Marissa International. All rights Reserved.
Make Life at Work Better for Your Team
According to a recent Bersin Report, a major focus in the years ahead will be on human performance – a combination of how we think, feel, experience, and react to the world around us. People today are experiencing higher stress levels, pressure to do more in less time, and forced to juggle multiple priorities – all with a smile on their face. So, it’s not surprising to see employees disengaging and burning out. For example, the Bersin report shows:
- Employee engagement levels today are no higher than they were 10 years ago
- Productivity in the United States after the iPhone launch has slowed (ironic considering the device was meant to make us more productive)
- Employees in the United States take 4-5 days less vacation now that they did in 1998
- Almost 40% of employees believe it is impossible to maintain a growing career and sound family life
Work-life balance is important – but don’t overlook the importance of life at work. How do we as leaders make the work we offer one that encourages employees to perform at their best AND enjoy themselves while they’re doing it? What is good about life at work at your organization? What is not? How are you challengingyour employees to be their best? Consider adopting these strategies when assessing your company’s life at work:
We all crave to find a deeper meaning in the work we do – to have purpose, to contribute to something bigger than ourselves and to feel energized. How does the work you offer contribute to the small and big picture (company, industry, community, self)? Although this is often a personal journey, employers can support the importance of discovering purpose with their employees.
Having someone who helps you work through challenges, pushes you out of your comfort zone, and helps to define your career path is something many of us long for in our careers. Effective mentors are perfect for this and go a long way in keeping employees engaged and excited about the work they do.
In addition to these strategies, ensuring your employees have access to the resources they need and keeping the lines of communication open are always key to making life at work better. We spend a big chunk of our waking hours at work – shouldn’t making it a great experience be a top priority? We think so.
Reach out to us at https://www.successfulculture.com/contact/ to discover how we can help your organization make your organization’s life at work better. Our SCALE Academy is the perfect place to start! Building cultures where everyone can thrive is what we do best.
3 Powerful Ways Your Company Brand Fuels Your Culture
The ‘War for Talent’. I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase over and over – and perhaps, even have a battlefield story of your own. Today more than ever, companies are competing for talent – forcing employers to find ways to stand out from the pack. There is one thing that makes each company unique and should be the foundation for how you attract job seekers – your employer brand.
When you have a strong employer brand imbedded in your recruiting strategy, you find authentic ways to connect with and inspire the talent you need today and tomorrow. Today’s job seekers aren’t just looking for a J.O.B. – they want to work for a company with a culture that fits their goals, personality and values. If you brand speaks to this, you are more likely to attract the type of people that will fit into your culture – resulting in 50% more qualified candidates at your doorstep. Sounds amazing, right?
Well-known companies such as L’Oreal and Salesforce know how to position their employer brand in recruitment. But you don’t have to be a huge company to do this well – companies large and small made a recent top 10 list for winning at employer branding. So, what are these companies doing well? And, more importantly, how can you start doing it? Start off by considering the following strategies:
Your company’s career page should not just be a place where you list open positions (a thing of the past). Instead, use this as a platform to promote your company’s culture and values. This is your chance to connect to job seekers on an emotional level and make them want to work for you.
Words on a website are not enough. Use videos with testimonials from real, live employees – highlighting why they love to work for you or even show a ‘day-in-the-life’ of an employee. Let your employees do the talking. This connects job seekers to your people, giving it a personal touch.
Social media is your friend when it comes to promoting your employer brand. And with 79% of job seekers using social media in their job search (even higher for Millennials), this is a platform you just can’t ignore. Strive for a cohesive message across all social platforms with links back to your careers page – enticing job seekers to learn more. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are all fantastic platforms to engage and create a fan-following – building a candidate pipeline for the future.
Hiring great talent is not an easy task. With companies competing for the best and brightest, it is vital that you position your company in the strongest way possible. Your brand tells the world who you are as an organization. What is your story?
What does your employee’s well-being say about your culture?
Over the last few years, we’ve seen a focus on employee well-being and improving ‘life at work’ – recognizing the importance of supporting the mental, physical and emotional health of our workforce. Afterall, our mental and physical energy drives our ability to think, act and create. Although offering a wellness program is often made with the best of intentions, these programs often fall short because one key element was overlooked – the role of the organization’s culture.
What does that mean? Well, think of it this way…If you tell people to get an annual physical, but do not offer programs that address health concerns or foster a culture that is inactive, how are you really helping them? At the end of the day, you cannot force someone to participate; however, the more you tie your program back to your culture and what fits within your organization, the better is will be received. Unlike the movie Field of Dreams, employee wellness initiatives cannot have a ‘build it and they will come’ approach. There’s more to it.
