14Sep
Do your employees go through ups and downs when it comes to productivity? Motivating your workforce can be a challenge, especially if you’re unsure what is causing the reduced energy.
Everyone wants their employees to get excited about coming to work each day. A motivated employee is a productive employee. It also helps when they enjoy spending time with their co-workers, making for a much better team.

Getting your employees motivated is more straightforward than it seems.

To follow are some things you can do to ignite the excitement they may have had at the beginning.
Positive Communication

Do you find yourself “barking” orders when it comes to office tasks or when you want to know the status of a specific project? This form of communication causes stress in the office, and the tension increases as soon as they hear your voice. Likely, this isn’t your intention, but if this is how you’ve always communicated, it’s a great time to change your ways. Taking just that one step will almost instantly change the dynamic in your office, at least once the team realizes they no longer need to jump each time you approach.

Replace the “barking” with a kinder, more personal approach and allow them to speak openly without fear of the familiar outbursts.
You want to be a leader that others want to follow, and when you set a good example, that attitude trickles down and helps establish a positive culture.

Click play for some “barking” orders. 

Friendly Competition Leads to Increased Camaraderie
We see charts of conquered sales and monthly employee rewards, but did you know that creating a bit of competition between employees can help produce a better work product? It comes back to you as the leader to set the tone so that it does remain friendly, and the vibe is a shared support system for everyone. When someone “wins” a particular competition, make sure to thank everyone for participating and NEVER reprimand in public, and if there is an issue, set up a meeting, in private, to discuss.

Continue to motivate and find out what they need to be out in front the next time.

Share Your Company Goals
Motivated employees like knowing the plan and what their role is to help get you there. When you have a path that also includes a road to future promotions, they’re more apt to work hard to reach the goals that will make the company successful. And even better, they will work hard without being asked because you have included them in your vision.
In addition to enlightening your team, include incentives that have meaning to them. You may be surprised, but it’s rarely about money. You can provide other considerations that help them become better at what they do while increasing their commitment to you and the company.
  • Additional training to increase their skillset.
  • An extra day(s) off without deducting from existing vacation time
  • Dinner for two
  • Grocery store gift card

To make it fun, write these perks on separate cards and let the employee draw their incentive when they’ve reached an agreed-upon goal. Make it a team event that motivates others to have the same opportunity.

Continue to Check In
You’ve implemented some of the above tactics, and you see a definite increase in energy. The work is flowing as it should, plus there’s a lightness in the office that wasn’t there before.
Continue to dialogue with your employees to ensure the new way of communicating is still working. Be open to ideas to keep a healthy environment in the office, and you’ll have a greater sense of dedication and positive attitudes. Now isn’t that a much better way to work and protect your workforce investment?
07Jul
Almost as fast as the pandemic was upon us, it appears that day-to-day business is returning to normal. What “normal” is has changed too, as we adopted new ways of doing things when we shifted to accommodate the need to change.
The excitement, combined with the anxiety of jumping back in, is why we need to do it in a way that keeps stress levels low. It’s important to take into account the hesitation of others as there are still many with reservations about getting back out there.

On the business side of things, in-person meetings are something many of us missed. And now, we are either raring to go or are hesitant because we’ve grown accustomed to the world of Zoom and feel our social skills are rusty. 

Just like anything “new,” you can test the waters while your confidence continues to build. To follow are some examples of how you can begin to immerse yourself:

Schedule shorter duration meetings

Limit the amount of time you spend at an event

Go with a someone who makes you feel comfortable

And remember, there will be many “rusty” people out there who are feeling anxious too. It’s a relevant topic for conversation as people find comfort in sharing similar experiences, so be open about how you’re feeling – in a positive manner.

If one of your reasons is that you didn’t complete your COVID resolutions, check out one of our earlier blogs, “Lack of Completed COVID Resolutions? That’s OK!

New Procedures Are There for a Reason

Many companies have established new policies to continue to think about safety while doing their best to resume “business as usual.” If there are procedures in place that you disagree with, don’t rock the boat. Unless, of course, it’s something that could negatively affect your safety and the safety of others. Everyone will have their version of what it will take to feel normal, so be flexible as you will expect the same respect should they participate in one of your meetings or events. And be proactive about communicating the measures you’ve taken to minimize risk. Most businesses have already been taking action to step up their game by:

  • Increasing their sanitizing standards beginning with a total deep clean
  • Positioning hand sanitizer stations throughout the office
  • Posting new procedures in a central location or, on the Internet or internal Intranet
  • Alerting vendors such as delivery personnel and companies that provide a service such as cleaning or catering.

In-Person Events and Meetings

Are you ready to host an event or meeting at your office or in an off-site location? If at your office, you should already have these systems in place, and if at a public venue, ask management in advance what protocols they have established. For either location option, make sure to share these safety guidelines with your attendees in advance. For some, it’s not a big concern, but for others, it will be the deciding factor on whether they will attend or not.

