Posted by & filed under Career Development, Communication, Generational.

If you are 18-33, you are used to being called a Millennial, and are likely tired of being “pigeonholed” into certain characteristics and stereotypes. Well, now the Pew Research Center has done extensive research on people in the Millennial generation, and that will free Millennials from stereotypes and help the rest of us learn how to bridge gaps when working and communicating across the generations.

 

Millennials Snapshot

  • Racially diverse
  • Linked by social media
  • Burdened by debt
  • Distrustful of people
  • Optimistic about the future
  • Digital natives

Because of their racial diversity, Millennials tend to have a low level of social trust, which impacts their personal and professional effectiveness and relationships. They also are detached from institutions that preceding generations have depended upon to structure their lives, such as religion or political stance. Still, they have a generally favorable view of business, and are more upbeat about America’s future, with 49% of Millennials saying the country’s best years are ahead, a view held by 42% of Gen Xers, and 44% of Boomers.

In fact, just 19% of Millennials say most people can be trusted, compared with 31% of Gen Xers, and 40% of Boomers. It’s no wonder we all have to work to build communication bridges among the generations!

What are you doing in your organization to fill these communication gaps? Imagine, if you could foster strong and collaborative relationships with much older and younger colleagues within your team, department, or organization. You could be opening up a new level of productivity and problem solving! As a matter of fact, according to the Pew Research Center, “The relative optimism of today’s young adults stands in contrast to the views of Boomers when they were about the same age as Millennials are now. In a 1974 Gallup survey, only about half of adults under the age of 30 said they had “quite a lot” of confidence in America’s future, compared with seven-in-ten of those ages 30 and older.”

Even thought Millennials may have to stretch more to connect with others, that tendency is balanced with their optimism and confidence about our future!

At EDSI, we have been resolving generational, employee development, leadership, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. Call info@edsiusa.com | 800-282-3374

 We deliver results-oriented training programs that increase productivity, effectiveness, & performance. Call 800.282.3374.

Posted by & filed under Employee Development, Leadership.

Effective Onboarding StrategiesA smooth onboarding process equips new hires with the tools necessary to succeed in their new position. A well-managed onboarding program begins the moment an offer is extended and ends when the new hire is classified as a functioning employee, able to perform the majority of the job! Retention and satisfaction rates in your organization are often a foregone conclusion. Actually, the results are decided even before you extend an offer, because your organization’s onboarding process will likely determine the success of its star talent recruits.

Well-managed onboarding programs are experience focused.

  • Onboarding is all about a positive new-hire experience. Think of Zappos. The onboarding process is focused on the culture!
  • Provide ongoing, clear, concise and consistent channels of communication
  • Does learning occurs at every level? Even experienced hires need to be acclimated to the culture. Find ways to challenge them and get them engaged.
  • New hires are aligned to key business strategies. All business speak aside, find ways to help new hires identify with the organizational goals and strategies in a sincere way.
  • Information is presented in easily-digestible amounts.

A carefully thought out onboarding checklist ensures success! Performance management includes many facets of employee growth, from providing the vision and guidance in career growth, team recognition, and onboarding practices within the team, to personal and professional development and ongoing performance feedback.

 

Learn more about our employee effectiveness and performance management programs or call us directly to find out how we can help you achieve your goals. 800-282-3374

Posted by & filed under Career Development, career development leadership development, Employee Development, Uncategorized.

4 Practices To Become A Great Leader In The Workplace1. Stop weighing your people down with meetings and emails.

Most of us spend too much time in meetings. Your team members are so used to it that they joke  about and roll their eyes as they head back to their desks. Time-wasting meetings are the collective joke of our times. Don’t let that be your workplace! The same goes for emails. Be prudent with your communications. When you receive an email update from team members, consider weather it actually requires your input on every point –or any point! Maybe you can just send a quick acknowledgement of receipt and mention your two or three thoughts about the contents when you see them in person.

2. Give your employees the power to take ownership –and accountability.

It’s common knowledge that getting buy-in from staff will increase engagement and ultimately, effectiveness. But the bonus of giving decision making power to your team members also means that you will have increased accountability.

