The last few months have presented unthinkable challenges for many. Layoffs and furloughs. Work from home, and for many now back to work. A very strong voice to create equity and greater inclusion for our diverse workforce. This is not an easy time to be a leader as organizations try to prioritize and more clearly demonstrate their focus on their employees.
So, what do your employees really want from you right now? For starters, they don’t want to be called “employees”. That’s a transactional term that literally means someone is hired and paid for their work. That’s it! Is that what you want from your team members? Some companies have moved towards calling their employees “associates” for this very reason, suggesting more of a partnership and two-way relationship. That still feels very impersonal and cold to me though, so I would offer calling your team members “team members” is most effective.
the most part, your team members want to be your partners in influencing how
the business runs. They want to be treated fairly in line with the real value
they bring to your organization and especially to the clients and customers you
serve. Even though some may just be there for a transactional paycheck,
everyone benefits from a more holistic and human connection with you beyond
just being your employee and you being their employer.
Now that social distancing
restrictions are easing in many communities, countless business leaders are
celebrating that they can finally bring their team members back to the office
and get back to work. This is a complex
business decision, though, with pros and cons either way. More than that, this
decision can significantly impact your people and your organization’s
performance long-term if you don’t plan ahead and prepare properly!
there may be valid reasons why some people and some companies will return to
their offices, and perhaps sooner than others, there are several important
implications to consider determining the best path forward. First and foremost,
what’s driving this decision? In one case, the CEO of a major corporation said
that returning to their corporate offices across the US was critical to the
Company’s culture. Really? What was this Company’s culture like before the
pandemic if returning to the office is this CEO’s solution to cultivating a
positive and productive climate for everyone?
of our clients are quickly realizing they can’t expect that same level of
“Superstar” performance from their employees right now. Parents might be
working from home with their younger children who regularly require their
attention. Other team members who live in smaller apartments may not have ideal
office space, not to mention other roommates who are also working from home in
that confined space. And this doesn’t even speak to everyone’s increased
anxiety and our understandable distractions from constantly looking for and
listening to news reports, community updates, and the like as the Coronavirus
from these individual situations and concerns, most organizations are also now rethinking
their strategic goals for the year. They aren’t likely to achieve what they
planned for and budgeted at the beginning of the year, so many are
recalibrating around a new set of more realistic and practical objectives, or
completely different strategic goals altogether.
things are fine, we rarely think about innovation or doing things differently. “We’ve
always done it this way,” “it works,” and “business as usual” are the norm
during normal times. I don’t define fine as “fine” though. Quite frankly, I
define it as “not good enough” but recognize we don’t always have the energy or
ability to prioritize doing something about it. That’s why I’m a firm believer
that breakdowns often serve as our best access to achieving powerful breakthrough
results. It’s these – sometimes devastating – setbacks that have us stop and
these difficult times, I feel the depression and anxiety of what seems like
complete failure about to take over. It’s this 2-minute pity party though that
drives me to assess my current situation and muster up the strength and courage
to persevere. I need that time to step back and reflect, to regroup and
recalibrate around what matters most. It’s only when that 2-minute pity party
lasts 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months or more that we’ve allowed it to go too far.
January 17, 1994, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake rocked Los Angeles and the
surrounding area. The “Northridge quake” killed more than 60, injured over
9,000, and caused widespread damage including crumbling complete sections of many
of the region’s freeways. In the weeks and months ahead, more than 100,000 workers
throughout the region began working remotely either from home or telecommuting
centers that popped up across the Southland since their company offices were no
longer accessible. Twenty-six years
later, I once again find myself considering and sharing best practices for
are unprecedented times in our world – and clearly on a much grander, global scale
than a local earthquake. While most organizations have instituted voluntary
remote work scenarios to prioritize health over performance the last several
days, our government agencies here in the US and many countries abroad are now
mandating increased levels of isolation and even greater reduction of elective
activity. That means that nearly all organizations will have to adopt a similar
mindset and approach with remote work to deal with the recent Coronavirus
how do you manage employee performance when your employees are all working from
home, instead of in the office with you? What can/should you expect from them
during this very stressful and trying time? The following are some best
practices you might consider to maintain higher levels of performance while
your team members are working remotely.
I support a lot of family businesses and regularly hear from my clients how they pride themselves on creating positive work environments for their employees where they treat everyone like family. That’s quite admirable, and I’m sure those employees very much appreciate it. The question though is what to do with all the employees who actually are family!
Family businesses by their very nature are complex organizations. It’s not just about managing and operating a sustainable business with a family business. It’s about the leadership and governance practices required to keep any family drama and unproductive relationships away from work. In multi-generation family businesses, we’re talking 20, 40, 60 and even 100 or more years of history running the company. On the personal side, that’s generations of family members living together and growing up together who need to work together to operate that same business. That can create a lot of added stress and anxiety – something that many family business leaders are poorly equipped to handle – on an otherwise viable business. Read more ›
In today’s Information Age and increasingly complex work environment, very few people work alone. Nearly all of us work in teams of some form and rely on others to deliver our intended results. How many of us have the pleasure and privilege of working with World Champion teams though? Unfortunately, more of us than not are probably members of teams that more closely resemble the Bad News Bears with team members who just don’t seem to click or maybe can’t succeed in any position on the field.
So how do we turn our everyday teams into World Champion teams? High-performing teams must have a shared focus and commitment to achieving superior results. Simply wanting it doesn’t make it happen though. It takes much more than a team’s collective desire to be high-performing. If you want to deliver superior business results, the following are three key principles for building high-performing teams. Read more ›
Change is constant in organizations! Many of these organizational changes, however, can feel like “forced changes” – especially when they’re technology change efforts. The perception can be that the CIO or CFO simply signed a contract to buy a new ERP (enterprise resource planning) package or upgrade outdated systems, and 1000s of employees throughout the organization are forced to accept it.
When we established Plus Delta Consulting, our goal was to create “Positive Change” such that these Digital Transformations could be enjoyable (or “positive”) experiences. That may seem like a lofty and unattainable goal – to make technology change a fun thing – but that is our goal every time we start a new project. We do this because no matter how much an organization invests in technology, it will never deliver the expected ROI if people don’t embrace those changes. By increasing awareness and stakeholder involvement, we get everyone more engaged in and therefore committed to the changes. We want them to learn new skills and feel more valued at work because of these implementations – and if all goes well, like them a little more and hate them a little less! Read more ›
The Human Resources function can be quite misunderstood in many organizations. People often think it’s the group who plans the parties or who fails every year to keep the cost of our benefits down. Maybe worse, it’s the folks who make us complete performance reviews at year-end when we’re already too busy to do our “real work”!
Not too long ago, we actually had “Personnel” departments in organizations. Over time, these groups were renamed, but the work and their stereotypes really haven’t changed. As we assess the current state of HR in organizations and consider what drives high-performing organizations, it’s clear that someone needs to attend to these critical people functions.
In today’s tight labor market with historic levels of low unemployment throughout the U.S., it is imperative for businesses to hire the best people – and keep them! But how do you do that when so few people are looking for jobs, or maybe more importantly when so many can jump ship so easily just to get a quick bump in pay? There actually are several key elements in an employee’s life-cycle experience that can make a huge impact for your organization. Read more ›