At some point in our lives, we’ve all had a job that made us dread getting out of bed in the morning. Whether it was unfulfilling work, an uninspiring and toxic atmosphere, micromanagement, or a combination of all three, there are few things worse than going into a work environment that you just can’t stand. On the flip side, when you find a workplace that feels like the right “fit” and it’s an atmosphere where you feel valued, challenged, and encouraged, it’s truly invigorating and inspiring. The culture of an organization is what makes the difference. It’s not a tangible element or a fixed asset, but rather the atmosphere – the environment, values, expectations, goals, and attitude of employees. Think of it as an organization’s personality! And it’s incredibly important for both employees and employers.
So, why should an organization focus on its “culture” or even care about it in the first place? It’s important because, no matter what your industry, organizations are made up of people. And people care about the environment where they’re spending the majority of their waking hours. Lack of attention to a positive culture can result in unhappy, unproductive, and potentially disloyal employees that will start costing your organization time and money. The benefits of a strong and positive culture include the following:
- Employee Retention and Productivity: Environments where employees feel comfortable, motivated, and valued as individuals enjoy a boost in morale, which leads to increased retention and productivity.
- Improved Communication and Teamwork: A positive workplace culture suggests an open atmosphere where workers feel comfortable and free to communicate their ideas or concerns without fear. Teams are built on respect for others’ ideas and lead to innovative problem solving.
- Reputation and Brand Image: Want to attract the highest level of talent to your organization? Look no further than cultivating a positive work culture. It differentiates you from the competition and builds a solid reputation that adds value to your products and/or services.
Managers and executives have a direct influence on their organization’s culture since they generally set the tone and expectations. How would you describe your organization’s culture? Are you making strides, but still have some areas that need improvement? Please call Leah M. Joppy and Associates at 301-670-0051 or email us at email@example.com and we can help you cultivate a positive culture that will benefit everyone.
Are the leaders you have now the right ones for your organization? Think about how technology has changed the way we work. Technology influences our work life in how we communicate, how we meet, how we plan projects, how we keep track of progress and even how we inform our clients. With all of these changes that focus on technology, should our leadership change?
In the past, a valuable leader had a strong command of the company’s mission. Revenues and profits were top of mind. But today, companies have to consider not only the industry they are in, but others as well. How are other industries changing the face of business?
There is a premium today on leaders who can manage differently – leaders who have a grasp on the technological changes within the business environment. Here are some of the strengths now considered most important in leaders.
The Ability To Innovate. Instead of following some predetermined strategies for growth, leaders today must understand how business is evolving rapidly. Leaders should have the ability to envision new solutions and be willing to create something new. It’s not just seeking out and delivering on new possibilities, but also helping to redefine the organization for the future.
Early Adopters Of Technology. If not the adopters of technology itself, leaders must be early adopters of the advantages created by the use of technology. While we may not expect our leaders to write code, they should have the knowledge to understand the capabilities that exist. Technology is not just about working faster anymore, but being more effective at what we do. In order to improve organizations, our leaders must be skilled in recognizing the core technologies that will help businesses and organizations remain competitive.
High Emotional Intelligence. Leadership is not just about putting people and pieces together anymore, and following a plan. Instead, leadership needs to evaluate people. Leaders need to be accountable and know how to design process that will work for the benefit of the organization.
Understand The Value Of Disruption. Our world, and our work, is chaotic. A leader that can thrive in the unknown, a leader who likes the challenge, is the leader that will take the team into the future.
Work With Both Technology And People. Using technology to effectively communicate with people will influence the success of the leader. A good leader who knows how to apply technology to optimize the role of his/her people will encourage better decision-making throughout the organization.
Need help developing the right leaders in your organization? LMJA has a complete Leadership Series available – view our webpage for more info. Give us a call at (301) 670-0051 and let’s discuss your needs.
In our article on the intriguing habits of successful people, we really only looked at the normal work week. So that got us wondering, how do successful people spend their weekends? Here’s what we found.
- Many successful people do not go to the office on weekends. Instead, they use their time to think more deeply about work and their particular industry. It’s their chance to reflect on bigger issues.
- Most successful people follow the same schedule on weekends as they do during the week. They are up early, but more often than not, engaging in an activity that is for themselves.
- They plan mini-trips, excursions, events that center around some passion they have. That could mean a bike ride through the countryside, a hike in the woods, a day of skiing or a play on broadway. These events not only further work-life balance, but they help successful people enjoy life to the fullest.
- More successful people plan for an “unplugged” weekend. They recognize the need to renew mind and body. If you’re constantly plugged-in, that’s hard to do.
- Finally, according to our research, most successful people take real vacations. Not long weekends or “stay-cations” but real, honest-to-goodness get away from it all vacations. Savoring experiences is important to relaxation and creativity.
