Sometimes, managers deliberately and consciously take actions that while logical, create situations that are non-productive and hugely demotivating. Unfortunately, this is more usual than not. In fact, this was the very topic of a one of my regular The Globe & Mail columns back in November 2014 titled Why do smart managers do stupid things?
I continue to see examples of this dysfunctional behaviour repeatedly in my leadership development practice. Last week I had a very positive conversation with a group of leaders in one of my client organizations, but it reminded me of this very negative situation that I came across (and blogged about) back in 2016. In fact, it stirred up such dialogue in this group that I felt it was worth bringing up in the blog again.
I got a call from an employee at a large client company, very upset because his manager had blocked his internal transfer. This organization has an online internal job bulletin board that permits employees to apply for internal jobs within the company. This particular employee had, with his manager’s knowledge, applied for a job in another department. Since he has been in his current role for over three years, he was seeking different challenges and new learning opportunities. The interview process went well and he was optimistic about getting this new assignment. Imagine his surprise to learn that he did not get the job because his manager had blocked the transfer. Turns out that there had been some other recent unexpected personnel changes in the department, and his manager felt that his move would be too much change, too fast. Continue reading
All year, I’ve been giving you video tips on explicit actions leaders can take to motivate their people and build employee commitment for the long haul. Last week, I went back to basics with “Provide a workplace that is free from bullying and harassment”. Today, #33, happens to be our final strategy in this continuing series, so it seems only appropriate that it should be about a celebration. Specifically, today’s motivating tip is to plan periodic office parties. Let me explain further.
Plan periodic office parties
Your goal should be to maximize attendance for motivation value, so consider holding your office party during office hours, ideally over the lunch hour. Plan to have them once a quarter, or even monthly. Encourage employees to get involved in the planning; in fact, go as far as appointing each of your employees to one of the quarterly or monthly “planning committees” so that over the year each of your people are involved in one event. Continue reading
Absolutely fundamental to gaining employee commitment: a workplace that is free of bullying and harassment
So far, in our ongoing series on specific actions leaders can take to gain employee commitment, I’ve shared a variety of ideas that range from basic to the unexpected. Today’s strategy however falls under “absolutely fundamental”. It is to provide a workplace that is free from bullying and harassment. Not fancy or exotic, but unequivocally essential. And when you do it right, the result is solid employee commitment!
Provide a workplace that is free from bullying and harassment
All employees have the right to be in a safe workplace that is free from violence, harassment and bullying. Not only is it the right thing to do from an ethical perspective, but it is also required by law. And it’s your job as a leader to make it so. Continue reading
Employee retention is an issue that should be top of mind for leaders everywhere. Sure, depending on your industry or market sector, employee turnover may be a fact of life, but have you ever noticed that when employees leave, it’s never the lousy ones that jump ship? The unfortunate reality is that the ones who are most likely to leave are the ones that are in greatest demand elsewhere. And of course, those are usually your best and your brightest, the ones that you really want to keep!
What are you doing?
So what are you doing for employee retention? What actions are you taking to ensure that your top employees want to stay in your organization? What are you doing to engage them so that your company is their employer of choice? If the answer is “nothing”, then you’re putting yourself at a serious competitive advantage. Because you can bet that those who are departing are going right over to organizations who have taken concrete steps to entice and engage them. In my latest column for The Globe and Mail, published this morning, I lay out five proven ideas to stop your finest from fleeing to what they see as greener pastures.
If you get the print version of The Globe, you’ll find this article on page B13.
Note: if you are a subscriber to The Globe and Mail, you can also read the column directly at their website at this link: https://tgam.ca/2DYzp2F
So I’m well aware that this subject usually seems to get people riled up, primarily because of my assertion that the answer to employee retention and engagement is not “money”. But, as always, even if you don’t agree with me, I’m interested in your perspective and your experiences. So please share by adding your comments below.
In our last video episode in our ongoing series focusing on specific motivating actions leaders can take to secure employee commitment, I suggested that you let your employees telecommute, even occasionally. Today’s idea: offer each of your employees the opportunity to annually attend at least one training program or learning conference of their choice.
