Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Stay Interviews are a great and budget-friendly tool managers can use to gauge employee satisfaction, company culture, and shared thinking on improving and growing the organization.

 

Executives have two roles; 1) creating value and 2) motivating talent. Value creation requires combining resources and capabilities to sustain competitive advantage in the marketplace. Motivating talent requires leveraging human capital through effective management so resources can achieve their highest productivity. Companies that have struggled to survive through the COVID pandemic now face an even more significant challenge, the “Great Resignation,” which has dramatically altered what an employer must do to motivate and retain talent.

A recent survey found more than half of working Americans will be looking for a new job in the next 12 months. Bankrate’s August 2021 Job Seeker Survey found that 55% are likely to do so. Another 28% said they’re not actively looking for a job but still expect to move companies in the next year. As a result, businesses are looking for creative ways to replace workers that have left their workplace.

Keeping the current workforce is critical to minimizing the challenges of hiring today. Businesses now use signing bonuses and dramatically higher wages to help attract new workers. As retention efforts escalate, intelligent employers are instituting something new; “stay interviews .”A Stay Interview is the opposite of an Exit Interview: Instead of asking why an employee is quitting, a stay interview focuses on what motivates the employee to stay employed, what could be better about their work experience, and how they envision the next stage of their career within the organization.

Stay Interviews are a great and budget-friendly tool managers can use to gauge employee satisfaction, company culture, and shared thinking on improving and growing the organization. Managers who conduct stay interviews can retain top talent, engage their employees, and lower employee attrition in ways that others cannot.

A Stay Interview is a structured discussion a leader conducts with an individual employee to learn specific actions the leader can take to strengthen the employee’s engagement and retention with the organization. Managers are best suited to perform the stay interview since they have a more profound knowledge of the challenges employees face daily and potentially more power to make necessary changes. Stay Interviews can boost morale and workplace engagement by signaling to the employee that you are interested in their perspective on the job and the company and willing to make adjustments if necessary to keep them and keep them happy.

Some guidelines to follow as you plan for your Stay Interviews.

These interviews should be held privately with preplanned questions to keep the conversations productive and on track. Notify the employees that you will be conducting “stay interviews” with the workforce to uncover what makes them happy at work and what can be changed if needed.
There are many good interview questions that you can use for these conversations. The best questions to get the employee to share rich and detailed ideas are open-ended. These are some examples that the Society for Human Resource Management recommends:

  • What do you look forward to when you come to work each day?
  • What do you like most or least about working here?
  • What keeps you working at this company?
  • If you could change any one part of your job, what would that be?
  • What would make your job and overall work experience more satisfying?
  • How do you like to be recognized for your work?
  • What talents do you have that are not being used in your current role?
  • What would you like to learn more about, within or outside of your current role?
  • What motivates (or demotivates) you?
  • What can I do to best support you as your manager?
  • What can I do more of or less of as your manager?
  • How would you describe our company culture to a brand-new employee?
  • What might tempt you to leave?

Once the interviews are complete, the next step will be acting on the information received. If employees have provided honest, legitimate concerns, take steps to correct them.

Whatever insights you gather will be useless unless you are determined to act on them. After analyzing the findings of your Stay Interviews, one must reinforce what works, change what doesn’t, and assess how your efforts are working out. Importantly, you don’t need to do everything people tell you but prioritize the requests from those you deem more valuable.

So, are you ready to get to those Stay Interviews with your employees?

References:

https://www.bankrate.com/personal-finance/job-seekers-survey-august-2021

https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/hr-forms/pages/stayinterviewquestions.aspx

https://www.fastcompany.com/90715052/how-to-conduct-a-stay-interview-with-your-employees-and-why-you-should

https://www.zenefits.com/workest/why-you-should-conduct-stay-interviews-to-retain-top-talent/

 

Teamwork: a Work in progress

A well-orchestrated and cohesive team can accomplish magnitudes more than any single member could. 

Teamwork visualized.

