5 Ways to Increase Happiness in Your Employees

5 Ways to Increase Happiness in Your Employees Happiness at work is essential to today’s workforce. What’s especially great is the fact that happiness in your employees creates benefits for the company they work for, too. Happier employees complete their work faster and are more creative. They’re also less likely to quit their jobs, even if they’re offered more money somewhere else, according to this analysis from Gallup. Having happy employees doesn’t happen by accident; it doesn’t simply mean hiring people with a positive attitude. Fostering and maintaining happiness in your employees is a deliberate effort. Here are 5 ways you can create a work environment that increases employee happiness and delivers the benefits of a happy crew to you. 1. Set the Example of Happiness Start your day on a positive note. Think about something you’re looking forward to doing or experiencing at work today. Smile and greet your team members, and be as genuine as possible. Smiles, like happiness, are contagious, foster open communication, and help to lift the mood of the people you encounter. 2. Show Appreciation Make a point to recognize a job well done on a regular basis. The simple act of saying thank you and taking note of a team member doing well not only boosts their confidence and self-esteem but also sends a message to the other team members that you’re engaged and you notice their work. 3. Be Flexible Whenever Possible Offering employees choices about where and how they accomplish their work gives them a sense of control. Allowing them to choose their hours and break times also promotes a sustainable work-life balance and means they will be more focused and productive during the time they’ve set aside to work. 4. Create Comfortable Collaboration Spaces Having a comfortable in-person or virtual break room is a significant benefit for your team. It creates a space where employees can disconnect from work for a few moments and mentally reset, and it provides a space where team members can collaborate, solve problems, and build relationships—all activities that benefit the health and happiness of the whole team. 5. Communicate with Transparency What’s your vision for your team? How do your team members contribute to that vision? What are they doing that’s making a difference in the world? Talk to your employees about your organization’s bigger picture and how their work contributes to the overall goals. Giving them this insight helps them feel significant and invested in the outcome of their work. Expert Training on Happiness at Work It is not difficult to be happy at work and foster happiness in your employees. You simply need to know the guiding principles. Our Happiness and Performance workshop teaches the variables most often correlated with happiness, including the role of work itself. Deepen your understanding of what promotes job satisfaction and dissatisfaction and what to do for team members who want to be happy or happier. Contact us today to set up a training session on Happiness and Performance [...]

By |2023-11-24T19:17:28-04:00June 30th, 2023|Happiness Tips, Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 5 Ways to Increase Happiness in Your Employees

Emotional Intelligence: 4 Ways to Build Your Self-Awareness Skills

Emotional Intelligence: 4 Ways to Build Your Self-Awareness Skills The core of great leadership is understanding people. It’s understanding how to motivate them, how to find their strengths and harness them for your team. One powerful tool leaders use in effectively motivating and communicating with their teams is emotional intelligence. This is the skillset that helps leaders read the room and change their approach based on the kind of feedback or direction their team members need in the moment. One of the key pillars of emotional intelligence is self-reflection and self-awareness. Counter to what you may be thinking, the way to get better at self-reflection isn’t through introspection. When we rely only on our perceptions of ourselves, we often get it wrong. Why? We have a tendency to be our own blind spots. We already know and understand our own perspective, but what’s missing, without the input from others, is how what we say and the way we say it makes them feel. Though we may have meant something as a straightforward statement of fact, it may have come across like a cutting insult depending on our timing and facial expression as we delivered this information. When we ask for feedback from others, it helps us to fill in those blind spots. It gives us new information to consider, and it helps us understand the gap between what we tried to express and the message others received. Here are 4 ways to build better self-awareness and boost your emotional intelligence. 1. Choose Feedback Givers Who Can Afford to Be Honest Flattery isn’t honest feedback, and it certainly won’t be helpful in allowing you to build accurate perceptions of yourself. So, who do you ask for feedback? Ideally, you ask people who can afford to be honest. Choose people who don’t need something from you rather than people who are depending on your feedback on an employee review or a critical piece of a collaborative project. If you’re asking people to evaluate a specific situation, it’s best to ask someone who was actually in the room when it happened. That way their reaction isn’t impacted by your version of events, which will always be limited to your perspective. Ask multiple people. Your team members and the other people around you are not a monolith. One person might find a comment you made to be deeply offensive while someone else maybe didn’t even catch that you said it. Asking multiple people gives you the opportunity to spot a trend. If multiple people were uncomfortable with something you said or did, it’s likely a situation you need to take a look at again so you can accept responsibility for anything that was out of line. 2. Ask Open-ended Questions We’ve all had those conversations where someone asked a question in such a way that made it clear there was only one right answer. If you ask leading questions, you’re more likely to get biased answers. (You don’t think I was being too harsh [...]

