4 Keys to Boost Employee Motivation

4 Keys to Boost Employee Motivation In the engine of business, motivation is the accelerator. It determines the energy with which your team tackles assigned tasks and their enthusiasm about generating solutions to obstacles that may arise during a project. If you want your team to approach their work with a high level of energy and excitement, then crafting a team culture where positive motivation thrives will be critical to achieving that goal. Motivation is also a critical factor in employee retention. Team members who feel unappreciated, frustrated or like their work doesn’t matter often leave their job in favor of a new opportunity. In fact, a recent survey by McKinsey reported that the top two reasons employees leave a job are that they don’t feel valued by their manager or the company or don’t feel a sense of belonging at work. Finding ways to positively motivate your team can improve retention as well as energizing the group to complete work and succeed. Here are four key strategies to boost employee motivation. 1. Communicate Goals and Priorities Clearly If your team doesn’t understand and buy in to the goals or which tasks have priority, it’s much harder for them to do their jobs well and have confidence about their work. Explaining what you want them to do and why it’s important or how it serves the goals of the company or team helps them understand their role in the process. It also helps them understand the importance of the work they perform and makes them feel valued. Make sure your team is notified when priorities change. Finding out that they’ve continued working on a project that was delayed rather than switching to a higher priority task generates frustration. Keeping your team informed as priorities change lets them know you value their time and effort. 2. Offer Flexibility Where You Can Giving your employees freedom to make decisions about their work offers them autonomy and respect. For example, if an employee is frustrated about a procedure or struggling to complete a task, ask for their input. What could they do differently that would make this task easier to complete? If there are ways to accommodate their ideas, do so. If not, try to find a satisfactory compromise. As often as possible, let employees have input on how a task is accomplished. If you have team members who struggle to be alert first thing in the morning, try having at least some of your team meetings later in the morning or in the afternoons. Prioritizing your team’s needs and making room for their creative problem-solving shows you value your team members and have confidence in their ability to achieve their goals. It gives them ownership of their work and instills a sense of pride in their role in the team. 3. Recognize a Job Well Done This sounds easy, and it is! Also, it really works. Make an effort to call out the things your team members do well. Notice their effort [...]

By |2022-08-23T10:12:54-03:00August 23rd, 2022|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 4 Keys to Boost Employee Motivation

5 Tips for Energy and Stress Management

5 Tips for Energy and Stress Management No matter how positive your outlook and how zen your mindset, it’s impossible for any of us never to encounter stress or fatigue. Unfortunately, experiencing some stress and fatigue is part of life. In truth, they’re part of what make the days we have great energy or feel calm and at peace so wonderful. The best solution is having strategies for energy and stress management in our arsenal to help on difficult days. Here are 5 great tips for energy and stress management. 1. Adapt Rather than Avoid It can be tempting to avoid stressful situations or choices by putting them off as long as possible. Avoiding the most challenging task on our to-do list or postponing that meeting with a challenging person might feel good in the moment. What it does, though, is give us more time to fret over the event. Pushing a meeting or task toward the end of the day can also mean asking ourselves to tackle the task when our resources have already been depleted by other work. Instead, use your natural energy rhythm to your advantage. What time of day do you feel the most energized and sharp? Schedule your most difficult task or meeting at that time. Or, schedule it first thing in the day, so you can get it over with early and move on to easier tasks afterward. At KCC, we call this “eating the frog”…inspired by Mark Twain. 2. Schedule a Stress Session If you’re struggling to keep worries and stress from intruding into your day, try scheduling a thirty-minute block of time to allow yourself to focus on what’s bothering you. It may seem counter-intuitive, but research shows that this actually helps us table anxiety and stress at other times of the day. It means we know we’ll have a chance to process those thoughts and worries at a specified time. You might find journaling to be a helpful way to quantify the things causing you stress. Writing a list may also help you identify solutions or ways to cope with some of the stressors you encounter. 3. Sweat it Out Exercise is a great way to work through stress. It gets our bodies moving, burns some of that anxious energy, and increases blood-flow to our brains. When we exercise, we’re also focusing parts of our brains on physical activity. We’re focused on balance, coordination, and breath. This gives other parts of our brains a rest, which can break that hamster-wheel cycle we sometimes fall into. If you don’t like exercising, try finding an active hobby or class to participate in. Consider joining a dance class, community sports team, or martial arts program. The goal is to get your body moving and have fun doing it! 4. Pursue Balance Is your work-play balance off lately? When we get stressed, it’s easy to withdraw from recreational activities without realizing we’re doing so. Feeling starved for recreation? Consider taking a day or afternoon off. [...]

