Tag Archives: purpose

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workplace accountability

Workplace Accountability Starts With Purpose

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Frustrated, many employees feel that there is a lack of accountability. Have you sized up your workplace accountability?

As an individual, team lead, manager, or the CEO, are people accountable?

In the workplace people can be accountable for many things. They can be accountable for knowledge, skills, and abilities. They can also be accountable for their time and turning in good work.

There’s still more. People should be accountable for their attitude, commitment, and interpersonal relationships.

It’s not okay to show up and do nothing.

It’s not okay to claim, “I’m a little weird.” and then refuse to engage or form appropriate relationships.

Most of all it’s not okay to blame others, waste resources, or contribute less than what is expected.

How should you hold yourself or others accountable?

Workplace Accountability

It starts with a creating a sense of purpose.

People are much more accountable when they are connected with why their work matters.

For managers and other workplace leaders, showing them that you don’t care about them is the fastest way to have them not care about you.

Often, unconscious, thoughtless, or misinterpreted actions will undermine purpose and accountability.

Leaders who can transfer the feeling of ownership, connection, and purpose to every job seem to have an easier path to accountability.

It is easier said, than done though.

Accountability Pathways

Connecting people with purpose requires time, effort, and trust. It will not work for the person who doesn’t care about building lasting relationships.

You can’t treat people like machines. If you do, they may complete the task, but the organization will suffer from the high cost of employee turnover, low morale, and bad attitudes.

Accountability might be measured on a spreadsheet, but those results are connected to the human factor.

Connect everyone with purpose. Give them ownership in the work.

Holding people accountable can be a tough job. Creating a culture that inspires accountability lessens that effort.

-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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workplace division

Workplace Division Sometimes Gets More Attention

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Only when leadership allows room for it! Does your organization struggle with workplace division?

It’s not a math problem, but yet it is. The group dynamics and psychology associated with drama and conflict are often more attractive than success.

If asked, employees will likely verbally confirm that success for themselves and success of the organization matter. However, what happens next is often something different.

Love the Drama

Media streams love drama. Political buffs love drama. People are drawn in to drama.

Think about these headlines:

Mask Wearing Man Drops Dead

Why Complete Collapse is Likely After the Election

Big Banks Cash in With Your Money Following PPP Roll-Out

Are the headlines more about success or drama? Perhaps it depends a little on your viewpoint, but likely they’re enticing you with drama.

What are the headings in your workplace underground?

Boss Sleeps with Marketing Manager Following Holiday Party

Two Departments Will Be Downsized, Will It Be Yours?

Sales Manager Provides Fake College Degree in Original Job Application

Conflict and drama often sell better than forward motion, progress, or team success.

Workplace Division

Often the average employee doesn’t feel a connection with organizational success, so it is just a job, not a career.

Employees may also be missing the point of their work. This is often known as his or her purpose. Perhaps they don’t know or understand the mission. The feeling may be, the company doesn’t care about me and I don’t care about the company.

Workplace division is likely connected to leadership.

The human side of the work requires connections to emotions. Things like passion for the work, inspiring stories of customer delight, and pathways for employee success.

The more room there is for drama, the more it will zap the energy required for progress.

Leadership Action

It’s not all talk and no action.

Leadership should ensure that there is time spent on connecting, not dividing. It is critical for organizational success.

Drama and division seem to grow like weeds. Turn your back, and something new appears.

You have to constantly cultivate the team and culture to ensure you’re using all of the energy wisely.

It all starts with today’s headline.

-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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Organizational purpose

Organizational Purpose is a Planned Path

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Organizational purpose is the single most important aspect of getting to where you want to go. It is an expectation of leadership. Does everyone know your plan?

Create buy-in for the change.

Get everybody on-board.

Rally the troops.

One way to struggle is by not making the path clear. Another way is to state what you want as the end result, only the end result doesn’t connect with any specific mission.

Workplace leaders are sometimes baffled by the lack of understanding among employee teams.

Plan the Journey

When you board a plane headed to Dallas, Texas, you expect to touch down in Dallas, Texas. Where the plane is headed is announced in advance, your ticket matches, and you are usually briefed from the cockpit or steward.