By |2023-11-24T19:18:45-04:00May 15th, 2023|Happiness Tips, Leadership Tips|Comments Off on Emotional Intelligence: 4 Ways to Build Your Self-Awareness Skills

4 Great Ways to Boost Your Interpersonal Communication Skills

4 Great Ways to Boost Your Interpersonal Communication Skills Interpersonal communication refers to the methods we use to communicate thoughts, feelings, and needs to other people. On the job, this includes things like reporting the status of a task we’re working on, asking for information for a task or job, and resolving conflict between team members. When we think about communication, we often think of the messages we’re sending out using words, such as our verbal or written communication, but interpersonal communication includes so much more than that. There are four types of interpersonal communication: verbal, non-verbal, listening, and written. We use all four types of communication daily, even in a single meeting! Here are 4 ways you can boost your interpersonal communication skills so you can more quickly understand others and be understood. 1. Practice Active Listening Active listening sounds basic, and it is quite simple: listening with the goal of understanding what someone is saying. That said, it’s easier said than done and most of us need to improve this, especially in our fast-paced world. It means listening without thinking of your response or forming rebuttals. It means using your body language to signal attentiveness. To make sure you are truly listening, make sure to make eye contact, focus by removing notifications and distractions. If possible, take notes and ask questions to show that you are present and interested. 2. Use Assertive Communication Using assertive communication means speaking in a respectful way that is clear and direct. “I” statements can help you strike the balance between being direct and respectful. For example, “I need more time to complete this task” is better than, “You didn’t give me enough time to finish.” Instead of using words like “should” and “could”, try rephrasing with more positive words like “will” and “want”. Not only is this better communication, but it will also give you more of a sense of empowerment. There’s a big difference between, “I should get most of my emails answered today,” and “I want to reply to my important emails. I will do this by tomorrow end of day.” 3. Check Your Body Language Nonverbal communication makes up a big part of our conversations, whether we consciously realize it or not. We look for clues in our listeners that show they’re paying attention, understand what we’re saying, and clues to help us assess how they feel about our ideas. We also read the body language of people as they’re speaking to us. Maintaining eye contact tells listeners that you’re speaking directly to them. Good posture communicates that you have confidence in what you’re saying. On the other hand, crossed arms or legs tend to signal discomfort or resistance to the ideas in discussion. Looking down or away from the people you’re speaking with suggests distraction or insecurity. Checking in with your body before and during a conversation can help you make sure your unspoken conversation matches the words you’re saying and signals your confidence and connection with your [...]

By |2023-03-24T12:01:30-04:00March 24th, 2023|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 4 Great Ways to Boost Your Interpersonal Communication Skills

4 Great Ways to Support Intergenerational Teams

4 Great Ways to Support Intergenerational Teams If your team is like most in the workforce today, it’s made up of members of multiple generations. Each generation is characterized by different values and priorities in the workplace. It can be challenging to make sure everyone’s needs are understood and met, yet doing so means greater investment in your company and greater satisfaction on the part of team members. Here are 4 great ways to support intergenerational teams in your workplace. 1. Provide Flexibility One thing the most recent three generations—Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z—have in common is a desire for flexibility. The value looks a little different in each generation, though. For example, members of Generation Y often want the flexibility to work at least part of their hours remotely. They and Generation Z value the opportunity to work outside a traditional 9 to 5 time block. Baby Boomers don’t place as high a value on flexible time schedule, though they may wish to cut back their hours as they near retirement. 2. Vary Benefits Packages Instead of a traditional “one size fits all” approach, try to offer options. As Baby Boomers age, the likelihood of their facing long-term health challenges increases, so healthcare benefits are increasingly important to them. For younger employees, such as Generation Z members, benefits packages that include mental and physical health, like gym memberships can be a higher priority. Offering a variety of benefits options gives each intergenerational team member the ability to set their own priorities. Feeling that their needs are important to the company is especially important to Generations Y and Z. 3. Feedback is Still the Breakfast of Champions All generations want feedback and especially positive feedback. People need to feel appreciated, and recognition is almost always welcome. That said, the younger generations prefer quick, “on the spot” feedback where older generations are more used to performance appraisal meetings a few times a year. 4. Emphasize Development and Mobility Especially for the younger generations, having career path options and clear understanding of upward opportunities within the company are key. While Baby Boomers tends to invest more loyalty in the company they work for, younger generations value personal development and mobility above loyalty to a job. If they find themselves in a position where they feel “stuck”, they’re more likely to search for opportunities elsewhere. Establishing mentorship, training and/or coaching programs within your organization can help create opportunity for personal growth and development while also giving employees a sense of community and connection. Learn to Make the Most of Distinctive Talents in Intergenerational Teams It can be challenging to manage or work with people who belong to different generations. You may find it difficult to understand their needs and understand how use their unique strengths to create a strong intergenerational team. Get comprehensive training on how to meet the needs of your multigenerational team. Learn what each generation needs and how to boost excitement and productivity with our Intergenerational Teams workshop. [...]

