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Erick Mott and Nathan Richter on Bridging the Growth Divide for More Business and Employee Success

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Employee expectations versus reality — this is where disengagement, friction and churn begins at work. A new trend called the Growth Divide was covered in a recent webinar, presented by Reflektive's Erick Mott along with Wakefield Research's Nathan Richter.

Tweet: 69% of employees believe having regular performance check-ins can improve manager relationships 

The webinar on-demand (no registration) gets into a trend we’re calling the Growth Divide. In your business environment, there are many opportunities to bridge the Growth Divide to support innovation, go-to-market, and customer experiences and success. The webinar focused on three areas including related risks:

  • Align goals across more agile teams
  • Increase productivity, response and time to market
  • Drive scalable growth and more success

Nathan Richter from Wakefield Research did a deep dive on the study that included two surveys — one with 500 HR and VP-level leaders, and the other with 2000 connected employees. Both surveys are from across industries, as well as SMB, mid-market, and enterprise segments. Highlights from Nathan’s presentation include:

  • There is a substantial gap between what employers think their employees want from performance reviews, managerial interactions, and company benefits vs. reality.
  • Current performance review processes are leaving employees unclear on their place and value to the company.
  • A majority (69%) of employees actually believe having more regular performance and development check-ins can better improve their relationship with their boss than more regular social interactions with them outside of work (31%).

Growth Is Always Preceded by Challenges and the Unknown

We’ve all experienced growth pains in business and our personal lives. Every business day is an opportunity to learn from and celebrate your team members’ accomplishments, mistakes, business successes and growth.

Kumud Kokal, formerly head of business systems at Airbnb, is an advocate of real-time feedback and performance management. “Employees are looking for real-time feedback so that they can grow. They don’t want to wait six months or a year for feedback – they want to get it right away,” said Kokal at Bersin’s IMPACT 2018 event and following the Growth Divide study announcement.

What Is the Growth Divide?

Simply put, it’s the gap between what business leaders believe is necessary to compete and grow market share and revenues with their business operations and intellectual property and what employees believe is necessary to contribute, grow professionally, and thrive in their current roles and career paths.

We believe there have been two significant trends prior to the today’s Growth Divide.

The first is the Industrial Revolution, which can be characterized as hands-on labor, command and control management, workers with very few employment options within reach, and the introduction of advanced machines and some automation.

The second is the Digital Divide, which was a result of technology innovation and adoption of new computing, communications, and network technologies. At one point in our recent history, there was a significant disconnect and inequality because not everyone had access to these new technologies, networks, and the skills to optimize them. Now everyone — essentially — has mini supercomputers at their fingertips and the workforce across all demographics are connected with easier access to information, people, automation, and augmentation.

Today, the Growth Divide is about people having more choices and empowerment – but not everyone is on the same page in terms of what is needed for business and employee performance and growth.

Create and Sustain Organizational Agility

The pace of business – or let’s say digital business – continues to speed up every day. Regardless of where you are in your digital business transformation, your customers and employees want more from you and they want it faster with more personalization. Your team members from all backgrounds and skill levels collaborate on various projects to achieve goals that help to drive sustainable growth. They’re probably using familiar tools and technologies like email, Slack, laptops, smartphones, and cloud applications. 

Organizational agility and being able to thrive with a constant sense of “urgency” is now your new normal. Every day presents growth opportunities and risks for your business and employees.

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