All posts by Soumen Chatterjee

6 Strategies To Make You The Best Mentor

One of the best ways to Mentor someone is to give regular feedback. However, it takes more than that to be a good Mentor. I came across this good article while browsing on the web and am sharing it here:

6 Strategies To Make You The Best Mentor

You’re overseeing three huge projects. You’ve got five calls today, then two meetings. Your boss wants that budget by the end of the week, and it’s in bad shape (shh!). Your kid gets out of school early, you haven’t planned dinner, and, oh yeah, you’re still trying to fit in some kind of exercise. So … you’re telling me that I’m also supposed to fit in some kind of mentoring?!

Um … yeah?

We know you’re busy. But if you think about it for a minute, mentoring turns out to be a great way to help your company, give back to your employees, and — in case those reasons aren’t enough — boost your own career.

What other activity can give you valuable leadership experience, new perspectives on your company and workplace, and the motivation to be aware of what’s happening in different departments — all at once? Not only that, but being a great leader to someone helps you identify the next generation of leaders more easily.

For some people, mentoring comes naturally. For others, it’s more of a challenge. Whichever camp you’re in, here are some tips to maximize the relationship.

1.) Model the work ethic you teach

Frankly, the easiest way to mentor people is to be the employee you want them to be. Communicate well. Be friendly and supportive (or cutthroat and rude, if that’s what you’re after). Take on difficult tasks, and handle them with a smile.

There are many important characteristics of great mentors, one of which is good intuition. Hands-on teaching is great, but often the most powerful lessons are unspoken.

2.) Don’t give answers

Ah, isn’t it nice to regale employees with stories of your hard-won knowledge? Sure is. And isn’t it also nice to have to sit there while your mentor bores you silly telling endless stories? Yeah — not so much.

Good mentoring isn’t about telling employees what to do. It’s about pointing them in the right direction, then asking questions to help them figure things out. Give them tools and give them guidance. But if you’re telling them the answers, they’re not learning.

3.) Be a social assistant

Here’s one difference between being a good employer and being a good mentor: a good mentor helps run their mentee’s social calendar, facilitating meetings, coffee, or even short introductions with important people throughout the company. Your job as a mentor isn’t just to impart knowledge, it’s to use your networks to help your mentees’ careers.

This is great for you, because it forces you to know people across your company. It’s great for your company, since it gives more people the opportunity to share knowledge. And it’s best for your mentee, because it gives them connections that would otherwise take years to develop.

Selecting the right mentor is an important decision for mentees. Be sure to always have your mentee’s best interest at heart.

4.) Explain the unspoken

This is arguably the mentor’s biggest job. Despite written guidelines, most of what happens in a workplace follows unspoken rules. Teams tend to self-organize around people’s strengths and weaknesses, and over time accommodating different people’s quirks. The longer a team’s been together, the more entrenched these unspoken rules become.

As a mentor, you need to communicate this information to your mentee. Who should they not talk to until that person has had their morning coffee? Whom can you speak to honestly, and who do you have to stay careful around? Who is friends with whom? Who needs everything right away, and who is cool with waiting a day?

One bonus: the more you can articulate these things in words, the more opportunities there are to make things more efficient, or to improve team morale!

5.) Leave room for your mentee to be right

As the mentor, you might imagine you have all the answers. You’re partly right: you do have some of the answers. But the mentor relationship is also an opportunity for the people you mentor to have someone they can pitch ideas to, knowing that it will be ok to do so.

If you want the people you mentor to trust you, you should give some space for your them to come up with answers that are — at times — better than yours.

6.) Set shared goals

For a productive mentorship, work to create a set of shared goals. You can help your mentee figure out where they want to be and how they can get there, and you can figure out what you can do to help them achieve those goals. Maybe that means giving them a little more responsibility. Maybe it means passing their name along to a trusted colleague. Maybe it means giving the honest feedback that they need (but may not want to hear).

focusing on the relationships first instead of just the activities

The point is to see mentorship as a relationship: a shared experience that should help both of you succeed.

Focusing on the relationship first, instead of just the activities, is one of the many things that best mentors do.

(Original content from ClickTime)

 

Choosing the right competencies for your organization

Competencies, or simply defined as a combination of knowledge, skills and abilities required by a person to do a job efficiently and effectively. Every role in this world requires a set of competencies to do it well. Hence, it becomes imperative for the competencies to be identified and tracked for better performance and higher productivity in an organization.

