Why Workers Leave – And What You Can Do About It

The best leaders not only build strong teams, but understand how to keep them in place. Sometimes, proactive steps can be taken to prevent a valuable worker who is on the verge of leaving from doing so. How does one know when an employee is considering leaving? Steve Goldstein, president of Engaged Leadership Advisors, recently shared five signs that an employee is ready to quit in an Inc. magazine article. These include losing focus on long-term goals, only accomplishing the bare minimum and a lack of drive to improve. “Think of your employees as assets, not costs. You or one of your leaders hired every one of them, spent time and money trained them and have been leading them for

7 Deadly Mistakes That Leaders Make

Most leaders have good intentions and strive to be effective, but even the best form habits that can hold them back and cost them credibility, says executive leadership coach Lolly Daskal, author of the new book “The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness.” Daskal offers these seven harmful leadership mistakes that leaders make: A sense of omnipotence – “Leadership is all about humility,” Daskal says. An inflated sense of self-importance can lead to trust problems and make it difficult to build relationships. Moving too fast – Yes, business moves at a more rapid pace than ever, but one that is too fast for too long compounds the risk of errors – both big and small. The best

What Motivates Your Employees and Why It Matters?

When it comes to motivation in the workplace, the question is not whether your team members are motivated, but why they are motivated, says Susan Fowler, a senior consulting partner with the Ken Blanchard Companies and author of the new book “Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work…and What Does.” Fowler recently spoke with business leader and blogger Skip Prichard, who blogs at SkipPrichard.com. Here are some of Fowler’s thoughts on motivation from that conversation: Understanding Motivational Differences “The energy and impetus a person brings to any action can be qualitatively different. Some reasons people are motivated tend to promote well-being for themselves and others – and unfortunately, some reasons don’t. Motivation that comes from choosing to do something is different from

5 Essential Ingredients for Courageous Conversations

Open and honest communication is one of the most important elements to create strong relationships between employees and managers, yet recent research indicates that miscommunication pervades at least half of all business conversations. Technology is partly to blame, says Julia Felton of Business HorsePower, a British consulting company that specializes in leadership development. “Emails and texts can be taken out of context and, without any supporting body language to back up the conversation, they can fuel anxiety and in some cases, escalate beyond repair,” Felton says. Face-to-face conversations are more effective, but even they lead to miscommunication, especially when a manager is not confident enough to have difficult conversations about poor performance or other uncomfortable subjects. Having a clear framework

Are You A Windshield or A Rear-View Mirror Manager?

Why are some leaders more effective than others in developing their team’s skills and generating high-level performance? It’s the difference between being a windshield and a rear-view mirror, says Paul LaRue, a consultant in the hospitality and service industries, and the creator of the UPwards Leader blog. Rear-view managers tend to be reactionary, waiting for errors or poor performance to occur before taking steps to correct it. Windshield leadership is the opposite. “A windshield leader is always looking ahead and doing whatever it takes to avoid the hazards and potholes up ahead, even if they cannot see any yet,” LaRue states. The two styles of management often show up in all aspects of a workplace’s culture. Where rear-view management uses

Great Leaders Know When to Get Out of the Way

One of the most important roles of a manager at any level is to groom more leaders. One of the best methods for doing that, says Steve Keating, is to not lead – or at least not lead in the manner people traditionally think of leading. “If your goal as a leader is to grow more leaders, then you must first understand that leadership can’t really be taught, it must be experienced,” states Keating in a recent blog. Keating has more than three decades of experience training sales teams and sales management leaders. “You can tell your followers what leadership characteristics are important, you can talk about making good decisions and the sacrifices that Authentic Leaders make but you can’t

Happy Employees and How to Get There

Every year, Gallup releases its survey of workplace engagement, and every year the picture looks bleaker. A Gallup study released earlier this year reported that 51 percent of the country’s approximately 100 million full-time employees are not engaged at work. Another 16 percent are “actively disengaged,” meaning they resent their jobs and drag down morale as a result. A separate study by Gallup found that disengaged workers had 37 percent higher levels of absenteeism, 49 percent more accidents and 60 percent more errors and defects. Companies with low employee engagement scores also experienced 18 percent less productivity, 37 percent lower job growth and 65 percent lower share price over time. The numbers become overwhelming and unfathomable. Come On, Get Happy

For Improved Motivation, Managers Must First Believe In Themselves

In a recent blog post, we discussed how companies are getting away from annual or semiannual evaluations of past performance and instead providing real-time coaching to improve future performance. It’s a sound strategy for making better use of managers’ time, but it runs into one major problem: A recent survey of more than 500 managers around the world indicates less than one-third (28 percent) feel they know how to help people change, and less than 10 percent are confident they can make behavior change stick. Less than half of the managers surveyed believe that efforts to change behavior actually work. “If line managers are the linchpin of the new performance management process, a 50 percent success rate is not good

Could Shorter Work Days Lead to Increased Productivity?

The buzz about Amazon these days is what city the online retailer will select as the site for its second headquarters, but there is another process the company is currently conducting that could ultimately have a larger impact on work culture across America. A year ago, a small group of Amazon employees began working 30-hour work weeks in an experiment to see if increased work/life balance increases employee productivity. The Amazon workers start their day at 10 a.m. and end at 2 p.m., earn 75 percent of their normal salary and keep their full benefits. Limits To How Long We Stay Focused Amazon is not a pioneer in thinking that shorter, more concentrated work hours could increase worker morale and

Performance by Proximity: High-Performers Boost the Productivity of Those Around Them

Say what you will about “cube farms,” the row upon row of fabricated walls without doors that make up many of today’s offices, new research from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University suggests that high-performers actually boost the productivity of those around them. Research led by Michael Housman and Dylan Minor discovered that workers who sat within a 25-foot radius of high-performers at a large technology firm boosted their own performance by an average of 15 percent. Minor calls it “positive spillover,” and says it translates to an estimated $1 million in additional annual profits. “We’ve known since kindergarten that who you sit next to can matter,” Minor says. But performance in the workplace is more complicated than