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.
The proliferation of flexible work continues. Whether the flexibility is related to hours (such as flexi-time, compressed weeks, or part-time work) or workstyles (telecommuting, flexible workspaces, or job sharing), it is something that more employees want. Flexible working arrangements are viewed as attractive because they represent freedom – to be productive, stay motivated, and save time.
All of which also benefits employers, but not every organization has come around to appreciating the advantages. Ironically, if your organization isn’t open to the idea of flexible work, you are putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to recruiting, hiring and keeping the best and the brightest. Which means it’s worth your while to at least explore the possibility. In my latest column in The Globe and Mail, I offer five must-dos to help you make flexible working a reasonable alternative in your organization.
If you get the print edition of The Globe, you’ll find today’s column on page B12.
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/2RjIGoI
So I’d love to hear about your experiences with flexible working. Is it an option that is offered in your organization? Is it working well? What are some of the challenges? What do your employees think about it? Please add your thoughts below.
For years, nay decades, there’s been talk of work-life balance – that delicate equilibrium between the time you spend at work and that which you dedicate to family, social and leisure activities, and personal interests. In fact, I too have often penned posts (such as this one) that seek to achieve just that. But work-life balance is a myth, a non-achievable nirvana that few (if any) have realized. So it’s long past the time to let this obsolete idea go. Instead, it’s time to embrace work-life blend.
In my latest column in The Globe and Mail, I explain how the word “balance” implies that a negative – work – needs to be offset by a positive – life. But there shouldn’t be anything negative about earning a living. Work-life blend acknowledges that trying to isolate work from life is not only impossible, but also places immense amounts of anxiety and tension on those trying to do so.
Shifting to work-life blend doesn’t happen overnight
So what will it take to reposition from balance to blend? That’s exactly what I address in this column which published in yesterday’s print edition of The Globe. If you get the print version, you would have seen it on page B10.
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/2zIvkMH
So I’ve already heard from several readers on The Globe‘s site who are not impressed with my point of view. They believe that my suggestion of work-life blend is just another way to further reduce “life” time. But I’d love to hear what you think as well. Do you agree or disagree with my perspective? Please add your thoughts below.
On January 1 this year, my regular column in The Globe and Mail outlined my assessment of the five employee-related trends that were going to gain the greatest momentum in 2018. Number three was the influx of Generation Z into the workplace. As I predicted, this topic continues to be of huge interest to leaders everywhere, so my latest column for The Globe addresses this very subject.
Generation Z are not just millennials magnified!
Generation Z started turning 23 this year, which means that increasing numbers of them are working in more than just fast food and retail. Just as millennials changed the face of work, so will these young entrants to the workforce. Despite there being similarities between Gen Zers and millennials, there are more differences than not. Don’t make assumptions about who they are, what motivates them, and how they operate to get things done. Above all, don’t presume that they are just millennials magnified.
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/2Px2a8w
So I’d love to hear about your experiences with Generation Z, either because you’re working with them, or because you are one! Are the five differences that I have outlined what you know and see to be true as well? Please comment below.
As the last of the Boomers move through their 50’s and beyond, those who elect to take early retirement often take decades of tacit knowledge with them. This boomer brain drain – the loss of undocumented, intuitive experiential information about people, business processes and informal procedures can leave huge gaps in an organization’s cumulative intelligence.
The boomer brain drain can cripple your company
This corporate amnesia can cripple a company, so if you’re a leader, it’s up to you to actively identify and work to mitigate this possibility. And the time to do it is now, well in advance, and not just in the months and weeks before a key employee is due to leave. In my latest column for The Globe and Mail, I offer five strategies to brace for the boomer brain drain, and retain crucial institutional knowledge.
Is it possible for a small young company to outperform an industry titan, for David to beat Goliath? Yes. Just ask Uber, Netflix and AirBnB. Upstart Uber became one of the world’s largest taxi companies without owning a single taxi. Netflix revolutionized the video market, essentially putting Blockbuster out of business. AirBnB has become an accommodation provider to be reckoned with, without acquiring a single piece of real estate. It’s called disruptive innovation. And many a senior leader across North America loses sleep over whether it could happen to their company, and perhaps more importantly, how they could prevent it.
Disruptive innovation is often overlooked
Historically, established corporate leaders don’t often see disruptive change as a hazard, usually because it starts when their own company’s profitability is robust and the competitive impact is minimal. However, by the time the threat is conspicuous, the disruptive force has already gained so much traction that any efforts to reverse the tide are futile. So what is really needed is an advance warning system. Which is exactly what I cover in my latest column for The Globe and Mail, out this morning!
In this column, I identify three specific actions leaders can take to assess whether their company and industry will come under attack, well before the threat becomes a reality; three things you can do to ensure that you don’t become collateral damage when your market niche is disrupted.
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/2KFP2zO
So I’d love to hear your experiences and perspectives on disruptive innovation. What have you observed in your industry? What have you seen that leaders have done really well, or missed completely? Please share by commenting below.
