Build an Effective Performance Management Process in 5 Steps

“Don’t criticize what you can’t understand.” — Boy Dylan.

Unfortunately, it’s human nature to do exactly the opposite of that. It takes a trained individual to open their mind and allow themselves to be taught and shown someone else’s point of view before jumping straight to critical mode.

Perhaps some of your employees are ‘untrained’ in that sense. They don’t understand your routine checks on their work, and so they resist it. Maybe behind your back, but instinctively you sense they do.

The braver employees may have verbally expressed that they feel like routine performance discussions are a waste of time.

Because of it, you, as a supervisor, are constantly in a dilemma.

When you become strictly results-oriented, you observe that your relationship with your subordinates suffers. On the other hand, when you direct your efforts towards their needs, including emotional ones, you may notice them slacking in goal completion.

Managers everywhere are seeking skills to gently and yet effectively manage work performance.

You’re about to learn how to build such a management process in only five steps. 

But first, let’s make sure we’re on the same page concerning what performance management is.

What Is Performance Management?

And like any other form of communication, it thrives when it’s bidirectional — i.e., when your employees get to hear from you even as you listen to them.

This is an ongoing process that demands critical and creative thinking from both parties involved.

It should be set up in a way to easily recognize and cancel out redundant working methods and activities.

The modern techniques of performance management can be likened to hiring a full-time handyman to fix damages as they occur and tactfully prevent others.

Contrast this with the traditional, yearly maintenance that is prone to leave a fat invoice in hand waiting to be paid out. And on top of it: one or two critical issues requiring advanced works.

Performance Management Definition

Performance management can be defined as the overall communication process between managers and employees that is centered on planning, observing, and reviewing the employee’s system of carrying out job duties.

Employee Performance Reviews

Employee performance reviews are a formal assessment of the degree to which an employee is efficient and effective. 

Your expectations as a supervisor must be clear for this and the rest of the performance management process to be a success.

However, the insistence of the review being in a formal setting is quickly losing its grip, as you will understand later on.

Employee Performance Evaluation

If we consider the whole performance management process as a test, the employee performance evaluation would be the part where the test-giver marks the test. 

A good manager delights in seeing his or her employees ace the test. But if they don’t, the manager is happy to explain in detail why they didn’t and offer useful advice for the future.

Performance Appraisal

The performance appraisal is the feedback stage. One vital aspect as you comment on your team members’ performance standards is to be crystal clear in your feedback.

This is so your employee understands why they do (or do not) qualify for bonuses, promotions, or other rewards. 

Performance appraisal is mainly for giving a ruling after monitoring and reviewing your employee’s competencies and abilities to meet set objectives.

What Is a Performance Management System?

Let’s be real; none of these concepts are new to any qualified person in a supervisory position. 

What, then, sets apart the excellent performance managers from the rest?

The answer lies in whether or not this knowledge is organized into a system.

Neither are the leaders themselves caught off guard by the results of the process. Throughout the ongoing exercise, they can project performance appraisals for the diverse individuals under their regulation.

When the system is well-developed, employees look forward to hearing feedback about how well they’re doing and what opportunities for improvement are available to them.

Human Resources Performance Management

The duty of developing and growing such a system lies on the shoulders of HR teams.

Most employees think of Human Resources when they conflict with each other. The other aspects they associate with HR are the laying-off process, negotiating better salaries, and working conditions.

The sad reality is that where negotiation for better conditions is concerned, many employees don’t have much faith in their HR personnel to deliver or at least meet them halfway.

Don’t let this be the case in your organization.

You could instead equip your HR management with up-to-date knowledge and skills to build successful performance management systems.

While you’re at it, why not take advantage of our high reward benefit system to arm your entire HR team with the well-rounded acumen they need to advance in their jobs?

A Performance Management Framework for Success

Without the following practices, your performance management system will collapse:

Precise Feedback

You may be diligent in giving necessary commentary in real-time as often as your employee needs it. But as long as it is vague, a loophole is introduced into the management process that may become difficult to close.

Aim to be precise with numbers and sufficient vocabulary to describe the extent to which you desire goals to be met. 

Kind Regards

An open arms policy is key to the survival and growth of your performance management system.  

There’s a limit to the number of times subordinates want to interact with an unkind supervisor.

Problem-Solving Technique

Exercise your team’s problem-solving muscles to avert unsolved problems and encourage an easier flow of communication 

The Performance Management Cycle

The Process

Step 1: Create a Performance Management Plan

Make the plan as detailed as possible, avoiding the use of ambiguous language.

The following questions will help you in this stage of your performance management plan

  • What are the main objectives of the system?
  • How can the carrying out of the plan be made to blend in with daily work assignments?
  • How does each part contribute to the success of the company as a whole?
  • How can we develop a practical reward system?

Involve the Employees in the Process

Workers who are involved in decision-making in an organization perform better because they have a sense of belonging.

For optimum results, incorporate your employees’ points of view while the plan is still in the pipeline.

One way to do this is to tell employees about the need to build a system and then hold meetings with them to develop an effective plan.

Another approach would be to write the plan and then hand it over to them, together with the freedom to add and subtract from it.

Learn more about effective ways to captivate your employees through 8 Employee Engagement Strategies for 2021

Step 2: Set Goals for Performance Management

Each member ought to work with their direct manager to set S.M.A.R.T goals.

Napoleon Hill defined a goal as a dream with a deadline.

Your performance management plan, written or not, will remain a dream until you break it down into actionable steps that are time-specific.

Here’s an example:

As the manager of a media and communications company, the goal you set for your sales representative could be to cold pitch to as many potential clients as possible on LinkedIn, Google, or any other platform.

But isn’t this a stronger goal? To craft convincing and friendly emails to at least ten potential clients every week that the salesperson discovers on LinkedIn, Google, or any other platform?

It certainly is. It’s measurable as much as it’s precise. 

Also, using the second approach, the next step in the management process will be made easier.

In your performance management process, you’ll need to set goals for departments as well as individuals. 

Step 3: Build a Performance Review System

If done well, this system will have your employees bring their work to you for evaluation.

What you need here is a fair scale to grade their performance. 

Let it be known by your employee what the least acceptable standard is and what qualifies for good and excellent work, respectively. 

The two main qualities that you can build your performance review system upon as a result-oriented establishment are:


Number of pages, number of documents, the total number of hours, net profit, number of viewers, mass, average length, etc.

These are just a few of the direct measurement qualities you can use to set up a review system. 

It will certainly be easier if the previous step was properly completed. All that will be left to do here is compare outcomes with initial goals.


The quality of your employee’s work is displayed mainly by the results he or she produces.

Analyzing these results, however, can prove to be a tricky endeavor.

For example, in a dynamic industry like fashion or music, an employee could produce excellent designs or beats but receive an underwhelming response from the public.

In such cases, it would help if you had a system that recognizes time invested, basics covered, and advanced methods used by the employee in question.

Step 4: Develop Strong Feedback-Giving Skills

In as much as many growth-oriented people appreciate honest reviews, most of them get demoralized when these become excessively negative.

As a supervisor, you need to learn to strike a balance between pushing your subordinates to perfection and keeping them motivated to do better.

It’s an ongoing process that calls for you to prioritize the ergonomic aspect of the workplace.

Step 5: Ongoing Employee Performance Management

For optimum results, keep the performance management cycle rolling. 

The scheduled meetings aimed at planning and reviewing a better way forward are undoubtedly important.

You and your team shouldn’t, however, be limited by them.

Give Instant feedback

Ongoing management calls for a healthy level of spontaneity.

In between the formal meetings, give a lesson or two. Correct wrong practices as soon as you see them happen. 

This can work to remove the awkwardness in the formal review and feedback sessions.

Make it Flexible

It’s a fast-paced world we live in, and those who take big, bold strides win faster. 

Let your employees know that even a job description is subject to change if it no longer serves the company’s main objectives.

Be prepared even with your plans and systems to surf out activities that don’t bear the desired results.

Performance Management System Examples

Many organizations are installing performance management software to match the needs of virtual offices and online interactions in the workplace. 

User-friendliness and integration are among the top qualities considered as measures of the quality of different management technologies.

15Five Continuous Performance Management, Reflektive, Betterworks, and Lattice Performance Management are some of the top solution-providers in this regard.

Big companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Accenture are implementing these systems to continue winning big in their competitive industries.

The Best Performance Management Systems

HelpSystems outlines the methodology adopted by them that resulted in increasing international software bookings by 30%, increasing new product revenue from existing customers by $3 million, and growing revenue from hosted products to $1 million — among other notable achievements.

Your Ideal Performance Management Solution

To some extent, it depends on your choice of performance management tools.

And to a greater extent on the investment you make on your team. 

Find out how you can also be counted among the world’s top companies that reimburse their employees for our degree programs.

Adopting a new system can be challenging. The temptation to coil back to familiar ways is high.

However, when nurtured with poise and patience, the system will develop to become a celebrated part of your work life. 

Discover the Employer Benefits of Tuition Reimbursement

People come and go — employee turnover isn’t some newfangled concept. Even the best companies will have a reasonable amount of layoffs, terminations, and resignations. 

Yet, you’ll know you have a problem when you start spotting certain patterns that reveal out-of-the-ordinary work dynamics. 

  • Are some of your top performers chronically dissipating? 
  • Could this be down to employee dissatisfaction?  

If you diagnose high employee turnover, plenty is at stake. It’s a drain on your money, time, and resources. Your staff morale and reputation can suffer too. 

But how do you prevent that from happening? 

Many organizations are turning to employee reimbursement programs to keep their talent engaged. HR teams are keeping their eye on modern employee demands, and corporate training and development is huge. 

With college costs on the rise, stepping in to offset them increases your company’s perceived value.

It’s also a surefire way to attract new high performers to your organization. According to a report by Gallup, 45% of Millennials report they would change their job for tuition reimbursement benefits. 

They’re also more likely to stay with the employer.

Want to attract, develop, and retain the highest-quality workforce? Our ultimate guide to tuition reimbursement will help. 

What Is a Tuition Reimbursement Program?

Tuition reimbursement is an arrangement between an employer and an employee where a company shoulders a part (or the whole) of tuition expenses for an employee’s continuing education.

This way, people with funding issues are more likely to pursue further studies.

How Does Tuition Reimbursement Work?

No two tuition reimbursement programs are equal, and this gives freedom to organizations. 

On average, employers pay $5,250 for undergraduate and $10,500 for graduate degrees. Yet, each organization places a cap on how much they cover, what courses qualify for reimbursement, etc. 

Below are just some of the points to consider when framing your education assistance programs. 

You can weigh your options, but don’t go too eclectic with it. Some of these choices may affect your tax benefit eligibility. Do a cross-check with a licensed tax professional before initiating a program of your own.

