Building Team ‘Awesome’ – Where Are Your Strengths?

Focusing on building the right team to get the job done often makes us forget one thing … ‘change’ happens!

Focusing on building an ‘awesome’ team to deliver solutions to solve problems embraces the most important thing to remember … ‘change’ happens!

team

Introducing Team ‘Awesome’

  • Team ‘awesome’ is agile enough to be able to be responsive and proactive to change.
  • Team ‘awesome’ is able to recognise and resolve problems by making smart and informed decisions.
  • Team ‘awesome’ delivers relevant and real solutions for customers rather than delivering products and services to customers

How to Start to Build Team ‘Awesome’

Focusing on the behaviours you see, and the problems they present, instead of focusing on what strengths team members may have that are unseen, underutilized or untapped is where the secret to building and ‘awesome’ team lies.

Do you recognize any of these behaviours in your team?

The Procrastinator

Do you have team members who are indecisive and never seem to finish what they start?

  • Are these team members lacking confidence in the tasks they are expected to complete? If so, ask them why they feel this way and how you can help them to believe in themselves, particularly if the expectations in their role have changed.
  • Are these team members expected to complete tasks that they are under-skilled for?  Have you assessed your employee’s capacity and capability before having an expectation of them? If not, they may procrastinate to avoid being seen as incompetent.
  • Are these team members lost in the detail and cannot concentrate long enough to tick all the boxes to get the job done?  Find out if this person needs lots of information to commit or decide, and if so, how can you support this need?
  • Have you spent enough time explaining what you expect from these team members and the timeline you want them to complete tasks within?

The Antagonist

Do you have team members who create havoc and are sometimes a thorn in the side of other members of your team?

  • When this team member behaves this way are they aware of the impact on other team members?  Determine if this is a subconscious behaviour or one that is deliberate, and if so why?
  • Have these team members always behaved this way or has something changed that made their behaviour change, and if so why?
  • Are your antagonist team members bored and creating situations where they are the hero to challenge themselves?  How can you challenge them to refocus their attention?
  • What is the reward that these team members get by behaving this way?  How else can you reward them for other behaviours that are more appropriate, and in ways that will deliver higher productivity and is conducive to a healthy work culture?
  • Are other team members encouraging these behaviours by submitting or even enabling these team members?  Is being seen as having influence and authority the driver for these team members?

The People Pleaser

Nothing is too hard for these team members.  Give them any task and they will do their absolute best to see it through.

  • Are the team members that you identify as people pleasers capable of the tasks they attempt? How can you make these people feel that their contribution is valued while ensuring they are performing the tasks fit with their skill set and experience?
  • What are these team members looking for in your workplace?  Approval, a sense of belonging, popularity, or other drivers compel people pleasers to behave the way they do.  Identifying what the motivation is for the individual is key to ensuring that the potential of that employee is not lost in the effort and whether their behaviour may be more for personal gain than business productivity.
  • People pleasers often behave the way they do through fear and insecurity in the possibility of losing their role. By pleasing others they may feel that they will be liked and needed by the business, protecting them from their role being compromised.
  • If you channelled the energy that people pleasers spend on pleasing, into tasks that enable them to work to their strengths and give them a sense an opportunity to build a reputation on what they accomplish rather than what they do and say, what difference would that make to your business?

The ‘Accidental’ Leader

Have you got team members who have become accidental leaders? The role they are engaged in is not a leadership role but due to the team dynamics, they have had to stand up and take the lead, or maybe they were appointed into a leadership role but it is not their strength?

  • How can you identify who you natural leaders are, and when you do, how can you create an environment where they can lead, creating a more efficient and effective workplace?
  • Role misalignment can see accidental leaders thrust into an environment with an expectation that they are not engaged to perform.  How do you recognize natural leaders and appointed leaders who are misaligned?  When you do, how do you approach the dynamic of the workplace to take advantage of these leaders skills? Consider that working with these leaders strengths may alter or enhance culture with increased productivity and profitability.

The Quiet Achiever

The quiet achiever comes in, puts their head down and gets on with the task at hand.  Often this silent force pushes through workloads that others avoid, without complaint.

  • Is your visibility of the quiet achiever low?  Are you aware of what they have to offer, and if you are not what is your business missing out on?
  • Are your quiet achievers working to their capacity or just pushing through a workload?  Think about how you can start to introduce incentivization for these people to encourage them to challenge themselves and how you will do this.
  • Do your quiet achievers pick up the slack for other team members who may be taking advantage of their goodwill?  If you change how you measure the performance of your team and focus on their strengths to introduce key performance indicators, will this identify gaps in performance and open up opportunities?

The Whinger

Have you got team members who are never satisfied, never happy and always complaining no matter what you do for them?

  • People often whinge because whining about something is often easier than working to fix problems.  You need to discover why this behaviour keeps occurring to be able to establish a new purpose for these employees and to give them a reason why they would want to change their behaviour.
  • Is there a real reason for the whining that is being caused by the work environment that can be addressed rather than being dismissed?
  • Are their triggers that set off the whining, and if so what are that triggers, and what chain of reactions do these triggers put into motion?  Often taking the time to understand why people believe they need to behave a certain way is a great investment in discovering what motivates and what demotivates individuals and your team.

The Clock Watcher

The clock watcher’s timesheets are regimented and this is reflected in when they arrive at work and when they leave on time every day.  The clock watchers in your team may also be the ones who come in on time and then proceed to make their breakfast or socialize, procrastinating before they start work.

  • Why is your clock watcher disengaged? If they are bored and unhappy is it because their role does not challenge them, or are they only there to collect the weekly pay?
  • Clock watching is not only negative for the business but also impacts on the employee and the team collectively, with productivity suffering and everyone is affected. How can you help these employees to re-engage and take ownership of what they contribute?
  • Enriching the clock watchers job and time managing the activities may shine a light on their strengths and weaknesses, helping you support these employees and improve and enable their level of job satisfaction and value of the contribution they make to the business.

The ‘Big Picture’ Person

When it comes to getting things done it may be a challenge for the ‘big picture’ employee. They can see what needs to happen and inspire others to help them understand how this will happen but they may struggle to focus on making it happen.

  • The big picture person is important to encourage the team to work to achieve long-term goals and projects incrementally.  If you have a balance on your team with members who enjoy detail and process, these people will align well with the big picture person.  Who is on your team and is the mix right?
  • How can you embrace the vision of the big picture person to know where the business direction is going at an operational level? If you do this how will this make the employee feel, and what difference will that make to their level of engagement?
  • Often the big picture person is seen as a dreamer and not a doer. Finding the right vehicles for the big picture person to dream and deliver may help your business continue to gain momentum.  Is this important to help your business remain relevant and provide more insight for other employees?

