How to Build a Power Team Organization

Collaboration

Every leader that I know believes they have power teams in their organization but too often they believe that these occur due to some mystical personality driven relationships within the group.  They also believe they are the exception rather than the rule.

How to build a Power Team Organization:

I believe, on the other hand, it is possible to continually expand the number of powerful teams within any organization that is open, proactive and transparent in communicating by just following several guidelines.  Now keep in mind these are by no means the only path, but I know that I have used them in developing some very successful teams in retail and IT.

Please read this with an open mind and a willingness to try something different. It probably will not work the first time but over several attempts you will become more successful with each iteration. Everything in these guidelines are predicated on having honest, open, transparent communications with your people.  If you don’t have that right now, read on and try some of the tasks. If you don’t want to have that then I suggest you stop reading right now. Thanks for stopping by and I wish you well in the future.

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Key Employee Engagement Strategies

This is a guest blog from John Hawthorne and it originally appeared in https://www.floship.com/employee-engagement-strategies-2018/ – His points are very similar to my thoughts so I thank him for allowing me to share it with you.

Employee Engagement Strategies

For any business to be successful, it must have three things: a robust overall strategy, exceptional leaders, and engaged employees. This society has moved from an economy driven by the agricultural and manufacturing industries to a service oriented, personally connected economy.

One hundred years ago, employees were tasked with manual labor and had no vested interest in the business that employed them.

In 2018, with high paying jobs hard to come by, it is essential for employers and leaders to engage their employees and make them feel as if they are an integral part of the business.

How can they do that? In this article, we’re going to lay out the what, why, and how of employee engagement.

Employee Engagement Most Recent Data

In 2017, Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report revealed that only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs – meaning that they are emotionally invested in committing their time, talent, and energy to adding value to their team and advancing the organization’s initiatives.

This means that the majority of employees show low overall engagement. Workplace productivity was low and employees and organizations are not keeping up with workplace demands fast enough.

More Gallup research shows that employee disengagement costs the United States upwards of $550 billion a year in lost productivity. As employee engagement strategies become more commonplace, there is an amazing opportunity for companies that learn to master the art of engagement.

Jacob Shriar, in a piece on OfficeVibe, tells us that

  • Disengaged employees cost organizations between $450 and $550 billion annually.
  • Highly engaged business units result in 21% greater profitability.
  • Highly engaged business units realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity.
  • Highly engaged business units achieve a 10% increase in customer ratings and a 20% increase in sales.
  •  Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202%.
  • Customer retention rates are 18% higher on average when employees are highly engaged.

These statistics are just the beginning of why employee engagement is so important.

Why Is Employee Engagement So Important?

Employee Engagement

The term “engagement” has been used so often and in so many different situations that it’s become hard to define. Many people think it means happiness or satisfaction, but it’s much more than that.

According to Gallup, who has been collecting and measuring employee engagement data for nearly 20 years: “Though there have been some slight ebbs and flows, less than one-third of U.S. employees have been engaged in their jobs and workplaces.”

Imagine if every employee was passionate about seeing the company and its customers succeed. The only true way to ensure that your customers are well taken care of is by taking care of your employees. This is known as the service-profit chain, a concept first introduced by Harvard Business Review in 1998. It’s still as relevant today as it was then.

Profit and growth are stimulated primarily by customer loyalty. Loyalty is a direct result of customer satisfaction. Satisfaction is largely influenced by the value of services provided to customers. Value is created by satisfied, loyal, and productive employees. Employee satisfaction, in turn, results primarily from high-quality support services and policies that enable employees to deliver results to customers.

The service-profit chain is the flow from the culture you create to the profits you generate and every step in between. The key is to start internally. When you create an environment where employees are happy, productive, autonomous, and passionate about what they do, they’ll provide better service to your customers.

That amazing service will create many loyal customers, leading to sustainable growth and profits. That’s why it’s important for every leader in an organization to understand the service-profit chain and how each step impacts the other.

Key Employee Engagement Strategies

Employee Engagement Strategies

Organizations need to pay attention to specific priorities to engage employees. Employees are more likely to become truly engaged and involved in their work if your workplace provides these factors.

Employee engagement must be a business strategy that focuses on finding engaged employees, then keeping the employee engaged throughout the whole employment relationship. Employee engagement must focus on business results. Employees are most engaged when they are accountable, and can see and measure the outcomes of their performance.