  • Payment options Typically an employee pays upfront for a Bachelor’s degree or a graduate program. Upon class completion, a company reimburses a part of the expenses (or the full amount) to the employee. Other employers will help foot the bill right at the enrollment. 
  • Types of educational classes Some employers offer benefits only for approved educational classes relating to the employee’s existing career.

Others cover any qualified education expense, but may require that coursework is done through specific institutions.

  • Tiered payment levels Some reimbursement programs include tiered payment levels, which rely on student grades. 

For example, to qualify for a 100% reimbursement, a student must pass the course with an “A.” Those that score a “B” are in for an 85% reimbursement, and so on. 

  • Service requirements Companies typically require an employee to remain with the company for a set period of time to qualify for the reimbursement. 
  • Additional costs Some companies only bear direct tuition costs, while others shoulder extra coursework expenses such as books, internet connection fees, etc. 
  • Open applications and partnerships Many programs reimburse courses from any accredited institution. Yet forming exclusive partnerships with higher ed institutions is catching on among organizations.  

About Employer-Provided Education Assistance

An education assistance program (EAP) is a benefit that includes several types of initiatives where an employer:

  • Pays for education costs or offers tuition reductions to their employees. 
  • Offers scholarship grants to an employee’s immediate family members.
  • Assists with student loans.

If certain requirements are in check, these initiatives also benefit the employer.

For more information on educational assistance-related tax exemptions see this IRS website page. The IRS laws are in constant flux, so be sure to seek legal advice from a licensed tax professional.

How Does Tuition Reimbursement Benefit the Employer?

Organizations that provide tuition reimbursement do it for strategic reasons. It’s how they create a supportive environment and a continuous learning culture in their organization.

But here is a more in-depth business case for integrating it as one of your HR objectives:

Enhanced Recruitment

Companies that offer education assistance are likely to recruit top performers down the line.

These people are gunning for job positions that offer room for skills development. So, if you want to put yourself on the map as an attractive prospect for such workers, this factors in hugely.

A recent EdAssist study goes on to prove this in practice. 

“84% of employees cited tuition assistance as an important factor in their decision to join their companies. In fact, 71% of participants rated tuition assistance among the best benefits offered by their employers after healthcare.”

Better Employee Engagement

Your job doesn’t stop at raking in top talent. One of the top HR challenges is tackling complacency and keeping hard-earned hires on the ball. Even the most engaged worker will fall asleep if you put him in an unsupportive environment. 

High achievers need to be exposed to new opportunities to thrive. EAPs are a seamless solution.  

Improved Employee Retention

More than 27% of employees each year are lost to companies thanks to lack of career development. Being the first to offer in-demand learning and development opportunities gives you a head start in attracting the better portion of this fluctuating workforce. 

In more than 80% of cases, tuition assistance programs improved employee work satisfaction.

That said, tuition assistance programs  can help you rake in long-term workers and reduce employee turnover. Cigna is a good case in point here.

You can say the program moved the needle for the company. They saw a 129% return on investment partly due to reduced employee turnover. This success was paired with 43% higher pay gains for the employees as well. 

Tax Deduction Benefits

And here comes the best part: tuition reimbursement programs can help companies reduce their tax burdens. You can deduct up to $5,250 per employee a year. 

Why Is Education Reimbursement a Valuable Benefit for Employees

Education reimbursement is as valuable to employees as it is to employers.

Businesses earn their brownie points with potential hires. Employees get a well-rounded acumen in their field of work.

This is not a story-like narrative spectated through rose-tinted glasses. Education assistance programs (EAPs) help people gain a true professional advantage.

They’re being primed to advance into their dream jobs. 

Below is how they play out in the real world (backed up with the data from Lumina Foundation research). EAP participants are:

  • 10% more likely to be promoted.
  • 43% more likely to advance to higher-paying positions
  • 7.5% more likely to receive an internal transfer.
  • 8% more likely to stay with the employer.

Without an EAP, pursuing educational goals is not an option for many people. Paying for a potential hire to round out his or her education is a true perk.

Why Companies Should Pay for Employees’ College Tuition

Still not convinced employee assistance programs make business sense? Stay tuned as we’re bringing you some more note-worthy statistics from well-grounded research. 

Tuition Reimbursement Statistics

What Percentage of Companies Offer Tuition Reimbursement?

Companies are finding new ways to respond to the challenges of the competitive market. Tuition assistance initiatives are one of those responses. 

The ever-changing demands of new industries only add to this rationale. So, let’s take a peek at some stats. 

Sources:, the SHRM Employee Benefits Survey

How Many Employees Use Tuition Reimbursement?

In the meantime, only two to five percent of eligible employees utilize tuition assistance programs. A staggering 43 percent of working professionals are unaware of this employee benefit.

How so? Information doesn’t always get to people — and this can be the possible culprit. But most of the time, the conditions people have to meet to qualify may thwart their plans to apply in the first place.

  • Employees are often required to pay back tuition reimbursement if they leave within a certain timeframe. 
  • Time pressure and the money factor may also add to the low response rates. 
  • High levels of student debt should also be factored in. 

Monetize from what you’ve just learned. Initiate and promote your training and advancement programs. Also, consider pre-paying for your employees’ coursework to prompt them to participate. 

Tuition Reimbursement and Employee Engagement

A tuition reimbursement program can enhance your team’s academic development prospects. This alone carries weight that is likely to impact employee engagement in your organization. 

But there’s more. Research shows these programs also make people better strategic thinkers. This, in turn, makes them more prone to assume higher leadership roles.

The graph below shows what a powerful driving force tuition assistance programs can be. It shows how effective they are in creating a highly-skilled team committed to their organizations

The graph below is drawing from the data on a 2018 EdAssist study. The respondents assessed how tuition reimbursement programs impacted their career growth. 

Companies That Provide Tuition Reimbursement

Many companies still have their educational assistance initiatives lined up, but which ones are already leveraging these impactful employee benefits? 

Companies run policies with different cost coverage and eligibility requirements. 

To illustrate, oil giant BP grants a generous 90 percent coverage of tuition costs, books, and fees. To qualify for the program, employees must enroll in approved classes and receive a passing grade.

Other big-name companies that provide tuition assistance programs: 

  • JetBlue
  • Starbucks
  • Home Depot
  • AT&T

Designing Your Education Assistance Program 

Kicking off a tuition reimbursement program is a complex long-term enterprise requiring strategy. Only a masterfully crafted plan will have overarching positive effects on your business. 

So, first off, make sure you include expert guidance from accountants, attorneys, and consultants every step of the way. 

The human resources department should make sure the initiative is in line with the organization’s strategic objectives. 

Having an education assistance program in place is an excellent way to create new career pathing opportunities. If a CEO is not aware of such a policy’s benefits, an HR professional should present a business case and draw out the basic strategy.

Below are some factors to consider: 

  • Align company goals and employee goals. Draw up a plan for your company’s education assistance program. What’s the end goal? Once you have it figured out, see how to fit your employee’s goals within that framework. 
  • Weigh in your options before developing a learning plan. Is your program flexible enough, so it fits the unique needs of your employees? What about providing added flexibility by offering online education options?
  • Stay transparent and maintain good internal communication. Staying on the same page with the participants will help you design a program that directly influences your business’s trajectory in the ways you want.

Corporate Tuition Reimbursement at Its Finest

Ready to up your HR game? Offering a tuition reimbursement program through Quantic School of Business and Technology will make you a magnet for top talent. 

We pride ourselves in bringing rigorous MBA education to both early-career high achievers and well-rounded, highly accomplished leaders. And we’re radically affordable.   

Our Executive MBA accredited degree program is your reliable ally in leadership development.

Don’t waste your organization’s human potential: join the list of companies that offer tuition reimbursement through Quantic.

Why, you ask? Well, the reasons are quite simple.

Here’s the sampling of a few companies that have offered tuition reimbursement to employees enrolled in Quantic’s programs: 

  • Salesforce
  • Apple
  • Adobe
  • GE
  • IBM
  • LinkedIn
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Oracle

And there’s more. Our up-to-date accredited degrees are highly competitive — and for the following reasons. They:  

  • Are highly cost-effective. You can get our MBA programs at a fraction of the cost of traditional top business school programs. 

While some of those programs run upwards of $200K, our program is available for just $9600. 

  • Save you valuable time. Thanks to mobile-first technology, our programs are fast and flexible. Our 100% online coursework allows students to learn on a flexible schedule, allowing them to complete a degree within 13 months.  
  • Bring enviable results to organizations. Quantic is a digital alternative to top traditional MBA programs. Our programs are proven to be as effective as top-ranked business schools like Harvard, Wharton, and Fuqua.   

Why waste your best resources — human potential, money, and time? 

Join the world’s top companies that reimburse their employees for Quantic’s degree programs.

10 Ways to Improve Employee Relations in 2021

Poor performance, absenteeism, and even the buzzword of the moment; toxic culture—these are all problems arising from wayward employees, right? 


You, as management, are more likely the reason for such conduct. 

But how did you get here—especially after you’ve tried your best to give your staff competitive pay and benefits? 

The truth is, investing in employee growth is a strategic process that goes beyond things such as employee gifts and perks. Essentially, fostering a positive relationship with your employees is about making them feel valued. 

Having your HR department pay extra attention to employee relations goes a long way to improving employee retention and increased productivity. 

But how do you do this? 

We’ve created this in-depth guide that takes a look at all facets involved in investing in your company’s overall employee experience. 

Let’s get started. 

What Is Employee Relations?

Employee Relations Defined

The term “employee relations” refers to the relationship between the business owner, managers, and team members. The emphasis isn’t only on individual connections or specific teams, but also on the entire workforce.

The term also defines the employee relations efforts implemented by the company’s HR department and the content you create. These steps include contracts, practical assistance, and general support. 

Why Are Employee Relations Important in 2021?

Disputes and poor workplace communications have a significant impact on performance management. 


If your co-workers feel that their efforts are appreciated, they’re more likely to go the extra mile to meet your own or the line managers’ expectations. 

Since very little could be accomplished without your team, wouldn’t it be in your company’s best interests to ensure employee satisfaction? 

The Impact of Positive Employee Relations

By encouraging a healthy work-life balance and strong relationships between co-workers, you’ll see a drastic change in your workplace culture. 

Without effective employee management strategies in place, some troubles you could face include:

  • Underperformance of employees
  • Sexual harassment
  • Abuse of company resources
  • Contract breaches such as breaking confidentiality
  • Lack of reliability and trust between co-workers and management

Remember, the above represents only a small part of the possible employee challenges that you could experience. As a business owner, you should maintain regular communications with your line managers and HR managers to spot potential issues early and address them immediately. 

Human Resources & Employee Relations

HR professionals are essential to ensuring that the team’s overall performance runs smoothly. Not only is it the HR role to ensure contractual obligations are met, but it also provides support and instills trust in the company.

Having an employee relations plan in place with your HR team is effective in boosting morale and avoiding interpersonal disputes. These are common problems that could negatively impact the company’s bottom line and requires a sensitive approach.

