There is more at the link that you may want to read and consider, but the big point is that what workers want is sort of all over the place. As we all stop and consider what role or work should play in our lives, we are making a number of different choices. Leaders who simply assume they can make everyone do the same thing are going to appear out of touch, and that is also exactly what we are seeing. Flexibility sells when it comes to hiring and retaining talent, lack of it just makes you look callous and distant.
This brings me to that final point. Having a learning culture requires a plan for each employee and for different types of jobs. It requires coordination between the official training department, managers, HR, and the subject matter experts throughout the organization. It may look a bit messy. It may include some mix of internal training, external resources, job shadowing, self-study, and group learning. I’d argue that a true culture that promotes and encourages learning would leave open all of those possibilities. I’d also argue that your training staff isn’t just there to teach classes but to provide and coordinate all of those options. They are there to “provide opportunities to learn and grow”, whatever those look like for all of your employees who wish to do so. They are key to retention but they cannot do it alone. The culture must reward and encourage learning and growth in meaningful ways or all the training staff in the world won’t make a difference.
What Sherri talks about in regards to the security industry is something I’m seeing over and over again when reading about diversity. The child care question.
Let me share another resource on the topic with you. In December, there was an episode of People I Mostly Admire with Claudia Goldin, where she talked about the concept of “Greedy work”.
The topic she was chatting about was the gender pay gap and how much child care contributes to it, and one of the reasons we have a gender pay cap, aside from the percentage that is actually discrimination, is that greedy work doesn’t account for child care, but it pays more. So in many families, they have to make a choice between less pay and the flexibility to equally share the child care. The economics of that don’t usually make sense, so one parent takes on the greedy work to maximize the family income while the other steps back to a more flexible role in order to provide the majority of child care. With social norms being what they are, and the other issues that contribute to a gender pay gap, that most often means the man in a heterosexual couple, and here we are with women being vastly underrepresented in these types of positions.
Wouldn’t it be a better choice to locate candidates with some of the skills you’re going to need in a position and know that you have an environment that will help them grow and learn to become exactly what you need to be? Wouldn’t that practice become a way to attract really smart people who want to grow and learn by coming to work for you? Doesn’t that sound like a better option than simply leaving your open jobs unfilled and lamenting the fact that no one wants to work anymore? Unfortunately, there are too many organizations that simply won’t consider this. They aren’t interested in growing the people who work for them, they only want to hire people who can come in with no effort on the organization’s part and do the work starting on day one.
I think they are short-sighted.
Pre-2020 we spent 8+ hours in the office, plus maybe an hour or more commuting, turning our workday into about 10-11 hours of our day, on average. But, as I mentioned, part of that was just commuting, and part of that in-office time was spent interacting socially with coworkers, going to get lunch, etc. Now? We wake up and start working. (If you’re lucky and plan you might even get a chance to shower before work.) You eat at your desk. You work right up until 5-6PM and you simply shut down. Again, you’re lucky if someone doesn’t still email or “ping” you after that. So, for many of us, our workday might still be 10-11 hours, or it might even be a bit shorter, but it’s ALL work, and as we just saw, the reality is that around the 6-hour mark our productivity started to dip. The key then, to not burning out, is to make that day flexible. Instead of demanding you put in “x” hours each day/week/month, we should simply lay out what work needs to be completed, what the deadlines are, and give workers the freedom to find the best way to accomplish that. Maybe, for some, they will want to really focus for 4 days per week and have the extra day to live their lives. For others, it might look like working some in the morning, some in the afternoon, and then again in the evening. Not everyone is going to fit into the same bucket when it comes to finding the balance that allows them to do their best work, and also have a life. Don’t force them to fit into the bucket you like. That’s how you burn them out.
So, best practices?
– use complex passwords.
– use each complex password on exactly one website. (Do NOT reuse).
– use a password manager to keep track of all those passwords.
– Use multi-factor authentication when available, as an extra step beyond your password.