When was the last time you washed a rental car? Probably never. And the reason is simple. Because you don’t own it. This simple reality offers a compelling insight into what it takes, really takes, to create engaged employees.
Four things you can do with immediate impact
In my latest column for this morning’s The Globe and Mail, I lay out four specific things you can do as a leader to create a level of interest and ownership that would not only get your employees to wash the cars, but also check the oil, and rotate the tires. Interestingly enough, none of the four are high-level strategic engagement initiatives developed by senior management at the annual planning retreat, or policies developed by a small army of bureaucrats in a backroom somewhere.
I make the point in today’s column that engaged employees occur at an individual level, person by person, and as a direct result of the one-on-one relationship each of your staff has with their immediate and direct supervisor. Which means that if you’re a manager, supervisor, team leader, or any other title that has direct responsibility for people, then your behaviour and actions will unequivocally determine how engaged each of your employees are. This is a weighty responsibility, one that I believe no leader should ever take lightly.
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/2l3vEOc
But as always, I’d like to hear what you think. What have been your experiences? Do the four specific actions I list in this column resonate with you. Please share your thoughts by commenting below.
#$&*&@# happens! Well-laid plans don’t always turn out exactly the way you’d anticipated. A sale that was one signature away from being finalized falls apart at the last minute. One missed detail takes a project down the wrong path and it then costs a significant amount to bring it back on track. The leadership journey is fraught with unexpected challenges and unknown landmines, and sometimes even the smallest misstep by a leader can result in financial and reputational loss. The reality is that despite your best efforts, mistakes happen.
It’s how you respond
to the mistakes that will matter
Some mistakes will be small, ones that you can simply shrug off as minor bumps in the road. But others will be large, ones that affect major company objectives, directly impact profitability, or put important relationships in jeopardy. It’s how you respond to these large slip-ups that will determine whether you’re a leader or a manager. In my column in today’s The Globe and Mail, I lay out the three essential actions that separate the leaders from the managers, the three steps you have to take in order to successfully move past these blunders.
All decisions carry risk and therefore come with potential obstacles that can sometimes derail progress. But when bad stuff happens, what do you think separates the leaders from the managers? I’ve given you the three necessary actions from my perspective, but I’d love to hear about your experiences and points of view. Please share your thoughts by commenting below.
Customer satisfaction and customer service has been on my mind lately, primarily because I have experienced two situations first-hand recently in which two banks just didn’t get it! Last November, I had an unfortunate interaction with ScotiaBank, and just earlier this month I blogged about how an employee at the Royal Bank couldn’t grasp the big picture. Which got me musing about how customer service has changed significantly in just the last forty years, making it a moving target for those who aspire to exceptional levels. When it came time to pen my regular column for The Globe and Mail, I guess it’s not very surprising then that I ended up writing about customer service. My column in this morning’s edition challenges you to envision three progressive possibilities that will ensure that your organization is at a significant competitive advantage. You can read it here:
Customer service has undergone at least two significant revolutions in the last forty years. First with the invention of the 1-800 toll-free number, and then with the pervasive use of email. Despite the significance of each of these two innovations, the underlying premise in customer service has always been to fix an issue identified by the buyer. But it is 2018, so it is time to finally change that paradigm! It’s time to fix the problem before your customer tells you about it. The technology to power this transformation exists; it is called artificial intelligence, or AI. And many companies have already harnessed its potential.
So, are you keeping up? Or are you the company that makes your customers wait for hours on the phone for an issue to be resolved, or days for a response to an email query? I would love to hear your perspectives on which organizations are ahead of the curve, and which are seriously far behind. Please share your thoughts by commenting below.
I’ve blogged previously about the differences between management and leadership, most notably the Amazon situation I wrote about a couple of years ago, not just on the blog, but also in a piece for The Globe and Mail. The reality is that almost all leaders go through stressful periods when they struggle with being a leader vs a manager; when it’s simpler (and perhaps critical) to concentrate on tasks rather than to invest in the building and nurturing of high-performing employees. The irony is that such a situation usually spirals downwards – employees get frustrated and make errors, patience dwindles and tempers fray, team members become less engaged, and the leader feels trapped and exasperated.
What are the clues a leader should watch for?
Unfortunately, the only way out of this deteriorating pattern is for a leader to recognize the signs and act decisively to break the cycle. But how is one to know what to watch for? Well, that’s exactly what I address in my latest column in The Globe and Mail which published this morning on page B11 of their print edition. In it, I offer five things to watch for, each one a clue that you are sliding backwards from people-oriented leadership to task-oriented management. You can read the online version here:
So … are you guilty? In times of crisis, it’s easy to focus on getting things done (management) and lose sight of getting remarkable things done through people (leadership). What do you do to avoid falling into this trap? I would love to hear about your experiences. The Globe has temporarily turned off commenting on articles on their website while they resolve some technology issues, so you can’t comment directly there. But share your thoughts right here on the blog. Please add your perspectives below.
Sometimes, The Globe puts my columns behind their paywall. If that happens and you are unable to access the article directly through the link above, we have archived a pdf version at this link: