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"Great Leadership" Depends on Perspective

  
  
  
  
  
  

Employee Development Systems, Inc. Leadership DevelopmentIf you google “great leadership” you will get 127,000,000 results in .41 seconds. We have countless publications, organizations, and communities to help us clarify great leadership. Even more confusing is the fact that depending on who you ask, the recipe is very different!
For example, if you ask a young person what makes a great leader, they may look toward celebrities, assuming that the more famous a person is, the better leader they are perceived to be. On the other hand, for older generations, people who have fought for a cause greater than themselves are considered revered leaders.

In a sporting context, a leader is on a winning team or coaches a winning team. Unfortunately, much like the “celebrity as leader” idea, it is temporal, and often only linked to one or two seasons. In a business context, good leadership is connected with company performance -but how do we get there? How does your daily management and work schedule impact the company, especially if you’re not directly responsible for sales?

Start with the mission. Successful companies are those that are mission-driven. People who find meaning in their work are naturally more productive. So the first and most impactful action you can take is to ensure that you and everyone on your radar has the same understanding of your mission. As Ken Blanchard mentioned in his award-winning novel, Leading at a Higher Level, good leadership is about focusing on something other than profit, something at a higher level. He defines it as the process of achieving worthwhile results while acting with respect, care and fairness for the well-being of all involved.

Next, work on the relationships. According to author and psychologist Jolyn Maddocks, “the ability to build and maintain positive relationships with clients and colleagues by accepting and managing attitudes, energy and behavior” is one of the defining characteristics of successful leadership. What problems keep coming up in your workplace? Does it seem like you’re plagued by the same conflicts within your team? The most likely solution lies in the way you interact with your employees. Take a serious (and maybe painful) look at what could be happening within the dynamics of your team that is producing an environment stuck in a conflict rut.

Get your ego in check. Recognize the difference between self-confidence and ego. Identifying too strongly with your own actions and personality preclude you from creating a healthy, productive team.  A leader who can consistently engage employees, lead them through difficult times with a calm and professional demeanor,  increases their own personal effectiveness through constant self-critique, is the leader that will foster the most productive team.

Mind your manners. Successful leaders  are those with good manners, including a positive professional presence, superior active listening skills, ability to use I-statements for feedback and tendency to stay in touch with their employees’ personal goals.

At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. 800-282-3374 www.employeedevelopmentsystems.com

Your Decision-Making Skills Are the Core of Professional Development

  
  
  
  
  
  
Decision making, Employee Development Systems, Inc.

Decision making should be second nature by now, right?  You’ve had years of practice, and yet, there are some ‘Yield’ signs that we all miss sometimes along the way. –Some of the glaring decision crossroads to look out for.

Over-Analyzing
In many cases, our prevailing instinct is to be galvanized by the options and data set before us.  Do you have enough information to make a decision?  Have you conferred with the right people or teams? Have you massaged the data and reached perfect certainty? Well, the fact is that we often get afflicted with what Susan Heathfield, human resources expert, refers to as analysis paralysis.  

How do you get past analysis paralysis? The Marine Core battles this syndrome with the “70 percent solution.”  If you have 70 percent of the information, have done 70 percent of the analysis, and feel 70 percent confident, then move.

The logic is simple: a less than ideal action, swiftly executed, stands a chance of success, whereas no action stands no chance. The worst decision is no decision at all.
Teach yourself to place importance on “fast enough” – decision making based on sufficient information, not perfect data.  Moreover, in reaching a decision, rarely are all the data available to be sure of its outcome. So gather all of the information that you have available, then make a move.  You will be glad that you have moved the team to the next step in your process or project.  

Seek Out Authority
Responsibility is not typically bestowed; it is actively sought.  If you readily embrace more responsibility, you will find that eventually you are given the leeway to make decisions.  Yes, it is more risk for you, but you will also have more power to effect change in your environment.  Always work toward greater responsibility.  This increases your decision-making ability through practice (being faced with repeated decisions) and placement (being put in a position that requires more decision making on a daily basis).

