Posted by Louellen Essex on March 09, 2015 in Managing Difficult Situations, Performance Management, Team Development
Motivation is a complex topic. Because each employee has differing needs and drives, one size doesn’t fit all. Yet, everyone has a handful of basic desires: to make a contribution, to feel part of something meaningful, and to be acknowledged. Sometimes leaders forget to utilize those fundamental principles to create a motivating work environment. Here are some things you can do to energize your workforce.
Posted by Louellen Essex on February 03, 2015 in Managing Difficult Situations, Team Development
Trust is essential to a productive relationship between leaders and their staff members. Without it, the work environment becomes filled with fear and uncertainty. Trust is built through a pattern of trustworthy behavior that occurs consistently over a period of time. It can, however, be destroyed in a matter of minutes. Be aware of and avoid these trust-busting behaviors.
Posted by Louellen Essex on November 21, 2014 in Managing Difficult Situations, Team Development
With Thanksgiving around the corner, now is a good time to think carefully about how you show gratitude to your staff for their contributions to the work environment. Research tells us time and time again that many don’t feel they are appreciated for their efforts, particularly as the pace of change accelerates in many organizations, causing long hours and extra demands. Make sure your employees know they are not taken for granted. Tell them, through words and deeds, that you value their presence, their work, and their dedication. Here’s how.
Posted by Louellen Essex on August 07, 2014 in Leadership, Team Development
Teams don’t work very well without periodic check-ups to make sure everything is working as it should. Use the following set of questions as a) a guide for your own reflective thinking about a team you lead, b) as a discussion tool for an upcoming team meeting, or c)as a survey for each team member to complete. What you learn from the feedback will help you and the team determine what actions to take to improve performance by solving problems identified before they become more daunting.
Posted by Louellen Essex on May 08, 2014 in Leadership, Performance Management, Team Development
Every organization emphasizes the need for teamwork. But few really achieve a high performing team environment. Setting the stage for collaboration requires that leaders play close attention to several common traps that, when present in the work environment, make true teamwork nearly impossible to achieve.
Posted by Louellen Essex on April 24, 2014 in Leadership, Performance Management, Team Development
Much has been written about rewarding and recognizing staff members for a job well done. While money, trinkets, and prizes – extrinsic motivators – have temporary “feel good” effects, real motivation occurs in a much different way. More powerful is the satisfaction inherent in doing the work itself ¬¬ – intrinsic motivation. Here is how this translates into leadership strategies that unlock staff drive to achieve their best work.
Posted by Louellen Essex on March 27, 2014 in Performance Management, Team Development
Research and experience has shown that leaders can benefit from receiving feedback from their staff, other leaders, and their own manager, i.e. 360-degree feedback. However, if the process is not appropriately employed, the results can be unreliable, making the feedback inaccurate and even damaging. Avoid undesirable outcomes by becoming alert for these significant trouble spots.
Posted by Louellen Essex on March 06, 2014 in Communication, Managing Difficult Situations, Performance Management, Team Development
In a perfect work world, employees would manage their own conflict, maturely talking through issues in a professional, respectful manner. In reality, however, they often lack the necessary communication skills as well as the initiative to discuss their differences. Managers need to intervene, helping them clear the air so they can work together more effectively. Here’s a model you can use to facilitate these discussions.
Posted by Louellen Essex on February 20, 2014 in Leadership, Performance Management, Team Development
One main reason top talent leaves an organization is lack of training, coaching, or mentoring, all critical components of development planning. Ambitious employees want to work in an organization that invests in them, paving the way for advancement in both skills and position. A development plan should provide a road map to strengthen an employee’s ability to perform the current job and/or create a path to a desired career goal. Why do so many development plans fall short, missing the mark, contributing to the exodus rather than the retention of good talent? Here are the three biggest mistakes managers make:
Posted by Louellen Essex on February 13, 2014 in Communication, Managing Difficult Situations, Team Development
Many conditions, which can promote or inhibit effective conflict management, exist in every organization. The best leaders employ a carefully thought-out set of practices to ensure the work units they lead are successful when managing differences. By answering the following questions with yes, somewhat, or no, you can determine how likely your work unit is to effectively manage conflict.