Category: News from InterSearch local companies

Mindfulness in the Workplace

Mindfulness in the Workplace

Do you ever feel like you are just going through the motions? Not getting as much done as you would like? Many people feel the same way you do. Between the stress of work, lack of sleep, and our busy lifestyles, many people spend a large portion of their day checked-out, not focused on the task at hand.

From an organizational standpoint, this does not bode well for productivity, efficiency, and ROI. Research shows that people spend close to 47% of their day thinking about something other than what they are actually doing.

“Mind-wandering appears ubiquitous across all activities,” says Matthew A. Killingsworth, a doctoral student in psychology at Harvard. “This study shows that our mental lives are pervaded, to a remarkable degree, by the nonpresent.”

In other words, many of us spend our work days operating on autopilot. So, how can we refocus and become more engaged and productive? Through mindfulness in the workplace.

Introducing Mindfulness into Your Organization

“Mindfulness is not about living life in slow motion. It’s about enhancing focus and awareness both in work and in life. It’s about stripping away distractions and staying on track with individual, as well as organizational, goals,” says Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter.

There are two main opportunities when you can introduce mindfulness into your organization:

  • During hiring: Add mindfulness as a criterion when hiring, and look for people who are open to these concepts. This can help shape your organizational culture.
  • Training sessions: Provide training sessions for your employees to learn about how to be more mindful, understand its benefits from a work and personal perspective, and provide them with the resources.

You can support mindfulness in a number of ways:

  • Allowing for time each day for meditation
  • Offering courses and seminars
  • Creating space in the office where employees can go to refocus

Does Focusing on Mindfulness Actually Work?

A number of studies on the topic have found those organizations that have invested in mindfulness and related activities have had positive results.

A study from the University of Westminster found that meditation can help build self-confidence in leaders. “Their results, published in the Academy of Management Proceedings, revealed that training significantly enhanced their overall self-confidence, as well as the individual skills like inspiring a shared vision and demonstrating moral intelligence,” says Jeremy Adam Smith from Berkeley.

Another study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found online mindfulness training can enhance employee well-being. They found that six months after a test group took an online mindfulness training course, they were less stressed, more resilient and energetic than a test group that didn’t take the course.

Benefits of Introducing Mindfulness

Mindfulness will benefit both your employees and organization. Here are some of the changes mindfulness will introduce into the workplace:

  • Greater focus
  • Be more efficient
  • Be more creative
  • Be more present
  • Think critically and solve problems easier
  • A stronger ability to turn thoughts and ideas into strategy
  • Better communication
  • Uncover new insights
  • Make more detailed connections between concepts

If mindfulness has yet to be introduced into your workplace, remember that practicing on a personal level is a great way to help improve your mindset and performance.

Original Source : Canada – Four Corners Group Inc.

Golf day 4

InterSearch sponsors ANZAC Golf Day with Australian Business Council Dubai (ABCD)

InterSearch Middle East and their special guests enjoyed the golf event as one of the sponsors.

Braving the warmest day of the year, a great golf day was enjoyed by the guests of the Australian Business Council at the Arabian Ranches Golf Club, Dubai, UAE commemorating ANZAC Day.  Special thanks must go to Crowne Plaza Hotel & JAI Hotels as well as Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse that generously donated the prizes for InterSearch’s nearest-to-the-pin competition. See pictures below

Golf day 4Golf day 3Golf day 1Golf Day 11Golf day 2

Original Source : United Arab Emirates – InterSearch Middle East FZ-LLC

Happy But Leaving

Happy But Leaving

Happy But Leaving

Canadian employers are faced with a new challenge – employees who are “happy but leaving.”  According to a recent study from Mercer Canada, more than one-third of Canadian employees are seriously considering leaving their current company, and senior managers are more than twice as likely as non-management employees to consider leaving. Overall, 56% of employees in Canada who are satisfied or very satisfied with their company are considering leaving at the present time.

To mitigate the risk of losing critical talent, organizations must let go of the traditional belief that happy and engaged employees means retention, and instead adopt new employee value proposition.

