Hiding in Plain Sight

Circumstances change. Often we need to reimagine or redirect based on those changes. I’ve experienced this recently through the eyes of several clients who created new positions and hired good people to fill them.

Then change happened. The positions aren’t producing what management originally envisioned, and they’re stuck in indecision about what to do.

This hesitancy will bring them down (and the new people with them). Doing something – especially with the understanding that such a situation is a work in progress – is always better than inertia.

Look for the Unexpected

I attended a conference recently where I went in cold—other than one colleague, I didn’t know anyone. The sessions were good and I gained the new insights that I had hoped for, but much of the value came from informal conversations.

These conversations were diverse and interesting. They ranged from someone who was a successful serial internet startup guy to a harpist who created a digital marketing platform to teach the harp online to someone who recently sold a business and is figuring out his next step.

Of course, I also encountered the occasional person who seemed a little clueless, and that is to be expected. All things said, though, you can learn so much from the experiences of others as long as you’re open to listening and ask some good questions.

Here Comes a Curveball…

Sometimes life throws you a curveball, and you need to react quickly. Of course, these curveballs usually come when you’re not prepared, so having a crisis management guideline will serve you well.

Curveballs can be anything from the loss of a major client to a serious illness or loss of a family member to the news of a downsizing or restructuring. For purposes of this discussion, curveballs are unexpected, overwhelming, and require immediate action.

Stay calm. Although this is easier said than done, your cool head will move you forward more effectively than panicking. Remember, people around you follow your lead. If you freak out, it will probably create anxiety in others.

Onboarding New Hires

Do you have a system in place to onboard your new employees? I’m not talking about the routine tasks of filling out new hire paperwork and learning about your company’s benefits.

I’m referring to a system to create the best first impressions of your company and to quickly make them feel like they’re part of your team.

For example, do they have a (clean) work space that they can call their own, or is it more of a makeshift desk?  (This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many new employees are relegated to a temporary location because their manager didn’t consider their arrival until they actually showed up.)

The Accountability Factor

Accountability (actually, the lack thereof) is one of the more challenging issues the workplace. How do you get people to do what they commit to do – especially when often they don’t stand by their commitments?

Creating a culture of accountability takes work and dedication by the leaders of an organization. You can’t just post rules and guidelines and expect people to follow them. They won’t. And you can’t expect behavior to change overnight.

It’s incumbent on leaders to model the behavior that they want and expect from their employees. If you aren’t accountable, why would you expect your people to be?