The Three “A”s of Mentorship
According to a CNB/SurveyMonkey “Happiness Workplace Survey,” about half of workers say they have a mentor at work and having that mentor leads to a higher level of happiness in the workplace. In fact, a whopping 91% of workers who have mentors reported feeling “satisfied” with their jobs. And for those who don’t have a mentor? The numbers drop by double digits.
There’s no doubt that mentorship is a powerful tool. But what are some of the traits that make a great mentor? In our last article, we looked at how a strong mentorship program can benefit an organization. Now, let’s take a deeper look at what’s involved in the mentorship process and some of the fundamentals. That starts with the three “A”s: active listening, availability and analysis.
Here’s a closer look at each:
Strong mentors knows when to stop talking and really listen to what the mentee is saying. They understand how to guide the conversation by asking open-ended, exploratory questions. They also offer quality feedback and often refrain from offering solutions or advice, allowing the mentee to come to their own conclusions and decisions.
Effective mentors make themselves available through both physical availability and emotional availability. Physical availability refers to scheduled sessions where the mentor offers their full attention and concentration. Emotional availability doesn’t mean a shoulder to cry on, but rather the feeling of care and investment that the mentor puts out (body language, active listening, professional conduct, etc).
Effective mentors understand the importance of answering questions and concerns honestly and with diplomacy. In short, they don’t beat around the bush. They know how to help mentees see issues from a different perspective, even if it’s not what they want to hear. That’s why it’s so vital that mentors be up-to-date on current issues and concerns within their industry and know how to modify their analysis based on the latest data.
A great mentor should have a mentees best interest at heart and be able to give quality time and attention to the process. It’s can be a challenging role, but with the right investment and training, a mentor can go from so-so to exceptional. That’s where coaching can be an invaluable asset. Leah M Joppy and Associates can work with you to build a mentorship program within your organization that will not only increase job satisfaction, but will help cultivate a pool of future leaders. Call us at 301-670-0051 or email email@example.com to learn how we can help.
Building Employees’ Skills Through Mentorship
It’s no secret that a strong mentoring program helps separate good organizations from great organizations. Your team members are your greatest asset, but the past few years have challenged even the most engaged and productive employees. Organizations are starting to reexamine their strategies and develop innovative measures to build employees’ skills, improve engagement and cultivate a pool of future leaders. A well-developed and executed mentorship program is a highly effective tool for accomplishing these goals.
Here’s a look at 4 ways mentoring can benefit your organization:
- Develop new managers: It’s essential to grow your potential management pool from within rather than spend more money recruiting from the outside. Mentorship has been shown to increase team members’ confidence, knowledge base and increase the skills needed to succeed for rising managers.
- Retain your high potential employees: According to studies, your high potential employees work 21% harder than their peers and bring 91% more value to the organization. Investing in a mentoring program gives these team members the long-term support they need and encourages them to stay.
- Strengthen your organization’s culture: Committing to the development of your team members pays off with improved engagement, productivity, retention and makes employees feel like you care about their growth. And that leads to a strengthened culture that makes your organization a great place to work!
- Increase knowledge sharing: What happens when people with different ways of thinking and backgrounds come together to share ideas? Increased collaboration, which in turn can lead to increased productivity and innovation. That’s a win-win for both your team members and your organization.
All of this sounds great, but how does your organization get started or improve on what you already have? It’s a big commitment and you want to make sure you’re going to see results. An experienced coach, like Leah M Joppy and Associates, can work with you through every step of the process. We can assess what (if any) mentorship program you currently have in place, make suggestions for changes and build effective mentors that will cultivate future leaders in your organization.
A growth-centric mentorship program is an investment, but it pays off in great dividends. Employee growth inevitably leads to organization growth. Ready to get started? Leah M Joppy and Associates is ready to help. Call us at 301-670-0051 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Leading Through Executive Changes
Change is an inevitable part of life – and especially the workplace. But that doesn’t mean change is easy and that there won’t be challenges when helping team members navigate organizational or executive transitions within a department. That’s where strong leadership from management makes the difference. All too often, departments are so caught up in the upcoming changes that they don’t think enough about their most important asset – their team members. According to a Gartner study, 73% of change-affected employees report experiencing “moderate to high stress levels”. Those suffering change-related stress “perform 5% worse than the average employee”.
