Bring Out the Best:
Maintain Excellence in Uncertain Times

Bring-out-the-bestHow can busy managers bring out the best in people? Nothing is as difficult as managing people in uncertain times. With the rapidly changing competitive environment and new technologies, it’s hard to keep up.

Dr. Edward Hallowell, in his book, Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People suggests five steps to help people to achieve peak performance.

  1. Select: Put the right people in the right job, and give them responsibilities that “light up” their brains.
  2. Connect: Strengthen interpersonal bonds among team members.
  3. Play: Help people unleash their imaginations at work.
  4. Grapple and Grow: When the pressure’s on, enable employees to achieve mastery of their work.
  5. Shine: Use the right rewards to promote loyalty and stoke your people’s desire to excel.

But here’s the problem as I see it in my work consulting inside of companies: Managing people well is challenging when you’re constantly putting out fires. You can’t sacrifice performance in the name of speed, cost cutting, efficiency, and what can be mislabeled as necessity. When you ignore connections, deep thought disappears in favor of decisions based on fear. Read More »

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3 More Steps to Bring Out the Best in People

Bring-out-the-bestIn my last post, I talked about research from brain science psychiatrist Dr. Edward Hallowell. In his book, Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People, he suggests five steps to bring out the best in people.

I wrote about Step 1: Select, the importance of putting the right people in the right job and Step 2: Connect, the importance of trusting relationships to bring out the best in people.

Here are the last three steps.

Step 3: Play

Play isn’t limited to break time. Any activity that involves the imagination lights up our brains and produces creative thoughts and ideas. Play boosts morale, reduces fatigue and brings joy to workdays. Read More »

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5 Steps to Bring Out the Best in Teams

Bring-out-the-bestHow can you be sure to bring out the best in people? If you’re on a team and responsible for results, you know how hard it can be to get everyone engaged and pulling in the right direction. Energy sprays every which way and then fades like Champagne bubbles.

In my last post, I talked about research from brain science psychiatrist Dr. Edward Hallowell. In his book, Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People he suggests five steps to bring out the best in people:

  1. Select: Put the right people in the right job, and give them responsibilities that “light up” their brains.
  2. Connect: Strengthen interpersonal bonds among team members.
  3. Play: Help people unleash their imaginations at work.
  4. Grapple and Grow: When the pressure’s on, enable employees to achieve mastery of their work.
  5. Shine: Use the right rewards to promote loyalty and stoke your people’s desire to excel.

Here are the first two steps leaders need to pay attention to in order to bring out the best in teams.

Step 1: Select

To match the right person to the right job, examine how three key questions intersect: Read More »

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Use Brain Science to
Bring Out the Best in People

Bring-out-best-in-peopleWhat are you doing to bring out the best in people for peak performance? While no management guru has found the golden key to unlocking the full panoply of human potential at work, research sheds new light on the possibilities.

As far back as a 2005 Harris poll, 33 percent of 7,718 employees surveyed believed they had reached a dead end in their jobs, and 21 percent were eager to change careers. Only 20 percent felt passionate about their work.

The situation isn’t improving.  In 2014, 52.3 percent of Americans said they were unhappy at work, according to a report by the Conference Board, the New York-based nonprofit research group. Read More »

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How Do Leaders Bring Out the Best in People?

Bring-out-the-best-in-peopleHow do you bring out the best in people? Managers want their people to achieve excellence at work. Leaders and managers alike know that they can’t achieve expected business results without the participation and engagement of individuals and teams.

Without people motivated for peak performance, companies will go out of business. Peak performance is defined as a combination of excellence, consistency and ongoing improvement.

To achieve peak performance, one must find the right job, tasks and conditions that match his or her strengths. Therefore, facilitating the right fit becomes one of a manager’s most crucial responsibilities. While every employee has the potential to deliver peak performance, it’s up to the manager to bring out the best in people. Read More »

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Tackling Employee Engagement
with Technology

Employee-engagementI’ve been reviewing the latest employee engagement survey results published by Gallup that show only slight improvements over the last decade. With so many organizations focusing on Employee Engagement, why aren’t engagement levels across the world increasing?

Here is the last of seven trends in engagement programs as reported by David Mizne, on 15five.com in a post called “7 Fascinating Employee Engagement Trends for 2016:”

  1. Technology will focus on the employee.

One of the biggest trends is the arrival of a new breed of pulse tools, feedback apps, and anonymous social networking technology. These advanced methods provide regular check-ins with employees to understand their challenges and may eventually replace annual performance reviews. Read More »

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7 Trends in Employee Engagement

Employee-EngagementThe annual statistics on employee engagement have been released by the Gallup Organization, with only slight improvements in what is considered to be an important driver of business performance. With so many organizations focusing on Employee Engagement, why aren’t engagement levels across the world increasing?

According to Gallup, companies that focus on measuring engagement rather than on improving engagement often fail to make necessary changes that will engage employees and meet their workplace needs.

In my last post, I began a review of three trends to watch for in the so-called “engagement industry,” as companies seek to motivate the workforce.  Here are three more reported by David Mizne, on 15five.com, in a post called “7 Fascinating Employee Engagement Trends for 2016:” Read More »

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7 Trends in Employee Engagement

Employee-Engagement

According to Gallup, when companies focus exclusively on measuring employee engagement rather than on improving engagement, they often fail to make necessary changes that will engage employees or meet employees’ needs. These shortcomings include:

  • Viewing engagement as a survey or program instead of as an ongoing, disciplined method to achieve higher performance
  • Focusing more heavily on survey data or reports than on developing managers and employees
  • Defining engagement as a percentage of employees who are not dissatisfied or are merely content with their employer instead of a state of strong employee involvement, commitment and enthusiasm
  • Relying on measures that tell leaders and managers what they want to hear – “We’re doing great!” – rather than research-based metrics that set a high bar and uncover organizational or management problems that are hindering engagement and performance
  • “Feeding the bears,” or measuring workers’ satisfaction or happiness levels and catering to their wants, instead of treating employees as stakeholders of their future and their company’s future

Read More »

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The Problem with Measuring
Employee Engagement

Employee-EngagementWith so many organizations focusing on Employee Engagement, why aren’t engagement levels across the world increasing?

The Gallup Organization has published many annual reports based on their global workforce surveys. Everyone assumes a shared meaning for the concept of engagement, but there is little agreement in how to improve it. Let’s look deeper.

David Mizne of 15five.com defines employee engagement as “proactively and passionately adding value while aligning with the company mission.” In his opinion, this can be hard to quantify. He goes on to say that, “an engaged employee wears it on their face, demonstrates it in their work and in their workplace communication.” Read More »

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The Changing Face of Employee Engagement

Employee-EngagementWith so many organizations focusing on Employee Engagement, why aren’t engagement levels across the world increasing? According to Gallup’s January 2016 article, The Worldwide Employee Engagement Crisis, there are serious and potentially lasting repercussions for the global economy.

Only 32% of U.S. workers were engaged in their jobs in 2015, compared to 31.5% the previous year.

Wikipedia defines an “engaged employee” as one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about his/her work and so takes positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests.

An organization with “high” employee engagement might therefore be expected to outperform those with “low” employee engagement, all else being equal. In the work I do coaching people, I’ve learned there isn’t always a shared meaning of what engagement means, nor is there a universally understood method for developing it. Read More »

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