3. Provide clear expectations and consistent feedback.

Have you ever kicked off a project, divided the roles, the work, and set goals, only to find that you had missed the mark? It’s never too late! Call the team back and clarify your expectations before the project gets any further off track. The practice of giving consistent feedback goes both ways. Your consistent feedback is valuable to your employees and, in turn, their feedback to you is equally valuable. Encourage this feedback loop, to ensure that your expectations are clear and they haven’t –in the words of Stephen Covey– “put their ladder against the wrong building.”

4. Stop scrimping on employee development!

The recent economic conditions have pushed companies to try to do more with less, and budgets for training and development took a major hit. And what happened to many of those slimmed down budgets once the economy started to bounce back? Nothing, unfortunately. Many training and programs that were abandoned five years ago have not been reinstated, leaving people directionless in their career plans –and therefore restless and unsatisfied.  It’s time to implement employee and development plans that give your employees a reason to engage in their daily work and stay with your organization.

At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years.

Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. Call info@edsiusa.com | 800-282-3374

Posted by & filed under Employee Development, Leadership, Uncategorized.

How To Show Leadership In The WorkplaceWhat do “credible” leaders bring to the table that others don’t? Credibility is a leader’s currency. Credibility creates a climate of the leader being believable, worthy of respect and able to be trusted. Credibility paves the way to inspiration, motivation, and influence. Leading with Credibility achieves results. It is both important and difficult to build and maintain credibility.

1) Align your words and actions. Stay very aware of your actions versus words. Do they align, even on small issues? If they don’t, you’ll have a difficult time establishing mutual respect with employees and colleagues.

2) Stay humble. Humility is a key component to building your credibility. Consider your own experience. If you have had a manager in the past who is bombastic and self-aggrandizing, his (or her) credibility certainly is much lower than a more thoughtful, humble approach. Elevate others. This tip relates directly to maintaining a humble attitude.

3) Live your values. Everyone in your workplace does not have to share your values. Still, showing others that you consistently follow your own values, you will be able to maintain a high level of credibility. Take time to raise self-awareness of your values and goals. Most people don’t realize how much clarifying these core parts of their personal and professional identity lend to current and future success!

Above all else, the majority of the working population wants to:

  • Believe in the leaders they follow
  • Trust what leaders say
  • Connect a match between the leaders’ words and behaviors
  • Feel that leaders have personal passion about their direction
  • Feel confident that the leaders being followed have a full complement of knowledge & skill

The EDSI Leading with Credibility program is a course guides leaders in enhancing their skills. They learn to choose credibility as the core of their leadership direction and mission. At last count, there were over 7,000 management books listed on Amazon.com. With all the variety, the business leaders, and their widely varying philosophies, most of them have one thing in common. They all value one thing–credibility. Credibility defines leadership success, and it is the one essential ingredient that can topple a leader from the height of power when it is lost.

Learn more about our Leading with Credibility program or call us directly today at: (800) 282-3374.

Posted by & filed under Actively Engaged Workers, Career Development, career development leadership development, Generational.

With more generations working together  than ever before, you can often find advice for working with Gen X, Gen Y, or Millennials. But if you’re just entering the workforce, how do you feel about working with people the age of your older siblings, parents or even grandparents? Here’s how to build a strong career in an ever-changing business world AND connect with your colleagues at the same time. What is the difference in professional expectations between generations? That is, does your boss have the same expectations of you that you have of yourself? What does your job description really mean? What is your most valuable career asset?How To Succeed As a Millennial In The Workplace

What does my job description really mean?

You got the job! Congratulations! Now you need to find out how to succeed in your new workplace. It can be surprising to find out that your job description is just a shell of what your entire role can and should be. Always look for more projects, or a hole in processes that you can fill. As the saying goes, “Find a need, fill a need.” This tactic will build the core of your professional value.

Is this my big gig, or is it just temporary?

Your current job is temporary. As the world and workplace change, every employee should consider their current position as an opportunity to learn and develop their professional presence, personal effectiveness, and value.

Do I have the skills I need?

A recent Department of Education study shows that finding technically skilled employees or content-area experts is much easier than finding, fostering, and keeping employees who can master skills such as leading with credibility, communicating to manage performance, active listening, and other leadership skills.  So to answer this question, ask yourself, “Do I have the leadership skills that will put me ahead of the rest?”

Do connections really matter?

