If you can’t TRUST your Employees to work flexibly, why HIRE them at all?

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Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship, whether professionally or personally and when it’s broken, it is extremely hard to repair. I had a supervisor, I couldn’t even send an email without her approving it first. She was so inflexible that it was overbearing. I felt stifled. When employees feel they can’t trust their boss, they feel unsafe, like no one has their back, and then spend more energy on survival than performing at their job.

The corporate world is littered with micromanagers. Sadly many organizations prefer these managers because they seem to be on top of, and in control of everything. In the short term, they may produce results but in the long run they leave a trail of destruction in their path.

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to to. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” —Steve Jobs

Employees want meaningful work, and they want autonomy in how they work. Train, coach and mentor employees and ensure they are given clear objectives. The typical ‘bad boss’ spends their time directing employees rather than empowering them. It’s sad that in many organizations, managers think to be effective they need to MICROMANAGE employees.

A manager’s job is to provide guidance and support. It’s facilitating a healthy environment where employees can perform at their best. Always be quick to recognize, appreciate and reward employees’ efforts. Micromanaging is the opposite of empowerment and it creates toxic work environments. It breeds resentment and disloyalty. If you hired someone, it means you believe they are capable of doing the job, then trust them to get it done.

Micromanagement is a complete waste of everybody’s time. It sucks the life out of employees, fosters anxiety and creates a high stress work environment.

Micromanagement chokes the growth of the employee and the organization and fosters mediocrity. When you empower employees, you promote vested interest in the company. Empowered employees are more confident, more willing to go the extra mile for employers, and more willing do whatever it takes to care for customers. The best ideas and advancements are a result of empowering your team.

Check out my latest Bestselling Book

 Leading the Workforce of the Future


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The real reason Employees have no loyalty to corporations

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People don’t leave bad jobs, They leave bad bosses. Most of the time an employee has an issue with a company, it is something relating to their boss.

Here are 7 reasons why employees have no loyalty to corporations:

  1. Not valuing employees or appreciating their contributions.
  2. Inflexibility in breaks, lunch time, work from home, sick days, family leave, and further education.
  3. Trespassing on their personal time. Asking them to leave the office late, work on weekends or interrupting them while on vacation.
  4. Showing no interest in their personal development.
  5. Not caring about them as a person or showing concern especially when they are dealing with illness, bereavement…etc
  6. No Integrity – Always looking to blame others and not standing up for your team.
  7. Lack of trust – Micromanaging them. You monitor their every movement.

If you treat people right they will treat you right 90 % of the time.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

I received this email from Lisa:

“I had a family emergency. My father had fallen sick. My boss had someone from the office drive me to the hospital. He even told me to take as much time as I needed when he passed away. Their compassion and consideration really helped me through this difficult time. It’s been 5 years since this happened and guess what – I am still with this company. If you have my back, I have your back. I would go to the moon and back for my boss.”

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

Leadership is about people. Your business is nothing more than the collective energy and efforts of the people working with and for you. For loyalty, there has to be a relationship that develops between employee and employer and this develops over time through trust that gets built and sustained. Transparency, authenticity and walking the talk are essential for building trust. Being open with employees promotes an engaged workforce. Threats and intimidation only yield temporary results. You can’t keep throwing your employees under the bus and expect them to give their all. Show people that you care about them and are interested in their welfare. Loyalty is a two-way street. If you want loyalty from employees, you must first give it. If you want employees to go the extra mile, you have to be willing to go the extra mile for them. It works both ways.

” Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” ~Richard Branson

The corporate is full of managers and lacks leaders. Leaders build people up. Managers pull people down. Leaders are those comfortable and secure in who they are whilst managers are competing with their subordinates. Our system has fallen into a self-reinforcing command loop construct as follows: Increase shareholder value at all costs without regard for the human factor. Sadly, if you do not cure the cancer in the root of the tree, not only with the branches and leaves die; but so will the the tree.

