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Posts tagged with "Effective Leadership"

Keep Your Employees Happy and You’ll Keep Your Employees

High employee turnover is expensive. It costs money, time, and productivity – and it lowers morale. So it’s no surprise that today’s most innovative employers are investing as much as they can in employee retention.

As with any investment, however, you want a solid return. So knowing how to invest matters.

Most employers don’t have the resources, financial or physical, to install Olympic-sized pools, indoor rainforests, or NBA-regulation-sized basketball courts to keep their employees engaged and happy. The good news is they don’t have to.

Employers can ensure that team members feel valued and engaged by providing things like challenging work, a space conducive to productivity and efficiency, and a flexible approach to work-life balance.

Some examples:

  • Give team members the kind of space they need to do their best work. Provide those that need it a quiet place to focus and concentrate, while also offering open work spaces that enable collaboration and communication when necessary.
  • Offer competitive benefits like health insurance, life insurance, and a retirement-savings plan if you can.
  • Be flexible where possible in scheduling and PTO policies. Employees appreciate being trusted to know the best way for them to balance work and family/non-work commitments.
  • Delegate real responsibilities to your team members. We all have to do mundane tasks here and there, but those should be few and far between. Employees are happier when they feel that they are contributing value and are given autonomy.
  • Keep your employees in the loop. Certainly some business dealings require confidentiality, but where you can, share your big-picture mission with your team – and, as important, the way in which each member’s role contributes to the success of that mission.
  • Really listen to your employees. Encourage open communication with team leaders as to the good and bad of your company culture, specific workloads, or overall company direction.
  • Offer seemingly small perks, like a high-end coffee maker in the break room, free bagels or sandwiches on Fridays, or discounted gym memberships nearby. Little things that help employees feel appreciated go a long way.
  • And last, but certainly not least, thank employees for a job well done. This often gets lost in the shuffle. The expectation is that employees should do their jobs because they are being paid to. While that may be true, appreciating good work costs nothing yet is priceless in keeping employees happy.

You know your employees. Perhaps a foosball table in the breakroom will go over better than something like complimentary dry-cleaning delivery services. The point is that employee retention doesn’t have to drain your resources. If you focus your investment in your employees in a manner that keeps them feeling valued and engaged, it will be an investment well made.

We invite you to consider all the options available to you for boosting employee retention. Contact Loeb Leadership Development Group to learn more!

What No One Tells You About Being a Manager

Many professionals aspire to attain management level roles. In order to perform at a high level, it requires commitment, dedication, and the skill to build a cohesive team. No matter how you prepare to assume this position, there are inevitably some surprises that await you. Simply put, you don’t really know what it’s like to manage other employees until you do it.

Being an effective manager requires great effort, to not only achieve the goals of the organization, but also to build the relationships necessary to oversee a high functioning team. With that said, there are a few things to keep in mind when meeting the challenges of the position.

You’ll Be in the Spotlight

Your actions, and the way you conduct yourself in the workplace is always noticed by the other employees. You’ll be their example—so make sure you are modeling the behavior you expect from your team.

To that end, candor and communication are key. For example, if you need to leave work early or take a day off, you should explain to your team the reasons why you need to do so. So to, when one of your team members needs time off, they should feel comfortable approaching you and being forthright about their personal circumstances. If you leave this unexplained, the other employees may think you’re just leaving early for no reason, and they may believe that you lack the commitment the position holds.

It’s Easy to Misappropriate Your Time

When you are supervising employees with different skill levels, it is easy to misappropriate your time and not allocate your resources effectively. Just because an employee is productive and a high performer, it doesn’t mean that they don’t need guidance and feedback from a supervisor. Be mindful of spending too many resources on employees not meeting expectations, and who may not be right for the position.

It is common for managers to spend too much time with underperforming employees, at the expense of the other team members. One thing you should do early on is assess why these employees are falling behind. If it’s a lack of training, that’s something you can address proactively. If it’s that the team member is in the wrong role, that may also be an adjustment you can make. And if it’s a matter of cultural fit, you can decide whether coaching or termination is appropriate.

The bottom line is, managers need to appropriate their time effectively.

You’ll Be the Go-Between

Most of the time, the manager ends up becoming a liaison of sorts between employees and the corporate leadership team. It is of utmost importance that the manager fully understands the concerns of the employees, so they can be properly communicated and addressed.

There are potential challenges of being a liaison, as managers can often misconstrue the concerns of their team, and can in some cases, create conflict and confusion. It can also be a challenge to translate the company’s vision and goals, if they are not clear.

At the same time, your team will look to you for direction and answers regarding company policies and procedures, so it is helpful to be well versed, or know who to turn to in order to find the answers to questions asked.

As you prepare to become manager, make sure you are comfortable being a go-between.

Learn More About the Manager’s Role

As you seek to become a team leader, an executive coach can help you clarify expectations and develop the appropriate skills. We invite you to learn more about this process. Reach out to Loeb Leadership Development Group today!

How to Make Your Meetings More Effective

The phrase “necessary evil” is overused, but for many of us, there is no better way to describe workplace meetings. Although intended to produce results, poorly structured or misguided meetings can be ineffective and a waste of precious time.

With “Collaboration” at the top of mind at many firms, it is more important than ever to structure meetings and provide the ground rules to be more productive. Effective meetings can produce results and positive takeaways, encouraging further collaboration amongst team members.

How to Keep Your Meetings Productive

Your allocation of time and resources may vary, depending on the size and nature of your team, but some general guidelines are as follows:

  1. Clarify who’s directing the meeting. It’s always best to have one person who is leading the meeting and who can clarify for the rest of the group what the focus of the meeting is. Be clear from the outset who’s directing, and what he or she hopes to achieve.
  2. Set clear start and end times. When the meeting is first scheduled, always be clear about when it starts and when it ends and stick with it! If there is still unfinished business at the meeting’s end, either schedule a follow-up or encourage participants to work things out privately.
  3. Distribute materials in advance. You don’t want to waste valuable meeting time reviewing data together, so instead distribute stats and reports in advance—allowing participants to get up to speed and arrive at the meeting ready for discussion.
  4. Leave devices outside. This one is tough to implement, and at some companies may be impossible—but if you can encourage participants to leave their phones and tablets in their offices, you can maximize mindful engagement and get rid of needless distractions.
  5. Stick to the meeting agenda. Have a written structure to your meeting—a list of topics and decisions that need to be addressed —and stick with them. If talks drift into unrelated matters, the meeting leader’s job is to refocus the group.
  6. Abide by the two-minute rule. A good way to ensure everyone has their say: Allow each participant to have a full two minutes to share their thoughts—without anyone else jumping in with interruptions.
  7. Review action items. At the end of the meeting, clarify the next steps meeting participants need to take—including the action plan for all decisions made together as a group.

Meetings, if not structured effectively, can be wasteful—but by applying these strategies, you are more likely to have a productive meeting.

Learn more about the best ways of running efficient, effective meetings by reaching out to the executive coaching team at Loeb Leadership Development Group.