A lot of jargon goes around the word “competency” and the endeavor of this post is not to add another definition of competency but to give a few simple pointers, if you are beginning to carve out competencies for your organization for the first time or are taking a fresh look at them to realign the organization in tune with the ever-changing workplace.

Let’s begin with a simple question that comes really at the beginning of trying to come up with a set of competencies. Why do you need a competency? Here are a few pointers on that:

competency
Why Do You Need To Define Competencies?

Hopefully, that gives a picture of the purpose of competencies in an organization. Next comes the more crucial question of How to Select a Competency? Again, the approach should be to look at the fundamentals of business and try and link why you are trying to put in a set of competencies in the first place.

 

competency selection
How to select the right competencies

Well, we are not done yet. Once you have defined the competencies for each role in the organization, it’s time to ensure you’re getting the most out of it. So, how to make the most of competencies?

competency selection

We would love to hear your observations and comments.

How to make Agile teams, more agile

How to make Agile Team more efficient
Agile Team in action

Agile methodology emerged as a response to a “crisis situation” of the conventional Waterfall Method of software development. The Waterfall Method, owing to its sequential nature, works in steps on a client requirement and by the time the product is ready to be shipped, the requirement might have changed. This could mean client dissatisfaction and ultimately revenue loss for the software development firm.

Agile assumes an approach that is time-boxed and has “continuous delivery” of usable code. The teams that work on Agile Methodology review, test and reevaluate the project collaboratively with the client and make any changes that may be required. This prevents any end-of-the-project frustrations and heartburns. Also, the velocity of the Agile team is much faster due to the prioritizations of product features and constant communication within the team, as it happens in “Daily Standups”.

The Agile team comes together to work on a project efficiently through a process, what theorists call as the Tuckman’s Five Stages of Development:

Tuckman's Stages of Group Development - Agile Teams
Agile Team goes through 5 stages of development

Once the team reaches the Performing Stage, the team really does efficient development. They come together well, trust each other and start delivering as a unit.

It is important for the teams to stay unchanged and go through the stages of Development together for them to be efficient and effective.

The triad of Agile teams viz. Make, Sell and Operate – across the organization also collaborate to complete the software development process.

Agile Teams
Triad of Agile Teams

One of the cornerstone for an Agile team to be effective is the amount of communication that is needed within as well as across the connected Agile teams of “Make-Sell-Operate” in the organization. Furthermore, one needs to identify the stage of development and use the appropriate communication strategy for that stage.

Continuous feedback on a real-time basis which is authentic and relevant can shorten the duration of each stage. If we look closely, it is the pace of communication that decides the velocity of the team through each stage and at each stage, feedback can complete the communication loop. A faster real-time feedback between team members can bring the team members together and crash the total time for the Tuckman’s Stages.

Large enterprises which have multiple agile teams have realized this and are adopting the continuous feedback approach for efficiency gains in their existing Agile teams to stay ahead of competition.

 

The end of feedback as we know it

Feedback, collaboration, communication, Outlook email, email, Office 365
Feedback and Collaboration

Real-time feedback vs Traditional Feedback

Traditionally, feedback has been captured much after the interaction has happened in the workplace. Organizations conduct annual 360 degree feedback to solicit information from peers on how employees are doing at their work. This suffers from a recency bias as well as doesn’t help the recipient as the window of employing the feedback in work has already passed by. That is where real-time steals a march over traditional feedback.

Visualize a sports coach observing a set of players in action and constantly giving feedback to bring about small incremental changes that can bring about big improvements in their game. Continuous, micro-feedback on a real time basis at workplace can do similar wonders. It’s contextual and highly relevant nature can bring huge improvements in the way we work.

Email is not just communication

Email has been the chosen medium of communication between people for decades, with web-based email offerings like Hotmail and Gmail increasing the popularity and user adoption.

Despite the advent of new communication tools like Yammer and Slack, email has been the numero-uno choice when it comes to communication in the workplace. The ease of attaching several types of documents, the security and the ability to add multiple users to communication threads has made it hugely popular amongst office folks.

I had my first email account setup on Lycos mail, back in mid-90s. While many such email providers have disappeared with the advent of new players like Gmail, email as a medium has thrived. The leading players have even gone onto make it all the more useful by adding features like auto-response and in-built “mentions” for quick parallel messaging tracks.