Employees know when they are on shaky ground. If a company has no loyalty to it’s employees, why should they be loyal in return? If we treat people only as the means to an end, we will never have their loyalty. Don’t just consider them as a robot on your cog-like production line. Demonstrate that you value people and they in turn, will take care of the business. If you want loyal employees – Treat your people well!

Check out my latest Bestselling Book

 Leading the Workforce of the Future


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Why Managers Should Care about Employee Loyalty

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Loyal employees are a major asset for a strong company. Many businesses think that employees are automatically loyal just because they’re getting a regular paycheck. The truth is loyalty isn’t for sale. Loyalty has to be earned by the way you treat your employees. Transforming your business isn’t easy. You can’t do it alone. Without the cumulative drive of a dedicated team, your business won’t last long.

How you Treat your Employees will Determine the Fate of your Company!

Often poor management lies at the heart of an employee’s departure. People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. The manager is the company’s first point of contact with an employee, if that contact is bad, the relationship with the company will be bad and the employee won’t stay long. If companies are going to excel, they need two things: Loyal Employees and Loyal Customers. The link between employee satisfaction and productivity is long-established. Research has found that happy workers are 12% more productive than their less satisfied counterparts. Loyal employees = Loyal customers. Loyal employees are worth more than their weight in gold. They uphold your brand and ensure the sustainability of your business. They go the extra mile. They make it possible for you to win.

In the present environment, it becomes a necessity for the organization to have a strategy for retaining their best employees. Your competitors are waiting at the door with “treats” to lure away your top performers. If you keep treating employees like they are easily replaceable, you will be paying the price for this. According to data drawn from 30 case studies taken from 11 research papers on the costs of employee turnover, it costs at least 20% of their salary when an employee leaves. These costs reflect the loss of productivity from the departure, the cost of finding a replacement, and the reduced productivity while the new employee gets up to speed.

Beyond the more tangible losses, it affects the teams stability and causes other employees to reconsider their loyalty towards the organization. Additionally, poor employee loyalty can also damage a company’s image. Sites like Glassdoor and Indeed offer employees a platform on which to air their true feelings about their employer. Fortune bases its “100 Best Companies to Work For” ranking on employee reviews of company culture.

Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to. -Richard Branson

Tips To Help You Keep Your Best Employees

When employees feel disconnected, undervalued, and unappreciated, it doesn’t take long for them to jump ship and look for another job that will recognize their contributions. The only thing that can stop a high employee turnover is to give employees a reason to stay, or, even better, multiple reasons. Here are some tips to help retain your best employees:

* Don’t treat employees like machines – Employees want to know that their employer understands the need for a work/life balance and respects their personal time.

* Create opportunities for growth and development – Always make sure there are ways your employees can grow and can do work that inspires them.

* Reward Employees’ efforts – An open company culture with room for recognition and appreciation is very important. If you want the best, you must pay the price for the best.

* Don’t micromanage – Trust employees. Give them autonomy and breathing space to get their work done.

* Provide adequate training and support. Training demonstrates a company’s commitment to employees in terms of personal and professional growth.

* Show Empathy. Very few bosses show empathy towards their team members and this helps improve overall team morale and performance.

Ultimately having a culture that promotes open communication, fairness, teamwork, camaraderie and a family atmosphere helps to retain good employees. Focus on building quality relationships. Employees with strong bonds to those they work with, are usually the most engaged and tend to stay longer at companies they work for.

Furthermore, when people leave your organization, find out why. Your organization may have morale weaknesses you are not aware of or have been underestimating. In one study, 89% of managers surveyed said they thought most employees leave for better pay. However, another study found that 88% of employees who quit did so for something other than money. Clearly, there is often a disconnect between managers and employees about what motivates an employee to leave. The reason for leaving is not always salary and exit interviews are not always accurate. HR needs to dig deep to find out the exact reason of staff turnover. And most importantly “Act.” Take action and let employees see you are genuinely committed to enriching their work experience.

Consequently, when people stay with your organization, find out why (Stay Interviews). Here’s the reality: employees are only as loyal to the company as they believe the company is loyal to them. Loyalty is a two-way street. So in the end, building an organization of committed, loyal employees ultimately comes down to demonstrating to employees that the company deserves their loyalty.