The Manipulator

The manipulator is often the employee who feels that they have to position other team members by any means to make them look good.  This can be harmless or they can be very destructive.

  • If you have identified a manipulator the default is often to discipline them or spend time putting out fires they have started.  What if you looked at how they are manipulating to identify what they are trying to achieve by doing this?
  • If the manipulator is trying to make themselves look like a hero, how can you give them ownership of a task or project or offer them professional learning to teach them how to do this without creating collateral damage.
  • Often the manipulator’s behaviour is a cry for help.  They are feeling insecure or incompetent and this makes them fearful of their longevity and value to the business.  They often do not understand that they are being destructive or causing the behaviour that they do and may be horrified to think that this is what they are known for.  Showing the manipulator how to demonstrate value, how that is measured and rewarded is a learning process that can realign what once was a challenging employee into a champion employee.

The Follower

The follower just wants to be told what to do, how to do it and get on with doing it.

A follower can become stuck in a rut with little thought or attention to detail when they go through the motions to get the job done.  What if you changed some of the tasks or the ways they were to be done and supported this with training and guidance?

  • Often followers are motivated by basic safety needs and not by incentives and rewards.  Reframing their roles to expand what they do may challenge this. If you leverage the strengths and apply them to new job duties they may respond positively because they see themselves as team players. This will only work if they believe you are not trying to take them away from where they know they are capable. This process, if successful, reinforces their roles rather than changes them in their eyes.
  • How often do you see too many followers and inadequate leadership in teams?  When this happens you have a ‘pack mentality’ that is not conducive to productivity or profitability. If you identify the strengths of all your team members could this help you to change this dynamic?
  • Followers need guidelines or they operate by habit.  Is your business structured to facilitate this or do your team members just operate as they see best?

The Bully

These team members are your human resource nightmare.  This type of employee has the potential to create staff complaint or churn.

  • The typical reaction to a bully is negative and often this may just reinforce the bully to keep doing what they are doing. Likewise, calling them on that behaviour could also create a challenge.  Find out why this behaviour is happening in a non-confrontational way and you might find what pieces are missing that is causing this so you can remediate.
  • A bully often behaves this way because they feel inadequate and they are trying to compensate for what they are lacking.  Find out what is lacking and you may be on the way to defusing that behaviour,
  • Bullies often push to get their own way to validate how they think and how they behave.  Creating a collaborative work environment that is KPI’d on both individual and group efforts may help the bully to conform to achieve outcomes or be seen as the problem if they don’t.

The Innovator

Every team needs innovators to shift thinking from delivering services and products to delivering solutions.

  • Innovators are only an asset to a team when they are given the space and opportunity to discover and innovate.  How will you support this?
  • Innovators need to be measured to ensure that they focus on what the business needs to achieve.  How will you measure your innovators’ input and contribution to solutions and team performance?
  • Innovation can detract from the core business.  How can you structure your team aims and objectives to keep that focus while embracing innovation to remain relevant and competitive?

The Attention Seeker

Everyone likes attention but some employees seek it more than others.  These people can consume time and resource if left unchecked.

  • Why is your attention seekers attention seeking?  Are they looking for acknowledgement or recognition, and if so, why?
  • When you identify what the attention seeker’s motivation is you are able to understand what they need to perform effectively without feeling the need to find reassurance and reinforcement.
  • Rewarding autonomy and initiative may assist to reaffirm worth and value for the attention seeker.  This may work so long as that recognition is visible, and positions them as important in the team environment.

The Social Butterfly

Some employees see the workplace as a social environment.  Although it is good to create healthy relationships in the workplace balance is key.

  • What does the social butterfly want from the workplace?  Are they lonely, have low self-esteem or see their workmates as their friends first and foremost?  Workplaces can satisfy the need to belong, but it is important to nurture a culture where an employee feels they belong and are accepted, but are focussed on delivering what the business needs.  How will you elevate the social butterfly from someone who is perceived as someone who spends too much time around the water cooler, to one who is recognized as a productive and valued team member?
  • Harness the social butterflies talents!  Maybe they can run the social club or coordinate events?
  • Tightening the parameters around time management with performance measurement is another option, shining the light on what is really getting done.

The Reclusive

When an employee feels confronted or intimidated they may become reclusive and go within themselves.

Finding out why your team member is reclusive is the first step to understanding how to change that circumstance.

Being reclusive does not have to mean being unproductive, however, you need to be able to have transparency as to what these team members are actually doing.  If this assessment shows a strong work ethic it may not indicate any overarching challenges that exist but may indicate a person who prefers to work this way.

Respecting the reclusive team member is important, regardless of why they are reclusive, as this suggests that this is their natural default behaviour or by circumstance, they behave this way.  Tread carefully to encourage these team members to have a voice and you may learn a lot from what they have to say.

The Imposter

These team members often get promoted or secure a role without really having the qualifications or experience to perform in that role.

  • Imposters spend their time trying not to get found out.  Symptoms of this are poor performance, delegation and micromanagement.  Treating those symptoms may mean professional learning and mentoring or realignment of their roles. Be careful not to treat only the symptoms.  Focus on true change management.
  • The longer an imposter goes unchecked the more they are likely to impact the productivity of the team performance.  Regular team health checks are important.
  • An imposter will have more impact the higher their level of responsibility.  When you look at your team do you see an imposter impeding decision making and actions?  If so, how will you address this?

Team ‘awesome’ is a work in progress!

Profiling your people and making them feel supported as you go through this process will build trust and confidence and allay fears.

This is not about changing the job description but rather changing the job design. Emphasise and measure the strength and offset the impact of weaknesses by enabling other team members who demonstrate that those weaknesses are their strengths to align the team dynamic to compliment.

 

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10+ Leadership Language Styles: What Are You Communicating As A Leader?

The leadership language styles you choose to adopt set the tone and expectation for your employees to follow.

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How are you communicating and what impact is your leadership language style having on the employees you lead?

Where do you sit on the Leadership Performance Spectrum, and how can you improve the language you use as a leader to communicate?

10+ Leadership Language Styles to Explore

Verbal

‘Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.’

Not always true…

As a leader, you are often judged by what you say and if your words are misunderstood or misinterpreted they may become ‘mud’ that inevitably has a way of sticking.

How you choose to articulate your leadership has the ability to define or destroy you as a leader.

Think before you speak, and speak only after careful deliberation, and with a full understanding of the meaning and impact of your words.

