Archive for the ‘Dysfunctional Workplace’ Category

The Authentic Commitment

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Did you ever make a commitment, only to get that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach because you know you can’t quite see this one through?

Sure you have. We all have. The question is what to do next.

Too many people let the clock tick away until the deadline arrives, and THEN announce that they won’t be able to deliver after all. When you express your frustration at the lack of delivery, they often look surprised—“Hey, I said I was sorry!”

That dog just don’t hunt. It’s inauthentic, and it damages trust.

If this describes you, here’s the new plan: When you get that sinking feeling, listen to it. Step up immediately and say, “You know what, I might have answered too quickly. I have six other deadlines for today and this may not be realistic. Is tomorrow morning at 10:00 acceptable? If not, I’ll need to renegotiate some of my other commitments so I don’t let others down.”

When you make an authentic commitment, there’s an expansive, open feeling, because you know you can deliver on the promise you’ve made. Paying attention to the feeling that comes with every commitment you make is the key to building trust. And trust is the key to success.

Effective meetings

Monday, August 17th, 2015

Have you ever had a meeting that went on twice as long as you wanted and STILL left you feeling more confused about the project than you did coming in?

Time is money. If you want to know how MUCH money, add up the hourly salaries of everyone in the room, plus, the real cost is the value of the work they’re not doing during that time which should exceed the cost of the salaries by five to ten times assuming someone is relatively productive—which they should be.

In short, it’s crazy expensive to have a meeting.

To make sure your meetings accomplishes its goal, ask your team leader to follow these three steps:

• ONE: Start on time no matter what. If someone is late, call them on it, every time, on the spot.
• TWO: Have an actionable agenda that clearly defines decisions to be made—the notes on that agenda will show the decision, who’s responsible, and deadlines.
• THREE: Assign a leader to keep the meeting moving, a strict timekeeper, and a note taker who records all decisions and assignments. Having a “chart person” who stands up to record every decision has an amazing impact on moving the meeting along.

It’s really just that easy. Follow this simple formula and transform your meetings.

Employee engagement is not yesterday’s news – it’s tomorrow’s

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

It’s as predictable as the sunrise. Now that employee engagement has been on everyone’s lips for a while, it’s time for the backlash. Countless articles and talking heads are now saying employee engagement is a flash in the pan, the flavor of the month, yesterday’s news.

That’s not just a concern for management. It’s a concern for employees. After all, it’s YOUR engagement they’re talking about!

Don’t believe the naysayers for a minute. The research says otherwise—not just one or two studies in obscure journals, but hundreds of studies by major researchers published in the top business and management journals. Employee engagement directly drives employee productivity.

Engagement also drives retention. Deloitte’s annual Best Companies to Work For survey found that engaged employees are much more likely to stay longer than disengaged employees, even if the disengaged employees earn more. The staying power of higher income wears off in the face of the disengagement.

So tell those naysayers to tell it to the hand. And while you’re at it, make sure the boss knows as well. Employee engagement is a proven winner, and it’s here to stay.

Employee engagement is everyone’s job—that includes you. What are you doing today to make sure you “choose” to enjoy our job more AND make it a better place to work.

Keeping Millennials on board

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

So you have mixed feelings about all the new Millennial generation employees around you. Hey, join the crowd. There’s plenty of talk about a lack of focus and commitment in these folks and whether they should even be hired in the first place.

Here’s a wake-up call: Unless your company can survive a generation-wide hole in the workforce (psst: it can’t), they WILL be hired. In fact, by 2025, those born between 1980 and 2000 will make up 75 percent of the workforce. For every one of us, there will be three of them!

Learning how to keep Millennials engaged and productive should be a top priority not only for managers but for the colleagues of these younger employees. It won’t always be easy. No generation has ever been as willing to jump ship for better wages or working conditions. When that happens, it’s hard on everyone.

It’s true that some Millennials want to be paid for doing nothing, but every generation has some of those, especially when they are young. But far from being lazy, the best of the Millennials are actually MORE likely to stay if they have challenging and meaningful work assignments that hold their interest.

So when you’re on a project with younger coworkers, don’t assume they can only handle the more routine tasks, and be sure to ask their opinions when you can. You might be surprised at what you get.

And don’t forget the importance of a little positive feedback once in a while. It can mean even more coming from you than from the boss.

Want to succeed?

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Stop blaming the outside world

Jim Harter at Gallup was recently asked what successful organizations have in common. The answer might surprise you.

It isn’t huge financial resources. It isn’t charismatic leaders. It isn’t perfect products or services.

Sure, these things help. But it turns out these are not the deciding factors in success. So what is?

It’s a refusal of employees at every level to use the economy, or any outside circumstances, as an excuse for failure.

The economy will ebb and flow. That’s a guarantee. And across all industries, Harter has found that those companies taking the lows as an excuse to fail are much more likely TO fail than those who, as he puts it, “just leaned into it a bit more.”

Just a bit more!

A recession or tough economy can get into your head like a cancer. And once you have that excuse, it’s easy to let yourself fall short of success.

But if you want to join the winners, don’t find excuses outside of yourself. Meet the inevitable challenges, and lean in!