Employment outlook for Q3 2016 dips 4 percentage points year-on-year


Singapore, 14 June 2016 — Job seekers will face a marginally tougher employment environment in the July to September time frame.


Hiring intentions for the next three months are at best moderate, according to the Q3 2016 Manpower Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS).


Of the 647 employers surveyed, 11% expect to increase staffing levels while 1% anticipate a decrease. Once seasonal variations are removed from the data, Singapore’s Net Employment Outlook stands at a modest +9%, which is the weakest forecast reported since Q3 2009. However, 78% of the employers surveyed said they expect to keep current payrolls intact through the July-September time frame.


Overall, hiring prospects decline by 4 percentage points year-on-year.


Ms. Linda Teo, country manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore says: “Even though we may not be in a recessionary mode, the employment sentiment certainly isn’t as positive as it has been in the past. In fact, the third-quarter results are the weakest reported since we started to emerge from the last global financial crisis. However, more than three-quarters of the employers we surveyed told us they planned to keep their current workforces intact during the July-September time frame. Employers are clearly sensing more uncertainty in the business environment, but most of them appear to be waiting for clearer signs in the market place before they engage in further personnel decisions.”


She adds: “Our numbers confirm what MAS had indicated about a protracted period of modest growth in the quarters ahead.”


Ms. Teo was referring to the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s twice-yearly Macroeconomic Review report published in April. The report said that the nation will face slower economic growth given that its trade-related industries are impacted by sluggish economies of its trading partners such as the United States and Japan.


MEOS is a predictive quarterly survey published by global talent experts, US-based ManpowerGroup. Employers are asked if they plan to increase or decrease headcount in the following quarter or keep to status quo.


Domestic hiring sentiments by sectors
MEOS covers seven industries: Finance, Insurance & Real Estate; Manufacturing; Mining & Construction; Public Administration & Education; Services; Transportation & Utilities; and Wholesale & Retail Trade.


● Net Employment Outlooks
Though employers in all the seven industry sectors expect to hire in Q3 2016, such plans differ vastly in different sectors. The strongest hiring pace is anticipated in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector, with an Outlook of +16%. The weakest forecast is reported in the Wholesale Trade & Retail Trade sector, with an Outlook of +3%.


Employers in the Public Administration & Education sector and the Transportation & Utilities sector, report Outlooks of +14% and +13%, respectively.


The Outlook stands at +10% for the Services; +9% for Mining & Construction; and 7%+ for the Manufacturing sectors.


● Quarter-on-quarter sector comparisons
Compared with the previous quarter, job prospects pick up in four of the seven industry sectors, notably by 6 percentage points in Public Administration & Education.


Hiring intentions are 4 and 3 percentage points stronger in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector and the Transportation & Utilities sectors, respectively.


However, Outlooks weaken in the other sectors, including the Mining & Construction, where employers report a decline of 4 percentage points.


● Year-on-year sector comparisons
Job prospects decline in three of the seven industry sectors year-on-year.


The biggest decrease of 14 percentage points is reported in the Services sector.


The Outlooks are 5 and 3 percentage points weaker in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector and the Manufacturing sectors, respectively.


However, hiring plans improve in the other sectors, including an increase of 3 percentage points for the Wholesale Trade & Retail Trade sector.


Asia Pacific hiring outlook
Employers in India and Japan report the strongest third-quarter hiring plans, while those in China and Australia report the weakest.


Though hiring prospects in India decline slightly in both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year comparisons, jobs are still a-plenty: more than a third of employers say they will add to payrolls in the July-September time frame.


Conversely, China’s hiring plans weaken in all industry sectors both quarterly and yearly. Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector employers report the biggest decline, with that sector’s Outlook sinking to negative levels for the first time since Q3 2006.




