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Employee Engagement

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
The culture of your company matters. In order to have a vibrant culture refers there needs to be shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs. This culture is routed in company vision, values, and goals. These are the company’s success drivers. They are most important when hiring a new employee. You make a big mistake when you select people based primarily on experience while ignoring the cultural fit. I work largely with privately held and family held businesses. But in that arena I have worked with many industries ranging from real estate, construction, retail, service and hospitality, nonprofit, and manufacturing. I have made the same observation in all of these industries. Those running the business believe that their industry is different from others, so unique that the primary requirement is experience. Because of that mindset I have seen many bad candidates hired and many qualified candidates screened out. The hiring manager is...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
Exercising strong control rarely leads to better performance. In fact the opposite is true. Micro managing will actually create poor performance because it stifles development of the team. Without an empowered team you as the manager will end up doing everything yourself. Of course, as sole entrepreneur will need to control everything. But once you decide to add just one new employee your main job is not control but getting others to do what needs to be done. Now being in control will be seen as being a control freak in the eyes of your staff. This behavior also known as micro managing will actually demotivate your team and guarantee that you will do everything yourself because no one does it as well as you do. Or so it seems. Why is this problematic? Let me ask another question. Why did you hire another person to begin with? The answer is...

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Many companies do not understand why their turnover is so high. Some think that it is all about money and benefits. But unless you pay below standard it is not about money. Sure, an employee will tell you that he or she left for a better opportunity. You might, therefore, assume that it had to do with money but don’t be fooled. There is much more going on than just money. You cannot treat employees as commodities assuming that they will come to work just because they are getting paid. Some vendors of perks may even tell you that if you offer special perks then your retention will be better. You would need a very large amount of those perks to try to buy loyalty. And what would you gain in loyalty or performance? You might even entice poor performers to stay when you would be better off with retaining only...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
The reason that a group of employees is not achieving desired outcomes is usually traced back to the leadership. That’s right. If all of the students fail the exam might the fault be with the teaching? Like students you and your staff may not be on the same page. While that is personally frustrating how much money is that costing you? You can change that. Here’s how. Become a focused leader who empowers engaged employees who in turn create loyal customers leading to growth and success. Let’s start with the focused leader. You may have the title of manager but that does not mean you are seen as the leader. As managers we can influence the process through which people recognize our leadership by creating an environment where people will join “the team” because they see the purpose of what they are supposed to do and understand the vision, the “big...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
Can you really get employees from different generations work together? Yes you can bridge the workplace generation gap.  As I work with client organizations I constantly hear voices of frustration. It could involve a catering manager who says “The kids today don’t want to work. I can’t get any good help.” It might be a manager of a team of professionals complaining about the unwillingness of the younger members to work endless hours. Or it can be frustration from an employee who feels he or she can’t compete with the new workers and the new technology. Really, this is nothing new. In fact it goes back to ancient Greece when Aristotle said, “The young people would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning.” Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. They were associated with many of the social...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
How many people really work at your company? Is it only about one third? Did you know that is exactly what the Gallup organization learned? If that is true in your organization this is why you should be concerned. Employee engagement is directly responsible for your company’s sales and profits. Disengaged employees will result in lost customers. The best measure of success is a growing flow of loyal customers. I recently did a similar engagement survey called D.I.AL.O.G. for an organization. This organization provides onsite catering and event services. Their requirements for success are a providing good service, great food, consistency, and a great guest experience. The owners appear to be frustrated. They were struggling to get more business but having a hard time providing good service to existing customers. Here is why. For starters, the owners disagreed on the operation of the business. Because of this, some key employees chose...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
You want the truth? “You can’t handle the truth!” This well-known line was uttered by Jack Nicholson in the move, A Few Good Men. Do you think there might be some truth in that statement? That appears to be the case in many organizations. It is just not comfortable to ask too many questions. It is easier for companies with retention problems, for example, to focus on compensation issues. But, according to Gallup around 30% of employees are engaged at work. That means that 70% are not engaged in their jobs at your company. Recently Gallup released a new survey on employee engagement. When I read the commentary I could see that engagement is not static information but depends on company, employees, and time. We can’t use a cookie cutter approach. We can’t make universal supposition of what engages people. Instead, we need to understand the diversity of our workforce which...
Tagged in: Employee Engagement

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
Great employee engagement produces successful business outcomes including a loyal customer base. And this leads to increasing sales and profits. The reverse is also true. Employees who are not engaged have no passion for their work, are frequently absent, make mistakes, and cost the organization its customers. Understanding what engages employees involves connecting with them. We can’t make a universal supposition of what engages people. Instead, we need to understand the diversity of our workforce which includes gender, culture and the different generations. Many companies with retention problems tend to focus on the compensation issues. Compensation is definitely important. However, it loses its importance as an employee moves up the career ladder. It certainly is important for a business to understand the competitive wage levels for the positions in its business. However, business is making a mistake by paying extra money to buy loyalty. Let’s consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In...
Tagged in: Employee Engagement