Visual

The visual language you communicate, as a leader, sets a precedent for not only what your employees believe now, but also what they will continue to expect from you as a leader.

What your employees see, establishes a strong association with what they believe.

Virtual

The language you communicate virtually, through various channels, and on different platforms, tells the story of your leadership approach and gives insight into your emotional intelligence.

Your virtual footprint as a leader, gives you a voice to narrate and  accentuate how you want to be seen as a leader

How you choose to position yourself will leave an impression and will impact how you are perceived as a leader, whether that be real or imagined.

Written

The way you craft your words can have different meanings for different employees.

Investing your time to understand how to harness the power of the written word as a leadership language tool can only enhance the power and potential of your leadership and its reach.

Recognizing and realizing what you write as a successful leadership language tool may create an opportunity to establish influence and authority, by demonstrating knowledge and experience.

Contextual

The way you speak, your tone, words and the messages you are delivering, should be contextual with your goals, objectives, and actions.

The employees you lead and the market you operate in, will become confused and disillusioned if the way you behave and the actions you take do not align with what you say you are going to do.

Collaborative

Adopting collaboration as a native leadership language enables you, as a leader, to align yourself with others who have strengths that you do not possess.

This allows you to focus on what you do best.

Collaboration gives you an opportunity to showcase your strengths as a leader, rather than your weaknesses.

Body

Your body talks louder than your subconscious self is aware. The story your body language tells others is often more revealing than any words you say.

Becoming aware of your body language as a leader is an important tool to present yourself as an open and transparent leader who listens, and encourages engagement and interaction.

Your body language can mean the difference between you, as a leader, being seen as approachable or unapproachable.

Tactile

In today’s world, it may seem strange to suggest being tactile as a leadership language tool.  The interpretation of the term may appear to be politically incorrect, however, in the context of the task that the employee undertakes, rather than the employee themselves, being tactile takes on a completely different meaning and context.

A leader who engages in a task that an employee is expected to do demonstrates that he, or she, is prepared to be a hands-on, involved leader who wants to understand and relate to what they expect from their employee.

Behavioural

Consistency and calmness communicate strength and decisiveness as a leader.

Your behavioural leadership language style has the power to communicate in a way that is conducive to creating trust and sincerity.

This positions you, as a leader, to gain consensus to accelerate progress, momentum, and productivity.

Knowledge

Demonstrating that you, as a leader, have deep knowledge and what you are asking for, or expecting from your employees is understood, establishes a belief system in your employees.

As a leader, if you want your employees to follow you it helps the employee if they can see you understand, can influence, and have authority when you communicate.

Experience

Innovation and ideation can often be seen as interruption if your employees believe you do not have the experience to make things happen.

Experience echoes in your language and the way you choose to communicate can amplify this in what you communicate.

If that message fails to convince, confirm or convey your experience the consequences can negatively impact what you are trying to achieve.

 

Your leadership language style of choice can easily become your leadership DNA by default.

What is your leadership language style, what story are you telling, and is that a true reflection of you, as a leader?

 

 

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If It Ain’t Broke … Innovate It ~ 15 Reasons Why You Should

The old saying ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ was a famous catch cry of yesteryear. Unfortunately many still live by it.  What if they were to replace ‘don’t fix it’ with ‘innovate it’?

Innovate

Change is often seen as difficult, confronting and easier to avoid, rather than embrace

15 Reasons Why You Should Innovate

Competitiveness

The world as we know it is becoming increasingly more competitive. The way people are now looking at solving problems and the way they are delivering solutions is becoming more attractive for customers to try different options.

If your business is not in a position to compete, you may not lead, win, place or even be in the running for your customer’s loyalty or dollar.

Training your people and business to be competitive is like training an athlete for a marathon.  You must plan how you will run the course, develop a strategy to overcome obstacles, and understand your competitors to know how to position yourself to take advantage, and gain market share as you run the race.

Relevancy

Do you remember when you used to buy something that you now refer to as a ‘so yesterday’ way of doing something?  At the time you probably thought you would never do without it, and it was the only way to solve your problem.  That was until someone came up with a smarter way of solving your problem and now you would never do it the old way again.

Can your business afford to be seen as irrelevant in the way you solve one or more problems? How can you think differently to solve other problems, or solve the current problem you are already solving differently, for existing and new consumers?

Opportunity

If you open your eyes and assess the market you play in, and consider other markets that have adopted innovative approaches that may bring opportunity for your market, what do you see?

Being aware and open to change and the opportunity it can bring seems to be common sense, however, many still choose complacency and fear that opening the door to opportunity may create more problems than it solves.

What are you doing in your business to discover opportunity, and when you do discover it, what are you doing with that knowledge, how are you applying it, and where can it lead your business?

Viability

At first glance the word viability might seem odd when referring to an established business, however, it is a crucial word to consider.  Your business’ viability is only as robust as your business mindset.  If you encourage or allow complacency or cost-cutting as your primary option to remain viable, you are setting your business up for performance to decline.

Is your business mindset one that focusses on growth and expansion rather than cost-cutting and contraction to solve challenges caused by the changing market you operate in?  Balance is important, but it is how you think about this question that determines the direction of your business.

Diversification

Do you have only one revenue stream that powers your business? One speed revenue models can limit business potential and will create vulnerability in operational capability, capacity and stability.

If that revenue stream diminishes or dries up how will your business survive?  How can you diversify what you offer to solve your existing, and new customer problems?

If you tap into how you can innovate your products and services to diversify what you offer your customers, how will this create an opportunity for your business?

Collaboration

You know you can’t do everything yourself, but despite this, more often than not, we continue to try to deliver solutions that are better done by someone else.

  • How does your business collaborate with other businesses, individuals and organisations?
  • What have you learnt, and continue to learn, from these relationships?
  • What value does your network offer, and how does this benefit your business and those you work with?
  • How do you collaborate to accentuate the strengths of both parties to innovate and create?

Redundancy

The fear factor of the possibility of redundancy of a business in a marketplace is often hidden under a blanket of ignorance.  Ignorance to the fact that unless the business chooses to evolve and innovate, it will rapidly lose worth in the eyes of the customer, and risk becoming redundant.

What do you do in your business to ensure that you will not become an ‘industry dinosaur’?

Scalability

To be able to scale, your business needs a strategy to guide you.  That strategy must be agile and intuitive to change and embrace innovation to enable success.

Understanding your customer, who they are, what they want, how they want to be communicated with, and where they want to engage and interact, must underpin your business strategy.

Are you building a customer-centric business strategy that demonstrates your plan to scale? If so, what framework and benchmarks are in place to measure that journey and accelerate that growth in a timely manner?

