Companies with energized, motivated employees make an extra effort to create a superior experience for customers, who in turn reward the company with intense loyalty and contributions to its profit growth. This begins with leaders creating a culture that caters to happier, more engaged employees. First, give daily supervisors, not HR, the responsibility of stirring employee enthusiasm, energy, and creativity. Second, do regular “pulse checks” by conducting short, anonymous online surveys to truly understand team dynamics and see what can be improved. Finally, open up the dialogue between supervisor and front-line employee.
Tap into the knowledge of your call center representatives, sales specialists, field technicians, etc., who know which aspects of the business most annoy or delight your customers – and let them know you’re really listening.
Adapted from “The Four Secrets to Employee Engagement” by Rob Markey.
We rarely think about whether presentations are the best way to express our ideas; we just blindly create and deliver them. But sometimes, a conversation is much more appropriate and effective. How do you know when that’s the case? Ask yourself what needs to be accomplished in the time you have with the group. Do you need to simultaneously inform, entertain, and persuade your audience to adopt a line of thinking or to take action? Or do you need to gather more information, have a discussion, and drive the group toward consensus on a goal? Generally, if your idea would be best served by more interaction with your audience, you should probably encourage discussion rather than deliver a presentation.
Adapted from “A Presentation Isn’t Always the Right Way to Communicate” by Nancy Duarte.
Diversity is a near-universal value in corporate America, but the upper tiers of management remain stubbornly homogeneous. Consider Fortune 500 CEOs: Only 23 are female, just six are black, and none are openly gay. One reason for this may be “covering,” which is when people downplay their differences from the mainstream. Someone with a disability might forgo her cane at work. A gay man might avoid using “he” or “him” if asked about his partner.
This behavior can be driven by perceived pressure from management, which can also decrease employees’ confidence and engagement. Managers striving to assemble a truly talented team should be aware of how even unspoken demands to conform might affect morale. Eliminate these and find opportunities to model a more inclusive culture by “uncovering” yourself.
Adapted from “Fear of Being Different Stifles Talent” by Kenji Yoshino and Christie Smith.
You can view the version history of any app by going to its page in the App Store. Scroll down to the bottom and tap “View Version History” to display a list of all previous versions and the changes made in those versions.
Have fun with your iPad!
No one likes to sit through boring and unnecessarily long meetings. Here are three somewhat extreme ways to keep meetings short and to the point:
* Keep everyone standing. It’s one thing to sit through a long meeting, it’s another to stand. Without chairs, people will likely focus on the topic at hand and keep their points precise and relevant.
* Schedule 30-minute meetings. We default to hour-long meetings because that is what Outlook tells us to. Challenge your team to cut to the chase, solve the problem, and get out of the room in 30 minutes. Or less!
* Ban distractions. Ask everyone to leave their BlackBerrys and iPhones at the door. If the meeting is kept short, it won’t matter if they’re out of touch for a little while.
Adapted from “Extreme Ways to Shorten and Reduce Meetings” by Gina Trapani.
Anyone who has sent a humorous email that has confused — or worse, offended — someone knows the danger of trying to be funny in an email. Email does not convey tone. How your message sounds to you when you type it has no relation to how the reader will interpret it. Keep business email straightforward. Pointing out that something’s funny by using an emoticon can appear juvenile. If you need to share your irresistible sense of humor, save it for phone calls or in-person meetings where tone can be more easily understood.
Adapted from “That Funny Email? No One’s Laughing” by David Silverman.
Negotiations are a tough task to face and an even tougher one to master. Here are three tips for making your next negotiation go in your favor:
Do your homework. Spend time before the negotiation understanding the other side’s interests and position in relation to yours. Try to see things from their angle.
Don’t negotiate against yourself. Stick to your initial position long enough to find out what is important to the other side. Don’t give in before you have enough information.
Let the other side walk. Make the offer you want and let the other side walk if need be. Don’t low ball or be unnecessarily aggressive: just be honest, straightforward, and firm about what you’re willing to do.
Adapted from “Four Rules for Effective Negotiations” by Anthony Tjan.