Check out my latest Bestselling Book

 Leading the Workforce of the Future


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Integrity Matters Most in a Leader!

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In every aspect of our lives we depend on the integrity of others, and others do the same with us. That’s why it’s such a big deal when we discover someone we trust hasn’t been truthful or hasn’t been playing by the rules.

Although integrity is one of the most essential and admired leadership traits, in today’s world it seems to be lacking. What you see in leaders is not often what you get.

Here are 7 masks some leaders wear:

1. Orator (The Two Face mask) – Double tongued are they. They can sound so persuasive and so sincere. Fervent lips which sound so eloquent can hide true character. Behind the dazzling mask lies their real intentions of deception. Erroneous communications are a big cause of lack of perceived trustworthiness in bosses. Politicians are notorious and highly populate this category. However, their actions always expose them. We don’t take them at face value because we don’t know which face they have on.

2. Advocate (The 3 Musketeers mask)- “One for all and one for one.” They are all for me, myself and I. The love of power is their main motivator. They outwardly proclaim they are people focused, and their priority is with the team but behind closed doors they are self- seeking. Therefore when the opportunity is presented to prove it they cannot. They will do anything to make themselves look good, or maintain their status quo even at the expense of the team.

3. Philanthropist (The Robin Hood mask) – They give with the right hand but secretly take back with the left hand. Under this disguise these type of leaders give openly so others can think highly of them. If there was no fanfare they would not support charitable initiatives. Former Tyco International Ltd. Chairman Dennis Kozlowski improperly used company funds to promote himself as a generous benefactor. He committed more than $100 million of the conglomerate’s money to good causes however, his own foundation gave little to charity. He was accused of stealing $134 million from the company and served 8 years in prison.

4. Obdurate (The Iron Man mask) – They scarcely show their true feelings or human side. They think they need to have this public tough image. Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo came across as cold and disconnected to her employees. Her policies (maternity leave and long-term telecommuting) caused outrage. Adopting this persona alienates and pushes people away. By not showing any vulnerability, such leaders do not develop deep meaningful connections or build relationships with their team.

5. Meek (The Mister Fantastic mask) – They appear so humble and act down to earth when in fact they have an entitlement and superiority complex. However, their true colors are revealed in unguarded moments. I remember once working late and overhearing a manager speaking with a supervisor. He didn’t realize I was there and openly spoke to her. As I sat there I couldn’t believe that this is the person I thought I knew. When he came out of his office and saw me by my desk, he seemed really disoriented and shocked and asked if I had overheard him. Well, my whole perception of him changed from that day.

6. Proficient – (The Phantom of the Opera mask) – Some leaders conceal imperfections in favor of a polished image. The demands or expectations that society creates leaves them feeling mediocre and inadequate. They are uncomfortable in their own skin so they try to measure up and may even employ unethical methods to fit in. Lying on his resume cost former Bausch & Lomb CEO Ronald Zarrella $1.1 million in bonus after it was revealed he did not have an MBA as recorded. Company officials declined to accept his resignation. He remained in his role for another six years before retiring in 2008. Ironically, he probably didn’t need that degree. His prior job experiences were almost certainly enough. Still, like so many people, he seemed to have yearned for a status symbol.

7. Conformist – (The Shape-Shifter mask) – In this case, top management puts pressure on these types of managers to change their principles. Their style may not fit in with the changing culture. There is a shift between their preferred style of behavior and what the company wants. They play it safe to preserve their position and privileges. They just follow orders and exude no loyalty to employees. It’s demotivating working for a manager who does not stand up for their team. If you make a mistake they quickly turn into judge, jury and executioner. It’s hard to feel passion for a job when you experience this.

