Monthly Archives: August 2019

Prepare to Maintain

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Most people work at only 40 to 50 percent of their capacity, and leaders have to be able to push them beyond their usual performance and get the best out of them. To do this, they have to find out what motivates their employees. There are six specific motivational factors that can turn an average employee into an exceptional one:IMG_2257

  1. Employees need to be challenged and find interest in their work. A great leader finds work that keeps their employees engaged.
  2. Employees appreciate open communication and they like to understand how the work they are doing fits the company’s mission. Leaders should explain to employees how their roles affect the company.
  3. Employees are more likely to take an interest in their tasks when yhey are given responsibility and held accountable.
  4. Employees want the opportunity to advance and learn more.
  5. Employees are somewhat motivated by money.
  6. Working conditions are also important.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 7.43.37 pmEmployees also have three emotional needs — dependence,independence, and interdependence. If all of these are met, employees will stay motivated and inspired.

Leaders must also be able to delegate tasks to their employees not only because it gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility, but also because it frees up the leaders to concentrate on high-value tasks. However, it is crucial that the right employees are given the right tasks — their abilities must match the responsibility of the task. If tasks are delegated to the wrong people, it will lead to failure.

Leaders also motivate and inspire by example. Leaders can accept nothing less than the best from themselves and the companies they work for. They must commit 100 percent of themselves to their work. The more excited and enthusiastic leaders are the more excited and enthusiastic their employees will be. Through constant encouragement, leaders empower their employees.

Interview – Core Skills

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Four core skills are needed to conduct an effective stay interview:fullsizeoutput_3610

1. Careful listening. Effective listening involves more than a person’s ears. Eye contact, body language, and verbal responses are crucial cues for demonstrating attention and authenticity. One tool is to strategically use the phrase: “Let me tell you what I heard you say to see if I got it right.” Another key is to restate the employee’s emotions in words that show comprehension and empathy.

2. Taking notes. Pen and paper are more useful for note taking than electronic devices. Notes allow management to capture all critical points for later reference. Taking notes also shows employees that their opinions are of genuine importance. It also aids in keeping similar employee comments separate and distinct.

3. Probing. Questions such as “Can you give me an example?” or “Can you tell me more about…?” are open-ended and allow employees the freedom to offer new and important information. Probing can discover the root of an employee’s urge to terminate his or her employment.

4. Owning up to corporate decisions and corporate responsibilities. Managers must demonstrate support for company policies while also maintaining trust with workers. Good managers must be able to state honestly that they support executive decisions and that they believe executives make decisions based on knowledge that is unavailable to management and employees.

INTERVIEW SKILLS

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PREPARING TO CONDUCT STAY INTERVIEWS

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Leadership Session with Service Sector by Anubha on Interviewing Skills

Before conducting a stay interview, it is essential for a manager to follow a nine-step preparation plan. Each premeeting step is designed to increase the manager’s understanding of employee needs while strengthening employee commitment.

1. Plan. When first preparing for the stay interview, a manager should make a list with two columns: one for what is important for the employee, and one for what the manager believes. The latter column is simply for topics the manager might like to introduce if the employee does not. The contents of the two columns should be kept separate; what is important to employees is what should be stressed. Two potential detours exist at this stage: The employee will introduce unforeseen topics during interview, or the stay interview will somehow devolve into a routine performance review.

2. Have a clean slate. The employee sets the agenda for a stay interview. This means that management must refrain from directing the topic of conversation. An interviewer should not project his or her personal ideas onto the meeting’s agenda.

3. Devise questions. Stay interview questions should be open-ended so that employees feel free to expound on their feelings and opinions. A question is different from a probe, which should be used to gain information from the employee regarding potential solutions to problems. Five specific questions function as ideal probes during a stay interview: (1) What do you look forward to? (2) What are you learning? (3) Why do you stay here? (4) When was the last time you thought about leaving? (5) What would make work better for you?

4. Have resources close at hand. Reference to existing programs that are designed to retain employees should be at the ready during a stay interview. A good manager can match a company program to an employee need during the interview.

5. Move past fear. A good rule of thumb to follow during a stay interview is to “probe deeply, solve completely.” Understanding is the first priority for management; employee feedback should be met with openness and genuine concern.

6. Invite and schedule. The manager should let employees know that 30-minute interviews are to be conducted on an individual basis in the near future. The first should be scheduled with an employee who is more or less comfortable in his or her position and is compatible with management. The next interviews should be with the most valued employees; then with those who perform well but who may be considering leaving.

7. Choose a setting. When searching for new information from employees, it is crucial to select an environment where they feel comfortable and secure. Formality–or lack thereof–should be considered. It is generally a better idea to conduct a stay interview outside of the office in order to loosen the employee’s sense of subordination.

8. Gather equipment. A stay interview requires either an electronic device or paper for keeping notes. During the meeting, the manager needs to make detailed notes regarding key conversation items to use for crafting a stay plan. Taking notes also clearly demonstrates the manager’s attention and concern to the employee.

9. Envision success. The premeeting materials consist of a two-columned list, a clean slate, five researched questions, resources about employee programs, guidelines for moving past fear, and a detailed plan for invitations and schedules for targeted stay interviews with each employee.

