Playing Telephone? Here's 10 Effective Organizational Communication Strategies

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10 Effective Organizational Communication Strategies

As a child, you may have played a game where you sat in a circle with your class and waited as one person after another whispered a secret phrase into the next person’s ear. The fun in the game was to see how different the last person’s interpretation of the phrase compared to the first person’s. Often, the final phrase was so different that it was unrecognizable. While this is fun in a game, it is no fun at all in the workplace. Yet, it seems that every office is in a constant state of “so-and-so said such-and-such” with the truth somewhere in the middle. How can you communicate to an organization – large or small – in such a way that the information is clear and unchanging? The following ten strategies will help.

1. Create a go-to information hub

Imagine playing a board game for the first time with a group of people, only to find that the rulebook was not included. You can still play, but most likely it will never be the same way twice. Some may be familiar with the basic rules, some will not. Those that are familiar with the rules will disagree amongst each other on certain aspects (think: Free Parking). Those that are unfamiliar with the game will begin to create their own ideas based on what they have heard and what they want to see happen. This can lead to fights and gameplay that is entirely no fun. Why do this in your workplace? Include the rules!

Many businesses have created their own internal wiki sites as a hub for company policies, procedures, and other important information. Everyone can access it 24/7 to look something up and get a clear, specific answer. Having that go-to hub where all the information is uniform and freely available is invaluable in training situations and in dispelling myths throughout the organization. No one has to rely on, “… but we’ve always done it this way …” or “so-and-so told me …” from multiple sources who never agree.

2. Signposting

For beginning speakers, the tried-and-true format of an informational speech is the following:

Tell them what you’re going to tell them.

Tell them.

Tell them what you told them.

While this sounds repetitive, it has been proven effective for the types of speeches and programs where you must deliver important information that you want your audience to retain. This tactic may be used in your memos and emails to make it crystal clear what is being said. The most important thing to remember when using this tactic is to make sure that all three segments are perfectly congruent. While the middle part will have more detail, it must completely support the first part. The last part must be a summation of what they have just heard.

3. Always offer three levels of detail

You work with different personality types, and each of these types has a different communication style. The most important thing to remember about these styles is how they can receive and digest information.

First, offer SHORT bullet points. Your busy, go-getters do not like a lot of details up front and will tend to ignore lengthy explanations. They invented the term TL; DR (too long; did not read). Save them and yourself the hassle and give a brief outline of what they need to know. If they want to read further, they will.

Next, offer a brief synopsis of each point. These should be no more than three (short) sentences long. One of the sentences MUST include how the new information will directly affect them.

Finally, include the full, in-depth explanation with all the details clearly laid out. Think of all the questions and concerns your most methodical and detail-oriented teammate will have, then answer them up front.

4. Meet gossip head-on and right away

Often, when new information is presented, the rumor mills fire up and reality gets distorted. Many will ignore it and hope it goes away. This tactic highly underestimates the creativity of your fellow teammates. No news is never good news, and if there is nothing to tell, they will make it up.

Instead, tackle the rumors right away. Clearly explain the truth and answer the questions on everyone’s minds. People, by nature, do not like change. They especially do not like change that they do not understand or cannot predict. Ease their minds by dispelling myths right away and letting them know how they (and their jobs) will be affected.

Be honest and forthcoming, build relationships, and encourage questions. Treat each person as an individual and be respectful of their feelings. Tune in and pay attention to subtle shifts in attitudes and output. When misunderstandings arise, help those involved find and use the proper resources. Do not let feelings fester – it will never get better. If you are transparent and proactive, you will find your team members will follow.

5. Create an open forum for questions

Simply allowing people to ask questions – and answering them – will clarify any weak spots in your communications. Post both the questions and answers in a place that others can view. Much like any FAQ on a forum or web site, this will become a valuable tool for newcomers. It will shed light on where your instructions may need clarification. It will also ensure that everyone gets the same answer to the same question.

For small projects, post this in a common area. For larger projects, set up an intranet site or a shared file that all may access whenever needed. Add to it as questions arise.

6. Use the WWH approach

When introducing and new policy or procedure, use the What / Why / How approach to make it personal and memorable – and to help get your audience on board.

What : Define / describe briefly and clearly what the new element is.

Why : Succinctly explain why the choice was made.