A sponsored 2010 study on workplace communication found 83% of U.S. knowledge workers felt email was critical to their success and productivity at work. By another estimate, we spend about 70% of our daily time reading and responding to emails but there’s an inherent drawback in email based communication. Unlike, face-to-face meetings and conversations where verbal feedback (and non-verbal cues) are possible, email doesn’t provide a way capture the feedback. We end up not leveraging several opportunities of giving real-time feedback on the work that’s happening over emails and miss out hugely on collaboration.

Real-time feedback within email

Communication without feedback is less of communication and perhaps even lesser of collaboration. Truly collaborative work can happen when there’s feedback going back and forth between employees working on a common project or task. That’s how we evolve and become better at our work!

Well, now it’s possible to give feedback on work being done over emails through new age tools like FeedForward. FeedForward subtly blends with your work email and becomes almost “hidden” thereby creating an unobtrusive user experience. Microfeedback on every piece of work on a continuous basis can actually help employees get a real-time perspective on how they are faring in the project and improve. The biggest advantage is it saves one from a situation of hesitating to give feedback in face to face situations, even when there’s strong reason and need for doing so.

On an average, we receive over 150 work emails every day but not all require our complete attention and response. FeedForward intuitively understands which emails require an action and captures these opportunities for giving feedback. That way, the recipient doesn’t get overwhelmed with too many cues for giving feedback. This particularly strong ability to capture highly contextual feedback makes FeedForward a true companion app at workplace.

Know more about how FeedForward can truly transform the way you collaborate within your emails in 2018!

Happy New Year!

How To Make The Most Of The Year-end Performance Appraisal Process

The spectrum of treatment that the Performance Appraisal Process is meted out in various organizations ranges from complete indifference to overpowering fear.

Year end performance management appraisal process
Performance Appraisal Process

Let’s visualize the Performance Appraisal Process for once. Your Manager schedules a meeting with you and other team members to have a one-on-one where he will ‘appraise’ you. Using his extraordinary memory, he recalls every bit of contribution that you made at the workplace during the last 12 months. He superhumanly collects all the feedback you should receive from all the important stakeholders, painstakingly analyzes it and then weaves that into your performance appraisal. He then follows it up with a detailed feedback to you on where you did well and where you missed a few opportunities. He takes time out to connect you with individuals who are doing well in areas where you can develop. Well, none of this truly ever happens!

Often, Performance Appraisal is treated as just another process in the workplace.  If you are lucky, your Manager will spend a few minutes to tell you about the quality of your contribution and give some feedback, based on the “recency effect” – things that he can recall from top of his mind. You end up thinking whether you got a fair chance of being ‘appraised’ and you stop looking forward to such discussions. You perhaps end up doing the same to your team when it comes to appraising them. And in the end, the entire Performance Appraisal process suffers.

Performance Appraisal process can really get a fillip with feedback on employees from multiple stakeholders. A lot of organizations do collect ‘360º Feedback’ once or twice a year. A few of them use some tools while others do it through just emails. It becomes so difficult to keep track of these emails on one hand and on the other hand, collecting feedback a few times a year is not enough to appraise an employee for her year-long efforts.

A robust Performance Appraisal process is one which runs throughout the year with continuous feedback streaming in for every employee

and is bi-directional – seniors can also get insightful feedback from their junior colleagues if there has been a meaningful collaboration over a project or assignment.

The advantages of a continuous feedback are its real time characteristics and takes the burden off the Manager to go through the cumbersome process. A real-time continuous feedback can collect feedback through everyday tools like email and collaboration platforms like Slack to give deep insights into a Manager’s team. By being available in everyday tools, employees are keen to click a few options within these tools to give feedback and the feedback giving rate dramatically goes up to 70-80% as opposed to using traditional survey tools which have a meagre 20-30% It thus allows the Manager to do coaching conversations to truly engage his team members and embark them on a path of productivity and enhanced performance, and help them realize their true potential.

Continuous Feedback system with real time analytics
Continuous Feedback Process

The other important stakeholder, besides the Manager, is the HR. HR department can come under tremendous pressure pushing people to complete the process within timelines and then collating all the data that flows in from multiple functions throughout the organization. A true Continuous Feedback system comes power-packed with real-time Analytics that present sharp insights into the organization. HR department can easily take data cuts of every function, every hierarchy level to proceed with a successful completion of the Performance Management Process.

So it’s now possible with a Real-time Continuous Feedback System in place, the Performance Appraisal process can move from zones of sheer indifference and overwhelmingly fearsome to one of truly-deserved importance and impact.