It makes sense. You arrive in Dallas.

A different way is to decide you want to go to Dallas, only there isn’t a clear plan or path. You recognize you’re going to get on a plane, yet there is no specific way you’ll get there. You may decide to swing by Nashville, Las Vegas, Orlando, or Chicago.

Cost of this undefined trip isn’t known or understood. Timing is flexible or undetermined. You need to end up in Dallas, and you’ll get there but no one is sure of when.

When the purpose or the end result is unclear or when the objectives are not connected to the measurement of time anything can happen. It often does, or perhaps, a surprising outcome, nothing happens.

When you pick a movie from Netflix, you’re usually aware of the genre and the approximate length. Sign up for the workshop and you know the date, time, and location. You’ll also have an idea of the topic and length. Even your navigation system in your car sets some expectations.

Organizational Purpose

When your organizational purpose is more like a slogan don’t expect momentum to carry you through the tough spots.

Make lots of money.

Please every customer.

Just do it.

Slogan’s are important and are typically flexible by design. They are not a mission or a road map. They are more all encompassing rather than specific. A catch-all.

Don’t count on your organizational purpose being defined by a slogan.

Worse, who knows when or if you’ll ever achieve it.

-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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workplace purpose

Does Your Team Understand Workplace Purpose?

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One of the most basic elements of building a successful organization is the ability to rally the people around a workplace purpose. Have you considered lately how that is working in your team or department?

Setting the Stage

The development stages of the organization are simpler. There are fewer people, less moving parts, it is easier to watch over the entire operation.

Across the months, years, or decades things start to shift a little. More people join, more problems have become apparent and more rules and policies are put in place. Without careful and purposeful intention, things often start to get lost in the shuffle.

Often larger work groups and teams are doing tasks or following guidelines that they either don’t understand, or worse, they misunderstand.

The big picture with strategy is out there. It may be in the publicized mission statement, unfortunately from the strategy room to the front-line things get lost in the translation.

Department managers sometimes become confused about the true strategy, the why of the business. They respond to measurement, metrics, and performance criteria, but their response lacks the understanding of purpose.

As time moves forward some disorganization may occur. The purpose is confusing, the front-line works towards metrics, but they often do not understand why. Managers insist somewhat blindly that this work, their work, is part of the strategy, however, they too suffer from understanding why.

Workplace Purpose

When groups of people and teams are employed to create work, provide a service, and do great things it is very important that they understand the purpose.

Understanding workplace purpose is everyone’s responsibility, yet it often doesn’t exist.

In the best organizations everyone leads at some level. Otherwise, you have a bureaucratic conundrum.

-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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bad workplace attitudes

Bad Workplace Attitudes Lack Purpose

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You’ve probably noticed a bad attitude at some point in your life. It may be at work, in the grocery store, or at the red light. Have you noticed bad workplace attitudes?

There are plenty of reasons why someone may be illustrating a bad attitude. Sometimes it is because something happened outside of work and this person is still dragging it around while on the job. In other cases, it may be connected to purpose.

Why Purpose?

Start a conversation about purpose and some people will perk up, but others start looking at their cell phone.

Purpose is critically important and often misunderstood. It is also linked to bad workplace attitudes.

When the junior executive doesn’t understand why she or he must change the verbiage in the quarterly report, an attitude may develop.

What about the staff member that must drop everything and go make copies for the upcoming meeting?

Does a bad attitude emerge when the project that the team pushed for doesn’t make the budget?

All these scenarios and hundreds of other examples are connected to a lack of understanding about purpose. Often purpose is taken for granted. Many people don’t understand the connection.

Changing Bad Workplace Attitudes

People often connect work with reward. The mindset is, “I do some work and I get paid.”

You can do the same thing with your dog. Teach a dog that when she sits, she gets a treat. I love dogs.

People are not dogs.

When you want to give people energy, excitement, and a reason for commitment and hard work. Give them a purpose.

People who understand why the verbiage in the report matters are energized to make the changes. When they understand why the copies will make a difference, they make them.

A project not making the budget is disappointing, but the team remaining intact to launch something new or different can be great!