Responsiveness

Customers like to be seen, heard and feel important.  We should now consider replacing the old saying ‘Content is King’ with a new saying, ‘Customer is King’.

The reality is that without your customers you do not have a business

If your customers do not feel like you are hearing them, or they feel like they are invisible to your business, they will react by not engaging with your business.

How do you talk to your customers and where do you engage and interact with them?  Is this by your design or theirs?

When you deliver your products or services to your customer they will judge you on how responsive you are to them, and how you make them feel.  Investing in finding out how your customer thinks, and responding accordingly, tells your customer you are putting them first.

Intuitivity

When your business plans how you deliver your products or services do you do you think like your customers think?

This question is an important one to ask if you haven’t done so already.  Creating an intuitive customer journey for each of your customer types communicates to your customers that you have recognized, acknowledged and are delivering what they want.  When done well this creates ‘customer utopia’.

Investment

Do you have an exit strategy and why is this important?  An exit or/and an acquisition strategy helps communicate growth and innovation for investment.  Cash injection through investment is a necessary tool to innovate and scale, to establish an attractive investment opportunity to make acquisitions, to diversify or expand or to innovate, nurture and grow to scale and exit.

How attractive is your business to investors?  What does the evolution of your business look like and how are you planning to make this happen?

Capability

What are your capability gaps?  Like your regular doctor check-ups, analysing your business capabilities gives your business a health check and insight into where your business needs attention and where your offering is not being optimized for your customers.

This process also identifies where you can identify trends and innovate to increase not only capability but also capacity, to solve problems that you may not have realised needed solving.

When did your business last make an appointment for a business check-up to discover how healthy your business really is?

Culture

Culture can make or break a business’ ability to reach its potential.  The challenge is always to bring your people along on the journey with you.

Traditionally we create top-down hierarchies which may only serve to create divisions and disconnect.  Consider flatter hierarchies based on operational competencies and strengths that are measurable. This can enable you to innovate with agility.

Do you structure your work environment to create open communication, transparency, collaboration, engagement and ownership of tasks and processes?  What yardsticks do you use to measure performance based on responsibility and accountability?

By structuring your teams to become empowered, and not just to engage, you are able to create an environment that is collaborative and conducive to setting goals and achieving outcomes.

Appeal

We live in a world of lots of bright and shiny things that capture people’s attention and imagination.

How do you inspire, excite, shock and delight your customers?

If you are creating an experience that your customers will enjoy, remember and share, then you are building brand engagement and evangelism.

To continue to enjoy this relationship with your customers you must innovate.  Immediacy demands innovation, to not only get the attention of existing and new customers but to convert that attention into a relationship that is reciprocal, and satisfies the needs of both your customer and your business.

Sustainability

Business is facing becoming more transient than it ever has before.  To remain in the game your business needs to determine how to sustain existing customer patronage and understand how to entice new customers to come on board to grow your business.

To do this you need to have a business strategy that has sustainability at its core.  This simply means that you need to build a foundation that is true and pivot off this proactively to innovate and behave in an agile manner, to take advantage of change, trends and opportunity.

If it ain’t broke… break it and put it back together differently.

Chances are what you will find is that doing business in different ways may bring better and more measurable results than the way you have always done business before.

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Walk A Mile in Your Customer’s Shoes

Your customer’s experiences determine if they will choose your business’ products or services or your competitors.

Doesn’t it make sense that you should look at how you position what you offer through your customer’s eyes?

A customer-led rather than a customer-centric strategy will see a significant increase in your customer conversions.

Walk in your customer’s shoes to better understand how to align your business with theirs.

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Your customer’s lens may be focused on …

Security

  • Is your business’ data secure?
  • What should I do to risk mitigate my business’ exposure to hackers?
  • How do I filter my data to protect my business and stakeholders?
  • What is recommended to ensure that my e-commerce shopfront is secure?

Risk

  • How can I mitigate risk as my business undergoes changes?
  • What steps do I take to measure risk in investment to grow my business or diversify into new business ventures?
  • How do I minimize the risk of redundancy in the skill set of my employees?
  • What do I do to limit my business’ exposure to disruption?

Profitability

  • How do I structure my business to reduce cost and increase profitability without compromising my brand?
  • With industries becoming more competitive on pricing how do I maintain margins?
  • How do I ensure that my cash flow is consistent and growing?
  • With markets changing how do I position my business to not just maintain but grow market share?
  • How do I establish my brand without compromising on what I charge to engage with my product or services?

Agility

  • How do I change the way I do business to be more proactive and responsive?
  • What will agility do for my business that makes it important?
  • How can I compete with start-ups and online competitors when I am an established business?
  • How do I communicate to the people in our business that agility is important to gain consensus?

Viability

  • I am concerned that if we introduce too much change too fast we may derail what we do best now?
  • The business is not delivering the bottom line it should now so how can changing how we do things improve this?
  • The industry I am in is changing so fast how do I remain competitive?

Ability

  • My people know what they know and I am unsure if they are equipped to work in a digitally driven environment.
  • How do I know who are the people in my business that will lead change?
  • My people are loyal and want my business to succeed. Will this enthusiasm and motivation overcome any gaps in their abilities?
  • How do I educate my people when I don’t understand what I need to do?
  • When recruiting new people how do I and the right people for the right roles to align with where I have gaps in experience and ability?

Resistance

  • The people in my business are mixed in their response to change in the business with the longer serving employees resistant to change. How do you change that without getting push back?
  • I have provided training for new processes and programs but a lot of my people default to doing things the way they always have. How do you overcome that?
  • Do I need to restructure the business and let the people go in the business that are resistant to change?
  • If I let the people go in the business that will not embrace the direction we are taking they will leave with an enormous amount of knowledge and experience in my business. How do I transfer that knowledge so it is not lost?

Priority

  • I have a lot going on in my business right now and I know I need to look at new opportunities and bodies of work but there are only so many hours in each day. Why should I prioritize digital transformation and how?
  • My people are already overworked and KPI’d on what is already on their plates. I can’t possibly ask them to do more without them pushing back.
  • How do I justify prioritizing changing my business model when we need to spend so much time running the business?
  • What is the best way to communicate the benefits of transforming my business to stakeholders to get buy in from the right people?

Scalability

  • I want to introduce new products and services to scale my business but don’t know how?
  • Is scale about a geographic footprint or are we talking about introducing automation to scale the business and if so what does that mean and how much does that cost?
  • How do I scale my business without taking on enormous overheads that I cannot afford?
  • Why would I want to have the ability to scale when my business is profitable as it is now?
  • How do I communicate and market my business to scale quickly?