The hard truth is that your professional (and personal) reputation lead to stronger connections, and your value is often determined by your relationships. So holding yourself accountable for the results in all parts of your job, even the tasks you feel you are too experienced to handle, will become a building block in your value.

What’s the good news?

As one of the younger generations in a 4-generation workforce, you are the future. You are at the beginning of an exciting ride, and as you build your career, your leadership skills, personal effectiveness and professional presence, you will one day be leading the charge.

At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. Call info@edsiusa.com | 800-282-3374

 We deliver results-oriented training programs that increase productivity, effectiveness, & performance. Call 800.282.3374.

Posted by & filed under Career Development, Employee Development, Performance Management, Personal Effectiveness.

Reframe Productivity as a Path to Freedom

Start by shifting the paradigm surrounding productivity. Introduce the idea of how increased productivity is really a conversation about clarifying priorities and letting go of tasks and projects that are out of line with the organization and department goals. Increased productivity is the combination of intelligent planning and focused efforts. Why not make this a department-wide campaign? It has no impact on your department or organizational budget, and will produce immediate tangible returns!

Re-asses Workload According to Actual Priorities

It sounds obvious, but increased productivity begins with clarifying priorities and comparing them to current tasks. Meet with each department member–including having a heart-to-heart with yourself–and take a critical look at their workload. Which tasks are working toward the department goals and prioritized projects? Help each member make an estimate of the percent of time they are spending on each project, every week. Do those percentages roughly equate to the priorities that have been set by your department or organization? If not, now is the time to get in alignment. As in number 1, start this process by looking at your own schedule. Be honest with yourself. Are you being productive, or just “busy?”

Foster a Supportive Network

Everybody needs help from time to time. Do your team members feel comfortable requesting help from their colleagues? Have they ever even considered that? Make this part of the weekly work planning. Ask where members have a bottleneck, and a few hours of help would make a major difference in output. Find another member who can give them those hours. Your entire team will become more productive. If Gary gave Beth 3 of his hours this week, helping her move a project along, he will realize that he also can get the same support whenever he is in a jam.

Have Stand-Only Meetings & Train Staff to Effectively Use To-Do Lists

We all have sat in the mindless weekly meeting when everyone gives the status of their projects, while everyone else zones out, and thinks about how they could be spending their time more effectively. Start by having two very short meetings, and make them stand-only meetings. This naturally keeps everyone focused on getting things done, not waxing on about the stresses of their jobs or work relationships. Show your team that you care as much about productivity as you say you do, but assembling one email with a paragraph by each team member, giving status and requesting help. Each member can return an acknowledgement of receipt and understanding or follow-up tasks. Do all you can to help your team (and yourself) maintain their desk time and decrease interruptions or superfluous meetings.

What is the best to-do list? One that you use consistently, of course! There are countless methods for task tracking, and we aren’t promoting any one in particular. The main point is to ensure that the top priorities on everyone’s list matches the top priorities of the department and the organization.

 

At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. Call info@edsiusa.com | 800-282-3374

 We deliver results-oriented training programs that increase productivity, effectiveness, & performance. Call 800.282.3374.

Posted by & filed under Active Listening, Career Development, career development leadership development, Leadership.

How To Become An Impactful LeaderAs a leader, you may perceive your main responsibility as keeping the team focused on the projects at hand, and fulfilling the goals set by your won superiors. So how can you be most impactful in accomplishing those goals?
There is one often overlooked key to your success as a leader.

One dirty little secret of effective leaders is that the successful ones don’t let over-confidence strip them of their common sense when it comes to listening and gathering information. Researchers at NYU’s Stern School of Business conducted a study on the influence of power in decision-making and they confirmed what many employees already know: people with more power listen less, take less advice, and are ultimately less accurate in final judgments.

Ironically, greater power has an inverse relationship to the valuable practice of accepting advice from others. The elevated confidence of successful leaders often leads to snap judgments, when the value of informed advice is left along the roadside. According to Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, bad listening is one of the worst decisions you can make as a manager, because it makes the quality of all of your managerial decision making worse.

Embrace that information gathering as the basis of all your managerial work. With each decision, take the time to gather the information that will give you the edge you need to gain clarity, before you make that instant call. Your personal effectiveness is key in prioritizing information gathering in your leadership role.
Be ready to change your mind if you want to be right! In contrast to the powerful folks that don’t listen, think they’re right, and make bad decisions, Jeff Bezos noticed the opposite in people who often make the right decisions.  They change their mind—a lot.