Post-Decision Triage
Finally, let’s talk about post-decision triage. Let’s face it, some decisions take us in the wrong direction, and it is worth taking time to learn from them. Routinely looking back on decision processes keeps you (and your team or department) learning, and therefore, being jettisoned forward in content and process knowledge.  In your post-decision review meeting, ask questions such as, what did we think would happen?  How did the situation actually play out? If there was a divergence, ask yourselves possible points where those deviations occurred.  
We all get “decidophobia” at times. Thwart that tendency by paying attention to the decision crossroads that you are in front of you.

Action Steps
Write down two or three current situations that require your decision right now.
Where are you in the fact-gathering process? Have you gotten to 70%? If you have not, write down the remaining steps you need to take for each situation to get you to the 70% stage.
Now take the leap. What are your options? Write them down here to help you choose one.
Once you have made your decision on each of these situations, what is your first call to action?

“As a leader, I am there to make the best decisions possible with the evidence at hand and to be able to justify that decision. If it goes wrong, we add to the evidence for making the next decision, but there is no reason for regretting failure, as failure is just the production of evidence.”
MIchael A. Wood, Jr.

At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. 800-282-3374 www.employeedevelopmentsystems.com



What Are the Best Leadership Development Goals?

  
  
  
  
  
  
Increased professional presence, employee developmentAs leaders, we continuously assess and reassess our goals. If we don’t, the goals that made sense last year, last quarter, or last week, could no longer be relevant in the same way, or at the very minimum, should be taken down a few steps in the line of priorities that you have in front of you and replaced with other development goals that speak to the present or future of your company and career. Imagine the twinge of regret felt by Montgomery Ward and Sears when they overlooked small, rural markets. Now all of those markets are home to at least one Walmart store.

According to one contributor in a recent Forbes article, “Airlines that were once great, such as Eastern, TWA and Pan Am, no longer exist. Conversely, while those airlines declined, Southwest Airlines chose to serve markets that had not been served by the traditional carriers, standardizing their aircraft, keeping fares low and creating a highly committed workforce.  This allowed it to be consistently profitable and acquire its largest competitor on its path to becoming a major industry player.”


We tend to work on our weaknesses, right? Think back to school, when you had to give extra study time to subjects that you had no natural proclivity toward. The same is generally still true now, with respect to becoming a well-rounded, competent, productive leader who is helping his or her employees become more accountable and productive, too. Identifying and working on weaknesses does help improve personal effectiveness and professional presence, and overall competence. But the dirty little secret is that concentrating on strengths can bear two- to three-times the results!  


Leadership and employee development programs that provide a balance of learning where challenges need to faced and honing current competencies will result in a much higher return in the workplace. Essentially, “Focusing on weaknesses will help leaders to be “less bad” in the same way clinical psychology has helped people to be less mentally ill. But no matter how hard you work on curing a weakness it will seldom make the level of impact you could achieve by honing a strength.Making weaknesses “less bad” makes for mediocre leaders. But our research shows that focusing on even a small number of signature strengths can produce extraordinary success. These are the goals that make the most dramatic and positive impact on the people around you.”*

At EDSI, our hallmark programs, Professional Presence in a Casual World (PPCW), Communicating to Manage Performance (CMP), and Increasing Personal Effectiveness (IPC) have their foundation in increasing self-awareness of current skillsets and areas that may be challenges. Each program is a balance of both improvement on current strengths and identifying new areas that need to be improved. We also help people gain an understanding of how to take others’ skillsets and communication styles into account, resulting in improved problem solving, increased effectiveness, higher productivity–and ultimately–improved profits and growth for the organization.

At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. 800-282-3374 www.employeedevelopmentsystems.com

Improve Your Personal Effectiveness with these Steps to Acountability

  
  
  
  
  
  

AccountabilityAccountability is one of the most powerful tools in personal effectiveness, productivity, and professional presence. Here is a sample of our most popular articles on how to improve personal accountability in your life, career, and your organization.

