Get the most from meeting face time.
How many times have you found yourself doodling or wool gathering during an important meeting? Bet it is because the topic doesn’t include you or you wonder how things got so off course. The decision to gather busy people into a meeting is prompted by a perceived need that only face to face interaction will accomplish whatever is the need. Here’s how to make the best use of that time. Continue reading 'Six ways to optimize any meeting'»
Open letter to managers who aspire to be leaders.
You say you want to motivate me, to garner a loyalty so strong I will work long hours when a crisis hits and take time to bring others up to speed, that I will refer my friends as prospective employees.
You tell me you are proud of your track record and want to be known as the person who brought game changing products and services to market.
And you will measure your success by low attrition and praise from your management. Continue reading 'Don’t be a Manager, be a Leader'»
Robots and ark building.
“At a certain point in the process, no credit will be given for predicting rain. The only credit will be for helping to build an ark.” Ben Horowitz
Last night I spent 45 minutes talking a client down from a rant about how negative his team had become. They were demoralized from all the customer complaints and additional workload that entailed. The Q/A team complained the developers showed them no respect and the Product Managers continued to give the developers poor stories for the sprints; all common complaints for a VP development of a small Agile/SaaS company. Continue reading 'Don’t tell me there is a problem, tell me there is a solution'»
Do you want your employees to be happy or satisfied?
Inc. Magazine posted an article by the founder of Zappos on why he sold to Amazon. The article bears reading for many reasons, but I was struck especially by its emphasis on ‘happy.’ I think that is an error in focus.
The whole idea of an employer making employees happy is presumptuous, in my view. There are too many variables not in the employer’s control. And an individual’s view of their happiness quotient changes, constantly.
As mentioned by both Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and Tony Hsieh, Zappos founder, rarely do people know what will make them ‘happy.’ Happy may be an allusive goal, some folks have it, others don’t. Happy isn’t an achievable outcome.
Control what you can control. Perhaps instead of happy, consider satisfied. (Some research indicates ‘happy’ is something one is born with.) Employee satisfaction can be ascertained, measured and even controlled. Beyond the formal testing/metrics, there is much you can learn just by being observant.
A few indicators to track employee satisfaction:
- Is there employee-traced vandalism?
- Is turnover high?
- Are people working productively?
- Do they volunteer for extra hours?
- Do they volunteer new ideas?
- Do they attend company sponsored events?
- Do they pick up after themselves?
- Do they refer their friends?
- Is there excessive absenteeism?
- What do employees say on exit interviews? Are they angry?
A coach’s view. I can share what is absolutely true and measurable. The reason most people leave their employer/job is they don’t feel appreciated. The corollary is also true. Many people accept jobs or stay in jobs where they are underpaid or perks missing because they know they can make a noticeable contribution will be appreciated, acknowledged and celebrated.
Continue reading 'Employee retention – Why employees stay'»