Sustainability

  • What steps do I take to better understand if my business is sustainable now?
  • How do I disrupt my business to set myself apart from my competitors and create longevity?
  • I don’t see how I can future proof my business so why would I invest in strategies that may be redundant due to the changing environment of the industry I work in?

The 10 reasons given in this blog are only scratching the surface.

The key to engaging customer’s to embark on a journey of digital change and transformation is to listen to what they have to say. If you take the time to listen to what your customers are saying you will hear the pain points they are trying to communicate.  This will enable you to propose approaches and solutions that will resonate with your customer and create an environment of trust and understanding.

When you make the effort to speak the same language as your customers, listen and empathize with their pain points and are able to take what you have learnt and interpret that contextually your ability to engage and convert your customers rises exponentially.

 

 

 

Originally posted 2016-08-22 08:57:12.

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People Make or Break Digital Transformation

Building a smarter business starts with your business’ employees. This is where digital transformation must begin. A sustainable business model must, at its foundation, ensure that the right people are aligned with the right roles.

 

people

The  digital maturity of the people that make up your business matters. This will determine your business’ success when your business is faced with change and disruption.

Traditional approach to employee alignment

  • Delegation
  • Training
  • Deployment
  • Secondment

Digital approach to employee alignment

  • Assessing digital maturity
  • Alignment of employees to the right roles and responsibilities

Contributors to successful employee alignment

  • How and what your employees communicate,
  • Your employee’s behaviour, approach and willingness to adapt and learn
  • When recruiting employ the right employees and ensure that they are aligned to the right roles and responsibilities.

This will make the real difference and have the biggest impact on success across the business.

Which employee types do you recognize?

The ‘Elastic’ Employee

PROS

  • They are flexible and as a result embrace new opportunities and projects
  • ‘Elastic’ employees always have their hands up to take on a new challenge and  lead new ventures.
  • They will ‘bend and stretch’ in many directions and they are almost always resilient
  • When you need to get something done ‘elastic’ employees are your ‘go to’ people
CONS
  • ‘Elastic’ employees get increasingly frustrated by ‘plastic’ and ‘jigsaw’ employees.
  • The need  of the ‘elastic’ employee to get things done can create friction in the workplace.
  • ‘Plastic’ and ‘jigsaw’ employee will push back  when the lead of the ‘elastic’ employee is seen as too demanding
  • Will become disenchanted if he/she does not have the emotional intelligence to lead the ‘plastic’ and ‘jigsaw’ employee to gain their trust and confidence.

The ’Plastic’ Employee

PROS
  • The ‘plastic’ employee has been moulded by the culture of the business.
  • They are dependable, consistent and you can trust them to follow the company line.
  • The ‘plastic’ employee is dedicated and rote in the way they conduct themselves.
  • They thrive in a consistent environment that follows processes and procedures to the letter.
CONS
  • The pros of the ‘plastic’ employee will likely become cons very quickly when the business is disrupted or embarks on a digital transformation journey.
  • The sturdy, dependable ‘plastic’ employee will therefore push back on initiatives if they require them to adopt new ways of doing things.
  • If the business has ‘plastic’ employees predominantly in senior management roles the business will consequently struggle to be nimble and agile.

The ‘Jigsaw’ Employee

PROS
  • The ‘jigsaw’ employee is trained by the business for the business.
  • This employee is usually a long time employee.
  • They are an employee that has been either trained by the company or one that has been in the industry all their working life.
  • This employee knows the way it has to be done and as a result does their job well.
  • The experience and competency they bring to the business is especially relevant.
  • They are dependable and their performance is consequently consistent.
  • When a ‘jigsaw’ employee is placed in the right role in the right business unit they are seen as team players.
  • The ‘jigsaw’ employee is usually liked and respected by their peers.
  • They are comfortable in their own skin and most of all are non-threatening.
CONS
  • When change is experienced in a business the ‘jigsaw’ employee will either be resistant or avoid it.
  • The ‘jigsaw’ employee in the same role in the same business division will not evolve because this will reinforce the behaviour you are trying to change.
  • If the ‘jigsaw’ employee feels that change will move the parameter of where they see their skill set and experience their performance will almost always decline.
  • A ‘jigsaw’ employee will quickly become the piece that does not fit when they are expected to do things that as a result will take them out of their comfort zone.
  • The ‘jigsaw’ employee that was once well liked, consistent and experienced, while still valuable, now seems like they are uncooperative.
  • They are also probably more likely to default to ‘doing things the way they have always been done’.
  • The ‘jigsaw’ employee would rather shy away from embracing new ways of achieving outcomes for the business when faced with change..

Invest in your employees first! Value and recognize their importance and relevance as the key to unlocking your business’ success in digital transformation.

Why people make or break digital transformation

  • Your employees are especially relevant as they are the lifeblood of your business and technology is the enabler.
  • If you do not transform your employees your digital transformation journey will almost certainly be flawed and may stall.
  • The secret is to identify your ‘elastic’, ‘plastic’ and ‘jigsaw’ employees as your first step in your digital transformation journey.
  • The next step is to recognize where they add value, where they don’t and how they can or can’t contribute to your changing business model.
    .

Originally posted 2016-08-17 17:42:49.

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3 Reasons Motivation Does Not Work

Motivation is something you have been told is the key to success and the way you get stuff done. The truth is motivation can help, but if you depend on it to deliver your success you are setting yourself up to fail.

motivation

3 Reasons Motivation Does Not Work

Life keeps happening

It doesn’t matter how much you try to motivate yourself life keeps happening.  Life does not always support motivation. When things get tough we often tend to behave the way we have always behaved, rather than to stay focused and motivated.

Sometimes you just have to get out of bed and put both feet on the ground and then take put one foot after the other to get things done.

Habits are hard to break

A psychology study was conducted and published in the European Journal of Social Psychology.  

This study concluded that it can take up to 66 days or more to establish a new habit.  When establishing a new habit you are inevitably replacing an old habit. The timeline to achieve this is a dual dynamic that runs on a parallel timeline.

Expecting yourself to stay motivated while breaking an old habit and forming a replacement habit will take an extraordinary effort and will test your fortitude.

Mindset matters more

How you choose to think will either expand or contract your visibility and ability to reach your potential.

Motivation reflects the way you ‘feel’ … Mindset reflects the way you ‘think’

Both impact the way you act, however, your ‘thinking’ has more impetus and momentum than the way you ‘feel’ in the moment.  This directly affects the viability and sustainability of your initiatives, wherever you seek to change or want to achieve.