-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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dreaded performance review

The Dreaded Performance Review

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Performance evaluations and reviews are a special opportunity in the workplace. Are they clouded with inappropriate feedback? Are you about to receive the dreaded performance review?

Golden Rules

There are a few golden rules. Sadly, many supervisors don’t have adequate training or preparation to create a scenario where the review helps, not hurts, future employee performance.

Some of the rules are simple. The review should not be about a opportunity to blast the employee for poor performance or shortcomings on goals and objectives.

If this is an annual or semi-annual review those shortcomings should have been addressed long ago.

However, the review should be about goals and objectives. It should include meaningful and valuable goals that are directly connected to the larger organizational mission.

The Agony

Why do people dread performance reviews?

There are probably at least several reasons. Here are a few:

  • They’ve had a bad experience in the past.
  • The team is chattering about upcoming reviews and citing how terrible that day will be.
  • There is little or no understanding of the real purpose of the review so they see no value.
  • Setting goals and objectives makes them accountable to change.
  • Their supervisor has identified that reviews are a meaningless waste of time.

You get the picture. One or more of these characteristics have plagued or undermined the true purpose and value associated with performance reviews in many organizations.

Dreaded Performance Review

If you are a supervisor you have a responsibility. You should also have a commitment to the success of every member of the team. Future employee motivation is likely directly connected to the successful performance review.

Consider that your team will react to their review. One way or another. Do you want the next six to twelve months to show positive performance improvement?

Above all, the success (or not) of everyone will largely be based on what happens next.

-DEG

Do you need help with creating a positive culture and experience connected to the employee performance review? 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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awaiting change

Awaiting Change or Making Change Happen?

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What will be different today? Will something change? Many people feel excited about the possibility. They are awaiting change.

Is this what will spark change or do we have to engage deeper, in a more meaningful way?

Constant Change

Most would agree that we are in a World of constant and rapid change. Some live for this exhilarating feeling, others want to climb back into their box.

On the other hand, many people and businesses feel stuck, trapped, or worse, going backwards.

We are all responsible for change. Change seems to happen more when the reason for change is clear. When there is purpose, direction, and vision.

Awaiting Change

One trouble spot often is, people are just waiting. They are waiting to be inspired, waiting to connect with what matters to them, and looking for clear vision, a roadmap they can follow.

Today perhaps we’re all marketers. We all must sell, promote, and create connection. Like it or not, we’re in a connection economy. As the digital age shoves more data in front us things don’t get clearer, they get more nebulous.

In a fuzzy world, we resort to instinct, our instinct resorts to trust. We ask someone.

The testimonial is more important now than ever. The people you meet, they have value. What they say will have impact on your direction. When we listen, we’re building our own vision.

What To Do

Ask yourself, “What would the savvy marketer do?”

Launch a new OOH campaign, engage with video, build an incredible and resourceful website? One thing is certain, they are going to try to connect with emotion, a purpose, and a vision.

When you recognize what matters most and stop waiting you’ll start changing.

Connect yourself or your team with authenticity, respect, and high ethical standards. Maybe it is what people are waiting for. Maybe it is what matters the most.

Stop waiting, start connecting, promote the vision, and listen. Things will change.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. 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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Interesting Story

Interesting Story, Now I Get It

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People have told stories for thousands of years. Is story telling the way we learn, grow, and become more successful? Do you have an interesting story?

Story Value

Go to any museum and you may wonder about the story. The artifacts are there, they are clearly visible and on display. We can often read a short version of history on a plaque or push a button to get an audio version. This helps us connect, but we still don’t always know the story.

If we are shopping for a used car, we may want to know the story. When we go to a new small town, or a mom and pop restaurant we may wonder, “What is the story here?”

Better yet, watch an episode of American Pickers or Pawn Stars. When they buy something, they want to know the story. Often you’ll hear the stars of these shows ask about the story and declare a perceived value based mostly on, you guessed it, the story.

Interesting Story

In the workplace, our connection with purpose, why we do what we do, is meaningless without the story.

When we are in training seminars or workshops the value of the training is increased with the story.