How : Clearly explain how the new policy / procedure will directly benefit their day-to-day lives.

7. Automate common tasks

Something as simple as a drop-down box on a check request form can clear up hours of confusion and craziness. Whenever possible, create easy-to-use forms with limited capabilities that get those day-to-day job requests, office supply orders, and / or IT questions lined up smoothly. Drop-down boxes and data verification with protection in an Excel form is one example. Many email clients offer forms creation, as well. It may take a short time of refining as you work out the kinks and ensure everyone’s needs are met, but in the long run, it will save you hours of explaining, researching, and re-doing.

8. Set up regular Q&A sessions with upper management

Often those within the organization – and doing most of the work – feel completely out of touch with those making the decisions. By simply opening up a forum where teammates from all levels and areas of the organization can speak directly to the decision makers, it will create a decidedly less “us vs. them” environment and clear up worries or confusion over changes. Both will benefit, as management will be more aware of what is really going on beneath the policies and teammates will be more aware of why polices are made at all. Transparency is the most useful tool in your communications kit. Use it.

9. Always post meeting notes right away and leave them posted

It is rare that you will be able to conduct a meeting with every soul present. Even if they are physically present, at least one person’s mind is somewhere else and they may miss vital information that was shared in the meeting. Don’t treat your meetings like Las Vegas! What happens in your budget meeting should not stay there. Share it as soon as possible (same day) in a place that everyone can access it. By the time you are reading last week’s meeting minutes in the current meeting, it is too late.

10. Ensure that there is only one version of anything

From memo forms to check requests to instructions on how to use the copier, there should be only one version available in an easy-to-find location. If you are missing a form or instructional sheet for something, create one – only one – and post it. If you need to refine an existing form, destroy all other versions. The idea is to literally keep everyone on the same page.

Combine and publishinate

While just one of these strategies will greatly reduce the amount of miscommunication within your organization, combining several of them will drastically improve overall efficiency and employee retention.

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Source by Melanie Hope

10 Steps for Anger Management in the Workplace

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10 Steps for Anger Management in the Workplace

1. Identify who is angry

Train your managers and employees to identify the behaviors that can signal an anger challenged co-worker and have a positive system that will report these behaviors to management for further investigation. Do not wait.

2. Identify why they are angry

Interview reporting staff to determine whether indications warrant further review. Interview subject to determine why they may be angry at work. Offer positive solutions for individual stress and anger control or refer to EAP if appropriate and available.

3. Find solutions to organizations’ culture as it pertains to anger

Do not stick your head in the sand. Tackle the possible organizational issues that may be creating the stress and anger within your organization and work to solve these challenges.

4. Train leaders to create a culture of civility

Leadership comes from the top down and must address the issues with resolve. If anger is inbred in an organization’s leaders this becomes a difficult but important concern. The costs of anger are too high, in the long run, for an organization to be most productive and long standing. Retention of key personnel becomes an issue, if the leadership creates a culture that tolerates, or encourages, anger in the work place. Legal issues will also become an issue that cuts profits and productivity.

5. Train managers to identify anger and manage teams / individuals with issues

Managers require training, support, and good leadership. Coaching or mentoring managers, especially new managers who have risen from technical backgrounds, becomes an essential ingredient for most successful organizations. This will also reduce turn-over, sabotage, and legal challenges.

6. Train employees to control their stress and anger appropriately

Give all of your employees the tools they need to manage their own individual stresses and anger. Do not assume that they will learn civility and self-management outside of work. Though this requires time, resources, and management attention, it will pay off in increased organizational productivity and employee loyalty.

7. Manage organizational stress and transition management

Learn how to manage your organizations transitions and help your executives and employees survive the stress at work. This will prevent problems and create an environment where positive performance can thrive.

8. Create an anger management program for individuals with clear goals

When someone has an identified anger management challenge, it may be a great management decision to assist your personnel with a anger management program rather than replacing these people or expecting and outside agency to fix your “problem.” Programs can be tailored for your specific requirements. Some have a 2 day seminar and individual coaching if individuals require additional support. Other organizations may have on-going, and mandatory, groups for people identified with anger challenges. External coaches or therapists are often hired for these programs so confidentiality does not become an issue in the work environment.