Why Employees Leave

When someone leaves, it can shake up the organization and alter the team dynamic, especially if they were in a senior position. The top cited reasons why employees choose to leave their current job include:

  • Noted time and time again, compensation remains the most important component in the employee value proposition.
  • Benefits are an important part of the employment equation with 82% of Canadian employees claiming health benefits are just as important as receiving a salary.
  • Lack of career advancement opportunities and/or training and mentorship. 75% of North American employees would stay longer with their current company if they had a career path.
  • Poor work-life balance.
  • The job wasn’t what they expected.
  • Issues with their boss, management or colleagues.
  • Lack of appreciation for their effort

How To Retain Critical Talent

Organizations face significant risks if they don’t address the “happy but leaving” trend. The loss of key talent has an impact on morale, productivity and can result in the loss of a competitive advantage. But given the current economic climate and employee mind-set, how do you retain your best employees?

Clearly, employers can no longer offer a one-size-fits-all compensation package and expect to meet all of the needs of their employees, nor can they rely on gauging an employee’s intention by how engaged or satisfied they are at work. But there are steps they can take to mitigate their risk:

It starts by addressing the reasons why employees leave YOUR organization. Every company is different, and it’s imperative that you understand the factors influencing your ability to retain top employees.

  • Measure your total compensation packages against industry benchmarks. Are your reward programs competitive, flexible and do they align with current market trends?
  • Commit to actively managing and evolving your employee value proposition as your workforce transitions from baby boomers retiring and younger generations taking on a dominant share of the workforce.
  • Provide a clear and transparent career path or opportunities for advancement.
  • Evaluate your performance management strategy and consider moving away from the annual review to a more frequent cycle. The workforce is becoming more transitional, some employees require more frequent feedback and therefore the twelve-month review is no longer relevant.
  • Offer work-from-home arrangements and flexibility as a way to support work-life balance.

Original Source : Canada – Four Corners Group Inc.


What Leaders Pay Attention to Influences Culture

What Leaders Pay Attention to Influences Culture

One assumes that if you are a business leader that can testify to any sort of business success, you cannot be the sort of person that “switches off” every evening, over weekends or whilst on annual holiday. One assumes that the time you are thinking about and reflecting on your business is not restricted only to business hours. Most successful business leaders will admit to the fact that those long-haul flights, hours on the beach or quiet Sundays pottering in the garden are also inevitably used to reflect on the state, or direction, of their business or areas of responsibility.

The key challenge I have for any of you who can admit to the above, is not whether or not you should be thinking about your business, but rather what is it about your business that is occupying your mind. Next time you catch yourself drifting back to business, which of the following statements best describes your thought:

1. What could we be doing differently to ………..
2. What could we be doing better to………
3. What could we be doing faster to …….
4. Who do we have in our team and how could we be better equipping them…

Let us first consider the first question. Leaders who are drawn towards “Big Picture Thinking” and “Visioning” above all else are likely to carry this thinking into the way they relate to, and manage their teams. In response to this leadership style, cultures will conform to become agile and flexible; aspirant leaders will be drawn towards this culture and in turn will be welcomed into the fold. The downside, if not recognised, is that basic structures and disciplines will be lost and structured thinkers may leave in frustration and so the culture embeds.

To complete the picture, those that are drawn to improving efficiencies are “Down To Earth Thinkers” the “Outcome Focused” leaders who are looking to see deliverables produced, whilst the “People Focused” are looking for ways to build sustainable and successful teams.

Happily, and perhaps hopefully, it is seldom that all leaders can be neatly categorised into just one of the above four categories. There are a myriad of tools that are available to assess the degree to which people demonstrate each of these personality types (as well as their propensity to change). These can be most useful in making leaders aware of the impact, both positive and negative, of their behaviour. This self-awareness is important because it ensures that a balanced culture is fostered through:

1. Adapting and changing where possible;
2. Ensuring that the leadership team, as a whole, has a balanced component of strong personalities across each of the personality styles; and
3. Ensuring that the right dynamics exist within the team so that each of these strengths are heard in sufficient measure.

