Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Feedback - The Key to Employee Engagement

The real key to engagement, emotional intelligence, is understanding how to communicate according to the behavioral style of the person you are talking to. It is important that feedback becomes the mainstay of any communication within an organization. It is a two-way dialog that is the responsibility of both the manager and the employee to provide feedback in a timely manner that can support the company in this highly competitive world. Proper feedback can provide enhancements in policy and procedure, quality assurance, rapid responses to customer needs, and much more.

Here are a few guidelines for proper feedback:

Saturday, August 24, 2013

How to Motivate Employees in an Average Busy Day of a Manager

An average manager's day consists of meetings and conference calls with senior members and handling employee concerns on top of everyday responsibilities. Days running long and lunches quickly eaten, one of the most important tasks that a manager needs to focus on is motivating their team.

How do you accomplish this with so many other tasks to focus on? Two "simple" words. Employee Engagement. Stop telling employees what they have to do, and instead tell them why the company's success is dependent on them performing at their highest level. The following are a few steps to implement today for higher employee engagement:
  • Ask for Employee Input - Use surveys, or simply ask if they see something that they could do differently and more effectively in their every day tasks.
  • Recognize Employees - Do this on a normal basis, monthly or quarterly. This engages and encourages employees, even if their not the one recognized because it shows that there is a level of engagement from the company.
  • Promote and Plan for Individual Goals - Personal goals, with follow up, gives the company an overall productivity boost.

Our "Making of an Effective Manager Course", Voted the #1 Management Development Program by Entrepreneur Magazine, is just a vehicle that shows Managers how to engage employees and become more productive. (See Below for More Details) Your middle management delivers your desired outcome by implementing the business strategy and engaging the workforce by demonstrating their value to the designed outcome. Our Course provides a better understanding of the problem with the methods for providing solutions, and the need for demonstrating the appropriate behaviors to elevate the productivity and performance of your people and company

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Steps for a Successful Delegation Pipeline

Delegation takes planning. Delegation is the key ingredient to time management and allows the manager to concentrate on the important tasks, not just the urgent tasks. The use of a planning and administration system that allows you to track delegated assignments can improve performance and communication.
Below are 5 Steps to a Successful Delegation Pipeline

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

5 Things Managers and Leaders Must Do

Communication, forward thinking, prioritization, and other skills must be learned and applied in the workplace by managers if we can expect to improve employee engagement. Employees need a manager who is willing to provide an “open” communication platform that includes feedback in a timely fashion, candid discussion on performance and appropriate behavior, a willingness to clarify expectations and use metrics to measure results, and to include the employee in the awareness and planning stages for the company’s vision.
Here are 5 Tips that we believe makes a difference in your business if put into practice: 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

10 Steps to a Sucessful Talent Management and Development Process

There is no cookbook or guarantee for success in business but everyone wants a recipe. Leadership is the competency most needed in any recipe designed around achievement. Teamwork should be viewed no differently than we view organizational effectiveness. This effectiveness, without question, always comes back to the leader. The development of the leadership within any company should be the goal of every executive team.

Companies talk a good game about the need for leadership and people development, but when the water starts getting a little rough, they start treating their people as an expense and don’t hesitate to throw them overboard. Yet, the employee is listing their development and the opportunity to participate in training programs as their number one reason for selecting companies for employment.

10 Steps in Talent Management and Development Processes

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Make sure your managers know the law, and their people!

Read this article to see why....

Supreme Court Redefines Supervisor in Discrimination Case
In June, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that made it harder for workers to prove they had been a victim to employment discrimination. The first ruling narrows the definition of what classifies a supervisor, thus leaving plaintiffs with a different burden of proof. In Vance vs. Ball State University, Maetta Vance – an African American worker, accused her supervisor Saundra Davis –who is white and described as a catering specialist, of racial harassment claiming that Davis had glared at her, slammed pots and pans, and blocked her on an elevator. However, both sides agreed that Ms. Davis did not have the authority to hire or fire employees.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. rejected the EEOC’s definition of a supervisor and ruled that “being a supervisor should be limited to someone authorized to take ‘tangible employment actions’ like hiring, firing, promoting, demoting, or reassigning employees to significantly different responsibilities,” according to the New York Times. This ruling specifies that an employer could not be held liable in a co-worker to co-worker claim unless it can be proven that the employer failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent or correct any harassing behavior.

Employers should be aware of this ruling that clearly defines the difference between co-workers and supervisors. The employer’s liability is greatly increased if a supervisor is accused of employee harassment or discrimination. Therefore, companies should be aware of the EEOC and OFCCP compliance regulations that they are required to adhere to.

Innovative Leadership can help your company in various ways! Contact us to find out how

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Stress and Leadership

Stress is part of any job, and being in a position of leadership can add a certain level of constant pressure. Negative external stressors like the economy and even positive stressors like rapid growth can significantly add to the stress level in a leader’s life.  And while some level of stress is normal, too much stress can cause irritability, poor decision-making and even take a toll on your health.

During stressful times in an organization, a leader’s role becomes even more important.  Some leaders are naturally calm in the face of stress. Others may withdraw. Some exhibit extreme emotion.
Everyone has a different style of leadership, and each person reacts in a different way when faced with stress.  By examining our natural reaction to stress and how it manifests itself in our leadership style, we can equip ourselves with leadership qualities that are essential in stressful situations. This ability to adapt our leadership style to exemplify stability, control, and transparency will aid in successfully leading through stress.

