Tag Archives: employee engagement

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Mission Statement, No Wait That’s a Slogan

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Do you or the place that you work have a mission statement? Do you know the difference between a mission statement, slogan, or tagline?

mission statement appreciative strategies

When I ask people about their mission statement sometimes they’ll try to show me. They’ll pull out a company pen or one of their business cards and they’ll say, “Here it is, on my business card.”

While it may be possible to have one printed on a business card, usually this is a slogan or tagline. The same is true for other advertising materials like promotional flyers, billboards, and anything digitally produced or displayed.

Not sure about what one is? You’re not alone. Even the characters in the hit movie, Jerry Maguire (1996), didn’t seem to understand the difference between a memo and a mission statement.

Not a Slogan or Tagline

Technically a mission statement is a short writing around 150 words or less that represents all that the business or organization is, and all that they do. The length can vary, and I have seen them take up several scrolling pages on a computer screen or represented through just one or two sentences.

At a minimum you should consider:

  • Why. The why of the business or organization. Why is it around? Why does it exist?
  • Customers. Who are the customers, not by name, but by definition or demographic.
  • What. What goods or services does the business produce or deliver.
  • How. How does it deliver? It might be through retail, on-line, or a mixture. It might manufacture, sell, or provide services.

When developing a mission statement you’ll want to think about what the organization means to its customers and partners? What is the core purpose, and why does it continue to exist?

A mission statement is typically not used in marketing or advertising, although it is not uncommon to appear on a website.

It’s often considered to be an integral part of a business or strategic plan. It might be something that a bank or loan officer has some interest in so that they can better understand the business model. Your accountant might be curious and your employees should definitely be acquainted with what it is and where to find it.

There are many variables and much leniency. It’s your slate you write it.

Remember that those short blurts of pizazz on a pen or business card are most likely taglines or slogans. They are not a mission statement.

Importance of a Mission Statement

Smaller businesses or organizations (bigger ones too) might fail to see the relevance of having a mission statement. They don’t understand the need or the connection to business success.

Regardless of the type of business, the sector, or even its size, every employee should have a job that somehow connects to the mission statement.

Businesses that effectively understand and properly use a mission statement will have employees that are more driven, more caring, and certainly much more engaged.

Do you have a mission statement?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Engage Employees in 5 Simple Steps

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How do you engage employees? Employee and team engagement is a critical factor for organizational success. It is easy to get off track, or perhaps more common, there is no track at all. While it might be considered to be a complex topic, getting started is simple.

Engage employees appreciative strategies

Employee engagement is often considered to be about motivation, inspiration, and attitude. Yes, these are important, and yes, they are all part of what might engage employees. So how do you create this type of environment?

Engage Employees – Create the Environment

Here are five simple steps that can make a difference:

  1. Set Expectations. Setting expectations shouldn’t be thought of as, “do it or die,” or “my way or the highway.” Expectations should help employees see the big picture. Consider expressing where things are at today, and what the longer term picture should look like. Create the vision for the future.
  2. Establish Goals. On the surface goals might seem like a pretty simple thing, but in reality I find it to be one of the hardest things for employees to get their arms around. Goals should take you from point A to point B, or C, D, and E. Ideally goals connect to the bigger picture of expectations or vision and are supplemented with milestones scattered along the way.
  3. Short Milestones. Along the path for goal achievement it is best to have short (distance) but meaningful milestones. In psychology this is sometimes known as proximal goals. The concept is that smaller or shorter goals are easier to grasp, the step-by-step achievement also builds self-efficacy and confidence.
  4. Focus on Results. Certainly there will be obstacles or hurdles on the road to achieving any goal. It is easy to get distracted by these, get caught up in the drama of it all, and lose focus. You know the expectations, and you know the goals associated with meeting or exceeding them. Learn from a mistake, but stay focused.
  5. Celebrate Wins. Each day, week, or month there are likely many items that are worth doing that just don’t get done. There are sometimes mistakes, unexpected constraints, and other setbacks. Learning from them and pursuing corrective action is important, staying stuck with them is unacceptable. Make a conscious effort to celebrate every win, every time, no matter how small.

Engage the Team

Are you trying to engage a team or the entire organization? The same steps apply. Some might be implemented on an individual basis and some for a workgroup, department, or the whole organization.

