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Why Business Leaders With a Higher Purpose Have More Engaged Employees


engage employees-304H.R. Strategist Shares 3 Tips for Firing Up Your Workplace

How many employees roll their eyes during meetings to discuss new initiatives?

How often do they scramble to complete a task not because they love it, but because they’re afraid of the consequences if they don’t?

How many mutter “not in my job description” when asked to assume a new responsibility?

“These are examples of people whose work is providing them with nothing more than a paycheck,” says Trevor Wilson, human resources strategist, CEO of TWI Inc., and author of “The Human Equity Advantage,” (www.twiinc.com).

“And even though that’s ostensibly why we go to work, it’s not what gets us excited and enthusiastic about what we do.”

The solution, he says starts with business leaders and managers. If their work is not fulfilling any higher purpose for them than making money, they’re lacking one of the essential qualities necessary for helping their employees become engaged – and for keeping engaged employees enthusiastic.

“You need to step back and assess your own situation,” Wilson says. “Are you driven more by your fears – of not being able to pay your bills, of losing your job, of failing? Or are you driven by the knowledge that you, like every one of us, have the capacity to do amazing things?”

Business leaders who are striving to create something that will leave the world a better place are not only more engaged themselves, they’re more likely to do the things that help their employees engage, Wilson says.

“Our search for happiness is our search for our purpose, and we achieve both by bringing all of our skills and talents – our human equity – to the job,” he says.

He offers these tips for fostering a culture in which employees are actively engaged:

• Use performance evaluations to learn more about your employees’ strengths, interests and goals. Each employee has strengths and talents that often go unrecognized — and untapped — in the workplace. Helping them to identify these and use them at work contributes to their feeling that their work has purpose and results in more engaged, productive employees. “People want to bring all their talents to what they’re doing – we’re happiest when we’re doing what we’re good at it,” Wilson says. “In order to know what those skills, talents, even personality traits are, managers must get to know their individual employees.”

• Do not treat all employees equally. All employees are not equal and treating them as if they were leaves engaged, enthusiastic employees feeling shortchanged and disengaged employees feeling entitled, Wilson says. “Acknowledge and reward employees who are going the extra mile and point out the ways they’re contributing that may not be quantifiable or part of their ‘job description.’ The successful salesman who routinely coaches less successful colleagues is displaying a strength that won’t show up on his sales sheet but is, nonetheless, a valuable contribution to the company.”

• Recognize and reward employees’ demonstration of strong values. Values are part of the human equity that all of us bring to work in varying degrees. Honesty, integrity, compassion, work ethic – our best employees usually have these and other strong, positive values.  Business leaders may unconsciously recognize them, for instance, by giving a very honest employee their trust, but they should make a point of acknowledging them publicly as well. “Our values are the foundation of our purpose and an expression of our true selves,” Wilson says. “Employees who are both able to demonstrate their values at work, and rewarded for doing so, having a greater sense of purpose.”

About Trevor Wilson

Trevor Wilson is the CEO of TWI Inc. and creator of the human equity management model. He is the global diversity, inclusion and human equity strategist who regularly speaks at corporate functions. TWI’s clients include some of the most progressive global employers in the world, including Coca-Cola, Ernst & Young, BNP Paribas and Home Depot. TWI’s trademarked human equity approach was instrumental in catapulting Coca-Cola’s South Africa division to the top performing division worldwide.

 

 

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How to Address Rampant Employee Disengagement? Recognize Human Equity

worldfaceAn alarming Gallup poll published earlier this year is still sending shockwaves throughout the business community: Most American workers either hate their jobs or don’t care one way or the other about them.

Less than a third of Americans are actively engaged in their work, meaning they’re passionate about it, enthusiastic and energetic. They’re consistently productive, and high performing.

Gallup estimates the 20 million who are “actively disengaged” – openly negative and unhappy have a staggering effect on the economy, costing the United States $450 to $550 billion each year in lost productivity.

“To engage the 70 percent of non-committal or ‘actively disengage’ employees,  business managers need to change how they view human capital,” says Trevor Wilson, CEO of TWI Inc., a global corporate speaker, human equity strategist and author of “The Human Equity Advantage,” (humanequityadvantage.com).

“Engaging employees is an issue I’ve been working on for more than two decades, and there is a solution. I call it human equity — the unique assets each individual brings to the workplace that are often unrecognized. Recognizing and leveraging your own human equity, as well as that of your employees, addresses not only the incredible waste of human capital illustrated in the recent poll, but also related concerns business leaders share, including the constant need for innovation. These challenges are not unique to the United States.”