The Only "Real" Accountability

Regardless of how important we say accountability is, organizations tend to only bring up the term when there is a complete break down, and an obvious lack of accountability in a team, department or organization. That’s when we tend to unpack the overused business speak, and the Human Resources Department starts a new round of metrics, analytics and evaluations to increase accountability.

Those efforts are ultimately in vain if they are not working hand-in-hand with self-accountability.  Once change is initiated in your employees, you will see it spread throughout the workplace. READ MORE!

7 Ways to Keep High Performers Increasing Personal Effectiveness

It’s the good swimmers who are most likely to jump ship, and this holds true in the workplace. How do you keep the best swimmers from doing the backstroke into the sunset?

Make your workplace great.

Some basic, but often overlooked qualities have the potential to make lousy or even good workplaces into great ones. For example, how do you typically set the stage for new ideas and innovation in your organization? Do employees trust their managers and leaders? If not, how can you shift their perception? Research proves that organizations which are considered “great places to work” are also more profitable than other companies, so learning to make your workplace great should be a priority for you and the other leaders in your organization. READ MORE!


This Is How New Leaders Maintain Effectiveness

Dear Suzanne,
I have been the human resources director of a mid-sized law firm for three years. It’s a position I’ve been working toward for many years, and it I like the firm I work for. I’ve had three years of a high-stress environment, where I’ve worked with our CEO to tackle major changes in the firm.  I’ve met many of my personal and professional stretch goals in this position and don’t want to give it up.

In the last year, I’ve become much less effective, and haven’t been able to get traction on any of the projects and goals that moved ahead so quickly in the first two years. FIND OUT SUZANNE'S ADVICE!

Convert Your Power into Performance

Being appreciated is a fundamental human need. As a matter of fact, many studies have shown that one of the top five needs expressed by employees is to feel fully appreciated for their work. Essentially, we do more for those who appreciate it.  So why is employee appreciation often a blind spot for leaders? We may think that a remark or two regarding recent project successes is enough, but appreciating employees comes down to taking action. Create defining moments that mark milestones of achievement. Integrate milestones into all of your projects and processes.

According to Nobel Prize winning scientist Daniel Kahneman, we experience approximately 20,000 individual moments in a waking day Each “moment” lasts a few seconds. If you consider your strongest memories, positive or negative, you’ll notice the imagery in your mind is actually defined by your recollection of a precise moment in time. FIND OUT MORE!

At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. 800-282-3374 www.employeedevelopmentsystems.com 

10 Reasons Why Your Company Should Invest in Management Training

  
  
  
  
  
  

Management Training, Executive CoachingManage today, lead tomorrow. Unless your company is just hiring leaders from outside versus developing their own. Most companies have a strategy that combines the two options of fostering leadership from within and hiring specific skills from the outside. Either way, it is simply sound management to make sure the leaders that are brought up through the ranks are agile, competent, and can handle any challenges that are coming their way.

Employees quit managers, not companies. The most common reason for employee exodus is a bad manager. It makes practical financial sense to ensure that your managers are highly competent, are able to communicate to manage performance and are personally effective.
Assumed competence is dangerous. Just because Joe was a great team member, we may assume that he’ll seamlessly fit into a new leadership role. That assumption will result in failed promotions and the loss of star players. Decreasing or canceling management training programs entirely is simply a risk most companies would not take, if they thought through the chance they’re taking by throwing people into new positions without the tools they need to be successful.

Uneven management is the death knell of productivity and morale. Your organization’s leadership team is a cadre of different personalities and skill sets. Ask yourself, do they all fall within a defined band of competence, or are they all over the map in their performance management, communication effectiveness and professional presence? You can’t make every manager the same -and wouldn’t want to- but you do want to ensure that they all fall within an acceptable and even excellent level of business acumen and management skills. A  practical management training program is how you’ll get there.