Without strong leadership, there can also be some unforeseen consequences for departments when organizational and executive changes are on the horizon. A few of these include:
- Loss in trust
- Decrease in morale
- Increase in rumors and speculation
- Decrease in productivity
As we’ll cover in our next article, transparency and communication are key. A lack of strong communication is cited as one of the top complaints workers have when navigating change within their department. That’s why many departments depend on coaching during these periods. Coaches can work with leaders to develop an effective communication plan, ensure that it’s delivered effectively and make sure employees feel heard during the process.
During periods of change, strong leadership is more important than ever. Effective leaders help team members stay focused during times of transition, maintain productivity and keep morale high. It’s not an easy task, but your leadership team doesn’t have to go it alone. The right partners and resources can help make the transition period successful and positive. Leah M. Joppy and Associates is ready to help departments navigate major changes, while helping managers and their teams thrive! Call us at 301-670-0051 or email us at email@example.com and let’s get started.
Tips for Helping Employees Navigate Leadership Change
It’s often said that we’re living in a VUCA world: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. Sometimes it seems like change is the only constant and one major example of that is today’s workplace. Whether it’s a leadership transition or organizational upheaval, managers are expected to help their team members navigate any and all changes and make sure morale and productivity don’t take a hit. It can be a daunting task, to say the least.
People are creatures of habit and routine. Transitioning from the old way of doing things and dealing with new executive leadership or organizational change can be hard on a team. However, if managers are intentional and proactive, it can go a long way towards helping team members navigate through the uncertainty. Here are four essential tips to keep in mind:
- Share The Vision: Team members can better process change when they understand why it’s happening. This is an opportunity to explain the reasoning for the changes and workers’ roles in the transition process. It’s also a time to help workers understand the end goals and opportunities for growth moving forward.
- Communicate Frequently: When it comes to leadership or organizational change, there really is no such thing as too much communication. Team members are probably feeling stressed and vulnerable and communicating relevant information can go a long way towards easing fears and addressing concerns. Consistency is key: managers shouldn’t just have an initial meeting, talk about changes and think they’ve done their job. Continuous follow-up is crucial.
- Be Transparent: A senior leadership or organizational change can shake up team members’ sense of stability. That’s why it’s crucial to be transparent about the information you have. It’s also important to be honest and transparent about the information you don’t Straightforward transparency goes a long way towards building trust and also dispels the gossip and rumor mill.
- Involve Team Members in the Process: Managers need to ask themselves, “what do I need to do in order to get my team members on board and make sure they feel heard?” Listening to their concerns and involving them in the process is one of the best ways to accomplish this. Ask them for their ideas and really listen to their feedback. It can go a long way towards making the entire transition process a lot smoother.
All workers respond differently to change. The key is understanding how employees are reacting to the changes and tailor your response based on their needs. It can be a challenging task, but Leah M Joppy and Associates is ready to provide the support your department needs to move forward. Call us at 301-670-0051 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why New Managers Need Coaching
Leadership has gone through some major changes over the past few years. Overseeing teams with a work-from-home or hybrid model, as well as building an engaged team after the challenges of the pandemic are just a couple of the challenges today’s managers face. It can be difficult for the most seasoned leader, but what about those who are new to a management role? It can feel like being stuck in the middle of the woods without a compass!
New managers are often hesitant to ask for help or support. After all, if you’ve been promoted into the role, you must be able to figure out how to get it all done. Going it alone is one of the biggest mistakes a new manager can make. That’s why working with a coach can help in so many ways. Here’s a look at 3 big areas:
- Learn how to develop a leader’s mindset: Managers are expected to coach, engage, motivate and manage conflict. It’s a tall order, especially for someone new to the role. A coach can help you navigate the do’s and don’ts of management and develop leadership skills that will inspire your team.
- Increase confidence: One minute you were colleagues with your team members. Now, there’s a new power dynamic and you’re the one in charge. The whole situation can cause self-doubt for many new managers. Working with a coach can help you identify your innate leadership skills, as well as areas that can use improvement. Emotional intelligence is a big part of the job and an area where a coach can really work with you and make you shine!
- Help alleviate stress and anxiety: Being a new manager can feel isolating and decrease your sense of well-being and job satisfaction. A coach can help you feel less alone, be a sounding board for frustrations and help you find balance in your new role.
While some people are born leaders and managers, there’s a learning curve for most of us. But, it’s nothing you can’t handle with the right support and person in your corner. Leah M. Joppy and Associates is ready to help you take on your new management role and help you and your team thrive! Call us at 301-670-0051 or email us at email@example.com and let’s get started.