There is a reason why executive royalty, such as Warren Buffet and former General Electric CEO Jack Welsh, sought talent beyond traditional criteria like knowledge and skills, which are also important, says Wilson. He offers a method for uncovering valuable intangibles in employees; he calls it the SHAPE V Talent model:

• Strengths: Consider strength as defined by the 1999 Gallup StrengthsFinder study, which includes “consistent near-perfect performance in an activity.” The study identifies 34 qualities, which can be innate and, unlike skills, are not learned. Individual employees and managers should not force a square peg into a round hole; if an employee’s near-perfect, near-effortless strength is in research and analysis, but not so much in data management, managers should allocate this resource accordingly.

• Heart: Have you ever wondered what comes first, whether you’re good at something because you like it, or you like it because you’re good at it? The chicken-or-egg question aside, what matters is the passion one has for a talent. This includes activities a worker would do even if he or she didn’t have to do it on the job. If a talented manager won the lottery and decided to quit his job, for example, he might be inclined to manage people in a local political campaign or take the helm of his son’s little league team.

• Attitude: There are three general attitudes an employee might have, according to a branch of study in positive psychology. First, there are those who approach their work as a job, who seek only a paycheck and benefits. The second group includes those with a career perspective who seek advancement. The third group views their work as a calling and deeply connects with what they do every day.

• Personality: In 2009, nearly $500 million was spent on personality testing in North America alone. A reliable test isn’t valuable in so much as it reveals differences among workers, which are most likely already apparent. The value of these tests is in showing how and where differences lie. Understanding differences can lead to an appreciation for how and why coworkers perform and improve the synergy of teams.

• Experience: Who is the person you’re sitting next to at work; who is she when she’s not making business-to-business calls, scheduling meetings or troubleshooting technical problems? How does her race, religion, economic background, family situation and overall lifestyle influence – or not influence – her work life? More importantly, how might her life beyond work offer diversity of thought in the workplace? Life experience should not be overlooked when assessing talent.

• Virtue: “Value in action, that’s virtue,” Wilson says. Candor, temperance, courage – these traits preempt problems like public scandals, harassment and discrimination and foster a positive moral pragmatism among coworkers and practical wisdom among leaders. With social media continuing to expose bad behavior and employee morale revealed to be at a stunning low, this is a significant quality in the on-going search for the best talent.

About Trevor Wilson

Trevor Wilson is the CEO of TWI Inc. and creator of the human equity management model. He is the global diversity, inclusion and human equity strategist who regularly speaks at corporate functions. TWI’s clients include some of the most progressive global employers in the world, including Coca-Cola, Ernst & Young, BNP Paribas and Home Depot. TWI’s trademarked human equity approach was instrumental in catapulting Coca-Cola’s South Africa division to the top performing division worldwide.

 

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How to Win Loyalty From Other People

by Deepak Chopra -

If you aspire to be successful as an entrepreneur, manager, business owner, or any kind of leader, others must feel loyal to you. Although money is often seen as a prime motivator, ultimately the bonds that hold an enterprise together are psychological. Important data gathered by the indicate that loyalty is one of the top three things that make workers feel satisfied.

Loyalty balances self-interest. It is the willingness to look out for “us” and not just “me.” It’s no secret that the bond of loyalty has frayed at a time of layoffs and the loss of pensions and benefits in the economy. A public image has been built of opposition between management and labor – there is nothing new here – where the advantage has shifted overwhelmingly to management. As long as profits continue to roll in, loyalty is ignored. The assumption is that workers are too desperate for a job to complain or protest.

You have a choice to make in the face of this sad situation. Are you going to join the trend and forget loyalty or are you going to try and rebuild it? The question doesn’t apply simply to managers. Companies develop an atmosphere and a culture. No one works in a vacuum, and your attitude affects the environment you work in, no matter where you fit into the overall scheme.

If you choose to help rebuild loyalty, here are some suggestions:

1. Abstain from disloyalty, which shows up in small but telling ways. Office gossip, back-biting, and spreading rumors show disloyalty, because they degrade the sense of bonding and cooperation.

2. Work on bonding and cooperation. Be sympathetic and open to the people you work with. Support projects that are good for everyone, even if you don’t gain immediate material rewards.

3. Honor the difference between rivals and competitors. The fact that you are competing against others at work doesn’t make them your rivals. Rivalry is hostile; it implies that only one person can win. Competition raises the bar for everyone, so that the whole team can win.

4. Pay attention to personal details. Loyalty runs deep when a person feels cared for and understood. Be alert to these needs. Make an effort to include everyone. When ideas and suggestions are being discussed, make it clear that every suggestion is welcome. If someone’s pet idea is rejected, take time to go to them afterwards and listen respectfully to what lies behind the idea.