By |2022-07-13T18:04:57-03:00July 13th, 2022|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 5 Tips for Energy and Stress Management

5 Components of Successful Delegation

5 Successful Components of Delegation Delegation is one of the most critical skills you can learn as a leader. Not only does it effectively train your team and give them ownership of the work you’re doing together, but it’s like adding extra hours to your day. Delegation allows you to get multiple tasks on your to-do list completed at the same time. Considering handing over tasks to other team members can seem intimidating at first. The real process of delegating goes beyond simply asking a team member to add an item to their to-do list, though. Successful delegation involves five critical steps to ensure that the work you surrender gets done correctly, on time, and without a lot of hands-on time from you. Here are the 5 key components for successful delegation. 1. Give the job to someone who can get it done. The first step in delegating is, of course, actually asking someone else to take on the job for you. The right person must have time in their schedule. They don’t need to know how to complete the task already. What you’re looking for instead is someone who has access to the resources needed for the job. They may need training or coaching first, so factor that time into your plan. If the training takes a short time and the task is recurring, making the time to bring the employee up to speed makes a great investment. Try not to stress too much about this step in the process. Think of delegating like giving someone on your team a gift. You’re offering them a chance to increase their skills and improve their value to the team. 2. Communicate Precise Conditions of Satisfaction. One of the reasons people hesitate to delegate their work is worries about the task being completed incorrectly or remaining unfinished. The best way to combat this issue is with clear communication of expectations. Be sure to outline the deadline, budget, context, deliverables and any special circumstances. Ask your teammate to summarize to you what they heard you ask for. This helps ensure that you communicated your needs effectively and that they feel confident. Also make sure you clarify how you both want to handle any questions they may have about the task. Do you want them to bring those questions to you? In person? Email? Is there a different person on the team who has expertise who would also be a good resource if you’re unavailable to answer questions? Putting all of these expectations in writing is a good idea, too. That way you can both refer back to the document or email and see specifically what was discussed. Depending on memory alone can get dicey, especially when we’re juggling lots of other tasks or projects. 3. Work out a plan. If the project or task that you’re delegating is simple, then this step may be very easy. If it’s a multi-step process, you may need to spend a little more time breaking down the [...]

By |2022-05-09T16:38:45-03:00May 9th, 2022|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 5 Components of Successful Delegation

