At ReadyTalk, we often get asked about the perfect meeting. What does it entail? It’s a big issue when you consider that American companies are wasting about $37 billion each year. Guide to perfect meetings.
For those of you who joined our webinar last week, Take Your Webinar Program to the Next Level…With Minimal Stress, you may have noticed that I wasn’t there to moderate the event. That’s because I was across the Pacific Ocean sipping on tasty Piña Coladas in beautiful Hawaii. How did my event magically go off without a hitch while sitting on a sandy beach? Maybe it was the Piña Coladas talking, or maybe it was because I utilized ReadyTalk’s Full Event Moderation services. I’ll give you a hint, it was the latter.
Keith Janofski, from the ReadyTalk Events team was there to flawlessly moderate my event, so I could enjoy my vacation all while hosting a successful webinar. I wasn’t limited to being present for the live presentation knowing that my event was in the hands of the talented staff at ReadyTalk.
Full Event Moderation isn’t just for the jet setters, it’s for any busy marketer who needs an extra hand. Whether it’s a vacation you’re jetting off to, you have too many other projects on your plate, or you just want to produce more webinars, there’s now a service that helps you get all your webinar needs met, with minimal stress. I’ll break it down for you and show you how the power of ReadyTalk’s Full Event Moderation services made my event successful and more importantly, my life easier:
1. First, Keith trained our subject matter expert, Bob, on the webinar platform so he was comfortable with using the platform before the event day. This saved an hour out of my busy week leading up to my vacation, which was valuable time that needed to be spent on other projects.
2. After writing the introduction script, I gave it to Keith so that he could present on the key ideas of the webinar before handing off the mic to the speaker. I had the utmost confidence in his speaking abilities and knew he’d get the job done since he’d be following the verbiage I provided.
3. Keith also managed the live Q&A portion of the webinar. He was professional, and made sure that every question was answered by the speaker.
4. Last, when I got back from vacation, I had an email in my inbox from Keith providing me with all of the exported attendee data from the event. This was the cherry on top of an already nice Piña Colada.
Interested in getting some time back in your day? Learn more about our Full Event Moderation services and see how ReadyTalk can help your webinar needs.
Last November, ReadyTalk started a new program – LeaderReady. ReadyTalk has always had programs to help managers, but this is the first time a program has focused on employees not specifically in leadership roles.
Why build a leadership program?
Leadership isn’t one of those talents many are born with. And yet, there are tricks and information to help people build those necessary skills. More
than that, it’s important companies develop their people — individual contributors or managers.
Sure it takes leadership to be a manager, but individual contributors can be leaders too. They could lead teams or projects where they need people to help them.
“[At ReadyTalk] we thought about all the resources available to managers and realized there was a gap in the development of individual contributors and high potentials,” said Caryn Auger, organizational development manager in HR at ReadyTalk. High potentials are people who could be managers one day, earmarked by their supervisors as high performers.
This isn’t the only way leaders are helped — ReadyTalk has a mentor program that pairs high performers with executives and leaders. They also have a series of training opportunities available for managers, to hone people management skills.
Mind the gap and fill it.
After meeting with a consulting firm, the LeaderReady team drew up a concrete plan that spanned 9 months. Four main installments structure the course, the latter three of which feature direct involvement from ReadyTalk’s leadership, and participants are given smaller interval experiences between them.
The first installment focuses on each employee personally. They receive a 360-review, where their direct reports, peers, and managers provide feedback on strengths and opportunities. Not only do participants learn strengths and opportunities, they can clarify their personal brand.
Participants explore how they influence others in the workplace without necessarily having a position of authority. As Caryn said, “You don’t have to be a manager to have influence.” That means improving collaboration and communication with fierce conversation techniques, and building a cohesive team organically.
3. Business acumen
This is a big one. In LeaderReady’s early developmental phase, Caryn asked leadership what would make the program a success in their eyes. The response came loud and clear, “We want them to have a better understanding of the business.” Knowing that, this became the only two-day installment in the program. The first day is partially overseen by two company leaders, guiding the participants through the ins and outs of ReadyTalk’s business and talking strategy. The second puts participants through a business simulation where they have to make quick decisions to save a struggling company.
