Good Bosses APPRECIATE their Employees!

There’s a lot of truth behind the saying, “People don’t leave bad jobs. They leave bad bosses.” More often than not, it’s not because they are underpaid, rather it’s because they feel undervalued and unappreciated. Sadly many managers think that they’ve fulfilled their duty by providing a paycheck, but that’s not enough if you want engaged and productive employees.

All great bosses know that employees need to feel appreciated. Nothing works better than positive reinforcement. Research suggests you need to praise at least three times as much as you criticize to keep employees happy. Instead of being quick to criticize, be quick to point out some of the great things you see your employees doing. This will not only reinforce these positive actions with the employees that performed them, but also encourage other employees to do the same. Appreciation coupled with incentive rewards is a great morale and productivity booster. Even the slowest employee will work to the best of their ability if they know their efforts are appreciated.

It does not cost much to show employees how much you appreciate them:

– Punish in private; praise in public. Make the public praise timely and specific.

– A personalized thank you giving specifics on how the employee has helped.

– Recognition in meetings.

–Remember to cc people’s supervisors. “Don’t tell me. Tell my boss.”

– A random breakfast or lunch.

– A relevant gift. Even something that can help them do their job better.

– Time off

Actions speak louder than words. Saying, “Thank You” can only have real meaning if employees know you are an authentic person. Be a leader who genuinely cares about employees. Other great phrases that go hand in hand with “Thank You” are:

  •       Great job.
  •       Well done.
  •        I’m sorry.
  •        How can I help you?
  •       What are your thoughts?

“People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards.” -Dale Carnegie

Two of the most basic human desires are validation and appreciation — we need to feel like we matter. People want to feel appreciated, respected and included. Sometimes it’s the little things we do that counts the most. Waiting too long to appreciate employees could result in those you lead feeling resentful. Not only do underappreciated employees cost more when they (inevitably) leave but they cost a lot more if they stay. (faulty work, poor customer service, reduced productivity)

Choose to see the best in others. Choose to see what makes them amazing. Let them know the amazing things you see. Play to your team’s strengths and everyone wins.

Check out my latest Bestselling Book

 Leading the Workforce of the Future


The Future lies in FLEXIBLE WORK PATTERNS


I allow my employees flexibility in lunch time, breaks, sick days, family leave, further education, etc. I don’t believe in micromanaging. It puts undue stress on employees. I train, coach and mentor but I don’t have the time to micromanage.

If you hired someone, it means you believe they are capable of doing the job. Then trust them to get the job done. You don’t need to be constantly monitoring their every movement. Micromanagement breeds resentment and disloyalty.

In an AI age characterized by disruption and ambiguous change, we need to rethink how we lead people. It’s no secret that technology is transforming the workplace, and unfortunately, employee morale is only getting worse. As organizations continue to focus on this technology, they are overlooking the most important part of the equation – the people side of the disruption. Disruption isn’t solely about how you manage the technology; it’s how you lead the people. Technology is a tool that empowers change, but people make it happen.

What do employees want? Employees want to feel like they belong, are heard and appreciated. Ping pong tables and sweet treats are not enough. Engagement doesn’t have to be a challenge. Today, it can be accomplished by using digital tools. It’s all about building a culture of feedback and continuous conversations. My aim is to create an environment where employees feel safe and comfortable to express themselves.

As someone who travels a lot. I have had to get a little creative when it comes to engaging employees. I take advantage of systems as video conferencing and virtual meetings, which makes it easier to interact and connect with my employees. Weekly, I try to include 2 virtual coffee breaks. Additionally, once every three months, we meet up for a themed virtual party. Our next party is Thursday and of course the theme is Christmas. It’s important to use technology not just in a transactional way. Have fun! It doesn’t need to be overly formal. Employees will look forward to these activities.

Results should be measured instead of hours spent behind a physical desk.

My employees don’t need to be in the office every day. My new employee asked to work from home, then started to feverishly explain. This is what I told her, “I don’t need to know the details. I do not pay for seat warmers. Come to the office fine. 9 to 5? Fine. Work from home. Fine. Work from the garage while they fix your car? Fine. Everybody works at a different pace. You choose how to get your work done. Keep clients happy. I am happy.”

 

 

The future lies in flexible work patterns. Allowing employees to work from anywhere using technology doesn’t have to slow down productivity. It’s 2019 not 1919. Digital tools allow us to collaborate across time and space effectively.

The best ideas and advancements are a result of empowering your team. If you want performance at scale, select the right people, provide them with the tools and support, and give them the room to get the job done.

Check out my latest Bestselling Book

 Leading the Workforce of the Future


The Best Leaders lead with Empathy and Kindness.

I can never forget my first boss, Joseph. When I had a personal crisis the first thing he told me was, “Why aren’t you out the door yet, I’ll cover for you.” He was concerned about my well-being. He genuinely cared about his employees. These are the bosses we remember.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to sweeping changes and disruptions in nearly every aspect of our daily life. More than ever managers need to be considering the well-being of their employees. Remember these are not normal circumstances.

Your employees are operating in a crisis. They are:

1. Fearful, anxious and worried.

2. Kids are at home.

3. Running to the store for essential supplies.

4. Under lockdown – Social isolation.

5. Trying to be safe and secure for themselves and vulnerable family members.

6. Grieving- People they know may be succumbing to this virus and they can’t say their final goodbyes.

Empathy is always important, but it is particularly vital during a crisis.

