Tag Archives: engagement

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workplace race

Can You Imagine The Workplace Race

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People often mention the daily grind. Are you prepared for the daily grind? Are you enthused for your workplace race?

It seems that there are two types of job deliveries. You can deliver by being present, nothing more, just showing up. The other option is to really arrive, ready, motivated, and about to slay the day.

Which one represents you?

Race Pace

In some workplace cultures the enthusiastic employee has to cut back, slow down, and take a breath. This is unfortunate because the department, team, or organization is missing out on the best work.

Navigating organizational politics can be draining. Do too much and you’re slapped back into submission. Do too little and there isn’t any real engagement, excitement, or reason to be motivated.

One of the worst parts about this scenario is that across time, the most motivated will leave for a better opportunity. The slower movers stay. They only want the paycheck, and they don’t mind hanging out while waiting.

Workplace Race

How you work is a personal choice you make. It is often conditioned by both the environment and culture. Leadership matters.

When you are having trouble navigating the culture remember the reason that you are there. Are you there to collect a paycheck? Perhaps, for now. Are you there as a career stepping stone? Perhaps for now.

Are you there to make a difference and work towards building something better? Sometimes you have to pace yourself.

Two completely different people can approach eight hours in two completely different ways. They may also do it differently depending on the culture.

Keep your eye on the prize. Remember the workplace race is sometimes a sprint and sometimes a marathon.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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personally

Remove the Emotion, Stop Taking it Personally

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Are people in your work group, department, or organization taking it personally? Does the theme, “Remove the emotion,” echo in meeting chambers?

Here is the rub.

The last time I checked, emotion was connected to things like passion, enthusiasm, and even motivation. Workplace energy is connected to emotion. Like it, or not, it is.

Emotions Removed?

Every time an employee is shunned by the statement, “Remove the emotion!” they are one step closer to a disconnect and disengagement.

The next time they feel excited, happy, or energized, a voice inside suggests, “Remove the emotion.”

Certainly, there are sometimes leadership decisions and choices that require a temporary disconnect from the emotion. Making it the lyrics of your corporate theme song is probably not a good idea.

Personally

Taking it personally is another trouble spot. People want to be taken seriously and seriousness is often felt to be personal.

People sometimes joke, perhaps with distaste, “It is personal, like a heart attack.” Yet, when expressions of self-reflection are offered, it seems to become too personal.

Seriousness is a fact of business. It may be part of your emotional intelligence quotient. Most would suggest, seriousness is required.

Can you be professional and take things personally? Are these mutually exclusive?

One thing is certain, emotion is often what drives us. Emotion sharpens the presentation of the professional. All of our happiness, fear, and disappointment has a way of moving us.

Personally, I would be cautious about losing the emotional drive of your workforce.

Seriously.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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compelling workplace opportunities

Creating Compelling Workplace Opportunities

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Are the employee teams at your workplace motivated? Would you describe their behavior as energized, engaged, and passionate? What are you doing to create compelling workplace opportunities?

One common truth is, not everyone is motivated in the same manner. Their interests, values, and beliefs may spark engagement, or may have them heading for the door.

What are the attraction points in your workplace? What gets people engaged and moving?

It won’t take long for the idea of money to arouse attention. Certainly, inspirational stories sometimes have value. What will really stick?

Compelling Workplace Opportunities

Here are a few simple things to think about:

Appreciation. It is really this simple, people don’t like to be criticized. Observe what they are working hard at, when they are trying their best, and show more appreciation.

Accomplishment. Sometimes people are inspired by finishing the job. Have you ever said, “That’s a good job done.” Many people take pride in finishing, it is an accomplishment.

Problem Solving. Although connected to a pro and a con, problem solving is a great skill to possess. Be cautious of being overly critical as you point out problems (con), yet at the same time effectively utilize the people who love to solve them (pro).

Change. Some people are motivated for change, others shutter at the whisper of the word. The truth is that some people really don’t like risk, while others thrive on it. Find balance in the energy of risk. Help teams actualize the vision.

Competition. Comparisons can sometimes feel depressing, yet competition will often spark motivation. Manage observations of competition by starting with competing against your own past performance, then work up to surpassing the competition.

Be More Compelling

Compelling is always better than force or fear. Yes, you can force people into action by causing fear, however, force and fear won’t help you with the long-run game.

Yes, accountability matters and it is sometimes the missing link. Keep in mind though, pull is better than push.

Are you in this for the short-run or the long-run?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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building workplace interest

Building Workplace Interest and Engagement

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Are you seeking more engagement from your workplace teams? Are you building workplace interest or just rolling through each day?

Things only roll one way, downhill.

Choice of Engagement

Looking at my well used desktop keyboard, I notice that many keys are polished, some even missing the letter representation. Yet there is an entire row of shortcut keys that I have never touched.

Recently, I drove a friend to lunch. He complimented my car. I mentioned that it is just short of ten years old. He thought it was newer. Later I realized that in nearly ten years I’ve never explored all the electronic features.

There are millions of groups on social media channels. Business or pleasure, hobbies or special interests, yet millions of users never engage.

