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Career

56 STASHED IDEAS

Encouraging employees to work towards their personal growth is the real firestarter to spurt inspired work, creating a passionate and committed workforce.

One has to see each employee as a unique person with goals, aspirations and dreams. The interview process for new hires has to focus on employees personal growth and not just on what we want the employee to do. Smart people, when told what to do, stop being smart.

Nicole N. (@nicole_sn309) - Profile Photo

@nicole_sn309

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Career

Trying To Motivate Employees Can Backfire

Pressurizing employees to play hard according to your company policies and work culture can be counterproductive. Straightforward motivation, designed to keep employees working feels superficial, unimaginative and even hostile.

Trying to convince employees by being nice to them and telling them what they should do doesn’t seem to work in the modern workforce full of knowledge workers. This is because the focus is on what the employer wants, and not on the employee.

It is normal for an organization to have goals related to revenue, profit and increasing the bottom line. But most organizations forget that the engine of achieving such goals is the people working for the company, and if the focus is on how fast the employees are growing personally, a successful business will come as a byproduct automatically.

A healthy, happy, stress-free and passionate team will ensure the expansion of your business.

  • The ‘young achiever’ success story is pleasantly unexpected and is often circulated more as it makes people feel happier. Young achievers are glorified, idolized, and spark awe among the general population.
  • From Magnus Carlson, the young Norwegian chess player, to Lionel Messi, who became a pro at his game at age 17, talent at a young age appears impressive and leaves a positive impact.

Young success invites scrutiny, criticism and risk of falling from grace faster than others. The media is often ruthless towards them and any scandal is highlighted promptly.

This may be a mixture of jealousy and other negative emotions that success at a young age always brings along. Things can improve when each person creates their own definition of success, as comparing one's life with others is the root cause of jealousy.

Effortless Seems Authentic

There is an assumption among many that if someone is an achiever at a young age, the unique talent must be an innate ability, and not slogging. The extraordinary milestones that are met before the usual timeframes feel disruptive, and unsettles the status quo.

The truth is many young achievers have spent years working hard, and overcoming substantial challenges to reach the celebrated milestones.

Th velvet hammer feedback formula

A feedback method focused on providing nonthreatening and open-minded feedback.

The formula goes: “Got a minute? Great. I need your help. I noticed that [problem behavior goes here.] (Pause) I was wondering what’s causing this problem (pause), because it cannot continue. What do you suggest we do?”

Meetings should be clear

Have goal-oriented and clear meetings, only when it is important and necessary.

Delegate work to show trust

Show that you trust your team by delegating work and giving people big problems to solve.

Create a Feedback Cycle

Get a nod or a confirmation on the feedback that is delivered, so that it is clear and the employee hasn't taken away something unexpected or unintended from your conversation.

Fire Fast

Instead of hanging on to a bad fit, and prolonging the support to employees who are struggling, it is better to let them go.

Diversify work within the team so that the long term and short term goals are both taken care of.

Define Ownership

Ownership and accountability need to be defined so that your team knows who is responsible for what.

Strategize Around Strengths 

It pays to highlight the strength an employee brings and then to work on minimizing the weak aspects. Start and work with the impact and value the employee is making to your team.

The 'Sandwich Approach' Is Outdated

Instead of the sandwich approach to provide feedback, try to be direct and dispassionate.

Probe Work That Seems Ok

If the work is reported to be ok or fine by your subordinates, maybe you need to dig in deep and probe more.

The employee reporting to you may be struggling and not providing the true details of the situation.

  • The hub-and-spoke decision-making model. It's likely you don't have enough experience, brainpower, or time to succeed. The way forward is using a small group of elite talent, traditional experts, or a consulting team and having them set the course. This model uses interviews and read-outs to provide all the information and perspectives required to draw solutions. The process can take a long period of time.
  • Many-to-many decision-making model. You are engaging the talent in and around your organization. Whatever they are missing can readily be filled by external experts. The way to proceed is to ensure interactions between many specialized people in ways that combine their knowledge and talent to create unique recommendations. This model generates a high-volume of high-quality conversations. Speed to execution and change is the norm.
Deciding how to make good choices

Leaders should choose a decision-making model before moving into problem-solving.

Good choices at defining moments on important matters make all the difference for people, organizations, and societies. Every time you are in front of a defining and complex problem, you have a pivotal choice to make in how to find solutions and execute decisions.

  • Frame the challenge or problem as a question. "What must we do now to become number one in commercial lending?"
  • Carefully consider all the people who can meaningfully answer the question and involve many who will need to execute them.
  • Don't tell people what to explore in answering the question. Let them decide what they need to discuss to arrive at solutions. Spend ten percent together in collectively setting the agenda.
  • Appoint a few people to each agenda item, and a few to coach them on doing better.
  • Conduct two or three rounds of meetings on each agenda item. Intentionally build on insights, ideas, and conclusions in follow-up meetings.
Robert Frost

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both…I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."

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