Effective Employment Relations Management

Humans are social creatures and thrive on rewarding relationships. As an employee relations manager, you should incorporate psychological factors into your HR approach. 

Some key points to consider include:

  • A sense of accomplishment. Employees who feel that they’re part of the team invest more effort in their work. By creating a sense of unity, the team member shares in the excitement when the company performs well. 
  • Recognition and reward: Above all, acknowledging exceptional performance or an improved attitude is the most effective performance management tool you can incorporate. Having engaged employees is crucial to the overall growth of the company. 
  • Keep communication channels open. As much as many of us prefer to pretend otherwise, life happens, and it often leaves us distracted. When employees know that they can approach the HR team about troubles, it encourages trust and loyalty. 
  • Encourage personal and professional growth: Companies that encourage employees to improve their skills have better employee retention than those who don’t. It’s a win-win arrangement for both parties. 

Common Examples of Employee Relations Issues

An unpleasant part of employee relations management is to resolve possible conflicts in the workplace. The extent of these problems varies from minor personal disagreements to more significant negotiations. 

Payment disputes between the employee and the business owner are among the main contributing factors for employees seeking new employment. The employee may just be venting or have a genuine problem regarding their pay. In either case, identify the root of the problem to find a speedy resolution. 

Poor attendance and leave disputes are other areas that require intervention from employee relations managers. Many employees tend to abuse the understanding and generosity of their employers during tough times. 

As part of your employee relationship management policy, establish clear boundaries regarding attendance and the paid leave days available to the employee. 

Conflict resolution is an expected requirement in any area that calls for different (potentially clashing) personalities working together. This is where HR should be the voice of reason to find common ground and resolve any disagreements. 

There are bound to be some unpleasant interactions between employees with different views, beliefs, and tolerance levels.

Did you know? Workplace safety doesn’t only refer to hazardous environments like factories. In an office, it could also refer to preventing sexual harassment and abusive interactions. 

Employee relations managers should always encourage communication on these offenses and have the appropriate measures in place if they occur. 

10 Tips for Developing Employee Relationships as a Business Owner 

Encourage Employee Feedback

The first step in remedying a problem is to identify it. By encouraging regular employee feedback, you’ll shed some light on any troubles that your team may be experiencing. 

Employee relations managers should have a fixed employee feedback session on the books to provide a safe space for each team member, allowing them to air their grievances and share opinions. 

It’s an ideal opportunity to build better relationships amongst all parties.

Recognize and Acknowledge Potential

There’s nothing people enjoy more than to hear their praises sung. It’s the fastest and easiest way to encourage improved results.  

When employees perform consistently well or have a better-than-usual attitude, don’t hesitate to give them a parade. The psychology behind it says that they’ll continue to strive for better to keep the praise coming.  

Celebrate Diversity

Since conflict resolution has a significant impact on employee relationships, why not encourage celebrating the differences? Whether working together in a workplace or remotely, it’s something that the team can participate in together. 

Embracing what sets each person apart and celebrating it creates a sense of unity in the team. Not only does this improve the workplace culture, but it will also reduce negative employee engagement.

Create a Corporate Training and Development Program

It doesn’t matter which industry you’re in or which position the employees occupy; you can never have enough knowledge. 

When a company has a training and development program, it reflects an interest in the employees’ professional growth.

Corporate training with Quantic’s MBA course provides employees with the skills they need for career advancement. With the added knowledge, they’ll have a morale boost and feel motivated to prove that they’re worth the investment. 

“My journey with Quantic has been incredible. The course material equipped me with knowledge that led to a 66% salary increase.” – Robin Lu, Gomay Group, Front-end Engineer.

“I used the knowledge I gained in Quantic’s MBA to acquire a significant promotion in both role and compensation. I loved the program.” – Kristian Fennessy, Solutions Engineering, Chartio.

Whether a business owner or employee, Quantic’s MBA is a worthwhile investment and a win either way. 

Setup Tuition Reimbursement

A tuition reimbursement program encourages employees to go the extra mile to reach their goals while improving employee retention. 

The Quantic tuition reimbursement program makes it possible for employees to earn their MBA and reach their full potential without spending any money. Companies can reimburse the tuition partially or in full.

Build an Executive Leadership Development Plan

While employee performance is the engine room of any business, it could all crash and burn without effective leadership. It’s crucial to ensure that those in leadership roles have the company’s best interests at heart. 

An effective employee engagement strategy is to create an Executive Leadership Development plan. This approach allows employees to work toward their goals while gaining the training and knowledge required to help the company thrive. 

Refer to the 12 Employee Engagement Strategies for 2021 for some of the most effective ways to develop your Executive Leadership Development plan.

Enable Employee Engagement

Quantic defines employee engagement as “the level of an employee’s emotional involvement and commitment to organizational goals.”

In essence, employees should view the company as more than just an income source. Do team members feel like a cog in the wheel or a vital part of the operation?

Since every organization and team is different, it’s best to evaluate the 12 Employee Engagement Strategies for 2021 to find the approach that delivers the best results.  

Build Employee Empowerment

Employee empowerment refers to the support provided by the business owner and managers to help employees succeed. Not only does the support improve employee relations, but it also boosts company culture.

With Quantic, empowerment and training don’t only refer to an MBA. Not everyone is well-suited for an executive role, but anyone can thrive in other areas providing value in your company’s advancement. 

Encourage signing up for an open course in various business tasks. The courses are short, free, flexible, and don’t require an application process.

Set Clear Expectations

Whether discussing the company’s values or employee conduct parameters, be clear about your expectations. This is especially crucial when talking to new employees in the team as it helps them find their feet in the organization better. 

Some common areas that are often miscommunicated include:

  • Job description and responsibilities
  • Main working hours or time requirements
  • Various processes for specific tasks
  • Team communication preferences
  • Objectives for the individual and/or group

Encourage Family First

As rewarding as having dedicated workers can be, it could present a slippery slope when the focus is on the wrong side. Unnecessary pressure at work and unreasonably long hours can be emotionally and mentally draining, negatively impacting performance.

Excessive time spent working also results in a shortfall in other areas of employees’ lives — often with their family. Again, this could circle back to their work, causing a snowball effect. 

By encouraging a healthy work-life balance, employees can focus on their families and gain the mental clarity to continue performing well. 

Always remember that mental health is a severe condition often sparked by excess stress. Take the extra steps to prevent this wherever possible. 

When it comes to employee relations, what you get out of your employee really is determined by what you put in.

Examples of Companies That Develop and Maintain Strong Employee Relations

Are you keen to see how established companies have found success with their employee relations policy? Here are a few names that you may recognize and how they’ve maintained strong relationships.

Google has set the bar high for how to take care of its staff. The tech mogul offers employees an extensive list of perks, including free training. The company understands the value of investing in the workforce, and the payoff is absolute employee satisfaction.

Apple has a firm belief in the importance of communication between parties for maintaining good relationships. The company’s employee engagement program encourages continuous contact with all employees. 

American Express CEO, Kenneth Chenault, recognizes the value of embracing and celebrating diversity within the company. He understands that drawing from different perspectives is pivotal to company advancement and a thriving workplace. 

Employee Relations Programs That Work

The list of ways to improve employee relations is endless and truly worth implementing. However, the method that stands out the most is empowering employees through education and growth opportunities. 

How to Build an Executive Leadership Development Plan

Running a company involves far more than just availing a specific good or service to the public. Indeed, it also requires more than simply convincing customers of your suitability and branding.

To make your business sustainable in a highly volatile marketplace and ensure profits and longevity, your company – like all businesses – requires strategic leadership.

And the impact here can hardly be overstated. Leadership development is a multi-billion-dollar industry with countless schools, experts, and programs, and discourse awash with theories and models meant to suit businesses of all scales.


Well, it’s quite simple. Focused leadership demands long-term thinking about market needs, consumer needs, employee productivity, and of course, profits. Which, in turn, demands an important conceptual tool: a leadership plan.

What Is a Leadership Development Plan?

Understanding Executive Development Plans

Simply put, leadership development involves the adoption of certain activities in your company to improve the quality of its leadership and labor competency.

It’s the process of equipping supervisory and managerial staff with the skills and conceptual tools needed to see themselves towards sustainable profitability and success. Generating this kind of positive change within a company’s inner workings requires a well-defined plan. A leadership growth plan.

There are plenty of elements involved in such a plan, as we’re about to see, but first — some stats.

A recent survey report by PriceWaterHouseCoopers established that:

The same survey also established that while those at the helm displayed an abundance of critical thought when it came to the more analytical aspects of company management — they lacked severely in the emotional quotient department.

That is to say, they personally lacked the necessary tools to “get through” to their teams by painting as clear a picture as possible of their company vision

Most companies, even those with a solid profit record, experience substantial setbacks — particularly during periods of change (internal or external) — if not steered by well-equipped leaders.

If you’re interested in placing yourself at a competitive vantage, a leadership plan is a vital flag you need to plant to meet both human and strategic company needs. 

And, there are many potential payoffs of adopting a strategic plan within your company.

Why Is a Leadership Growth Plan So Important?

It Leads to Better Fiscal Performance

A growth plan adopted by business departments with able leaders is bound to result in better fiscal performance — the spoils of which can then be reinvested into the company.

Likewise, a well-structured leadership, innovation, and decision-making strategy is a necessary tool for senior executive management to drive up the likelihood of a company’s success. 

While it’s important to map out the right business strategy or program, both these strategies will work for any organizational structure. And they work even better when adopted simultaneously. 

In taking the time to understand what your organization needs from its leaders, you will better understand the business strategy that works best for you. These two strategies go hand-in-hand: developing one will help in achieving the other. 

Regardless of your field of business, all companies are bound to reap heavily from cultivating leadership skills within their organization and prioritizing leadership in their company culture. Senior executive leaders who have the right innovation and strategy skills inspire the same in their workforce.

It Leads to More Hands-on, Agile Corporate Management

A company with effective executive/senior management can wade through the commercial environment, complex and dynamic as it is, and come up with quick and effective solutions to problems as they arise. 

Executive leadership development equips leaders to think on their feet and adapt to an ever-changing corporate environment. 

It Helps Attract, Retain and Motivate Your Workforce

A well-structured executive leadership plan inspires active engagement from your staff. 

Well-trained senior executives are more likely to attract, keep, and appropriately remunerate a talented workforce — resulting in consistent satisfaction among staff. 

Further, an innovation and vision plan executed with the employee in mind will inspire loyalty among staff. This is particularly true of programs that provide growth opportunities for the more academically-inclined members of staff. 

An executive leadership plan that fosters appropriate communication channels within teams is bound to scale up profits within a company. 

Which is why it’s so important to foster a team of executives that can attract and retain a worthwhile workforce. 

It Facilitates Internal & External Company Communication

A company’s communication channels determine how quickly deadlines can be met, problems solved, and plans made good on. 