I love F1, the speed, the colors, the venues, the technology, and the Teamwork.

Pit stops are one of the most exciting elements of a Formula 1 race. They’re loud, critical, lightning-quick, and can be the difference between victory and defeat.

It looks like this (#RedBullRacing World Record)

 

The pit crew makes a great example of Teamwork professionals.

How are over 20 individuals transformed into a single cohesive Team that can accomplish their work in under 2 seconds?  It does not happen by accident.

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” VanGogh

Teamwork elements include:

  • Practice and Rehearsal, to build “memory”
  • Goals, so you know where you are going and when you get there.
  • Accountability, so every team member is responsible for their actions.
  • Review and Debriefs, never stop learning.
  • Coaching, to encourage continuous improvement.
  • Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication.
  • Listening and Questioning, so you will better understand the individual challenges.

It’s not drama.

“venting, gossiping, scorekeeping, tattling, judging, resisting change, withholding buy-in, and you know the drill … drama.” @cywakeman

A well-orchestrated and cohesive team can accomplish magnitudes more than any single member could.  This is the power and leverage of Teamwork, enabling an organization to achieve its goals in the most efficient and rapid means possible.  The entire process can be repeated, enhanced, and accelerated with each iteration.  Successful Teams can accomplish more goals while enjoying a joyful workplace.

 

 

 

Are You Sending Mixed Signals?

Short-circuiting clear communication channels with “on-the-fly” changes, micromanaging, and reassigning tasks throws a “monkey wrench” into the operation.

 

Is it possible that you are sending mixed signals to your Team?

Some days it’s a “GO,” others it’s “STOP,” with a few “MAYBES” in-between.

Alternatively;
Do you say one thing yet act differently?
Do your instructions and guidelines change constantly?
Do you have “favorites” on your Team or in your workplace?
Do you keep some people incompletely informed?

Some signs that this could be occurring maybe;
You are repeating instructions to your Team.
Work is delayed or must be redone.
The same mistakes are made repeatedly.
You find yourself doing tasks that you have asked others to do.
You are a micromanager and perfectionist.
Drama has resurfaced within your Teams.

All workplaces, Teams, and C-Suites are faced with management challenges. To achieve optimal results, all stakeholders must be working towards a common result. Executives must provide clear goals that support strategic objectives. Clear and precise communication is essential. The actionable part, the tactics, can then be implemented and monitoring delegated to the managers. Short-circuiting clear communication channels with “on-the-fly” changes, micromanaging, and reassigning tasks throws a “monkey wrench” into the operation. These actions delay results, risking subpar performance and falling short of your goals.

Try the following;

1) Assign a project or task.
2) Determine what deliverables you desire.
3) Set a due date or date for a progress report.
4) Delegate the above.
5) Don’t intervene or interfere.
6) Watch what magic happens.

Try it; you’ll like it.

 

Have you called your business recently?

Your telephone system provides the first impression to your customer; let’s make it exceptional.

Your telephone is indispensable to the life of your business. Have you called your business recently? If you have not, please do! What did you experience?

Does your phone ring and ring and go to voice mail? Is it answered with “Please listen carefully as our menu options have recently changed?” Or does a Customer Care Representative answer every call within a ring or two?

Your telephone system provides the first impression to your customer; let’s make it exceptional.

Many times, this critical system is taken for granted. It is a frequently used device to which we don’t give much thought or consideration. Over time, and with the growth of a business, a system can become old and outdated, frustrating customers and your employees trying to provide the best service to them.

You may not notice the “creep” of unanswered calls, too many voice mails, calls being answered by the wrong person, or forwarded to the wrong department. Like a well-designed website, a well-designed telephone system can quickly direct incoming calls to the precise individual who can handle customer requests. Granted, the highest level of service would be a person answering every call within the first two rings and then redirecting the call to the appropriate individual or department. In a busy business, this can be impractical and, many times, inefficient, depending upon the volume of incoming calls.