There is no doubt that motivation can empower you to achieve success.

Motivation can be a powerful accelerant for enthusiasm and commitment.

motivation

The question you need to ask yourself is…

When the ‘motivation’ light that shone so brightly, in the beginning, begins to dim, will you still have the determination to push through or will you lose focus on what you set out to achieve?

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6 Indicators of Business Culture Shock

What are the clear indicators that your business is suffering from ‘culture shock’?

Change is constant and disruption inevitable in today’s business climate. You really should’t be surprised that, with the pace of change, it is almost certain that the employees in your business are more than likely to be suffering from some form of ‘culture shock’.

If you understand what the indicators of ‘culture shock’ are then you are better able to align your employees and give them the tools and skills they will need to engage and embrace change and innovation

indicators

6 Indicators Your Business is Suffering from Culture Shock

1/ Denial

Behaviours may include:-

  • Making excuses rather than embracing solutions to avoid change and doing things differently.  This is also commonly seen as ’employees choosing to believe that change comes and goes and will pass if you choose not to acknowledge it’
  • Avoiding discussing changes that may effect the status quo of their role or the business’ operations.
2/ Fear

Behaviours may include:-

  • Too busy doing the job to have time to consider other options that may be better for the business.
  • Employing or surrounding themselves with people like themselves to avoid confrontation and change in the way things are done.
3/ Ignorance

Behaviours may include:-

  • Default activity is always toward traditional process with no interest in new ways of doing things.
  • Lack of interest and engagement in educational and training activities that are offered or may be an opportunity for them to upskill.
4/ Defiance

Behaviours may include:-

  1. Opening disagreeing or questioning the validity of suggested initiatives because challenging an initiative suggests that the employee may stall or delay change.
  2. “This is the way we have always done business” is their ‘catch cry’ and they don’t want to be convinced that this should be changed. This can be due to either fear or denial.
5/ Acceptance

Behaviours may include:-

  • Compliant but passive in the implementation of change management initiatives.
  • Saying ‘yes’ without understanding why a task should be performed just because it is easier to agree.
  • The motivation for their behaviour is always to first and foremost protect their jobs as their top priority.
  • Believing that they can’t change or have any control of what is happening around them.
6/ Control

Behaviours may include:-

  • Talking with authority and knowledge on subject matter where they have not had any expertise.
  • Unwillingness to collaborate with others to make change happen.
  • Creating silos or teams that are isolated from the core business because they believe what they are doing is the right way to do things.

Developing your employees is always more important than developing your technology.  That is simply because the technology alone cannot transform your business.

Your employees will not engage because you train them to do a task.  Your employees will engage when they understand, embrace, take ownership and engage in the process of change.

You must first ask yourself how digitally mature are your employees?

What are their credentials to enable them to be capable to perform the tasks and roles that you are expecting them to?

Technology is the toolkit. It is your people who are the facilitators of  your business’ change and innovation.  Take the time to get to know what your employee’s digital capabilities and readiness is.

 

 

Originally posted 2016-05-07 11:25:09.

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Culture Shift: People vs Change

Digital transformation has become the ‘catch phrase’ of 2016.  Smart businesses now recognize that their business model needs to transform to remain relevant. Smart businesses also know their employees must embrace change. To achieve success with digital transformation a business must first of all achieve a sustainable culture shift.

How do you effect culture change?

….be ‘BRAVE’

culture

Brainstorming

Engage your employees from the ‘ground up’ in brainstorming sessions.

This will encourage the following behaviours:

  • ownership
  • engagement
  • ideation

 

This will unlock opportunities for your business to:

  • Recognize and acknowledge that the perspective of each employees will differ.
  • Understand how your employees see your business.
  • Acknowledge that his will determine how they will want to interact with your business.
  • Accept that this is where they see the business now and in the future.

The following outcomes will be:

  • What your employees envisage will illustrate how much they want to engage with your business.
  • It will also measure how much ownership they want to take of your business’ culture and direction.
  • This process is especially relevant as it will start to identify who your business’ change agents are.

Responsibility

Your business needs to take the following steps:

Your business needs to learn to ask the following question every time a decision is made in the business :

“How can digital make this more effective and efficient”.

Authentication

Engage with your employees by:

  • Listening to your employees and learning how and what they think.
  • Recognizing and acknowledging their ideas as worthwhile.
  • Authenticating your employee’ ideas through discussion and submission forums for consideration to establish engagement.
  • Validating the authentication of your employees through socialization and other communication opportunities.

Validation

Bookmarks to achieve employee validation:

  • Validate what your employees have to say. They want to be heard.
  • Show interest and engagement to let your employees know that what they think matters.
  • Validation is what motivates and inspires your employees.

‘What matters’ to you employees

If you become mindful of your employees need for validation you will start to elevate ‘what matters’ to your employees.

Emotional intelligence

To make the above steps work and to lead a successful digital transformation you need to have a high emotional intelligence.

To successfully drive change you need to

  • Understand the impact it will have on your employees.
  • Be conscious of your own emotional responses and reactions.
  • Realize that your behaviour sets the tone for the workplace.
  • Understand that your employees will respond to you if you show them empathy and acknowledge the value they bring to the business.
  • Recognize that having a blind expectation that your employees will perform based on what their job description says you will always disappoint.
…. have ‘RESOLVE’

culture

Reward

The human condition is motivated by reward.

You need to ask yourself…

  • Why your employees would want to get involved in your agenda for digital transformation?
  • What is in it for them?

Your business needs to…

Determine key performance indicators (KPI’s) and provide incentives for identified ‘digital’ champions to motivate them to lead. Reward your ‘digital’ champion performance.

Those rewards could be…

  • opportunity
  • promotion
  • responsibility
  • education
  • training
  • equity
  • ownership
  • remuneration
  • other ideas!!

Educate

  • Continue to educate to empower your employees.
  • Embrace knowledge as a way to offset concerns your employees may have.
  • Recognize that your employees have different learning styles.
  • Deliver omni-channel training and learning experiences that are visual, written, audio and interactive
  • Accelerate a culture of acceptance and understanding to tolerate failure as a step towards learning

Socialize

  • Silos insulate employees from what the business is doing and thinking.
  • Introducing socialization channels and opportunities will create discussion and debate. This will generate conversation.
  • Expose your employees to hearing and seeing how other employees and departments think and interact  around change and they will be less likely to be passengers.

