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Organizational Excellence : Employee Engagement: Having a Great Day at Work

Posted by kevinb on 3/22/18 (334 reads)

Think about the last time you had a great day at work. What made it great? I like to think that when you have a great day at work, then you've had an engaged day at work. Studies and surveys show, however, that in the U.S., employee engagement is low; with only about 2 in 3 employees being engaged at work. That means that one-third of us (gulp!) are either not engaged or are actively disengaged. Far too few workers in the U.S. are having predominantly great days at work.

BlessingWhite (a Division of GP Strategies) views that an engaged organization is one where employees reach maximum job satisfaction while at the same time make a significant contribution to the goals of their team and the organization as a whole. True engagement happens when there is a mutually beneficial relationship between the organization and the employee, an alignment between what the organization needs (maximum contribution) and what their employees want (maximum satisfaction).

So, what does high employee engagement look like?

Organizational Excellence : 11 Commandments for an Enthusiastic Team

Posted by kevinb on 2/16/18 (785 reads)

In cleaning out some old files, I came across a single sheet of paper with a typed list entitled "11 Commandments for an Enthusiastic Team." I couldn't recall its source, but a Google search led me to a book by Ian Percy of the same name (subtitled Collaborating with Purpose and Passion), published in 2003.

Regardless of the age of this list, these 11 items are all still relevant today, so I wanted to share; along with some comments of my own.

1.  Help each other be right - rather than wrong

It's easy to over-rely on who's supposedly right and wrong as a determining factor, but what's the bigger picture? Think about what's important and what you are trying to accomplish, rather than feeding your ego or keeping score.

2.  Look for ways to make new ideas work - rather than for reasons they won't

Too often we have the mindset of: "We've tried that before." "That just won't work." "We don't do things that way." Instead, try: "What if we try it again?" "What if we look at it differently?" "Who could we speak with to get a different perspective?" or "What would we do to make this work if it was our only option?"

Organizational Excellence : Executing on Growth with an MOS

Posted by kevinb on 12/12/17 (453 reads)

One plus one, does not always equal two. The truth is that, as your organization grows and adds staff, operations become exponentially more complex. Let's take a look at how to help address some of those challenges.

When business owners or leaders drive for growth, the natural focus is on initiatives like marketing and sales campaigns; innovation of new products and services; and ensuring capacity is sufficient to meet increased demand. Underlying all of those actions, however, is the fact that it takes people to execute them.

As a business grows, so does the number of employees. More employees mean more complexity, which increases the risk for confusion and inefficiency unless leaders intentionally put a structure and approach in place to guide and manage outcomes. One of the best ways to align and prioritize the efforts of people in a growing organization is to have an effective MOS: Management Operating System.

Organizational Excellence : Fostering Accountability

Posted by kevinb on 11/21/17 (447 reads)

As a supplement to our post entitled Creating a Culture of Accountability from February, here are some thoughts that should help when you are attempting to foster accountability.

Strive for clarity in five areas:

1. Clear expectations. The first step is to be crystal clear about what you expect. This means being clear about the outcome you're looking for, how you'll measure success, and how people should go about achieving the objective. It doesn't all have to come from you. In fact, the more skilled your people are, the more ideas and strategies should be coming from them. Have a genuinely two-way conversation, and before it's over, ask the other person to summarize the important pieces - the outcome they're going for, how they are going to achieve it, and how they'll know whether they're successful - to make sure you're ending up on the same page. Writing out a summary is a good idea but doesn't replace saying it out loud.

Organizational Excellence : Key Differences Between Training and Development

Posted by kevinb on 11/6/17 (538 reads)

Companies spend a lot of time and money on recruiting the best talent possible, and one way to assure a return on that people investment is to have a formalized plan for both initial training and ongoing development. In the first days, weeks and months of employment, the focus needs to be on effective onboarding, which consists of orientation and training to learn about the organization and the basics of a new role. Once an employee is acclimated and productive, keeping the focus on ongoing growth and improvement yields benefits for the person and the organization.

Although TRAINING and DEVELOPMENT are sometimes used interchangeably, they are actually two different processes with distinct attributes and value to employees and the business.   