By |2023-03-24T12:01:44-04:00February 15th, 2023|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 4 Great Ways to Support Intergenerational Teams

4 Smart Ways to Get a Fresh Start

4 Smart Ways to Get a Fresh Start January is a perfect time to get a fresh start. You don’t have to set resolutions in order to give yourself a fresh start. All you need is a few minutes for a brief self-assessment and an open, curious mind. 1. Find Your Why Before setting any goals for this year, consider the reasons behind them. Your why may have to do with your professional life, or it may be more personal. You may enjoy the people you’re working with and find it rewarding to create an environment where you succeed together or you may just want to focus on you and improving your quality of life. Understanding why a goal matters to you personally helps keep you focused. It helps you keep what’s truly important to you front and center. Have you read “Find Your Why” by Simon Sinek? Having trouble putting your why into words? Consider journaling or talking with a friend, coach or mentor to get better clarity. 2. Set Clear Goals Once you understand your why, you can narrow in on what specific goals best support it. What small changes would mean the most in your life in the context of your why? Remember, concrete, specific goals are easier to complete because we can break them down into bite-sized, achievable steps. Having trouble breaking down your goal into intermediary steps? Not sure how to achieve it? We can help! Our coaching solutions offer you the mentorship you need, targeted specifically to your goals. 3. Share Your Goals When you announce and share your intentions you commit more…Talk to your boss or a team member about your goals for the year. You may want to set specific times to get together and discuss your progress. Perhaps this person can be another set of eyes and ears looking out for opportunities in the direction of your goal. Try to avoid creating a one-sided relationship that’s focused only on your needs and success. Instead, look for a symbiotic relationship, where you each have something to offer one another in terms of support and experience. 4. Invest in Yourself Make developing yourself a part of your goal. This might mean earning a new certification or degree, but it doesn’t have to. One of the easiest and most impactful ways to expand your knowledge is through reading. I just downloaded a new APP called Headway that gives me the opportunity to listen to an audiobook summary a day while talking my walk. Identify key areas you’d like to improve in your work processes and relationships. Find a book, workshop or conference that will give you the opportunity to acquire those skills. Another great development action-item can include attending workshops and seminars. For example, if you struggle with being more assertive, our workshop on The Secrets of Conflict Management will help you build that skill. Get a Fresh Start with These 24 Workshops KCC offers 24 different workshops and conferences to expand your expertise [...]

By |2023-03-24T12:01:53-04:00January 19th, 2023|Happiness Tips, Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 4 Smart Ways to Get a Fresh Start