9. Take immediate action: Zero tolerance of anger and violence

Tolerating anger displays or violence is dangerous. It can send the wrong message and opening your organization up to harassment law suits. Leaders must be strong with this Zero Tolerance.

10. Offer ways to speak out safely about issues to prevent anger and violence (be open to creative solutions)

Create venues that allow people to be heard. Respect diversity of opinion. Create a safe way to express appropriate levels of stress and frustration. Always look to build a better environment and culture.

To implement these principles can require resolve and leadership. Many organizations require coaching and consulting to make these deep changes to their culture. The pay-off can be found in increased productivity, loyalty, and more creativity to problem solving.

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Source by L. John Mason

Top 10 Tips to Get Positive Reactions to Change

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10 Tips to Get Positive Reactions to Change

Where managers instigate or implement change, there is a strong need for making sure that they take steps to bring everyone along.

This must be driven by managers themselves, for the changes they lead must engage with those who need to follow for the most value-creating outcomes to be achieved.

Here are 10 top tactics the best managers adopt to ensure that change has the best chance of success:

1. Build Relationships in Advance

By ensuring that your style is to engage with your people at all times, when the chips are down they will help you make change much easier to implement. Building trust is the key and the earlier you start, the better.

2. Communicate Fully

When change is in the air, employees need information voids filled, or this will encourage gossip and speculation. Giving as much information – as clearly as you can – will bring more people onboard with the changes and avoid some of the confusion, frustration and ultimately, confrontation.

3. Involve the Team in Ownership

As change involves everyone, it’s only right that they should be fully involved too. Seeking input at an early stage makes them sense that all control is not lost, which will help them feel less vulnerable.

4. Listen Carefully

During change, people feel that they need to be heard. That’s one of your key roles – to show that you appreciate them and their position, by listening carefully to what they say. Using active listening skills helps to build the relationship and reduces friction.

5. Respond to Questions

There will be many questions to field when change affects people and you have to do your best to field them as considerately as possible. Whilst you may need to follow a process for many reasons, you can sill answer their questions where you are able – and explain why you can’t in other situations.

6. Focus on the ‘What’

The key outcomes of change are the ‘what’ of the exercise and that has to be, most often, a given. It’s changes that are going to happen and that might not be very flexible (don’t be tempted to flinch here, whatever the provocation).

7. Be Flexible on the ‘How’

Yet often there are opportunities to deliver the outcomes you need in a variety of ways as well. Where you show some flexibility in the ‘how’ to achieve an outcome, you will find that engages your people all the more.

8. Involve Others in Solution Finding

So, you can always ask! If you have flexibility in the ‘how’ of outcomes being delivered, get your people on board with finding the best ways. Often this brings out their potential, as well as surprising options you might not have even considered.

9. Be Firm and Fair

Where different options are presented to you, be as objective as you can in accepting them or not. The outcome is the prize and by letting go of some of your own ‘hows’ you will often come through the change exercise with a positive feeling towards you – and achieve the overall outcomes you desire.

10. Respect Feelings

Above all, there will be a range of emotions expressed as change hits. Everyone is different and where you see that and respect it, you will be valued as a manager more than ever before.

It is possible to drive change and still hold the energy of your people. When they see you as on their side as you can be, they will respect you and provide the opportunity to move forward – after change – successfully.

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Source by Martin Haworth

Leadership Expectations – 20 Expectations For Leadership Success

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20 Expectations For Leadership Success 1 20 Expectations For Leadership Success 2

How many times are individuals hired into leadership positions without really knowing what their own leadership expects of them? This is especially troublesome for those who are first time managers. As a leader, I always found it not only important but inspiring to share with my management team what I expected of each of them as leaders within the organization. Of course, turn around is always fair play. They also individually shared with me what they expected of me as their leader. Sharing expectations up front not only allowed us to come together as a high performance leadership team more quickly, but also gave us all the opportunity from the start to jointly build the best work team we could for the organization as a whole.

Below are 20 leadership expectations I have shared and found valuable for creating a strong leadership team.

1. Respect each other – treat everyone well. Do not be confrontational. Maintain their self-esteem. Be sensitive to the tone of your voice and the words that you speak. Give people the respect and the dignity they deserve. Do unto others, as they would have you do unto them. Trust people and honor the best they have to offer. You should always be in a partnership, you are part of the same team and everyone benefits form the organization being successful.