Notes to Editors
Net Employment Outlook: the figure is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating total employment to increase and subtracting from this the percentage expecting to see a decrease in employment at their location in the next quarter.
The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on 13 September 2016 and will detail expected labor market activity for the fourth quarter of 2016. The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is available free of charge to the public through their local Manpower representative in participating countries. To receive an e-mail notification when the survey is available each quarter, please complete an online subscription form at: http://investor.manpower.com/alerts.cfm


About ManpowerGroup Singapore
Established in 1996 in Singapore, ManpowerGroup works with a range of manufacturing, resources, mining, transport and logistics, government, blue chip investment and retail banks, IT vendors and outsourcers, telecoms service providers and infrastructure, utilities and engineering services companies. In Singapore, the ManpowerGroup suite of solutions is offered through ManpowerGroup™ Solutions, Manpower®, Experis™, and Right Management®. More information on ManpowerGroup Singapore is available at:www.manpower.com.sg


About ManpowerGroup™
ManpowerGroup® (NYSE: MAN) is the world’s workforce expert, creating innovative workforce solutions for nearly 70 years. As workforce experts, we connect more than 600,000 people to meaningful work across a wide range of skills and industries every day. Through our ManpowerGroup family of brands – Manpower®, Experis®, Right Management ® and ManpowerGroup® Solutions – we help more than 400,000 clients in 80 countries and territories address their critical talent needs, providing comprehensive solutions to resource, manage and develop talent. In 2016, ManpowerGroup was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the sixth consecutive year and one of Fortune’s Most Admired Companies, confirming our position as the most trusted and admired brand in the industry. See how ManpowerGroup makes powering the world of work humanly possible: www.manpowergroup.com



Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Q3 2016
(00.01 Local time)

Josh Goh
Marketing Director
ManpowerGroup Singapore
D: +65 6551 5321
E: josh.goh@manpower.com.sg

Given the nature of Kelly business, there are many contracts, critical documents and agreements that need to be signed by both candidates and clients as part of our business processes. Traditional method of tracking the hardcopy of such documents for required signatories is not only time consuming but awfully manual.

Kelly explored to adopt digital signatories through the implementation of DTM, which is a cloud based software to digitally manage a wide range of documentation that involves people, documents, data and transactions both inside and outside of an organization.


DouSign has been implemented in Kelly this year for all candidates working at key clients.  Benefits include;

  1. Real-time transactions that eliminates time to courier the hardcopy documents between various parties
  2. Cost savings from eliminating the use of large amount of paper
  • Business acceleration with secured and speedy electronic workflow
  1. 24*7 access to critical documents not constrained by office operating hours

With the resounding success achieved with DocuSign, Kelly will definitely be introducing it to other offices beyond Singapore.


Onboarding Candidates Anytime Anywhere

Kelly being one of the largest temporary and contract staffing company in Singapore, regularly meet and brief appointed candidates on the necessary company policies, guidelines and processes as part of onboarding requirement. Significant effort and time is needed from the Kelly administration team to arrange such candidates’ briefings.


Kelly started using Doodle video to onboard candidates and provide them with all the necessary information they need to start their new job. The video is available online 24 by 7 and for refresher if needed. The consistency and accuracy of the information shared to all candidates is also assured. With increasing labour mobility, this tool is especially useful for overseas candidates who sometimes only arrive in Singapore a day prior to their assignment date.


This inexpensive and innovative solution has definitely brought much benefits to both candidates and the business alike.

Singapore (April 13, 2016) BI WORLDWIDE (BIW), a global engagement agency and a leader in employee rewards, sales/channel effectiveness and event management announced a formal realignment in Asia Pacific. BIW will be blending its local teams in Australia, China and Singapore into an integrated regional structure to better serve both our clients’ local and regional interests.


Beginning July 1 2016, David Litteken will assume leadership as Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific, with the regional offices reporting directly to him. This new structure also includes oversight of the Australian-based Veritas Group, an internationally recognized production company, in which BIW holds controlling interest. This realignment will optimize BIW’s ability to best serve its clients throughout the region.


Expressing confidence in this decision, Jeff Beegle, Vice President of BIW’s International Group, said, “Under David’s leadership, we plan to develop and coordinate our strengths in technology, events and production. Asia Pacific will continue to be a huge growth opportunity for BI WORLDWIDE over the next five to ten years. We are thrilled we can take a market leader position in this region.”


Litteken has been with BIW for more than 22 years, serving on the company’s leadership team at its U.S. headquarters prior to being appointed as Managing Director for the China and Singapore markets in September 2012.




BI WORLDWIDE is a global engagement agency that uses the principles of behavioral economics to produce measurable results for its clients by driving and sustaining engagement with their employees, channel partners and customers. Supporting 140 countries through seven global headquarters and operating in17 languages, BIW continues to bring best in class solutions to its global, regional and local customers. For more information, please visit www.biworldwide.com.

