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Archive for the ‘Employee Engagement/Development’ Category

Are You on the Boss’s Nice or Naughty List?

Just as Santa has a nice and naughty list, so does your boss. Which one are you on? Here are some differences to compare where you stand:

Nice List:

  • shows up on time for work
  • takes breaks on time
  • helps out when needed
  • works well with others
  • has a positive attitude
  • steps up for more challenging work
  • communicates with the boss to keep updated on work processes/outcomes
  • completes work in a timely manner
  • consistently meets quotas and goals

Naughty List:

  • calls off frequently
  • takes longer breaks than usual, or can’t find them
  • minimal interactions with boss/peers
  • needs frequent directions/doesn’t learn from mistakes
  • has a ‘bad’ attitude
  • gossips
  • not a team player
  • unwilling to take on more challenging work – just does the minimum
  • complaints from others
  • resistance to any changes made

So, how did you stack up? The key to moving from the naughty to the nice list is to turn-around any behaviors you uncovered and do the opposite; for instance, if you are having minimal interactions with your team, start to have more conversations with them by asking questions or asking for their opinion on a project you working on. This will open dialogue with them and they will start seeing you in a different light. If you’re just doing the bare minimum, step up your game and go a step further on a work task; if you are grumpy or seem resistant, change your attitude by reframing any negative thoughts and putting a smile on your face- the brain doesn’t know your not happy until you consciously say it isn’t so.

Bottom line, this is all within your control to move from an unproductive or unhappy employee to being a productive, happier one. The choice is yours to make – do you want a reward in your stocking or a lump of coal?

I’d love to help you love your job again – check us out at http://www.cyscoaching.com and begin today!

Do Numbers Really Reflect Employee Engagement?

I’m sure you’ve heard the term ’employee engagement’ to reflect what an organization wants in their workers. Engagement has several meaning, but basically it’s an emotional connection one has with their work. It doesn’t necessarily mean job satisfaction or ‘fit.’ It’s an individual feeling that results from getting one’s needs met on the job.

This begs the question if employee engagement can be measured, as some suggest. I was reading an article the other day which related that it can be measured in terms of numbers in turnover, or worker’s comp claims. But I kept thinking ‘do those really reflect if one is truly engaged in their job?’ One can leave a job for a number of reasons, which may have nothing to do with their love for their job, such as family issues, location, or even a better opportunity. This confused me in relating the two.

Sure, we can look at performance which would equate to productivity and the outcomes produced, and which can be measured. But, again, this does not always mean the person is emotionally connected to their work. We do have to look at an individual’s motivational needs and how they are being met by their employer to see if an emotional connection has been made.

To me, the best way to truly measure engagement levels is to survey and ask employees their views on their work, the organization over all, and what needs specifically are being met (or not). This could help the organization to take the pulse from the people they need most and can lead to developing programs and strategies to meet those needs. This could also open the lines of communication and trust-building between workers and their leaders and let them know they are important and cared about – two factors that have been shown lead to being emotionally connected.

Numbers do speak but not always – it’s the voices of your workers who matter most.

How to Deal with “One of Those Days”

Have you ever had ‘one of those days?’ You know, the ones where the day starts out not on a good note and goes downhill from there?  It seems that no matter how positive and calm you remain, nothing seems to work to feel better? And the more you try to overcome, the more irritated you become – the boss or a coworker irritates you; you can’t seem to focus to get your work done; or you just want to start the day over.

I have to admit that today is one of those days for me. I somehow overlooked the fact that my alarm clock was still set to weekend time, so I woke up later than I anticipated, not getting some tasks done before I went into my office. Then, I had a plumbing problem, so I left the floor wet, to later feel very irritated that I rushed only to have a scheduled client having to reschedule. My computer is running slower than I’d like, only adding to my frustrations; I just feel really edgy, which is not a good feeling when more clients are ahead and I need to be open to them.