Real-time Employee Insights for Effective Learning & Development

HR guru Dave Ulrich once famously said ‘Abolish HR!’ ringing the alarm bells for the imminent loss of credibility of HR in organizations. To view it in the right perspective, out of all the functions in an organization, HR is the only one farthest from access to and usage of any form of real-time data. Sales has real-time customers and lead funnel data, finance has revenue and expenditure data and production has inventory, work-in-progress and finished goods data at their fingertips at any point of time. Unfortunately, HR has no real-time data around the employees on their competencies, skills, behaviors or values that the organization expects them to exhibit.

While HR is the custodian of competencies, there is no way for HR to know at what level the competencies are at a point in time in the organization. In the absence of credible data, many an HR initiatives fall flat on their faces.

Data driven HR, HR Analytics, HR Insights
Data-driven HR

However, with the advent of next-gen feedback solutions it is now possible to collect data around employees through feedback gathered from their peers on a continuous basis. Feedback can be collected seamlessly from employees which increases higher response rate and collects data that is contextually relevant. This data can then be analyzed using Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning methods to give important evidence-based insights into many facets of HR viz. Performance Management, Reward & Recognition, Learning & Development amongst many others. This article focuses on how continuous feedback can be used to power success of Learning & Development in organizations.

HR undertakes several Learning & Development activities for the enhancement of competencies necessary for carrying out the jobs well by employees. These activities are then calendarized for the year and communicated to various departments for them to nominate employees. While a lot of effort goes into this exercise, such activities are often plagued with no visibility of what programs will work the best to address skill gaps, loss of retention of learning objectives after the activities are over and no investment in competencies necessary for the future skill roadmap of the organization.

With continuous feedback, it is now possible to have real-time data that sharply focuses on programs that enhance the skills of employees, increase retention by continuous inputs around manifested competencies & behaviors and apportion budget on ‘missing’ skills in the organizational skill inventory. Such insights are available through rich analytics which the HR can use to be really future ready.

Continuous Feedback System
Continuous Feedback System

The continuous feedback system is a great way to enhance the L&D effectiveness of an organization. The cloud-based solution is easy to deploy, upgrade to keep up to the changing organizational dynamics and comes at a fraction of cost compared to conventional enterprise HR software.

It’s time for HR to take cognizance of the power of real-time data through continuous feedback and be in step with the other functions like sales, finance & production in the organization.

Why and how should you promote Diversity & Inclusion at your workplace?

While Women’s Equality Day was being observed on August 26 to commemorate the voting rights being conferred on women in US in 1920, somewhere in France a controversy was playing out over women wearing burkini or burqini. These unrelated events reflect a wide range of public conscience around diversity & inclusion around gender, ethnicity, race in our society.

Diversity & inclusion are not just restricted to our society at large as we see these occurring in our workplaces too. Having said that, according to research published in American Sociological Review, workplace diversity is among the most important contributing factors of a business’ sales revenue, customer numbers and profitability.

In his outlook on HR Trends for 2016, Josh Bersin talks about Building an inclusive culture is now the No. 1 predictive strategy for global financial performance, bringing this topic into the focus on CEOs and senior execs. Further, management consulting firm, McK

insey reported that companies in the top quartile for diversity financially outperform those in the bottom quartile. “Gender-diverse companies are 15 percent more likely to outperform” their industry average, “while ethnically diverse companies are 35 percent more likely to outperform” the industry average. And diversity is probably “a competitive differentiator that shifts market share toward more diverse companies over time.”

Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace are important for bottomline
Diversity matters

 Despite all the data and the awareness around the significance of Diversity & Inclusion available with us,   upward of 95 percent of large corporate diversity recruiting efforts routinely fail to meet their modest diversity goals. In fact, the EEOC (US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) reports that diversity employee representation percentages at corporations have barely budged since 1985.

There are multiple ways through which Diversity & Inclusion can be built and sustained in the workplace.  I am listing out a few which you can choose from depending on your organization’s context and policies:

Create internal awareness

Create an internal marketing program for people to know about Diversity & Inclusion, the benefits of it and the various initiatives your organization is taking for it. Right information leads to right decisions being taken by managers and employees of your organization.

Diversity is important for company's bottomline
Diversity is important for bottomline

 Focus on data-driven Diversity hiring

It is important to use data while hiring for diversity. You can look at what programs are attracting candidates more, what kind of social is more effective, what is the right choice of words when advertising for jobs to promote diversity. Data based decisions can then be tracked to focus on the one yielding better results in diversity recruitment ratio.