The fourth is something like graduation, but since the program still hasn’t finished, we can’t spill the beans. All the participants know for now is that they’re in for full-day course of learning … with the athletes at the Olympic Training Center.
So … did the leadership program work?
“You know, it’s been interesting,” Caryn says. “As we get closer to the graduation ceremony and I’m trying to personalize a message for each participant, I know I can see a lot of change. A few of them have been promoted, but that wasn’t really our objective. We didn’t need or necessarily want them all to be managers, it was more about helping our individual leaders who are so valuable to the business.”
It’s hard to place any definite metrics on the success of the program when its first round still hasn’t finished. No doubt, ReadyTalk will refine the program and work to determine skills achieved.
But did they learn enough to justify an entire program? “No question — they were challenged. Oh, they had some learning,” Caryn said as she laughed.
There’s high demand for top talent in the tech industry, but a fairly low supply. With more people retiring and not enough workers to fill the pipeline that means in general candidates have their pick of the litter for potential employers. So how does a business stand out from the rest?
What is talent brand?
It’s the brand you use for employment and recruiting. Brand is more than a logo and a tagline — it’s the reputation your company has with employees and with the outside world, like candidates. It’s not separate from your company’s brand, it’s complementary.
Why does talent brand matter?
People are attracted to brands. Period. And people want to work for brands that match their core values. If volunteering is important, you’ll want to work for a company that has a strong corporate social responsibility (CSR). Maybe you love sports and everything sports-related, maybe Nike or Adidas is your company.
Talent brand does more than just build a shiny reputation and attract new employees, though. According to LinkedIn, effective talent branding can increase engagement in current employees, cut hiring cost by 50%, and reduce turnover by 28%.
How to build a talent brand
Every employee plays an integral part in developing an engaging and rewarding workplace, and letting people see that could mean a world of difference for our hiring. Also, in HR it’s important to think like a salesperson or someone in marketing.
Build awareness. Build perception for passive job searchers. “Before they’re even looking for a job, we want people to think, ‘I could see myself working at ReadyTalk,’” says Caroline Scott, talent acquisition manager. Instead of promoting a specific engineering position, for example, focus more on the brand of the company.
Build and leverage partnerships. We’ve found partners who can help us showcase our culture, like The Muse. The Muse hosts and designs company-specific pages, which are well-designed and appealing. The resulting network of featured companies attracts huge numbers of workers, 60% of whom are passive job seekers. Our page enables potential hires to see job postings and gain a better understanding of the “real” ReadyTalk through content like video profiles, worker testimonials and written information on perks and more.
Conduct targeted marketing. We also built our own landing pages to specifically target certain seekers: one page for engineers, one page for other searchers. We can promote those pages through social, email or a variety of other methods … all while maintaining a direct relationship to the brand we’ve built. For the most part they serve a similar function as our page on the Muse, but feature slightly different content — targeted for the positions we’re hiring for, including the perks we think they’re most likely to enjoy.
Advertise what’s special — the secret sauce of your company. More often than not, our most memorable perks are our intangible ones. The PTO, remote work and endless supply of habanero almonds are all fantastic, but lots of other companies have those in some form or fashion. What’s special at ReadyTalk is our culture of innovation that promotes free continuing education programs, our opportunities to volunteer, our return-to-work internships for caregivers to re-enter the workforce and development opportunities like our leader camps. We even have breakfasts and happy hours with the executive team. More than that, we focus on pushing down decision making because we trust our employees. That’s ReadyTalk’s secret sauce, but each company has something that may appeal to people who align to that brand. In our case, we get enthusiastic, typically healthy people who like to volunteer and innovate.
Big data. It’s large amounts of structure and unstructured data. It’s making our world better now and will continue to advance us in a number of things — from traffic patterns to curing cancer. It might even improve communication and uncover how to increase our connections.