5 Tips for Successful Coaching

5 Tips for Successful Coaching Coaching is one of the most effective methods for leaders to use for performance improvement and for employee engagement. Not only does it help the individual develop and grow, but it shows that we are willing to invest in them and that we believe in their potential. Effective coaching leads to employees who are more proficient, work more independently, produce higher quality work and are more motivated. Successful coaching also increases the performance and ability of the team as a whole. Here are 5 great tips on coaching for success. 1. Give Team Members a Chance to Self-Assess First. Before offering your own insights, always give team members a chance to self-assess. Encouraging self-assessment assists in several ways. First, it encourages improvement even when you are not coaching. It also allows you to determine why the employee may not be performing as desired. For example, it may reveal that they don’t know they’re doing something incorrectly. Self-assessments also help team members build self-esteem. It reinforces the idea that you, as their manager or leader are listening to them, value their views, and consider them an important part of your team. It also increases the chance that problem behaviors will change. If an employee is not identifying areas that you identified (or has identified them incorrectly), use increasingly specific questions to allow the employee to self-assess, if possible.  This allows you to determine if the employee doesn’t know what’s expected, doesn’t have the skill, or simply chooses not to demonstrate the skill. Before moving on to other parts of your coaching session, be sure to reinforce the correct self-assessment. Defer or redirect inappropriate or incorrect self-assessment. 2. Next, Use Assessment Tools. There are different types of assessment tools that you can use to get even more information on the person. Their talent zones, development opportunities, blind spots and hidden potential. You can use psychometric questionnaires, potential assessments or 360° feedback tools. When you use an assessment tool on top of the self-assessment and your own observations, it adds objectivity and more in-detail information to help identify the focus and next steps. At KCC assessments are one of our specialties, we call these “x-rays”. 3. Limit the Focus. In coaching sessions, it’s best to focus on approximately two strengths that can be leveraged and about two areas for development.  Limiting the discussion is critically important for several reasons. First, focusing on just two areas for development helps ensure that the team member reaches proficiency. Adopting new procedures or breaking incorrect patterns is a challenging process. Adding too many changes to a team member’s to-do list all at once is likely to cause more frustration and confusion than success. It’s better to start with the two most important areas for improvement and focus on them to build that success and confidence. Once those areas have improved, there’s a positive track record showing improvement which will energize your team member and encourage them to continue increasing their proficiency. Once [...]

By |2022-03-28T13:45:50-03:00March 28th, 2022|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 5 Tips for Successful Coaching

5 Great Time and Priority Management Tips

5 Great Time and Priority Management Tips Effective time and priority management can make a huge difference in our effectiveness and ability to achieve critical goals. Taking on too many tasks or not having clearly outlined goals can make it difficult to actually be productive. Identifying your goals and limiting your daily to do list can help you get things done in a more focused, effective way. Deciding which tasks can be delegated or postponed helps ensure that you’re spending the bulk of your time on the things you need to do today. Time management is all about how to work smarter rather than harder. It’s how to be busy for the right reasons so that you can rest and relax at the end of the day. Priority management means deciding which tasks are the most urgent & important and require your specific abilities versus which things can wait or be delegated to another team member. Having a good understanding of both techniques will help you reach your goals and achieve the work-play balance we’re all looking for. Here are 5 great tips to boost your time and priority management skills today. 1. Identify Your Goals If you don’t know where you’re headed, you’ll probably never get there, right? No matter what industry you’re in, your company and your team should have quantifiable goals written down and communicated to all team members. When you understand how your role fits into the company’s goals, you’ll know how to be most effective at your position within the organization. 2. Set Reasonable Limits on Your Daily Tasks by Picking Your Frogs! How many tasks can you reasonably accomplish in a day? A lot of this depends on the kind of job you have and your ability to manage interruptions. If you don’t already, write a to-do list for yourself each morning with a few (no more than 5) tasks on it that you want to get done in a day. At KCC, we call these your “frogs”. Do a little bit of analysis. On average, how many tasks do you finish in a single day? Are there certain days you consistently get more or fewer tasks done? Maybe Mondays are meeting-heavy, so you usually only get to 1 or 2 other things, but you notice that Wednesdays tend to be your most productive days when you get 4 or 5 things done. Adjust your limits according to your own data. If you rarely, if ever, check more than 4 items off your to-do list in a day, set a new limit for yourself of only committing to 4 tasks per day. This will help reduce your stress level and help you set realistic goals and deadlines for yourself and your team. 3. Tackle Most Urgent and Important Tasks First As you look at your goals and assigned tasks for the month, week, and day, sort them by which tasks are the most to least urgent and most to least important. There are lots [...]