Engage them gainfully

Give new hires a reason to stay. Devote an equal amount of time and effort in retaining new employees. Familiarize them with the new job and company culture. The first few weeks can be the most difficult time for any employee. It’s important to show they have a future in the company. Clearly communicate opportunities for advancement. Set up mentoring programs to build close working relationships. Finding mentors that share personal interests can foster new friendships.

Customize initiatives in line with your workforce

From setting up day care to extended leave for mothers with new-borns, listen in to what your workforce is asking for. Fine tuning your initiatives to meet your workforce requirements is one of the best ways to create diversity in the workplace.

Above all, constant monitoring of all Diversity & Inclusion initiatives need to be done by concerned business leaders to ensure any course correction required to sustain the multiple benefits of a workplace Diversity & Inclusion strategy for the organization.

Selecting a Mentoring Software: Critical Success Factors you must consider

Mentoring Software for Corporate Mentoring Program
Selecting A Mentoring Software for Corporate Mentoring Program

The fact that you are here means that you are already an avowed advocate of the power of Mentoring in the workplace. And now you are looking at enabling your Mentoring Program with technology for ease and effectiveness.

Here is a quick blueprint on some of the critical success factors you must consider before zeroing in on the right software for your internal Mentoring Program:

The Right Mentee-Mentor Matching

The key to success of a corporate Mentoring Program is right Mentee-Mentor matching. The software should have a facility for matching based on skills, interests and strengths. This allows for a comprehensive matching leading to great outcomes of your Mentoring Program.

Does it have the necessary features in line with the current Mentoring practices and Technology trends?

Often Mentoring programs fall through the cracks because Mentors and Mentees are not able to find time to meet or talk in the midst of their work. A software that allows them to schedule sessions, pushes reminder notifications and even have quick chats through a messenger can be a great way to keep the Mentoring Program on-course.

It should also allow users (read Mentees and Mentors) to share feedback about the program through quick Pulse Surveys. Pulse surveys allow you to capture the feedback of the employee based on instantaneous  experiences.

Also, the Mentoring Program co-ordinator should be able to track the program health across geographies, departments in the Mentoring cohort to ensure the objectives are met and take necessary course correction. Further, the Mentoring software should allow you to measure the ROI of your Mentoring program. A visual data analytics dashboard in the software is a surefire way to do all of that.

Is it Customizable to your needs?

The software platform should be customizable to meet your specific mentoring objectives. Whatever be your objective  for running a Mentoring Program – whether you are running it for leadership development, succession planning, diversity & inclusion, knowledge transfer the  software should be agile and robust to support all your needs.

Is it Scalable for the size of the Mentoring cohort?

You could be initiating a Mentoring Program for a small cohort in a department or a large cohort across business units, the software should be scalable to support any number of users in your organization. It should allow flexibility to accommodate more users as the program gains traction inside your organization.

Is it backed by Research and Expertise?

While internal Mentoring Programs have been around for a few decades now, current mentoring practices are in line with the changing workforce demographics and realities of businesses facing competitive pressures. The software shouldn’t just be a technology tool and should be backed by a deep understanding of what kind of mentoring is aligned with the changing organizational landscape. It should also have a Customer Success Process to ensure that you are able to accomplish your objectives of the Mentoring Program.

Does the price justify your investment?

Last but not the least, the price of the software should be worth your investment. It’s also important to ensure that the pricing is simple and transparent.

Make yourself aware right at the beginning of your purchase process that it doesn’t have any exorbitant fees over and above what you pay per user. It’s advisable to schedule a demo with the software provider to understand the software platform well enough and make yourself aware of the price you are going to pay.

How to Start A Mentoring Program Successfully and Sustain It

A Mentoring Program is a proven method for employee development and retention, succession planning, knowledge transfer and promoting diversity & inclusion in the organization.

While the benefits of Mentoring are innumerable but how to go about creating a successful Mentoring Program in the workplace?

Through deep research backed by experts, NxtSpark has designed the DELTA Process for not only starting but creating a sustainable Mentoring Program. DELTA stands for Define, Evangelize, Launch, Track and Analyze is based on deep insights into the science of mentoring in organizations.

How to Start A Mentoring Program

Define: Define the objectives and the success factors of the Mentoring Program that you are rolling out in your organization. This is very crucial for tracking of outcomes against the initially laid-down objectives. These objectives may become the super-ordinate goals /overarching criteria for the employees getting mentored. They may use these to decide on their own professional goals.

