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StrategyDriven Corporate Cultures Article

Encourage Your Employees to Be Their Authentic Selves – And Improve Workplace Morale

Often people attempt to conceal their personalities at work. This might mean concealing their interests or their passions, but sometimes it goes even deeper. Occasionally, people try and change their accents, or hide their sexual orientation.

Sometimes, employees are concerned that their authentic selves will mark them out as too ‘different’ or ‘quirky’ or ‘airy fairy’ to succeed in the workplace. However, this means that they might be selling themselves short – and in the process, holding back your business.

More Authentic Personalities = Better Business People

People who feel more comfortable in themselves often have greater confidence in their own ability to get the job done. They can be resourceful and quick thinkers who are able to solve problems – because they feel empowered enough to do so. These kinds of individuals are only an asset to a business.

Individuals who are in a role that involves facing clients or closing deals should always present their authentic selves to sell well. Most people can detect fakery and avoid those people, choosing not to spend time with them and trust them in a business relationship.

Fostering an atmosphere of inauthenticity will only impact negatively upon your business. Your staff won’t be happy, productive staff – the kind that are so important to getting a job done well.

Encourage Your Staff to Be Themselves

There are many ways you can encourage your staff to be more authentic in the work place. Mostly it starts by allowing an environment where people feel empowered enough to be their authentic persons, while still being respectful.

It’s mostly about fostering trust between management and colleagues and allowing personalities to shine.

Here are our top tips on how to encourage your staff to be themselves.

1. Get to Know Them

Make sure that you devote some time to each individual member of your staff at least once a month. Ask them what their ambitions are and how they want to get there.

Frequent performance reviews create an environment of trust, so staff feel more empowered to give you honest feedback – something which will only be beneficial for the company.

2. Offer the Training They Want

Staff feel happier and more fulfilled – two elements which are crucial for authentic living – when they feel they’re moving into the future with skills.

If you have ambitious staff, offering them distinct training opportunities to foster their goals and talents. This will help them feel more confident and empowered in the workplace.

3. Don’t Enforce a Strict Corporate Dress Code

You might find a couple of Patrick Bateman weirdos who love wearing a full suit every day, but most modern men and women don’t. Let your employees express their personality in their clothes without judgement.

Most people won’t turn up to the office in sweatpants even if your dress code is more relaxed. People also pick up visual cues off leaders in their environment – if most people dress smart every day, they’ll dress well too.

4. Allow Employees to Personalize Their Workspace

Make sure people feel comfortable personalizing their space in their office. Allowing people to bring in photos of their friends and family, or adding a plant really makes the space more comfortable for them.

If employees have a work phone, let them choose the best phone case for them.

5. Hold Team Idea Meetings

Don’t wait for employees to come to you with ideas. You may never know but there could just be an idea that’s about to revolutionize your company and increase your profit margins in the head of someone sat down in a cubicle in your office.

Foster an environment where people feel comfortable enough to throw out ideas, to help people grow in confidence as they know their opinions are valued.

6. Encourage Structured Growth

To really get the best out of the people you work with, make a plan for each individual’s development. Make sure everyone has a set time each week to do their training or develop their passion projects, for the benefit of the business.

Remember: happier staff can only mean better things for your business.

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article

Empower Your Employees: How to Encourage Staff to Take Pride in the Workplace

Every business owner wants to create a more productive, passionate and focused workplace, but it can seem easier said than done. However, it doesn’t need to be. All you need to do is encourage staff to take pride in the workplace with a few key steps.

Communicate the Company Vision and Values

Provide your members of staff with a sense of purpose and direction to instill more pride in their position. It can be difficult for your employees to feel proud of their role if they do not understand how it affects others. Continually try to communicate the company’s vision and values to your staff, and detail what makes their role so integral to the business.

Encourage Staff to Learn More About Every Department

There will likely be many talented people on your payroll, who each help your business grow every day. Showcase the talent and passion within the company by encouraging staff to learn more about different departments, rather than them remaining inside the comfort of their cubicle and department.

By doing so, they’ll learn more about the company operations, as well as the hard work and dedication different employees’ display to achieve optimum results for the business. Your staff will gain a great understanding of the inner workings of the business, which can make them feel proud to work for the brand.

It will also educate your employees on how the quality of their work can affect other departments across the business, so they will continually strive to support their colleagues with the highest quality projects and pieces.

Ensure Employees Receive Regular Feedback

Don’t allow standards to slip or passion to diminish. Keep morale and productivity high by ensuring your management team provides regular feedback to your staff. It will enable employees to make the necessary improvements in real time. Don’t settle for annual or bi-annual reviews, which will allow poor habits to develop gradually. Encourage managers to perform monthly feedback sessions to review performances, offer advice, and set monthly expectations.

Consider Creative Rewards for Your Company’s Highest Achievers

A paycheck will not be enough to keep your employees happy and motivated in their job. They also need rewards and recognition to remain content and passionate about both the brand and their position. If you don’t look for ways to recognize your top talent, you could risk them leaving the business for your competitors.

