Fired up! – passionate, excited, engaged and enthusiastic – is the only way to approach the workplace. Employees who are excited, passionate and fired up!:
• Consistently outperform, out-service and out-invent all other employees.
• Come to work ready to make a conspicuous difference.
• Are more accountable and responsible for their performance and results.
And this starts with you – the manager; great employee performance starts with great management. Fired Up! employees require managers who know how to create employee-focused workplaces, hire the right employees, activate their passion for performance and stay in constant contact with each employee. Today’s you are a coach, counselor, mentor and educator; this is what it takes to engage and inspire employees to perform.
Welcome to your manager section for tools to help you engage and inspire today’s employees. Use the articles, links, blog and other resources to expand your understanding of how to help your employees be their best, drive great results, work strong and live stronger.
Management Articles (to help you maximize your impact and your employees’ performance).
See my Power Performance blog at www.Bizmore.com. Click on the link below.
May 28, 2013 -- 7:30 am
Ready for some alarming statistics? 83% of American workers say they feel stressed out by their jobs (this is up from 73% in 2011). The number 1 cause of stress is what is called “job pressure” – the combination of co-worker and boss relationships, and work overload.
This pressure is taking a toll on the health of the employee as the use of antidepressants has increased 400% over the past 30 years (just about the time when the industrial age ended and the today’s intellectual and service age started). The pressure also shows in the organization’s bottom line as the annual cost of stress-related healthcare and missed work is over $300 billion annually.
Work doesn’t have to be so stressful. The lower the stress, the greater the performance, engagement and ultimately loyalty. Helping employees minimize workplace stress is a sound strategic initiative. Here are three ways to start to decrease employee workplace stress:
- Refocus on hiring for fit. One of the greatest reasons for employee stress is being hired into jobs that employees are not good at and not interested in doing. Most organizations use experience as the primary hiring qualification. But because an employee has done the job before doesn’t mean that he is good at it and likes doing it. If not, job stress increases. Today’s service economy requires that management hire based on skills, experience AND behaviors – where behaviors are more important. Behaviors determine how intrinsically good and interested the employee is in the job. Reduce stress by hiring employees who fit the job – they feel capable, competent and confident. Commit to hiring based on talents and to hiring employees who fit the behavioral profile needed in each job.
- Share more information. If you really want to stress out your employees, keep them in the dark. Sharing information, even difficult or challenging information, is important to help employees deal with what is fact in their workplace. Information that is openly and honestly presented allows employees to stay connected to what is accurate. This way, they don’t invent stories or add fictitious details because they do not know what is true. Share openly and honestly, and expect the sharing to be returned.
- Expand your listening. Sharing information is one thing, but tuning in to what employees think, feel and say is critical to helping them feel heard, respected and valued. Remember back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. When the lower aspects of Needs Hierarchy are unaddressed, employees are too distracted to concentrate on performance. So if employees have managers who are available and present – who actively listen, care and respond – employees feel heard, have information and the stress level is reduced.
The statistics are real – our employees are stressed. What is it you can do to help reduce the stress in your workplace knowing that the stress is both costing you money and challenging the health of your employees?
This is a great topic to bring up to your senior team, particularly your strategic HR partners, to have a meaningful discussion and to build a stress-management strategy. Include in your strategy a more sound talent and fit hiring/role alignment approach, expanded information sharing and coaching your managers into becoming better listeners and communicators.
Contact me to learn about the Fire Up! Process and how its ability to increase employee engagement also reduces employee stress. More information, tools and resources are at www.FireUpYourEmployees.com.
Leave a Comment
May 15, 2013 -- 5:43 am
Many hiring managers think they have the upper hand when it comes to hiring – that they have the final vote in whether a job candidate comes to work for the company. Actually, job candidates have an equal vote in the process; the job interview is as much about determining whether a job candidate wants you as it is for you to determine if you want him or her.
There was a time, more in our industrial age, when managers truly had the power in the hiring relationship. But in today’s intellectual workplace, the job interview is as much for the candidate to hear what is true about the job and to use that information to determine whether the job fits his abilities, skills, experience, plans for growth, development and future plans. To really understand this, let step back a minute and ask the all-important question – Why do we interview?
The goal of the interview, as I coach my clients, is not to hire. Rather, it is to create an environment that provides enough of the right information to determine whether to hire. And it works in the same way for the job candidate. The interview is the place where today’s job candidates gather enough information to determine whether the potential employer and role are the right fit.