Employee engagement occurs when the goals of the business are aligned with the employee’s goals and how the employee spends his or her time.

The glue that holds the strategic objectives of the employee and the business together is frequent, effective communication that reaches and informs the employee at the level and practice of his or her job.

Engaged employees have the information that they need to understand exactly and precisely how what they do at work every day affects the company’s business goals and priorities. (These goals and measurements relate to the Human Resources department, but every department should have a set of metrics.)

Employee engagement exists when organizations are committed to management and leadership development in performance development plans that are performance-driven and provide clear succession plans.

When businesses actively pursue employee engagement through these factors, employee engagement soars to a ratio of 9:1 employees from 2:1 employees with concurrent improvements in the business success.

Employee Engagement Examples

There are of course many ways to show your employees they are valued, and to keep them focused and engaged on company success. According to Forbes, there are certain items in the benefit package that will help in creating employee engagement:

  • Health Insurance
  •  Company Parties (social engagement)
  • Gifts (new babies, appreciation luncheons)

Employees go home to different roles–parent, caregiver to a loved one, a church or civic leader, spouse, bandmate, freelancer, artist, neighbor–and the people they are closest to impact their lives and perspectives about work in meaningful ways. Acknowledging those relationships and showing they are a priority will increase employee engagement.

How to Improve Employee Engagement

Employee satisfaction

In a recent article in Forbes, Brent Gleeson, a former navy seal and successful businessman, gives solid advice on ways to improve employee engagement.

When managers are engaged, their team members can confidently state the following:

  • I know what is expected of me and my work quality.
  • I have the resources and training to thrive in my role.
  • I have the opportunity to do what I do best – every day.
  • I frequently receive recognition, praise and constructive criticism.
  • I trust my manager and believe they have my best interests in mind.
  • My voice is heard and valued.
  • I clearly understand the mission and purpose and how I contribute to each.
  • I have opportunities to learn and grow both personally and professionally.

The steps for improving engagement aren’t complex, they simply must be prioritized. This means engagement must be a core function of the manager’s role. The following steps can help the manager to accomplish this.

Step 1 – Put Everyone in the Right Role

Again, get the right people on the bus and make sure they are in the right roles. This means that all talent acquisition and retention strategies have to be aligned with meeting company goals.

Step 2 – Give Them the Training

No manager or leader can expect to build a culture of trust and accountability — and much less improve engagement —without setting the team up for success. This means providing the proper training and development while removing obstacles.

Step 3 – Task Meaningful Work

Engaged employees are doing meaningful work and have a clear understanding of how they contribute to the company’s mission, purpose and strategic objectives. Again, this is why they first have to be placed in the right role. I’ve made the mistake of hiring great talent just to get them in the door – but didn’t have a clear career path or role for them. If you don’t sort those details out quickly, they will leave.

Step 4 – Check in Often

The days of simply relying on mid-year reviews for providing feedback are long gone. Today’s workforce craves regular feedback — which of course leads to faster course correction and reduces waste. Use both formal and informal check-in strategies — and use them every week.

Step 5 – Frequently Discuss Engagement

Successful managers are transparent in their approach to improving engagement — they talk about it with their teams all the time. They hold “state of engagement” meetings and “engage” everyone in the discussion — and solutions.

Again, these principles are not complex, but must be prioritized. Companies that get this right will drive greater financial returns, surpass their competitors, and easily climb to the top of “the best places to work” lists.

Are Your Employees Engaged?

Employee engagement is critical to the success of any business. When a business has engaged and invested employees, it is in their best interest to protect the productivity and profitability of the business, and the image the business has in the community. Engagement also results in employee retention, which saves the business money in turnover and training. There is no downside to getting your employees engaged and invested in your business.

Words and Attitudes that Leaders Need to Understand

Human Interaction = TrustFact: Change your habits/words and you can completely change your influence.

Words and actions matter in today’s business, entertainment and political world. Just look at the controversies in 2017 alone where a wrong word, phrase, or action mentioned in social media or in public caused extreme defensiveness or outright resignations.

The right words or action can motivate you to take your vision and productivity to the next level — but the wrong ones can torpedo your flow or even sink the vision.