When your executive management team makes active steps to foster a marketplace of ideas — your company will benefit from faster task execution, a spike in production, and a more satisfied workforce. 

Moreover, the positive engagement and morale within your workforce are more likely to flow through to your customers. 

What Are the Goals of an Effective Executive Leadership Plan?

Heighten a Manager’s Sense of Responsibility

The mark of a worthy leader lies in their ability to account for their deeds (and the subsequent consequences). In short: their responsibility

This means that they can examine the outcomes of their decisions and appreciate the lessons gleaned from both success and failure. 

A leadership plan will also foster the ability to stand back and objectively assess and learn from the effects of their decisions — whether positive or negative. 

Instill Self-discipline Within Trainees 

A well-trained leader knows that tough decisions directly affecting the bottom line should ultimately benefit the company or organization rather than the individual. 

Yet another mark of sustainable executive leadership is the ability to reflectively assess all available options. And, using the right metrics and criteria, to objectively choose what’s really best for the company. 

Foster Active Communication Within the Organization

Pro-tip: Incredible ideas and hands-on mentorship won’t do you much good if your leadership’s communication is sub-par.

But the thing is, gaining the right communication skills is an endeavour that needs effort and time. 

But when adequately honed, your skills should equip you to understand how and when to use persuasion, build a rapport with your staff, understanding when and how to exercise persuasion, as well as improve conflict resolution skills.

Also, it’s vital to cultivate listening culture at the topmost rungs of company leadership. Each team member can offer the management important input that can bear directly on everyday company decisions. 

Active listening coupled with a well-cultivated space for discussion in a company will do you more good than you’d think. 

Add More Conceptual Knowledge on Executive Leadership

Leaders must be generally well-rounded; they ought to have a diverse set of skills across many competences. 

A leader who is willing to take the time to learn new fields, especially those that might not necessarily directly relate to their mandate, will certainly have an edge over most other companies and will be able to solve problems in an agile and creative way.

Improve the Trainee’s Inner Clock

The most ineffective leader is hands down the sort that can’t keep to a schedule; that’s are constantly running late on deadlines. 

A leader who is able, on the other hand, to make and stick to strict time frames is automatically a good template on which the rest of the team can model a work ethic. 

Promote a Work Environment That Fosters Mentorship

Yet another important attribute of a good leader is to foster leadership in others. 

A well-trained leader should be able to hone these skills in staff members and foster a culture of leadership development culture within the company. 

Possible ways to achieve this could be: soliciting for feedback, coaching, and imparting staff with precise skills for challenging workloads. 

Instill a Sense of Long-term Strategizing 

Two words. Analytical thinking. Good teamwork and effective problem-solving require a leader who is able to factor in the entire team in the long-term — not only immediately, but at the end as well. 

Together with the preceding points, these goals will help you determine the precise training and plans that ought to be most effective for your company. 

Examples of Leadership Development Programs/Executive Education Programs

Here are some methods of executing your leadership development plan:

Interpersonal Skills: Conferences for Executives

To cultivate a team of workers with vision in your company, you’ll need to invest in your leaders. One way of doing this is providing them with access to events and conferences that provide skills training on delegation and strategic decision-making. 

Indeed, this is the sort of thing that demands resources, both monetary and temporal, but any company that wishes to reap the benefits of a motivated and well-equipped labor force would be well advised to invest in this kind of  immersive vision and learning experience.

Other examples of suchlike leadership training events include general presentations, conference intensives, and breakout forums. These will give your company staff a chance to hone their communication, relationship and interpersonal skills. 

Strategic Exposure: Meetings, University Classes & Workshops

A well-governed company needs to be managed by a visible and involved leadership team. What this means is, leaders ought to seek out ways of applying their supervisory skills. They can do this by seeking out forums that can earn them exposure, both outside and inside the organisation. 

Your leaders must be publicly visible, but that’s often a big responsibility when they have so much on their plates already. Strategically seek out opportunities for your leaders to gain exposure. Help your leaders get used to the exposure required when spearheading company projects, both inside and outside the organization. 

What this kind of leadership exposure does is, it provides senior managers with the skills needed to address staff members publicly and give them valuable feedback when need arises. Eligible staff include corporate heads, board members, and other rank employees alike. 

Micro-Mentoring & Coaching Programs

If you specifically want to nurture a mentorship culture within your organisation, here’s an executive leadership development plan that you should definitely consider adopting: micro-mentoring. 

The objective is simple: to balance out the gradient in skills and empirical experience inherent in any workforce, only this time it works in an objective-specific and time-specific way. 

Key areas of focus depend, of course, on specialty, expertise, and the specific aspects of leadership that your company is most in need of, and are inculcated through workshops, volunteer projects, leading events, and micro-mentorship initiatives. 

Implemented with consistency, these grow into your organisation’s ethos and promote individual growth and vision.

Adoption of Interactive eLearning 

With online business tools being what they are today, peak efficient and diverse, leadership training has never been easier. 

The technical ease with which even remote-based companies can conduct interactive leadership training sessions makes this an excellent place to start for any reasonable team of corporates looking for options. 

eLearning not only enhances cohesion in an organisation, it equips workers with the necessary skills needed to monitor, motivate, get feedback from and incentive staff teams. 

Whether interactive questionnaires or scheduled video classes, eLearning tools have the ability to elaborate on a company’s objectives in all departments, with ease. 

Interactive eLearning is also an excellent way to instill in your leaders a lasting sense of feedback analysis, allowing them to carefully analyse problems and decisions when the need arises.

Community-Involved Training 

An executive leadership plan should also make a point of affording your leaders an opportunity to make a positive contribution in their nearby community. 

A well-run organisation knows that leadership doesn’t cease when everyone checks out after a good day’s work. On the contrary, community projects are essential for your organisation’s local reputation and it will help reinforce a positive moral ethos in your leaders. 

Allowing your leaders to do pro-bono work; allowing them to take up projects that involve local charitable communities; all these things go a long way towards giving your leaders actionable hands-on experience. 

Creating Your Leadership Development Plan from Scratch

Drafting the Executive Leadership Plan

The first thing to keep in mind when building an executive leadership plan is that it ought to bear relevance to leaders at every level of your company. This ensures your leaders are always performing optimally. 

The Ariel Group, which has co-drafted executive education plans across many industries for over twenty-five years, lists six important steps for drafting an executive education action plan and measuring its success.

Here’s where you should start:

  • Outline the most important leadership qualities

You will do this by writing a list of the leadership skills, abilities and competencies that ought to be embodied by a great leader. Afterwards, you should solicit senior leadership management for feedback about the drafted list in order to find out which skills are most needed for your organisation.

  • Focus on core objectives

Here, you need to outline the primary business goals you are focused on achieving in an easy but thorough manner. For instance, an objective could be: To achieve a 25% increase in total sales after two quarters.

  • Assess the requisite leadership skills 

Here, you need to identify the precise skills and talents that need to be cultivated at your organisation, so that it can meet key business objectives. The way to do this is to conduct a leadership skills assessment. 

You will achieve this by speaking with leaders to find out what they feel they need to be more successful, as well as gathering insights from staff teams regarding their leaders. 

The requisite feedback can then be gathered through a range of different mediums: face-to-face feedback, administering questionnaires, email, and anonymous feedback. 

  • Develop a list of executive education objectives

Here, you will use the format adopted in the skills assessment as well as the feedback gained about the most needed skills in your company. 

And from this you will draft a list of outcomes that you envision for your development plan. 

  • Identify the best methods to achieve your leadership action plan objectives

Some things you should consider when deciding upon your preferred method of execution of your leadership development plan objectives include: selecting the right content as well as the right training criteria. Be it group coaching, one-on-one coaching, in-person teaching, self-paced asynchronous training, or virtual classrooms. 

You might perhaps find it more efficient to invite a third-party consultant that specifically deals in  leadership development programs of your sort. They’re usually better equipped to quickly find the right content and formats for the training programme. 

  • Measure the effectiveness of your leadership development plan

It is vital that you have a precise criteria in place for measuring the eventual effectiveness of your leadership development plan. 

Likewise, your employees are a vital asset in feedback analysis. Their sentiment will help you determine the overall progress of the departments in which the executive plan has been adopted. 

Your Leadership Development Plan: a Useful Template

For a quick peek at how you should plan out your program, check out this template. 

Get Your Head Start at Quantic

Quantic is an excellent avenue for leadership programs tailored for all business owners, both aspiring and established.

Our courses are well-regarded among some of the most reputable hirers — and that is exactly why they’re included in most tuition reimbursement programs. 

Some companies that have leveraged Quantic’s tuition reimbursement program include: 

  • American Express
  • WeWork
  • S&P Global
  • Grant Thornton
  • Farmers Insurance

Why, you ask? Well, the reasons are quite simple.

  • Quantic’s programs enhance company talent

Our MBA is bound to elevate your top current and potential leaders, upgrading their performance to more senior roles to support your company growth.

  • We are fast and flexible and our courses lead to higher retention

Invest in your top employees to signal your confidence in their potential and your commitment to their success; you’ll cultivate loyalty and retain them longer.

  • We offer a high ROI and affordable tuition

Primarily delivered online, our best-in-class MBA programs are designed to provide incredible learning at a fraction of the cost of traditional top business school programs.

  • And, of course, we offer an up-to-date accredited degree

8 Employee Engagement Strategies for 2021

Seeing your engagement strategies fail and your operational systems run amok is nothing new in times of change. Significant shifts in the labor market only exacerbate issues. 

The great arena where corporations and top talent have been matching strengths has kept us on the edge of our seats for decades. Lately, it seems talent has been on the winning streak.  

The rat race for the top-skilled workers is harsher than ever, and employee turnover is as expensive as it ever was.

Thus, it doesn’t surprise that employee engagement is top of mind for most HRs and higher-ups.

But how do you stay on top of all your HR challenges and improve employee engagement? 

Our 8 employee engagement strategies for 2021 are bound to help. We’ve curated only the best content from leading industry sources to provide you with the best solutions.  

Let’s dive right in. 

What Is Employee Engagement?

Employee Engagement Definition

Employee engagement often gets mixed up with job satisfaction, but they’re not equivalent.

Satisfaction is the feeling of personal happiness and contentment with a job. Engagement has more to do with a proactive approach and the level of motivation. 

It’s a commitment to the organization and the driving force behind employee performance.

The Employee Engagement Model

It’s difficult to find an effective employee engagement model that works. Senior leaders are facing a host of challenges — not just having their newly trained workers poached by other firms. 

Other issues include active disengagement and the demands for improved leadership.  

The stats below will help you gain a better perspective into what drives people in and out of companies.    

So, how do you address those challenges?

First, you need to understand the key drivers of employee engagement in your organization.

To do this, ask yourself the following questions:  

  • How do employees connect and engage with the organization as a whole? Does your company culture nurture fairness, trust, and respect?
  • How do employees connect and engage with direct managers? Do they receive fair treatment and good direction from them?  