2. Act with integrity, speak honestly and do the right thing. Always, always tell the truth. Then you will not have to try and remember what you said. Choose your highest thought about something when trying to decide how to act.

3. Motivate with a mission; lead from the heart with passion and compassion. Give people a compelling reason for being a part of this organization. Employees are far more likely to put their heart in the game for a manager who breaks through the facade of invincibility and demonstrates humanness. Have a passionate belief in your ideas and values. Say the words “I believe” and share your thoughts with your team. Get people excited! Know that your true power comes from within, the source that fuels all success.

4. Be adaptable. Stay creative. Have the courage to do things differently. Find ways to always improve. Be willing to think a new thought if you want to create a different (new and improved) reality. Instill in others the need to “think a new thought”. Remember, change is part of the natural order of things. You must either change or be left behind. Be comfortable with letting go of the past in order to gab hold of a different future.

5. Pick your battles – know your non-negotiables. How you manage a crisis will determine whether it escalates or goes away. So pick your battles wisely. Some things are not worth fighting for now. Timing is everything!! Do not allow problems to fester. Deal with it. Recognize problems right away and deal with them.

6. Keep communications open. Deconstruct the barriers that inhibit the ability of the organization to learn, grow and continually adapt while moving forward. Create an organization that allows the sharing and flow of thought and information to proceed effortlessly as part of the process for the greater good. Learn to listen to and handle adversity while adhering to your beliefs. Take the heat and move on.

7. Get in the wheelbarrow! We succeed or fail together – it’s a partnership. People must know that everyone, including you, is in this together. They must understand that your success as a leader is linked to their success.

8. Always look for ways to improve something (remember everything can be improved upon until it is no longer needed). Keep being creative and looking for new ideas and thoughts. Find ways to always be improving, find new ways to win. Do not get stuck in “that’s the way we’ve always done it” because if that’s true, it’s probably time to change.

9. Live for the future, not from the past. Put your team in “future think” while bridging the gap between the past and the future. Find ways to not only create a vision for the future but also become that “vision” now, in the present. Remember you must first envision it before you can be it, you must be it before you can do it, you must do it before you can have it and only when you have it can you then claim it – SUCCESS!!

10. Work with a sense of urgency. You must understand that we do not have unlimited time! Everything has a time limit and nothing last forever. Lead with a sense of urgency and purpose knowing that what you are currently working on now is only a stepping-stone to the next opportunity that lies before you and your team.

11. Build a team ego – inflate the people around you. Put the group first. Make the people around you feel better. Make people proud to be a part of the team. Let people know they are “making history” everyday. Center success around the teams’ accomplishments. Build a team culture with shared values.

12. Do not just go through the day GROW through the day so tomorrow you can achieve more. Everyday look for or create opportunities for the members of your team to develop and grow. Remember the more they become, they more they can offer to not only the team’s success but their personal success as well.

13. Meetings: get in – get out! Enough said, literally!

14. Promote and support a balanced worklife. Realize, people don’t live to work; they work to live. Therefore, embrace the fact that they have a life outside of work, and so do you. Lead from the knowledge that people live within a holistic system that includes what happens inside and outside of work.

15. Show appreciation. Personally recognize. Understand that your team is the most valuable resource you have. It is what makes your leadership and the ability to succeed as an organization unique. Recognize that your team is uniquely qualified to deliver success to the organization. What you do with the unique talents, experiences and expertise that resides within your team will make all the difference between success and failure. There is no other team like the one you have on this planet, so lead like it.

16. Communicate what you want. Know the dangers of assumptions. Have one-on-one meetings to keep people informed. People cannot be blamed or held responsible for what they do not know. Make sure the message is understood. Do not simple assume people know what you want.

17. Be your own messenger. Be hands-on, talk to the team (everyday), reaffirm the vision, and constantly keep it out there. Be visible and let others see you lead. Let your team hear you and see you leading from the future, versus holding onto the past.

18. Act decisively – be an “intentional leader”. Decide to succeed on purpose and do what it takes to make that happen. Forget about “trying” because there is no such thing. You either get the results you want or your don’t. So decide to be a successful leader. Learn the methods of other successful leaders. Learn what works and what doesn’t and find what works best for you.