You’ve likely heard of death by PowerPoint. You’ve witnessed the endless slide decks that could simply be displayed while the participants watch and read. There is not really a need for the so-called, presenter.

When you want buy-in for your change. When you want your employee teams to learn more, be more, and connect more, you may want to consider the story. Most employable people can talk about or read a slide deck.

When you attend the meeting, go to a seminar, or take a seat in the grand ballroom at the conference the question you really want to know the answer to is, “Do you have an interesting story?”

– 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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team motivation

Team Motivation and People Who Care

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Getting people motivated to move or spring into action, is it possible? What are you doing about team motivation, is everyone excited and engaged?

Certainly, there are people who scoff at the suggestion of motivation. They believe that motivation is entirely intrinsic and that you cannot get people to be more motivated. We also can’t forget about the authoritarian, he or she believes that fear is the best motivator. Do it or you are fired.

Possibility of Motivation

There is likely little doubt for anyone that motivation does have an individual component. That is, one person may be more motivated or less motivated than another based on the stimulus, the working environment, and even their historical perspective.

People are mostly motivated by purpose. Do you agree, when you have a purpose or understand the purpose you may then decide to be motivated or not?

Here is a basketball. There is the hoop. How many shots can you make in one minute?

We need to ship one hundred cases today. Our previous best is ninety-six. Let’s get started!

When you understand the purpose, the goal or desired result, you may become more motivated. Of course, the quick argument is that you have to care. If you don’t care about the number of baskets or the cases of product then you probably won’t start.

Team Motivation

Fundamentally, this is exactly why hiring for character, integrity, or attitude is so important. When someone doesn’t care, you are left with the decision to revisit purpose and see if they will ever care, or get them off your team.

What everyone who cares is most concerned about is accomplishing the work. They want to make a difference and to feel satisfied with their individual performance and the performance of the team. Caring is the first factor for team motivation.

When they care, they perform.

– 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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What drives effort

What Drives Effort At Work? What’s Your Purpose?

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Motivation is an interesting topic. People are motivated in many different ways. What drives effort at your workplace?

Many people quickly grow tired of the daily grind. Alarm clocks, a quick shower, a large (extra large) coffee, or maybe some will throw back an energy drink and then it is off for the morning commute.

Once on the job, what provides the motivation for what happens next?

Motivation at Work

Certainly, many would hope that fun is a factor. Believe it or not some people really do enjoy their work. Even for those work-equals-fun people, sometimes things can grow a little stale. Overall though, when things are fun people are engaged, their energy level is high, and the work feels satisfying.

Many others are on a mission. There may be something they’ve procrastinated about, something that is late, urgent, and needed to be finished yesterday. They get stuff done, because a customer (boss, co-worker, external customer) needs it.

Some are thinking more about strategy. They will consider how to navigate the system, what the future needs are, or they will put in the extra effort to finish a project or product that has been in the blueprint phase for some time. They’re engaged because their future depends on it.

Somewhere lurking in much of this effort is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of what will happen if the work isn’t timely, of high quality, and tasteful. What if the deadline is missed, the outbound truck arrives early and leaves the same. What if sales aren’t closed, the wrong stuff is advertised, and the webpage lacks hits?

Fear creates a lot of energy. It is almost like a rocket, extremely powerful but it doesn’t last long, the fuel is gone. Purposely (or not) motivating through fear is largely not a good idea.

What Drives Effort

What if effort was driven by purpose? Purpose is the reason that we work hard to do what we do. The amateur athlete has a purpose, and in the short run, it isn’t about money. The entrepreneur has a purpose and it is typically connected with their passion.

When we are focused on a purpose, everything becomes more important. When you accomplish what is important it is satisfying and sometimes fun. It may take grit, it may be connected to the daily grind, but the result is what matters the most. Doing it is a labor of love, or interest.

The rocking chair rocks, the stationary bike spins, and the rowing machine rows, but none of them go anywhere. The desired result is something different. Perhaps to relax and unwind, or for fitness, weight loss, and more strength.

We can be motivated by many things, but if what we do isn’t important, it really doesn’t matter that much. Knowing the purpose may be the biggest factor for what drives effort at work.

– 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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