Posts tagged communication
5 Tips to Increase Workplace Engagement

The statistics about worker disengagement are staggering. We read all the time about how workplace engagement levels are low here in the U.S. and even lower around the world. Loss of productivity is estimated to cost employers hundreds of millions of dollars annually, if not billions. And it all stems from how disconnected folks feel from the people working around them, the work that they do each day, and the purpose that it serves to them and to others.

Workplace connection results in many benefits, including stronger communication, greater synergy, enhanced anticipation of others’ needs and worries / concerns, and, last but certainly not least, increased worker engagement. When we feel connected, we operate with a sense of purpose and utilize our many talents and abilities to advance that purpose, consciously as well as subconsciously.  

The need for connection at work is perhaps stronger today than ever before. It has become an expectation, especially amongst younger workers, that the workplace be a source of meaning and intention, not just a place at which to collect a paycheck.

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How NOT to show appreciation

Do your people feel valued and appreciated at work?

If you're a leader, one of the most important things you need to be doing is thinking about how can you demonstrate appreciation – that's right – appreciation for your people and what they are doing for you.

We cannot assume that just because we pay people – and often pay them really well – that that alone constitutes appreciation.

Nor can we assume that just because we don't need appreciation, which may or may not be the case, but even if we don't, that others don't as well.

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Make your feedback personal

It is not a secret that job satisfaction in this country is not where it should be. A 2014 Conference Board report says that the majority of Americans (52.3%) are unhappy at work. What makes our workers happiest? The CB report says that “interest in work” provides satisfaction to 59% of the workplace. Even more fulfilling was “people at work,” which 60.6% said they liked. Similarly, an expansive study by Boston Consulting Group found that the No. 1 factor for employee happiness on the job is getting appreciated for work. The question for me is this: If interpersonal relationships and the expression of appreciation are so important to employees, why aren’t leaders spending more time doing it?

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Communicate Clearly and Openly – Part IV of An E.P.I.C. Solution to Undertstaffing

In my previous post about understaffed leaders, we spoke of the importance of becoming more influential to maximize their impact and get the most from their teams. In this post, we focus on the “C” of “E.P.I.C.”, how to communicate more clearly and openly.

All leaders need to communicate clearly and openly. But strong communication is particularly important for those who lead understaffed teams. And great communication starts with great listening. In your conversations, focus mainly on listening rather than speaking. This will open up the communication lines and deepen trust.

You may think that you are communicating well. I did, too. But the only way to know for sure is to ask.

Start with this simple question: Overall, how would you rate my/our internal communication?

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Connection: The Anti-Silo

It’s a central part of far too many organizations. Bickering. The lack of healthy communication. Folks sitting quietly at their desks, hoping to stay under the radar and not be burdened with more work, let alone someone else’s work. People prioritizing their wants and needs over those of the team, or those of their own team over the organization as a whole.

Territorialism. Silos.

Silo mentalities and the turf wars that they enable devastate organizations by wasting resources, killing productivity, and threatening goal achievement.

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Taking the Fear out of Change

Few words scare people like “change.” While we know that change is critical for organizations who want to stay cutting edge and prepare for the future, the fact is that change and disruption are hard on individuals and teams. They mess with our routines, raise questions about proper procedure and protocol, and force us to change our behaviors. Worst of all, they create a fundamental baseline of uncertainty, which cause many to descend into fear and doubt.

So what can leaders so to manage change effectively in the organizations and with their teams? The following are strategies to help manage change effectively:

1.       Set the expectation that change is inevitable – Communicate your vision of a dynamic and evolving organization, where progress and change are inevitable. When a major shift happens, your people will be more likely to accept it as a matter of course.

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Being right isn’t always the goal

Different viewpoints are based off of the unique approaches, biases and inclinations that we bring to situations. However, where we get ourselves into trouble, particularly in the workplace, is when we assume that our perspective is the only one that exists, let alone the only one that matters.

Such narrow thinking can be even more damaging for leaders. Not only does it prevent them from grasping opportunities and identifying challenges that only others are attuned to, but it can lead to discontent and frustration in others who do not feel heard or valued.

How can we make sure to avoid such thinking and ensure that we not only become more mindful of other views but actively seek them out?

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Connecting with our students

As teachers, we know that there is more to our jobs than sharing content and enhancing student skills. We understand intuitively that in order to fully reach our students we need to connect with them and create the right atmosphere for learning. The research of Dr. John Hattie confirmed this when concluding that the most effective way to improve education was to raise the quality of pupil-teacher interactions.

Below is a list of strategies that can help you establish healthy, meaningful relationships with your students and interact in a manner that is healthy and fulfilling.

  • Set the proper tone. Find ways with which to positively engage students from the outset. Greet them as they enter the room with a “good morning” and a high-five. Smile when you see them and let them know that you’re happy that they’re there. Convey the message that you expect a great day from them and anticipate their success.
  • Create a healthy learning environment. One of the most powerful educational quotes that I have ever read has nothing to do with teaching. The author, former teacher and child psychologist Dr. Haim Ginott, wrote about the central role that teachers play in making the classroom’s “weather.”
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Make your feedback personal

It is not a secret that job satisfaction in this country is not where it should be. A 2014 Conference Board report says that the majority of Americans (52.3%) are unhappy at work. What makes our workers happiest? The CB report says that “interest in work” provides satisfaction to 59% of the workplace. Even more fulfilling was “people at work,” which 60.6% said they liked. Similarly, an expansive study by Boston Consulting Group found that the No. 1 factor for employee happiness on the job is getting appreciated for work. The question for me is this: If interpersonal relationships and the expression of appreciation are so important to employees, why aren’t leaders spending more time doing it?

Read More