“To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times, what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens.” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald 

You can show empathy and kindness by:

  • Frequently checking in with your employees. In this time of physical distancing people want to feel connected. Take the time to listen. Empathy and listening go hand in hand.
  • Being understanding. Don’t be quick to criticize others without making the effort to understand how their situation is impacting their choices. Try to remember that everyone copes differently.
  • Offering support. “What can I do to help?” Be genuine and follow through.
  • Showing that you care. If someone has a sick family member, be empathetic.
  • Being considerate. People still want to feel appreciated. If they mention they are out of something. Why not order it through online delivery and send it over?

You may be a manager but above all, you are a human being. It is important to remember that we are in this together—think of others, reach out however you can, and remember to offer help even to those who may seem to be coping well. Be flexible and compassionate. In this COVID-19 pandemic we don’t need numbers-driven but human-centred leadership. We need leaders with a heart for people.

Check out my latest Bestselling Book

 Leading the Workforce of the Future


How you treat your Employees will determine the FATE of your company

I am saddened to see so many companies quick to terminate employees—companies making profits, who don’t have to terminate staff and still choose to do so. Tough times reveal our true colors. Why not work together to find solutions to keep staff on hand for this temporary situation —going to a 3 day work week, cutting salary by x%, management taking a salary reduction, etc. Give the employee the choice to stay at a reduction, or not.

Some companies have been extraordinary. There are chief executives across industries who are cutting their pay—even to zero—as part of their strategy to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus crisis. Texas Roadhouse CEO Kent Taylor is giving up his pay for the rest of the year, (March 18, 2020, to Jan. 7, 2021) to help struggling employees amid the pandemic. Why don’t many leaders think like this?

Of course it’s business and if a company is unprofitable there will be termination and layoffs, but how employers treat their people during this crisis, is going to impact their brand for years to come.

You get judged on how you treat people in difficult times. It’s easy to be good when times are good.

Show employees you genuinely care. Any effort a company is putting to keep their staff will go a long way in sustaining the culture and brand. Sadly, many leaders don’t care nor do they wish to care because they think caring is detrimental to the bottom line these days. These rough times are a true test of a company’s corporate culture and values, especially those who say they “value people” or ” put people first”. As a leader everyone is looking to you. Do everything you can to fight for your employees and if you must let them go, make sure you use emotional intelligence and empathy during the termination process.

“This too shall pass”, and some companies have been laying off great employees out of panic. They soon might realize that they need these people immediately when things get back to normal. These companies are just focusing on the short term. Reactionary management is not strategic leadership. One thing they are not thinking of, when we are all up and running again—they may find it harder to retain loyal employees or attract top talent. And if I was in the job market, an interview question I would definitely ask would be, “how did your company handle the pandemic?”

It’s not even 2-3-4 months of lockdowns and companies are so quick to layoff employees. Consider the long term impacts. Layoffs are a short-term answer that harm a company’s long-term value. Research shows that organizations that layoff employees experience a:

  • 20% decline in job performance from the remaining employees
  • 36% decline in organizational commitment
  • 41% decline in job satisfaction
  • 31% increase in voluntary turnover the next year

If your Crisis Management Strategy is just to throw people overboard when the going gets tough, you will be in for a rude awakening. Cost cutting by cutting your main pipeline may not be such a smart idea. You would be losing intellectual resources and at a bigger risk of not maintaining a competitive advantage.

Employees are the branches of a tree that makes a company grow. They are your best brand ambassadors. Loyalty is a two-way street. Don’t treat your people only as the means to an end. Demonstrate that you value people and in return, you will earn their loyalty.

Check out my latest Bestselling Book

 Leading the Workforce of the Future


EMPATHY is the most important leadership skill needed today!

In this digital age, there is a big disconnect between leaders and the people they lead. Many managers think they are doing a great job but when you ask the people they lead, it’s quite the opposite. Many employees feel unappreciated and undervalued. Employee engagement is at an all time low. What seems to be missing link? Empathy.

Many organizations are focused on achieving goals no matter what the cost to employees. If we treat people only as the means to an end, we will never have their loyalty. Treat your people right. Great leaders are concerned about getting the job done as well as the well-being of those under their care. It doesn’t mean being overly attentive or soft but demonstrate that you value people. Without empathy, you can’t build a team, inspire followers or elicit loyalty. Leaders that possess this trait always make time for people.

Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”. – Theodore Roosevelt

Empathy and listening go hand in hand. Why? Because listening shows you care. You can’t show empathy if you do not listen. Good listening skills is fast becoming an endangered species due to information overload and shortened attention span. The quality of our listening determines the quality of our influence. Employees want to be heard and they want to be respected. Listening transmits that kind of respect and builds trust.

We tend to confuse empathy with sympathy; empathy is really being able to understand the emotions and needs of others. It’s putting yourself in their shoes.

Lauralee emailed me this:

“I worked for a company in Brussels a few years ago when my brother (who was living in the USA) had cancer. In that year, I had 10 weeks leave visiting him & then, when he died, attending his funeral). When I asked my boss, Eric how I repay the company for all these extra holidays, he simply replied “they weren’t holidays, don’t worry about it”. This attitude was not isolated & reflected the company culture . . . to this day, it was the best company I ever worked at & Eric was the best boss I ever had . . . I would walk over hot coals for him!”

If you want to increase employee engagement and loyalty. Pretty simple! Show people that you genuinely care! Sometimes it’s the little things we do that counts the most. It’s the simple things people remember. The thoughtful gesture, the kind word, the much needed support. It’s doesn’t cost much to show employees you genuinely care, but it can make the biggest difference in keeping them loyal, happy and engaged.

Check out my latest Bestselling Book

 Leading the Workforce of the Future