1)  Focus

The focus of TRAINING is on equipping people to perform the JOB or ROLE. It is all about ensuring the ABILITY to complete required tasks. Training applies to employees who are new to the company or to a position, as well as to existing employees who need to add or improve skills as technology and business needs change. Training exists primarily to meet organizational requirements and, as such, it is a company-centric process

Organizational Excellence : Book Summary: "Getting Naked" by Patrick Lencioni

Posted by kevinb on 9/27/17 (1421 reads)

A Business Fable About Shedding the Three Fears that Sabotage Client Loyalty

Let's first address the obvious: this book has an eye-catching and even provocative title. However, what Lencioni is referring to as "getting naked" is the willingness to be vulnerable, for consultants, service providers...really any person or any organization. He views that vulnerability is one of the most undervalued and misunderstood of all human emotions and that "there is no better way to earn a person's trust than by putting ourselves in a position of unprotected weakness and demonstrating that we believe they will support us."

Yet society encourages us to avoid vulnerability, to always project strength, confidence, and poise, and when it comes to important, ongoing relationships, doing so stifles our ability to build trust. It runs counter to the old adage never let them see you sweat because we should, instead, acknowledge our sweatiness and show clients that we are honest and self-assured enough to be worthy of their trust. And that, ultimately, it is our honesty, humility, and selflessness that will endear us to our clients and allow them to trust and depend on us as real partners.

Organizational Excellence : Cultivating a Culture of Fairness

Posted by kevinb on 7/24/17 (1163 reads)

Everybody wants to believe that they are being treated equally, with the same set of rules and the same consistency when it comes to meeting expectations.

"That's not fair!" This is one of the first protests we learn about when we are young. Whether it is in response to punishment by parents, a grade given by a teacher, or a rule infraction by schoolmates on the playground, children show an instinctual dislike of getting the "short end of the stick". Psychologists refer to this as "disadvantageous-inequity aversion". (see related article in The New Yorker) Getting less than others is perceived to be an insult and a demotion in social status. It's no wonder that when we grow up and transition into the competitive work world, our opinion of how fairly (or not) we are being treated continues to strongly impact our thinking and behaviors.

Organizational Excellence : Leveraging Individual Assessments to Improve Results

Posted by kevinb on 7/10/17 (691 reads)

When you are looking in the mirror, you are looking at the problem. But, remember, you are also looking at the solution.

At JFD Performance Solutions, we use a variety of individual, group, and organizational assessments in our business coaching and consulting. Individual assessments (or self-assessments), increase your awareness of your own individuality. Among other things, they help you be more conscious of who you are, what motivates you, and what you're good at while acknowledging what you still have yet to learn.

Two individual assessments that we'd like to focus on today are 1) DISC/Behaviors and 2) Motivators/Values.

DISC/Behaviors

A person's behavior or manner of doing things is a necessary and integral part of who they are. In other words, much of our behavior comes from "nature" (inherent) and much comes from "nurture" (our upbringing). DISC is the universal language of "how we act" (our observable human behavior).

Organizational Excellence : Seven Sources of Workplace Stress

Posted by kevinb on 5/31/17 (816 reads)

Most of us would probably agree that a workplace with chronically high stress is NOT a great place to work. While a certain amount of stress is good because it moves people to action, severe or long-term stress creates a negative work environment. Why should leaders care about creating a low-stress, positive workplace? Because the evidence indicates that organizations with a healthy culture enjoy superior performance. For example, the "Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For" outperformed the general market by almost double between 1998 and 2015. While there are many factors that contribute to making a company a great place to work, one way for leaders to achieve that goal is to understand the source and level of employee stress and take action to help them find the right balance.    

First, let's explore the different types of stress. The term "eustress" describes normal or "good stress" where our pulse increases and we experience a hormone change, but there is no fear or perception of threat. Eustress creates excitement or anticipation in the face of a challenge and generally leads to heightened performance.  

Organizational Excellence : If C.H.A.N.G.E. Was an Acronym

Posted by kevinb on 5/8/17 (832 reads)

Managing Change in Organizations.

If change was an acronym, what would it be?

C.H.A.N.G.E.: Constant Havoc Amidst Needy Grumbling Employees

or

C.H.A.N.G.E.: Challenging, Hostile, And No-Good Edicts (from management)

or

C.H.A.N.G.E.: Corrosive Headaches Arriving and Not Going (away) Effectively

We might laugh because these are funny and we might laugh (wince?) because they touch a nerve. Even organizations and employees who claim to thrive on change reach their limits and, as a rule, we all struggle with the pace of rapid change.

 

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