Below, we show both organizational and managerial factors in more detail. 

Saying a positive work environment and good leadership are key to engaging employees is being too vague. 

You need to build a model that makes sense for your organization. Let’s break this down.

The Employee Engagement HR Function

Although the manager role is critical in this department, the HR team has a decisive role in improving levels of worker engagement.

HR professionals should lead the charge here within the scope of their responsibilities. Namely:

  • Onboarding. Onboard applicants who fit into the proactive workplace culture. Select those with competencies that match your organization’s growth and sustainability goals.  
  • Training and development. Offer employee benefit programs and training to attract talent and supercharge your team.
  • Performance management. Keep goal alignment front and center. Set workers’ goals strategically and provide clear feedback.

Why Is Employee Engagement Important?

There are plenty of reasons to adopt targeted practices to improve employee engagement. Yet, it’s a missing link in many organizations. They go without any systematic approach.

“Just 26% of leaders surveyed say that employee engagement is a very important part of what they think about, plan, and do every day. Another 42% say they work on it frequently, and the rest only occasionally, rarely or never.” Source: Hubspot 

There’s a strong business case for adopting continuous initiatives in this field — plenty of industry data points toward significant employee engagement gains.

Organizations with an engaged workforce:

  • Demonstrate superior performance. 
  • Have a higher earning per share.
  • Recover more quickly following financial setbacks.
  • Are more likely to attract and retain top talent. 

Employee Engagement Goals and Objectives

Your employee engagement initiatives should work towards concrete, well-defined objectives.

Only after you’ve defined them and put them in the pipeline can you measure the success of your efforts.

Engaging your employees can serve some of the below listed high-level corporate objectives:

  • Increase employee retention
  • Increase productivity 
  • Increase employee happiness Increase customer satisfaction
  • Improve organizational culture 

Start small, pick a few relevant objectives, and break them down into task activities. This way you’ll be able to gauge and manage results without splurging your resources. 

Employee Engagement Best Practices

As Douglas Conant, American businessman and Campbell Soup company president and CEO, aptly put it:  

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” 

Your workforce is your most valuable resource — you might as well treat it as such.

Below are actionable tips on how to create a highly engaged workforce.

How to Engage Employees

1. Foster Your Company’s Core Values

Your core values should be at the heart of your company culture — and here’s the how and why of it. 

Employee surveys show Millennials seek jobs and careers they find meaningful and engaging. 

Just a reminder: by 2025, Millennials will represent up to 75% of the global workforce. That said, the topic of creating a purposeful work environment deserves serious thought.  

Articulate your company core values and you’ll create a cohesive workforce gathered around common ideals.  

Your values should serve as a backdrop for everything you do as a team. Here are a few ideas:

  • Create a company mission document and put it out to new hires to keep them in the loop from day one.
  • Launch an internal company newsletter.
  • Make this topic a staple of your all-hands executive presentations. 

 2. Create a Culture of Respect

In the grand scheme of things, people love to be respected for the input they make and ideas they propose. So, a good culture of respect includes a good level of dialogue and openness

Organizations that are great at employee engagement are employee-centric cultures. 

21st-century workers value diverse and inclusive workplaces above all else. It’s what a person brings to the organization that counts, regardless of their sex, age, culture, or religion.  

Below are a few initiative ideas: 

  • Teach your recruiters and managers how to deal with unconscious bias.
  • Comb through your executive team: are they acting on values of respect and diversity?

3. Provide Opportunities for Growth

Many organizations already offer valuable strategic compensation to encourage incentivized behaviors. However, skill development training is where you should look for long-term organizational benefits. Upskilling your employees has proven benefits like improving retention and keeping your team motivated. 

Here’s some hard data to support this claim. 

94% of employees would stay at the job longer if the company offered more opportunities to advance their careers. 

By providing growth opportunities, you’re announcing your organizational values to the world.  

Top performers want to get their hands on marketable skills. They work towards earning more senior roles — so you may as well give them what they want. 

Here’s how: 

  • Set quarterly or monthly learning and development goals for each team member. 
  • Design transition management programs to encourage promotion from within.
  • Give people time to learn (this is the number one barrier people state in surveys).
  • Include attractive coursework as part of a compensation and benefits package.  

Tuition reimbursement is a great way to retain team members at the executive level. It’s how you nurture great leaders and encourage other team members to aim for more senior positions.

Quantic’s Executive MBA Tuition Reimbursement Program is a premier graduate education option. By providing your team with an MBA degree, you create excellence in leadership.

This program is attractive to organizations because it offers:  

  • True career acceleration empowerment. The program is designed to educate business leaders and empower them to work towards key business outcomes. 
  • Proven career outcomes. 94% of our alumni say they met their career goals post-graduation.
  • A seamless time-saving program. Our MBA program is designed to create minimal disruption; your employees complete courses without compromising work.
  • An excellent alternative to Ivy League MBAs. In a standardized test, Quantic learners performed as well or better than MBA students coming from the top 10 business schools.

Here’s what others said about us: 

4. Be Clear About How Your Employees Fit in the Big Picture 

First off, high-performing workers are those that clearly understand their role. Being just a cog in the machine is unlikely to engage anyone. 

Next, if you want your staff involved in achieving organizational goals, they need to know what those goals are. Letting them know how their role plays out is paramount.

Providing a clear vision from the top down is the most effective way to increase engagement organization-wide

Hold regular meetings to help the team stay on top and discuss how each member contributes.

5. Recognize Top-Performers

Want to produce new top performers while also encouraging existing ones? Here’s a good incentive: recognize individual achievements.  

It’s understandable — people are unlikely to perform better if their good work is ignored. 

However, it’s nothing some good management can’t fix. 

Putting efforts into creating reward and recognition programs is a great way to fire up your team.  

  • Put your managerial hires through Employee Recognition Training.
  • Set up an employee Service Awards Program.
  • Create a Peer-to-Peer Recognition Program.

6. Foster Great Management

Engaged employees feel their work helps the organization achieve long-term goals. 

Good management is one of the key drivers of engagement. Everyone’s work relies on the management’s success in guiding and aligning their people.

That’s why your investment in managerial teams measures in improved retention, performance, and engagement.

With that in mind, there’s always room to improve:

  • Implement empathy training for managers.
  • Use employee surveys to evaluate managerial effectiveness. 
  • Have regular one-to-ones to help solve issues on the go and inspire managers to do their best.

7. Encourage Two-Way Communication 

Skill development training, self-efficacy, and recognition aren’t the only ingredients of job satisfaction. 

Allowing honest employee feedback is also high on the list. Employees who are free to voice their opinions to their higher-ups feel valued.

Being attentive to your team’s feedback improves their commitment to your organization. Below are some ideas on how to improve your communication: 

  • Promote feedback channels across the board and encourage team members to share thoughts and ask questions.
  • Give prompt answers and act on employee feedback. 
  • Give shoutouts when someone’s suggestions or ideas are implemented. It’s an excellent way to let your team know about the impact they make. 

8. Empower Your Managers to Coach

Lastly, initiating a mentorship program is one of the best things you can do to boost performance.  

A coaching culture has been known for its strong impact on an organization’s health. Yet, many managers are missing the point of seeing supervision as their key responsibility. 

Their greatest contribution comes down to coaching employees. 

That said, empower your managers to coach. Inaugurate coaching as one of the official goals for your managers’ performance evaluations.  

One big plus of this is that the attitude of an engaged manager will rub off on the rest of the team. 

Build Your Employee Engagement Plan

So, how do you build your employee engagement plan? The key is to narrow down and decide which drivers of employee engagement you want to focus on.

Breaking them down into categories will help you identify areas of improvement. You can add or remove categories on the below chart, depending on your organizational needs.

To start carving out your employee engagement strategies select one of the categories. 

Take “Goals & Alignment” for example, then work your ideas through the list of questions below:

  • Do we have specific initiatives that support this driver of engagement? 
  • Will addressing this area solve some of our burning issues?
  • How can we improve in this area?

Once you’ve identified areas that need immediate attention, start building a systematic action plan around them. 

Pro Tip: The most successful employee engagement strategies are intentional and data-driven. Administering surveys will help you reach better decisions about which initiatives will truly serve your organization.  
Use engagement and pulse surveys to find out what makes your employees tick. Also, make sure to follow up on the results.

Employee Engagement Strategy Examples in Action

Employee Engagement Strategies During COVID-19

The COVID-19 situation forced organizations to reevaluate their employee engagement practices. The most critical insight: your remote work protocols need to meet your employees where they are. 

Your team needs to adopt the new remote practices. The ideas below will help you buffer any negative effects and transition to remote work. 

  • Reinforce leadership communication. Put your efforts into digital communication so you can cascade information effectively. 
  • Manage outcomes rather than inputs. Your teams may need more support under current circumstances. Outline desired outcomes but make sure to recognize efforts over results. A level of empathy is important until people gain momentum.  
  • Allow uninterrupted feedback. Communication is now more important than ever. Actively seek feedback from your team. Use video conferencing to course-correct and help them achieve outcomes.

Companies That Nail Employee Engagement

Care to learn about a few successful examples? Below are companies that nailed it with their employee engagement initiatives.  

  • CB Insights. This NYC-based market intelligence company offers a $1,000 education stipend to team members that hit the six-month mark. It hosts a quarterly female-focused professional development lunch and monthly management training. 
  • Subsplash. This innovative company features the “Animal of the Week” employee recognition initiative. Exceptional individual achievements are recognized at a weekly all-hands company meeting. Behavior aligned with company core values (humility, proactivity, and excellence) is especially cheered on. 

Successful Employee Engagement Programs

The higher-ups want to see employee engagement initiatives that drive results. Being clear on the objectives is a good place to get started, but seeing how others are doing it weighs in too. 

Below are some organizations that get results from its employee engagement initiatives. 

  • Caterpillar, a construction-equipment company, has seen considerable benefits from their employee engagement initiatives. They resulted in $8.8 million annual savings from decreased attrition, absenteeism, and overtime in their European plant. 

They’ve also seen a 34% increase in satisfied customers in their start-up plant.

  • Google and Intel are another shining examples. They’ve introduced this remarkably agile goal-setting process called OKR (objectives and key results).

The team members set their individual goals and outline their “key results.” These are, in turn, used to monitor employee progress. The framework creates clarity, alignment, and easy performance measurement.

Your Employee Engagement Action Plan

So, how do you put into place your own successful initiatives? 

First, the leadership and HR settle down on one area of focus — for example, growth opportunities. Then, an action group gets on writing the action plan.

Here’s how it looks: 

  1. Recruit a team responsible for leading the action plan.
  1. Determine the budget and timeline and schedule regular meetings for the action group.
  1. The team then develops a plan. They create a list of options for their prospective action plan. 
  1. A report is created and presented to the leadership. It includes a timeline, expected costs, and the projection of the outcome.
  1. Next, the leadership adopts the plan, makes adjustments, and approves the budget.
  1. Finally, the team gives regular presentations to update the leadership on progress, until the project is completed. 