You must, therefore, look for creative ways to reward the company’s high achievers. For example, you could send then a positive email or text message for a job well done, or you could even congratulate them for a successful project within the company newsletter.

There is also an option to offer formal rewards, such as a financial bonus or day off work. You could even choose to host a recognition ceremony to show your employees you appreciate their efforts, and you could present them with Custom Challenge Coins to instill a sense of pride in the workplace, and it will also remind them of how much you appreciate their dedication, talent and hard work every day.

Maintain a Clutter-Free Space

Did you know the average office worker spends approximately 1.5 hours a day looking for something at work? That equates to six weeks of the year. Create a clutter-free space to create a more productive environment for everyone, and a clean environment will also encourage employees to take pride in maintaining a hygienic workspace. Encourage your staff to clean their workspaces and common spaces routinely, and request they look for ways to regularly reduce mess to create a cleaner environment for everyone.

Find Out What Inspires Your Team

Many managers and business owners believe they understand what inspires their staff, but the reality might be very different. Rather than guessing what motivates your team and what makes them feel proud of their role, simply ask them the question. You can either ask employees directly or request they submit their answers anonymously, which will allow them to speak openly and honestly. As a result, you can create a workplace that continually motivates and inspires your staff, which can make them feel empowered within their role.

Offer Continuous Education

Education should not be made available for just inexperienced or underperforming members of staff. Continuous education could be the key to increasing your employees’ knowledge, improving their skill set and helping them to learn more about the current trends within the industry. For instance, continuous education allows accountants and bankers to remain up-to-date with the latest regulations.

Allow Staff to Form Friendships

Teamwork makes the dream work, right? That’s why you must proactively encourage staff to form friendships both inside and outside of work. The people they work with will determine their happiness within the business. Create a sense of pride and camaraderie in the workplace by offering team building activities, which will bring your employees together and have a little fun outside of the office. It’s a great way for people to get to know one another while working together to accomplish a goal, which could transfer to the office.

Give Pep Talks to Struggling Employees

Employees struggling with a task or project might suffer from low morale, and they might start doubting their ability. Keep negative thinking at bay by pulling a member of staff aside to give them a much-needed pep talk, which might be all it takes to inspire your staff to tick the task off their list efficiently. For example, highlight the small improvements they have made, and comment on their past accomplishments, which will support positive thinking while proving they work for a caring employer.

Expand Their Roles

Seasoned employees may know their roles like the back of their hand. A lack of challenges could ultimately lead to a lack of engagement and pride in their position. Foster a sense of engagement by providing staff with new responsibilities, which will challenge their mind and expand their skillset, so they’ll feel happier about their role and the company.

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article

How To Better Engage Your Employees

Engaging your employees benefits everyone; your staff is happier, and the business experiences more success. It’s worth your time and energy to find ways that help build a collaborative environment. It’s no longer acceptable to hire people and let them figure it all out on their own.

Guide your employees and make them feel like part of a team. They’ll work hard and be more satisfied overall. Leadership has to step up and take the initiative if you want to experience real change. You’ll be glad to know that there are many practical ways for increasing engagement and creating a culture that encourages involvement and new ideas.

 

Ask for their Feedback

You don’t know what your employees want or what motivates them unless you ask. Be vocal and ask your staff to speak up when they have opinions or grievances to share. Include them in meetings and hold brainstorming sessions to get their input on important initiatives. Have a spot where they can go to share ideas and suggestions on a daily basis. This will not only engage them, but build a deeper connection between each other and different levels of employees.

Innovate Mundane Tasks

Take a look around and dive deep into getting a better idea of what your employees do all day. For example, if you have a call center, try sprucing it up by implementing call center gamification. It’s fun, it’s exciting, and it creates a better work experience. Upgrade your technology, innovate repetitive tasks and always be thinking about how to make your environment more engaging for your staff. This will keep them interested in their work and make them want to be loyal to the company for taking such good care of them.

Collaborate with Departments

Silos make it difficult for anyone to feel excited about their job. It makes you feel like you’re the only one doing any work and you never get the bigger picture of how the business works. Engage your employees by having them work together, no matter which department they’re assigned to. Create a company culture that’s informative of what others do on a daily basis, and that knows how to build relationships with each other, no matter their job or title. Set a goal to bring everyone together once a month or quarter and notice how much better everyone starts working together.

Assign Coaches or Mentors

Hold your employees accountable for the work they do. Push and encourage them to work harder by assigning each person a mentor or coach. These meetings will help make sure that your staff members are getting the attention they deserve and progressing along nicely. Your employees will be focused on getting involved in their work and performing better, since they know someone’s watching.

Conclusion

It’s always a good idea to invest in your employees. Keep them around longer by engaging them on a daily basis. Be open about your initiative and seek additional ideas from staff and leadership members.