Plan and customize the “flow” of a telephone call for the clients/patients you serve most.

Our busy, multi-office, multi-doctor practice categorizes calls into the two customers we serve; referring offices and patients. Patient calls are divided into “new patients” and “previous patients.” New patients need appointments fast, and previous patients have questions about treatment and insurance.

Referring doctors’ offices are the most significant source of new referrals to our practice. We designed a custom workflow to speed up the referral process, “referring offices dial 9”. Once the phone tree picks up, they know to “dial 9”. These calls are routed to selected workstations primed to service our referring offices. As a backup, we have private direct dial numbers for referring office staff.

Although not perfect, a well-designed auto attendant can quickly direct calls to the individuals who can best serve their needs. Patient calls are routed depending on if they are “new,” “previous,” or have questions regarding “insurance.” After hours and on weekends, the auto attendant can leave instructions on how patients can contact the doctor on call.

Playing phone tag is a “game” that leads to delays and frustrations on both sides of the telephone.

Most importantly, your telephone system is not a “set it and forget it!” Your menu items and call routing should be constantly evaluated and updated to meet the changing needs of your business to serve your customers better.

Analysis Paralysis…try this Instead

A decision is a judgment. It is a choice between alternatives. It is rarely a choice between “almost right” and “possibly wrong”

Analysis Paralysis…

Do you seek additional information constantly when faced with making a choice? Once you have more information, does that satisfy you or create even more questions that now require more information and analysis. Does this cycle ever repeat, causing needless delays, postponements and cancellations? Have you fallen down the rabbit hole of information overload?

If so, you may be suffering from Analysis Paralysis.

The good news is that there is a cure.

It starts by realizing Perfection does not exist. One’s constant search for Perfection in knowledge and information is unattainable; it is a stall tactic.

It may be more Indecisiveness that is preventing you from moving forward.

The Father of Modern Business Management, Peter Drucker, provides the best cure for Analysis Paralysis:

“A decision is a judgment. It is a choice between alternatives. It is rarely a choice between “almost right” and “possibly wrong”- but much more often a choice between two courses of action neither of which is provably more nearly right than the other.”

Peter Drucker, The Effective Executive

I fall back on that last sentence frequently.

I hope it helps you too!

 

Effective LEADers are Conductors…not One-Man Bands

Effective Leaders are conductors who can empower, nurture, and enable others to perform and contribute at their best.

The musicians are on stage, each one preparing and tuning their instruments for the performance ahead. The cacophony from all the other musicians doing the same sounds nothing like the musical score in front of them. This process continues until the Conductor takes the stage. Soon after, with the baton raised, all are poised to begin. As the Conductor brings the baton down, what was noise is magically transformed into music. As the score progresses each orchestral section is queued into the performance by the Conductors baton.  Never does the Conductor stop, sit down, and begin playing an instrument.

Leaders are not one-man bands.

Effective Leaders are conductors who can empower, nurture, and enable others to perform and contribute at their best. This is best accomplished by allowing all team members to work at the edge of their abilities, constantly expanding their skills, knowledge, and abilities. The effective leader embraces this paradigm by letting go and trusting others. There is no time or place for micro-managing here.

The best businesses are not one-man shows.

Letting others contribute maximally enables an organization to magnify their results, achieving what would have been impossible individually. Amazingly, this isn’t even the best part. By allowing others the freedom and opportunity to learn and contribute together, they too begin to exercise their Leadership muscles.


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What Condition is Your Condition in?

Take care of yourself.  Do what makes you happy and enables you to rest and recharge…

 

As Leaders, we are concerned about so many things…

  • how is our organization doing?
  • are we meeting the needs, wants, and desires of our Stakeholders?
  • is our financial health strong?
  • are my decisions sound?
  • do I need more information or less information?
  • should be doing more, or less?
  • are there opportunities I may have missed?
  • is our strategy solid?
  • are my employees happy in their workplace?
  • am I missing Blind Spots?