Ownership

  • Create momentum by enabling and empowering key employees who will own, champion and lead your digital transformation internally.
  • Acknowledge that a C-Suite-led digital transformation is a foundation but will not successfully transform a business.
  • Empower your employee champions.  If they are given ownership and responsibility they will create momentum for change. This is when you will see the real benefits for the business.

Leadership 

Lead by example! 

  • Employees need to see that you are confident and consistent in your message about how the business’ culture will transform.
  • This will  enable your employees to embrace change.
  • Make your message clear and decisive so your employees know what is expected of them.

Visibility

Create visibility for your employees.  Perception that your business is hiding or holding back information will see your employees put up barriers to change. The result is that your culture will not shift.

Evangelize

  • Your employees are the best advertisement for digital transformation in your business.
  • Your employee evangelists, if well supported, are in the best position to convert  your change averse employees.
  • You can help by making sure your door is always open and you interact with your employees.

How do you continue to encourage culture change?

….you must ‘FACILitATE’ an environment that is conducive to this

culture

 

Flexibility

Flexibility is important because….

  • to be responsive to change your business needs to be flexibile to be responsive to changes that occur in your competitive landscape.
  • your employee churn rate will climb if your business is not flexible to change.
  • today’s employee is looking for businesses that recognize and respect their need for work/life balance.
  • employees like being aligned professionally with progressive companies.  Millennials exemplify this trend.

Agility

Challenge:

Traditional businesses often have legacy systems embedded in their operations that inhibit their ability to be agile.

Solution:

Digital transformation works to make traditional businesses more agile.  This process is usually implemented incrementally as legacy systems can take some time to integrate or eliminate.

Remember …you need to remember that small changes can bring big efficencies.

Communication

Communication is key throughout a digital transformation.  Communicating the what, when, where and who is responsible is integral to your business’ success. How you communicate must always be open and reciprocal.

Incubation

Incubation means…

  • Ability to nurture ideas and innovation
  • Supporting employee initiatives
  • Actively encouraging intrapreneurship

Layers

Businesses traditionally have layers of strategy throughout their business.  These layers of strategy are usually underpinned by a whole-of- business strategy.  The challenge is that these layers can create a disconnection within the business if they are supported and implemented by divisions and departments independent of each other .

Your whole-of-business strategy needs to be customer-centric and  customer-led. Each department or division initiative needs to support this.

The question that must always be asked for each business initiative is:

‘How can digital make this smarter or simpler’.

This approach transcends the traditional layers of the business.

Innovation

The word ‘innovation’ like ‘disruption’ is somewhat overused and often misunderstood.

Innovation does not have to mean something that changes the course of the business.  It can be something that is a ‘tweak’ to the business operations.

The emphasis should always be to make the business more efficient and effective. This can happen with very little change.

Innovation needs to become a mindset.  Everyone needs to ask how can we make this smarter or simpler?

Transparency

A business that is an open book can be very dynamic.  A business that operates openly and collaboratively is more likely to position itself to become a market leader.

Digital transformation can deliver data that will assist with transparency and inform businesses to help them make the right decisions.

Accord

A siloed or segmented business will struggle to survive disruption and change.

Finding accord through customer-centricity within your business and embracing digital to drive this in your business strategy will create common business goals.

This approach will also ensure your employees are aware of what is happening, where the business is headed, and what the business wants to achieve.

Technology

Connected

Ensuring that the platforms and channels you use are connected and communicate fluently across the business is vital to facilitating digital transformation.

Employees

Whether your employees are in a customer service role or an operational role within your business they need to know what is going on and how it impacts the rest of the business.

Embrace

Disruption is inevitable and no industry is exempt.  Embracing digital positions your business to be better prepared.

Disruption and change will occur but rather than be reactive to what other businesses are doing you will be able to be proactive.

You need to ask the following questions.

  • How can new technologies and business initiatives benefit your business?
  • How can you collaborate rather than compete?
  • In which ways can you complement or bring value?

Digitalizing your business with technology without recognizing how the culture of your business will be impacted is foolhardy and shortsighted.

Employees will accelerate business evolution if supported, educated and aligned.

What is your business doing to effect and encourage culture shift?

Originally posted 2016-04-27 14:40:23.

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7 Deadly Sins of Strategies – Are you guilty?

Once upon a time… there were strategies for everything.  While having  a business strategy is often the anchor strategy you may also find a sales strategy, a marketing strategy and now a digital strategy in your business.

Digital strategies and the transformation they drive is evolving business’ from analog to digital.  The journey is fast and furious. As a result of this businesses who choose not to get on board now also risk becoming irrelevant, disrupted or extinct.

strategies

 

Digital must now be core to every part of your business.  Every decision that is made in the business should start with… So how will digital make this ….?

Digital strategies – Are you a sinner or saint?

1/  STRATEGY SIN:  You are business-centric 

Your business offers X products and Y services as a result of perceived customer demand. Naturally, because of this approach, you position your business strategy to continue to improve and deliver these products and services. Your focus is to also deliver these products and services with lower cost and higher returns. Does this sound familiar?

STRATEGY TRANSFORMATION: Become customer-centric 

Your customers determine the success of your business.  Now is the time to audit your business and benchmark how you perform in your industry and against best practices. This process will also help your business to understand what customers want now and in the future. Furthermore if you do the same thing the same way  your should expect to get the same result. In business today you are almost certainly going to get a much lesser result and see diminishing returns. This will also progressively compromise the viability and relevancy of your business.

2/  STRATEGY SIN: Cutting costs to remain competitive

When the going gets tough a lot of businesses would rather cut their costs and bunker down to weather the storm than be proactive. This behaviour closes the eyes of your business  rather than making your business aware of what is happening around you.  It also puts your business in a defensive position and increases your business vulnerability on price point and not on value.  This is a game that your business will almost certainly never win and you will continue to lose market share.

STRATEGY TRANSFORMATION: Invest in your business’ future

There is no doubt that due to the necessity for change and ongoing disruption the interruption of the traditional business model cannot be ignored.  To stay relevant you also need to understand the customer climate and innovate based on qualified and quantitative data.  As a result of this action being taken your business will be empowered to grow and outshine your competition. An investment based on intelligence and visualization is money well spent.

3/  STRATEGY SIN: Being reactive 

Your competitors are changing their business models and embracing technology. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel. If your competition are doing it successfully you assume  it is what the market wants so you invest in a version of what your competitors are doing to remain competitive.  You compete on cost to offer an alternative that is attractive for your customers as an option to your competitors more expensive offering. This will make your competitive….right? Remember when you take this approach are trusting that your competition has made the right decision for you.