5. Share your success. Include your team in the praise and appreciation that comes your way. If possible, make a tangible gesture, as appropriate – throw a party, or other form of celebration, offer bonuses, present a gift as a token of recognition.

6. Don’t keep secrets. As much as possible, make the decision-making process transparent. Open up financial details. In the economic downturn of 2008, some small businesses shared their finances with their workers and thereby won real loyalty. Seeing that the company was strapped, the workers felt an incentive to be part of the solution. This is just one way to close the gap that makes management and workers adversaries, a stance that severely erodes loyalty.

7. Remind yourself every day that there is no “I” without “we.” This allows you to be humble in your successes and provides a community to get through crises.

 

 

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Companies Need To Leverage New Tech To Appeal To Millenials

millenialsYoung workers today face an increasingly tough job market, but this “millenial” generation also brings with it a suite of technological-savvy and social media skills often absent in the workplace. Raised, educated, and trained in a world that has always known the Internet and with an emphasis on digital media, mobile computing, and online environments, these young people offer rich opportunities for many businesses. However, the culture they represent and the skills they have resent challenges for established companies and their long-term employees. The entrenched worker and the millenial worker have much to learn from each other.

Companies that want to embrace a younger, tech-savvy workforce need to encourage their human resources departments to recruit where these younger jobseekers will see them. In many cases, young candidates emphasize the culture of a particular organization over the actual job description, so hiring managers need to pay attention to company branding and specific benefits that attract the best candidates. As a hiring manager, you want to attract the very best candidates and you have to stand apart. These younger job-seekers are open to job hopping so you want to lure them in to stay.

Traditionally, financial compensation in terms of salary and benefits is a major recruitment strategy. While younger workers, like their predecessors, still look at their take-home pay, job decisions are now based on many additional factors including social media access, choice of mobile device, and the ability to work remotely. This need for flexibility is a distinct difference from workers even a decade ago. Young workers expect to have this flexibility and recruiters need to know this to attract the best candidates.

The demarcation between work and personal life appears to be blurring. Younger candidates want full access to social media tools and sites while on work time. They prefer to be able to select their own mobile devices for work activities, and they expect to have some of the cost of such devices subsidized by the company. This merging of work and personal activities forces both human resource and information technology departments to rethink their recruitment and infrastructure strategies. More specifically, companies need to open up the way they do business, albeit while still being data secure and minimizing risk, in order to attract the top candidates.

The recruitment and hiring of younger workers can lead to unexpected cultural clashes with established workers. New hires versed in mobile computing, social media, and cloud computing, can be at odds with a workplace culture still dependent, at least at times, on photocopy and fax machines. The transition from college to a cubicle is always tough, but some companies are noticing increased stresses with newer generations. Mentor programs are recommended; pairing a new recruit with a seasoned veteran can yield positive results for both participants. Additionally, while tech-savvy recruits are strong on networking and the tools for communicating, they may need more guidance on completing tasks in an orderly fashion and on collaborating within a business environment.

Young workers need companies, just as companies need young workers. Both can learn from each other and benefit from opportunities. The first step is to realize that the millenial generation is not like the previous generation; the differences include even those workers hired just a decade ago. Emerging digital media tools and networks have radically altered the way young people learn, interact, and, more importantly, what they expect from work. Successful companies are those that can embrace these new avenues and harness the workers’ talents for the continued good of the business’ mission.

Joan Stevens blogs for several online outlets about online trends and social media. For more news and information on business culture and technology, check out http://www.suddenlinkbusiness.com.

 

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THE SWEETER COUNTER-OFFER: SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?

183154_10151533598074842_389516587_nby Logan Knight, Technology Recruiter, Redfish Technology

 

The job market in technology is hot! Engineering, development, product management, sales and business development, these are hot roles in the tech sector and there’s a lot of competition by companies to attract and retain top talent these days.

Even if you aren’t looking for another job, you may be approached with another opportunity. Let’s say you really weren’t looking to make a move but you were polite on the phone, and next thing you know you’re curious about what you are hearing.

An initial phone interview led quickly to a face to face, and now you have an offer. It is an exciting opportunity with bleeding edge technology. You are motivated because of the new company’s work environment, culture, benefits, salary, location, perks, and such so before you know it you’ve accept the offer.

Shortly after you give notice, your manager makes a pitch for you to stay on and he makes you a sweeter offer than the new company. Oh geez, you are asking yourself “Should I stay or should I go?”