Evangelize: A Mentoring Program’s success is directly dependent on the participation from Mentees and Mentors. It then becomes very important for it to be marketed well inside the organization in terms of its benefits. Program co-ordinators understand this very well and the right evangelism of the program can make the right noise at all levels of the organization.

Launch:  At the inception of the program, user profiles of those Mentees and Mentors who have shown interest in the program need to made available from the HRIS records. NxtSpark’s unique strengths based / skills based Matching Algorithm matches the mentee with the right mentor to ensure with the necessary flexibility for the mentees to select the right mentor basis comfort and availability.

Track:  Interim tracking of the program is crucial for ensuring successful outcomes.  The Program Co-ordinating team can put in checkpoints for measuring progress and make helpful resources like videos, articles, etc. available to Mentees and Mentors to support the Mentoring Program.

Assess: Using NxtSpark’s superior visual data analytics, you can measure the health of the program, do necessary course correction and calculate the ROI. This data-rich dashboard enables the business leaders and HR Managers to take necessary decisions for gaining maximum mileage out of the program investment in terms of time, effort and dollars spent.

Organizations following this process have reported higher success rates in the achievement of their internal Mentoring programs.

Don’t Abolish HR Yet!

Data driven HR

In an article written in Harvard Business Review, Dave Ulrich, a Professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, and co-founder of the RBL Group, addressed a raging debate – ’Should we do away with HR? He goes on to say,

“The debate arises out of serious and widespread doubts about HR’s contribution to organizational performance. It is often ineffective, incompetent, and costly; in a phrase, it is value sapping. Indeed, if HR were to remain configured as it is today in many companies, I would have to answer the question above with a resounding “Yes—abolish the thing!”

In the light of the economic crises in the corporate world in the last few years and the changes that have also been precipitated by emerging start-ups, HR has to become future forward to stay relevant. HR professionals can help turn aspirations into actions by focusing on three things:  talent, culture and leadership.

HR professionals should then be the architects of talent, culture, and leadership as they help line managers deliver what they promise.

In the course of NxtSpark’s work on Talent Development, I work closely with organizations on challenges faced by them with their people – ranging from change management, competency development, leadership building, mentoring, etc.  Most of the times, our clients approach us not with the problem per se but with the manifestation of the problem. During our conversations, on how the interventions designed and deployed by us is going to help them, I have realized that their focus is usually on the episodes where the business manager has faced the challenges with his people in executing and implementing and they want overnight solutions. As is the case with any behavioral change, it takes time, a process and an environment that sustains the change.

Basis experience of working with the clients, I have sifted the crucial observations and parameters of making HR interventions work. Here are the top pointers on how to get the best out of such HR interventions:

Solve the problem, not the manifestation: Getting to the root of the problem is important. Most of the times the attempt is to address the manifestation rather than the problem itself. One of our clients had a challenge around their managers not being able to do ‘Next Level Thinking’. The workshop was then designed on what’s causing this challenge, providing conceptual frameworks for the participants to get equipped on the skills to overcome this challenge and simulating case situations to enable them overcome that problem in the workshop.

Align the intervention outcomes with the business objectives: This is perhaps the most important criteria to ensure success of any HR intervention. Without linking the outcomes with the business objectives the training becomes an ‘offsite’ to relax, network with other colleagues in the organizations and only to go back to their work with no clarity on what has been learnt and how to use in the workplace. E.g. if a communication skill improvement has been planned through a workshop, it should be linked to in what sphere the communication needs to improve – whether it is with the customers or internally with other colleagues of the team or another department. Having clarity around this ensure that the workshop has enough activities and modules to simulate the real situations in which those skills will be tested.

Don’t look for quick fixes: Business managers want overnight solutions to problems that have persisted for ages. When dealing with HR interventions, one has to realize that people base their world views based on their background and that has been built over years of experience. Once the change has been set into motion in a workshop, it takes a little bit of time and constant encouragement to reinforce and continue the process of change in the individual.

Ensure follow-through happens: After the training or the workshop, it’s imperative that the business manager provides necessary projects and assignments to the people who have gone through the workshop. These projects allow the people to implement the concepts that they have learnt and receive feedback on how they can improve.

Identify and track post intervention metrics: Metrics for measuring the success of workshops need to be identified in advance and then tracked at regular intervals. Feedback from peers, managers and customers can be taken to track the progress on the identified metrics. These metrics can then be processed further through Analytics tools to give insights on what can be done to improve performance, achieve business objectives, have sharply-focused training programs, design better compensation structures etc.