Well-developed managers and leaders build productivity and profits. Leaders with a developed understanding of behavior styles, flexing styles to achieve effective communication, organizational effectiveness, and active listening, are the backbone of your organization’s success. How can we let that critical piece of the success puzzle be left up to chance?
Various studies show that if you invest in human assets you can increase productivity by 5.2%. Overall company productivity would increase by 21% (www.forbes.com).

Decreasing hiring and firing will directly boost the profits. The cost of a good hire can be as much as 1.5 times the salary of the person you are trying to replace. It is much easier and cost-effective to train the employees you already have than to start from scratch.

Your business, like most businesses, wants to thrive. To cushion against market unkowns, economic fluctuations, and instill a competitive edge in today's environment, you will need to ensure that your leaders are competent and can innovate their way to your organization's growth and success.

ROI of investing into leadership and management-Leadership and management are the major driving forces of any company. They determine the overall company performance and profits. According to Forbes.com, you can boost your company-wide profit margins by 47% and can experience 86% better company value. Companies that invested in leadership development programs are amongst the top most admired companies list in Fortune 500 Companies. Make sure your organization is adopting the best practices of these most admired Fortune 500 companies!

At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. 800-282-3374 www.employeedevelopmentsystems.com

Practical Do's & Don'ts of Corporate Cultural Change Management

  
  
  
  
  
  

Corporate Culture Change ManagementIn the last post we covered Critical DO's for Cultural Change. Here's the flip side of the same conversation. Like the first one, it offers practical takeaways to successfully lead your organization through cultural change.

Critical DON'Ts of Cultural Change

Don’t Disrespect tradition. Your entire organizational culture may require shifting because of a merger, a management change, a market shift, or simply because it’s become obvious that the current culture isn’t serving the organization or its customer base, ensure that you don’t malign the previous culture, mission, or corporate atmosphere. Imagine being in a job interview and you consciously show disrespect for your previous employer. No matter what, it will create an integrity issue. Instead, concentrate on moving forward.


Don’t waste the urgency for change. Many new executives come on board in the middle of a crisis. This has happened with Chrysler, Ford, Pepsi, and countless other companies. Leverage the current crisis to gain energy for the cultural change you are fostering.
Don’t disregard current employees. Changes may have to be made in the process of major organizational cultural changes. Still, tread carefully with the current employee base. Morale will plummet if you disregard all current voices in lieu of new, unknown leaders.


Don’t be afraid to take the lead. Shaping and changing your culture has to come from the top. Yes, it will require adoption from every employee, but that can only come from a united leadership team leading those changes.

Don’t get distracted by early gains. Initial changes are usually painless and fairly easy to make. Don’t make the mistake of celebrating these too early or too much. You’re probably on the right path. It’s better to acknowledge early gains and keep moving forward.


In the words of Steve Pemberton, chief diversity officer of Walgreen Co., “Make certain you don’t confuse that initial aesthetic pull of the culture change with the actual work of instilling and driving culture,” he said. “Because invariably [that] is what you’re going to be measured on.”



Don’t neglect to explain the changes. Leaders adopting and advocating for change isn’t enough. As we all know, people need to hang their hat on the meaning behind and reasons for change. Help them reframe the changes -especially the extreme shifts that might be coming up- by backing up your efforts with market reasons, giving the changes a direct relationship to the business success, or fulfilling the organization’s mission. 



Don’t dump culture change on HR! CEOs tend to give marching orders and then dump cultural and organizational change on the HR or communications groups. 

Instead, take tangible actions right from the start and keep the momentum going. Instead, set out core values, define any aspirational elements and then develop a plan to move forward. What behaviors does the company expect from its leaders? Why are these behaviors important? What actions or events have to happen for those behaviors to be altered long-term? It’s not enough to put posters on the wall with core values and a mission statement.

Don’t forget to vary methods of recognition. Financial recognition can only take you so far.  Focus on creating an organization that integrates a variety of recognition methods, both small and publicly impactful. Everything from personal emails to public awards are fair game and have proven to be effective.  