In the era of social media, where leaders’ personal and professional lives are often transparently intertwined, the mask eventually becomes apparent. Trust once lost is often hard to regain. Integrity requires humble introspection. It requires you do what is right – not what is easy. Our actions must mirror our words in all facets of life. It all starts with keeping your word, making fair decisions, communicating honestly, taking responsibility, treating others with dignity and respect and giving credit where it’s due. There are many things you can lack and still steer clear of danger. Integrity isn’t one of them. If you don’t have integrity, people will not trust, believe or follow you. If you don’t have integrity, you have nothing.

Check out my latest Bestselling Book

 Leading the Workforce of the Future


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Don’t be a BOSS – be a LEADER

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I’ve worked for many bosses but few leaders. Working under a bad boss can make a good job even in the best company, unbearable. As the saying goes, people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses.

Here are the 4 types of bad bosses that make employees want to quit companies:

1) “Marionette” – In an age of uncertainty, many managers are yielding to this trap of just playing it safe to preserve their position and privileges. They just follow orders. They are mere puppets and exude no loyalty to employees. It’s demotivating working for a manager who does not stand up for their team. If you make a mistake they quickly turn into judge , jury and executioner. It’s hard to feel passion for a job when you experience this.

2) “King Kong” – Some bosses when they reach to the top immediately forget where they came from. These type of managers possess a superiority complex and like to draw the distinction between management and staff. It is dreadful to work under a manager who is more worried about pushing their weight around than building relationships. Great leaders don’t talk down to their employees. They treat everyone with respect.

3) “Superman” – They think the organization revolves around them. Some start behaving like they are the owners of the company. This trap includes making all of the decisions soloignoring feedback you don’t like and taking the credit.” Letting your ego get ahead of you and thinking you know it all is a sure path to failure. Showing some humility and vulnerability allows you to strengthen relations with your team.

4) “Taskmaster” – Their sole focus is on the bottom-line. They use the carrot and stick approach to motivation which clearly doesn’t work. Continuously drilling employees is a sure way make them unhappy at work. Micromanagement suffocates, demoralizes and kills creativity. These managers get so caught up in the bottom line that they forget to treat people with dignity and respect. Very few bosses show empathy towards their team members and this helps improve overall morale and performance.

” An employee’s motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager.” – Bob Nelson

Then there is the LEADER. A leader coaches, supports and inspires. He/she puts the interests of their team before their own. Leaders develop safe atmospheres where risk-taking and feedback is welcomed. They take care of their team. The focus is to help everyone around them succeed. They push their team to grow and become their very best. A leader never leaves any of his team members to hang out dry. When a leader is at the helm, employees feel valued and appreciated. The corporate world is littered with managers but lacks leaders. Employees long for managers who are leaders.

Lauralee emailed me this: “I worked for a company in Brussels a few years ago when my brother had cancer. In that year, I had 10 weeks leave visiting him and then, when he died, attending his funeral). When I asked my manager, Eric how I could repay the company for all these extra holidays, he simply replied “they weren’t holidays, don’t worry about it”. To this day, Eric was the best manager I ever had… I would walk over hot coals for him!”

Bad bosses cost the world economy an estimated $360 billion in productivity.

Employee engagement is at an all-time low (32%). Usually when an employee has an issue with their company, it has to do with something regarding their manager. Companies need to take a closer look at their managers and their leadership style. Employee engagement is more of a manager issue75% of American workers say their boss is the worst and most stressful part of their jobs. How bad are they? Bad enough for 65% of respondents to say they’d rather have a new boss over a pay raise. Can a manager become a leader? Yes, it’s possible. Sometimes it just takes being human and developing your people skills. Technical skills alone do not keep employees motivated. In this Artificial Intelligence economy, the new smart is not determined by IQ but by EQ. It’s about listening, relating, collaborating and connecting with your team. This takes humility, authenticity and empathy.

Studies have shown that leading with vision, inspiration, and purpose, produces better bottom-line results as well as happier, more engaged employees. If we want employees to feel commitment to the organization; we need to show we respect and value them. The “human touch” makes all the difference. If you want to make a lasting positive impact – Don’t be a boss, be a leader!

Check out my latest Bestselling Book

 Leading the Workforce of the Future


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