Next Steps

Implementing on-paper employee engagement strategies takes effort. Yet, there’s a compelling business case that pins down considerable employee engagement gains. 

Laying out a clear path for your initiatives is the best way to ensure their success — and now you have the tools for it. 

Launching a tuition reimbursement program is a great way to get started. Make an Executive MBA degree available to your employees and you’ll be putting your organization on the map

Doing so empowers you to retain team members at the executive level and motivates managers to achieve their career goals. 

Quantic School for Business and Technology offers a free online MBA that can help you attract new hires and produce future business leaders starting from today.

Quantic Trailblazer: Chief Academic Officer and Pedago Co-Founder Alexie Harper

Chief Academic Officer and Pedago (Quantic’s parent company) Co-Founder, Alexie Harper, is a trailblazer in the digital education space. Before Quantic, she was previously the director of R&D and a senior researcher at Rosetta Stone. She was also a travel writer and editor for Let’s Go Inc. after earning an M.A. in Irish and Irish-American Studies from NYU and an A.B. in English Literature and Language from Harvard University. 

Finding creative solutions to difficult problems has always inspired Alexie to become the industry leader that she is today. “I’ve always enjoyed creating something new,” says Alexie. “From my school days in Odyssey of the Mind, through my time creating educational software at Rosetta Stone, to now, I’m at my happiest when I can tackle a difficult problem by brainstorming creative solutions, and then do the hard work of testing and implementing those solutions. I don’t mind when those experiments don’t work out; I find it invigorating to keep trying to improve whatever it is I’m working on, and there’s ample opportunity to do that!” 

Creating solutions to unsolved problems, like making the digital learning experience even better than traditional classroom learning, is at the heart of Quantic and Pedago’s strategy. “Rather than virtualize the typical classroom experience, I’m more interested in what is required to reinvent the core mechanisms that drive student learning, particularly for the adult student, and to do so in a way that’s more effective and more engaging than what you would encounter in person,” explains Alexie. “I feel like Pedago has made great strides in this arena, and there is so much more that we would like to try to create a flexible learning environment that accommodates learners around the globe.” 

But in order to find great solutions and success, one must go through some hiccups and growing pains. Even failure itself is a constant motivation for the Co-Founder. Throughout her career, Alexie realized the power of resilience and courage. “I haven’t always succeeded,” notes Alexie. “Along the way, I’ve had a lot of failures and setbacks, as most entrepreneurs have, and it can be crushing in the moment. I’ve tried to respond with resilience and have refused to give up, and I think that’s why I’m still doing this!” 

Courage and resilience are often qualities that are associated with a trailblazer or maverick in an entrepreneurial field. However, a big key to success that Alexie stands by is support. “It’s extremely difficult to succeed without the help and support of others,” says Alexie. “I’m very grateful for the mentors and colleagues of all genders who have provided advice and support throughout my career, particularly when I was first starting out. I believe it’s important to cultivate connections with others, share advice, and support one another in whatever field or endeavor you choose.” 

Alexie’s advice for the next generation of trailblazers? Have conviction in your own ideas and don’t be afraid to take a few risks along the way. “Try lots of things and find what you love,” says Alexie. “You’ll always be more motivated to work at something that you find interesting, meaningful, and important. Don’t be overly influenced by career advice that others might give you, as only you can decide what field, industry, or discipline is right for you. And take risks; life is more interesting when you jump in feet first.”

Quantic Trailblazers: Iditarod Musher Paige Drobny

Executive MBA Student, Paige Drobny, was born with a love of animals. Her parents couldn’t keep the frogs and crickets and small animals out of the house. She got her first pet, a cat, at the age of three and there were a slew of house pets and barn animals that came after that. Fast forward to 2021, and she is now competing in her seventh Iditarod with a team of incredible sled dogs. 

“I never heard of the Iditarod when I was a kid,” says Paige. “I never dreamt about going up north. It never occurred to me that I wanted to race and I never thought I would be doing this, but I was always drawn to the outdoors.”

Paige’s love and respect for the outdoors has only grown stronger since she moved to Alaska in 2001. She loves the wilderness and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Since the state has eight to nine months of winter each year, residents need to find ways to keep active in the snowy season. That’s when Paige first discovered dog sledding. 

“Fairbanks is unique because many people have small recreational kennels,” says Paige. “Most people I know have dog sleds. It’s a way for people to get around and get out.” The first time Paige contemplated getting on a sled is when her husband and business partner, Cody Straith, made her one for Christmas.

“I gave it to her for Christmas and said ‘maybe we can get some more dogs,’” says Cody. “I went to visit my family a week before the holiday and when I came back she had already gotten three more dogs. Then we could officially use the sled.” 

“We actually talked about dog sledding in retirement,” laughs Paige. “We thought it would be a way to stay active when we were older. I always wanted a ton of dogs. We attached them to the sled and off we went. I was hooked from the get go.”

Since that first moment of jumping on a sled, Paige has become an extremely accomplished musher. Besides this being her seventh Iditarod competition, she is also a five time Yukon Quest and Copper Basin Musher.

“I knew Paige was a driven athlete back in 2010,” explains Cody. “She had just finished her first 300-mile race. She got to the finish line and just wanted to keep going. She was just having a great time and wanted to continue.” 

Paige’s ambition is apparent both on and off the sled. She is the owner and operator of Spearfish Research, where she is a biological consultant, and her and Cody run a successful kennel, dubbed Squid Acres, an homage to Paige’s work consulting for fisheries. The couple purchased a lodge off the Denali Highway (one of the most remote and scenic highways in the world), and are expanding their business into a high-end tourism retreat where people can learn about sled dogs and the Alaskan environment. “We’re on thousands of acres of wilderness. We can show people the real Alaska,” says Paige. 

To get her new venture off the ground, she needed to equip herself with a strong foundation of business development and operations. She needed an MBA education, but needed a program that would be flexible enough to accommodate her chaotic schedule. That’s when Quantic came into the picture: “I wouldn’t be doing an MBA if it wasn’t for Quantic. I love Alaska and I have 50 sled dogs that I can’t leave. Being able to stay home and take care of my dogs, and run my other businesses, wouldn’t be possible without the mobile platform.”

Both Cody and Paige have a background in science. Since joining Quantic in October 2020, the courses have already helped Paige with the accounting side of her new business, and she’s looking forward to learning more about marketing. Always eager for a new challenge, Paige admits, “I’m really excited for the marketing course. It’s not my skill set at all. Business Law, too, I’m excited to learn about the proper way to expand in this new industry.” 

Being a newcomer to the tourism industry doesn’t faze Paige, in fact, she says it excites her. And if mushing has taught her anything, it’s that no challenge or obstacle is insurmountable. “Running dogs can be chaotic. There are new obstacles all the time. You need to be calm, cool, and collected. You can’t dwell on the missed corners and wrong turns, you have to learn your lessons and apply them the next day. The business world is the same. You learn from your mistakes and succeed.” 

It’s safe to say the dogs instill a sense of positivity in Paige’s racing and, in general, influence her optimistic outlook on life. “Living with dogs is just one giant lesson. I learn something from them every day. They’re happy, they live in the moment, and every day is exciting, and offers new opportunities. When you hang out with a bunch of dogs, you can’t have a bad day.”

The 2021 Iditarod kicks off tomorrow morning, Sunday, March 7. This year’s multi-day sled dog race across Alaska has some major changes planned, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but as always, Paige is ready to roll with the punches. Participants in this year’s 860-mile course will instead race in a loop that begins outside of Anchorage and eliminates many of the stops traditionally required in previous Iditarod races. The teams will travel from Deshka Landing to Flat and then loop back around and return the same way they came, rather than continuing northwest toward Nome.

The Quantic community is excited to cheer on Paige and with her positive attitude and determination, we know she is going to be the leader of the pack. Be sure to follow Paige’s race journey on our social channels. We’ll be tracking her progress and hearing from her throughout the course!

Expert Advice: Tips to Turn Your Dream into a Business

Quantic Alum, Dr. Lisa Bélanger is a keynote speaker, author and behavior change expert. She teaches professionals about healthy habits, mindfulness, productivity. Besides her accomplishments of running the Paris marathon, climbing Kilimanjaro, and being the mom of two wonderful children, she is also the founder of ConsciousWorks, an industry-leading consulting firm that integrates proactive mental health and performance strategies by applying cutting-edge science to strategically improve behaviors, engage leadership influence, and shift cultures. 

What ultimately inspired her to take the leap and launch her company and what advice does she have for new business founders? Dr. Bélanger gives us her top tips to create a successful startup. 

What inspired you to create ConsciousWorks? 

While I was consulting and researching corporate wellness, I realized that most programs lacked strategy, behaviour change support, and well-defined metrics of success. For the most part, there is little to no science behind how we work. There was an opportunity to leverage science to the mainstream to unveil ways to work better. I knew the potential that lives within a company to not only impact personal behaviors, but also leverage social support through a well-designed program, and create long term, sustainable change. 

Your company’s core values are important for your mission. How did you build these and how can someone determine their own for their startup or new business?

Our core values were determined a few months after the business started, and it was an activity with the whole team. For our team, we were very aligned in terms of individual values and where we saw the company. The company values can really be what you want to be known for, and would be represented in potential employees and future partners. 

What advice would you give to someone just starting to draft a business plan? 

Be ready to pivot! My business plan was finished just weeks before the pandemic and then we went into a complete shutdown. The plan was placed directly in the garbage and re-imagined. In the past year we had to respond to the changing world and try to plan through the uncertainty. An agile business plan became a requirement.

What resources did you need to launch your business?

My primary and more important resources are the incredible team I work with and a solid wifi connection. 

Where did you find it most important to invest your time and energy? 

In relationships: with my team, with partners and with clients. I believe this is always a large part of business, but during the pandemic it has involved creativity and a conscious effort to collaborate remotely. 

What advice would you give to someone for setting their future company goals? 

Connect your goals to your purpose. Know how they intersect with the big picture, then, create a system to achieve them. Move towards that goal every single day. Even if it is just 1% – after a year you are 365% closer. Your goals are as strong as the systems you create. 

What mental health advice would you give to someone dealing with the stresses of setting up a new business? 

In a new company there is always something on fire, deadlines, and inevitable pressure. There are more ups and downs than you can imagine – so create a system to rest every single day! Rest is not a reward for when the work is done, it is a strategic behavior for longevity. 

Also, get a mentor! Someone further along in the entrepreneurship process. I realized quickly, that entrepreneurs are often the only people who ‘get it’ and are great sources of connection. They can provide support for both the emotional and tangible starts to a budding business.  

Want to hear more proactive mental health techniques to become your best self and reach your highest potential? We recently worked with Dr. Bélanger to launch a podcast called The Science of Work, which examines top business leaders’ advice, research, and current trends that are shaping today’s workforce. Tune in to learn more!