19. Don’t be afraid to fail. Take personal ownership and pride in all you are responsible for. Failure is part of the leadership package. Do not be afraid to be wrong, do not be afraid to fail, its part of the process. Failure is just another class in school. Just remember, when you fail, fail fast, learn from it and then keep moving forward.

20. Always “be of service”. Everything you do as a leader must be geared towards nurturing an environment that makes peoples lives better. Stay in service to others and those that are depending on you for your leadership.

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Source by Angela Chammas

6 Ways Motivation Can Make You Invincible

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6 Ways Motivation Can Make You Invincible

Having a positive attitude and great spirits serve as a great weapon to catapult the weak and immature rivals and enemies. The more you show them your motivational grace, the more uncomfortable they feel and keep their distance. This article shows several ways motivation can make you invincible.

Here are those 6 ways:

1) Courage: Yes, motivation uplifts your spirits and boosts your courage. The way you talk with your rivals and enemies makes you seem invincible. It frightens them out of their guts and they stay away.

2) Power: Having motivational spirits gives you power. You are able to be in command and be a leader at the top, guiding and making everyone follow you. In that sense too, having power is in other words being invincible.

3) Not saying yes easily: Lots of requests for favors will come to you because you are the one on the top with power along with motivational spirits but you will have to reject majority of them. In this case, not saying yes easily makes you invincible.

4) Being influential: A signature from you for any great purpose means so much because you are so influential as a result of your motivational sense. You can easily reject them if you think they are not good enough while you can also consent to them. Everything is in your hands and people are at your mercy which makes you invincible.

5) Happiness: Having motivation allows you to stay happy and in a good mood, enjoying the mojo of life. In this way too you stand out from others, who are mostly seeking happiness but are not getting enough of it. They want to know your secrets. Either you share with them or not. It’s your choice and that makes you invincible as well.

6) Good work / life balance: Because of your high motivation, you are able to keep your cool and get along harmoniously with people at work and also keep your family members satisfied. You create a territory which no one is able to intrude and you protect everyone under your care. This is a sign of being invincible as well.

These are 6 great ways motivation makes you invincible. Having power, courage, saying no, being influential and happy with good work / life balance all enable you to stay on the top while you are in great demand for people from all nook and corners. Either you listen to their woes or not. Either you do something for them or not. They are eager to be nice to you and behave modestly while the choice is yours. This way you become a mighty invincible person who cannot be conquered but will conquer all.

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Source by Rosina S Khan

10 Advantages Of Field Data Collection With Mobile Devices

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Field Data Collection can be a very difficult and time-consuming process. Collecting field data manually requires a great supply of money, materials, staff and other resources. With such an investment comes the great responsibility of collecting the right data in the short amount of time, as the data collected on the field affects the productivity of the company.

All thanks to the ever-evolving technology, with the help of mobile devices seems to be the only solution to the challenges faced by the field data collection teams. This not only replaces the age-old obsolete Pen-Paper method of data collection but also provides new ways of utilizing the time of the workforce available on the field. The field data collection app is built suitable for all devices be it data collection app for Android or be it data collection app for iOS.

The mobile device based tools have been established in almost all developed as well as developing countries. It is but obvious that the companies which adopt this online method prosper more than the ones who are still stuck in the age-old methodologies.

Let’s take a look at the advantages to executives and workers who have specialization in this area.

1. Supercharged Productivity

Mobile forms based platforms allow systematic and efficient organization of the data collected thanks to its real-time indicators. This allows a lot of time to be saved in collecting data and reporting it back to the head office. All the employee has to do is simply fill the form on his/her mobile device and submit them instantly for analysis.

2. Never Lose Data

Data, mostly old data is always required to verify or sometimes even to compare with the new data allowing a company to set new benchmarks and define long-term goals. The data collected on the mobile form is saved directly to the cloud. This helps in enabling the user to access the data whenever and wherever the user wants without the fear of ever losing the data.

3. Allows Collection Of Rich Data

Collection of just numbers and text is just like some other methods. But the collection of rich data is now possible all because of mobile data collection forms. Rich data includes things like images, location, audio, video and also scanning a barcode. This enables one to determine authenticities of the collected product or information.