If you were asked to develop a culture of customer service at your company – a culture where employees at all levels were encouraged to take initiative, serve customers with a smile, and take actions that helped build the company’s bottom line, what would you do?  You might develop an employee handbook outlining company policies. You might share statistics on how important customer service is to the company’s success.  You might conduct training programs and role plays to help employees understand how to interact with customers most effectively.


However, if you really want to develop a service culture and change employee behavior, perhaps the most important thing you could do is to tell stories.  What do you think communicates customer service most effectively – a company mission statement and customer service “guidelines” or a story of an employee who personally delivered a pair of replacement shoes to a customer who’s original purchase was left out in the rain by the delivery company?  How about the story of the employee who cheerfully refunded the price of two returned snow tires even though the store doesn’t sell tires?  (These are two of the many stories highlighting the Nordstrom department store’s exceptional service to the customer).


Story telling is a powerful communications tool and one that needs to be in your leadership arsenal.  Effective story telling can be as important as financial acumen, decisive decision making and innovative thinking when it comes to creating an organizational culture, communicating a vision and executing a strategy.


What makes stories so powerful?


  • Stories are remembered. As human beings, we remember stories much better than we recall facts and figures. Stories have plots. They give us context and color. They relate to our everyday lives and experiences.  They connect with our memories on multiple levels.  As a result we can usually recall a story much more readily than the hard facts.  I don’t know many details about Federal Express, but I’ll never forget the story that the idea was first proposed in a college term paper (and received a “C” grade).


  • Stories are personal and evoke emotion and connection. Stories allow us to see ourselves in a situation and either empathize with or disagree with the protagonists.  In either case we begin to internalize the lesson of the story.


  • Stories are easily shared. Because they are easily remembered, and because everyone likes stories, they are easy to communicate. Stories will travel throughout your organization infinitely faster than your latest annual report.  Given the breadth of today’s social media, they’ll also travel across your markets and customers.


  • Stories sell. Stories are key sales tool whether you are selling your vision to your employees or trying to land a multi-million dollar order from a new customer.  Describing the benefits of your product or service through a story is extremely powerful.  Stories help your customers make an emotional connection to your company and really “see” the benefits of your product.  Most large NGOs who rely on donations for their funding know this well.  Their fund raising efforts typically include a selection of stories about how your donations have helped meet the needs of a specific child/family/animal/people group. These stories are always much more powerful than simply talking about the benefits in the abstract.


  • Stories humanize. Too often large companies (and their leaders) can appear to be estranged from their customers and employees.  Stories can help provide a more humane and relatable face to the organization, helping to build trust and connection with both markets and employees.  If the stories are about the company’s leaders, so much the better.


So, if you want to communicate more effectively with your team, your organization or your customers, think about how to improve your story telling.  Collect stories and examples as they happen. Practice telling them to yourself.  Create a collection of anecdotes that highlight key features of your product or focus on important values of your company.  Tell them regularly.  Of course, you’ll want to base your decisions on facts and analysis, but you’ll be more effective if you communicate those decisions in a story.


Effective leadership is often the result of effective story telling. Stories communicate emotion, are easily shared and are remembered more readily than facts and figures. Story telling is a critical component to effective organizational communication and should be an important part of your leadership toolbox.

MSD opens $8 million integrated state-of-the-art Global IT Innovation Hub in Fusionopolis

  •  MSD Global Innovation Hub is the first by a healthcare company to dedicate a facility to harness digital innovation for better healthcare outcomes.
  • MSD Global Innovation Hub will develop the talent pool in Singapore





On 27 October 2015, MSD officially opened its Global Innovation Hub, an S$8 million integrated state-of-the-art hub in Galaxis Building, Fusionopolis. It is the first integrated innovation hub by a healthcare company in Singapore, and is MSD’s eighth site here. The new MSD Global Innovation Hub will focus on data science and cyber security to harness digital innovation for better healthcare outcomes.


MSD has two other global innovation hubs that opened this year, one for the Americas in Branchburg, N.J., USA, and the other for Europe and the Middle East in Prague, Czech Republic. The Singapore-based Asia Pacific hub is part of a three-hub, global network that people can use to share ideas and best practices around the world in real time.