By |2022-02-15T18:25:41-03:00February 15th, 2022|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 5 Great Time and Priority Management Tips

Get a Fresh Start with These Tips for Managing a Hybrid Team

Get a Fresh Start with These Tips for Managing a Hybrid Team The new year is the perfect time to create a fresh start and update your skills in managing a hybrid team. You may have practices that used to fit your team that simply don’t work well today. We live in a new world in which employees may be at home, in the office, or some combination of both. From time to time, we all need to reevaluate our performance and change what we’re doing to meet new challenges and opportunities. Turning the calendar to a new year is a perfect time to freshen up our management approach with some new strategies for today’s agile teams. Here are 4 tips for sharpening your effectiveness as a leader and help in managing a hybrid team. 1. Communication is Key Whether your team works on site or remotely, one of the best ways to maintain a cohesive, productive team is to clearly communicate how you want things to operate. Be sure your preferences are clear as far as what types of issues or communications should be handled via an email versus scheduling a meeting. Make sure your team understands which projects have top priority, and any changes to the scope or deadline to your team’s work. Some hybrid team leaders have opted to have daily standups or check-in meetings at the start of each day. While that approach may not be right for every team, pay attention to the needs of your crew. While extroverted personalities are energized by spending time together (even virtually), introverted workers may find too many meetings to be disruptive and inhibit workflow. One approach for managing a hybrid team that fosters clear communication is to set an agenda for each meeting and send it out beforehand. If your team members review the agenda and determine they do not need to attend, they can skip some meetings and continue working. 2. Combat Natural Bias One issue faced by hybrid teams and their leadership is a natural bias toward members who work on campus. It’s sort of like the expression, “Out of sight, out of mind.”. We naturally think that team members who are in the office (whom we can visually see working) are more productive than team members who are working remotely, when this is probably not true. Managing a hybrid team effectively means you’ll need to work to correct that natural imbalance by connecting with your remote team members. Set regular one-on-one calls or video chats to briefly check in with them. Making sure they have what they need can go a long way toward making team members feel supported and valued. It also keeps their contributions to your overall team present in your mind as you lead. 3. Create Connections Leaders do so much more than herd a project toward completion by a specific deadline. They’re responsible for finding ways to pull a team of people together so that the resulting sum is greater than [...]

By |2022-01-18T13:09:29-03:00January 18th, 2022|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on Get a Fresh Start with These Tips for Managing a Hybrid Team

4 Ways to Manage Perfectionism for Success

4 Ways to Manage Perfectionism for Success Perfectionism has recently been a big topic for discussion in the workplace. While perfectionists are highly motivated, dedicated workers, a study on perfectionism published in the Harvard Business Review states, “perfectionism is strongly and consistently related to numerous ‘detrimental’ work and non-work outcomes, including higher levels of burnout, stress, workaholism, anxiety, and depression.” Not only that, but another recent study of nearly 42,000 people published in the Harvard Business Review indicates that perfectionism is on the rise in the US, Canada and the UK. Now more than ever, we need great strategies to manage perfectionism in the workplace. How do we create a work environment that supports the assets perfectionists bring to our teams while helping to shield them from the potential harmful effects that can come from perfectionism? Here are 4 ways you can create a supportive environment where perfectionists can thrive, and your team can enjoy the benefits of having those highly motivated team members among you. 1. Model a Healthy Response to Mistakes How do you handle mistakes or a missed deadline? If you respond with grace and compassion, you’re modeling healthy behavior for your team. We are only human, right? Creating a workspace where it’s safe and normal to make mistakes can help perfectionists combat the need to achieve perfection every time on every task. At KCC, we love to remind ourselves that we don’t save lives so, if something doesn’t go the way we planned it, we find a solution and move on! 2. Set Reasonable, Healthy Goals Make sure your team’s goals are based on working at a sustainable pace. Having an all-hands, late-night, big push to complete a job once in a while is okay, but no one can keep up that pace indefinitely. In fact, it’s a recipe for burnout, especially for a perfectionist. Energy and expectation management are key! It’s important to emphasize resilience…Like Muhammed Ali once said, “There’s nothing wrong with getting knocked down, as long as you get right back up.” 3. Perform Regular Check-ins As deadlines approach, check in with your team, especially your perfectionists. Are they feeling a lot of pressure? Do they need help to prioritize or to break down a large goal into smaller, more achievable tasks? Jump in and offer support and ideas to make all team members more efficient. 4. Give Regular Positive Feedback It’s easy for a perfectionist’s inner critic to become the dominant voice giving feedback on their work. Offering regular, specific, positive feedback helps keep reasonable expectations and performance front and center. Remember, perfectionists are highly engaged people. Keeping that energy positive not only helps your team member stay in a healthier state, but brings even more motivation and energy to your whole team. Build Your Best Team Looking for more great strategies to build an effective team? Check out our workshop on Building Effective Teams and get information on best practices and tips for fully utilizing your team’s skills, styles and talents. Ingrid [...]