Organizations often get caught up in appointing a committee or a task force to create buy-in or improve engagement. Probably one of the first things they think of is throwing a party, a kick-off event, or a company picnic. At the event the committee helps unveil a slogan, a sign, and the CEO gives a little speech.

Sure a theme, a slogan, or a catchy little corporate skit might help with awareness, yet those things are not responsible for team engagement.

In addition to a kick-off event or company picnic there might be events targeted to improve camaraderie among management team members or work groups. Maybe bowling, a softball game, or a limo guided winery tour.

Often the challenge with any or all of these activities is that they can become viewed as meaningless hypocrisy, especially when long-term employees have witnessed these time and time again with no favorable long-term outcomes.

There is no respect and therefore no engagement with do as I say not as I do environments.

Truth about Engagement

How do you engage employees? Engage them with an environment for success.

How do you do it?

You can do it with these five simple steps.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Solving Problems, The Line Starts Here

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People seem to bring forward more problems than they do solutions. Solving problems seems to be the way we get things done, how we improve our products, our services, or how we make it through each day.

Solving Problems Appreciative Strategies

Outside of our organization we pay people to our solve problems. A doctor, an attorney, technical support, a plumber, or an auto mechanic, we find them or they market to us.

Back inside our organization individuals and teams often feel trapped, paralyzed, and unable to break free from problems. As a result some will never break free. They’ll only breakdown.

It’s the customer service representative, the technical support guru, the office manager, the sales manager, the human resources department, the procurement group, and the small business CEO. Any or all of them can get caught up in being the problem solver.

Is that how it should work?

Solving Problems

At times I’ll ask workforce teams, “What makes up your day?” It’s not uncommon for someone to metaphorically shout out, “Fighting fires!” There is almost a sense of pride and confidence in the problem solvers voice.

For the solution seeker it’s a match. It’s an invitation, a recognized opportunity to bring forward something they feel they cannot solve or would rather not be bothered to figure out. In addition, there is always the excuse from the solution seeker, “It’s not my job,” or “That’s what they’re paid to do.”

Problem solvers tell stories about a line of people at their door, or of the revolving door, and of their frustration with not getting their real work done. For them, inappropriately and often by unconscious behavior they’ve metaphorically hung a sign that reads, “The line starts here.”

Invite More Opportunities

Solving problems is important for businesses. Internally when problems become the habit, and opportunities only seem to create more problems, business slows, sometimes it halts, or as a result of chronic turmoil, it goes away forever.

Perhaps the focus should be more on becoming aware of opportunities, seeking them, pursuing them, and celebrating them. Instead employees often find themselves focused on what didn’t work and consequently they are saturated with negativity and see everything as a problem.

The Solution

Consider focusing more on your successes, what works, and what you’re doing right. Build on your talents, your core competencies, and seek the opportunities that align closely with them.

Approach your work and the mission of your business by being more strategic. Use tactics that pursue strategy, not just tactics that fight fires.

Do you really want the motivation, the energy, the excitement, and the worker engagement? If yes, open your door for more opportunities, but do it strategically, tactfully, and by invitation.

Be careful what you invite.

Start a new line. 

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

 


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5 Things Great Employees Want

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Have you ever stopped to think about what great employees want? I’m not thinking of things like pay or vacation days, something a little deeper and perhaps more meaningful.

great employees want appreciative strategies

Almost every employee would tell you that they would like to earn more money. Many would like a little extra vacation time, and some would probably like a little more flexibility with their schedule.

Sure they want to be paid and to have paid time off, but a deeper connection with the organization (and personal achievement) is just as important, and in some cases perhaps more important.

Great Employees Want

Here are 5 things that truly great employees want:

