Tag Archives: workplace

  • -
workplace shift

Workplace Shift and the Forces of Change

Tags : 

Change isn’t always about a choice. Chances are great you’ve experienced a workplace shift. How you choose to navigate the forces of change will have something to do with the outcome.

For hundreds of years or more, humans have been expanding their communities.

Communities once invested in rail service to bring desirable change to the people of a town. It formed a connection.

They built pathways, roads, and bridges. If not a bridge, then a raft, a canoe, or a boat. They have successfully linked people through transportation and technology.

Change is always happening around us. Sometimes change is a choice, in other cases the only choice is how you’ll choose to react to change.

Workplace change has both external and internal forces.

Change Forces

Externally we can be forced to change by technology, government regulations, and the conditions of the economy. Even popular values, social needs, and a pandemic.

Inside the walls of the organization change may happen because of leadership directives, workforce demographics, and performance failures.

It doesn’t take much to spark a workplace shift.

Workplace Shift

A choice that everyone has is connected to how he or she will respond to the shift.

When you think of the shift that is happening now in your workplace is there an opportunity to connect? Can you connect the people with the process or establish a more meaningful connection with the customer?

More often than not, when a connection is formed everyone benefits.

Change is an opportunity for enhancing the right connections. It may not make sense by rail, by boat, or by plane, but it still may make sense.

Force can launch a shift, and the opportunity created by the shift can also launch a force.

It seems that opportunity in change is still about choice.

-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.


  • -
building workplace culture

Building Workplace Culture Takes Time

Tags : 

Every organization has it, and it wasn’t built overnight. It’s difficult to know exactly where it started, and it is never finished. Building workplace culture is a fluid process, not one single event.

You assume everyone knows. You assume everyone is on the same page. Is it true?

What is Culture?

Culture is different from environment. Culture is not about the lighting, the color of the paint, or the size of the leather chair. It’s not about break rooms with X-Box, or fruit and vegetable offerings instead of candy bars.

People often confuse workplace environment with culture. While they may cross paths, they really are quite different.

Culture is has something to do with the rules of the game. It is the language, the tone, and the demonstrations of role models. You can describe the culture you want, yet it will still largely form on its own.

Actions and reactions will guide culture. Tolerance, or a lack of it, will play a part. And yes, in some ways the physical environment will either support or detract from the path of culture.

Money probably doesn’t buy culture, yet it may become a part of it.

Culture is about a vibe. It is about what you see, what you value, and what you believe. It involves socially accepted norms.

The big picture of culture is often hard to describe. You often feel it before you can see it.

Building Workplace Culture

The government has a culture, so does General Motors, Harley Davidson, and SpaceX. Institutions of higher education have a culture, and so does the family restaurant down the road, and the hardware store across the street.

Every person, every day, contributes. It shifts and people navigate. Everyone plays a role.

Sometimes the hard part about a plan to build a culture is that the plan itself becomes an obstacle.

A plan to fall love can’t really be built, it develops.

Its similar with culture. You can love the idea of what you want it to feel like, but it always takes its own shape.

You’re a part of it.

Do your part.

-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.


  • -
workplace robots

Workplace Robots and the Human Factor

Tags : 

Hiring a robot may be a smart choice. Hiring humans to serve as workplace robots has some challenges.

What do you need from your workforce?

It seems that work always trickles down. An entrepreneur starts by doing it all, or at least, most of it. If she is successful, she starts to delegate the easier assignments.

Most organizations are structured in a similar manner. Labor intensive or low interest, repetitive tasks get shoved off to the lower levels.

Not that this doesn’t make sense, it does. However, what are employees or contractors expecting?

Gig Economy Workers

Many gig economy workers expect something for their thoughts or creative talents. Design and develop a website, create a new brand logo, or serve as a social media expert. Help us with marketing and sales, use your talents, and delight the customer.

What about part time or full-time employees? What are their expectations?

Many businesses face cultural challenges. The job opportunities that they have or require are often not attractive to job seekers.

When the organization needs someone to put something inside the box and seal it with tape and nothing more is required what do you get?

If you replace the word someone with a robot you have a solution.

Workplace Robots

Organizations sometimes wonder why they have a difficult time with on-boarding.

Society has suggested that people should do what they love.

Use your brain they said. Do something creative they said. Follow your heart they said.

One company won’t change society, yet one company can change its culture.

When the culture suggests that human beings should show up and do only the minimum requirements that are expected, then that is what they’ll get.

You’re not paid to think, you’re paid to put the product in the box and seal it with tape.

It often creates the feeling of, the company doesn’t care about me so I don’t care about the company.

Robots have a place, don’t expect humans to be robots.

-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.


  • -
workplace work space

Workplace Work Space What Matters Most

Tags : 

Has your workplace work space been disrupted? Many have just experienced a big shock with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some believe it is what they’ve always dreamed of (social distancing) and others believe it is the beginning of the end.

Working from Home

Work from home. That’s the dream many people believe.

It might seem appealing. Dress in your pajama’s, sip on some coffee, look out the window and turn on the television. However, real work needs to get done or your appealing lap of luxury will come to an end quickly.

