Each month The Ken Blanchard Companies’ Ignite! newsletter takes a targeted look at a trending L&D topic. In 2022 we explored The Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting, Inclusion, Psychological Safety, Top Manager Challenges, and more! Check out the complete list of this year’s top stories—with links, below.
“Why are you leading? Is it to serve, or be served?” When bestselling business author Ken Blanchard asks this question during seminars, people always confirm that good leadership means serving others. But what keeps people from putting good ideas into use?
“I think leaders try to take on too many things at the same time,” explains Blanchard. “Keeping your commitment to your commitment is the toughest thing. A lot of people say, ‘That’s a great idea. I'm going to do that,’ but then they move on to other things.”
“People are living in an emotion zone right now,” says Dr. Vicki Halsey, vice president of applied learning at The Ken Blanchard Companies. “I think people want a life that is congruent with their vision of what their life was supposed to be.”
“It's not like they're randomly resigning. Many are leaving situations where they don't feel important, valued, or developed. The pandemic has caused people to question the quality of their lives a lot more than they ever did. Workers are really craving a chance to learn and grow.”
The stress and strain of the past two years has people everywhere looking for a little more empathy from their leaders, says bestselling business author Ken Blanchard. Blanchard reminds leaders to “Be where your people are. It's not about you, it's about them.” Blanchard’s recommendation? “Have a conversation. Check in on how your people are doing.”
Randy Conley, trust expert and Blanchard’s coauthor on the new book Simple Truths of Leadership, adds that empathy means “understanding your people, relating to what they may be going through, understanding their needs, and then working to meet their needs.”
Organizations are counting on their managers to help with two of the biggest challenges in today’s work environment—keeping people engaged and keeping them productive. It’s a results and people approach that coaching expert Madeleine Homan Blanchard is very familiar with.
“People have to show up at work every day as their best possible selves, firing on all cylinders. At the same time, organizations are looking to their managers to keep people engaged and growing. Managers need coaching skills to rise to that challenge.”
“One of the things we know from Blanchard’s teams research is that the more diverse the team, the bigger the opportunity the team has to solve complex organizational problems, execute more quickly, make better decisions, enhance creativity, and produce consistently superior results,” explains teams expert Lael Good.
“But we also know that the more diverse the team, the bigger the possibility the team will derail when it comes to the inevitable dissatisfaction stage all teams experience on the journey to high performance.”
“Every organization is critically aware that investing in your management and your people is the key to succeeding in today’s market,” shares Scott Blanchard, leadership expert and president of The Ken Blanchard Companies.
“Great companies have always been dedicated to creating great leaders and investing in their people. But there are a lot of other companies where that hasn't necessarily been a top priority—until now. Right now, every company is trying to be better. There's a higher need to act good, to do good, and to be good.”
“We’ve seen many changes and power shifts in the employment space over the past two years that have put a great deal of pressure on managers,” says Jay Campbell, chief product officer at The Ken Blanchard Companies.
“That was the genesis of the Manager Challenges Survey we just completed. We wanted to get a sense of what the impact has been and how today’s managers are coping. More than 800 managers shared their experiences with us.”
There are a lot of conversational dynamics in play when people from different levels in an organization get together for meetings says bestselling business author Craig Weber.
Weber’s specialty is conversational capacity—the ability of an individual or team to engage in open, balanced, non-defensive dialogue about difficult subjects and in challenging circumstances.
“The problem,” says Weber, “is that nothing lowers conversational capacity more predictably than the presence of authority. So managers at every level of the organization, from frontline supervisors and team leads to CEOs and senior executives, need to be careful about how they wield their authority.”
There are a lot of different ways to respond to burnout and disengagement. Quiet quitting has certainly been a popular option lately. However, most of the positive options for dealing with burnout involve stepping into conversations, not withdrawing from them, shares Dr. Vicki Halsey, vice president of applied learning at The Ken Blanchard Companies.
“You want to proactively address the things that are missing in your work environment instead of settling for less.”
As an expert in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Jennifer Brown has seen firsthand the negative effects exclusionary behavior has in organizations—whether it is intentional or not.
“When we don't feel comfortable or we don't trust the system we're in, we modify, downplay, or minimize. We conveniently avoid sharing information because we think it might limit our career prospects or our relationships with people.”
“Hiring, retention, and employee experience will be the top issues for HR professionals heading into the new year,” say Jay Campbell and David Witt, after looking at the early results from The Ken Blanchard Companies® recent trend survey. More than 700 leadership, learning, and talent development professionals took part in this year’s annual survey, entitled Enhancing the Employee Experience in a Hybrid World.
There’s a lot to unpack in the 2023 HR/L&D Trends Survey, explains Scott Blanchard, president of The Ken Blanchard Companies.
“At a deep level, you can see all of the dominant themes we are discussing today about improving the employee experience—trust, burnout, meaning, focus, and collaboration. I think it provides a roadmap for L&D efforts in 2023.”