Some people never take public transportation. Some never go to the visitor attractions in their own town.

Why?

Engagement at Work

In the workplace we have similar attention challenges. There is talk about change, what will work better, and how to have less waste.

Yet, many will never engage.

They’ll never touch the shortcut keys, they’ll never check out all the features, and they’ll never get involved in optional groups.

Building Workplace Interest

Workplace leaders often try to push. They use polite forms of force to apply pressure for engagement. Backs turned, there is often little or no interest in doing anything new or different.

The challenge does not involve pushing harder. The challenge is creating a compelling environment where the people are pulled. When you gain more true followers there is more reason to join the movement.

The word spreads. The features work, they make life easier, and the engagement keeps paying off.

Engagement by force is a short-run game.

Building more interest feels harder than applying force. It requires careful thought, effort, and transparency. The risk is different, bad ideas don’t sell.

Illustrating why is much more powerful than commanding why.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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leadership ego

The High Cost of Leadership Ego

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Ego has many faces. Sometimes it is blunt and obvious, other times it is disguised as a workplace objective.

Sometimes it goes unrecognized. Simple acts that derail workplace engagement, disable loyalty, and disregard simple respect. Is leadership ego getting in the way?

Leadership Ego

Here are some leadership actions that should speak louder than words:

  • Hiring low or under skilled employees. Apparent because there is no succession planning within the organization. Employees are tools.
  • Never getting your hands dirty. (It’s a metaphor.)
  • A new organizational leader bringing in talent from a previous employer. Often to illustrate that everyone wanted out and will gladly follow for a new (better) opportunity.
  • Introductions that include, “He works for me.”
  • Rules only apply if you get caught. Especially true for harassment, diversity, and ethics.

Some employees only want paychecks. Yet, humans are surprisingly motivated by purpose. Yes, a paycheck can be a purpose, but likely it is not the organizational purpose.

Ego Derails Respect

People are problem solvers. They want to fix, repair, and accomplish. They also have a universal truth, they want respect. Respect may be defined differently by everyone, but without respect they’re only working for a paycheck.

Perhaps nothing derails loyalty more. Show your employees that you don’t respect them and they won’t care about you or the organization. Their underground rule will be, “Every person for themselves.”

Leadership is not about authority. Yes, authority matters and can be helpful. No, authority is not what makes you a leader.

Employee turnover, lawsuits, and disengaged employees cost organizations millions each year. In addition, stuck organizations or those with very limited frames often cannot get out of their own way. Look to leadership and culture as a potential problematic area.

What costs more, good leadership or bad?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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respected employees

Respected Employees are Engaged

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Based on data from numerous surveys the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has often reported about the importance of respect in the workplace. Are respected employees more engaged?

Motivation and Engagement

When you start the discussion about motivation, positivity, and employee engagement you often hear about the money factor. Yes, money matters, and no, money is not everything.

The next factor that comes into play is the conversation about motivation being intrinsic or extrinsic. Does it come from within or does it come externally? If you really want to dig deep, you’ll also entertain the discussion point about the fundamental attribution error.

Cutting right to it, if you are a workplace leader you will assume some responsibility for a motivated and engaged workforce. Your team is not just motivated or not. The workplace climate and culture will matter.

Respected Employees

People are motivated by results, by a sense of accomplishment, pride, and how they are perceived by others. These and many other factors are directly linked to respect. There is more to motivation but respect is often overlooked or taken for granted.

Leadership egos sometimes get in the way of respect. This happens when leaders need (and take) credit for the work accomplished by their teams. It happens when the leader flexes her muscle by reminding others about their pecking order.

I’ve turned this organization around.

This is my secretary.

He works for me.

When you start to wonder about worker engagement you should start to question the impact of leadership egos. One of the most important aspects of leadership is effective self-assessment. Awareness is the first step for change.

Does respect matter to you?

-DEG

Do you need help bringing respect back into your workplace? Contact me.

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace engagement

Workplace Engagement Starts with Respect

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The chicken or the egg? Everyone wonders. Workplace engagement isn’t as challenging, but it may not always start in the manner that you think.

I didn’t like green beans as a kid, probably because they weren’t sweet enough. Today, I value their importance in a well-balanced diet and I’m sure to eat a few.

When it comes to the work at hand, people are often not sure whether they will like it or not. Can there be situations where after they explore it, check it out, and give it a try, they’re interested to do more?

Workplace Engagement

Engagement doesn’t always start with the notion that it will be fun and engaging, sometimes people grow into it.

It’s common for someone to dislike the new software release. “It’s awkward. Where is my old screen that showed everything near the top?”

The same is often true for the process change. “We’ve never done it this way. I don’t think this is going to work.”

Engagement doesn’t always start by making it attractive enough. It doesn’t always begin with confidence and a roaring stream of energy.

Sometimes engagement develops by getting ingrained in the process. Passion develops from the understood purpose. The feeling of accomplishment.

Many people want to understand that their work will make a difference, that it matters, and as people, they are needed and valued because it does.