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
It has been proven time and time again that a manager who empowers his or her staff by giving them authority to make decisions and control outcomes is many times more successful than a manager who holds the control. Management teams in Westchester County NY that have been following this advice have been seeing their sales increase and their employee turnover decrease. Clearly empowerment of staff creates better outcomes. Unfortunately, managers and executives find it very hard to let go and allow their staff to drive results. In some cases the need to be right prevents the manager from trusting his or her employees. If this fear of not being right is stopping you from letting go then you might want to ask yourself these two questions. First of all, have you provided your staff with all of the tools they need to succeed?   And secondly, have you clearly communicated the...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
If you exercise too much control you could hurt your business. If you are a sole entrepreneur you need to control everything. Once you decide to grow being a control freak will hold you back. A business is started by an owner with a vision to create a great product or service. The owner has to spend a lot of time working in the business to make sure that the product or service gets out, the money gets collected, and the bills get paid. That is very important for business survival. The owner works hard IN the business. He has to attend to every detail and if he forgets one thing it could be a disaster. The business owner spends most of his or her time working IN the business and virtually no time working ON the business. Why is this problematic? When the owner starts the business he or she...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
Westchester employers need to get and maintain peak performance from their employees.  In order to compete employers need the best and most productive employees. But there is a catch. You can’t just hire them. You then need to develop your employees so that they can produce better results. Your employees really want opportunities to grow and develop. If you have looked you know that there is so much out there written about performance reviews. Many of these writings focus on procedure. I am presenting here a much more practical bottom line approach but one that uses solid human relations skills. Most organizations do annual performance appraisals and most human resource professionals are charged with developing a performance appraisal system. This process alone is one of the most universally disliked systems. The reason is that most appraisal systems do not focus enough on two very important areas—Employee Development and Results. We should...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
I have been working with a local business owner in White Plains, NY. He claims that his employees lack initiative. “Unless I tell them what to do nothing gets done. I can’t trust them to do it themselves.” I asked the owner to give me an example.   “Well,” he said, “I have given them detailed directions of exactly what I want done and they don’t do it the way I told them.” “Wait a minute,” I said, “Didn’t you just say that you wanted them to take ownership?” I think we have a conflict here because the owner wants one thing but tells his employees something else. If you want employees to take ownership you must empower them to make decisions as to the best way to get things done. If this is a source of frustration to you, here are two questions that you need to ask yourself. First of...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
A business owner recently said, “I think I have a great opportunity and I pay well but I still have people leaving my company. How can I stop them from leaving? The answer to this question is important. Get it wrong and you will continue to tread water always trying to catch up. Get it right and you have one very important component for taking your business to the next level. If you manage a team of people, or are charged with human resources in your organization you know how important it is to retain your best people. So why do so many employee leave, or worse, why do they stay and become a drag on the organization? Here is a sobering fact. Employees do not leave companies, they leave supervisors. Many supervisors believe that if only the pay and fringe benefits were better their best employees would stay. I would...

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Posted by on in Employee Engagement
Would you agree that having an engaged and motivated workforce is good for your business? If you answered yes I would ask you what you are doing to engage your staff and get more success for everyone. Let’s face it; people do business with people that they trust. In addition, employees want to work for people that they trust. Engaged employees will create more success and lead to more loyal customers. Diversity and Inclusion is really all about engaging employees and customers for more success. In a previous blog BRIDGING THE GENERATION GAP BY MANAGING DIFFERENCES I addressed generational differences which is one subset of diversity and inclusion. Why do you and your company want to embrace diversity? Most would answer that would do it because it is right. But here is an ROI. You will get more business and more customers. Gaining loyal customers and engaged employees is built on...

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  • Darlene R
    Darlene R says
    Women in leadership roles In terms of diversity, according to a new study by the Colorado Women’s College at the University o...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
Recently Gallup released a new survey on employee engagement. When I read the commentary I could see that employee engagement is not static information but depends on company, employees, and time. We can’t use a cookie cutter approach. We can’t make universal supposition of what engages people. Instead, we need to understand the diversity of our workforce which includes gender, culture and the different generations. Engagement factors have changed. Many companies with retention problems tend to focus on the compensation issues. Compensation is definitely important. However, it loses its importance as an employee moves up the career ladder. It certainly is important for a business to understand the competitive wage levels for the positions in their business. However, business is making a mistake by paying extra money to buy loyalty. Let’s consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In that context we would consider money to be a basic hygiene factor, especially with...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
Have you heard a comment like this from Baby Boomers? “Can we get back to work now? These kids will either get with the program or they will leave. They always do” What about a comment like this from one of your newer employees? “I don’t get it! My managers are barely technologically literate yet they’re never open to suggestions on how to improve a process with technology. What’s up with this attitude?” If you are managing your department or your company you have been confronted with these problems. The first point you need to know is that you are not likely to change the attitude or the “work ethic” of the other generation. In the workplace as in any context attitudes and work ethic are relative. They depend upon what shaped those things when that generation was growing up. We are all products of our past shaped by current events...
Tagged in: Employee Engagement

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
I remember working with a CEO, who when asked the question how many people work here would reply, “Oh about half.” Although that may be a funny wise crack comment, on a serious note the Gallup organization reports that it is only one third. Should you be concerned? The best way to illustrate the cost employee disengagement is with this story. I recently did a similar survey for an organization. This organization provides onsite catering and event services. Their requirements for success are a providing good service, great food, consistency, and a great guest experience. The owner and his son were physically worn out. They were struggling to get more business but having a hard time providing good service to existing customers. Here is why. For starters, father and son disagreed on the operation of the business. Because of this, some key employees chose to align with one family member over...

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