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Intelligent Workshops

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.

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Word Excel
Access PowerPoint
Outlook InfoPath
OneNote Project
Publisher WordPerfect
Crystal Reports Adobe Professional
SharePoint SharePoint Designer
Office 365/One Drive Skype for Business
Visio  

 

Five Ways to Truly Connect

photodune-5195905-connecting-people--xsHow 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.

  1. Eye Contact. Don’t look away during a conversation. Listen carefully and make sustained eye contact.
  2. Minimize interruptions. You can’t really build trust with someone if they are always interrupting. Instead, active listening plays a huge role in communication.
  3. 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.
  4. Leave your ego at the door. Instead of showing off your expertise, make the other person feel important.
  5. 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.

Success or Significance?

SuccessWorking 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 Work Habits of Millennials

Team young professionals having casual discussionThe 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. 

Tips for Engaging Millennials in the Workplace

  1. It’s a one-on-one relationship. If you want to work with millennials in an effective manner, get to know them! Where are they coming from and what do they want to do with their lives? What do they need to get there? Then help mentor or coach them to that goal.
  2. Provide training. It once was a given in our workforce, that we trained mid-level managers for the job. Diversity training, Communication skills, Team-building, Leadership skills – these are all training programs that were part of our workforce. They seemed to have disappeared over the last decade. And right when we need them the most! Equip your millennials with the skills they need to be leaders.
  3. Adopt frequent performance management reviews. You’ve heard the comments about how millennials were always given rewards – even when they weren’t on winning teams! Perhaps there’s some truth to that, because indeed, millennials like and need on-going performance management – not just a once-a-year review. Find a way to provide frequent feedback to the millennials in your workforce.

Telework – What Happens?

Man typing at computerWhat happens when employees telework? Since telework has become an important organizational change, not only in the Federal Government but also in the private sector, it’s important for all organizations to envision the success of the effort and measure the results. In a recent report, “Status of Telework in the Federal Government – Report to Congress,” the US office of Personnel Management noted an improvement in employee attitude as a result of telework capabilities.

Measuring the Improvement in Employee Attitude. The Federal Employment Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) shows the potential for telework to influence important employee attitudinal and perceptual variables. The survey looked at employees who telework, those who don’t because of a barrier of some sort, and those who do not telework by choice. Demonstrated in the report is the value of autonomy – “I get to make the decision, to telework or not.” When employees have a choice, job satisfaction increases. Those employees who face barriers to telework reported lower job satisfaction scores. Typically, their attitudes toward the organization and their supervisors are less positive.

Academic research indicates that telework program participants are more likely to exhibit job satisfaction and improved performance. The FEVS survey noted similar findings. There was a larger percentage of teleworkers who reported satisfaction with their jobs than those who were not able to telework. In 2011, those figures were 75% vs 68%, and in 2012 the figures were 73% vs 65%. The survey seems to suggest that existence of telework policies benefits the entire workforce in indirect but positive ways.

In the 2012 FEVS survey, 68% of the respondents reported satisfaction with their jobs. And 15% reported dissatisfaction. The results also show that there is a decline in the percentage of job satisfied employees between 2012 (68% ) and 2011 (71%). This general decline is also reflected in a comparison of teleworker job satisfaction data – reporting 68% job satisfaction in 2011 and 65% in 2012.

Please click on the chart below for more information on job satisfaction.

Chart in Paint 61

Successful Teleworking Tips

Successful Teleworking

Women Analyzing DataIn order for Teleworking to be successful, there should be a plan. When there is, it’s obvious that the agency wants it to work. Certainly, they don’t want telework to negatively impact careers. We uncovered a few tips for successful teleworking.

  1. Keep your work relationships intact. Touch base with your team members often. Reschedule your commuting days as needed. Get feedback weekly from your supervisor. And make sure he/she knows your career goals.
  2. Keep your career on track. Make the important meetings, even if it means changing your schedule. Be flexible. And review your emails – be sure they are tactful and diplomatic. Update your status often and take credit when it’s appropriate. Be clear about your career goals.
  3. Set rules. It’s easy to be too available at home. It’s up to you to set work hours, when and how you can be interrupted and what areas are off-limits. And while you’re setting rules, make a schedule and stick to it. When you telework, it’s easy to slack off without thinking, or you can become a workaholic. Neither option is good. Balancing your work and home life, as much as you can, will make you happier and more productive. And your telework plan will be successful.

In a report to the Congress on the status of telework in the Federal Government, efforts to promote telework were reported. READ MORE on the effectiveness of agency-wide telework efforts.