The Brandeis GPS blog

Insights on online learning, tips for finding balance, and news and updates from Brandeis GPS

Tag: benefits

How to attract and retain talent

In the current competitive job market, workplace benefits and perks go a long way to attract and retain top talent. To remain competitive, top employers find themselves investing in health/wellness and culture packages that include  gym memberships, catered lunches and happy hours on top of more traditional benefits like medical insurance, PTO and retirement savings plans.

Education — and tuition reimbursement for professional development in particular — is one employee benefit area where companies can truly distinguish themselves from their competitors. According to the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2018 Employee Benefits Survey, the majority of employees (86%) indicated that professional and career development benefits are important to overall job satisfaction. If employees are satisfied with their jobs, they are more likely to stay with a company for longer. And particularly in today’s tech-heavy industries, companies that provide employees with opportunities for professional development will also ensure that their talent will stay on the cutting edge of new technologies and best practices in their fields.

Brandeis GPS  offers employers a corporate partnership program that enables companies to provide their employees with discounted tuition on top-tier master’s degrees and professional development courses. We partner with national brands ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies, including PTCNorth Shore Medical, and Harvard Pilgrim.

The benefits of a corporate partnership with Brandeis GPS are two-fold: employees are financially empowered to position themselves for career advancement, and companies can groom the next level of leadership from within.

GPS offers 12 fully online graduate programs. Our curricula captures the latest applied technologies and industry best practices while incorporating the rigorous standards of excellence that make Brandeis University one of the top universities in the country. GPS courses are taught by instructors who are leaders in their fields and bring an array of experiences and industry connections to their classrooms. Each of our master’s degrees and courses are shaped by input from program-specific advisory boards, ensuring that they remain current and relevant for students who are active practitioners in their fields.

Learn more about our corporate partnership options on our website or contact Kathryn Wight, Director of Partnership Engagement, at kwight@brandeis.edu or 781-736-8725.

Creating an Environment of Leadership

by: Johanna Rothman

Find the original post here.

I bet you have some problems that have been problems for a while. Or, you want to influence other people to change. You need an environment of leadership, because you can’t do it alone.

Here are three tips to creating an environment where everyone can lead:

Tip #1: Share the problem.

When I work with technical and managerial leaders, I find that they have this idea that they are not supposed to share problems. They may have a boss who believes that once he or she delegates the problem, that unique individual must solve it alone. Or, they might coachingfeel as if it’s not fair to share the problem–that somehow people will take time from their work to help with “my” problem. Or, they have never considered that much transparency.

You can’t ask for help on all problems. Sometimes, when you are a manager, you need to keep HR-type problems private. Maybe you have a fiduciary responsibility to the company, and you can’t share that data.

But, here’s an idea: if you have this problem, chances are quite good other people know about the effects of the problem. You are not the only one living with this problem.

Kim, a program manager, could not understand how to help her teams. They could not discover their interdependencies in time to know when to develop which features. She wrestled with this problem for a couple of weeks.

At our coaching appointment, I suggested she raise the issue to the team leads. She could say, “I see this problem, and here is the effect it’s having on me. Can we solve this together?”

She did. The team leads also felt the pain. They decided to reduce their planning scope, planning for no longer than a month at a time. They used stickies on the wall to see their interdependencies and create interim milestones. As a side benefit, they had to reduce their story size to meet their milestones.

Tip #2: Ask for multiple solutions.

Notice that the team leads helped solve the problem in several ways:

  • They took responsibility for part of the problem.
  • They decided to reduce their planning scope. That helped, but alone it wasn’t enough.
  • They decided to work together, to create a sticky-based planning session.
  • They reduced story size because they realized that having large stories prevented them from working together.

If they had implemented just one of these solutions, they might not have solved the problem.

Tip #3: Ask for help assessing solutions.

Some of the leads wanted to implement their solutions right away. Adam, one of the leads said, “Hold on. I want to see if this is going to work with my team. I’m not sure we can reduce our story size. Let’s involve more people.”

When he shared the proposals with his team, sure enough they were concerned about story size. One of the team members said, “We need to work with our product owner to 0x600-636x310understand how to split our stories better. We can’t do this alone.”

It took them several iterations to learn how to split stories small enough that they could commit to their interdependencies. The team might have resented the solution if Adam had not checked with the team first.

Share your leadership. You will create an environment where everyone leads.

More Learning With Johanna

If you liked these leadership tips, learn more at The Influential Agile Leader. Gil Broza and I create a safe learning environment where you can experiment. We teach experientially, so you have a chance to practice and reflect on what you learn. Please join us at The Influential Agile Leader. The early bird price expires Feb 15.

I’ll be at the Booster Conference March 9-13. I have several workshops and talks:

See my calendar page for all my workshops and speaking dates.

Johanna Rothman

 

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