Offering the flexibility of a virtual option can help increase attendance, at least until all are ready for in-person. For a conference room meeting, this is reasonably easy to accomplish. However, for a more interactive event that involves networking and catered food, a virtual option wouldn’t necessarily be viable.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for getting together, but being flexible will increase participation when options are available.

Business Lunch Meeting

Your office may be where you feel more comfortable meeting a colleague or client for lunch, but getting out to enjoy a quality meal while supporting the restaurant industry, is terrific.

There’s something to be said for conducting business over a working lunch. It’s a great way to establish rapport and build on a relationship that leads to trust. Plus, a change in location helps reduce stress and increase morale.

  • If you’re meeting with employees, it’s a great way to bond as a team in an informal environment.
  • If meeting with potential/existing clients, it’s a more relaxing setting to have a confidential discussion.
  • If you’re the one buying, it’s always a great way to show your appreciation.

If you’re in charge of the lunch plans, make it easier on yourself by making upfront choices that will help demonstrate your professionalism. When you reduce the number of tasks you need to take care of during lunch, the smoother and less stressful it will be.

  • Make reservations. Not all establishments allow for reservations, but if you know you have a table in advance, your meeting can more likely start/end on time.
  • Choose a restaurant that has easy-to-eat food as most likely you’ll be in business attire. And, it’s always wise to ask the attendee(s) upfront if a particular type of cuisine works for them.
  • As always, proper etiquette while eating goes a long way as it helps to establish your personality and what they can expect when doing business with you.
  • And very important, arrive early. Be the first to arrive to ensure your table is ready and so you can be the one to greet any guests.
Whether you’re the one buying the meal, someone is treating you, or simply splitting the bill, all of the above helps you put your best foot forward.

Allowing for multiple modes of communication while incorporating appropriate safety protocol will open the door for more opportunities to build trust. But, NEVER do something you’re uncomfortable with as that doesn’t work either. When you’re ready to get out there, you will.
27May
Many of us thought it would be just a few weeks and then back to regular routines when the pandemic was first upon us. As time continued to move on, with no insight into when this would happen, each of us had our realities to face. Whether it was home-schooling, working remotely, or, as many experienced, no work at all due to business closings. And, for so many, all of the above was coming at them from all directions.
In addition to the day-to-day changes and the increased computer time, we had all these learning options thrown at us. In-person events morphed into virtual conferences and meetings, and opportunities to learn everything from how to bake bread to learning a new language were everywhere. Those of us who were already overwhelmed felt compelled to jump on the merry-go-round and soak up what we could via webinars, online workshops and seminars, throughout the day.

And then came the COVID resolutions – not to be confused with the annual New Year’s resolutions – once we realized we would “be on our own” and away from others for an indefinite amount of time. For some, it was tackling those “honey-do” projects such as painting, cleaning out those cluttered closets or, getting in the best shape ever. For others, it was more of a spiritual time to slow down to reflect while taking time to catch up on their reading.

As time continued to move forward, some people accomplished all they set out to and more. And others started strong but then, with everything else that is going on, drifted back to old habits and lost their motivation.

The latter of the above scenarios is where we need to be careful in our thinking. As we turn to a healthier environment, thoughts of failure enter our minds and paralyze even the most optimistic person. You look out your window and see a neighbor running her silent marathon and getting better every day. Your best friend has mastered another language and still manages to tackle daily tasks.

When we put this type of stress on ourselves, it can cause us to retreat, and instead of making things better, we become complacent and more falls through the cracks. That’s OK. Between New Year’s and COVID resolutions, we pigeonhole ourselves by allowing resolutions to dictate our course of action. When we push ourselves when we’re not ready, we end up “failing” at what we’re trying to accomplish. For example, fitness centers sign up more new members in January and then fall off in February.

It’s all OK. When it’s the right time, and most importantly, don’t compare yourself to others.

Everyone has their time clock, and just because we’re headed into the new normal and back to in-person interactions, don’t beat yourself up.
Tomorrow will always come, and there is no right or wrong time to jumpstart whatever goal you are ready to undertake.

If you scroll through social media and notice that others accomplish what seems like a lot, don’t feel defeated. And better yet, refrain from visiting those platforms. This unprecedented time in history was unexpected, and there are no right/wrong behaviors when it comes to expanding your horizons. Take a step back and feel alive, and don’t judge yourself or others. If asked what you did during your time off in COVID, simply say, I learned a lot about myself and so happy to be alive.

In summary, create your own time for resolutions and set REALISTIC goals to give you a better chance of success.

If you slip up, no worries, start again. Better yet, find a buddy with the same interests and do it together. Healthy competition is good, and when you encourage each other, especially if you trip, it makes all the difference.
Do what makes YOU happy! Now, what would you like to accomplish?