Words of Wisdom

"Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed – the culture reflects the realities of people working together every day." – Frances Hesselbein

"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things." – Niccolo Machiavelli

At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. 800-282-3374 www.employeedevelopmentsystems.com

Practical Do’s and Don’ts of Corporate Cultural Change, Part 1

  
  
  
  
  
  

Employee Development, Corporate cultural ChangeLeadership drives cultural change, and it can be the toughest challenge for any of us. Here are 8 practical takeaways for how to get started and keep the momentum going, where others lose focus and eventually abandon their cultural change efforts.


Critical DO’s for Cultural Change

1. Improve your development programs. Development programs are a pivotal way to make cultural change. It outwardly reflects the organization’s priorities, and as we all know, actions speak much louder than words. Carefully back up your short statement (from #2 above), by taking tangible action. Are your employee development programs focused on increasing overall personal effectiveness? How about professional presence? These kinds of   core skills can be a great starting point for focusing employees in the face of organizational change.

2. Don’t be petty.  If you haven’t done it already, it’s time to let go of policies that include docking people who come in a few minutes late from a lunch break, because they were helping a customer who needed them. Concentrate on results, not time schedules. This kind of thinking will gain loyalty and lose many wasted hours of complaint time at the water cooler. As a leader, you can help everyone concentrate on what’s important and leave the rest in the rear view mirror.  


3. Short is good. Clarify your cultural decision in a very brief statement. How are you going to treat customers? How will the organization change communications? Make it explicit and simple. Then spread it around the organization.


4. Change the way you hire. How can you change your hiring decisions to reflect the new cultural values? Review the current priorities. How can the process be modified to ensure that you are hiring and onboarding people who will embrace the new culture that you are building?


5. What are your standards? Everything that reasonably can be expected to happen to customers needs its own standard. Every standard needs to include the reason for the standard, so that your employees know when it makes sense to deviate from it to accomplish.


6. Daily reinforcement is key. Spend time every day (or at least every week) keeping the new values at front of mind for everyone in the organization. Take the Ritz-Carlton as an example. They spend a few minutes every day discussing just one of the cultural values or service standards that the company follows. It’s not just a plaque on the way into the lobby.  


7. Are you measuring the right things? Sometimes it’s easier to enlist a data point as a way to make decisions. Upon closer examination, you may find that it isn’t incentivizing the behavior you REALLY want to see in your employees. Should a call center measure success in number of calls made per day, or number of solutions and happy customers served? The former is the most common practice. The latter is much more effective. What can you change in your organization?


8. Wherever possible, let employees develop their own jobs. As much as you can, let your employees play an active part in their own responsibilities. As recently noted in an online Forbes article: “Let your employees know what they need to get done but not necessarily how they should go about designing their day and carrying out their duties. Because if employees are only doing things right because you spelled out every little thing out, even if you do so very, very elegantly, you haven’t created a culture, and you haven’t created an approach that is sustainable.  A culture is a living thing, powered by and kept up to date by the people who are encouraged to be, in a meaningful way, part of it.”


We have covered some of the core DO’s for successful cultural change. In Part 2, we’ll cover the DON’Ts, which are equally as important.

At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. 800-282-3374 www.employeedevelopmentsystems.com 

6 Ways to Keep Your Star Players from Walking Out the Door

  
  
  
  
  
  

Employee RetentionEmployee development is imperative for keeping your team on track and engaging them in their current position. Research has shown that developing and implementing a career plan is one of the core ways of keeping them ready to perform and even increase performance. But what if you invest in training your star players and they use their new skill set to walk out your door and find their next job?

Here is how to keep your star players walking out the door.