  1. Job Security. They care about the organization and because they are working for the future of the organization they want to know that they organization feels the same about them. Certainly any job today has its share of risks for longevity but your best employees are even more committed (and likely productive) when they feel secure.
  2. Opportunities for Growth. Sure there will always be some people who don’t aspire to move up the ladder, and let’s face it organizations need both, but many of your stars are working hard waiting for that opportunity. The trick for most organizations is to be able to plan and prepare for organizational growth. They also should have employee development systems that align with that growth. That way both the goals of the organization and your best employees can be achieved.
  3. Respect. All employees want respect, regardless of generation or position every employee expects to be respected. In most cases respect has strong connections with trust and like trust sometimes respect must be earned. The best employees will earn both trust and respect but at the same time the organization has a responsibility to reciprocate.
  4. Continuous Learning. If your organization isn’t learning, it has stopped growing. The best employees know that education is part of becoming better. Organizations with opportunities for tuition reimbursement, participation and inclusion in conferences and other outside events, bringing in contracted outside talent for training and development, as well as in-house training programs, are highly valued by employees who want a career, not just a paycheck.
  5. A Voice. Along with respect the best employees want to be both seen and heard. They want visibility and to know that they have a voice. Inclusion in strategy development and organizational change gives them a voice. No, they don’t all need to be at the board of directors meeting. They should be appropriately working within their teams at appropriate organizational levels to provide information and feedback will create a culture desired by the best.

How is your organization or employer doing? Do they measure up? Is the organization providing you with the things that you really want?

The greatest employees will give back much more in value when compared with the cost of what they receive.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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leadership principles

10 Principles of Leadership Engagement

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Depending on the industry, sector, and employee demographics finding the right motivational charge can sometimes be challenging. Adding to the challenge are differences in leading during times of growth versus decline, amount of tenure a leader may have with the team, and even core organizational values such as the difference between for-profit and non-profit organizations.

Leadership Principles

Here are ten principles that engaging leaders exemplify:

  1. Know that every experience can work for you, or against you. The best part is that you get to decide.
  2. You may believe that staying the same is the safest bet, until you realize that staying the same has left you behind.
  3. Understand the hidden values in risk by knowing that your biggest regret won’t come from trying. It will come from failing to try.
  4. Competition should never break you down or hold you back, it should energize you.
  5. Facing problems and challenges illustrates courage and builds character. Avoiding them shows weakness and builds worry.
  6. Letting go can be as valuable as persistence because sometimes what you hold on to is what is holding you back.
  7. Strategy and action plans are critical. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably go nowhere.
  8. Building the team can be as simple as finding two people who are passionate and motivated about the cause, then join them and act like a crowd.
  9. Innovation drives results and following benchmarks will often lead to becoming second best. Consider that ridiculous ideas sometimes become unimaginable success stories.
  10. If you aren’t challenged you aren’t growing. Remember that on the other side of every challenge there is opportunity.

Some believe motivation only comes naturally, engaging leaders know that they can encourage the process.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker, and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Generational Inclusion or Diversity?

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Organizations of all sizes are concerned about employee engagement and while some proclaim that employee engagement is a buzz phrase, others know from their own personal experiences that work is not about work / life balance, but more about life style. I’m not proclaiming a workaholic viewpoint, but I am suggesting that work and life crossover, perhaps more than many would like to admit. Those connecting with the  Dolly Parton song 9 to 5 may have to shift their thinking.

business woman with her staff in background at office

Generational differences are often labeled as problematic, and it is true that the traditionals and boomer communities may have a different agenda as compared to their younger counterparts. Through informal surveys I’ve discovered that much of the millennial population believes in common and shared effort across teams and organizations, which includes responsibility, accountability, and a good work ethic. Their need to compete is of less concern when compared with their need to matter, make a difference, or have a sense of purpose.

The concept of diversity may suggest division or being divided, when in reality what most organizations need is inclusion. When we think more about how to include the values and beliefs across all workplace generations we are making a conscious effort of inclusion. If we are not thinking about inclusion we may be focused on what is different and the result is segregation not engagement.

Recently I wrote about some of the myths associated with generational differences and age, and it is important not to confuse these two very different issues. So many organizations are trying to understand employee engagement and generational differences because they have realized that it is costing them in terms of both money and people, and they understand that closing this gap means unifying the team.

Societal trends may cause many working professionals, especially those that are representative of the more recent generations, to view their job as a contribution to both society and community. This also may lead them to consider their place of work and level of engagement as a life style choice, not just a job. Considering this, it may suggest that people join an organization for the life style. Shocking? Yes, to some, but it appears organizations that have this figured out also have better engagement and retention.

It often seems the generalized belief is that workplace harmony is created when the breadth of diversity is embraced. Perhaps today’s organizations should focus more on culture changes for inclusion, not diversity.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker, and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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