4. Huge Cost Savings

Saving idle time and resources lead to the savings of huge amounts of money. Mobile forms do the same thing and cut costs in the processes like transportation or even cutting the use of paper and many more such things. As it also saves data to the cloud the losses occurring due to loss of data is also eliminated.

5. Works Even Offline

Mobile forms can be filled both online and in offline mode. This works very well as there are a lot of areas in the world which still do not have mobile network coverage. All the worker needs to do is fill in the form and save it to upload later whenever the device gets internet access.

6. Comparing With Other Data

It is very easy to compare data on field apps rather than comparing it manually. Data collected on the App can be easily compared with the already existing data. This allows the management to take important decisions that can further add to the productivity of the company in near future.

7. High Service Quality

Mobile forms do the evaluation of work in a faster and efficient way with great accuracy, This adds to the satisfaction of both the service provider and the customer.

8. Workflow Automation

Zero or minimum human interference minimizes the time required to do work and also eliminates errors made by humans. The workflow is made smooth as it is being automated and hence follow every step as set by the form builder at the start and is followed again and again without the actual involvement of the user.

9. Accelerated Process

Instant email of collected data is sent to the customers, colleagues, and partners instantly. The dispatch feature allows to assign jobs quickly and handle approvals with mobile workflows.

10. The Ease Of Use

Perhaps the best advantage of field data collection is its Ease of use. Mobile forms are prepared easily using drag and drop method on their websites. These data collection mobile forms are then distributed on the mobile devices of the field worker to fill up and provide necessary details.

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Source by Sumeet Zarkar

10 Key Competencies for Change Managers

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10 Key Competencies For Change Managers

Although change management is founded on established theories, in too many cases initiatives fail to produce intended outcomes, and go over time and over budget. One study by Gartner Research, for example, found that of the companies surveyed 90% had experienced significant change within the past two years, but only 5% had avoided substantial disruptions and finished on time. Why do problems like these exist? Is there something wrong with change management theory? Or does the problem lie with how people perform?

In this article we examine 10 key competencies for change managers.

1. They must have proven research ability: Change management is a form of problem-solving. The best solutions to the problems are not discovered by guesswork, hunches, a ‘sixth sense’, or past experience. The stakes are far too high to trust unreliable processes. Problem analysis and solutions must be based on scientific evidence, and that means change management must be seen as a social science research exercise. Managers don’t need rigid ‘maps’ of how they work or get overly excited about the tools they have at their disposal. What they really need is a sound knowledge of how to conduct excellent research in social sciences. They need to know how to design research projects to collect sufficient, valid and reliable data; how to analyse data; how to report findings; and how to use the findings to create practical and workable solutions.

2. They must have a clear understanding of the change process: Nobody is going to do a good job if they don’t know what change is, how it works, and the theory and principles of how to manage it. Their understanding must be based on well-established research. It cannot be based on what the person ‘thinks’ change is, or on past personal experience. Change management is on shaky ground without a thorough understanding of the change process and established management principles.

3. They must be able to overcome resistance to change: It is a well-known and often lamented reality that people in organizations resist change. They do so for all kinds of reasons – and the manager must be aware of what those reasons are and how to overcome them. Failure to manage resistance sees most change initiatives ultimately fail in a slow war of attrition.

4. They must be able to identify and work with key change agents: Key change agents are people who are ready for change, and people of influence. People with readiness are unlikely to resist the change (providing it is introduced well) however, they are likely to spread positive stories about it. Those are the kind of stories you want.

5. Change managers must be able to harness the power of narratives: Stories create extremely powerful forces that can make or break change. Change managers must be able to tap into those forces and shape the kinds of stories people are telling within the organization.

6. They must be able to address cultural issues: Organizational culture is a broad concept that includes elements such as belief systems, attitudes, use of language, expectations, management styles, etc. These cultural elements must be examined to see if they are contributing to resistance, or contributing to change. The manager must know how to assess them and how to influence them, as required.

7. They must ensure organizational processes and structures support change: The processes and structures within the organization must support change for it to be successful, and it is essential the manager is aware of how these processes and structures impact the change process.

8. They must be able to use the power of organizational networks: Organizations are networked structures. Certain people are influential, and certain people have power. Change managers need to be skilled at working with different types of people. They need to be able to influence powerful and influential people so they become engaged with the change and contribute positively to the process.