Tips for New Managers
If you’ve recently been promoted to a management role, it can sometimes feel like you’re jumping out of a plane without a parachute. Navigating your new role can feel daunting. Perhaps you feel like you’re in over your head and experiencing self-doubt. Maybe you’re having difficulty with time management with so many meetings eating up your time. Or are you trying to figure out your relationships with your former peers who are now reporting to you? It can all add up to a lot of stress and feelings of isolation.
If you’re new to a management role, where do you start? Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:
- Do learn how to delegate: If you’re used to doing it all yourself, management can be a difficult transition. But trying to do everything on your own or micromanaging your team not only leads to burnout for you, but frustration and lowered morale for your employees. Get to know your team and their individual strengths and interests.
- Do think about your team’s success: It’s not just about you anymore. When your team is successful, you’re successful. Remember to put the common good first.
- Do ask for help and support: Going it alone is a recipe for frustration and unhappiness, which your team is sure to pick up on. In our last article, we discussed why working with a coach is so vital for new managers. You don’t have to scale the learning curve by yourself!
- Do remember to be encouraging: Finding ways to thank your team for a job well-done goes a long way. So much of new management involves interpersonal skills, not technical. Now’s the time to hone those soft skills that go far in creating a cohesive team.
- Don’t avoid conflict: No one likes to deal with conflict, but it’s a part of a manager’s job. Avoiding or ignoring it will only make it worse. Managers play a vital role in fostering a safe and productive environment for everyone.
- Don’t dive in head first: It’s tempting to over-promise or reorganize everything right away. However, it’s a good idea to take the time to understand your department and individual team members before making major changes.
Often, new managers were promoted into the role because they were self-starters, motivated and able to accomplish tasks quickly and of the highest quality. Now, it’s the new manager’s role to help others perform to that same level. Most new managers experience struggles in their new position, often because they feel like they need to figure out everything on their own. That’s where working with a coach, like Leah M Joppy and Associates, can help. We’re ready to help new managers navigate the waters and not only survive, but thrive. Call us at 301-670-0051 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
COACHING OUR WAY THROUGH ANXIETY
The past few years have brought so many anxiety-producing unknowns into our lives that it’s becoming difficult to remember when we weren’t dealing with these stressors. Now, it’s like we can see some light at the end of the tunnel and can finally begin to get a sense of normalcy into our lives, but we still have an uphill battle ahead of us. For many, it’s causing frustration and confusion and adding to an already anxious situation.
By now, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “you can’t control events, but you can control how you respond to them.” Easier said than done, right? How do you get started when you’re already feeling overwhelmed? Working with a coach helps you build strategies to deal with the stressors of whatever life is throwing at you right now, whether it’s anxiety over waiting for the vaccine, job challenges or uncertainty about the future. Here are some examples of what a coach can teach you:
- How to increase your emotional resilience.
- How to shift yourself out of anxiety and into a more proactive mental state.
- How to effectively handle situations that are out of your control.
- How to deal with both the mental and physical reactions of anxiety.
Often, having a strong listener on your side and ready to help can make a huge difference. A coach can provide you with mental exercises to turn to during stressful events, help you track your progress, hold you accountable for your goals and provide needed social support.
Anxiety focuses on what can go wrong, while hope focuses on what can go right and opportunities despite present circumstances. If you’re looking for someone to help with your anxiety during this difficult time, Leah M Joppy and Associates is ready to help. You don’t have to deal with this this alone. Call us at 301-670-0051 or email email@example.com to learn more.
Reengaging Team Members
Are there any leaders out there who haven’t encountered employee disengagement at one point or another? If you’re in a management position, you can probably name at least one or two instances off the top of your head. However, over the last two years, when offices abruptly closed and many employees had to transition to work-from-home life, addressing disengagement became a much more complex problem. And while a hybrid model of work has now become the norm for so many organizations, it brings on a whole new set of challenges when addressing employee disengagement.
For organizations that are new to the hybrid model, disengagement can rear its head in a variety of forms. For example, team members can feel out of the loop in terms of communication and resources or they may be struggling with work/life balance. They may also feel discouraged by a lack of company culture or difficulty collaborating with team members. What are some of the red flags to watch out for when it comes to employee disengagement? Here are a few examples:
- Withdrawal from any non-necessary activities or conversations
- Poor communication and lack of participation
- Breaks from routine (ie: a typically vocal person no longer speaks up in meetings, a punctual person is chronically late or misses deadlines)
- Apathetic approach to meetings, projects, communication, etc.