Don’t believe me? Consider these wellness stats: Although 85% of companies offer a wellness program, only 60% of employees are even aware it exists – and of those who know it exists, only 40% participate. To be successful, your wellness program must have strong leadership support, reflect the company’s cultural beliefs and values, and address the whole employee (social, emotional, mental and physical health).
So how can you weave your culture into your wellness initiative? Try some of these great ideas:
- Get Moving! Consider adopting stand-up meetings vs having everyone sitting as usual. Or conduct a walking meeting if it is just with one or two others. In fact, walking meetings are linked to increased creativity! Steve Jobs knew this as he preferred to conduct important business meetings while on a walk. The more we move, the more creative and engaged we can be.
- Skip the Donuts! Ok, maybe not every time given they are a crowd pleaser, but make sure to offer healthy snacks that are packed with the nutrition our bodies need when working long hours on a critical project.
- Reward & Recognize! Your employees are working hard on their wellness – reward them for their effort! And make it public to show your support and commitment to a healthy culture. Receiving positive feedback is a great way to boost emotional health.
The wellness of your employees matters. It is not only human to care about others – especially those that give us their time, ideas and energy day in and day out – but creating a culture of wellness will inevitably impact your bottom line – enabling your organization to be more productive, more creative, and just a great place to work for all.
Reach out to us at https://www.successfulculture.com/contact/ to discover how we can help your organization design a wellness program that reflects your cultural values to best engage your employees. Our SCALE Academy is the perfect place to start! Building cultures where everyone feels valued is what we do best.
When It Comes to Rewards & Recognition Programs, Culture and Timing is Everything.
The Boston Red Sox are World Series Champions! Years of hard work, dedication, and drive culminated this past week – end result? Trophies, championship rings, banners, confetti, bubbly, praise – celebration for a job well done. Did the players have to wait long for these rewards? Not at all. The world was right there ready to reward them in real time (well, maybe not the L.A. Dodger fans!). What a letdown if everyone had to wait 6 months to celebrate!
In the workplace, the timing of rewards and linking the program to your culture is everything when it comes to offering a rewards and recognition program that delivers real impact.
In recent years, we’ve experienced a shift from traditional once-a-year performance reviews to a more continuous performance management model . This shift has brought about a new challenge as many organizations have not adjusted their rewards and recognition programs to fit this new approach. According to a study published by Deloitte, 40% of companies have re-engineered performance management, yet only 5% believe they have best-of-breed reward programs and worse yet, 74% say their programs are ‘out of date’. The result? Employees are not being rewarded in real-time for the efforts. The shine wears off by the time the reward catches up.
To design a best-in-class rewards and recognition program that fits your culture and motivates your employees, consider the following:
- Your culture should be the driving force behind your rewards and recognition program. Base your rewards around the shared values, beliefs and mission of your organization.
- Reward in real-time and even on-the-spot for outstanding performance. Gone are the days of rewarding for performance only at the annual review cycle.
- Offer a well-rounded strategy that considers both the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation of your employees.
- Make rewards personal. Reward programs need to speak to all people. Offer rewards that fit your culture and that all of your employee can love.
Employee rewards and recognition programs can strengthen your organization’s culture, employee engagement and overall performance. Reach out to us at https://www.successfulculture.com/contact/ to discover how we can help your organization design a best-in-class program that fits your culture perfectly. Our SCALE Academy is the perfect place to start! Building cultures where everyone feels valued is what we do best.
Are Your Leaders of Tomorrow Ready…Today?
As a leader, one of the most important things you can do is groom the next generation as capable of continuing your vision – or better yet, transform it into something even better than you could have imagined. When leaders fail to develop those around them, no one wins. Top talent leaves for greener pastures and businesses struggle to grow. Take it from Seattle Genetics, Amazon or any of the other companies voted as having the best training and development programs – when your leadership training program is done right, job satisfaction levels increase, you promote more from within and have better retention overall. Everyone wins.
Need more convincing? Consider this – 63% of Millennials do not believe their leadership skills are being fully developed and are likely to leave an employer for an opportunity to better develop those skills. Possibly more shocking – in a study reported in Forbes, 58% of managers said they did not receive any type of management training for their current role – inferring they may be good at their job, but have no direction on how to lead others. So what’s a business leader to do? Here are a few things to consider when designing your leadership training program…
Leadership Training that Fits Your Culture
Developing a leadership training program does not happen overnight – it takes careful planning and execution to ensure you have a program that fits your culture. Some skills are universal to becoming a strong leader such as being a great communicator , knowing how to delegate, and executing against the “big picture”. However, make sure to look to your culture for additional skills and behaviors that represent a good leader in your organization. A great resource for this is your people. As them “As an emerging leader, what skills do you want to personally develop?”
Offer Internal Mobility
Don’t limit your employee’s vision of what growth opportunities are possible. Becoming a great leader is not a straight path up the org chart. Instead, encouraging internal mobility and cross-department training is a great way to give your next generation leaders hands-on experience. Understanding how the business operates from different vantage points creates a well-rounded leader.
