Posted by & filed under Accountability, Actively Engaged Workers, Corporate Culture, Employee Development.

Increasing Your Productivity HabitsWith our busy lives, we’re all looking for the silver bullet to increase productivity and personal effectiveness. However, beware of spinning your wheels with “busyness.” Legendary coach John Wooden said, “Don’t mistake activity for achievement.” Are you achieving or just lining up busy days with activities? Maybe you don’t need a new organizational system or a way to get more work time out of each day. Instead, enlist the few most powerful habits that will make the biggest impact on your life. Get them to work for you, and get your sanity back.

The days of boasting that you have mastered multitasking and that spending every day frantically running from meeting to meeting are over. Research has proven over and over again that our brains are unable to effectively multitask. Instead, we do rapid task switching, which, contrary to popular belief, is not effective at all. By embracing the habits here, you can get your life back, take a breath, and use that time to remember what you are trying to accomplish. When you refocus on your true values and priorities, all of the “busyness” will fall by the wayside.

1. Pick the Top 3
What are your three most important projects (MIPs)? Write them down. Now tape them to the wall above your desk. What percentage of your time do you typically spend on your MIPs? Starting tomorrow morning. Plan on spending 90% of your day working on tasks related to those 3 most important projects. You can spend the other 10% of your time outsourcing the activities you have been spending your time on until now.  Productivity is not an accident. It’s a decision.
Make a decision today to stop wasting time—or just spending time—and, instead, invest some time in learning how you can be more productive in the areas of your life that really matter

2. List Your Goals
Hopes and dreams remain fantasies until you identify them, write them down and create a plan for achieving them. Do your dreams and goals match the culture of your organization? Does your organization value teamwork or maverick leaders? Are you being included in development programs at your workplace? If not, is it because your values don’t match the culture? Find ways you can match up with your organization.

3. Maximize Your Capacity
We all have a limited amount of executive function to use any way we want, every day. Think of Steve Jobs’ wardrobe. He stripped away much of life’s extraneous decisions, so he could maximize his executive function for his life’s work. What are you spending your energy on that should be stripped away, so you can focus on your core values and goals?

Set up systems and processes for the tasks and challenges in life that get in the way of your main goal, so you can spend less time and energy thinking about it. Many people spend excessive time and energy either finding things on their disorganized workspace, or spending too much time keeping it tidy. Set up systems that maintain a clean desk, and you won’t be spending time on either task.  Calculate how much your time is worth, and spend it doing what you are best at. This may mean outsourcing the things you are not good at, and are taking energy away from your personal and professional effectiveness.

At EDSI, we have found that these core skills are assumed to be regular practice, but most people don’t use them, and therefore aren’t able to leverage the effective communication of their colleagues who have embraced these essential skills. Communicating to Manage PerformanceIncreasing Personal Effectiveness and Professional Presence in a Casual World are all programs that integrate learning these (and many more) important workplace productivity and effectiveness practices.

Watch this quick video to learn the top 10 Competency areas you need!

 

Contact Us Now…800.282.3374

Results-oriented training programs that increase productivity, effectiveness, & performance

Posted by & filed under Actively Engaged Workers.

 

Christine Riordan’s article, “Foster A Culture of Gratitude,” highlights three ways research shows how leaders can create a culture of gratitude when they develop, involve, and celebrate employees on a constant basis.

  1. Help Others Develop. Employees feel more engaged in the company culture when they have opportunities for growth and development. Conduct a survey to see which workshops create the most interest, or develop a leadership program for employees who wish to develop skills that will lead to promotions. If promotion opportunities are limited, create taskforces and new projects.
  2. Involve employees in decision-making. Take interest in your employees or coworkers. Learn their skills and hidden talents. Then, have them participate in discussions that involve their specialties. Studies show that when employees can use their skills in the workplace, it creates greater job satisfaction.
  3. Acknowledge and celebrate. Positive reinforcement is vital. It’s easy to spot when something is wrong, but also take note when something is done right. Give praise, rewards, and awards to employees who work hard and do their jobs well. It gives them a sense of pride. This is also a key component and skill in the Employee Development Systems Communicating To Manage Performance course.

Contact Us Now…800.282.3374

Results-oriented training programs that increase productivity, effectiveness, & performance

Posted by & filed under Career Development, Communicating To Manage Performance, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Employee Development, Performance Management, Professional Presence in a Casual World.

