Posts Tagged ‘team’

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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The Power of Passion for Profit

June 4, 2015

If you ask J J Watt, Bill Gates and Taylor Swift what they have in common they will all tell you they started with the same thing: they had a passion for what they do.They will also tell you there is no such thing as an overnight success. These guys have been at their game since childhood and put in their 10,000 hours worth of practice while we were all watching re-runs of Will & Grace.

Do you love your work? Or are you one of the 74% of Americans unhappy with their job?

If you’re one of the latter with no options in sight, try this tip: find three reasons to fall in love with your organization.

As a motivational speaker I get to travel the country speaking to a variety of professionals in corporations and associations. Recently I was the closing keynote at a conference in Dallas for a group of accountants (yeah I know, right up there with engineers on the fun scale) These people were ready for a snooze fest after two days of stats and facts but I have a ‘no nap’ guarantee for my presentations that works every time: I play piano to emphasize points and involve the audience in the music. Result? Maximum engagement, very entertaining, high energy, fun for all.

We talked about how passion is the beginning of all success because when people love their work, they’ll do whatever it takes. I asked this group of number crunchers to give reasons they love their company and the three main answers were:

1) People. Most of them said they like their team members or bosses.

2) Fulfillment. Whether it was doing a good job for the team or knowing their work resulted in helping people, many said they liked the sense of satisfaction of a job well done.

3) Benefits. A steady paycheck sure helps reduce stress levels, health insurance is a great perk and bonuses never lose their sweet taste.

How about you? List three things on a post-it note  you really like about your organization and stick it on your computer to see every day. Be grateful you have a job.

Passion comes in more than fifty shades of gray.

Passion, Possibility & Elephants

November 18, 2014

One of my favorite groups to talk to is admins because they’re efficient, organized and innovative. They know how to get things done. And……..they’re always ready to have fun.

They’ve been called secretaries, personal assistants and the backbone of a company. Without them chaos rules.

Last week I was the keynote speaker at an awards banquet for a great group of admins from various companies around Houston and the Clear Lake area. We talked about how the power of passion is the beginning of all success because it motivates people to do whatever it takes. The admins receiving awards had the discipline to earn their certifications because they wanted to be the best on the job. They SO rock!

We did a fun exercise on teamwork and the importance of being creative. I divided the audience into groups and gave  each a song to perform with instructions to find out the strengths in team members to see who could sing, do back up, dance, mime or anything else to demonstrate innovation.

The first team sang Sweet Caroline sitting at the table. The second team exited the room and made an entrance singing Hello Dolly. The third team’s song was Margaritaville. One woman laid on the floor pretending to be a tourist on the beach covered with oil sipping a margarita, while the rest of her team acted “wasted away in Margaritaville” singing and swaying to the music. LOL hilarious!

Team C’s passion to be the best
opened up new possibilities.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

How did the elephant cross the river?

Why, by boat of course

Why You Need to be Like the World’s Favorite Clay Boy

July 9, 2014

Who doesn’t love Gumby? Gumby with arms in air
Children love his adventures,
adults love the art form and
people everywhere love his kind heart and good nature.

Flexibility and Gumby are synonomous.

Last week I got a call at 9 a.m. from a distressed man who said the motivational speaker he had booked for his company’s quarterly executive meeting was stuck on a plane in Mexico and couldn’t make it. Could I fill in for him and deliver a 45 minute keynote after lunch that day? And by the way, we can’t afford your full fee.

No worries, said I.

With no time to prep or customize we lunched together so he could brief me on his organization Uchi Restaurants and explain the purpose of the meeting. The group consisted of managers, chefs and corporate executives from Austin and Houston.

Piano cartoon mouse playingWe talked about HOW TO RAISE THE LEVEL OF WORK PERFORMANCE using the same principles that it took for me to master the piano:  Passion, Persistence, Attitude, People, Focus and since I included the company’s core values the young (and very cute) guy that booked me was over-the-moon happy. Whew!

 
In today’s competitive job market we need to be flexible with a ‘can do’ attitude and a willingness to help out.

AHA Indiana - Theresa acknowledging audience applauseBeing a GOOD team member is about collaboration. Being a GREAT team member means going above and beyond what you’re asked to do. Why does it matter?

Effective teamwork is crucial to any organization’s success.

And let’s face it, the bottom line is what pays YOUR bills.

Gumby is one smart piece of clay.

I wonder if he’s single…..?