Maximize the Learning Experience
To maximize the learning experience, learning content needs to be user-friendly and personal. Traditional classroom training can be highly effective; however, with today’s mobile app capability and introduction of AI, learners are increasingly pushing for “on-the-go”, individualized training. Riding the train to and from work, flying to a client meeting, or on their own time, employees today love the flexibility that on demand learning provides.
As with any program, the success (or lack thereof) often depends on whether or not the program has support from the top (that means you!). Executive leadership support shows your leaders of tomorrow that you are committed to their development and growing the organization.
Developing a leadership training program is the perfect way to create a culture of continuous learning, which will benefit your organization today, tomorrow and beyond. Reach out to us at https://www.successfulculture.com/contact/ to discover how we can help your organization develop a leadership training program that develops and retains your top talent too. Our SCALE Academy is the perfect place to start! Building cultures where everyone thrives is what we do best.
Want Better Results? Be a Better Leader. Better Yet, Be a Coach.
The world’s greatest leaders have something in common – the ability to engage, inspire and connect with those around them. From leaders on the championship court such as LeBron James to those at the top of forward-thinking organizations like Sheryl Sandberg, they have a way of rallying others to produce outstanding results.
The way you lead has a direct impact on your organization’s culture. Consider this…according to a report in USA Today, nearly one-third of employees reported that their bosses hurt company culture and roughly 25% said that their manager didn’t care about them as a person. Your leadership style has a direct impact on performance, engagement, and how others view your organization.
But what makes a great leader? Traditional leadership models continue to be challenged in today’s modern workplace. Modern leaders resemble that of a coach, yet many leaders today still don’t know what this looks like. According to an article in Inc. magazine, 93% of managers feel they need training on how to coach their employees. There are many elements to being a great coach in today’s modern workplace – here are few of my favorites:
- Be a coach, not a dictator
John Wooden said it best, “Make sure that the team members know they are working with you, not for you.” A leader today needs to be viewed as part of the team – not someone who is dishing out orders from behind a desk. Roll up your sleeves and get into the trenches with a collaborative style. Know when to be hands-on and when to let your team run with it. Cultures should be designed around networks, squads or teams – not a traditional top-down hierarchy.
- Practice involved detachment
According to research by DeLoitte, recent shifts in organizational design models require a different kind of leader – one who embraces a fluid, collaborative culture. Practice involved detachment…let your team members set their own goals and get to the end on their own. As General Stanley McChrystal shared, “A leader isn’t good because they’re right; they’re good because they’re willing to learn and trust”.
- Cultivate your digital mindset
As the world evolves, leaders need to embrace a digital mindset and coach their teams to do the same. Research by Josh Bersin indicates that much like the technologies that power our organizations, leadership needs to “be” digital. Be adaptable, try things before you have all the answers, and form a healthy relationship with risk.
Bobby Knight once said “To be as good as it can be, a team has to buy into what you as the coach are doing. They have to feel you’re a part of them and they’re a part of you.” This philosophy holds true on and off the court. Leaders shape the culture of their organizations. The time is now to be an inspiring, collaborative, and empowering leader – coaching your team to the finish line.
Looking to sharpen your leadership style and create your best culture? Reach out to us here. We love helping our clients grow into the leaders they were destined to be, and build their most successful organizations. We want to do the same for you.
Three Integrated Strategies for Peak Productivity
We all have a set number of hours in a day, with multiple demands always competing for our attention. How do we maximize efficiency & productivity? This is a MAJOR issue with most leaders who are chasing way too many relationships, company tasks, opportunities, and requirements.
Productivity is essential for health and happiness because it allows leaders to get off the constantly running treadmill and incorporate downtime for rest. “Busy” often has a way of looking like “Productive.”
Peak Productivity Results from the successful integration of three things:
1: Time Management
2: Energy Management
• Say NO. No is a complete sentence. Limit volunteering. Say no to lunch and coffee appointments. Offer a 15-minute skype session/Google hangout instead.
• Make decisions quickly – avoid ANALYSIS PARALYSIS. I’m setting up a media studio in my home for the weekly video tapings I am launching in June, and for my podcast show (summer launch planned). The amount of information available on equipment is overwhelming. I am keeping a narrow focus and working from a checklist to get what I need, and actually MOVE FORWARD rather than getting caught up in a never-ending swirl of decision making.
• Set an agenda for every meeting to make the time together meaningful and effective. If someone can’t identify three desired outcomes for your time together, don’t meet with them. This goes for 5-minute meetings, 15-minute meetings, or 50-minute meetings.
• Set time limits on things that can drag you down a rabbit hole (research, new ideas, networking events). Create a time budget for new activities you are going to explore.