Adopt active listening as a way of life. The true active listener is able to learn and accomplish more than most of their colleagues. Develop an ongoing feedback loop, focus on understanding before you form a reply, and prioritize active listening skills in your organization.

At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. Call info@edsiusa.com | 800-282-3374

We deliver results-oriented training programs that increase productivity, effectiveness, & performance. Call 800.282.3374.

Posted by & filed under Actively Engaged Workers, Communicating To Manage Performance, Communication, Leadership.

If you want people to think, give them intent, not instructions. There’s no reason to waste important time and energy admonishing your team members about what’s been done. Instead, clarify your expectations to show your team how they can accomplish goals or how a particular employee can achieve his or her objectives. Communicate clearly and responsibly to set performance expectations, describe behavior through positive feedback reinforcement, understand and value others through active listening, acknowledge ideas for continuous improvement, and coach for performance improvement through corrective feedback.

Influencing Employees To Accomplish Goals & ObjectivesThe EDSI program, Communicating to Manage Performance, provides practical takeaways that give participants the tools they can put to work immediately, for successful workplace communication and performance management. Our partners empower managers and team leaders to build performance every day, through effective, consistent communication. The topics include:

  • Clear communication
  • Ownership of behavior
  • Positive performance feedback
  • Active listening
  • Acknowledgement of ideas

Appropriate Feedback for Improvement
Situations vary, but the fundamental tenets of successful communication and performance management remain, working as a foundation for effective and productive workplaces.

Develop a Continuous Feedback Loop
Are you uncomfortable about a meeting you need to have with a team member? Don’t put it off!  Take action. Telling yourself, “I’ll deal with it later” only increases the chances of misunderstood expectations.

Review Project Deliverables
If you haven’t set clear expectations, communications are doomed to break down. What are the exact deliverables? Does the team understand the impact of their current project?

Reset Expectations
To work effectively within a team, you need to determine how much communication needs to happen to make everyone comfortable. This could mean requesting weekly status meetings or progress reports at certain milestones. As the leader, you set the tone and underlying expectations.

Change Your Methods!
Have your emails been misunderstood? Have weekly department meetings served your group and helped build positive results? Communication is an iterative process. Continuously assess what is working and what methods need to be abandoned, so you can increase successful communication on your team!

At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. Call info@edsiusa.com | 800-282-3374

We deliver results-oriented training programs that increase productivity, effectiveness, & performance. Call 800.282.3374.

Posted by & filed under Actively Engaged Workers, Attire, Employee Development, Personal Effectiveness, Professional Presence in a Casual World.

The term “professionalism” means many things, depending on the situation. So what does professionalism actually mean? Is it the number of degrees you hold, your job title, or certifications? How about your dress, or the way you present yourself and resolve conflicts? It can be all of these. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines professionalism as “the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person”; and it defines a profession as “a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation.”
These definitions imply that professionalism encompasses a number of different attributes. At Employee Development Systems, we have worked with thousands of employees on defining and increasing professional presence for each organization. There are some components of professionalism that are customized to your organization, such as alignment with corporate culture. But by and large, professionalism is not the number of degrees you hold. Our programs help people understand their current level of professionalism, and how they can better  understand where they currently stand, and how to increase their professionalism in the workplace.

 

Here are some of the main attributes of professional presence. How do your team members measure up against this list? Use these as markers for where you can start to develop your workforce and increase productivity.

Competency Being reliable, keeping promises, standing up to tough situations, and focusing on solutions versus making excuses.

Integrity Keeping promises, being trustworthy, and doing the right thing, even when it requires tough choices.
Specialized Knowledge Making a personal commitment to assessing current knowledge and planning ways to develop and improve in lacking areas.

Self-Accountability & Regulation Holding themselves accountable, not only for their own responses and actions but also the results of the projects they are working on and anything they are responsible for.  Staying professional under pressure.

Positive Image Wearing appropriately professional clothing and present an equally professional demeanor. An overall positive image results in gaining respect and building confidence.

Organizational Skills Professionalism is displayed in demeanor and competence. It’s also shown in the ability to organize oneself and work. What does your work space say about you?

Learning to increase professional presence in a casual world includes taking ownership for daily choices, having a firm grasp of how choices impact results, and knowing how values encourage particular choices. At EDSI, we help attendees identify behaviors that need changing, enhance personal effectiveness, take ownership for personal behaviors, and increase accountability for awareness about behaviors.
Attendees learn active listening, managing themselves for success, and learning the difference between aggressive and assertive behavior, amongst other core skills the increase professional presence and ultimately, productivity and performance.

At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. Call info@edsiusa.com | 800-282-3374

We deliver results-oriented training programs that increase productivity, effectiveness, & performance. Call 800.282.3374.

Posted by & filed under Accountability, Actively Engaged Workers, Generational, Leadership.

The behavior, traits and learning styles of four generations in one workplace create unique challenges to leaders and organizations. Industry leaders learn to leverage those differences. Employee Development Systems, Inc. provides programs that help all generations improve professionalism in the workplace and increasing personal effectiveness, giving them the tools they need to successfully communicate with each other. Effective training and development organizations offer programs and learning reinforcement tools that are well-suited to a variety of generations. They take into account formal and informal learning channels. Most of all, they accommodate a diverse knowledge and use of technology. Here are some of the tactics used:

  • Offer mentoring programs that are toggled to training programs.
  • Keep employees engaged.
  • Open up the office –rearrange the traditional cube structure.
  • Create recognition programs.
  • Focus on the meaning and purpose of the work.
  • Leverage unique skills.

Successful employee development across the generations can be summed up in one word: Customization. Tailoring employee experience gives leadership the leverage it needs to effectively develop employees of all generations.

 

Offer mentoring programs that are toggled to training programs.
Break down stereotypes by organizing mentors by strengths and mentees by weakness as they relate to the current training initiative.  For example, if employees are being trained in new technology, many of the mentors may be in Generation X or the Millennial Group. If the training focuses on processes or systems within the organization, boomers or traditionalists may be better qualified to be mentors.

Keep them engaged!  A disengaged worker can often cost more than an open position in a company, so maintaining an employee development program, even in difficult times is better for the bottom line than cutting out all employee development activities, and running the company on a staff of disgruntled workers.  Avoid this by providing regular educational and training opportunities as well as career advice. Each generation tends toward different motivators.  Find what they are and address them directly.

Open up the office.  Recognize that a (real or perceived) rigid management structure is de-motivating for Millennials.  They prefer open plans that allow them to collaborate with colleagues, share information and feel that they are directly contributing to results.

Create recognition programs. Accommodate motivators of each generation by providing the recognition that each one seeks. Boomers and Traditionalists seek respect and roles of authority.  Members of Generation X want to have their work/life balance supported, through flexible schedules and telecommuting.  Millennials appreciate an unregulated work environment, coaching and frequent positive feedback.
Focus on the meaning and purpose of the work.  Don’t let a day go by without focusing again on the meaning of the work everyone is being asked to do.  This cuts through generational (and other) differences and reminds employees of why they are here.

Leverage unique skills.  Maximize what each member brings to the table. Ask team members to reply to statements such as, “Here’s what I have to offer the team for this project, “or “Here is the kind of support I’d like to receive.” These kinds of statements help team members focus on their own skills and entreat their colleagues to do the same.

Research indicates that up to 70% of learning occurs following a training event. Employee Development Systems Inc. (EDSI, Inc.) embraces its role of ensuring that learners realize their full potential and continue the learning process well beyond a single training event. We reinforce learning through one-on-one follow-up contact, program impact refreshers via email, and social media streams.

Embracing the New Role of Training and Leadership Development Firms
The role of trainers and educators has changed in the last few years. In the past, companies relied solely on training program delivery to enhance employee skills. Now that role has expanded. For example, Employee Development Systems, Inc. (EDSI Inc.) not only delivers training programs but also ensures that the learning that takes place is reinforced beyond the classroom. Jim Kirkpatrick and Wendy Kayser Kirkpatrick put it succinctly when they stated,
“We survive and thrive when we understand that our role as workplace professionals is not to deliver training programs but to extend learning from episodic interventions to continual on-the-job enrichment. Ultimately, our role is to deliver demonstrated value to our business partners.”

At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. Call 800-282-3374