If you’ve had one of those days, and not sure how to resolve or feel better, here are some tips I use that may help you as well – the more you use them, the better you will feel:

  • Breathe – this is one of the fastest ways that helps me feel calmer immediately as it allows oxygen to get into your system and helps the stress chemical Cortisol to move throughout the body and do the job it’s meant to do, which is to relax
  • Visualization – while I’m breathing, I allow my visual field to ‘see’ happy pictures, which may be colors or my dog, or even a beach scene; sometimes I use the visuals to create the calming scene I envision. This may or may not work for everyone at first but with practice can
  • Write – this really helps to release any negative feelings and see things from a different perspective. Getting any negative or racing thoughts out will not allow them to stay in the head, which is a great way to let things go as well as both challenging thoughts and coming up with strategies/solutions to those bad situations that led me to feel poorly (note to self: make sure to check the clock on Sunday night)
  • Go Outside – I find this also to be an immediate relaxer, particularly standing in fresh air and in sunlight. We take in both the rays from the sun, which helps with Vitamin D levels and taking in oxygen, both which are natural calmers
  • Gratitude – taking the focus off of negative situations and placing them on to positive thoughts and perhaps lessons learned from the negatives, helps to see that I do have a good life in spite of setbacks. It makes me realize that I’ve been through adversity before and not only survived, but thrived, and will today. I always feel positive after this practice, which has now become a daily habit for me

If you’d like help to increase your workplace performance and job satisfaction, while decreasing your stress level, contact us today for your Complementary Discovery Session: http://www.cyscoaching.com.

Ending Employee Coaching Sessions To Get Better Results

In today’s workplace, getting results is the end-goal of any organization; this begins with high performance from workers within. While setting goals and accountability are two ways to get higher performance, companies that coach their employees gain this performance at a faster rate; in fact, 86% of companies reported the benefits of using coaching and getting their return on investment (ROI) (ICF.com).

While a lot of companies often bring in external coaches, there are benefits to having internal coaches, which include: accessibility and cost. The best person for this role are the leaders in the organization, which often begins with the Manager. As they are the ones who are leading their team on a daily basis, they have the best opportunity to coach their employees to a higher-level of performance as well as when issues arise and are there on a day-to-day basis.

Using coaching skills has been tossed around by a lot of people in the industry, which may not be indicative of how coaching works and the process around it.  Coaching comes from not having an agenda and is focused more on the person being coached, bringing out their critical thinking skills regarding identifying their goals/agenda and then developing the steps to get them, ala problem resolution. All of these are accomplished through questions, which are focused to get the client thinking deeper and finding the answers within. It is also about accountability.

One area to concentrate on is how you end your employee coaching sessions so that the analysis and next steps become apparent and accountability is given. Three questions to get your employee there are:

  1. What did you gain from this session (or take-away)? This helps the employee to identify key points from the session which can be a focus for future sessions which are client-focused. It also helps the leader to see how their employee thinks and what their priorities are, which can lead to strengthening them and gaining higher self-efficacy and performance
  2. What are your next steps? You don’t want to end a session without having actionable steps as this is where growth and accountability come in. Have them write at least one, but preferably three goals to bring back for the next session. This gets them goal-directed and motivated, gives them empowerment, and increases confidence and self-esteem – satisfaction and engagement then result
  3. What do you need from me? This shows support and involvement to the employee: support for their ideas and the goals they set, and involvement in the process and to their growth. This may include: understanding, being a cheerleader or problem-solver, and resources they may need. Positive relationships, trust and satisfaction levels will come

A suggestion would be to have written notes of your sessions to reflect back on, especially for accountability; another suggestion would be to send the employee a ‘coach session prep sheet,’ which essentially has them identify what they got done, what didn’t they get done, any challenges or problems they are facing or are standing in their way, and then what they want to focus on in their next coaching session. This can help with any preparation and gets that employee taking responsibility for their actions.

Coaching by the leader will move employees to work at their highest level and in a faster manner; how those sessions end can ensure future success and better results.

If you would like help in developing your coaching skills or to use coaching services for better performance, contact us today for your free Discovery Session: http://www.cyscoaching.com

Leaders who Develop Themselves Succeed More

Years ago, I got called in to coach a newly promoted leader; this client had been with their company for fifteen years and finally moved up the ranks. However, the company soon realized that their new manager was not quite ready for his role, thus my being called in.

This story represents a large part of problems with leadership in corporate America. Individuals are being promoted or hired into leader positions without being fully prepared, hence the reason that the leadership development industry is now in the millions (possibly billions) in order to get this ‘right.’

While I think it is the corporations ‘job’ to identify and promote high performers with appropriate skills that translate into leadership functions – and then foster them – it is also the responsibility of the individual to develop themselves. Those that do will have more success and be the leader everyone wants to follow.