  1. Be proactive. Consistent engagement with your employees is the first line of defense in keeping them from leaving the company, or even worse, being poached by a competitor. Because employees often leave their manager versus the organization, make sure that you are not the manager that they are trying to leave! With consistent engagement, you will have the opportunity to simultaneously help them develop their career plan, and find out how you may be misfiring on communication or planning issues. The average employee tenure is shorter now than it has been in the past, particularly among millenials. With lifetime employment in the rearview mirror, it is especially critical for leaders to communicate well and strengthen their skills.
  2. Reward the good with the best. Consistent recognition is an invaluable tool in employee retention. Failing to acknowledge their hard work and accomplishments (small or large) is a quick way to ensure disengagement. Keep letting them know their contributions and reward them appropriately. A comprehensive development plan for your star players will pay off. How about your average performers? Develop another plan for them, and consistently convey their potential.
  3. Align talent and goals. One size does not fit all. Where possible, give responsibilities and projects that specifically match the employee’s natural talents and career goals. It will help establish and maintain meaning. Having meaningful work is one of the top reasons that employees stay working for an employer.
  4. Take a hard look at your own role in communication problems. Do your employees have a clear understanding of the organization’s mission? How about your core culture and the department’s priorities? Communicate it clearly and often. Give all of your employees the opportunity to assess the organization and department goals, and how they fit into their own career plans.
  5. Offer perks. As leaders, we all have limitations as to what we can offer our employees. Budget limitations are the most imposing and prevalent. The good news is that money isn’t what keeps your high performing employees from leaving. What other perks can you provide? A department party? How about an afternoon off? How about other cultural perks such as public recognition? Gather the perks you can offer so you are ready to use them whenever you need a way to recognize one of your employees.
  6. Find their pain. Look for the consistent stressors in your workplace. It might be something as small as a copier that is always breaking down, or as important as one member who consistently causes conflicts among their team.  Let them know it’s your priority to resolve the stressor and follow through on it.
  7. Show gratitude. It sounds simple, but it has great impact. Say thank you and let each person know the value of their contributions. Be specific and talk about their behavior, not their personality. Consider Indra Noovi, the CEO of Pepsi. She has adopted the habit of writing personal letters to the parents of her direct reports. She writes, “...therefore I’m writing to thank you for the wonderful gift of your son, who is doing this at Pepsi, and what a wonderful job this person is doing.”  This is not a typical practice, and while most leaders would not go to such lengths, the lesson is clear. -Gratitude pays off in engaged employees. 

4 Solutions to Employee Engagement & Morale Problems Part 1

  
  
  
  
  
  

Employee MoraleHuman resources are an underutilized asset of most organizations. We all know this, so why don’t we make the most of our employees’ capabilities? If our facilities are no longer serving us, we move the company. If our product is sub-par, we increase quality and production values. It all sounds simple, right? The challenge of the human aspect is, well, because we’re all human. There isn’t just one solution to any problem. With issues of employee development, engagement and morale, all of which can drastically impact productivity and profits, we need to address each one with multiple solutions.

Here are 4 simple solutions to common morale issues. You can implement them right away, and realize change in your workplace within a matter of weeks or even days. The next post will give you 4 more solutions. Put them together and start your week with by giving your team a brand new attitude and outlook on the company, their jobs, and you as their leader.

Are they Productive or Just "Busy?"
Sometimes busy equals productive, but let’s face it, much of the time our employees slip into a groove of keeping busy and keeping their heads down. You may be guilty of this yourself at times. What this means is that they are light years away from tapping into their full capacity. People have to put in all they have. Helping them focus on their strengths and areas where they can improve, giving them the incentive to be self-accountable will keep their eyes on their career goals and milestones, and away from water cooler conversations.

Don’t Succumb to Typical Communication Issues
It can be tiresome to continue hearing about how “communication is king,” right? Well, the truth is that the leaders who can actually develop sophisticated communication skills are the ones who can build positive, productive teams and cheerleaders for their products and organization. Foster an environment of openness, so people feel they can share ideas and opinions without reproach.  British writer, St. John Ervine once said, "To hear nothing but what is pleasing is to make a pillow of the mind."