The Hub will enable the company to use analytics and mathematical modelling to guide its research focus and choices, for instance determining the appropriate time to stop collecting and start analyzing data in a clinical trial; predicting how vaccinations can reduce outbreaks; and forecasting which diseases may develop into significant problems 20 years from now.


In the area of cyber and digital security, the Hub will have a Risk and Compliance Centre of excellence with a dedicated team that can facilitate “follow-the-sun” services 24/7 around the world to protect its businesses against both cyber and physical intrusions. Through a special forensic lab within the Hub, MSD can leverage advanced technology to enhance investigative and defensive capabilities for intellectual property protection. Greater collaboration among IT and other functional units will also improve regulatory and operational readiness.


MSD is also partnering with EDB and local universities to develop the field of data science in Singapore. Through the MSD Global Innovation Hub, the company aims to train up to 20 professionals in this field over the next two years and co-develop a curriculum on data science in a local university. MSD also plans to collaborate with other government bodies and start-ups based in Singapore to lead hospitals here to leverage data science to develop innovative healthcare solutions.


Singapore was selected as the location for the MSD Global Innovation Hub  because of the country’s excellent business infrastructure, world-class research institutions, leading centers of learning, technological readiness, and the government’s vision of transforming Singapore into a “Smart Nation.”


MSD Global Innovation Hub will develop talent pool in Singapore


MSD has initiated an “Emerging Talent Rotation” program where fresh graduates are selected from local universities for management training programs at the MSD Global Innovation Hub. Ten graduates with diverse degrees from the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, and Singapore University of Technology and Design have commenced work at MSD Global Innovation Hub.


The company will also offer up to 20 internships over the next four years to students from these universities. They will have the opportunity to work on 20 innovative healthcare projects over that timeframe. It is expected that the Hub will employ about 160 persons within the next two years.


This April 2016, MSD hosted the inaugural “Singapore Grand Challenge”, a competition for local students from five universities to showcase their ideas on information technology and how it can influence and transform global healthcare, creating value for the world. Taking home the Grand Prize, were second-year students from the National University of Singapore, who made a remarkable proposal offering real world solutions for devising a self-administered insulin dispenser, collection of diabetic patient data through IoT devices, and collaboration with a start-up on platform marketing. For this, they walked home with the grand prize of S$20,000. The second prize of S$10,000 and third prize of S$5,000 went to the SUTD and SMU teams.

MSD Singapore Grand Challenge Winning Team (1)




Tabitha Ang 
Policy & Communications
MSD Pharma (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. 
: +65 6508 8442 | M: +65 98798777

ORC paper 1

Strategic Innovation: Riding the Wave of Disruption

To thrive in today’s disruptive economy, organizations must fiercely protect market share and seek new avenues for growth. New start-ups and technologies, launched every day, can significantly disrupt well-established industries, challenge conventional thinking, and change consumer behaviour. Global marketplace leaders also have another competitor to add to the roster —rising local firms in emerging markets. Rethinking innovation is more important than ever and is imperative for growth.

In a recent paper by ORC International, it summarized four important tenets to follow, in order to find success in a climate of disruption:

#1 Balance Your Risk and ROI – Incremental innovations can address agility, while big innovations can explore new markets. Creating a balanced innovation portfolio is key. It requires a blend of safety and risk, of quick action at times and a long-term view at others. Defining goals and desired outcomes at the beginning of the planning process is essential for measurement.

#2 Go Beyond Products – Do not solely think of products when it comes to innovation. Innovation extends far beyond that. Using frameworks like the Innovation Radar to take a 360-degree view to determine where to focus your innovation resources from a broader perspective.


#3 Innovation is More Than Ideation – Innovation must follow a new agile norm to support a competitive advantage. A number of our CPG clients are in the process of introducing abbreviated innovation life cycles. These allow organizations to assess risk and return at each step of the innovation process, ensuring that the best ideas are executed effectively and efficiently.


#4 Be Active and Create Alignment – A deliberate information exchange among everyone involved in the innovation process enables more action and alignment, allowing organizations to focus on innovation goals. This focus must be reflected in the organization’s processes and incentives across vertical alignments and functional teams.


To learn more, read the full paper here.