• If possible, bundle your commitments/appointments to get the most “mileage” out of driving. Do not drive 45 minutes each way for one appointment.
• Put boundaries in place with people/activities/groups to allow downtime.
• Don’t reinvent the wheel – leverage things you have already done or created and build upon them. Creation of original content is great, but it’s time-consuming and expensive. Determine when it makes sense, based on your desired outcome.
• Be OK with “good enough.” Perfection” is the enemy of “good enough.” People get sucked into the fantasy of needing things to be perfect. This becomes the enemy of productivity AND execution. The goal is to FINISH…not complete it 99%.
• Delegate. Working on the wrong things sucks time, money and energy, and puts us in a position of not working from our strengths.
• Become aware of your own energy and work with it. Know when you are most productive to handle specific tasks. Some tasks take more mental energy than others, so knowing your own energy rhythm is necessary for peak productivity.
• Become aware of other people’s energy and distance yourself from negativity. Everyone projects energy. Protect your own energy by being cognizant of the energy of other people.
• If you can’t distance yourself, create mental barriers. Know your triggers. Do not allow yourself to be dragged down. Some people are like energy tornadoes; they suck you in. It is not your job to fix everyone else’s problems.
• Become aware of the impact other people’s drama has on you and do not engage. You can say NO when others try to bring you in. We can help others without becoming a drama victim.
• SINGLE-task. Itemize your priorities according to the criteria that works for you (time needed; deadline to be made; money spent; money made; ROI, etc.) and only work on the top few – sometimes only one, depending on the size of it. That’s it. You will get more done, more quickly, with better quality, with much less stress.
Other Important Tools/Strategy for Peak Productivity
Here are a few more tricks to tap into your Peak Productivity:
• Practice a mindset of achievement and productivity. There are no excuses for not producing.
• Build a mindset of resilience. Do not let fear or setbacks derail you.
• Start the day in a positive place. Develop habits and own that time.
Goal Setting & Accountability
• Create realistic goals.
• Create an accountability partnership with someone who is in a similar place that you are.
Your Circle of Influence
• Who is around you? What is their daily pace? We run at the pace of our peers. When people exercise, they train with people on their level. It’s the same philosophy with our work pace.
• This is also a cultural issue in organizations. The CEO sets the pace. We are the people that surround us. When hiring employees, does their pace match the organizational pace?
• Technology apps that streamline your most common tasks are essential for productivity. You can now accomplish almost everything you do at your desk with a mobile app.
• Scent/candles: Cinnamon and Citrus stimulate limbic system in the brain and make us more focused.
• Music: Focus music proven to stimulate the limbic system too for enhanced concentration (Spotify and [email protected])
• Physical care: Mind, body and spirit. All three need care & feeding on a daily basis.
For specific tips on neutralizing the effect that toxic behavior has on you, read my blog, Six Strategies for Containing Workplace Behavior.
For more insight on my Peak Productivity tips, visit Washington Business Report’s website to view my regular monthly appearance. My March segment focused on Peak Productivity.
If you would like to discuss how the Successful Culture Prioritization tools can work for you, email me at [email protected] We can set up a Skype chat to discuss how my TransformU tools can move you past your blocks and onto your next level of growth.
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About Successful Culture
We work with business owners, CEOs, and leadership teams that want to achieve their greatest personal & organizational potential. Through coaching, strategic consulting, retreat facilitation, and workshops, we equip leaders & emerging leaders with the mindset, tools, strategies, and processes they need to excel.
Ready to move forward? Email us today at [email protected]
Connect with me on Instragram, Facebook, and Twitter. Engage with me during my morning Periscope sessions as well (@marissalevin).
Please check out my Inc. Magazine columns on my Author Page too.
– In my latest Inc, article, I share The Essential Guide to Avoiding Workplace Text, Email, & Social Media Disasters.
– Learn about the 9 Leadership Behaviors that Lose Employee Trust & Respect here.
CEO, Successful Culture
“Taking Leaders from Triage to Transformation.”
The One Question You Must Be Able to Answer Before Contacting a Prospect
This past week, I’ve had conversations with three separate business owners about how to successfully connect with prospects. Should you connect through LinkedIn? An email? A phone call? The answer is YES – you should do all of those.
However, before you do any connecting, you need to be able to answer one question:
Four Steps to the Best New Year’s Gift You Can Give Yourself
“Those who live in the past limit their future.”
This was the message I received on my Yogi tea bag last night, as I enjoyed my nightly cup of tea. How timely and appropriate as we bring 2014 to a close.
Gratitude for You in 2014; Your Three Pillars of Success for 2015
As we bring 2014 to a close, I want to thank everyone for their support of Successful Culture. As someone who knows firsthand how hard it is to transform a business dream into a reality, I’m honored and blessed for the opportunities to help my clients achieve their goals.