STRATEGY TRANSFORMATION: Be proactive 

Being reactive means you are always behaving from what ‘has happened’.  The key words here are ‘has happened’ .  Working in the past tense is disadvantaging your business as you are always trying to mimic or catch up to where you think you should be.  Strategic planning with digital tools at the core of your decision making ‘turns the tables’ and puts you back in the driver’s seat. You are able to introduce indicative and predictive analytics based on market intelligence.

4/  STRATEGY SIN: Culture adverse 

By accepting that the culture in your business does not or will not change you are condemning your business to a bleak future.  Technology is often mistaken as digital transformation where it really is a tool that facilitates it. The true driver is your people and the culture in your business.  Culture will have a bigger impact on your P & L going forward than technology ever will alone.

STRATEGY TRANSFORMATION: Culture shift 

Culture change doesn’t happen overnight and cannot happen without people in your business championing digital transformation and owning it.  When this starts from the C-suite down the momentum starts to swing but the key is identifying, incentifying and rewarding people in your organisation who champions and lead change.  These are the people who will work with their teams to make true digital transformation happen. Invest in resource to bring into your business to educate, facilitate and guide your business.

5/  STRATEGY SIN: Tunnel Vision

Planning a strategy that is projected on what you know or think you know now will be fatal.  The 3 year/5 year strategies that have been the mainstay for legacy businesses as the bible of what they will do next, how they will resource and what they will invest in is now redundant.  Your business vision needs to recognize that business is changing almost before the ink dries on the bound print strategy on your desk.  Today’s business strategy is a living and breathing document that must be agile to respond to change as it occurs.

STRATEGY TRANSFORMATION: Peripheral Vision  

You must look outside of the centre of your focus to be able to see what is happening in your industry and even in other industries that may disrupt or change the course of yours.  Smart and agile startups that are only interested in giving your customers what they want, where and when they want it should be on your radar. The strategies start-ups work from are agile and living.  They make changes to their strategies that reflect what the customer is saying and are responsive to change. This enables them to deliver immediacy and satisfaction.

6/  STRATEGY SIN: Competing with yourself

Silos are nothing new in business and silos competing for budget dollar in a business isn’t new either. This annual push and shove for the budget business dollar dilutes the power of the business to perform in an agile manner.  If department A is competing with department B to achieve their independent objectives you have to ask these questions.

  • What is happening to the companies goals of achieving their objectives?
  • Is the business being obsured by  internal politics and is this overriding what is important to the business holistically?

STRATEGY TRANSFORMATION: Making yourself competitive

Your business needs to establish strategies that are customer led and are driven by digital at their core.

  • How can you better manage your business by embracing digital?
  • Who should own digital in your business to drive this?

You need to hold digital accountable for this!  Digital should touch and impact every part of your business model and your business operations (yes your people). Technology is critical to make this happen.  This will arm your business to be ready to compete with disruption, change and challenges. Your business will evolve to become a smart and innovative digital leader.

7/  STRATEGY SIN: Set and forget

Does this sound familiar?

Your business strategy has consumed your business time and resources. You have ensured that you have addressed everything you need to and it has been documented ready for board approval.  The presentation goes well and the strategy is approved. Beautifully bound volumes of your business strategy are sent to key stakeholders across the business….then what?

Meetings follow and key elements of the strategy are implemented.  The challenge is that a lot of what is written on those pages is left sitting on desks.  It is highly likely as time passes that they will gather dust and be overlooked or simply ignored. This could be due to the either the challenges of the day-to-day running of the business or lack of time rather than intent.

STRATEGY TRANSFORMATION: Making it happen iteratively

Strategies need to be informed before they can be determined and your current and prospective customers should be the authors of your strategy.  Once you learn what your customers and stakeholders need and want you have qualified data that illustrates direction and enables smart decision making.

  • What if your business could have a strategy that was licensed to be implemented iteratively and incrementally? This would effectively take the strategy off those pages and deliver quick wins as it is implemented.
  • What if these wins could offset cost, reduce resources, improve sales and be measured by other benchmarks to grow the business.

This would justify investment and also empower your business to change course as your customers needs and wants change. This would give your business the competitive advantage you need. This is how true digital transformation works.

Please feel free to add other strategy sins that are not listed here and their remedies!  How we behave as businesses has never made us more vulnerable than we are now.

Your business  can not afford to invest in a digital transformation.

No business is exempt from change and everything you hear and see suggests that this is only the beginning.

Originally posted 2016-04-10 15:20:28.

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Help! My Business Culture is Broken

Business must become agile and nimble and be responsive and proactive to change. To be successful they must also be conscious and accountable for the impact change imposes on their employees.

business culture

The inevitable casualty of change is the business culture.  Business that introduce technology innovation without giving consideration to employee role alignment and capability are doing themselves a disservice. They are also setting themselves up for failure.

Business that choose to ignore or dismiss employee discomfort and resistance to change will feel the impact through social media and employee review platforms like glassdoor.com and seek.com.au…just to name a few.

The accelerated growth of employee review sites has exposed businesses with no easy road of recourse to address negativity from disgruntled employees.

3 mistakes that can damage employer brand

1/ Posting reply comments that are standardized to acknowledge comments.

Some businesses choose to have a standardized response to comments that they post on employee review sites. When an employee or ex-employee voices their discontent with a business this should not be answered with a generic comment response. Such a response only reiterates that the business is out of touch with what their employees are thinking and feeling.

2/ Asking employees to post positive comments to counterbalance negative comments.

Because employers cannot delete negative comments that are made on employee review sites they sometimes ask employees to write positive comments to counterbalance the readers perspective.  This inevitably can backfire if a disgruntled employee then publishes a comment stating that this happens.  The employer then looks worse and as if they are trying to mislead the reader.

3/ Ignoring comments all together.

People say ignorance is bliss but on an employee review platform this is a dangerous practice.  Ignorance suggests that as an employer you don’t care or are just arrogant enough to think that people will not take notice of negative media.

Employee review sites are here to stay.  They are often amplified by the virality of social media.  Identifying what your past and present employees are saying and if their is a theme of discontent is an opportunity for your business to address pain points in your business culture.

Treat the cause by recognizing and acknowledging the symptoms

5 point employee checklist

  1. Do your employees feel like their opinion is important and relevant?
  2. Is there a theme that is consistent across most of the comments that tells a story?
  3. Are you listening to your employees and if so what are you doing about their feedback?
  4. Do you articulate the voice of your employees in your business operation?
  5. Do you engage with  your employees in brainstorming and ideation sessions to enable them to take ownership and responsibility?  If so, do they also see reward and recognition for their efforts?

 

Originally posted 2016-10-27 14:21:43.

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