Make Yourself More Accessible
Focus less on meetings and more on accessibility. What? Aren’t they the same thing? No, they aren’t. Take a look at your typical weekly schedule. What meetings do you dread? Which ones could you cut out? Use that time to increase open office time and informal interactions with your team. It will probably go a longer way toward increased morale and productivity than another meeting where everyone goes around the table, each giving a mindless update. How about slashing that weekly department meeting time in half and sending out a a single email update?

Establish and Commit to a Professional Plan
Everyone wants to grow personally and professionally. It keeps people engaged, looking toward the future, and increases productivity while they are striving. So why do skill building and employee development programs get cut to the bare minimum? Running as fast and as hard as possible does not lead to more productivity. It leads to burn out. Let’s all finally realize that we need to work smarter. Prioritize skill building and employee development once and for all. After all, once the newest project is finished, there will be another one right on its tail, and another mindless frenzy will begin. Stop the madness. Help your employees learn to think clearly, problem solve, communicate, become accountable, and take their own initiative to solve problems. That’s what you will gain through consistent, high quality training and employee development programs.

At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. 800-282-3374 www.employeedevelopmentsystems.com 

“…an engaged employee understands what to do to help her company succeed, she feels emotionally connected to the organization and its leaders, and she is willing to put that knowledge and emotion into action to improve performance, her own and the organization’s.”

- from Closing the Engagement Gap

 

Convert Your Power into Performance & Accountability

  
  
  
  
  
  

employee appreciation, employee engagementBeing appreciated is a fundamental human need. As a matter of fact, many studies have shown that one of the top five needs expressed by employees is to feel fully appreciated for their work. Essentially, we do more for those who appreciate it.  So why is employee appreciation often a blind spot for leaders? We may think that a remark or two regarding recent project successes is enough, but appreciating employees comes down to taking action. Create defining moments that mark milestones of achievement. Integrate milestones into all of your projects and processes.

According to Nobel Prize winning scientist Daniel Kahneman, we experience approximately 20,000 individual moments in a waking day Each “moment” lasts a few seconds. If you consider your strongest memories, positive or negative, you’ll notice the imagery in your mind is actually defined by your recollection of a precise moment in time.*

What’s Your Ratio?
Think of your own defining moments. As a leader, you are able to produce for your team members the moments that they may look back on as marking major career hurdles crossed and successes achieved in their own careers. That kind of appreciation translates into sustained high accountability and performance. Look for moments where you can give positive feedback more frequently. Catch them doing something right and reinforce it! One recent study* revealed that workgroups with at least a 3-to-1 ratio of positive to negative interactions were significantly more productive than those having less than a 3-to-1 ratio. What do you think your current ratio is?

Improve Your Ratio to Increase Productivity

  • Tell a success story at a staff meeting. Stories are interesting then announcements, and engage the entire team. These stories become part of the folklore of the team, department, or company. It builds a rich and authentic corporate culture.  
  • Stop the regular work day and hold an impromptu special occasion or party, to celebrate milestones.
  • When possible, give them options. Offer team members a choice of project or role. This will lessen the time and effort required for them to have a stake in its success.
  • Say thank you!

Are They People or Just Employees?
Contributions are important, but the people behind them are even more so! Sincere interest in your employees will take their self-accountability and professional presence to the next level. Learn something new each day about your employees. Then weave that information into future conversations. Staying plugged in to your team members will show your sincerity. It’s easy to let days and even a week or more pass without any extended human interactions. Email does not do the job of sincerely appreciating your employees. We work in a high-tech world, but leadership is still a high-touch job.

Be available to them, regardless of your own busy schedule. Learn what makes each person ticks. It should be customized to each person, so personalize your recognition.

Provide opportunity, wherever possible. People want opportunities to improve personal effectiveness and knowing that their leader (and organization) is there to help them achieve their personal and career goals will give them incentive to increase performance. Remember, using your power to shift power to employees will come back to you in a solid team and star performers.

“Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, ‘Make me feel important.’ Never forget this message when working with people.” Mary Kay Ash

Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.” Stephen Covey

At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. 800-282-3374 www.employeedevelopmentsystems.com 

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