By |2021-10-19T11:54:34-03:00October 19th, 2021|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 4 Ways to Manage Perfectionism for Success

4 Ways Personal Development Boosts Leadership Skills

4 Ways Personal Development Boosts Leadership Skills It is exciting to lead people and it is a critical role. According to experts, leaders can have a direct impact on their team’s happiness and self-esteem. That said, in today’s new reality, with fewer resources and a hybrid workforce, being in charge of a team presents unexpected and complex challenges that can leave even seasoned managers at a loss. The solution? Focused personal development training or coaching gives leaders the effective tools they need to navigate these challenging times. Personal development assists leaders and managers in critical ways. Here are 4 key reasons to take advantage of the “back-to-school” season and prioritize personal development to boost your leadership skills. 1. Identify and leverage your strengths and manage your weaknesses Personal development often incorporates assessments that allow managers to discover strengths and opportunities for development. It also teaches how to strengthen both. This assessment is an important first step toward more effective leadership. Self-awareness is one of the top key competencies for leaders, and I always say that an assessment is like a mirror. Even if you know yourself well and/or if you have used them before, it’s always good to take stock again from time to time…and who knows, you may have blind spots! You can choose any of these tools: a potential assessment, a psychometric questionnaire, a personality test, a 360° feedback process or a survey sent to your team. Pursuing personal development that includes identifying strengths to leverage, weaknesses to work on, and then after that targeting course corrections where needed, will give leaders huge opportunities to be more effective, retain employees longer, and meet or exceed goals. 2. Set goals and share with your team Another important way personal development through training or coaching assists leaders is by identifying and breaking a large goal into smaller, achievable steps. This is useful not only in preparing your action plan. It also helps you make sure that your development is on your radar and remains a priority. Communicating your plan with your team is also very impactful. It allows you to demonstrate authenticity and even your vulnerability. It also shows that you “walk the talk” when you say development is something you believe in and take seriously. This can inspire employees who would also benefit from personal development to take action as well. It helps boost team morale and improves employee retention. 3. Stay up-to-date We’ve probably all experienced sometimes being a little behind the times professionally. The best practices of yesterday may not all apply today. With the fast-paced back-to-back changes in today’s world, it’s necessary and inspiring to look for new ideas. The latest, science-based trends, advice and recommendations on how to adjust and adapt your approach will help you to be as successful as possible. 4. Discuss and share ideas with others Another way that personal development training assists management is through focused discussions. These conversations involve a trainer and other participants from or outside your organization. A [...]

By |2021-08-24T16:38:07-03:00August 24th, 2021|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 4 Ways Personal Development Boosts Leadership Skills

4 Reasons Leadership Requires Friendliness

4 Reasons Good Leadership Requires Friendliness Leadership requires a lot of different skills. In addition to expertise in a specific field, it requires the ability to manage resources, budgets, projects and most importantly, employees. One of the best ways to invest in the people who make up your team is to make friendliness a key component of your relationship with them. Friendliness isn’t the same thing as friendship. It’s possible, even beneficial, to craft a friendly management style and still maintain professional boundaries with your team members. Why does good leadership require friendliness, now more than ever? Here are 4 good reasons to use a friendly approach with your team in order to boost morale and reap the rewards of success together. 1. People respond more openly and positively to friendliness. Getting results through friendliness can take a lot less energy than getting results through direction. Task-oriented managers find it more difficult to motivating people. Think about it this way: if you use a positive, friendly approach when communicating with your team, they’ll be far more likely to leave a meeting feeling valued and energized. When team members feel like their boss is pushy or demanding, they may work more in the short term. In the long run, though, they’ll be less inclined to be fully engaged. They may also move on to a new job or boss more quickly than an employee who feels appreciated by a leader who understands them and shows that they care. 2. Friendliness increases the chance that others will buy in to the objectives. Friendly leaders believe that the way they address people is a key part of what creates a happy team environment. It cultivates the feeling that you’re all in this together and shows an investment in them. Friendliness also contributes to creating a safe environment for your team to ask questions. Employees are more likely to invest in objectives that they understand and believe in. 3. Friendliness in leadership sets the tone for your team. Whether leaders realize it or not, the people they lead carefully watch their words and actions. People model their leaders, too, so adopting a friendly style and using that approach with your team sets the tone for how they deal with each other. A warm tone and a positive approach reassure your team, especially in challenging circumstances. Bring out the best in people by showing them that you are not disproportionately results-oriented. As always, balance is key! 4. A friendly leader actually has greater impact on the team. A leader who approaches his team with intense emotions—displaying anger, stress or frustration openly—might hurt the team over-reacting. Venting might feel gratifying in the moment, but it can also reduce the trust between a leader and his team. It creates a leader-versus-team dynamic rather than a sense of facing a challenging situation together. Friendliness on the other hand, helps craft that sense of community and team spirit. A friendly approach shows the team that the leader views himself [...]

By |2021-05-25T16:01:14-03:00May 25th, 2021|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 4 Reasons Leadership Requires Friendliness

5 Tips for More Effective Meetings

5 Tips for More Effective Meetings Meetings: people seem to love them or hate them. Some see meetings as a time waster, while others thrive on the collaborative energy that comes from regular check-ins or stand-ups. Whatever the emotions that seeing a meeting on the calendar causes, meetings are an essential tool for an effective, successful team. Crafting effective meetings takes a little time and planning, but it yields great results. Here are 5 tips for more effective meetings that will boost your team’s communication and success. 1. Craft a clear and inspiring agenda. Before calling a meeting, establish the agenda. What are the meeting objectives?  These days, more than ever, we should remember to include a more personal goal. On top of “taking care of business”, we need to ask people how they are doing, show that we care and offer our support when needed. 2. Make sure a team meeting is the best approach. While meetings can resolve complex issues quickly, they also interrupt the workflow of the team. Before you schedule a meeting, ask yourself some basic questions. Is the issue best addressed in a team setting or one on one? Which people need to participate? We can inform the others after the meeting. Could the issue effectively be addressed via email or chat or via another medium? Don’t just have meetings out of habit. Meetings are time and energy consuming, and effective meetings should always add value to each person participating. 3. Inform the team of the meeting agenda ahead of time. Send a quick note to the team inviting them to the meeting and giving them an idea of the issues to be addressed. This gives team members a chance to think of questions or gather any relevant information before the meeting begins. 4. Make sure everyone is adding value and actively participating. It’s tempting to have a meeting to update people and share information, but that could be done in an email, right? In order to get the most out of a meeting, make sure it’s an opportunity for brainstorming and getting people’s ideas and input. 5. Send a follow-up reminder after the meeting. After the meeting ends, but while it’s still fresh in everyone’s minds, send a quick note to the team thanking them for their input and listing the highlights of the meeting. This list should include any questions that were raised that require follow-up and any tasks that were assigned to team members. Communicating these points to the team helps keep everyone on track and ensures that tasks get completed. Thanking the team also reinforces the value each member brings and offers much-needed appreciation. We all need that extra boost from time to time! Ingrid Kelada Owner of KCC Positive Business Psychology & Happiness Expert Join Us for a FREE Event March 23rd - How to Stay Connected While Working Apart Join us for a KCC Coffee Chat! This coffee chat will be an interactive presentation in which three of our team [...]

By |2021-05-19T16:21:11-03:00March 8th, 2021|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 5 Tips for More Effective Meetings
Go to Top