Many studies have even found that using positive or negative language can change your brain by impacting the interaction of synapses & genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.

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Businesses Can Balance AI, Robotics & Humanity!

Getting Agreement
Agreement

AI, Robotics and Humanity is a critical topic of discussion today! Several dangerous trends are occurring in business today. For example, in the last fifty years’ enterprise companies have started to disappear at an alarming rate. The average lifespan of a company on the S&P 500 has gone from more than 50 years to less than 16 years and dropping every year.

Automation in the form of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics are threatening to take a massive number of jobs. Organizations such as theguardian.com, NBC News, CNN and others have predicted that we will see 5 million + jobs being replaced by automation by 2020-2021.  That’s is only 4 years away.

Even more critical is that AI is now opening the door to machine replacement in areas such as writing, insurance, law and medicine that have until now been considered untouchable by automation.  Now this it true but there are some serious caveats to this type of replacement which may slow this area down but it will not stop it.

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Major Challenge in Business: The Future of Leadership

Global EngagementIn my opinion, the future of leadership is always changing and it will continue to change. However, it’s human nature, that we often want to categorize everything and everyone into small, manageable boxes subject to fixed rules and processes.

It is also evident in businesses today that we are dealing with short-term thinking, a disposable view of people as assets and the persistent drive of leadership self-preservation. We seem to have devalued people, relationships and values down to simple dollars and cents which never works, if you are looking for a sustainable business.

It gets further complicated when we see the rate of change & complexity increasing daily and the challenges faced by every individual and organization are morphing, evolving and becoming more interdependent than ever before.

Today, I feel comfortable saying that successful leadership is a hybrid of art & science with no hope of a one size fits all solution.

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Rumors, Gossip & Fake News, Oh No!

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Unfortunately, we have developed into a society where rumors and gossip often provide convenient tools for both competitive recruiting as well as manipulation of workers. “False News” is major contention in political and business circles today and we are preoccupied with sound bite mayhem and death by innuendo.

While social media is often maligned for these issues, it only helps to propagate, it is not the cause nor is it the generator of the derogatory material, it must originate with a human being, i.e. leader, employee, customer or competitor.

Leadership is generally at the forefront of this very destructive and corrosive process when it starts. I recently commented to someone and firmly believe, “there is NO leadership model in existence that will allow you to avoid relational conflict” and this is one of those areas.

This means that leadership sets the standards of what is acceptable and what is not so this is a critical part of culture that cannot be assigned or delegated. If leaders are using rumors to manipulate the workforce it should not come as a surprise with it turns into a firestorm.

Gossip Circles
Attribution Stuart Miles – FDP

For example, I just recently I tracked a single “Fake News” article that was a known hoax, yet it was re-tweeted over 500 times in less than 14 hours.  I didn’t even bother to check the other social media sites. If this is happening in the public arena what makes you think it can’t happen within your company?

Personally, in my somewhat Utopian corporate world, there is no place for falsehoods, rumors or gossip.

Workplace gossip and rumors can represent a destructive force among employees and customers. The rumors or gossip can be about management, company operations, product or service quality, suppliers, or other employees, any of them can spread virally.

So often, people will believe the rumor or gossip, even if it isn’t true, and pseudo truth can then spread to the customers, clients or the public, as well. While some may be harmless, it is always necessary to deal with rumors and gossip in the workplace immediately — before they spread out of control.

Here are some suggestions to deal with them:

1. Always Practice open communication with your employees.

Change in business is a part of life so this is particularly true if your company is planning or executing a major change or relocation.  Companies are most vulnerable when they are during major changes because of uncertainty so this aggravation does not need a lot of energy added to blow out of proportion.

It is only natural for employees to be fearful of change and how it will affect their jobs. However, when one person unintentionally or intentionally overhears something, then misconstrues what was said and finally winds up spreading a rumor that is not true the damage has begun.

Be authentic with employees, let them know what is going on so that there is no room for speculation and gossip. Don’t try to spin it or cover it with a lie because this will only intensify the impact.

2. Avoid an over-reaction.

When you hear, that employees are saying something that is not true, the natural reaction is to respond in some way. Many times, this may be in anger or frustration which only fuels the speculation of the employees.  Start by understanding that the source of the rumor may not be malicious, and it may be a simple misunderstanding. Always investigate and perform some level of analyses, then develop an appropriate response, if you don’t then the response will more than likely be in anger.