Can 2017 be the year that you get rid of bad habits and make real strides forward? It can, but it requires new thinking. Moving forward means we have to drop some of the things we hold onto, even though they may be things we’ve come to expect, and accept. I’m one of the worst at letting go! I know it. The people around me know it. But sometimes, it seems that I just HAVE to keep those old habits going. Not this year. I’m going to make a concerted effort to let go of these bad habits. Do you want to join me? They say that if we join forces, there’s a better chance we’ll succeed in ditching our bad habits. Here’s a list of bad habits often seen in the workplace.
Striving for perfection. While we all want our work to be correct, striving for the perfect result does not pay off. We lose time, the project takes longer to complete and the end result is not significantly improved. Instead, we overstress ourselves and those around us.
Addiction to our phones. Have you noticed sometimes when you’re out, that everyone’s on their phones? Whether they’re playing games, on social media or checking email, it’s a habit most of us need to break. There’s a difference between responsible communication and not interacting with the people around you.
Accepting a high level of stress. I blame this one on the “east-coast-culture.” Truthfully though, it’s prevalent everywhere. There is so much going on in our lives that it’s easy to accept a high level of stress as normal. We sometimes contribute to our own stress. Even before we begin work, our thinking turns negative. We say to ourselves, “I’ll never get this all done today!” It’s up to us to break our own stress habit. We can turn our attitude around by saying “Let’s see how much I can get done on this project today.”
Sticking with the way we’ve always done things. There are so many tasks that can be done faster and more efficiently today than in the past. These tasks may require learning new technology – which can be frightening to many. But spending time to sit down with someone who can explain a faster way of accomplishing a tasks broadens our minds and keeps us current.
Acting too quickly. When I can’t answer emails quickly, I notice that some problems solve themselves. The same thing happens in meetings. When we listen to the discussion for a while, rather than come to a quick decision, the best way to solve the problem surfaces naturally. Holding back, rather than jumping in too quickly, is often more effective.
Looking at the list of bad habits commonly found in the workplace, I’m pretty determined that I’d like to break myself of at least some of them. To be successful, the experts say to follow these steps.
- Find a partner who will work with you to help ditch these bad habits.
2. Put a voice to your bad habit. Admitting your habit to someone makes you accountable. Sharing your habit with a friend will also make you more conscious of it when you fall back into the habit.
3. Write it down. Whatever your bad habit, when you find yourself repeating it, write it down. Write down how you feel – what’s going through your head. This action will also make you more aware of your bad habit before it happens.
4. Think of a good response for the next time. If your bad habit is accepting too much stress, try a one-minute meditation. Or get up from you chair and take a 5-minute walk. Find something that can replace your bad habit.
5. Reward yourself. Start small. How can you reward yourself when you’ve avoided the habit? Then keep rewarding yourself and plan for a big reward when you finally feel like you’ve ditched the habit for good.
Last month, we talked about recognizing accomplishments and doing what matters! As humans, we get pleasure from accomplishment. So it makes sense that as we approach 2017, our goal should be to create a culture of accomplishment in the workplace to engage our employees even more powerfully.
This video appeared in 2015. It’s been viewed time and time again. It’s pretty simple. It’s about accomplishing the first task of the day and the importance of that task. Take a look. The video resonates with many of us. We somehow find great comfort in checking off a task. We recognize that something has been accomplished.
As the manager of your department, organization, project team or company, your job is to set goals. But it’s also your job to help employees reach those goals. So starting now, begin 2017 as the year of accomplishment. Here are some tips for making that happen.
- Celebrate the small wins. If the team has an enormous project ahead of them for the year, break it up into small projects. Seeing success along the way makes the entire project more palatable and doable! And small celebrations help to keep everyone on track. You recognize their efforts and progress. And in return, your team gets a boost of energy. The feeling of satisfaction permeates throughout the office!
2. Be present. That seems easy, but sometimes leaders are in such a hurry, they forget to touch base with individuals. Keeping a team on track is important, so regular meetings and constant feedback is fuel for your team. Being present doesn’t mean micromanaging – it’s just keeping in touch and providing positive reinforcement.
3. Be clear and concise. I once had a manager that would give a task and then talk about it for 10-15 minutes. By the time he was finished, we were more confused than before our meeting! Instead, be clear. Explain what the goals are and what your expectation is for every member of the team.
4. Be positive. Besides celebrating small wins, make sure you celebrate milestones. Give credit to the team. And point out how well they’ve accomplished a project. Emphasize the positive.
Helping your team measure and track success instills a culture of accomplishment. The next time you have an opportunity to celebrate, be sure you do – no matter how busy your day!
Working Effectively as a Team, Motivating Employees, Building Trust and Integrity – these are just some of the courses we’ve developed for organizations. How can we help you? Give us a call at 301-670-0051. Let us help you put a plan in place to instill a culture of accomplishment in your organization.
Our workplaces today have had an eruption in technology. How we work and how we deliver our products and services has shifted. We need to maximize the ability of our employees in order to create efficiencies. The workshops listed below help to break down barriers to productivity.