Culture, more than strategy, impacts business results. What leaders think about is what they pay attention to. What they pay attention to sends a message throughout the business as what gets rewarded and what doesn’t.

Original Source : South Africa – Mindcor (Pty) Ltd.


Identifying High-Potential Leaders for an Uncertain Future

The attainment of strategic intent ultimately depends on robust execution, which in turn is largely influenced by an organisation’s ability to access a sustainable supply of the best possible leaders both now and in the future. Confronted by continued economic pressure, increasingly competitive markets, and escalating stakeholder scrutiny of their leadership bench-strength, a growing number of organisations are realising that their future success will be severely compromised without the requisite leadership capability and capacity.

Yet, despite this widespread acknowledgement, a significant number of business and HR executives believe that their organisations’ efforts to produce a future supply of talented leaders are failing to deliver the desired outcomes. It is becoming abundantly clear that traditional meth¬ods used to select and develop talent have not kept pace with the changing requirements for effective leadership, and are thus failing to deliver on expectations. Not surprisingly, a growing crisis of confidence in the sustainability of current organisational leadership practices has recently emerged.

In response to this challenge, talent savvy organisations are moving to a more proactive, strategically aligned approach to leadership development and succession, where decisions are becoming more objective and evidence-based with a strong emphasis on future-focused success criteria at all leadership levels. This represents a distinct departure from the more informal or “intuitive” nature of many talent decisions of the past.

Actively seeking Future Leaders

A fundamental component in this approach involves identifying the leadership talent that already exists within the organisation, in particular those individuals who have the potential for long-term future performance in roles beyond the next designated position in their career path. There is a growing emphasis on identifying these individuals earlier on in their careers given that the magnitude of this challenge has increased exponentially more recently given the pace at which the world is changing.

The careers of many of today’s leaders have spanned periods of relative stability and predictability, and both the criteria and methods used to select, develop and promote them have reflected this reality. The consequence of this is that they are not suitably equipped to deal with the challenges of leading in a deeply disrupted context such as that which is being experienced right now.

It is a widely accepted principle that to remain relevant, leadership has to constantly adapt to, and align with, the prevailing context. By extension therefore, if the world is changing at an unprecedented pace, then the definition of what constitutes effective leadership has to change accordingly. In essence, the type of leadership required, and how it is defined, must reflect both the context in which it currently operates as well as anticipated future contexts that may emerge.

Leading in a VUCA world

The rate of change we are experiencing today is unprecedented, and differs significantly from that encountered in the past. It is occurring at a faster pace, lasting longer, and its impact is globally pervasive, causing broader and deeper disruption. The so-called VUCA – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex & Ambiguous – environment is profoundly changing not only how organisations do business, but also how business leaders lead. The skills and abilities leaders once needed to help their organisations thrive are no longer sufficient.

In the past, when markets were more predictable and organisational structures and roles were stable, it made sense to assess candidates for high-potential leadership programmes based on their performance track record and measure them against current known criteria for leadership success. However, in an operating context where disruption has become the norm, where strategies are rendered obsolete with increasing frequency, and future leadership positions may not yet exist, such an approach is no longer valid. Instead, it has become essential to understand an individual’s potential to handle the rap¬idly changing and often volatile nature of today’s business environment, and their capability to grow into increasingly expansive, complex and unknown leadership roles. This constitutes a daunting challenge, but is one that has to be mastered in order to provide the assurance of a sustainable supply of future-ready leaders.

Notwithstanding the benefits to be derived from a more robust approach to identifying long-term leadership potential, it must be borne in mind that the analysis of potential constitutes a single, albeit keystone, element in an integrated leadership succession planning and management value chain. Executed effectively, it will serve as the basis for a holistic, individualised leadership development experience focussed on personal and professional learning and growth opportunities that are aligned with current and anticipated strategic priorities.

Original Source : South Africa – Mindcor (Pty) Ltd.

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