Values

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Values represent what is important to people. They necessitate a shared understanding of how to behave. The idea of values in business is complex. While many businesses today are making an effort to be more values based, they is often a large gap between their self-prescribed values and actual business practices. R. Edward Freeman and Ellen R. Auster explore this “values gap” in their book Bridging the Values Gap, along with strategies for how companies can close the gap and regain the trust of their customers.
fullsizeoutput_259eTHE VALUES GAP IN BUSINESS
Public trust in business is at a low point. While many businesses have values statements, they often conflict with one another or with the actual values of employees, which causes a values gap. Many business scandals over the years, such as the Enron incident, have led the public to view businesses as occupying the ethical low ground in society. Even the thousands of businesses that have not been tainted by scandal are not trusted.
On the other hand, some feel that the media has been too critical of businesses. These people often believe that the pursuit of profits will generate a better society. If people leave competitive markets alone, everything will work out for the best in the long term. However, this point of view ignores the fact that there are businesses doing real harm in the world.
With the implementation of modern technology, companies now live in fishbowls, with everything they do being scrutinized by individuals and agencies all over the world. The rise of globalization also means that different cultures may interpret a company’s values differently. For example, while child labor is prohibited in the West, some other cultures still embrace it as a legitimate business practice.
Most people want to build businesses that are inspiring and beneficial to society, but humans are complicated. There are times when people in business are seriously conflicted about what to do or how to behave. People often have a difficult time applying their values to business situations. There are very few truths that work everywhere for everyone, but there is a growing trend to put values in the center of the way people think about business. This new narrative is integral to bridging the values gap.
JUST BE AUTHENTIC
Being authentic is more difficult than it appears. It is also difficult to truly define “values.” Many believe that values are expressed in a person’s behavior. If a person says that respect is something he or she values, but that person continually shouts at people and calls them names, it would appear to others that respect is not truly one of his or her values. However, this way of viewing values fails to acknowledge that values are not just likes and dislikes, but are also the things people find the most important. Values should require introspection and reflection. They are easy to say but not easy to do.
Values tend to change frequently as well. As people grow and develop, their feelings, hopes, and dreams evolve with them. New technology can also cause people to rethink their values, as can different stages of life. For example, the idea of respect usually means something very different to a senior citizen than it does to a teen. Values are always set in context; different situations may call for different behaviors.
Values also help define a person’s identity. In the West, values are very individualized. In other parts of the world, values are often imparted from culture and society. The self is often thought of as a vessel for a person’s individual values and implies that people are free to choose what they do, but this view can go too far. People are connected to other people and to society as well. Complete individual freedom can result in estrangement.
Leading an authentic life is not merely stating one’s values and sticking to them. As life goes on, preferences change and circumstances change. To lead an authentic life, one must struggle with change and an evolving self-identity.
AUTHENTIC ORGANIZATIONS
It is very difficult for an organization to be truly authentic. Organizations can employ thousands of individuals, which leads to inevitable conflict. To be truly committed to living their values, those in an organization must engage in conversations about its purpose, aspirations, history, and connections to stakeholders.
For an organization to perform at a high level, thrive, and innovate, it should use values as an opportunity to engage in dialogue. However, many people feel that when executives listen to employees it is only with the aim of making money, and employees who are motivated to participate are doing it for some sort of reward. A company can overcome this line of thinking by constantly keeping the lines of communication open. Values cannot be just words on a website; they must live in the day-to-day processes of companies.
Executives often try to find employees who say they have the same values as those claimed by the organization. This does not always work out for the best. If an organization claims a value it does not actually act out, those employees will become disheartened and disengaged, and they may even undermine the company.
Values statements have little benefit if they are just posted on websites or printed on company documents with little to no conversation. They must be the result of discussions and behavior. These statements need to be grounded in both the reality of what a business is actually doing and in its aspiration to do better. Senior executives should not just announce a value statement. Executives can lead value-setting conversations, but the final decision should be made collaboratively.
DO VALUES RIGHT OR DON’T DO THEM AT ALL
Once a business model has been created in terms of purpose and values, and once employees have been asked to support those values, the business needs to get it right. It is very difficult to get a second chance. There are seven common mistakes businesses make:
1.They just walk the talk: Values always have a situational context as well as a human context. When a person is participating, the associated emotions and pressures can be overwhelming.
2.They police their values: Adding values to a performance appraisal process often leads to people paying too much attention to how they are perceived in terms of values, and may lead them to harshly judge others without taking into consideration conflicts and difficulties that often arise.
3.Top management sets the values: Without discussing the values beforehand with employees, management may miss the boat and make employees feel threatened or unappreciated.
4.Values are used as excuses: When someone uses values as an excuse not to do something, it usually masks a conflict between the employee’s personal values and what he or she perceives as company values.
5.Values are seen as soft and fluffy: Many people believe that values are not subject to the same conversations as other elements of the business, but this often leaves employees wondering if a business is truly serious about its values.
