improved retention posts
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November 10th, 2009
Are you? “The Power of Full Engagement” provides Gallop statistics: after 6 months on the job, only 38% of employees remain engaged. After 3 years that figure actually drops to 22%. It brings up the question – how do you keep employees engaged at work?
In the last few months I have talked with a lot of my female friends who are high level executives. I was surprised to learn that many of them are making a conscious choice to ‘cruise at work’ and admit they are quite happy to do so.
(If you do not see a video above, click here to view it: http://bit.ly/1x5aoj)
What is cruisin’?
For these executives, cruisin’ means they have been with the company for a period of time and their expertise has been well established. They command a senior executive salary, complete with a full benefits package. Now, they just want to cruise – put it in low gear, continuing to reap the rewards but with minimal effort. They are tired of being fully engaged without appreciation. They can’t be bothered to push the envelope.
Personally, I find this quite sad. As an entrepreneur, my life is about ‘what’s the next thing’ and ‘how can I do it better?’ I thrive on being fully engaged.
As Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz say in “The Power of Full Engagement,” ’making change that lasts requires a three step process’.
- Define Purpose: explore how to find alignments between personal values and the values of the company,
- Face the Truth: discuss the situation and explore how to re-engage,
- Take Action: establish projects of greater interest.
Are you willing to share a ‘cruising’ story?
October 22nd, 2009
When team accountability declines, I question if the leader or manager is trapped in a communication myth – a widely held but false belief or idea.
As a leader/manager, it’s critical to be aware of your communication style and its effectiveness. It could be as simple as asking yourself, “Do I believe in these myths and if so, what can I do differently?”
“While you may ignore the truth because it is uncomfortable to face, other times you accept myths over truth because you don’t know the difference” – Joshua Uebergang
Myths of Communication
1. If I tell somebody to do something. they are actually going to do it.
To raise the bar of accountability, leaders and managers need to take the time to check-in with the individual to make sure they agree with the need, and are willing to set a target date for the completion of the task.
2. If I tell somebody to do something, they have heard it, and they understand what they need to get done.
Reflective/active listening is critical to effective communication creating improved results. First ask the individual to repeat back what they heard you say. If they didn’t hear it correctly, re-word it and ask them to repeat it again. This can take a moment but it is worth it! Attaining clarity with reflective listening decreases errors and misinterpretations.
3. If I say it once, once is enough.
Retention 24 hours after a presentation ranges between 8 – 12% (check out my post about “the forgetting curve“). That means if you stick to this myth you will receive 8-12% of the results you are looking for! To improve this, check in regularly with the individual.
If you are leading a team, watch that you don’t get trapped in these myths. Instead, shake it up!
September 01st, 2009
There are incredible benefits to leveraging diversity in organizations. Broad expertise, knowledge and judgment can create major communication challenges or outstanding opportunities!. To benefit from diversity, we need to work together and be effective in navigating our differences. We can do this by taking more ownership of our side of the communication, our side of the two-way dialogue.
I recently worked with an extremely talented CEO who was visually impaired. To improve communication and team effectiveness within his organization, I facilitated a number of teaming experiences in which his associates were blind-folded. Once they experienced what “visually impaired” truly meant, they started to utilize different ways of communicating to complete the task at hand. They also started to recognize how their CEO had to work differently to get things done. They had more empathy for him. End result, they became more aware of how they could increase their communication with him by being more responsible to their side of the dialogue.
I’m now working on a team with a deaf woman, and it has been a most incredible learning experience for me. I’ve learned to adjust my own communication style, to apply different techniques in an effort to respect the wonderful diversity she brings to the group.
- I have realized our ‘communication loop’ reflective listening competence; in which the receiver of the communication re-phases what they heard from the sender, is as effective when she re-types as when we re-phase,
- I have learned how ‘instant chat’ can trump email for effective communication,
- I have learned to write more in my blog posts as opposed to simply uploading a video,
The most important thing I’ve learned is that I have to be responsible for my part of the communication, for my part in this relationship. So I’ve started to learn expressions in sign language. Even though I am not great, not perfect, she can still understand when I say, “Good morning, how are you?” She can understand when I say, “Can you repeat, I don’t understand.” She starts to be able to communicate with me because I am working to improve my side of the dialogue. As a manager, leader and co-worker I have to draw people out and help them understand the message I’m delivering.
For me, diversity just means we are different. We’re different because we have limitations. We’re different because we have strengths. We’re different because we come from different places and we have been brought up with different norms.
It takes self-awareness and initiative to recognize these kinds of communication challenges and courage to make them opportunities. When you consider the diversity in your teams, can you see opportunities to improve the way you communicate? Can you take more ownership of your side of the dialogue and become more effective in the process?
August 27th, 2009
One of my absolute favourite books is The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. In it, they cite a study in which a group of women committed to do a breast self-exam for 30 days.
One group of women said where and when they were going to do the exam, and 100% of those women actually did it. Among those who didn’t say where and when, only 53% completed it.
We can apply this same concept to daily planning & priority-setting. By defining “where and when,” you greatly improve your probability of success. You’ll be much more aware of what those priorities are, and it will be easier to manage your time, eliminate non-urgent activities, and create the momentum you need.
If you and your team are trying to gain more control of your time, here are three steps to stay on track throughout the day.
- Plan (7 minutes): Each morning, decide your top 2 “must do’s” today and write them down
- Realign (60 seconds each hour): Set an alarm to ring every hour and ask yourself, “Did I spend my last 60 minutes on my priority?” If “yes,” congratulate yourself and keep on it. If “no,” refocus.
- Reflect (3 minutes at the end of the day): Evaluate your performance. What did you do well? What happened to distract you? And how can you improve tomorrow?
Remember, if you avoid setting priorities, your time will eroded away. The key is focus, and writing down your priorities can make a tremendous difference.