Let your people attend at least one training event (of their choice) annually
When you invest financial resources into your employees, what you’re really telling them is that you value them and want to set them up for success. No wonder then that this seemingly simple action invariably results in increased employee commitment. And when you let your employees choose which training or conference to attend, the motivating value goes up significantly.
Concerned about abuse? It can be managed
Now I’ve heard the objections to this … what if the employee selects training that is not ideal for their job? Or what if the employee chooses a conference that is at some exotic location that costs an arm and a leg in travel expenses? Continue reading
All year, I’ve been offering ideas in our ongoing series on specific things leaders can do to create highly motivated and engaged employees. Earlier this month, I talked about giving your employees positive opportunities to interact with your senior management. Today’s tip (which also happens to be #30 in this series): let your employees telecommute.
Let your employees telecommute
Let them work from home; not necessarily every day, but how about a few days a week, or even once a week? Heck, even once a month is hugely motivating. Even occasional telecommuting leads to highly engaged employees … because they view it as freedom – the independence to be productive, stay motivated and save time. Now I am well aware that there are certain jobs that don’t lend themselves to telecommuting – I mean can you imagine being a retail store clerk or a grocery store cashier from afar? But … the vast majority of jobs have at least some responsibilities that can be done from a distance. And in some cases, these tasks can be completed much more efficiently if they’re away from the daily distractions of the workplace.
With today’s technology, working from home is no longer as impossible as it might have once been. Continue reading
Extroversion versus introversion. Despite numerous studies and anecdotal situations that show otherwise, people still continue to assume that somehow extroverts are more successful in the workplace than introverts. As I have blogged about in the past, that is simply not true. Introvert power comes from tapping into what makes introverts different from extroverts, and not by taking on more extrovert traits. In fact, in the past I have blogged about how introverts lead, and how introverts network.
Which is why I was delighted when my professional colleague Dave Byrnes agreed to guest on the blog today. Dave is known as The Introverted Networker, and not surprisingly, he helps introverts use sales and networking to succeed in their business and careers. Today he writes about how leaders (extroverts or introverts) can help their introverted employees maximize their introvert power and productivity.
Convert Your Introverts for Greater Productivity
There has been a lot of press about the power of introverts and their differences from extroverts in recent times. While better understanding is great as a leader, you may be asking yourself how this affects the bottom line.
How can you turn these insights into increased productivity from your introverts and improve job satisfaction so they stick around longer? Continue reading
Today’s post on the blog continues with another specific idea on how to build a team of highly-motivated and engaged employees. Last week’s tip was to organize a team-building and learning day. And today’s strategy is to find opportunities to give your strong employees exposure to your senior management by assigning them to appropriate task forces and committees.
Give your people opportunities to show their strengths to senior management
Many of your employees aspire to bigger and better opportunities, so when you put them in situations where they can demonstrate their skills and talents to others who can also help them achieve their career goals, the result is highly engaged employees. This scenario is a win in many aspects. It’s a win because your employees’ professional networks are broadened, allowing them to “show their stuff” to other key influencers. It is a win for you because Continue reading
Last week, in our series on practical low- or zero-cost ways to create high-performing engaged employees, I suggested that you boost employee morale by letting them represent your organization at external events. Today’s tip: organize a team-building and learning day.
Organize a team-building and learning day
Teamwork and engaged employees go hand in hand. If your employees are engaged, they work together towards common team goals. And if employees feel like they’re part of a cohesive, strong and highly-productive team, then they are highly-engaged. Which makes any emphasis you place on learning and team-building a very powerful motivator. So organize a team-building and learning day.
Make sure to set it up so that there is both a learning component and a fun component. Ideally, Continue reading
All year, I’ve been video-blogging about specific actions leaders can take to build employee morale in their departments and their organizations. My last tip was to say thank you in writing. Today’s strategy goes in a different direction. It is to give your employees the opportunity to represent your organization at an industry event.
Let your employees represent your organization at an external event
This may not seem like a big deal, but this is one of those actions that has a surprisingly great return on investment. The reality is that in most organizations, the folks involved in direct revenue-producing activities are the ones who often are the outward face of an organization, and for that reason, are the ones most likely to attend industry association conferences, community fundraisers, networking events, and the like. Continue reading