3. Be Proactive with damage control.

Damage Control
Damage Control Saves Dollars

If rumors in the workplace can flourish, they will eventually grow and possibly spread outside your company. When you hear of a rumor, be quick to clarify the actual situation and don’t brush it off as “typical employee talk.” Be proactive and act quickly before damage occurs, it is much easier and less costly in many areas.

4. Never encourage interoffice gossip or rumors.

Although these are typical human behaviors, particularly in situations where many different groups may be pushed together under the same roof, leadership should never allow or encourage harmful gossip and rumors.

Let your employees know you have a zero tolerance for malicious gossip and rumors.  Let them know that leadership will always investigate, analyze and determine objectively where the origination point is so the truth can be determined.

These zero tolerances, must be part of the company culture and DNA with swift action taken when discovered. There should be no bias in any part of the investigation.

5. Avoid lingering and nurturing rumors.

Failing to keep employees informed, generating spin, or hedging when confronted about company change, will usually result in a backlash on leadership. Even though you may not be ready to tell employees about an upcoming event, you need to set the record straight as quickly as possible if a rumor has started.

As leaders, employees and customers it is critical to keep your commitments or say no, there is no middle ground here. If you need help in this area, check out the PEER Commitment Management Platform at http://peersaas.com.

In summary,

These suggestions are starting points because each incident is unique to the individuals, organization, culture and time-frame.  Some instances you may let play out because they will expose themselves as falsehoods and die.

Other times, it will take an intervention to correct, adjust or defend, depending on how long leadership waited, how rational or irrational the creators of the material are and how determined the opposition is to disrupt.

The primary factor to remember is that with a culture of transparency, high integrity and openness the ability for rumors, gossip or “Fake News” to is diminished significantly. If everything in the organization is done behind closed doors and leaders seed the rumor mill, then the it is ripe for the rumor mill to run rampant.

Avoid anything that can allow someone to capture sound bites and take them out of context.  Make sure that the story you are telling people is the same at all levels, no more or no less to any level.

If you would like help with developing your proactive strategy to change, please feel free to check out my website at https://tlgcoach.com or call me at 630-454-4821.

How Do You Build a Coaching Based Organization?

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As a business coach, I am always open & excited to discuss building of a coaching based organization.  I truly believe that companies who empower people will advance and flourish in this VUCCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Chaotic, Complex & Ambiguous) world we live in today?

As a leader, you must really be committed to providing a vibrant and engaged environment for your employees and customers to make coaching work. While there are still certain types of organizations that may require the old authoritarian structure, I believe most can benefit from a more flexible, flatter organization, especially in the long-term.

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2017 – Seek out Innovative & Disruptive Ideas

ID-10020186 (2015_09_21 22_53_07 UTC)Have you ever noticed that the road to innovation is not straight nor is it flat, it’s disruptive, curvy and sometimes riddled with potholes? Typically, those potholes create distractions that cause burnouts, minor failures or even monumental, catastrophic failures.

The net result of this can often be loss of focus and fear within many organizations, especially as we start a new year. 2017 will be a year of major disruption in my opinion and it will require all the Ikigai and Kaizen you can muster within your organization.

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How to Understand the Law of Attraction!

shareasimage (2015_09_21 22_53_07 UTC)Have you ever thought the world was there only to make you fail? Do you think that If you didn’t have bad luck you wouldn’t have any luck at all? This is an example of stinking thinkin’!

In reality, you make your own luck, your own failures and successes with your choices. Yes, we can blame others but we are responsible for how we handle the external impacts of outside services, products or people.

If you are one of the positive ones who think everything happens for a reason! ?
Excellent, good for you! You are correct! Well, sort of…

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Ikigai – How to See Growth in 2016!

ikigai DiagramAs we start 2016, I would like to open our imaginations a bit and examine work and life from a couple of Japanese concepts that we have all heard about but few truly understand.  The first we are going to look at is “Ikigai” or “the why you get up every day” and the second is “Kaizen” or “the philosophy of continuous improvement in work and personal lives”.

Many authors discuss these topics independently but I really feel they need to be combined to realize the real power that is present in their use and empowerment. Here we are going to examine an integrated process that can help you become more intentional and empowering in 2016.

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