What does this look like? Well, it means that you:

  • identify your leadership style and exactly the type of leader you want to be
  • identify the skills and traits needed to see how yours match and where you need to develop further
  • read books and magazines that relate to leadership, such as those by John Maxwell or Brian Tracy
  • take courses and training on leadership, both that the company offers as well as outside to gain a different perspective
  • attend professional associations and networking meetings
  • attend professional conferences where others in leadership roles gather to learn more about leadership skills
  • attend round tables or mastermind groups that are small in nature but high in power and knowledge
  • hire their own coach to work on their skills, gain feedback and be held accountable

Taking your own leadership development into your own hands will hone your skills faster and seal you deal as a leader; it also means putting into practice all of the knowledge and skills you’ve learned so you’re not just a title.

If you’d like help in developing your leadership skills or for your company, we’d love to help so contact us today for a free Discovery Session to learn more: http://www.cyscoaching.com

Spend Time with Those Who Are Where You Want to Be

If you want to stand out, get noticed and move up in your career, then start spending time, or be around, those who are where you want to be. It is said that we are defined by the company we keep, so it is important to be aware of exactly who that company is.

While we all want to have good working relationship and to fit in, it may mean distancing from those who exhibit adverse, or sometimes negative behaviors so as not to be aligned as ‘one of those.’ Now this does not mean that you can’t be continue to be friends with Sally or Joe, who may not have good work habits; these are relationships that you have outside of the workplace.

But being around the ‘rainmakers’ lifts you up to their level which increases your performance and your outlook. It deepens your level of involvement in your work so you want to do more and be better. When those above you begin to see your new attitude and outcomes from these new-found actions, it will lead to more opportunities in both challenging work and promotional opportunities.

Here are three action steps you can take to increase your leverage and reach:

  1. Assess your social circle at work: who is a high – good-low performer and what is your relationship with them; unfortunately, we are seen as being around the company we keep so if you align with Joe, who may be surfing the net, with Sally who tends to gossip, your chances of being seen as one-in-the same is high. Again, this does not mean that you can’t be friends with them but you will want to be aware of when and how you are seen.
  2. Make a list of your brand and how you want to be perceived, as this will lead you to seek out the people who have those traits and get connected. Look at other high performers or leaders – both within and outside your organization – and see who ‘speaks’ to you, in the sense that you silently say “I want to be just like them.” Look at how they plan their day, how do they present themselves and interact with others, how do they dress and conduct themselves. Doing this will make you stand out, which is when you will get more recognition.
  3. Go find them; how you align with those you’ve identified does not have to be complicated as it should come naturally (so you don’t come off as a brown-noser) so you are accepted easily. When you are in meetings, sit near that person, or persons, you want to be seen with which will put in you their circle; volunteer for projects or committees which will put you in direct contact with them; greet and acknowledge them – saying hello or good afternoon often leads to more conversation, which is your opportunity to get to know them better; use your networking skills to strike up conversations and begin to learn about others which will then lead to you answering the question of ‘what do you do?” One last suggestion would be to look for mentoring opportunities with them which can boost your profile and your career.

Being recognized on the job is desired by everyone; spending time with those who are will lend much to your credibility and profile. When opportunities arise, you can be on the top of the list if you follow these suggestions, act authentically, and perform at your best.

Ready to get recognized? Contact us today for your complementary Discovery Session to learn how we can help: http://www.cyscoaching.com. Take action and move your career forward!

How Long Does it Take to Be Great at What You Do?

How long does to be great at what you do?  For some people, it comes more easily while for others not so much. According to a recent article, it actually takes about 10,000 hours, or what researchers have named “The 10-year rule.” According to researchers, they say it will take at least that long of consistent, determined and focused attention to your craft (Gladwell).  I think that can give hope that it’s ok to not push the agenda to gain wisdom and experience in your area too soon, meaning that you can move up the ladder but not until you have spent sufficient time and effort.  Gaining experience while you are being diligent and task-oriented will typically lead to competence, wisdom and maturity in your area of expertise but in time.  Maybe this info can help to get you reengaged in the work you do, as well as be a challenge for you. Greatness is yours – if you’re willing to put in the time and work.

“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. 

To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.” Pearl S. Buck)

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