical necessity for effective onboarding.

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Topics: assessments, competency assessments, talent integration, Talent Assessments, hiring, Performance Management

Two Critical Factors in the Effective Use of Talent Assessments

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Jan 15, 2020 2:55:56 PM right

More and more of the world’s leading organizations are utilizing talent assessments to better inform hiring decisions and drive more effective employee development. In fact, 82% of companies are using some form of skill assessment tests today. There is little doubt that the use of talent assessments in the hiring and development process will continue to grow, particularly given the recruitment challenges in today’s market and the import of finding best fit hires.

As HR leaders look to these vital tools to improve their HR process, there are two critical considerations when choosing and implementing a talent assessment solution.

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Topics: assessments, competency assessments, talent integration, Talent Assessments, hiring, Performance Management

It's a New Decade, Has Your Hiring Strategy Evolved?

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Jan 3, 2020 11:51:31 AM right

As we enter a brand-new decade, what better time to evolve your hiring practices and strategy to meet the new requirements of the modern day? The fact is businesses have never done as much hiring as they do today or spent as much money doing it. Yet, most aren't doing as good of a job hiring the right candidates the first time.

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Topics: assessments, competency assessments, talent integration, Talent Assessments, hiring, Performance Management

Mentoring Matters: How to Get Started

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Dec 11, 2019 8:00:00 AM right

Almost every successful professional has had a trusted mentor to help them chart a new course for their career, to guide and inspire them. For individuals, studies show that good mentoring can lead to greater career success, including promotions, raises and increased opportunities.

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Topics: talent integration, high-performers, Coaching and Training, Performance Management, Mentoring

Give and You Shall Receive, or Will You? The Art of Receiving Feedback

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Dec 3, 2019 1:21:14 PM right

Famous author Ken Blanchard says, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions,” but the value of feedback is only realized if the person on the receiving end truly acknowledges what is shared. Often, business and HR leaders focus heavily on the ways in which they can effectively provide feedback to others, which is certainly an important component of performance development. However, the second part of the equation – the ability to effectively receive that feedback – is very often overlooked.

Arguably, the ability to take feedback to heart is even more difficult than the art of delivering it. Why? Because inherent in receiving feedback are several “personal” triggers that can influence how each of us perceives feedback, particularly in the workplace. And, many of us are triggered to ignore, become defensive or even anger at the hint of criticism or constructive feedback due to the way in which the person communicates or behaves when providing the feedback. 

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Topics: talent integration, Performance Management, Performance Review

The Solution to Talent Shortages Facing Life Sciences Companies

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Apr 6, 2018 3:22:00 PM right

A recent study highlights a pervasive challenge facing the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry, and that is a lack of talent. The study found that 51 percent of CEOs of life sciences and pharma companies admit to greater difficulties attracting and retaining the right people, more than any other industry in the study.


In fact, one of the greatest challenges on the horizon for pharmaceutical and life science companies is filling vacant positions and decreasing the time-to-fill for those positions. On average, pharma hiring decision-makers report they are currently 14 percent understaffed and have roughly 212 open positions at this time. Additionally, they report that it takes an average of 105 days, essentially 3 ½ months, to recruit and hire non-executive positions.


These lengthy vacancies are quickly eating away at corporate profits. In fact, companies lose $500 a day for every job that stays vacant. Given the average time-to-fill among pharma decision-makers is 105 days, and that amounts to $52,000 per vacancy.


Lack of Right Skills and Culture Fit Key Contributors

For many pharma decision-makers, sourcing good candidates is hard and finding qualified applicants can be even harder. Yet, finding the best-fit talent both in culture and skill-set can be downright excruciating. Consider that 76 percent of Pharma HR-decision makers agree, “when positions become available at my organization, we struggle to find people whose skills match the job requirements,” and 70 percent say, “we struggle to find people who are a good cultural fit.”


Pharmaceutical and life sciences leaders will need to increasingly leverage data and analytics to bring greater accuracy, efficiency and predictability to the hiring process. As pharma companies continue to struggle with turnover, open positions and costly vacancies, they simply can’t take a chance on anyone who doesn’t measure up.


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Topics: Succession Planning, Performance Management, Recruitment

Fortune 500 Pharmaceutical Company Case Study: Assessment-Based Succession Plan Improves Turnover in Key Scientist Role

Posted by KGL on Feb 16, 2018 11:37:20 AM right

The Challenge    

High turnover in a key scientist role was plaguing this Fortune 500 multinational pharmaceutical company, greatly hindering productivity and advancements in this critical function.


The Preparation

 In order to address this problem, XBInsight identified the need for a robust succession plan that included:

  • Creating a benchmark for the next level position to measure the readiness of these scientists to be promoted to this role.
  • Developing a customized assessment to not only reflect the skills, critical thinking and overall fit needed for the current position, but also identify a clear picture of what success looks like in the next level job.
  • Designing a comprehensive leadership development program to prepare high potential employees for next level positions


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Topics: Succession Planning, Coaching and Training, Performance Management

Increase Innovative Thinking in Your Executive Team Today

Posted by KGL on Jan 23, 2018 11:00:00 AM right

Innovation is critical in a knowledge economy — driving growth, new products, and new methods of delivering value to customers. According to PwC’s 2015 study on Global Innovation, U.S. companies spend $145 billion dollars in-country on R&D each year. And yet, despite its importance, innovation is a difficult quality to cultivate both in leaders and in organizations. In Conference Board’s 2015 CEO Challenge study, 943 CEOs ranked “human capital” and “innovation” as their top two long-term challenges to driving business growth. This is a key talent challenge for most organizations, and a talent gap that needs to be closed, starting at the top – with the role of the CEO.

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Topics: Succession Planning, Coaching and Training, Performance Management