Posts Tagged ‘performance’

Keys to Employee Engagement

February 23, 2016

In my recent research as a motivational speaker preparing for an upcoming conference, I came across an astounding fact:  52% of US employees are not engaged at work. (Gallup poll January 2016)

That’s a whole lot of unhappy people, let alone an enormous loss of productivity.

Distracted employee

Gallup categorizes workers as “engaged” based on their ratings of key workplace elements that predict important organizational performance outcomes, such as having an opportunity to do what they do best each day, having someone at work who encourages their development and believing their opinions count at work.

Traveling across the country speaking to corporations and associations, I’ve heard a lot of whining in the workplace about one thing in particular: bosses. Bosses that don’t listen, bosses that manage with rigid rules, bosses that play favorites and bosses that take all the credit. What I’ve found is that people join companies but they leave bosses.

Cartoon happy peopleIn my speeches on super-charging productivity, I emphasize the power of nice. Having the right attitude of being humble, likable and teachable wins fans and influences people – even bosses. Business is all about building great relationships. Nurture team relationships by being the ‘go to’ guy who is always ready to help, offer constructive suggestions to your manager in a non-threatening way, volunteer to work on a project, be innovative about learning new things and share with team members.

Nice gets noticed in a good way. Whining – not so much.

If you’re a boss reading this, here’s your essential takeaway: never underestimate the value of appreciation. Praise and encourage employees for their efforts regardless of Book by Marcus Buckingham (153x230)success rate. Management expert/author/speaker Marcus Buckingham conducted a survey of the top Fortune 500 companies in the USA and said the #1 reason people leave companies is because they feel unappreciated. I spoke to a company in Dallas that had 500 employees with almost zero staff turnover in the past twenty years. The reason? Each employee said they felt like part of a family with a common purpose because they were treated with courtesy and respect from the CEO on down. Great relationships.

Being engaged at work means staying focused. Staying focused requires liking what you’re doing. If you’re not doing what you like, ask. Ask your boss to work on projects that utilize your best skills. Most managers will take advantage of a win-win situation whereby the employee experiences more job fulfillment and the company gains with improved productivity.

Employee engagement: it all starts with YOU!

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Why the Pope rocks at business & how you can too

September 29, 2015

Pope Francis touching child in America (220x124)Regardless of your religious beliefs, social economic position, field of business, political views or your personal whereabouts last week, you heard about Pope Francis’s historical visit to America. Also regardless of all the above, you have to admit he crushed it. He knocked it out of the park. He rocked.

Why?

Because he connected with the masses. Not just the high brows. Not just the politically correct, the famous, the leaders. He genuinely cares about all people everywhere and it showed. His humility is so endearing yet so powerful, he influenced millions of non-Catholics in a very short time (are you listening Donald Trump?) His message was about inclusion, unity and compassion. Simple. Effective.

Why should you care?

When you express genuine concern about your team members, co-workers, customers and people in general, you can impact their lives in ways you never dreamed of. A few words of praise or appreciation can instill confidence,  attract more customers, boost teamwork and improve performance in the workplace and can seriously be life-changing for someone needing support and encouragement during tough times. As a motivational speaker I constantly hear about people joining companies but leaving bosses because they don’t feel valued.

Smart business is about connecting with people and building great relationships. The Pope totally gets that. Do you?

Reach out and touch someone. You never know where it could lead.

Hark, can you hear the angels sing? No, wait. It’s the sweet sound of success.

Being A Little Crazy Could Be Your Big Success

August 27, 2014

Recently I received a call from American Express asking if I would be the keynote speaker at their annual meeting in Chicago. The man explained the purpose of the event was to unite major clients with Amex staff to collaborate and communicate.            American Express brand logo

United Airlines is one of their biggest clients and in the TV ads for United they use the theme from Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. It’s quite cool. Watch video HERE.

The man from American Express asked if I could create a program to include some of the Rhapsody with a relevant motivational message for his group. (I play the piano during my speeches) Errrrrr sure, said I. Just give me a couple of hours and I’ll send you an outline. (Gulp! I hadn’t played that music in 30 years)

Lady Gaga leg on piano with fireMy presentation on extraordinary performance in the workplace refers to Lady Gaga and how the wild costumes and bizarre stage acts resulted in her fame and fortune. She stands out from the crowded entertainment industry by constant creativity and innovation. George Gershwin composed amazing music using a unique combination of a classical style infused with jazz chords and irregular tempos. Unheard of at the time. 

I called the man from American Express with a program titled “From Gershwin to Gaga: Extraordinary Performance is the New Norm for Changing Times!” He loved it.

Whether it’s your resume, an office project, team work or an interview, get a little crazy. Think outside the proverbial box. Search the internet, brainstorm ideas and run with something different.

Sticking out from the crowd will get you noticed….and you don’t even have to play the piano.

From Russia With Love: How The Olympics Can Boost Your Work Performance

February 19, 2014

Olympics 2014 NBC logo
The Winter Olympics are in full swing as the world watches athletes dreams being realized and shattered depending on their performance.

Your work performance may not get you a medal but there are relevant lessons to be learned from Olympics coach Bob Bowman – the guy who trained THE most decorated Olympian – swimmer Michael Phelps.

1. Ditch the ‘one size fits all’ attitude
Managers need to learn what motivates an employee.
Some respond to logic, others want to be left alone to
work their way. There’s no cookie cutter approach.
2. Determine your gold standard
Each organization has a certain standard that
everyone needs to buy into. Be a little better today
than you were yesterday and you’ll live up to it.
3. Continue to develop your skills
Good judgement comes from experience and experience
comes from bad judgements. You learn the most from mistakes
as they are opportunities to change what’s not working.

Olympic Medals

The Russians put on quite a performance to show the world they are a power player.

Show your organization you’re a team player by taking these tips to bring home the gold!