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Tag Archives: Engagement

Research shows that only 49% of employees trust senior management, and only 28% believe CEOs are a credible source of information.

In this article, Stephen Covey  explores the concept of trust within leadership and in our society at large.

Consider the loss of trust and confidence in the financial markets today. Indeed, "trust makes the world go 'round," and right now we're experiencing a crisis of trust. This crisis compels us to ask three questions. First, is there a measurable cost to low trust? Second, is there a tangible benefit to high trust? Third, how can the best leaders build trust in and within their organizations to reap the benefits of high trust?

Most people don't know how to think about the organizational and societal consequences of low trust because they don't know how to quantify or measure the costs of such a so-called "soft" factor as trust. For many, trust is intangible, ethereal, unquantifiable. If it remains that way, then people don't know how to get their arms around it or how to improve it. But the fact is, the costs of low trust are very real, they are quantifiable, and they are staggering.

In 2004, one estimate put the cost of complying with federal rules and regulations alone in the United States -- put in place essentially due to lack of trust -- at $1.1 trillion, which is more than 10% of the gross domestic product. A recent study conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimated that the average American company lost 6% of its annual revenue to some sort of fraudulent activity. (more…)

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High levels of stress at work could be having a negative impact on engagement, according to research from Robert Half UK

The  "It’s time we all work happy" report found that nearly two-thirds (63%) of UK employees surveyed said they experience stress in their jobs. The report cites data from Towers Watson’s Global Benefits Attitudes survey, which found that of the employees who claimed to be experiencing high-stress levels more than half (57%) reported being disengaged.

Phil Sheridan, senior managing director of Robert Half UK, explained that happiness at work and health, including mental health, are closely linked. “Starting a wellbeing programme may come at a cost but health and happiness go hand-in-hand,” he said.

“Creating a working environment that encourages good health fosters a more stable workforce. It also helps facilitate better team relationships, which in turn drives employee satisfaction, performance and morale.

“It’s important to remember that employees are an organisation’s most important asset. Companies that promote and protect workers’ health are building a culture dedicated to the overall well-being and happiness of employees. These businesses are likely to see higher levels of staff engagement and productivity, helping them become more successful and competitive in the long term.” (more…)

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Many of the defining characteristics needed for effective leadership -- like having a vision, integrity, commitment and resilience – are innate.

Happily, another quality, as essential for success as the others, can be learned. It is the ability to mobilise a fire-in-the-belly effort among employees to help the leader realise ambitious goals. This quality can be acquired by observing the behaviours of leaders who deploy these skills, by being coached or incrementally with "stretch” efforts by the leader to generate the needed employee commitment.

The power of the leader’s position alone cannot command enthusiasm and dedication from today's workforce. Instead, employees must be convinced that the leader’s objectives are achievable, understand that meeting the goals will provide a personal payoff and be inspired to make their own full force contribution. To generate the needed support from everyone in the organisation, the leader has to put their leadership on parade:

He must be visible, crystal clear about his message and take every opportunity to demonstrate, live and in person, his passion for his goals. Unless he shows how deeply he cares, few others will care and his plan may be seen as another flavour of the month.

Some leaders believe it is sufficient to communicate their goals to the workforce through the organisation's internal media: employee publications, intranet, video conferencing, etc. -- the more sophisticated the technology the better. Many have become enamoured with blogging because it makes possible instant communications with large numbers of employees, assuming they make the effort to log on.

All this is useful because it allows for repetition of the leader's message, which is essential for making an impact. But using media is not a substitute for interacting with employees face to face. Media cannot convey the intensity of feeling the leader has for his plan nearly as well as human contact does. The very fact that the leader is there, that he has left the comfort of the office to communicate with employees, gives the message importance. (more…)

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The Johari Window, created by psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, is a model of communication, describing how an individual gives and receives personal feedback.

It encourages free and open communication, thereby fostering good interpersonal relations and helping people to realise their full potential. The model can be used for developing self-awareness in any communication context, although it serves as a particularly useful framework for effective communication within teams.



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Leading with Character, Building Connections, and Engaging in Extraordinary Conversations by Gregg Thompson

Great leaders are great coaches. They understand that developing the skills, talents and mindsets of their people is a vital part of their jobs as leaders. However, the concept of coaching can also be confusing. Early in his excellent how-to book, The Master Coach: Leading with Character, Building with Connections, and Engaging in Extraordinary Conversations, executive coach and trainer Gregg Thompson explains what coaching is not.

They Don’t Need a Friend - A coach is not a friend, he writes. Although coaches can be friendly, the purpose of coaching is to challenge those they are coaching — the Talent, in Thompson’s terms — and hold them accountable. A coach is also not a therapist. As Thompson explains, “Coaching is not the antidote for deeply troubled and significantly distressed individuals.”

Thompson also differentiates between coaching and teaching. Teaching is a unilateral exercise, with the teacher imparting knowledge to the learner. In coaching relationships, both the coach and the Talent are learning together.


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Conflict is a normal part of any healthy relationship and arises from differences, both large and small. Everyone needs to feel understood, nurtured, and supported, but the ways in which these needs are met vary widely.

Differing needs for feeling comfortable and safe create some of the most severe challenges in our personal and professional relationships. Learning how to deal with conflict – rather than avoiding it – is crucial.

When conflict is mismanaged, it can cause great harm to a relationship, but when handled in a respectful, positive way, conflict provides an opportunity to strengthen the bond between two people.

This activity will help you see your conflict management style from a new perspective. The insights you gain depend on your honest appraisal of the conflict management inventory.


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