Improving Doctor & Patient CommunicationA recent study by the National Institute of Health found that good doctors communicate effectively with patients—they identify patients’ problems more accurately, and patients are more satisfied with the care they receive.  “Good” doctors are those whose patients adjust better psychologically and are more satisfied with their care, they have greater job satisfaction, and less work stress. The study posits,

“When doctors use communication skills effectively, both they and their patients benefit. First, doctors identify their patients’ problems more accurately. Second, their patients are more satisfied with their care and can better understand their problems, investigations, and treatment options. Third, patients are more likely to adhere to treatment and to follow advice on behavior change. Fourth, patients’ distress and their vulnerability to anxiety and depression are lessened. Finally, doctors’ own well being is improved.”

  1. Eliciting problems and concerns
    Establish eye contact, maintain it, encourage people to clearly describe their problem or status.  Doctors who use active listening are helping patients clarify and explore their concerns. If we all did this in the workplace, we would have a higher rate of connecting with others and validate their concerns and workplace challenges.
  2. Give Information & Prioritize Concerns
    In the medical study, doctors that check what patients consider might be wrong and helping them prioritize all of the data they have been given. Now let’s try this in an organization. If you help your team members prioritize their concerns, you can get right to resolving the highest priority concerns first.
  3. Discussing Options
    Just as doctors learn to properly inform patients of treatment options and check if they want to be involved in decisions, we can use this tactic to become more effective communicators with every meeting and interaction at the office. Encourage a discussion of options. This will help your employees work through the best choices by bouncing them off of you in an informal discussion.
  4. Be Supportive
    Doctors are actually trained to use empathy to show that they have some sense of how the patient is feeling. They are trained to give spontaneous feedback about how they think the patient must be feeling. Of course, talk of feelings in the office is limited. But a little understanding will go a long way.

At EDSI, we have found that these core skills are assumed to be regular practice, but most people don’t use them, and therefore aren’t able to leverage the effective communication of their colleagues who have embraced these essential skills. Communicating to Manage PerformanceIncreasing Personal Effectiveness and Professional Presence in a Casual World are all programs that integrate learning these (and many more) important workplace productivity and effectiveness practices.

Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. 800-282-3374.

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

Increase Workplace Effectiveness In The MorningYour energy level is the highest right away in the morning, so if possible, don’t spend that precious resource on sitting in update meetings or chatting with coworkers. Get right to your workspace and start your projects. Looking for  more ways to increase personal effectiveness? Here is the key: Ignore email, stay off of the internet, and don’t answer the phone for the first 90 minutes of every day. Why 90 minutes? Because that’s what the research suggests is the optimal human limit for focusing intensely on any given task.

According to Tony Schwartz, author of Be Excellent at Anything, “I typically get more work done during those 90 minutes, and feel more satisfied with my output, than I do for any comparable period of time the rest of the day. It can be tough on some days to fully focus for 90 minutes, but I always have a clear stopping time, which makes it easier. I launched this practice because I long ago discovered that my energy, my will, and my capacity for intense focus diminish as the day wears on. Anything really challenging that I put off tends not to get done, and it’s the most difficult work that tends to generate the greatest enduring value.”

As you finish out your day, your last task should be to make a list of priorities for the next morning. When you sit down at your desk in the morning, instead of opening email, shuffling papers, or browsing your favorite online news sources, consult your list, and immediately get started with your projects. If you spend the next 90 minutes concentrating on the list, by the time you come up for air you will be surprised at what you have accomplished. Take a break, check email, and then try giving yourself another block of time. If you can do two of these every morning, by lunch you will have accomplished more than you typically do in an entire day.

This single practice of giving yourself a 90-minute block of uninterrupted concentration every morning can change your personal effectiveness and have a life-changing impact. Give this habit a week. If you find that by Wednesday you’re itching to check email when you sit down at the desk, shake things up. Instead of tackling the list right away, spend that time considering the larger life and professional questions that many people never face up to. What are your true personal and professional values? What is your mission? How much time do you actually devote to them, every week? If you spend one of your 90 minute blocks clarifying these critical questions, the rest of every day will be easier to prioritize. Tasks that have been filling your time every day but are not in line with your values and mission will fall away from your priorities list.

Learning to increase personal effectiveness is just one of the critical skills taught in our Increasing Personal Effectiveness program. Learn more here or contact us to find out how other companies have benefited from our practical, results-oriented programs.

Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. 800-282-3374.

Posted by & filed under Actively Engaged Workers, Behavioral Assessment, Communicating To Manage Performance, Communication, Corporate Culture, Employee Development, Performance Management.

Managing Introverts & Extroverts In The WorkplaceMeetings
Introverts are not likely to share ideas in a large setting, whereas extroverts welcome the public communication. Get the most out of your introverted staff by providing a smaller group setting where they can shine. Large, weekly meetings aren’t as productive as was previously thought. Consider making that a monthly meeting, and have a weekly get together of smaller work groups, so they can have more back and forth conversation and idea sharing, instead of listening to updates about coworkers’ projects.

