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  • drdianehamilton 7:49 am on April 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Employees, , , , , ,   

    What Leaders Should Know About Engagement 

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    Employers struggle with a variety of motivation and emotion-based issues with employees. How to attract, engage, and inspire top talent to create winning teams is one of the most requested keynotes.  This is usually combined with some form of addressing generational differences, communication, culture, leadership, teamwork, and personality conflict.  Engagement has been broken down into three parts by Gallup including engaged (13%), not engaged (63%), and actively disengaged (60%).

    Engagement

    With such a large percentage of workers in the category of not engaged, it brings attention to the costs involved with ambivalence.  If workers are not engaged, they do not put forth any extra effort, they are less innovative, less effective at customer service, less loyal, more likely to job hop, and are less productive.  Ambivalent workers are there to get a paycheck, but they are not likely to volunteer for much more.  They may be harder to spot because they are not necessarily unhappy, but they do not feel connected to the organization and therefore, are less concerned about customers, profitability, and safety.  They are more likely to leave, resulting in costly turnover expenses.

    Consider the costs associated with engagement:

    • The U.S. economy loses $250 billion a year to turnover; there is a loss of $30.5 billion just for Millennials
    • Cost of a disengaged employee averages $3400 per $10,000 in salary
    • Engaged companies have a 6% higher net profit margin and grow profits three times faster
    • Managers spend up to 40% of their day dealing with conflict and engagement-related issues
    • Companies with low engagement scores have 32.7% less operating income

    For a complete list of costs involved in engagement, check out 2016 Employee Engagement/Retention Statistics.  There are ways to improve employee engagement. These include:

    • Make engagement a priority
    • Read the SRHM and Deloitte studies for an in-depth understanding of engagement
    • Recognize the importance of understanding emotional aspects of employee behavior
    • Determine levels of engagement to get a baseline
    • Meet with employees and teams to open a dialogue and develop trust
    • Have engaged employees mentor those who are not engaged
    • Determine if employees are in jobs that match their preferences and skills
    • Examine feedback, respect, and recognition employees receive – the number one driver of engagement is recognition
    • Link compensation to engagement

    Engagement may vary based on generations and length of service to the company.  As Millennials become the largest group in the workplace, it behooves leaders to learn more about how to attract and retain this group.  They do not require long, detailed-recognition, but frequent notifications that they are doing well and are on track may be very important to their emotional commitment.

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    Leaders should recognize that the way people work must be evaluated. The days of 8 to 5, no flexibility, and yearly performance reviews are no longer the norm.  People require frequent recognition and feedback.  Leaders who schedule time for feedback will be the ones who reap the rewards. Now that 40% of global workers are remote, it is important to find new ways to connect and to empower people to work virtually.  The successful leaders will begin by hiring the best people, monitor their outcomes, and continue to provide feedback, respect, recognition, and support.

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  • drdianehamilton 4:33 am on March 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amy Cuddy, , , , , ,   

    How to Develop Top Soft Skills Not Learned at School or Work 

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    Job listings often describe the skills needed to perform in a position. However, many of the skills required for success fall under the category of soft skills.  Many employees may be hired for their knowledge and yet may end up being fired for their behavior or lack of social skills.  Forbes reported that 46% of newly hired employees will fail within 18 months.  Mitchell Communications Group found that companies lose $37 billion a year in the United States due to miscommunication.  Research from Adecco Staffing considered what the C-suite thinks about the type of skills employees lack. They found that the C-suite believed 44% lacked soft skills including communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration.  This has led to missed growth opportunity, low productivity, and reduced profits.

    The good news is that we can improve these social or soft skills.  The first step is realizing that there is always room for improvement. It can help to observe others who have strong skills that may need development.  To determine areas that may need improvement, start by considering some questions.

    • Do you listen more than you speak?
    • What verbal and non-verbal cues do others receive from you?
    • Do teams on which you serve have personality conflict issues?
    • Do recognize your emotions as well as those in others?
    • Are you adaptable to change?
    • Do you find problem-solving and decision-making difficult?
    • Do you manage your time well?
    • Are you motivated to go above and beyond at work?
    • Do you rush to judgment before knowing the facts?
    • Do you seek an inordinate amount of attention for your accomplishments?
    • Do you recognize your weaknesses and are you willing to work on them?
    • Do you become upset easily if things do not go your way?
    • Do you blame others when things do not go your way?
    • Do you remain calm in difficult situations?
    • Do you apologize directly if you hurt someone’s feelings?

    It may be critical for people to develop empathy by considering how they would feel in another person’s position.  When making decisions, consider how those decisions will impact others.  Most of the issues that employers deal with are communication-based.  Once you can recognize your own emotions and empathize with how others feel as well, that is a big step to building emotional intelligence.  Emotional intelligence and emotional commitment to one’s job (aka engagement) are two important pieces of the employee success puzzle.

    There are two fascinating TED talks that may help.  Amy Cuddy’s talk “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are” and Susan Cain’s The Power of Introverts may provide some insight regarding how to truly know your strengths and weaknesses and learn to embrace them.  Personality and preferences play a big role in how we interact at work.  It is important not to under-estimate the impact of interpersonal skills.  Rather than waiting for schools or employers to help, individuals can learn a lot from:

    • Read more about emotional intelligence, listening, problem-solving, teamwork, collaboration, adaptability, persuasive techniques, and conflict resolution.
    • Watch TED talks like the ones listed above and others that touch on these important topics.
    • Find a mentor who embodies the skills that require development.
    • Volunteer to help others and learn important lessons about being humble.

    As with any learning, it takes time to develop soft skills. The U.S. Department of Labor created a great workforce readiness soft skills training downloadable PDF for youth ages 14-21. Although that is intended for young adults, older workers could benefit from many of the activities as well.

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