- Rudeness and curtness with coworkers and clients
According to a recent workplace study from Gallup, 51% of workers are “not engaged,” meaning they are psychologically unattached to their work or company. And many of them feel they have more options now – we’re all too familiar with the term “Great Resignation” and the impact it’s had on organizations. With all of the challenges leaders are facing trying to navigate a post-pandemic workplace, problems with disengaged employees can sneak up quickly and snowball into major issues. That’s where Leah M Joppy and Associates can help. We can get to the root causes of WHY team members are feeling disengaged and work with you to come up with ideas to address these problems quickly.
When it comes to employee disengagement, it’s so important to look for solutions right away, rather than wait until productivity declines and turnover increases. Call Leah M. Joppy and Associates at 301-670-0051 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s start tackling any disengagement issues now!
The Value Of A “Stay Interview”
Keeping employees engaged pre-pandemic was hard enough, but for many leaders, it can seem like an uphill battle in our new work-from-home/hybrid model world. It’s important to recognize the signs of employee disengagement early, so effective action can be taken. Whether it’s improved communication, providing clearer opportunities for job progression or taking time out to just have some team building fun, improving employee engagement is an investment that pays off in so many ways.
Reasons for disengagement are as varied as the people in your organization. That’s why taking the time to talk to team members and really listen to their concerns is so important. There’s an underutilized, but powerful tool called the “Stay Interview,” which can really help leaders gather important data about employee morale and engagement. In the book, “Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay” by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan Evans, they list a number of thought-provoking “stay interview” questions that really provide valuable insight. Here’s a sample:
- What will keep you here?
- What might entice you away?
- What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning?
- What makes you hit the snooze button?
- What one change in your current role would make you consider leaving this job?
- If you had a magic wand, what would be the one thing you would change about this department, team, organization?
- As your manager, what could I do a little more of or a little less of?
- If you had to go back to a position in your past and stay for an extended period of time, which one would it be and why?
Once you’re armed with the information above, now what? How do you even begin to develop and implement innovative ideas that actually improve employee engagement? That’s where working with a coach, like Leah M Joppy and Associates, can help. We can collaborate with you to look at areas where engagement is low, establish where improvements can be made and come up creative solutions that will increase team members’ engagement and morale. There’s no better time than the present to get started! Call us at 301-670-0051 or email us at email@example.com
Struggles of Managing Offsite Employees
The past year has continued to rock the way we do business and forced us to pivot yet again as new and unexpected challenges were thrown our way. One of the biggest areas where many leaders are still struggling is managing offsite employees. Remote and hybrid teams are here to stay and leading them takes a different set of skills.
What are some of the top issues managers report when it comes to leading remote employees? Here’s a look at four of the top struggles. Do any sound familiar to you?
- Internal Communication Problems: There’s no question that communication is a huge issue when managing remote employees. According to a study by Gallup, 71% of remote employees reported that they’re not actively engaged with their business. And 85% reported the communication they receive on the job isn’t enough.
- Supporting Employees From a Distance: The relationships you developed working in an office can be hard to maintain when you’re staring at each other on a screen every day. Some workers are more forthcoming with the challenges they’re experiencing on the job or at home, while others are more private and many be struggling in silence. Some of the biggest struggles workers report is loneliness, collaboration difficulties, distractions at home and staying motivated. Employee wellness has become a huge issue for organizations.
- Lack of a Company Culture: Those face-to-face interactions we were so used to a couple years ago are quickly becoming a thing of the past. It’s also made building and maintaining company culture even more challenging. A lack of company culture can mean there’s very little comradery, workers may not feel heard or recognized for a job well done and so much more.
- Tracking and Measuring Performance: Managers are faced with two big challenges when it comes to tracking performance: making sure employees are completing their work and that they’re using their time efficiently and appropriately.
Organizations also report challenges with scheduling and time zone issues, onboarding new remote workers and developing and maintaining trust.
The struggles that arise from managing a team while you’re physically apart can ruffle the feathers of even the most seasoned leader. What challenges are you experiencing with leading a remote team? How have issues changed or developed over the last year? Leah M Joppy and Associates can work with you to identify challenges, develop a practical and reasonable action plan and collaborate with both leaders and employees to implement it. Follow through is also important, so we continue to check in on what’s working, what’s not and what we can do to fix it. Call us at 301-670-0051 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.