Friday, January 18, 2019

Share your time wisely...

Sharing is an option: whether you do it is up to you. Employees are hungry for interactions with their supervisors and leaders, and more often than not those color their impressions of the organization. Walking the floor and acknowledging employees are good ways to share your time: they give you a sense of what’s going on and give employees the opportunity to interact informally with you. Lunches and other more formal get togethers give you and them chances to share ideas and information: they bring people closer together. Sharing your knowledge and experiences can be done through coaching and mentoring: that’s when you have opportunities to give back to others and help them prepare for the future. All of these things define who we are as leaders and help create the culture in our organizations. Done right they strengthen bonds and relationships; electing not to do them limits your effectiveness as a leader and the organization’s overall performance. Only you can make this choice: that’s a lot of responsibility that you should take seriously. Choose to share your knowledge, experiences, wisdom, and time today.

Costas Voyatzis (born 1980): Creative Director and Founder of Yatzer.Com

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Get involved and lead by example....

Everyone talks about having engaged employees, as though that’s something they alone are responsible for. If you want your employees to be engaged then you should lead by example. It’s okay for you to withhold your opinions and ideas in order to get theirs, but don’t let them suspect that you’re impartial: you’re allowed to have them as long as those don’t dampen theirs. It’s okay for you to be reserved and professional, but don’t let that be taken as indifference: if you want them to care enough to be engaged then they have to see the same in you.  And it’s okay to delegate, but make sure you know what they’re doing, why it’s important, and how they’re performing: if you’re not interested, why should they be. Everyone must be responsible enough to know all they need to be effective, and that starts with you. Be engaged and inspire your employees to be the same today

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874 – 1936): English writer, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, lay theologian, biographer, and literary and art critic

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Recognize individual effort....

All those billboards and ads for personal injury and class action lawyers play on our fears of being wronged or left out; in the hospitality business there’s been a decades-long drive towards tip pooling: everyone wants an equal cut of everything; and businesses often give all employees the same cost of living increase versus some form of merit pay. Historically, service employees earned their own tips based on the way they performed: that certainly motivated the individual, but might have also created jealousies. As consumers, we want to motivate and reward good service; as bosses we want to recognize and promote outstanding performers; and as people, we appreciate individual effort, personal commitment and excellence. There are times and places for all of us to join in common efforts, but the greatest examples of the human spirit are often found when an individual person realizes his or her own responsibilities and acts accordingly.  Recognize individuals and their efforts today.

Dorothy Sayers (1893 – 1957): English crime writer and poet, and student of classical and modern languages

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Continuous improvement is everyone's responsibility....

Companies often ask me to audit and re-write their policies: they think this is a one-time exercise when in fact these are often subject to revision as things change.  They want these to be perfect and forget that perfection is the enemy of progress: in projects like these, try to adhere to the 80/20 rule and get done as much as I can reasonably accomplish, plan to regularly review your work, update it as needed, and commit to a process of continuous refinement, and keep things from getting outdated. Nothing would ever get done if you waited until no one could find fault with it. And even though this seems tedious and unending, it’s a great way to get employees engaged in the things that relate to their work: when they have a say in the things that happen at work they are more apt to remember and follow them. Make your employees own the things that affect them today.

John Henry Newman (1801 – 1890): Theologian and poet, first an Anglican priest and later a Catholic priest and cardinal

Monday, January 14, 2019

Be responsible for your destiny....

As I start the third week of physical therapy for my knee, I am reminded of the physical issues related to getting old. Twenty+ years ago I tore an Achilles tendon and vividly remember a friend telling me he’d had a similar injury: he didn’t follow the schedule and advice of his therapist and ended up walking with a noticeable limp for the rest of my life.  That made a real impression on me that only I was responsible for doing what they said if I wanted to recover fully: the same is true today about this recent surgery. I am sore from these exercises but know that I must keep doing them now and probably forever if I want these old muscles and bones to stay as limber as they can be. It’s at times like these that personal responsibility becomes so clearly defined. It’s important to remember that we’re each accountable for what happens to us in our lives today.

Mildred Newman (1920 – 2001): Psychologist and Author of books such as How To Be Your Best Friend

Friday, January 11, 2019

Understand the give and take of loyalty....

Today’s quote says it all. We all want our employees to be productive, and loyal and everything else that’s good, but you have to give your support and loyalty to get it back: and believe me, once you start giving it you’ll get it back in multiples beyond your imagination. This requires (1) hiring the right people, and that means you have to know who they are and how to pick them out of a crowd, (2) being straight with them when explaining your expectations, (3) telling them what you want them to do, show them how, and explain why, (4) treating them fairly and respectfully, and (5) asking them for suggestions and listening to what they say. These 5 steps will make them reasonably competent, efficient and engaged, and they’ll get better with age: then all you have to do is support them in good times and bad.  That’s what drives the kind of two-way loyalty you want in your workplace today.

Harvey Mackay (b. 1932): Businessman, author and syndicated columnist

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Surprise your employees with caring and fairness....

Sir Richard Branson is a successful entrepreneur and marketer: his quote today is most likely about customer expectations.  But successful people like him also know that they must first meet and exceed employee expectations in order to create the kind of corporate culture that’s able to focus on customer satisfaction; without that, all you have are employees doing whatever they can get away with and customers being underwhelmed. So, focus on exceeding employee expectations: by being fair, honest and respectful; by providing for their needs so they can do what’s needed; and by having excellent two-way communications to make sure they understand the what and the why of what they do.  Set realistic expectations and then exceed them by helping them realize their personal and professional goals, providing them with training and coaching to get where they want to go, and listening carefully to what they say. Doing that will be unexpected and helpful today.

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (b. 1950): English business magnate, investor, author philanthropist, and founder of the Virgin Group of 400+ companies