The Clash had it right, (paraphrasing) if you go there may be trouble, but if you stay it will be double. While it is flattering to be wanted, and it is validating to get competing and improving offers, what happens once the dust settles?

Most of the time, the work environment is going to suffer; the trust factor cannot be recovered. Your employer is now wary of your motives and your loyalty. When it comes time to build a new team for a mission critical product launch, will you be trusted to see it through? What happens if there is a change in fortunes at the company and a belt needs to be tightened, who do you think will be among the first laid off? Perhaps your work was critical at the time of your offer and the upper management felt you had to be kept to see it through. What then when the project is done, might the company’s loyalty wane like yours did? When it comes down to it, you kissed another girl and Susie is not going to forget it!

Another by-product of this bidding war occurs with your colleagues. Co-workers may know or suspect that you got some sweet deal to stay and they will probably resent you for it. Will your colleagues be supportive and collaborative if they question whether you are one of them? Might some employees try a similar move hoping to leverage an outside offer into better pay where they are, and whether successful or not the human dynamic is certainly going to be affected, and not likely in a positive way.

And guess what will happen if you stay after accepting the outside offer. You got it, that employer is going to blacklist you. The recruiter you worked with will never represent you again. And word will generally get around creating a negative perception.

But remember, even if you weren’t initially looking for another opportunity, you did get excited enough to go through a hiring process and accept an offer for good reasons. Perhaps you weren’t feeling appreciated, or you felt you deserved better pay. Maybe you needed a new challenge or work environment. Whatever the case may be, you can’t go back.

The great majority of professionals who accept a counteroffer to stay are gone within a year, whether of their own volition or being asked to leave. So don’t pick up that phone or be ready to honor your word. The answer is don’t take the counteroffer, no matter how sweet.

 

About Redfish Technology:

Founded in Silicon Valley in 1996, Redfish Technology is an award-winning talent acquisition firm specializing in high tech and clean tech sectors. Partnering with growth mode companies, small and large, Redfish staffs executive functions and builds out the teams below. The company provides services nationwide and has offices in Silicon Valley, the East Coast, and Sun Valley.

 

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Grow Your Business With Outsourcing

images (2)Running a small business can be fulfilling: you get to pursue your passion, be in control and be your own boss. However, it can also be incredibly frustrating. When you decided to start your own business you probably did not imagine that most of your time would be hijacked by mundane routine tasks such as bookkeeping, making appointments, writing PR materials and so on. If you are inundated with back office tasks that can really throw a spanner in the expansion of your brilliant innovating business.  Instead of trying to do it all yourself, you can get easy affordable help by outsourcing.

Outsourcing seems like something big businesses need to do. Thanks to the innovations in technology, however, any and all manner of tasks can be effectively outsourced. There is an entire global workforce online who are qualified in various skills but do want the flexibility for working from home, or from working from other countries, and are therefore freelancing online. These include everything from executive assistants who will answer you mail and set up your appointments, to writers who will create effective copy for your marketing, to graphic designers, PR managers, graphic designers, IT consultants; the list is endless.

Here are some things you can and should outsource, without hampering your progress:

  • Any job that requires highly skilled expertise, such as finance management. If you are not from a finance background, it would be a good idea to have a finance expert step in and take a look at your books to make sure things are in ordering. Also, a brand consultant can help you create a brand and comprehensive marketing strategy that you can then deploy;
  • Any job that is routine and mechanical, such as data entry, bookkeeping, inventory and so forth;
  • Jobs that require specific technical expertise such as IT support for your business, or graphic design and search engine optimized copywriting for your marketing materials.
  • Another area that could easily be outsourced is your payroll and HR functions.  HR and Payroll can be confusing and could cost you a ton in fines.  Team up with a qualified payroll management comapny to complte your HR functions the right way.

To figure out who the right contractor is for you to get your job done right, you will need to do some research. The best way as usual is to go through personal recommendations from people in your business network. However, you can also get referrals and ratings on contractors on websites that connect freelancers to businesses who need them. Once you have figured out what exactly you need from your contractor, communicate it clearly to the contractor, and make sure you understand each other before embarking on work together.

Finally, although you should keep some focus on following up with your contractor to ensure your work is done according to your needs and specifications, do not get so involved that you are not able to effectively use all the time you freed up by outsourcing in the first place. Outsourcing gives you the chance to focus on the things that really matter to your business, such as research and development to improve the quality of your product and service, and expanding your business.

Shawn Wise is the Director of Marketing at Contractors1stInsurance.org.  CFI provides Employee Leasing, Payroll Management, and other affordable contractors insurance services to help small business owners outsource time consuming parts of their company and get back to the more important operations.

 

 

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