Monday, November 25, 2019

Employee Voice as a Strategic Priority

We've all heard, and most of us (hopefully) have adopted employee voice strategies in our organizations, right? We've built formal systems that allow our 'most valuable assets' to participate in our success.

More Than Talk
Plenty of organizations wrestle with the concept of the war for talent, addressing culture change, empowering staff, and on and on. 

It is the precious few though, that put those words into action. 

Policy changes that formalize employee voice channels...leadership visibility on a massive, sustainable scale...and taking action based on employee feedback are hallmarks of the most successful organizations. 

Do you have these systems in place yet?

Head In the Sand
If you are not one of the organizations that has committed to a positive employee culture, be warned. Simply because you have a long list of justifications as to why certain things need to be done (which oddly enough lines up exactly with your way of thinking); that does not mean your team is blindly following along.

Do you believe all of your employees simply follow you regardless of their insights?

How About You
Right now is the perfect time to pause and consider how you can provide a new level of leadership for your organization. What communication channels can you establish to create the culture you desire? What are you afraid of hearing from your people? 

It's better to be proactive now, instead of facing a dramatic shift in morale later, right?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, November 18, 2019

Change Management: The Story Matters Most

Here's a shocking revelation for you...changing how we behave in the workplace is hard. 

Really, really hard. 

Yet as leaders we throw the phrase culture change around like we are passing out candy on Halloween.

The Long Haul Vision
Wanting to change your organization's culture, whether it's to pull out of an employee morale ditch; to address major changes underway; or to build the energy for an exciting new period of growth, requires a vision that is sustainable over a period of years.

Culture change does not happen quickly. Ever. At least in a positive direction.

So, who is responsible for this vision of the future? That's not as easy an answer as one might think. Of course the senior leadership team must articulate a global vision for the future. However, neglecting the input from the team is a treacherous path that should be avoided.

The combination of strategic vision and employee buy-in is powerful. 

Really, really powerful.

The Compelling Story
The hardest part is actually not the visioning process, or collecting input from the team. The hardest part is always execution. Sustaining the message over time, particularly when the inevitable challenges arise are exactly when the true skills of the leadership team become apparent.

How many of us have seen grand roll outs of "new and life-changing programs" at our organizations over the years, only to see them drift and die?

You've put in the time to build your vision.
You've put together a compelling story that touches each employee.
Stay the course. You've earned this opportunity to truly change your organization!

How About You
Are you considering real change in your company? If so, invest the time and resources to build your vision, create your story, and stay focused through the highs and lows. It will be worth it!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, November 11, 2019

There's No Such Thing As Weak Leadership

Have you ever heard the comment..."oh, he's a weak leader." Maybe you've said it yourself. Candidly, I have too. Ouch.

We all talk about...or should talk about...setting proper expectations with our leadership teams. 

What should they focus on? 
Where should they put their development time? 
How will their success be measured? 
What can they expect from us as their senior leaders?

Friends, I've heard these questions asked for years, literally. Yet somehow they keep coming up again and again. How is that possible? In some instances I've been exposed to sophisticated onboarding and leader pathway processes. In others, I hear the tired excuses of leaders who want to do well, but just don't know how to be effective. 

I'm convinced the secret to weeding out the failing leaders is simply to hold them accountable. Be firm and fair. But, they must be held accountable. 

Here's the tricky part...most of these leaders believe they are doing a good job. They have convinced themselves they are above the fray and untouchable. Imagine their shock when they are provided coaching that does not continue to inflate their already overinflated egos?

Look out!

How About You
What is to be done when a leader is struggling? Do them....have an off-the-record pep talk with them...hmmm?

How about we step up and handle it directly? It's harder this way, but you can do it. Oh, and it's also the "leader" part of leadership.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Remote Leader Life

There is a lot of content out there about remote worker life. Lots of questions too... do you stay connected to your employees? do you ensure productivity remains high? do you extend your on-site corporate culture to your distributed team?

The list could go on and on, right? 

Wait, What?
One of the groups that I rarely see mentioned, and to which I belong, is remote leadership. 

For more than twenty years I drove to a specific location for my "work." It was familiar, routine, comfortable, and was what I thought "work" was supposed to look like.

Until it didn't look that way any longer.

Suddenly I didn't have a place to go to; but instead, was 100% virtual. Whoa. What just happened here? 

Where are all of the conference rooms? 
Where are all of the wasted moments spent walking between meetings?
Where are all of the people interrupting me?

Hidden Opportunities
Staying connected to colleagues, team members, and clients is a real challenge. Keeping an open mind relative to video technology, for me, has been crucial. Seeing people...not just hearing them on a conference so powerful. Get over your hang-ups and embrace it.

Consider the dramatic drop in interruptions as a gift to you from your coworkers. Take full advantage of the time you have and go for it. Attack your to do list, and feel how satisfying it can be when you own your day vs. your day owning you.

Lastly, use the flexibility you have in your schedule to stay connected to humanity. 

When I know I have a few hours where I won't need to be on the phone, I head for a local coffee shop. I'm still head down with my work, but I'm around other humans. That energizes me and helps me feel much less isolated.

How About You
Perhaps the lesson in all of this if finding the proper balance. Remote life isn't for everyone; nor should everyone be stuck commuting to and from an office that does not support a healthy work environment.

I feel incredibly blessed to have successfully made the transition from office a healthy mix of virtual, corporate office, and the great big off-site world. Is remote work part of your world?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.