Asia has a rich and well-documented history of early civilizations and seafarers. From China’s Great Wall to the vast complexes of the Khmer and Pagan kingdoms in Cambodia and Myanmar respectively and the roads of India’s Emperor Ashoka, these ancient cultures boasted sophisticated and diverse infrastructure that responded to the varying topographies, climates, and natural resources of the region.


Today, the countries that comprise Asia are faced with huge populations and growing consumer classes that have put unprecedented demands on infrastructure which begs for new projects to keep up with capacity needs. This will inevitably define a new era, an age of Asian infrastructure, for the building, support, and maintenance of these undertakings.


Asia is using the demand for infrastructure to promote greater regional connectivity for trade, tourism, and commerce. Infrastructure will be the key to the further economic success of Asia and there are diplomatic gains to be had. China, Japan, and South Korea are in a fiercely competitive race to build in rapidly developing markets like Myanmar.


No doubt, they are using infrastructure demand to promote geopolitical strategies and achieve more integrated diplomatic and industrial leadership roles in the region. China has taken this a step further by spearheading the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, leveraging its dominant trade ties within the region. Furthermore, China is the region’s largest exporter and arguably has the most to gain from achieving regional infrastructure connectivity.


There is no greater validation of this new era than the recent launch of the AIIB. It is arguably one of the most significant diplomatic initiatives of recent years. Beginning in 2013, nearly 60 countries signed up to the AIIB as founding members. This confirms that infrastructure is a priority focus and essential component of economies and investment both in the region and with global trading partners. It also shows this new financial institution has filled a needed gap for Asian nations in achieving crucial connectivity to support economic and population growth.


Of course, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank have supported major initiatives in the region for years. Multilateral banks are immensely helpful, and Asian countries are gaining the wealth and knowledge to finance, design, build, and operate roads, ports, railroads, and other strategic infrastructure assets on a world-class scale.


China’s initiatives alone are providing massive capital for infrastructure expansion. The AIIB, with $100 billion in overall funding, the New Development Bank BRICS, with another $100 billion, and the Silk Road Fund, with $40 billion solely from China, support the efforts of the China Export-Import Bank and the China Development Bank to extend the country’s influence both regionally and globally. For example, the China Exim Bank funded more than 1,000 projects as part of the government’s Belt and Road Initiative in 49 countries in 2015. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has estimated that the Belt and Road Initiative will have a $6 trillion impact.


By 2020, China plans to have built 88,000km of highways. That would be more than the entire U.S. interstate highway system has now.


China is not the only proponent of new infrastructure. Last May, Japan committed $120 billion for “high quality infrastructure” in Asia. India has committed to build approximately $150 billion of roads, railroads and ports. The ADB estimated in 2009 that Asia would need $8 trillion of primary infrastructure by 2020; this need is gradually being filled. The driving factors that have triggered the infrastructure demand are generally the same: economic growth and stability, attracting foreign direct investment, and maintaining a strong labor force.


But who will win in the age of Asian infrastructure? Competition for infrastructure business in Asia has created a buyer’s market in terms of finance and technical skills. Last year, Indonesia awarded a high-speed rail project to China with initial construction costs borne by the Chinese in exchange for rights to operate and maintain the new line. In India, the Japanese government has committed to finance a high-speed rail project with zero loan payback for 10 years after which interest will accrue at 0.3% a year. These are extremely positive steps for an urbanizing region with creaking infrastructure and growing wealth and will benefit governments, service providers, and financiers.


These initiatives are diverse both in goals and delivery models. There is a need to strengthen both government-to-government relationships and government-private sector relations. For some projects, joint responsibility could be appropriate, others could be structured as public-private partnerships, and there could also be privatized models for the full construction, operation, ownership, and perhaps ultimate transfer of finished, functioning infrastructure to government. There will also be quasi-governmental companies emerging to lead strategic initiatives that can be fast-tracked.


The structuring of infrastructure deals and a holistic approach to project sequencing need serious consideration and fresh ideas to make the projects fully successful. Furthermore, there must be consensus and agreement on regional infrastructure specifications and requirements so that the vast investments being made can achieve and surpass today’s vision of the future.


The age of Asian infrastructure will not reflect one nation’s aspirations or needs nor is it the long-term goal of a single multilateral bank. Instead, it is the transformation of an entire region amid rising wealth, urbanization and human and intellectual capital development. While plenty of challenges lie ahead, the benefits far outweigh the risks as the entire region gains through the financing, provision, and use of physical and social infrastructure.


Tony Nash is chief economist at Complete Intelligence, an economics, risk and industry advisory firm in Singapore. Kristina Feller is managing director of Freestone Strategies, an advisory and management consultancy, in Singapore.

In my role as Associate Dean at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, I am often called upon to give career advice to both our MBA students and recent graduates. I typically offer some traditional suggestions on how to go about assessing your skills and interests as well as ideas for developing a career strategy. Recently, however, I begin to think about the best advice I ever received.  I’ve been given some great suggestions by a wide variety of mentors and bosses and I thought it might be useful to pass it on here. After all, business success isn’t only about gaining the right credential or learning a particular set of skills. Ultimately, success is a question of how you apply that credential and those skills – and how you develop your values and your attitude toward work and life.


Here then are a few words of wisdom that every aspiring professional should take to heart:


  • “How can you help sell? Do good work.” Early in my career I was a management consultant. I helped a variety of organizations improve their operations and develop creative business strategies. I vividly recall one partner asking a bunch of us new consultants how we could help sell more work to our clients. Some of my colleagues offered a variety of marketing and sales ideas, but the partner cut them short and said “the best way you can promote the firm is to do good work.” I think this holds true whether you are selling your services to a client or trying to make a mark in your own organization. If you do good work, with integrity, good things follow.

  • “I’ve never regretted taking on something that I thought was hard.” One of my former bosses said this to me when I was contemplating taking on a new role – teaching an MBA class. I had not taught before and MBA classrooms can be intimidating places.   I wasn’t sure I should add the new responsibilities to an already full plate and was quite nervous about the role. My boss encouraged me to accept the position with this thought. And, of course, he was right! The teaching position was a lot of fun and led to even more opportunities to teach and interact with students. Since then, I’ve considered his advice often. Whenever a new opportunity has presented itself, I don’t worry too much about whether it’s hard or not – I think about what I might learn and who I might meet. Great opportunities are often hard work – you shouldn’t shy away from them because of that – it’s the hard work that makes them valuable.

  • “They’ll treat clients and professional staff the same way they treat administrative staff”. During my consulting days, we would evaluate potential hires on all sorts of criteria – analytical ability, communications skills, strategic view, interpersonal skills, etc. Most applicants were well prepared and expected to be grilled on these topics when interviewed by partners and consultants. What they may not have known is that the receptionists and secretaries could also provide feedback on their interactions with the applicant. If they perceived the candidate as arrogant, impolite or “pushy” they could add that to the overall evaluation. When I ran Chicago Booth’s admissions office, we instituted the same policy. Everyone on the team could offer an opinion on a candidate and it would have a bearing on the final admissions decision. The moral of this story is to always treat everyone you meet with respect – you never know who is watching. (It’s also simply the right thing to do).

  • “What will you learn”? Your career choices should focus as much or more on what you’ll learn as how much money you’ll make. At this point, I can’t recall who gave me this advice, but it has served me extremely well. Your value to an organization is dependent on how much you know and how you apply that knowledge. The more experiences you can develop and the more skills you can gain, the more valuable you become. Therefore, your career path should follow opportunities to learn new things – take on new responsibilities, participate in projects that are new to you, develop relationships with people you don’t know. The more you can do this, the broader your set of skills and the more valuable you become.

  • “It all starts with sales.” Whether you are an entrepreneur, an investment banker trying to attract clients or simply a rising manager looking to move ahead, the ability to sell and persuade is critical. Unfortunately, it’s a skill that many of us too often neglect. No matter what industry you’re in or what position you hold, sales, persuasion and negotiation skills are some of the most important things you can learn. The success of your organization and your own personal success often hinge on your ability to understand your customer (or your boss), present them with a compelling story, and convince them of the value that you provide. Take the time to develop these skills and you’ll go far.


These are just a few of the bits of advice that I’ve been given over the years. I’ve found them all to be right on target – even if I haven’t always followed them as well as should. I hope you’ll find them as helpful as I have.

The greatest challenge to any piece of employee research is translating the data into real improvements for the organization. It is the “so what?” justification of engaging with employees. Whatever sector your business is in, there are a number of issues that come up time and again:


“How do we keep up momentum?”


“How do we best impact business performance?”


and increasingly in these days of HR cutbacks:


“How do we engage line managers and make them accountable?”


To address these questions we have pooled together our expertise and experience of working with a wide range of companies to outline a straightforward approach for really effective action planning. Our four steps to success: Plan, Train, Develop, and Track provide a strategic framework for ensuring that action is the first – not the last – thing to be considered.


4 steps to success


In some organizations, an employee survey is still an isolated activity: something run by HR once a year rather than truly embedded into the business. In order to make the survey something more, it is good to keep in mind what the survey isn’t:


The survey isn’t an isolated event – it is an opportunity to start a conversation on how colleagues feel about working at the organization, and make changes for the better


The survey isn’t just about creating an action plan – it is an opportunity to use the insights to inform business decisions


The survey isn’t the only opportunity to engage – there are a whole range of touchpoints that can be used to enhance engagement.


Understanding what is expected from the survey and your overarching goals from the beginning can help ensure that you see real improvements for the organization. This paper presents key strategies to design surveys that inspire actions which, in turn, lead to organizational success.

As the business world continues to get more complex and the world economy more interdependent, what can you do to maintain your own leadership position and keep your company heading in the right direction? How can you stay relevant, informed, technologically savvy, and on top of the latest developments in your field or industry?


Clearly, the answer is continuing education. It’s no longer possible to rely on the skills you learned in a Bachelor’s or even Master’s degree to maintain your edge. Success in today’s business environment requires constant updating of skills and continual learning. While I suppose that this has always been true, in my view it has become an even more critical element of success. Business leaders today must spend more time learning and must master a wider range of subjects than ever before. New technologies, geo-politics, financial tools, marketing channels, public opinion – all are elements of your success and you need to stay abreast of the latest developments of each of them.


But what type of education do you need? What can you afford – both in terms of time and money? Fortunately there is a wide variety of educational programs and improvement opportunities – enough to meet the needs of any aspiring business leader. Here are just a few:


  1. Keep up with your reading. To be truly effective in your role, you need to read often and widely. For many executives, it seems difficult to find the time to read, but it’s the best way to stay up to date on world affairs, the latest technology trends, leadership concepts, and the like. The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, your local paper, and your industry’s trade magazines are all publications you should read regularly. However, I also believe that you should periodically take time to read things outside of you particular area of expertise. Pick up the latest management book, biography, or history. Consider magazines that cover topics seemingly far afield from your own – you’ll never know where you might pick up a new insight.
  2. Attend conferences and workshops. Many of us attend conferences, but few of us actually learn as much from these events as we might. Many of us think of these events primarily as networking opportunities. And, while networking is important, the right conferences can also expand our horizons and give you new insights into your organization, the future of the economy, and your own management style. Pick the events that are most likely to provide good solid information, take notes and ask questions – just like you did when you were in school.
  3. Participate in your school’s alumni activities. Many colleges and universities offer educational programs for their graduates. These programs often highlight the latest research by faculty or discussions on current events. They can be a low cost way to keep up to date.
  4. Stay connected to your favorite faculty members. Your former teachers can be a great resource for new ideas and insights. Keep in touch with any favorite teachers, read their papers and pay attention to what they say in University publications. If you’ve kept up a solid relationship with your teachers, you may find that you can even ask them for specific advice on issues you’re facing or opportunities that arise. You spent a lot of time and energy in their classrooms – make sure to take full advantage of that connection.
  5. Attend formal continuing education programs. Of course, you can always take part in formal executive education programs. Today’s education market boasts thousands of programs ranging from less than a day to several months in length. The topics of these programs range from basic supervisory skills to the leadership attributes of boards of directors and everything in between. Whether you are looking to sharpen your management skills, develop a new strategic direction or understand a new technology and how it will affect your business, there is undoubtedly a course you can attend.


Success in today’s fast changing world is not measured by how much you know but by how much you can learn. Your current knowledge is already out of date – the only way to maintain your leadership edge is to continually learn new skills, insights and worldviews. Exposure to new ideas and the ability to learn quickly are key elements of effective leadership today. At one point in time it may have been true that your learning curve flattened out over your career, but that’s no longer the case – at least if you want to keep moving ahead. Fortunately, there are so many ways to gain new knowledge, that it’s easy to maintain that steep learning curve – as long as you make it a priority.




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