Series A, B, C, Seed | Startup Funding Rounds Expert Guide

It’s a well-known archetype: the business idea so brilliant, so innovative, the sort that comes but once in a lifetime. A business idea that’s so actionable, it can scrabble its way up from a fledgling startup and blossom into a sizable business. 

Most aspiring entrepreneurs believe that if they can carry themselves safely through and past the first fiscal hurdle of initiating a startup, it’s smooth sailing from then on out.

Indeed, it’s not atypical for some to entertain expectations that their business can spontaneously grow itself into a big enough scale by merely maintaining a firm foothold on the market. 

Time will see us through.

We’ll be honest: It can happen, but it rarely ever does. Especially not in the current startup market. Such a growth model only ever happens to startups that involve the innovation (and often, indeed, invention) of a truly revolutionary product. Something Zuckerbergian, if you will. 

The truth is, most successful startups today are a result of meticulous funding from external entities done in well-planned, recurrent stages. This leads us to our first point of departure into what we’ll elaborate on today. 

Funding rounds for startups.

So, What Are Funding Rounds?               

Perhaps you’ve heard someone say, “We’re setting our books for our second funding round,” or something similar.

Funding rounds are the most surefire way to see your startup through its inception stage into the actual business. It involves consolidating money from angel investors at intervals, depending on what stage your business is at.

Of course, the upside for you is that you get to inject decent capital into your business while simultaneously growing it. Meanwhile, your investors gain the opportunity to put their funds into a worthwhile and promising fledgling venture. 

For a big enough investment, the angel investor will earn some equity in your startup or an actual cut of your proprietorship pie. 

If you’ve heard people talk about angel donors or “seed” funding, these are usually startup proprietors at the very start of the funding process.

However, as the startup grows, both in market share and investment potential, they gain access to different (and often higher) tiers of funding. 

Series A funding, Series B, C, and even D — you will likely deem multiple rounds of funding appropriate should you feel that your startup has grown into its own.

Today we’ll take an in-depth look past the startup jargon and into these funding tiers: see what sets them apart and investigate the differences in timelines across different fields. 

Depending on your startup field or how actionable it is in today’s market, it might take eons to get any decent funding. Or you might skip easily through the rounds and into IPO-level revenues.

Call it the ABCs of startup funding. 

Pre-Seed Funding for Startups

To get a good grasp of what seed funding is, we first need to understand how you work up to it.

Before any external investment can be accrued, a startup will have to do some initiatory branding. Something that validates itself as an entity, a work-in-progress.

Any money raised by the startup proprietors will usually not be included in the rounds themselves and will typically fall in the pre-seed funding stage

It typically covers the costs needed to get the business started.

Other than the business owners, other qualifying pre-seeders might include close friends, family, and other acquaintances close to the proprietors.

Again, the speed at which a startup can successfully propel through this stage will very much depend on your startup’s field of trade as well as its initial costs (think: branding, initial capital, et al.). Monies given at this stage are generally motivated more by well-wishing and gratuity rather than genuine investment intentions.

By this stage, you as the startup proprietor ought to have a clear and detailed business plan and were likely already required to register the company. 

And that’s not all. Your name and identity should be ready and well-defined, as with your company’s human resource structure; your intellectual property is legally protected, and your licensing all done and valid.

Depending on your circumstances (more accurately, the circumstances of those you hope will make initial contributions to your business), you stand to inject an average of anywhere between $10,000 to $200,000 into your startup during this round of funding. For this sum, you will generally expect a 2% to 10% exchange for equity.

How to Prudently Fill up Your Pre-Seed Chest

  • Make sure to spend a good portion of your pitch elaborating on your “anti-fragility” plan.
  • Come up with a compelling reach-out boilerplate message.
  • Be patient, but also persistent. Progressing successfully into the next level round will require some tenacity. 

Seed Funding Round 

What Is the Seed Round?

While the pre-seed funding round helps fund the business idea, the seed funding round helps raise working capital for the already founded business.

This is usually the very first and most crucial round of startup funding. The intention is to use the investment made here frugally and prudently enough to grow the startup and gain the necessary traction to level up into bigger investment influxes.

For many startups, this also usually marks the end of the road for seeding. Why? Either the startup stagnates, slowly faltering until it somehow manages to gain further investment — or the startup proprietor decides to let the business sustain from its current level of revenue.

Investment & Valuation in the Seed Funding Round

The process of investment here is alluded to in the very name of the round. 

As long as your “seed” is well cultivated and the surrounding conditions are suitable for its germination, then a startup at this stage stands at a pretty promising vantage — if it can earn enough money to get itself off the ground.

The first step here is usually an official valuation of the company’s worth. Different aspects of the company are fiscally assessed: its accrued revenues, its risk quotient, the market size, human resource scale, its management track record, and its price-to-earnings ratio.

After this is done, the startup can open itself up for investment from incubators, friends, family, professional acquaintances, venture capitalists, and other angel investors. 

Again, the amount of accruable capital here varies hugely across companies, but a range of $50,000 to $2 million is apt.

Differences Between the Series A and the Seed Funding Round

  • Series A funding comes after a product has been launched and generated a reasonable amount of traction.
  • Seed funding goes to product development and market research, while money invested in Series A is converted into actual working expenditure.

Series A Funding Round

The Series A funding round represents the beginning of an upward trajectory for startups that can graduate from the seed funding stage into larger, more consolidated investments.

Financing & Valuation in the Series A Round

In this round, investment isn’t made only based on an idea’s brilliance or a business plan’s future potential. 

No, the numbers at the Series A round of funding demand that the proprietor demonstrates first, the product’s scalability across different markets; and second, a well-thought-out strategy for capturing and maintaining a healthy market share for the long term.

During this startup funding round, it’s not unusual for interested angel investors to engage in some pitching of their own. Attracting the right angel investors might earn your budding venture access to even larger equity investors. 

This can result from nothing other than the association’s credibility, but it can also come from active lobbying by the institutional investors.

Investors in this stage will more often than not tend to be old-style venture capital firms and private equity investors. They will typically be on the hunt for startups that value in the millions to the tens of millions of dollars.

Money raised in the Series A round typically varies between $1 million to $20 million. 

Differences Between Series A and Series B Round

  • While the Series A funding round might, in some instances, be held for startups that are still in their inceptive stages, Series B funding is always used to scale up production.
  • The equity to which angel investors might feel entitled is higher in Series A than in Series B. This is because the company is generally at a way better fiscal vantage by the next-level funding.

Series B Funding Round

The benchmark based on the demarcation between Series A and B can be summarized by the phrase: “aggressive expansion.” 

In this round, funding is gathered to move the company past its budding stage. Startups that make it to the third main funding round have most likely accumulated a decent customer market share and have indicated to their investors an ability to scale extant market demands.

This is usually several years in — maybe five. Talent gathering, development of a solid marketing scheme, and consolidation of the right technology will primarily occur in this round.

Investment & Valuation in Series B Round

The average value of a business that’s well into the Series B round ranges between $20 million to $50 million. The capital raised during this round of funding averages out at slightly over $30 million.

That said, with the tech bubble being what it’s been in the past decade, these numbers are bound to rise, most especially the average value of a company seeking to attract Series B-level investments.

Differences Between Series B and Series C Round

  • Unlike Series B, workforce expansion, technical outsourcing, mergers, and acquisitions tend to take place in Series C as does expansion to international markets.
  • Unlike Series B and all of the initial funding rounds, there is no limit to the amount of capital influx that’s investable in the Series C round.

Series C Funding Round

By the Series C funding round, the venture is no longer a startup. It’s a well-established company with many years of service under its belt. 

For most stage companies, even the largest firms with billings in the hundreds of millions, this is usually the final round of financing. 

In this round, funding is sought to help complete scaling into international markets, manufacture and release new products en masse, and even buy up emerging competitors. 

The proprietor at this juncture might also feel confident enough to start preparing his startup for an IPO.

Investment & Valuation in Series C Round

At this round, the investors will generally be large corporate entities: private equity stage companies, financial investment firms, and private hedge funds.

The average value of companies that tend to run a Series C funding round is $118 million, but the current valuations as they stand today are usually higher.

This is because, unlike in the preceding stages, investor funding is based not only on the brilliance backing the company but also on actual hard data.

The preponderance of a company’s successful financial track record: consistent revenue growth streams, strong consumer & market share base, accounting reports; all these go a long way to gaining access to Series C-level funding.

Series D Funding Round… and Beyond

Financing in Series D Round

The motivations for running a Series D funding round are usually to prepare the venture to go public. Specifically, to make one final push to boost the company’s valuation as far as possible before the IPO date. This is the most typical reason a company will opt for this round.

Alternatively, a company might press on with the funding acquisition because they have failed to reach their intended financial targets in the initial rounds but still wish to ready themselves for a public offering.

In this case, the company will delay opening and opt to stay private while doing their best to try and achieve their investor valuation targets. 

To do this, though, they will often have to continue with the funding rounds — into Series E, F, and G even, as well as the private equity funding rounds — until they reach an appropriate vantage to go public. 

If this occurs, this round is referred to as a “down round” since the startup will usually have their work cut out for restoring investor trust.

That said, numerous companies have seen themselves through down rounds and into public success, despite initial setbacks. 

A notable example is Couchbase, an interactive database software service, which saw itself raise more than $100 million in its final stages of funding, despite many disruptions that were out of its control.

How Quantic Will Help You Master Your Startup’s Funding Rounds 

Unlike the creative and riskier aspects of startup proprietorship, funding your business efficiently is more a science that requires evaluative skills as well as the analytical mind to attract investors. While still being able to draw up a decent enough contract that won’t leave you without the startup in the first place.

Here at Quantic, we offer consummate programs practically tailored for the aspiring business owner looking to acquire just these skills.

For starters, Quantic’s online MBA program has proven to be a game-changer in many of our alums’ business careers, and we’re not the only ones saying it. Our premier 13-month degree program is designed for mid-career professionals. 

It integrates collaborative group projects with our rigorous MBA curriculum and is enhanced with specializations in management, leadership, and advanced strategy. 

And you don’t have to take it from us. Vay Cao, an alumnus of Quantic Business School and founder of Free the PhD (an advocacy and career development platform for PhDs) has promising things to say about her time at our campus. Check out this case study we conducted on her work and startup.

The Benefits of an MBA for Startups and Entrepreneurs

Common folklore surrounding what it takes to start a business is awash with one familiar motif: the dropout-turned-billionaire entrepreneur. 

Indeed, when enterprising individuals come of age and start contemplating business ideas, their dreams often adopt this narrative.

For a long time now, a contrast has been cast between two groups of people. In one corner, those who spend a significant part of their lives furnishing their educational backgrounds. And in the other, those who choose to act on their entrepreneurial dreams.

