Idea for the Day: Focus on your B players. Companies reward A players and punish C players, ignoring the backbone of their workforce the B players. Research indicates 83% of employees worldwide describe themselves as disengaged at their job. That number is probably their B players, not everyone wants to be in the spotlight but they deserve recognition. Companies identify a small group for recognition for example employee of the month and salesperson of the year. Spend time recognizing B players and it will pay for itself. B players are like customers if you don’t treat them right someone else will.
My idea worth spreading: I had two very different conversations yesterday with senior leaders in the same company. One indicated that standard practices insured we did things the way we have always done it to prevent problems from happening. The other described a situation where following the rules created disengagement with an employee. In the Industrial Revolution industries standardized their manufacturing processes for efficiency a good idea to control costs. They then carried it over into managing people. Today we are in the Knowledge Revolution and successful companies need to change how they manage their people and problems. Standard procedures and defined job roles limit people’s innovation and creates disengagement. Both senior managers were correct we need standard process controls and procedures but procedures for people need to be more like guidelines to prevent today’s biggest problem, employee disengagement.
I read an article, there are just as many jobs as unemployed, but companies can’t fill their positions. Are the unemployed disengaged? We are definitely seeing it from the employed. OfficeVibe reports that 51% of workers are looking to leave their current job and only 13% of employees worldwide feel engaged at work, that is a global problem. What’s the problem? Imagine your boss asks you to paint a wall. You think I’m going to do a beautiful mural, I will show what a GRT artist I am. So you stay late and paint a wall that would make Leonardo proud. Your boss comes in and you point out the wall proudly. Their reaction? That’s nice but I wanted it painted red. So, now your hard work was for naught and you still have a wall to paint, again. So, you paint the wall red, covering your beautiful work. The next day the boss walks by and says the wall looks good but a different shade of red or maybe a picture would make it look better. Your reaction? Whatever! Get somebody else to do it or just do it yourself. A month later, your boss comes and says he has another wall that needs painted. Are you engaged to make sure it looks good? Or to paint it at all? Will you only do exactly what he tells you and nothing more, welcome to the 87% of disengaged.
Never stop learning! I reached 73 books for the year. I have read autobiographies, #leadership books and half a dozen on creating & giving a GRT #TED talk. I have recently recommended several books to people struggling with issues and wanted to share some favorites by specific targeted area.
1. Leadership: Triggers by Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, this will help you with improving your most important leadership tool, yourself.
2. Leadership: Crucial Conversations by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, Switzler, this will help with becoming a more effective communicator by staying in dialogue rather than going to silence or violence.
3. Leadership: The Leadership Gap by Lolly Daskal, Lolly made an impact on my life personally and I know her book will do the same for you by identifying your leadership strengths & weaknesses (gaps).
4. Autobiography of Importance of Practice: Strings Attached by Joanne Lipman, Mr. K will help you learn how practice and being exposed to greatness can release your own greatness.
5. Autobiography of Overcoming your Fears: Fearless by Eric Blehm, Adam Brown hit rock bottom repeatedly and finally bounced all the way to becoming a Navy Seal. You will laugh and cry but you will be changed for the better after reading this.
Many companies still operate under the Industrial Revolution model of a hierarchal management structure. The military has done the same but times are a changing even in the US Army. The US Army has realized that insurgents don’t follow a battle plan and that a plan doesn’t survive the enemy of today. The solution they now follow is Commander’s Intent. A plan is still developed and resources assigned to implement it, but the leaders in the field can modify the plans based on the enemy’s activities. As long as the Commander’s Intent is still followed, such as take that area and defend it until additional resources arrive to control the entire area. Companies need to develop a similar strategy. Provide a plan and a goal but allow the people they have hired the freedom to improvise based on the problems that occur. Often disengagement comes from employees waiting for the next instructions because a problem occurs and the plan won’t work and it is no longer their job to complete the task. Commander’s Intent provides the Do Whatever It Takes attitude to continue and reach the goal. The successful companies of today will provide their employees the freedom to modify the plan if the goal is still reached. Unleash the Rebels!
Workplace rudeness is on the rise. Georgetown professor Christine Porath has spent twenty years studying what happens when employees feel disrespected — and it’s not good for business. In a recent poll, 66% of disrespected workers said their performance declined, and 78% said they were less committed to the organization. Bad workplace behavior appears to be a growing trend; the number of employees reporting rude treatment at least once a month rose from 55% in 2011 to 62% last year. But managers can do a lot to turn things around: 92% of employees who felt respected by their leader said they were more focused and 89% were happier at work.
When I recently auditioned for #TEDxGreenville I talked about teaching kids better problem solving but Alisha Taylor spoke about being bullied at work and how the bully was ignored but she was let go in a layoff. Often the bully’s get stuff done and are rewarded for being efficient or effective but at the expense of others. Now we see movements to correct this in our schools but the kids learn it from somewhere could it be their parents. We tell kids to stand up to a bully but in the workplace that appears not to work. What do you do to stop the bullying in your workplace? Speak up and let us know.