What’s the Alternative?

Leaders are faced with all sorts of decisions daily; some are innocuous, others significant. Most decisions are made primarily on autopilot. You’ve done something a million times, a similar situation arises, and you act on it quickly without giving it much thought.

Other decisions, however, take a lot more effort especially because they are out of your day-to-day comfort zone. This could be a decision to hire or fire a key employee or to embark on capital expenditures that are higher than you’ve authorized in the past.

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A Toast for the New Year!

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard this dozens of times in the past few weeks, “I can’t wait until this year is over.” It’s not surprising given our current environment.

What with the severely contagious Omicron variant crushing massive swaths of the population or rushing to complete year-end deadlines or worrying about inflation, challenges like these have accumulated quickly and definitively.

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What Does Your Team Really Think?

Without question, improving communication is a perennial workplace challenge. Although communication has always been an issue, it is amplified in this quasi-post-pandemic environment when you consider video meetings, adapting to new technology, managing priorities with limited information, and constant fatigue about the uncertainty ahead.

Layer on the fact that people’s attention span has diminished substantially, what with multitasking, email and text overload, and anxiety over not having enough time.

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Women and Burnout

Beginning in 2015, LeanIn.org and McKinsey have conducted annual comprehensive studies of women in the corporate workplace. The most recent report was just released and focused on the impact of the pandemic, issues of diversity and inclusion, and the overall state of work.

This column focuses specifically on their findings related to burnout, which has been continuing as a consequence of the pandemic.

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Does Your Company Have a Foundation of Trust?

I’ve been part of several conversations recently where trust issues have surfaced. Some have been positive, reflecting leaders who understand and embrace the benefits of a high trust culture. And others have swung to the other side of the spectrum where lack of trust is creating cracks in the organization.

Why is trust so important?

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Engagement, Appreciation and Growth

Continuing our theme of employee engagement, consider the correlation between engagement and appreciation. People want to be appreciated and acknowledged for a job well done. It isn’t a big leap to understand that when people are praised for their efforts, they are motivated to do more.

Leaders who feel that recognition merits only occasional effort miss the opportunity to enhance the employee experience. Make sure that you express appreciation in a sincere and well-meaning manner. Employees know immediately when someone is “scamming” them.

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Does Your Company Have a Case of Presenteeism?

Why is employee engagement so important? Obviously, there are myriad answers, but at the core, the more engaged your employees are the better they will do their jobs. Better job performance results in fewer mistakes, which ultimately leads to more satisfied clients.

You know what absenteeism is, but are you familiar with presenteeism? This happens when employees show up at work and simply go through the motions of their jobs. They do the minimum amount of work without calling attention to their declining effectiveness and productivity.

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Employees to Employers: “I QUIT!”

The Gallup Organization conducted a survey recently that concluded that 48% of people who are active employees are looking for new jobs. In fact, 3.6 million employees quit their jobs in May. Tried to hire recently? I’m sure you’ve experienced that this is more difficult than it has been in recent memory.

Gallup is coining this emerging trend as “The Great Resignation”, but suggests that the underlying theme is “The Great Discontent”.

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The Impact of Leaders Who Step Up

I received an exceptional email from a founding partner of a national window covering company. He thanked me for my interest in their company and reinforced their commitment to the “health, happiness and safety of our team and our customers.”

So far, so good.

He then said, “You’re in great hands with your Design Consultant, but please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly if you have any questions or if there is anything I can do to make your experience with us more enjoyable.”

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Clarity in Communication

Everyone is getting busier, which is great for business but perhaps more challenging in execution. This continues to be more complicated if you are working remotely or in a hybrid situation.

During the most intense periods of the pandemic, employees adapted and got the work done clumsily but effectively. What’s different now is the pace and higher levels of expectations. Business is returning to previous activity levels and leaders need to help their teams adjust to expectations.

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