Still, many aspiring business owners have pursued a Master of Business Administration. They’ve done this to better equip themselves in their role as startup runners.

The evidence supporting this trend goes beyond the anecdotal. 

For this reason, we think it’s important to understand what use an MBA could be to those in the startup world — whether well established or still aspiring. 

Is an MBA Worth it?

What’s the Remuneration Like as an MBA Holder?

First off, is getting an MBA worthwhile to your earnings? 

QS World Rankings conducted a survey to assess the revenues earned by entrepreneurs holding an MBA. The pay averaged $106,000 per annum, without aggregation across regions.

Here’s a more specific lowdown of the yearly revenue across countries:

  • USA: US$ 102,100 per annum
  • Italy: US$ 86,400 per annum
  • France: US$ 98,500 per annum
  • Germany: US$ 77,200 per annum
  • Switzerland: US$ 123,500 per annum
  • The UK: US$ 92,400 per annum
  • Singapore: US$ 82,700 per annum
  • Australia: US$ 98,400 per annum
  • Canada: US$ 99,800 per annum

Promising, no? It even makes the prospect of repaying your tuition loan a little more plausible.

But here’s the rub: Pursuing an MBA is quite an investment. The fees can get pretty steep. 

Especially if you opt for an ivy league school — most of which offer a curriculum no different than any other university.

That said, the investment of pursuing an MBA is worth it. And to prove this, we’ll look at five of the world’s most renowned MBA holders.

Four of The World’s Most Renowned MBAs

Michael Bloomberg

An American philanthropist, former politician, and business magnate, Michael Rubens Bloomberg is well known within entrepreneurial circles. 

He’s the sole owner and founder of Bloomberg LP, a company that supplies financial data to investment companies and other entities.

He currently has a net worth of $40 billion and earned his MBA in 1966.

Phil Knight

Are you filled with gratitude for your Nikes and have perhaps wondered in the past who to thank? 

This is the guy. 

To say that Phil Knight’s shoe brand has been successful is quite an understatement. It started as a small shoe retail outlet in 1964. And under his long stewardship, it has grown into a billion-dollar conglomerate.

As an individual, Phil Knight is worth well over $45 billion. He owes his business acumen at least partly to his MBA, which he acquired in 1966. 

Melinda Gates

Perhaps one of the world’s most well-known philanthropists, Melinda Gates has carved out her niche within the business management world. 

She graduated with an MBA in 1987. Since then, she has worked with Microsoft and the charitable startups she co-chairs, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. There’s a long list of entities to which she has dedicated her entrepreneurial expertise.

Tim Cook

Tim Cook took up the role of Apple CEO following founder Steve Jobs in 2011. Those were some pretty big shoes to fill, to say the least.

Since then, he’s not only made good on Jobs’ vision for the largest tech conglomerate in the world — he has also steered Apple away from ethically grey manufacturing practices. 

He’s been featured multiple times on the list of Fortune 500 CEOs. And is well known as a torchbearer for equality and civil and LGBT rights within the mainstream tech world. 

Important Things to Consider Before Enrolling in Business Schools 

How Long Is the Program?

The length of your program determines how quickly you will resume your entrepreneurial work. It also determines the density of your course requirements.

In colleges with shorter entrepreneurship MBA programs, students will typically spend six hours per day studying in class. While in programs of standard length students will typically spend half that: approximately three hours.

Though it varies between colleges, an MBA program runs for an average of between 11 and 16 months. 

Where Is the Business School Located?

Your location determines the availability of your chosen specialization and the quality of education you have access to. 

Indeed, a UK citizen residing in the capital will enjoy access to top business courses. Just as a Californian seeking to do a tech MBA will benefit immensely exactly where they live.

That said, there is still a lot to reap from living in a more rural environment. 

Does the Tuition Cost to Return-on-Investment Look Favorable?

When assessing the return on investment of such an important financial decision, it’s vital to think beyond the prospect of revenue.

Sure, it’s important to choose an MBA in entrepreneurship program with a sustainable tuition tag. But the applications of an entrepreneurship MBA towards running your business are, in large part, analytical. And therefore individual.

Unlike MBA students looking to enter the job market, your goals are directed towards starting a business. And eventually, making everyday entrepreneurial decisions.

What Are Your Strengths and Interests?

There are numerous MBA specialization areas.

Think of it like this: If you can start a business in a subject, it can be studied and mastered. Finance. Tech. Textile design and manufacturing. Financial accounting and consultancy. Legal management; you name it.

It’s essential to have some idea of what your interests are. Which, of course, will almost always be wholly determined by your specific field of business.

Best MBA Programs

In addition to an MBA for entrepreneurship, there are several other specialized fields to choose from:

  • IT (Information Technology)
  • International Business
  • Corporate Management
  • Marketing 
  • Finance 
  • Operations Management

Jobs for Entrepreneurs with MBAs

The jobs most suited and most accessible by MBA graduates include:

  • Financial Consultant/Analyst – manages the firm’s accounting department and advises proprietors
  • Marketing Manager – oversees advertisement development and product marketing strategies
  • Research Manager – helps in budgeting, business plan formulation, and overseeing research projects
  • Non-Profit Manager – organizes events to raise funds for various causes
  • IT Department Head – managees developer teams; delegates and supervises business tasks
  • Human Resource Manager — coordinates staff issues for startups, both internal and contracted

MBA for Entrepreneurship vs Actual Entrepreneurship: Myths Dispelled

Myth #1: You Must Pick One Path: School or Entrepreneurship

Ah yes. So the fallacy goes. While the rest of the world trudges on with actual entrepreneurial work, MBA students extricate themselves. For two years, they’re fed all there is to know about starting and running a new business.

But on closer inspection, this contrast of school vs. experience is not entirely valid. The theory comes tainted from the source. 

For one, the first most important requirement for an entrepreneur is, and will always be, an appetite for prudent, calculated risk.

A decent case can be made that you’d be in a sufficient fiscal position after finishing your degree to start and run a new business. 

About this question of time and value, Seth Godin says

Myth #2: Traditional MBA Programs Trump Online MBA Programs

Not so. Truth is, many graduate business students set their sights only on a traditional, on-campus MBA at a brick-and-mortar school. 

If we allow for a grander comparison, there are over 1,000 MBA programs in the United States. 

Some are full-time, while others are part-time, often offering classes on nights and weekends. 

Here at Quantic, we offer both an innovative free online program as well as an online executive program.

But, just like the world of business itself, MBA programs are changing rapidly. There are now over 330 online MBAs offered in the U.S — of which Quantic is a top contributor. 

With two accredited, highly selective business degree programs — the free MBA and radically affordable Executive MBA — Quantic’s MBA programs are reliably well-reviewed and readily available online. 

Online MBA Pros

The biggest reason that many entrepreneurs choose an online MBA is for the flexibility. Unlike traditional MBA programs, most online graduate business degrees allow you to work on your own time from anywhere.

Online MBA Cons

One disadvantage of an online MBA program is a lack of in-person community and connection.

MBA students often benefit from in-person conversations with peers and instructors. And that’s both in terms of academic collaboration and socializing. Fortunately, the Executive MBA also offers multiple weekend-long conferences held in cities around the world.

Traditional MBA Pros

In traditional business schools, MBA programs often appeal to students who want a little more hands-on guidance. 

Fresh undergraduates from top business schools might prefer the additional in-person attention. At least that which is offered by a brick-and-mortar school, as well as the familiar daily routine of face-to-face classes. 

Traditional MBA Cons

Of course, the most significant disadvantage of on-campus MBA programs is the lack of flexibility. 

Say you have a family at home, existing business obligations, or a burgeoning career. For these students, it can be difficult to justify starting a full-time MBA program.

Traditional business schools offering MBAs also tend to host younger students on average and there aren’t as many international students at any given on-campus program. 

Benefits of an MBA

At its most efficacious, an MBA will equip its holder with an exhaustive, well-rounded set of entrepreneurial tools. 

Here’s what you can expect to gain from an MBA: 

Firm Conceptual Foundation to Start & Run Your Business

MBAs are meant for aspiring corporate climbers just as much as aspiring entrepreneurs. And its core units are designed with either end in mind. 

An MBA is as credible a tag as you can earn to validate your ability to steer businesses in any (and more) of these fields. And that’s regardless of your eventual course of trade. Whether mechanical operations, marketing and branding, financial services, communications, corporate law, even IT.

A recent study that profiled nearly 40 new businesses reliably found that, of those started within the past decade or so, at least 33% had an MBA-holding founder.

Essential Skills and Insights for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The world is awash with people hiding truly innovative ideas. The trouble is that most people lack the basic knowledge needed to be competitive in the real world.

An MBA will serve the crucial role of equipping you with the right know-how to see your ideas to fruition. Specifically, that which is needed to manipulate the market, find a niche and make it sustainably profitable.

Indeed, like most other fields, entrepreneurial knowledge is a priori — the concepts are testable, predictable, and hence actionable. And an MBA will go a long way in giving you the innate ability to pattern out your businesses’ course in just this way.

Practical Communication, Leadership, and Problem Solving Skills

There’s no other way to make something meaningful out of your new businesses — you need the ability to communicate efficiently. 

Regardless of your line of trade, if you do indeed want to accrue enough venture capital to bring your business ideas into fruition, you need to learn how to convince investors of the soundness of your product, service, or business plan. 

Additionally, as a startup founder, you will need to learn how to manage teams of workers. And just as well, you’ll need the conceptual tools needed to understand the scale of a problem, scope out its dimensions, and determine how best to tackle it. 

With an MBA from Quantic, you will gain the skills of interpersonal communication, teamwork and collaboration, adaptive thinking — and that’s just some of the tools in the MBA’s holster.

Extra Academic Credentials and International Experience to Appeal to Potential Investors and Partners

If you opt to enroll in either one of Quantic’s two MBA programs, it’s an excellent step towards making a credible case for your worth in the international business market. 

An MBA is not only universally recognized as a valuable credential by investors you will eventually pitch to. But it’s also a mark of global exposure and evidence of compatibility with most business environments worldwide. 

Get Started With Your MBA at Quantic

While an MBA is impactful, it’s essential to recognize that it is not a replacement to a business’s uniquely crucial requirements: the confidence to take necessary risks. Nor will it furnish you with the passion needed to see an idea through the inevitable successes and pitfalls.

What it will do, however, is take your leadership skills to the next level. All while building connections in a global community of high-achieving classmates and alumni. 

Quantic’s online MBA program can serve as a game-changer in your business career, and we’re not the only ones saying it

Our premier 13-month degree program is designed for mid-career professionals. It integrates collaborative group projects with our rigorous MBA curriculum and is enhanced with specializations in management, leadership, and advanced strategy. 

And you don’t have to take it from us. Vay Cao, alumni of Quantic Business School and founder of Free the PhD, an advocacy and career development platform for PhDs, has very interesting things to say about her time at our campus. Check out this case study we conducted on her work and startup.