While the idea of social distancing and even solitude may seem appealing, for most that only lasts a few days. Then the idea of not communicating and interacting with fellow employees seems a bit problematic or even uncomfortable.

Workplace Work Space

What matters most for your work space?

Is it the plant on the window seal? The lighting, not too bright, but just enough? Does it have something to do with your chair, desk, or a standing workstation?

You can create an environment that physically represents the best you can do with what you have.

Don’t forget though, that how you will interact with others is going to ultimately matter. In fact, it may matter the most.

Social distancing doesn’t have to mean anti-social. In fact, the stimulation of people working together for a common cause can create a lot of energy.

What matters most may not be something you’ve dreamed about for many years. It may be something you’ve taken for granted all along.

-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.


  • -
workplace meetings

Workplace Meetings And The Big Takeaway

Tags : 

People who join the conference are often curious about the takeaway. In workplace meetings, leaders are interested in the key points. What you takeaway is as important at what you bring.

The hope is that you enter the meeting prepared to be engaged. You’re curious about the key points, what you should remember, and why.

Most people attending are thinking about the information that they are about to receive. They’re sizing up the mood, the feeling, and the intensity.

There may be a joke, some laughter, and some anxiety. A sense of urgency, seriousness, or concern.

Retention Rate

Knowledge transfer has a retention rate. The rate is greater only three hours after the meeting as compared with three days. When it comes to weeks, months, or even years, the retention grows even smaller.

Worse, sometimes the retention is changed. It is the big fish story. The embellished version of what was really said.

If you are present and contributing what do you want people to remember about the meeting? Does it matter what color of shirt you wore? Will your behavior, gestures, or body language leave a lasting impression?

Sometimes what we have to offer, the information or the learning we intend to exchange, gets lost. It gets lost because our focus is on what we want to share instead of what we want to be remembered.

Workplace Meetings

Creating the big takeaway requires appropriate planning. It is suggested in the beginning, compelling during the middle, and reiterated at the end.

The best thing about workplace meetings is not when they are over. The best thing is about the opportunity you have to create or inspire change.

If your meeting reads like a dictionary not much will be remembered. Not because it is not valuable but because the expectation is that you’ll always have a place to look it up.

Information exchange is not about blurting it out, it is about the craft of creating retention.

-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.


  • -
Career futures

Career Futures Are Important Today

Tags : 

In finance we’ve heard of the term, futures. What about career futures? How is what you’re doing today connected with tomorrow?

Careers last a long time. For many people, somewhere around forty-five to fifty years. Recognize, that is a half-century.

Much can happen across the course of a career. Economic changes, societal changes, and even changes in your self-interest.

You may go through periods of time where you have different monetary needs, work-life balance needs, and different expectations of job roles and duties.

It is always the challenge on the outside looking in. Wondering why or how what you are doing right now will impact your future.

Honestly, it is easy to get comfortable and complacent.

Learning for the Future

Many college students struggle to see why they are required to improve writing skills when they are not going to be a writer. Why there is a foreign language requirement when you are not planning to work in a different country. Once upon a time, typing was considered a secretarial duty, “Why should we learn how to type?”

The answer is easy, futures.

It may not always be a matter of now. It is more about a matter of when.

It is not just about students, education, or college.

It is happening right now, in your career.

Career Futures

People fail to make connections or build relationships. They skip on building a LinkedIn profile because they believe that it is only for job seekers. When there are opportunities to learn more about their job, they’ll pass them up, because, well, they already have it so there is no need to impress.

Then something changes.

The economy shifts, the business shifts, things grow or decline. Businesses are bought and sold. Leadership changes and so does the mission and vision.

Suddenly, they are not the right fit and there is nowhere to turn.

Why?

Because they haven’t paid attention to their career futures.

Managing the Future Today

Managing the future aspect of your career is simple. When you need to tap deep into addition resources, you must already have the resource, not start trying to build it or collect it only when the need arises.

All of your learning, growing, and being committed will matter. Career futures allow little tolerance for coasting.

You’ll need to be prepared for change.

The only unknown is, when.

-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.


  • -
workplace complacency

Workplace Coasting Is a Downhill Slide

Tags : 

Is workplace coasting dangerous? It definitely may be a downhill slide.

Statistics show us that motivation and engagement drop drastically after the first six months on the job. That slide continues until about year six, seven, or eight, when somewhat surprisingly things start to pick up.

Of course, it is a stat, and not applicable to everyone.

Caught in a Trap

There is a trap. A trap connected to comfort and complacency.

Eventually, many people find themselves just trying to make it through each day. They show up, get some stuff done, and coast.

Certainly, they don’t always recognize that they are coasting. Their belief often is that they are making appropriate contributions. They insist they are committed and working hard.

In some ways, they might be. Yet, in other ways, they may really be coasting.

Workplace Coasting

Stretch a conversation about commitment and complacency far enough and you’ll find people who insist that their continued commitment outweighs any coasting.

I come in fifteen minutes early every day so I also leave fifteen minutes early.

What’s in the break room for breakfast? I’m hungry this morning?

