Merge's Blog

Monthly Archives: September 2014

Leading overwhelmed employees online event – early bird deadline on October 1

Businesswoman With Stack Of DocumentOur latest online event – Leading Employees Who Are Stretched to the Limit – is coming up quickly.  In fact, the early bird deadline to register is almost here – only two more days to take advantage of significant savings – just until Wednesday October 1.

If your employees are overloaded and overwhelmed, then you have a responsibility to find ways to reduce the stress and alleviate the pressure for your team.  If you don’t things are going to deteriorate rapidly.  Left unchecked, your overworked, unhappy and overwhelmed employees will become inefficient and unproductive. And eventually, poor morale is the inevitable result.  If you’re a leader, then your staff are counting on you to help them cope AND keep performance and productivity high.  On October 8, I’ll be leading a live online event “Leading Employees Who Are Stretched to the Limit” and I hope you’ll join me.  In one fast-paced content-rich hour, I’ll give you the tools you need to help your overextended employees meet their goals AND reduce their stress. In one jam-packed online learning event, you’ll discover numerous concrete practical actions you can take, both now and in the long-term, to keep your employees satisfied and productive, even when things are stressful. You can support and guide your “stretched to the limit” employees; you just need to know how!

Click here to register now

Here’s just some of what you’ll learn: Continue reading

To motivate employees, offer them choices

ForkInRoadI’ve blogged many times in the past about zero- and low-cost ways to motivate employees (just in July I covered Have a career discussion and Let them telecommute).  Today’s topic – offer them choices – costs nothing, but creates a sense of power in your people.  And workplace research has unequivocally proven that when employees feel more powerful, performance, productivity and job satisfaction all increase as well.

Offering choices leads to greater autonomy – and the choices don’t have to be earth-shattering either.  Continue reading

Are you easy to work with? – a lesson in client responsiveness

Frustrated business man waiting on the phone in a hotline queueBack in 2009, I blogged about how lack of client responsiveness led to a difficult experience trying to make an online purchase from the U.S. arm of the mega-company Costco.  Essentially, the company (at least back then, hopefully not now) was driven by its systems rather than the needs of its customers.  I was once again reminded of that situation with two recent experiences which gave rise to the topic of today’s blog … which is a question – Are you easy to work with?  And I don’t necessarily mean just as an individual, but also as a department, a division, or even a company?  As a leader, you have an area and scope of responsibility and my question relates to that as well – do your clients, customers, co-workers find you easy to work with?

Here are the two experiences that got me thinking about this question.  The first happened to a professional colleague who wanted to hire a service provider, but had to jump through hoops to even talk to this person.  Continue reading

Leading overworked employees – live online event on October 8

Overworked office employeeAre your employees overloaded and overwhelmed? In talking to clients in just about every industry, it seems that everyone wants greater productivity and improved responsiveness, but as workloads escalate, time and resources don’t seem to increase at the same rate!  Yet everyone seems to expect more … for less!  Having said all that, it really doesn’t matter how or why it happens, as a leader, you have a responsibility to find ways to reduce the stress and alleviate the pressure for your team; otherwise you’re going to find yourself in a world of trouble!  Because if you don’t, your overworked and unhappy employees will become inefficient and unproductive. And left unaddressed, poor morale will inevitably result.  Bottom line: your staff are counting on you to help them cope AND keep performance and productivity high.

On October 8, I’ll be leading a live online event “Leading Employees Who Are Stretched to the Limit” and I hope you’ll join me.  In one fast-paced content-rich hour, I’ll give you the tools you need to help your overextended and overworked employees meet their goals AND reduce their stress. In one jam-packed online learning event, you’ll discover numerous concrete practical actions you can take, both now and in the long-term, to keep your employees satisfied and productive, even when things are stressful. You can support and guide your “stretched to the limit” employees; you just need to know how!

Click here to register now

What are you waiting for? Sign up now, your team will thank you!  And if you act by October 1, you can take advantage of early bird savings.  Here’s just some of what you’ll learn: Continue reading

And our leadership survey winners are … (drumroll please)

On September 2, I shared the results of our 2014 Leadership survey.  Hundreds of you participated in the survey, and we appreciate you greatly!  While most of our responses were from Canada and the United States, we actually had 11 different countries represented in this survey.  Leadership truly is a universal issue!