9. They must have commitment for the change: Change can be tedious and exacting – most complex problem-solving exercises are. The manager must be dedicated to continually solve problems as they arise, to change tactics, and to see the process through to completion.

10. They must have realistic expectations: Change managers must be realistic about how difficult the process might be, and how long it might take. They also need to be realistic about how staff might react, and what their challenges could be.

The role of change manager is a complex and demanding one that requires a specialised skillset and extensive knowledge. The list of competencies listed here is by no means exhaustive. If the manager is not up to the task change can become very expensive, very disruptive, and potentially toxic to the organization. Even if you have skilled and experienced internal change managers, there are advantages to securing help from outside. External change managers provide an objective view and not caught up in organizational politics.

Steve Barlow

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Source by Steve Barlow

7 Ways You Can Make Your Company a Great Place to Work

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Losing a great employee is costly. Your company loses time, money, and the information stored in that person’s brain about how things work well and what to do next.

It’s clear that employee retention is a priority for you as a leader and for those working with people in your company, which is probably everyone within your company.

The time to start addressing retention of great employees is now. Here are 7 ways you can keep your best staff members and create a desirable place to work:

  1. Start at onboarding . Help newly hired people know what is expected of them, including your standards of quality and customer service. Clarity of expectations makes it easier to succeed.
  1. Keep your Impact Purpose visible . Talk about your Impact Purpose and keep talking about it at every meeting. People want to be part of something bigger than themselves.
  1. Be willing to have your mind changed . It’s one thing to collect employee suggestions; it’s quite another to decide to act on them. When people feel heard and that they affecting things, they’ll be more fulfilled.
  1. Be empathetic and make sure your managers understand the importance of that too. In a LinkedIn survey, 25% of employees left their company due to personal issues, like childcare or elderly parent care challenges or other family issues. By providing a willing ear, you may be able to find a solution while retaining your employee.
  1. Be kind . Compassion goes a long way in the workplace. Treating people with respect is a hallmark of a great place to work. Being people-focused in this way will pay off for your company, and also contribute to you as a leader having a better experience at work and as a human being. Even Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn’s CEO, changed his hard-charging leadership to strongly focus on compassion. LinkedIn has grown to more than 250 million members and was acquired in 2016 for $ 26.2 billion.
  1. Talk to people . One of the companies I know that has a significant impact even though they’re small is Askinosie Chocolate. Their CEO, Shawn Askinosie, does a regular gemba walk. Gemba is a Japanese word that means visiting the shop floor. He makes a point of talking with everyone. Your company may be too large to do that, but you can still talk to quite a few people, and make sure that your company management team do the same. This personal contact helps keep people engaged because they know you really care about them.
  1. Share information . Open book management can be one method you can use to be transparent with employees. Some companies do regular weekly meetings to share financials, ongoing issues, and to discuss the future. Keeping people in the loop was # 2 of the things employees indicated as most important to them. No one wants things done to them. They want to be part of it, to be informed.

Retaining good people requires less work than onboarding someone new. The Center for American Progress found that the average cost to replace an employee is 10-30% of their annual salary. Even if you’re feeling squeezed for time, making time for this will pay off.

People spend more than a third of their adult lives at work. They want that time to matter, to be fulfilling and satisfying. And more than ever, they are prepared to vote with their feet about where they choose to work.

Make employee relationships and retention one of your affected as a leader. You won’t regret it.

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Source by Ursula Jorch

Communication and Personal Growth – 5 Key Factors For Growing Yourself and Connecting With Others

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How well you communicate is an indicator of your personal growth. The better you can connect with others, the more you will want to take on situations that stretch your self-development. The more “on purpose” conversations you have, the more you will seek opportunities to learn and grow.

All conversations come with some level of risk attached. Some conversations, such as an exchange between you and your dry cleaner, may carry little risk. Compare this to asking your boss for a raise or confronting a challenging client where you have at stake, and you’ll realize that higher risk conversations naturally increase your self-growth. The more frequently you engage in “higher risk” conversations the more you’ll feel confident and empowered to act on your own behalf.

Consider these five factors of effective communication:

Intention: Communicating with an honest and true intention is not as easy as it sounds. You’ll need a great deal of self-awareness to notice if your intention is purely for your own gains even if it is shrouded beneath the cloak of helping others. Consciously observe your conversations for a period of time and notice your true intentions.