Let’s find a conference to go to. I need a few days out of the office.

Harmless norms? Harmless, yes, in simple terms they probably are. Norms, I’m not so certain.

Nothing wrong with some flex scheduling, yet, often the flex becomes more favorable to the employee instead of the business.

Breakfast, as a general rule, should be consumed before the start of your work shift. Not used as an excuse to stall on the work that awaits you.

Conferences largely should be about employee or business development. Not a mini-vacation on the company dime.

These may all be considered forms of coasting. Just cruising along. Getting by.

Coasters Surprise

Often coasting is met with a surprise. The company is bought, sold, or now under new management. Jobs are changing. People are being rearranged. Perhaps a time of growth, or worse, a time of decline.

This is when coasters get burned.

While they were coasting others continued to peddle.

Life or careers don’t always seem fair.

Keeping peddling because coasting will only take you downhill.

-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.


  • -
workplace reciprocity

Workplace Reciprocity is Connected to Friendships

Tags : 

Do you have friends at work? Many would quickly suggest that they do. Is workplace reciprocity the real force behind your connections?

We start to develop the basics of reciprocity at a very young age.

You give me your best Pokemon card and I’ll give you one of mine.

You pony tail my hair and I’ll pony tail yours.

Let’s switch bikes. You ride mine and I’ll ride yours.

All grown up and navigating a career many people carry the concept of reciprocity along with them. Everything is done, or not, with the expectation of reciprocity.

Transparency is great buzz word. People throw around the idea of being transparent as many times as they hit the coffee station before noon.

Are your friends at work really transparent? Do you know what their motives are? Are they genuine or more self-serving?

Workplace Reciprocity

Much of our success can be attributed to our relationships.

Make friends with the boss and she’ll help you get ahead. Make more contacts, always be friendly and kind, then people will refer you.

Relationships matter but the real question is, “Are they authentic?”

It may all circle back to the concept of reciprocity. What do you have that I want? What leverage can I build from our relationship?

Funny the values or techniques we develop in childhood. Funnier still how adulthood finds us not too far away from the earliest concepts we learned.

Build relationships and make good friends. Keep in mind that business will always be business.

-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.


  • -
team sprint

Does Your Team Sprint at the Beginning?

Tags : 

We’re always running against the clock. When is the best time for a team sprint?

A glance at the clock often feels counter intuitive for effectiveness.

If we are hurried, we’re going to give up something in quality. The notion is that corners will be cut to allow the box to get checked in the same amount of time.

Makes sense. There is a good chance this is often true.

It is also often true that we coast into the project. Then we only sprint if we must. Ultimately, we often end up hurried at the end.

Motivation Comes from Sprinting

Some people may argue that a sprint motivates, energizes, and excites.

You may hear:

I do my best work under pressure.

Why worry, there is still lots of time.

If we get in a jam, we’ll bring on some part-timers or interns.

Have you heard any of these arguments?

Team Sprint

Let’s assume for a moment that you buy into the concept that sprinting works for motivation, increased energy, and more excitement.

Shouldn’t we sprint at the beginning not at the end?

This may not apply for the runner’s marathon, but in your workplace imagine if you sprinted at the beginning, walked at the end, and finished before the project is due?

Is that a better position to be in?

Imagine if you didn’t have much to worry about as the deadline approached? What if you didn’t have to hire more help or could save on overtime costs?

Is that a healthier workplace culture?

When do you prefer to sprint?

If there is going to be a sprint, I suggest you get a good start.

-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.


  • -
Easy change

Easy Change May Be Only a Workplace Dream

Tags : 

Are you expecting an easy change? Are your expectations realistic? What is the biggest challenge?

People are always trying to create buy-in for their point of view or path. They often view their way as the best, the only, and of course, obviously, the correct path.

Being Correct

We see it in politics. One side has a set of values and beliefs, the other side differs.

Businesses spend precious hours debating change.

There are even two sides to probable outcomes from a debate.

One side suggests that a lack of debate leads to complacency, so we must debate. The other side suggests that debates only create winners and losers so be cautious of your approach to entertaining debates among teams.

Who is correct?

Easy Change

The CEO often urges middle management, “Go get buy-in for this change!” How do you create buy-in? Do you tell people what to think?

Leadership may mean telling a story. Bringing the situation to life. Allowing for reflection which promotes experiential learning. This act of telling can be very compelling.

Did someone say it was easy?

Certainly, it depends somewhat on the circumstances. We have a lot of small scale change each day. So small it probably goes unnoticed. It’s the big changes that throw up flags.

Getting buy-in for change often starts with belief. It may be the belief that it is necessary. The belief that it will make things better. In nearly all cases, the best belief is that it will work.

Change gets easier when the path is clearer. The path to any great accomplishment starts with belief.

The hardest part of change may be changing minds.

-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.


Search This Website

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Upcoming Public Events

  1. PACD Management Summit

    September 2 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Blog (Filter) Categories

Follow me on Twitter

Assessment Services and Tools

Strategic, Competency, or Needs Assessments, DiSC Assessments, 360 Feedback, and more. Learn more