WinnerI had promised that I would give away ten copies of my new book Generations Exposed: Unexpected insights into the people you work with, randomly drawn from all those who took the time to share their thoughts, and I am now delighted to announce our winners.  Here they are in no particular order. Continue reading

Motivating workers near retirement – 1310 News Radio Ottawa interview

Last month, I posted a link to my latest column in The Globe & Mail‘s Leadership Lab series.  “How to inspire the close-to-retirement employee” got so much attention that it went on to publish in the print edition of The Globe‘s Report on Business on August 29.  1310NewsThis subject of workers near retirement struck a chord with leaders (and employees) across the country, and Ed Hand from 1310 News Radio Ottawa invited me to be his guest on his popular talk show Talk to the Hand.  Here is a link to an archived version of my conversation with him.  There is some advertising at the front end (just a few seconds) but the interview follows right after.  If you’ve got workers near retirement on your team (or if you ARE an employee that is close-to-retirement) then I think you’ll get value from this. Continue reading

A mental approach to coping with irritants

PearlOysterOur work lives are filled with irritants – demanding or difficult people, unreasonable deadlines, overwhelming workloads – and it’s exactly these moments when we have to reach deep within ourselves to find ways to cope with these aggravations.  At times like these, it’s worth thinking about how a pearl is formed.

A pearl begins life as an irritant that lodges inside an oyster’s shell.  This foreign object – whether a parasite, a small grain of grit, or something else – gets caught in the oyster’s soft inner body, and to ease the irritation and frustration, the oyster begins to take defensive action.  It secretes a smooth, hard nacre around the foreign object in order to protect itself and reduce the irritation.  Continue reading

Build workplace trust by doing the right thing, even when no one is looking

Lea_BrovedaniRegular readers of the blog know that I often talk about the importance of building workplace trust.  In fact, I last blogged on this subject when I posed the question: How can you build trust in the workplace? (and offered four ideas).  Today I am very fortunate to have Lea Brovedani guesting on the blog.  Not only is she a professional colleague and my friend, but she is also an expert in trust and emotional intelligence!  Her focus is on helping people in organizations implement trust strategies so they can build teams that are trusted by those inside and outside their organizations.  Today she tells us about the 5 C’s of trust.

Consciously and deliberately building trust is important.  Think of it as “show and tell” for grownups but with much bigger consequences than a grade on an elementary school report card. The evaluation you get can affect whether or not people are willing to follow you and how well you succeed in your career.  People will hear what you say but they are watching what you do to make sure the two line up. When it comes to trust, they want you to show them through your actions and behaviours before you tell them to trust you. Continue reading

The results of our 2014 Leadership Topics survey are in!

PollBoxAs most of you know, we’ve been soliciting your input for the topics we should cover in our upcoming Leadership Skills Series of online events.  And hundreds of you participated in our short 5-minute survey (thank you!) which has been running since the end of July.  We finally closed the survey last week, and as promised, here are the preliminary results.  The question was how useful and relevant you would find training courses on specific subjects that we identified, and the top four responses in terms of VERY (I need this now) and SOMEWHAT (likely worth my time) were:

  • Leading Employees Who Are Stretched to the Limit – 86% said VERY and SOMEWHAT!
  • Age Matters – Leading a multi-generational work team – 77%
  • Growing Today’s High-Potential Into Tomorrow’s Leaders – 77%
  • Make Yourself Workplace-relevant – today and tomorrow – 77%

Not surprisingly, our next Leadership Skills series online event will be on Leading Employees Who Are Stretched to the Limit, and it’s tentatively scheduled for Wednesday October 8.  More on that later once we’ve finalized the details.

As promised, we are giving away ten copies of my new book Generations Exposed: Unexpected insights into the people you work with, randomly drawn from all those who participated in the survey, and those winners will be announced next week right here on the blog.  So stay tuned!