StrategyDriven Management & Leadership Article

3 Effective Strategies for Keeping Employees Focused on the Task at Hand


The reason you worked so hard to complete an executive masters in business administration program is that you wanted to make a difference. Over time, you saw areas which could have been handled more efficiently and at lower costs within your organization. Although you were already in a position of authority, you felt you needed better skills to keep things flowing smoother in accordance with best practices, as outlined in the company manual.

The one issue you kept running up against daily was keeping employees focused on the task at hand. You’ve finally gotten that online executive MBA degree and it’s time to put it to use building strategies to keep your team on task.

1. Complete an Assessment of Why and How Employees Become Distracted

The first step in building any strategy is to determine what it is you’d like to accomplish. The end goal sets the stage for any strategy because, by its very nature, a strategy is a roadmap to success. In this case, you are using your MBA to define common causes for distractions, in order to facilitate a more focused approach to the jobs at hand.

2. Create New Policies to Avoid Distractions

One of the best strategies is one in which you set new rules. In the course of assessing the source of distractions, you’ve discovered that altogether too much talking is going on about things totally unrelated to what they are currently working on. While you don’t want to be a hard taskmaster, you do want to keep things moving along to increase productivity. Why not set a rule that talking is allowed only in terms of job-related issues and all other conversation is best left to the break room.

3. Keep Peripheral Distractions to a Minimum

As you studied for your executive masters in business administration online, you knew that you needed to be in a place where there were minimal distractions. As a result, you set aside one room in your home where you couldn’t hear the television and noises from the playroom couldn’t filter in. You can use the same strategy on the job! Reroute foot traffic through areas where employees aren’t sitting at desks or working on the line and try to keep announcements over loudspeakers to a minimum.

Research indicates that distractions on the job cost employers over $10,000 per person per year!

In the End – You’re the Boss

You can clearly see that distractions are costing your company a ton of money each and every year. Not only do distractions cut profits, but they also increase the risk of inferior quality of work. In fact, you may even want to open the floor for discussion among the very employees you’ve found to be most distracted while on the job. Their input could be invaluable. They might define a whole new set of issues they find distracting, after which you can devise strategies to reduce those as well.

Your job as an administrator is to devise and implement strategies. Reducing distractions is a great place to test your newfound skills. Don’t let it be your last.

3 Ways to Lift Morale with Team Building in London

None of us like feeling like outcasts, least of all when we go to work. In order for a team of workers to perform at their absolute best they need to be comfortable around one another and have a good sense of community.

Creating a happier and more productive work environment should be a constant consideration for any good manager. Studies have repeatedly shown that happier workers are more productive.

Even if your employees have worked alongside one another for quite some time there is still value to be found in organising a team building event. Working through activities, puzzles, and challenges as a team isn’t just an effective method for breaking the ice with new acquaintances, it is also an excellent way to foster and reinforce the connections that your workers have developed with one another.

There is an endless array of potential team building activities which have proven to be effective training and motivational tools. By encouraging your workforce to bond with one another, you will be ensuring that they function as effectively as possible when operating as a team.

Many of us have had the unfortunate experience of working in a tense or less than friendly work environment. These kinds of places can be intimidating, even for experienced workers, and an unfriendly atmosphere will have an effect on how all those who work within it perceive their jobs.

Team building is therefore a very effective tool for raising the morale of your workforce and of encouraging every employee to give their absolute best effort all the time, and you’d be surprised at the wide range of different options for team building activities in London that you can find if you know where to look. In this article we take a look at three of the team building exercises which produce the best results in terms of raising morale amongst your staff.

Cooking

Even if we don’t have any first-hand experience of working in a kitchen, we all know that a chef’s job is stressful. Remove the customers and commercial imperative, however, and cooking food instead becomes the kind of thing that we might do to relax at the end of the day. Some groups like to add a competitive element to their cooking, perhaps by organising to have any food produced judged by a panel.

Cooking is an effective team building exercise because it requires participants to identify their own skills, and those of the rest of the group, so that they can efficiently organise themselves.

Treasure Hunt

No matter how old you are, treasure hunts are always good fun. The urban sprawl of our capital city makes it the perfect location for a treasure hunting activity. Whether you decide to give participants a list of clues to lead them to the location of physical objects, or instead send them out to gather photographs of various landmarks, a treasure hunt will encourage the participants to work together.

Treasure hunts make for great bonding and morale boosting exercises, in large part due to the fact that, while it encourages your workers to come together and practice working as a team, it is more relaxed and less immediate than many other teambuilding exercises. Sometimes it is beneficial for everyone to take things slower.

Graffiti Workshop

Art, in all its forms, is a powerful tool for therapy. Both individuals and groups can benefit a great deal from engaging artistically with one another and the world around them. Graffiti is more than just obscene scrawling on the wall, it is one of the purest forms of street art around and London provides the perfect backdrop for indulging in it.

The only limit on the kind of activities that you can undertake with your workers, in order to boost morale and foster the relationships between members of your staff, is your own imagination. The above activities are just a small selection of the endless opportunities that exist.