Connect with Respect

Dressing up or sugar coating that there is work to be done and let’s get motivated about it doesn’t guarantee engagement. In fact, once that excitement wears off, people are waiting for you to excite them again. And bigger this time.

Respect will go a long way towards the gratitude of the offer for work to be done. Consider, “We could sure use your expertise on this one.”

Engagement forms when there is a connection to the contribution. It all starts with respect.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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momentum

The Incredible Power Of Momentum

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Jokes often center on New Year resolutions. We hear about the fitness program, the special diet, or the financial savings program. Correcting our bad habits, our vices, and even the worn out tradition will stand a better chance of success with momentum.

Incredible Power

One of the best metaphors for momentum is what I call the train story.

The story is a nickel placed on the track in front of the wheel of a train before it starts moving will make it very difficult to get started. However, a nickel placed on the rail long in advance of the on-coming train and the train will crush it as if it isn’t even there.

Momentum is powerful. Get things rolling and sometimes they are hard to stop.

Momentum does require some energy though, and often care. You have to care enough about the fitness program, the special diet, or financial savings.

On The Job

The same is true for the momentum of anything in our workplace. This is especially true for organizational development endeavors, things such as training programs, coaching, and other developmental activities.

Imagine if we exercised only once every two months, or imagine if we insisted that we were on a special diet but only followed it one day a week. What would our results look like? Simple right, the results would be less than desirable.

When people think about career development, it isn’t a one and done. Anyone progressive is always continuing to learn, practice, and grow. The same is true for employee development.

Momentum

Sure, we can send someone to the workshop or seminar where all the tips and techniques are carefully delivered by an expert. However, if the employee doesn’t practice, doesn’t follow up, or doesn’t commit to continuous improvement not much changes for the long-term.

So many people and organizations treat training and development as an information source. The idea is that we need the information, so tell us. This is often true, and results do occur. Often great results. The biggest struggle though is not the knowledge transfer, it is the continuation of the effort.

We should remember that the power of momentum is not so much about knowing, it is much more about doing.

– 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 five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Customer Service Dance Appreciative Strategies

Customer Service Dance Might Work

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Have you ever asked someone, “Who is the customer?” Your best answer may be, “Everyone!” Is the customer service dance appropriate for your business?

It seems ironic or a good example of karma. If you forget about your customers, they’ll likely forget about you.

Dancing with your customers is not about fast moves, quick diversions, or peddling snake oil.

Just like with real dancing you won’t go far with two left feet. You’ll have to get out there and make something happen. Even if you feel the rhythm but your body just moves weirdly.

Customer Service Dance

The best customer service of all might happen when you allow dancing. The customer service dance might be the ultimate form of feedback. The best of the best in the customer experience. It all happens because you’re doing it together.

Businesses that get this right have customer engagement like few others. They’re inviting customers to participate. Customers try product, test examples, work with prototypes, debug software, and co-create everything that happens. In the end, the customer wins.

This model of customer service doesn’t promise perfect, it promises an on-going effort to improve. Information is free flowing and engagement means loyalty. This valued customer couldn’t possibly do better elsewhere because they’re building it along with you.

When more people join in the experience it doesn’t get worse, it gets even better. No one needs a special invitation and it catches on. It’s a viral experience. It’s a club, a membership, or an entire culture.

Forgotten Customers

Most businesses would tell you that they are doing this, but few actually do. It’s not so much that they lack effort or desire. It’s mostly because they’ve forgotten who the customer is.

They’re either dancing alone or standing on the side watching others have all the fun.

Best Dancers

Who are the best dancers?

Harley Davidson, Dollar Shave Club, and Amazon, your secret is out.

Thanks for the dance.

– 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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workforce engagement appreciative strategies

Give and Get of Workforce Engagement

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You’ve heard it before, “Attitudes are contagious.” Yes, most workforce professionals would likely agree, but does attitude condition workforce engagement?

Sometimes when I’m speaking or presenting to groups I will try to throw out a little bit of humor. I’m certainly not a humorist speaker, but most people like to have a little fun. Occasionally, I’ll throw out a zinger and only one or two persons will laugh. I’ll follow that with, “Thank you. Now could you move around and act like a crowd.”

It is all intended for some fun. Usually it works. More people join in the laughter.

Following the Crowd

Unfortunately the opposite is also true. People who oppose circumstances or situations can also develop a following. At times they may not completely understand what they are for, or against, but they’re following the crowd.

Sometimes we might call it atmosphere, others might suggest it is the environment, and yet others might label it as the organizational culture.

Many people believe that what you give is what you get.

If you are looking for a way to inappropriately challenge the process you’ll find it. When you listen only to respond, others will do the same. If you fold your arms, scowl, and send the message that you don’t want to be there, others will follow.

Workforce Engagement

Be careful about what you give.  If you give the message of, “I don’t care about you.” chances are good you’ll get that back.

This is often how the pay check only employees develop. You know the ones. They care very little about anything other than their pay check. Typically this develops when they feel disrespected or devalued. It’s reactionary and sometimes becomes a crowd.

You might only get what you give.

It’s true for management and it’s true for the front line.

Do you want workforce engagement?

Give out what you want to get back.

– 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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