One question that is not asked frequently enough is…

How are YOU doing?

Just like the airline flight attendants tell us before every flight…

“Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others.”

If we don’t put our mask on first, we will very likely not be able to help others that are counting on us.

Remember…

Take care of yourself.  Do what makes you happy and enables you to rest and recharge; exercise, good nutrition, meditation, socializing, time for creative activities are just a few ideas to get you started.

I found this on Spotify…fans of The Big Lebowski may recognize it too!

The Title and Lyric says is well…

“I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in”

The First Edition

So…what condition is YOUR condition in?

 

Dealing with Difficult Employees: Nip it in the bud!

People rise and fall to meet your level of expectations for them.
John C. Maxwell

It’s human nature to avoid what is painful, regardless if the pain is physical, emotional, financial, or even at work.

Do any of these sound familiar in your workplace?

  • tardiness
  • bickering
  • absenteeism
  • micromanaging
  • backstabbing
  • employee turnover
  • rules are not followed
  • you walk on eggshells
  • cliques have formed
  • employees team up against others
  • fingerpointing
  • the workplace is stressful and chaotic
  • you move or reassign a problematic employee
  • you have a Drama
  • Gossip
  • you are held hostage by employees
  • people say one thing yet do another
  • requests are ignored
  • poor morale
  • Finally, things appear to be getting worse rather than better?
If any of the above are present in your workplace, then it is time for ACTion.

People rise and fall to meet your level of expectations for them.
John C. Maxwell

This dysfunction prevents your organization from achieving its goals. Even worse, if left unchecked, it could create a hostile work environment. Your employees know precisely what is going, who the instigator is, and are watching you! You must ACT.

You have two choices.
1. ACT, quell the dysfunction, unit your Team, improve morale and get back on track to serving your clients and achieving your goals.
2. inACTion shouts even louder, demonstrating to everyone your inability to lead, your favoritism and selfishness, and your disregard for your Team and the Clients you serve.

The cure is ACTion!

Without a doubt, managing your workforce and engaging in difficult conversations are some of the most demanding and most challenging tasks a Leader will face.

To begin, set employee expectations and hold everyone accountable. Yes, this is much easier said than done! These are complex tasks, but delaying them magnifies the dysfunction and makes the “cure” even harder.
To make these conversations easier, stick to the facts. The facts are always more precise and fresher in everyone’s mind when current.

Don’t dig up things from the past.

 

Use the following formula:
1. State the employee’s defined job duties, your expectations.
2. Review the employee’s present behavior and the adverse effect it has on the business.
3. Coach the employee on the desired behavior and outcome.
4. Schedule a time to monitor their progress, that’s accountability.

Remember: Attitude Reflects Leadership, always!

Once your Team sees you are taking action and holding people accountable, they will take notice. After all, aligning and motivating your workforce is what an effective Leader does.

Research: A Little Recognition Can Provide a Big Morale Boost

 

Private feedback is appropriate in some situations, but public recognition — such as awarding certificates during a team meeting — can often be a cost-effective way to motivate the entire team. Public recognition can feel more impactful to the recipient, and it can also boost motivation among all employees, including those who aren’t recognized themselves.

Source: Research: A Little Recognition Can Provide a Big Morale Boost

How Amazon Thinks About Competition

Be nimble, be able to make decisions quickly, be prepared to accept some failures, these are essential traits of innovators and market leaders.

I always point out that there are two different kinds of failure. There’s experimental failure — that’s the kind of failure you should be happy with. And there’s operational failure. We’ve built hundreds of fulfillment centers at Amazon over the years, and we know how to do that. If we build a new fulfillment center and it’s a disaster, that’s just bad execution. That’s not good failure. But when we are developing a new product or service or experimenting in some way, and it doesn’t work, that’s okay. That’s great failure. And you need to distinguish between those two types of failure and really be seeking invention and innovation.

Jeff Bezos

 

Source: How Amazon Thinks About Competition