Give us a call at 301-670-0051 and let us help you achieve faster results with your team.
|Crystal Reports||Adobe Professional|
|Office 365/One Drive||Skype for Business|
How we communicate influences our life in multiple ways. Being able to connect personally will influence every relationship we have and will help determine where we go with our career. Try these tips.
- Eye Contact. Don’t look away during a conversation. Listen carefully and make sustained eye contact.
- Minimize interruptions. You can’t really build trust with someone if they are always interrupting. Instead, active listening plays a huge role in communication.
- Show respect. If something distracts you, or someone is signaling you while you are on the phone, tell the person you are talking to that you are being interrupted. Ask them if you can call them back. And make sure you do. Avoid using those filter words that everyone recognizes.
- Leave your ego at the door. Instead of showing off your expertise, make the other person feel important.
- Make a plan. If you can prepare beforehand, those last minute nerves won’t cause you to feel like a dummy. Think about certain recent developments, items in the news or personal experiences that you can bring up in conversation. And be sure to ask questions to encourage interaction.
Leah M. Joppy & Associates can help your organization build effective communication skills that will ultimately lead to better teams and greater productivity. Give us a call at 301-670-0051 to discuss your needs.
Working hard from day to day, our lives just unfold. Layer after layer, page after page, we strive toward success and financial independence. And we’re certainly not unhappy. Or, at least if someone asks us about our job, we’re probably pretty optimistic. And then one day it hits us – we’re just not as passionate about what we are doing as we expected to be. Is this all there is? Is this what I can expect for the next 5, 10, 15 years?
Somewhere during our years of productivity, we will ask ourselves this question. It’s a scary thought. Have I been alluding myself all these years? Or have I just veered off track? Each of us is different. But before you jump ship and take a drastic turn in your career, consider your options.
Our resumes are full of our skills and virtues. They help reinforce our self-esteem and they provide concrete measurements of success. But what if our success was measured by the value we bring to others? When we focus on significance rather than success our passion reignites. Our jobs become more meaningful as we search for ways to help others. Focusing on significance doesn’t come at the expense of other areas of our life. Instead, it’s a challenge to round out our lives and make them fuller.
What’s significant for you, may even change from time to time. Depending on your position and your responsibilities, we can add significance to the lives of others and have even greater fulfillment in what we are doing.
So how do we do that? Some say that a good way to start is to think about what you want people to say at your funeral. (I know, nice thought). But it’s true. Few of us want the people closest to us to say things about our income level or mention the profit and loss statements. Instead, we would like to think that we affected people’s lives.
Making the change from success to significance starts with goals. Experts tell us that our brain is naturally a goal seeking organism – we want to achieve our goals. So start with how you want to affect the lives of others and list the goals you want to achieve in order to make a difference. Some of these may be short term goals and others will be longer. The short term goals will actually help inspire you and keep you directed in order to reach your long term goals.
Need help putting these goals together? Read our article below on Tips for Becoming Significant. And if you’d like to engage your organization in talks on Professional and/or Personal Development, Leah M. Joppy & Associates can help. Give us a call at (301) 670-0051 and let’s discuss your needs.
The world we live in is automated. Technology continues to develop at a rapid pace. Companies often outsource needs. And inflation continues to rise. Compared to the world many of us grew up in, our environment today seems anything but stable. To thrive in present circumstances, workers must be flexible and adaptable. Indeed, millennials may be uniquely suited to thrive in the modern workplace.
How is it that millennials are at ease in this economy? Their work habits are different than earlier generations. Here’s how.
- Millennials expect to balance work and life. They have no intention on working for one company during their lifetime. In fact, they expect to be mobile. Working from home, a coffee house, the gym – it all works for them. In fact, they believe they are more effective working from home.
- And work hours? Definitely not normal! Working late into the night outside the normal business hours is just fine for millennials. They actually feel more productive!
- Moving on to the next opportunity is also their mantra. Most millennials don’t expect to be at their present job for more than three years. And many of them plan to work on their own in the very near future.
- This is the generation of free-lancers and entrepreneurs. Many millennials hope to turn their hobby into some kind of money-making venture. At the very least, they expect to supplement their income with some kind of business of their own.
- Millennials like to telework – and they are good at it! In fact, most millennials EXPECT to telework.
- The lines between personal and professional are blurring with this generation. Think about it. Smartphones make work a constant. Social media is used for both professional and casual posts. And research is done almost entirely through the internet!
If the millennials in your organization prefer video meetings, have a “side” job of some sort, prefer apartments to houses and believe office attendance is unnecessary – there’s a reason. Millennials grew up in a changing environment and are completely comfortable in one. Check out our tips for ideas on working with Millennials.
If you would like more information on training millennials and giving them the skills they need to become leaders, please give LMJA & Associates a call at 301-670-0051 or email us at Leah@LMJA.com.