So to be ready for this new shared responsibility for the right outcome, here are 4 critical questions hiring managers should ask themselves in preparation of the interview to be clear enough about what the role does, who fits it, and why it is a great thing to work for their company – in other words, to help a job candidate answer the question, “Why should I work for you?”
Consider these questions as you prepare to host any interview:
- Why would great people be interested in this job – what does it do and how does it add value and make a difference in the organization?
- How will this job use the employee’s unique and best abilities, and how will it help the employee develop and grow?
- What workplace culture will this employee work in and how is it different and better than others?
- What do others who work here love about their jobs and working for us?
Great interviews are information-gathering sessions. Both sides have information the other side needs in order to make both a sound hiring and job decision. Neither side has all the power. In fact, power is not helpful in an environment that is looking for an open and honest commentary about how things really are in the job and workplace, and what the job candidate’s unique abilities are, and how they have added value and made a difference in other workplaces.
Be sure you step into the shoes of the job applicant to see what will matter to someone in this role. Share what makes the role, company and opportunity great. Be honest. Be accurate. This gives the job applicant enough of the right information to assess “fit” from his or her perspective. Then, having created an easy, open and meaningful conversation about the role, ask your talent and behavioral questions and notice more open and honest responses from the candidate.
With a mutual commitment to job fit, the interview takes on an entirely different tone. Information is more openly shared. In my experience, this change in mindset by the hiring manager – one that sees the interview as a mutual sharing event committed to connecting the right job opportunity to the right person – changes how job candidates show up in their interviews. And when both parties have a personal stake in the decisions process, all parties are more honest, more involved and more committed to the right outcome. Before you start the interview be ready to see the role from the employee’s perspective, and have an answer for his or her question, “Why should I work for you?”
Contact me for more information on hosting powerful talent-based interviews, and to learn how to build the talent-profile needed to source people who are a good fit in each of your jobs. Also see the tools on FireUpYourEmployees.com.
Leave a Comment
April 15, 2013 -- 12:40 pm
If you ask managers what their employees want most from their jobs, many will respond “money.” The general belief is that people will work harder when offered more money, they leave one job for another because of money, the reason why they want the promotion is money.
Though money does play a role in what job a person may select, the more important aspect in selecting and staying in a job is purpose – of making a difference and providing an impact. We all contribute more when we do meaningful work. And the reality is that jobs that add value and make a difference inspire performance and loyalty in the workplace.
In order for managers to inspire performance and loyalty, they must first understand and recognize the three types of employees: A-level, B-level and C-level. A-level employees choose to show up to their work with an intention of bringing their best and making an impact. The Gallup Organization calls this type of employee “engaged” and states only 29 percent of today’s employees are engaged. The B-level employees comprise around 52 percent of the workforce – they are the employees who do just enough not to get fired. The final 19 percent are C-level employees. This group is disengaged and disinterested in their work.
Understanding these three types of employees is critical to know how to sustain the As, and inspire the B and Cs.
Here are four easy-to-implement ways managers can add more meaning to their employees’ jobs:
1. Hire employees who fit their jobs. Employees who have the talents, strengths and passions are the ones who show up capable and interested in their work. Because they are good at what they do, they find ways to bring their best and expand value for the organization in their areas. Contact me to show you how the Fire Up! Process can help you hire the right person for each job.
2. Provide context. Explain to each employee the importance of what they do and why it makes a difference. In many organizations, employees are given their small puzzle piece – without any idea of what the picture will look like when all the pieces come together. Without context, they lack a sense of purpose, value and contribution.
3. Communicate regularly about important things. There should be a clear and open communication between employees and management. By ensuring information moves easily in both directions, employees can consistently be updated from management, while offering their own updates. This approach also encourages new ideas, keeping a company fresh and innovative.
4. Give tasks that make a difference. Employees have jobs that matter. Not only do they understand why their job is important, but the job has intrinsic value. We all want to contribute to something of great value.
As mentioned above, though there are a number of factors in play, the greatest factor is meaningful work. In his 18-minute TED talk, Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist, says “Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn’t just money [that makes us work]. But it’s not exactly joy either. It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose.”
We all want to feel that we matter – that what we do has meaning. The more aware we are of our talents, strengths and passions, the more we can align ourselves to work we personally find meaningful. Couple this with improved communication by today’s management to build the bond and provide context about the work, and employees have the ability to know how to connect what they do best to add value, make a difference. Take away their sense of fit and job context and we’ll find the only way to meet monthly performance targets is to bribe with bonuses.
Please share this with someone who can benefit from it. And contact me to learn more about the Fire Up! Process – its programs, tools and seminars – that can help you create and retain a superstar workforce.
Leave a Comment