6.Values do not lead to healthy debates: Conflict can produce breakthroughs, but only when conversations occur. Brushing conflict under the rug solves nothing.
7.There is aseparation of business and values: Separating the business from its values is a main cause of underperformance. Values need to be connected to the business model because they:
*Empower and engage employees.
*Activate business strategy.
*Are the wellspring for business growth.
*Yield vision and purpose.
*Lead to discipline, efficiency, and innovation.
INTROSPECTIVE VALUES
Most organizations spend time focused on current goals and issues, which leaves little time for reflection. By being preoccupied with the present and future, companies have little time to figure out how decisions, actions, and behaviors have narrowed or widened their values gaps. By focusing on introspection, a business can uncover blind spots and understand the consequences of decisions.
When values conversations do not include introspection, rash decisions are made and mistakes are often repeated. Creating space for reflection and introspection facilitates success. Deep introspection may even expose an organization’s common assumptions, routines, norms, and processes, and may answer why values were ever implemented. Introspection can also reveal the things that are working well. Introspection should be embedded into everyday processes. Values through conversation (VTC) may involve taking a hard look at customer feedback or engaging in in-depth consultations with customers. Afteraction reviews (AARs) can also help businesses determine what is working and what is not.
Many people ignore ugly truths and hope they go away on their own. They usually do not, and can often get worse. Truths should be viewed as great triggers for change. Acknowledging ugly truths enables companies to become more open to discussing them and doing something about them.
HISTORICAL VALUES
Every organization is the sum of all the choices and decisions employees make. These choices shape an organization’s identity. Companies need to remember that viewing the present through the lens of company history can be quite enlightening. At a minimum, conversations about the past enable companies to uncover the convergence of their history and where they are now. Understanding history helps companies respect and honor their legacies and helps ensure that they see the bridges between past choices and future actions.
Storytelling is a great way to engage stakeholders. Understanding and sharing an organization’s history is vital for inspiring employees and ensuring that the founding story stays alive. Other ways to share history include rituals, grand celebrations, photos, and onboarding.
History is critical, but sometimes things have to be let go. Moving into another geographic region, with cultural and language differences, is a good example of a way to honor legacy and adapt. For example, when Disney opened a theme park in Paris, it assumed the visitors would want French foods and toned-down merchandise. In reality, visitors wanted the American experience. Disney also banned alcohol in the park even though it resided in the world’s largest wine-consuming country. These mistakes resulted in a loss of $900 million over two years.
CONNECTEDNESS VALUES
Connectedness refers to how people converse and interact to achieve a collective purpose. Focus is placed on relationships with one another and the sharing of ideas. Connectedness is often missing in organizations because its importance is not even on top management’s radar. When connectedness is missing at work, life at work feels empty–there is no community. Humans are social animals, and connecting with one another is essential in driving innovation and success.
The starting point for understanding connectedness is a strong sense of “we.” Connectedness values help leaders build organizations that respect and value what everyone brings to the table. Leaders in connected organizations actively solicit input and engagement from everyone, even customers and communities. In moments of crisis, values become transparent to others. A strong collective identity cultivates a sense of pride and an environment where everyone can be a hero.
Companies should spend time cultivating relationships internally. When team members actually like one another, a lot more work is accomplished. Engaging in community and social activities, offering company retreats, and planning fun activities in the workplace can all support strong working relationships. (contact author – anubhawalia@gmail.com for her #online training session)
ASPIRATIONAL VALUES
When employees are inspired, they are able to set high aspirations. Aspirations represent an organization’s collective passion and purpose, painting a picture of the future it wants. People need aspirations to know what they are working toward. Aspirations help guide decisions, choices, actions, and behaviors as individuals work toward common goals. To feel intense dedication, a person’s work needs to matter and make a difference.
Research shows that companies that make a difference in the world perform better. Employees are often willing to take pay cuts if their companies are altruistic. These companies recognize how business can revolutionize the world for the better. They focus on making meaningful contributions. That is where aspiration and inspiration come together to foster passion and creativity. Meeting aspirational goals should be personally fulfilling for employees. By bridging personal and organizational growth, organizations enable employees to see what will personally benefit them.
GETTING STARTED
Values are complicated. Organizations should pay more attention to how organizational values are implemented rather than to their actual content. If organizations’ values are to be meaningful to their members, there must be participation in bringing the values to life every day. In the event of a values violation, it is essential that the organization take action to address how the company will deal with the violation.

FOCUS ON RESULTS

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Leaders know that if a task does not lead to valuable results then it is a waste of time. Leaders should only work on what is most important. Even if a leader is doing something great, if it is not in their key results area, it is a waste of time. To prioritize, leaders can ask themselves four questions:

  1. Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 8.05.35 pmWhat things contribute the most to the organization?
  2. What are the key result areas that should be focused on?
  3. What is it that only the leader can do?
  4. What is the most effective use of time?

Leaders can use the ABCDE method to help them prioritize tasks:

*The most important tasks are labeled “A” and get done first.

*Tasks labeled “B” should be done, but are not the most important.

*”C” is for tasks that would be nice to complete.

*Tasks that can be delegated to others, are labeled “D.”

*Any tasks labeled “E” need to be eliminated.