Empathy: Much has been said about the ability to be empathic or the ability to vicariously experience the feelings of another. The truth is that without this component communication becomes hollow and lacks energy. It is the energy of empathy that promotes self-growth. Truly empathic exchanges can provide new insights and isn’t that the basis of personal growth?

Confidence: The ability to rely upon yourself, to own all that you know and to own all that you don’t, is the basis of self-confidence.This type of pure self-assurance is not “knowing it all” but rather the inner strength to declare what you don’t know but are willing to learn. The confident person says “tell me more.” The more you learn and put to good use the more you escalate your own development.

Engagement: Though engagement is a common business buzz word today with respect to involving employees, engagement is the key to avoiding misunderstandings. In a conversation it is more than active listening. It is the ability to integrate the interpretation of messages between parties. Your message may sound different in your listener’s mind than your intended message and vice versa. Engaging your listener means both holding their attention and interacting like a set of aligned gears.

Patience: It takes time to develop effective communication just as it takes time to develop personal growth. It takes fortitude to become proficient at handling difficult or higher risk conversations. Allow yourself the freedom of patience.

Take the challenge and increase the frequency of conversations that have more at stake and enjoy the rewards of becoming a more confident communicator.

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Source by Allie Q Casey

7 Steps Effective Strategic Planning Process

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7 Steps Effective Strategic Planning Process

This TQM article provides an insight of a typical Strategic Planning Process that was used in several organizations and proven to be very practical in implementation. the key processes of this typical Strategic Planning Process are lined up into 7 steps. Detail of each steps are illustrated below:-

Step 1 – Review or develop Vision & Mission

Able to obtain first hand information from various stakeholders (Shareholders, customers, employee, suppliers communities etc).

You may use templates to evaluate how the stakeholders think about your organization. To find out whether their action are aligned with the organization’s objectives.

To review or develop company’s Vision and Mission with the involvement of other stakeholders to ensure it is still current with the business changes and new challenges. Also use this session as a mean for communication.

Step 2 – Business and operation analysis (SWOT Analysis etc)

One of the key consideration of strategic planning is to understand internal (own organization) Strengths and Weaknesses as well as external Threats and Opportunities. These are commonly known as the four factors of a S.W.O.T. analysis.

Involvement from various stakeholders to provide their points of view about your organization is key. In the process, you will gain better buy-in from these implementers of strategies and policies.

Step 3 – Develop and Select Strategic Options

You may use templates to develop several key possible strategies to address the organization’s objectives. More important, these possible strategies are develop based on the inputs from stakeholders (step 1) and Business and Operation analysis (step 2).

It is often several possible strategies are developed and everyone of them seems important. Since it is quite normal that an organization would have several key issues to tackle, you will be able to use a proper tools to select a few from the possible strategies. You will b e able to apply several prioritizing tools as introduced in this step.

Step 4 – Establish Strategic Objectives

During this step, you will be able to view the overall picture about the organization and able to select a few strategic options objectively. Template may be used to understand various strategic options, set key measures and broad time line to ensure the selected strategic options are achieved.

While it is quite common that measures and timeline is given by top management, it is the intention of this step 4 that these measures and timeline is SMART . What it meant was Specific (S), Measurable (M), Achievable (A), Realistic (R) and Time-bound (T). when the strategic options are SMART, it will help to ease the communication toward the lower level of the organizational hierarchy for implementation.

Step 5 – Strategy Execution Plan

Many organization failed to realize its full potential of its strategies are due to weak implementation. In this Step 5, a proper deployment plan is developed to implement these strategies.

Step 6 – Establish Resource Allocation

Very often, management team assigned selected strategies to key personnel and left it to the individual to carry out the task. While most organizations operate with minimum resources, it often ends up work overloaded by individual.

Step 7 – Execution Review

One of the key success factors for an effective strategy deployment is constant review of its progress and make decision for any deviations to plan. It is vital to decide what to review and with who the review is done. New decision may be required as the status of the strategies progressed.

In summary: Follow this 7-steps in Strategic Planning will ensure various options are considered including its execution, resource allocation d and Execution Review. This 7-Steps form a complete cycle for new or existing Strategic Planning initiatives

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Source by Dr LM Foong