Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ease the Stress of Change

The key to improve employee morale and loyalty - two attitudes crucial to productivity and business success - is communication. And communication is never more important than in times of change.

Results of a recent survey conducted by staffing specialist Randstad North America suggest the following tips for improving communication during workplace transitions:

  • Let employees know about any decisions that affect their jobs - immediately. In uncertain times, don't sit on information - good or bad. 7 out of 10 employees say they want to receive information during times of change.
  • Keep it simple. Employees want clear and easy to understand information about what's happening. Clarity is crucial. During periods of change, half of employees say that things at work seem disorganized. Cut through the confusion and give staffers a straight forward weekly breifing. That means no hiding behind jargon or double-talk.
  • Tell the Whole Truth. You can't hold back information in the hopes that employees will be in a better mood to accept bad news later on. They'll resent not hearing the whole story at one time.
  • Provide a Road Map. Employees want to hear where you think the company is headed. While 83% of employers say they give workers that kind of information, only 68% of employees report receiving it.
  • Gather Feedback from Your People. Employees want to be heard. When companies implement employees' suggestions, 78% of employees say morale is excellent or good.
- Adapted from "10 Tips to Improve Employee Communication" - Auerbach

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Work-Life Balance is Personal Management

Leadership is managing yourself; it's not just managing people. Leadership is also being more productive by making personal management a priority, and time management is often defined as this, personal management. How you manage your time can help define your status relative to Work-Life balance.

Work-Life Balance is a combination of goal-orientation and time management. The first thing that anyone has to do is to prioritize the importance of what is most important in the two key areas: work and life. What is important to you?

If something is important to you, then schedule that activity or event that relates to that happiness, work or life activities. All I hear in conversations with busy business persons that they all wish they had the time to do what they really wanted to do. They can’t seem to find time for themselves. I respond every time with, “Well, are you scheduling time with yourself for yourself?” The answer is usually a big "No."

Work-Life Balance is such a vague term. Work-Life balance is individualistic in nature and can vary over time. What success in this area means to one person does not always compare to another. Success is most commonly associated with the term happiness so I would like to say that real Work-Life Balance brings joy and happiness to those who achieve that state of mind. Most people find that Work-Life balance is designed to provide a stress-free environment or at least reduce stress. Your success should only be benchmarked to what you want happiness from, more family time, more lead generation, etc. Leadership is finding the “slight edge” to become more effective.

Most people today are so impressed with their “Busy Bee” approach that making others think they are busy is their major goal. Your goal should be to improve effectiveness as opposed to improving efficiency. Doing the things right is different that getting the desired results. Scheduling time with yourself and leaving time for the unforeseen are two practices that can make your more effective in terms of Work-Life Balance.

Personal Management is your responsibility. It takes a willingness to change and a commitment to follow a planning and administration system that is goal-oriented so you can measure your results. As Peter Drucker once said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. That certainly goes for the personal management process and other leadership competencies as well.