Being able to manage through stress is so important in today’s workplace that leadership training organizations are beginning to build programs to help people learn to more effectively deal with stress in the work environment. Corporations are  developing employee wellness programs centered around both physical and emotional health.
Most experts agree that the best ways to deal with stress include:
  • First, identifying that you ARE under stress
  • Becoming better at planning and managing your time
  • Exercising, eating right, and getting enough sleep
  • Having a relaxation program that might include massage, meditation or reading
*What have you noticed about your own reaction to stress?
*How do others tend to react when you are dealing with a stressful situation?
*What tools or techniques have you found to be effective in managing stress?

Original post from

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Do you have trust in your company?

96% of engaged employees trust their leaders vs
46% of the disengaged employees trust their leaders

I was reading an article this past weekend where it refers to a Gallup poll that estimates that 71 percent of employees are not “engaged” on the job. This result tells me that employees have lost their motivation to give 100%. Disengaged employees believe that their time and energy is being wasted on others and they're working to fulfill the goals and dreams of others and not theirs.

It is no longer about the shareholder ROI but it is all about me, the employee. It is time for the employee to get motivated. Motivation is internal and we have to create a work environment that allows the employee to be motivated to take an action that will demonstrate his or her “all” and insure that the employer gets the ROI.
Employers and employees both have expectations, yet rarely are they on the same page.

Monday, June 3, 2013

10 Reasons Why Companies Should Invest More In Management Training

I’ll get straight to the point.  Why should companies invest more in management training?  Here are 10 simple reasons.
1) An employee’s relationship with his or her direct manager is the most important single factor in employee engagement.

2) Engaged employees are happier and more productive.  Disengaged employees are frustrated and more disruptive.

3) Because there’s no widely agreed-on skillset for management (good managers come in all shapes and sizes), there’s an assumption everyone knows how to do it.  This is akin to someone who’s never driven before being given keys to a car and told: “Drive.”  (Many many years ago, this is how I first learned to manage.  I blundered my way through it.  Trial and error.  It wasn’t pretty.)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What is a Leader's Primary Role?

When will the current leaders realize that their primary role and responsibility is to develop their people?  In other words,  developing the future leaders of the company should be the one skill set that carries the most weight with any performance evaluation.  For a People Development process to succeed, it must be totally supported by the Board of Directors and Senior Leadership Team.

The key to any succession planning process or high potential development tract is the fact that all involved have a complete understanding of the design for the outcome.  The goal should be a stable of future leaders that can assume a more advanced role if needed to do so tomorrow. With warmer weather around the corner a great example is Baseball Season starting; it is similar to creating all-star utility infielders.  Multi-positional players that have the talent to assume any position when needed.  That's the design of the final three positions on any major league team.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Everything DiSC Workplace Case Study

This case study focuses on two people from one company that used the Everything DiSC Workplace Profile and the companion Everything DiSC Comparison Report to make progress toward improving the quality of their workplace.. Jennie and Joe (names have been changed) worked closely together on the Marketing Team.    While pay and benefits were above average, their job satisfaction and relationship was rapidly deteriorating.  

Jennie's priorities and strengths were generating enthusiasm, taking action, and collaborating with others. She was motivated by working in a high energy environment where everyone could express themselves and build warm relationships.   Being isolated in a dull, unsocial environment and being forceful or insistent with others were stressful and sapped her energy.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

What comes first, the Culture or the Strategy

Well, which comes first, the chicken or the egg? The HR professional is starting to ask themselves a
similar question; “which comes first, the development of the culture or the development of the strategy.

Culture is defined as a blend of attitudes, behaviors, actions and beliefs that flourishes with a clear set of
values and norms that actively guide the way an organization operates. I like to say that it is the taste,
smell and feel we can when we come in contact with the organization. This is the origin for the term,
“a fun place to work”. The culture does define the work environment to both the internal and external
customer. Many believe that culture is the environment in which your strategy and your brand lives
or dies. I, like many others, believe that creating the appropriate culture is one of the most important
factors in determine future success.

It has been almost a decade since we feverously created our vision and mission statements. In the
majority of organizations, you will usually find the mission and/or vision statements hanging on the
walls and they probably have not been revised in over ten years. Vision, to me, is the dream of the
organization usually provided by the leadership team. It is a view of what they would like the company
to look like in the future. The Mission Statement on the other hand should be the reason each and
every employee wants to come to work and exhibit a high achieving performance on a daily basis.

We used to break the mission down into purpose. Now, many organizations are translating the purpose
into core values or statements of excellence. This is where the organization needs to associate the
values with the culture. Make sure the values and culture reflect the same meaning to everyone that
enters the building. The culture has to be genuine.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tips to Maximize Your Productivity

Productivity is getting the desired results by focusing on your high payoff activities
and spending little or no time on your low payoff activities. It is not rocket
science…just a commitment to excellence.

Here are some tips to help you maximize your productivity:

- Keep track and analyze your daily productivity so that you can improve right out of the gate.

- Stop wasting the first hour of your workday. Having the chat and first cup of
coffee, reading the paper, and socializing are the three costliest opening exercises
that lower productivity.

- Do one thing well at a time. It takes more time to start and stop work on each
activity. Stay with the task until it is completed.