5 Easy Tips for Giving Employee Feedback 

5 Easy Tips for Giving Employee Feedback Giving employee feedback is one of the key ways we train, reinforce, and communicate with our team members. Effective feedback motivates employees and increases their confidence in their job performance. It’s actually something team members consistently ask for on surveys about work satisfaction. Knowing how you’re doing, what you’re doing right, and what you can improve helps us feel connected to the job we do. It helps us understand how our contributions matter. And it helps build trust with our managers. Here are 5 easy tips for giving employee feedback to boost your team’s success. 1. Feedback Matters Focused feedback helps employees. Not only does it direct them to continue doing tasks in ways that are effective and beneficial, it also bolsters their confidence about the job they’re doing. A team member who has confidence about his role in the company is a happier employee. Happy employees work harder and stay with an employer longer. I know this may sound cheesy, but I still believe that “feedback is the breakfast of champions” because you can’t improve, if you don’t know what you could improve. 2. Frequency Matters It’s tempting to focus our efforts giving feedback on annual reviews, and those may be important tools. There are hundreds of workdays between those annual reviews, though. Employees will experience more consistent growth, more energy on the job, and more motivation when they receive feedback on a much more frequent basis. The new trend is more about frequent, on-the-spot, micro feedbacks. Ideally, more positive than negative if possible. Remember the chapter in The One-Minute Manager: “Catch Them Doing Something Right”! 3. Timing Matters Giving consistent employee feedback may take some time to get used to. We tend to get focused on tasks and deadlines more easily than on the people making those deadlines successful. To build a habit of offering regular feedback, identify some key moments where feedback doesn’t interrupt workflow or embarrass a team member. For example, one great opportunity for feedback is following a team meeting. If the feedback is relevant to the whole team, add it to the meeting agenda. If it’s specific to one team member or a small contingent of the group, ask those individuals to remain behind as the meeting closes. 4. Celebrate, Don’t Manipulate In his book, Nonviolent Communication, author and psychologist Marshall B. Rosenberg discusses his approach to expressing appreciation. His concern with some forms of positive feedback is that employees can lose their motivation if they feel that a manager or leader complimented them in order to manipulate them. Instead, he recommends expressing appreciation with three specific components. First, express what specific action the team member completed that made a positive difference. Next, explain how you felt in reaction to those actions. Last, this is how those actions met a need. The order is less important than ensuring the components of the appreciation are present. Remember authentic recognition creates a powerful boost to people’s morale. 5. Critical [...]

By |2023-03-24T12:02:34-04:00November 1st, 2022|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 5 Easy Tips for Giving Employee Feedback 

5 Proven Interview Techniques to Hire Top Talent 

6 Proven Interview Techniques to Hire Top Talent In today’s war on talent, the power of your interview techniques is a critical part of your team’s success. Not only do those techniques determine the quality of the candidates you select, but the interview experience is important to candidates as well. LinkedIn reports that for 83% of candidates, a negative interview experience changed their opinion of a company. The last thing you want is to turn away a top candidate’s interest because they did not appreciate the process. How do you craft an interview experience that’s positive for the candidate and reveals which applicant is the best fit for the job? These six tried-and-true interview techniques will help you find the team members you’re looking for. 1. Create a Positive Candidate Experience One of the most important aspects of the selection process in today’s world is making the experience a positive one. This will help you attract top talent and help you develop or maintain your organization’s “employer of choice” reputation. Every step of the process can contribute to creating this positive impression including the job posting: the first email or phone conversation, the virtual or in-person meetings and the offer or the rejection. Our approach should differentiate us from others and be centered on making each candidate feel important. We need to be professional, open, agile, effective and welcoming at every step. Make sure you put some thought into this aspect of your process. We want each person we meet to want to work with us and for them to speak positively about our organization even if it doesn’t work out! 2. Structured Interview Traditionally, one of the most popular interview techniques in big organizations was the structured interview. In a structured interview, the interviewer asks every candidate the same questions in the same order. The answers are scored so that candidates’ performance can be easily ranked. While the structured interview technique helps identify good candidates, it can come across cold and impersonal, which can turn those great candidates away. We usually do not recommend this approach but if you’re going to use this technique, do your best to connect personally with each candidate. 3. Behavioral Interview A very popular and effective interview technique is the behavioral interview. This technique is based on the following statement: Past behavior is the best predictor of future success. In this technique, interviewers ask candidates a series of situational questions to help them assess how the candidate handles tasks, deadlines, and potential challenges or problems on the job. It helps an interviewer understand the needs and personality of the candidate so that he can determine how the candidate handles conflict or change and whether he will be a good fit for the team. Behavior interviews use questions asking for examples and stories from candidates. It may be difficult for candidates to relate situations concisely, so this technique may require some extra time and patience. It does, however, provide great insights into how a candidate [...]

By |2023-03-24T12:02:43-04:00October 5th, 2022|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 5 Proven Interview Techniques to Hire Top Talent 

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 |2023-03-24T12:02:51-04:00August 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 |2023-03-24T12:02:58-04:00July 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 |2022-05-09T16:38:45-04:00May 9th, 2022|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 5 Components of Successful Delegation

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