Work Space
The “open concept” workplace works well for extroverts, who love bouncing ideas off of coworkers. But introverts? They may see this as a distraction, and a challenge to focusing on their job. Many companies have balanced out the modern open concept office with some designated quiet spaces, where workers can take their computer and not be interrupted.

Schedules
Or how about designating the first half of the day to work-only, with no interruptions? The innovative software company, 37 Signals, has done this, and finds that it cuts down on lost time in the first part of the day, when many extroverts are flitting around from desk to desk, bouncing ideas off of coworkers. Temper this tendency by keeping everyone at their desk, getting a handle on high priority tasks.  By lunchtime, they will likely have a different set of priorities, and will think more carefully before interrupting others’ workflow.

Help extroverts keep productivity up by setting up an impromptu meeting room that doesn’t require reservations or arrangement. Then they can give a call to the colleague they want to talk to and meet there. This leaves surrounding people working, uninterrupted by “fly by” chats.

Leadership
Are extroverts ideal candidates for promotions to management? Not necessarily. They may have natural people skills, but the thoughtful consideration of an introvert may be just as valuable for the role you need to fill.

Introverts may be more approachable, and set a calm atmosphere for the department. On the other hand, extroverts often have a natural ability to draw the team together and encourage engagement through their outward enthusiasm.

Learning to manage personality styles is just one of the critical skills taught in our Communicating to Manage Performance program. Learn more here or contact us to find out how other companies have benefited from our practical, results-oriented programs.

Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. 800-282-3374.

Posted by & filed under Communicating To Manage Performance, Communication, Corporate Culture, Performance Management.

Qualified managers and leaders are integral to a smoothly operating workplace and the growth of your organization. But what separates the average and highly effective managers? The ability to develop their staff. According to a recent Harvard Business Review article,
“Job seekers from entry-level to executive are more concerned with opportunities for learning and development than any other aspect of a prospective job. This makes perfect sense, since continuous learning is a key strategy for crafting a sustainable career….employees’ direct managers are often their most important developers.

Consequently, job candidates’ top criterion is to work with people they respect and can learn from. From the candidate’s viewpoint, his or her prospective boss is the single most important individual in the firm.”

Did You Know?

 

The people analytics team at Google examined data from thousands of employee surveys and performance reviews to find out which behaviors characterize its most effective managers, and the skill that topped the list was coaching, and helping with career development was also in the top tier of priorities for effective managers. Ensuring that your managers and executives can communicate to manage performance in the workplace is the first step to effective leadership. This includes the coaching skills identified by Google (and other respected sources, such as Gallup), and creating a career plan with each employee.

The most effective managers “…care about employees as a person, talk to them about their career progress, encourage their development, and provide opportunities to learn and grow have lower turnover, higher sales growth, better productivity, and better customer loyalty than work groups in which employees report that these developmental elements are scarce.”

What Is Your Focus?
As leaders, we all ask ourselves how we can build the most productive team possible. When you sit at your desk tomorrow morning, consider this question, instead: “How can I flex my communication style to be most effective with each member, and help them grow? Your own skills in performance management, coupled with a strong general competency development program for your employees, such as Increasing Personal Effectiveness or Professional Presence in a Casual World, sets the stage for addressing both communicating and helping with career development, as identified by the Google analytics team and Gallup.

Are You Consistent?

  1. Regular, consistent feedback (both positive and negative) is the hallmark of an effective leader. Stay in touch with each member-as a person, not just a member of a team or department-will improve productivity and effectiveness. Continue the conversation about regular career development, throughout the year. The annual review should be just a recap of what you have already been talking about all year long!
  2. Prioritize engagement. When your are planning the team’s work, ask employees 1) how they think they can best contribute, and 2) what they would like to learn. This integrates their career plans right into their daily work. This will ensure that their job will work in tandem with their life plan.
  3. Share detailed information about current operations across the organization. It’s easy to forget that as a leader you see all the organization’s accomplishments and plans, but your team members usually work in a silo in their own position, or team. Helping them feel like they are part of a larger, mission-driven enterprise. This will further solidify their commitment.
Ready to learn more? Here are 10 Reasons Why Your Company Should Invest in Management Training

 

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.

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

Importance of Gratitude To Creating An Efficient Team“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
William Arthur Ward

How often do you express appreciation? By saying “thank you” after a co-worker or employee has helped in anyway, is showing gratitude. It can go beyond a job well done; simply being thankful for having employment is a show of appreciation and can lead to a richer life.

In a recent article on 99u Carmen Hagen, Head of Brand Strategies for Adobe, discussed the secret to an efficient team is gratitude. Carmen states that while most people agree that gratitude leads to success, the study concluded offices are the least common place to express gratitude. When you are working long-hard hours to meet deadlines, answer e-mails, in meetings, and return phone calls, thanking people takes a backseat. Certain work environments and management styles have created a void in morale, while other companies take a different approach.

How important is gratitude in the workplace?

In 2013, the John Templeton Foundation commissioned a national survey on gratitude, 93% of those polled agreed that grateful bosses were more likely to be successful, and only 18% thought that grateful bosses would be seen as “weak.” More than 90% of those polled agreed that grateful people are more fulfilled, lead richer lives, and are more likely to have friends. Happiness leads to productivity.

Even at Google, they understand how important showing gratitude is vital to morale. After surveying their employees in 2013, Google uncovered that the no.1 motivator was not more money or stock options but peer-to-peer recognition.

How to say, “thank you.”

Christine Riordan’s article, Foster a Culture of Gratitude, lists three ways studies and research has shown leaders can foster a culture of gratitude by developing, involving, and celebrating employees on a constant basis.

1. Help others develop: Employees feel more engaged in the company culture when they have opportunities for growth and development. Conduct a survey to see which workshops have the most interest or a leadership program for those who wish to develop skills that will lead to promotions. If promotion opportunities are limited, create task forces and new projects.

2. Involve employees in decision-making: Take interest in your employees or co-workers; find out their skills and hidden talents. Have them take part in discussions involving those specialties. Studies have shown that when employees are able to use their skills in the workplace creates greater job satisfaction.

3. Acknowledge and celebrate: Positive reinforcement is key, it is easy to spot when something is wrong, but also take note when something is done right. Providing praise, rewards and awards when employees are working hard and doing a great job gives a sense of pride. This is also a key component and skill in Employee Development Systems’ Communicating to Manage Performance course.

What are some ways you show gratitude at your own workplace? Spend some time recognizing accomplishments; what are some creative ways you can foster a positive productive culture?

Posted by & filed under Employee Development.

Employee EngagementThe level of commitment of an organization’s staff is a strong predictor of the organization’s success in the marketplace. Study after study has shown how valuable employee engagement is to companies in terms of:

  • Productivity
  • Customer engagement
  • Quality of work
  • Employee retention
  • Safety
  • Profit and share-holder returns

Just one such study of workplace engagement, the Gallup Q12 Meta-Analysis found that “top-quartile business units have 12% higher customer advocacy, 18% higher productivity, and 12% higher profitability than bottom-quartile business units. Conversely, bottom-quartile business units experience 31% to 51% more employee turnover, 51% more inventory shrinkage, and 62% more accidents than those in the top quartile of workplace engagement.

Understanding the importance of employee engagement, or satisfaction is a step in the right direction, but creating a culture that promotes employee satisfaction requires more than understanding; it requires practical day-to day-action.

EDSI’s training is focused on providing practical advice that can change how business leaders view their work, their employees, and their customers. The training enhances:

Accountability

Often viewed in a negative light, accountability, when implemented constructively, leads to increased employee engagement and satisfaction. When leaders involve employees in goal-setting and defining expectations, the employees are personally invested in their work and develop a greater sense of commitment to it. Management acknowledgement of contributions of employees leads to a greater sense of competency and involvement.

Communication

Effective communication, both verbal and non-verbal is essential to employee engagement on all levels. Communication that flows both ways, from the top down AND from the bottom up, and consists, not only of expressing opinions and ideas, but also in actively listening to the opinions and ideas of others, encourages involvement and Open, non-threatening communication allows risk-taking and leads to a culture that fosters innovation.

Personal Growth

Personal accountability and effective communication contribute, not only to the development of a strong team, but also to positive growth of each person on that team. Individuals are engaged when they can see their place in an organization, the value of their contributions, and their opportunities for personal growth within that organization. Recent research by Deloitte confirms that companies that are committed to training and career development, consistently outperform their peers.

It has long been understood that self-fulfillment is a strong human need. A culture that promotes setting challenging goals and that recognizes accomplishments and contributions builds self-confidence, which is a predictor of success in the workplace.

 

To be competitive an organization can no longer delegate the responsibility of assessing and raising the level of employees’ commitment and passion to the Department of Human Resources and an annual review process. A commitment to practices that raise employee engagement must permeate an organization’s culture everyday and at all levels. EDSI’s training will give your staff, from executive level through mid-management and on to the service personnel who interact with your customers daily, the tools to set goals, communicate openly, innovate, and simply, succeed. A successful workforce is a happy and engaged workforce.

Start raising your employee’s engagement today, by contacting EDSI at (800) 282-3374.

 

Sources: