Welcome to the Jungle

Why are leading organizations investing so heavily in onboarding? A recent article from Harvard Business Review highlights research showing that companies with successful onboarding programs are not only more likely to retain their new hires, but are also more likely to report measurable profit growth. One study found that“on average, companies lose 17% of their new hires during the first three months.” jun17-20-hbr-nicholas-blechman-org-1200x675-1.jpgThe article looks at the onboarding processes used by Google, Zappos, and Twitter, and along with this recent Fast Company article detailing the first few weeks of new MailChimp hires, highlights how significant the social component to onboarding is for a new hire’s success.The research found that along with support from their direct manager, new employees were more successful when they felt “socially accepted” and “more connected to others in the organization.” [Shameless plug: making the onboarding process more effective and socially interactive is one of the most common use cases for Practice.] 

Spotlight: Learning Leader

Global management consulting firm McKinsey stays ahead of the curve when it comes to anticipating client needs, particularly regarding the rapid changes in learning and development. To improve learning opportunities and continuously upskill their consultants, McKinsey’s learning and development team has been focusing on three learning pillars: 1) improving mindset, 2) enhancing consulting and leadership skills, and 3) developing new knowledge and skills. Internal ongoing learning opportunities lead to higher retention, a stronger bench of talent, and greater client engagement. A recent article in CLO Magazine examines how McKinsey is transforming content and learning formats, measuring results, and more.

Failure by Design

The New York Times reports on a Smith College program called “Failing Well” that is aimed at pexels-photo-196667.jpeghelping high achieving students “cope with basic setbacks” and “destigmatize failure.” The article digs into why some of the highest performing students, struggle to deal with simple struggles, and how natural learning experiences that involve failure and setbacks are critical for future successes. “What we’re trying to teach is that failure is not a bug of learning, it’s the feature.”

Critical Care

Looming behind all the buzz about the future of work and the threat that automation and rapid technological change poses to future job stability is the underlying shift underway in the U.S. economy from "making things to caring for people." Healthcare currently employs one in nine working Americans and is "projected to add 2.3 million jobs between 2014 and 2024, the most out of any group of occupations." These jobs vary from doctors to medical administrators, but one of the fastest growing fields inside of healthcare is direct care — personal care workers, home health aides, and nursing assistants — who the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects to add more than 1 million jobs over the next seven years. However, in an in-depth article for Vox, reporter Soo Oh examines how there is a distinct wage gap, as well as lack of certifications and training support for many direct care workers. shutterstock_482413714_bw.0.jpgAnd, now projections show that the number of elderly people in need of care will far outpace the number of working women who currently make up the vast majority of direct care workers (86%). Training and advocacy groups feel that creating “local or national government standards and providing training materials and courses to home care agencies” will help “increase wages and retention rates.” Practice has seen first hand the benefit in skills training for new and incumbent direct care workers through a valued partnership with 1199SEIU Training & Employment Funds. Yet, 11 states still don’t require training of home care assistants, and many direct care workers do not have access to healthcare, training benefits, or professional advancement opportunities. Ultimately, direct care is “needed in every single community across the country,” yet much remains uncertain in how we will train workers to decrease avoidable hospitalizations, save money, and provide better care to a rapidly aging population.

Culture Club

Culture and behavior is the most significant self-reported challenge for organizations trying to reach digital effectiveness. A recent article in McKinsey Quarterly looks at how "executives must be proactive in shaping and measuring culture, approaching it with the same rigor and discipline with which they tackle operational transformations," if they want to build cultures that “perform well across functions and business units, embrace risk, and focus obsessively on customers.”

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

How Fender uses bite-sized learning to teach guitar to digital-age learners.