Archive for the ‘Employee Engagement’ Category

Exceeding the minimum

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

It’s easy to fall into the habit of doing just what’s required and no more. I mean, if they wanted more, they would have asked for it, right?

Sure.

Perhaps stop thinking about it as having a job. You don’t have a job. Instead, you have responsibilities. And if you want to keep that job, you need to meet and exceed those responsibilities. That is the game.

But let me ask you this: Do you pay the minimum amount due on your credit cards each month? If you do, you might want to take a close look at your next statement. Give the minimum and it can take seven or ten or twelve years to pay off the balance.

But if you pay MORE than the minimum, you’ll polish it off in a fraction of that time—and pay a whole lot less.

Now apply the same logic to your job. If you’re just doing the minimum, you might be digging yourself a hole. If you think it’s okay to have your coat on at 4:59 every afternoon, for example, you might be the first one out the door in a way you DON’T want.

Instead, make a point of exceeding the requirements of your job. Blowing past expectations is the best way to make yourself irreplaceable.

Work Like Your Life Depends On It

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

When winners are studied—in sports, business, or any other area of life—they consistently display the same attitudes and practices. One of the most important is working or playing like their lives depend on it.

For a winner in sports, every practice, every game, and every action taken is intensely committed.

And what about the business world? A survey measuring efficiency in the workplace found that the average worker operates at about 50 percent capacity.

Worse yet, the average manager uses only 30 percent of his or her time in an effective manner.

Winners understand that every moment, every transaction, and every decision is an opportunity to score big, whether you’re on the football field, in the board room, or playing the game of life… play big!

Over-Communicate

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Bosses might like sports, and they might not. They may or may not like water-skiing or Mexican food or romantic comedies. People vary.

But there’s one thing I can pretty much guarantee your boss does not like—surprises.

I don’t mean you shouldn’t throw a surprise party or bring flowers. I’m talking about the kind of surprise that requires sudden defensive action from the boss—the kind that doesn’t give enough time for the planning and strategizing that bosses are paid to do. THAT kind of surprise is the kind they absolutely hate.

That’s one of many reasons you should over-communicate with your boss whenever possible. At the beginning of a project or initiative, get clear directions about the results and processes he or she expects.

Then as you work, report frequently on where you are in the process, what your struggles are, and what you’re doing to overcome them.

Never leave out the bad news, your struggles and roadblocks. A manager who only hears happy-happy-joy-joy will quickly turn suspicious. A boss I had in my twenties used to say, “Tell me the good news, tell me the bad news…but don’t EVER surprise me.” I didn’t—and as a result, he never micromanaged my work.

Daily and weekly reporting about where you are compared to your work plan will earn trust, and everybody will be happy.

Exceeding the minimum

Monday, August 31st, 2015

It’s easy to fall into the habit of doing just what’s required and no more. I mean, if they wanted more, they would have asked for it, right?

Sure.

Perhaps stop thinking about it as having a job. You don’t have a job. Instead, you have responsibilities. And if you want to keep that job, you need to meet and exceed those responsibilities. That is the game.

But let me ask you this: Do you pay the minimum amount due on your credit cards each month? If you do, you might want to take a close look at your next statement. Give the minimum and it can take seven or ten or twelve years to pay off the balance.

But if you pay MORE than the minimum, you’ll polish it off in a fraction of that time—and pay a whole lot less.

Now apply the same logic to your job. If you’re just doing the minimum, you might be digging yourself a hole. If you think it’s okay to have your coat on at 4:59 every afternoon, for example, you might be the first one out the door in a way you DON’T want.

Instead, make a point of exceeding the requirements of your job. Blowing past expectations is the best way to make yourself irreplaceable.

To earn trust, honesty is the best policy

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Too many employees think that in order to have a smooth, drama-free workplace, they have to sugarcoat their communications with others in the company.

In fact, the opposite is often true.

Spinning bad news or sugarcoating feedback can lead employees to distrust what you say. That road leads not to engagement but to disengagement.
Great employees at every level respect those around them enough to be direct and truthful. That doesn’t mean harsh, of course. You can and should tell the truth in a kind and empathetic way. Just don’t let your kindness and desire to avoid conflict get in the way of authentic truth-telling.

Being honest encourages an open and healthy culture. A recent study by the Corporate Executive Board found that companies with a culture that encourages open, honest communication tend to out-perform less open competitors by more than 270% in ten-year shareholder return.

Start building a workplace culture of honest, direct communication today with your own communications. The payoff is too big to ignore.