Engage Your Staff Population

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Another gem from Thomas Friedman’s book “Thank you for being late – Thriving in the Age of Accelerations.”  The author is interviewing AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson.  They were talking about changes and pressure for companies to stay up with this time of acceleration.  How the workforce needs to be constantly learning.  No resting on our education and now performing a job for 30 years!  “We have a fundamental obligation to re-skill our workforce said Donavan.  We needed a smaller and smarter workforce.”  Friedman mentions “ But they (AT&T leadership) also knew that when you are dealing with three hundred thousand employees, if you want to challenge them to upgrade their skills, you need a strategy of what I call “intelligent assistance” to provide the scaffolding and incentives that make a new learning journey for so many people sustainable.”  Friedman went onto share what he learned about AT&T’s approach to this: “The idea is to be totally transparent with our employees about where the business is heading and what the challenges will be, explained Stephenson.  “Ideally he said, most employees will say, “I get it. I want to be part of this. I am one of three hundred thousand.  How do I get to be part of this?”  Others though will say “You know what?  … I’ve had my 35 years; it’s time to go.  I am not ready to learn anything new.” So about 10% of At&T’s workforce drops out each year.


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