Author Archives: Karen Snyder

Communication - Feedback and Recognition

Seeing Half of the Story

One of our clients was kind enough to send me what he experienced after I wrote an article about the importance of feedback and compliments.

“Once I paid what I thought was a huge compliment to a Director of Nursing about a member of her nursing staff. As a physician, I said it’s frequently challenging to reach the nurses station by telephone, but whenever I call this particular station, the unit nurse very promptly answers the phone. I relayed to the nursing director that I was very appreciative that this nurse was so immediately responsive to my needs.

The nursing director thanked me for letting her know, and informed me that this particular nurse has been neglecting their duties with respect to patient care and has been on a corrective action plan. The director said that the last place this nurse should be is sitting at the nurses station answering the phone!” My friend the doctor suggested to me that perhaps giving appreciative feedback isn’t always helpful. While that can be true, I think it’s a more complicated and nuanced issue. The following positives came from his comment:

  • The doctor had a productive conversation with the Director of Nursing.
  • The nurse who answered was rewarded.
  • The exchange highlights that employees are multi-dimensional. Even employees who are underperforming in some ways are likely doing at least a few things right, and it’s important to notice what is going right as well as what needs correction.

 Can you think of colleagues or employees who need improvement, but are still doing a lot of things right? When positive actions are recognized and appreciated, we are more receptive to making changes to improve performance in other areas. A 360 review provides individuals with a comprehensive evaluation and allows them to receive valuable feedback not only from their managers, but also from colleagues, clients, and vendors.

I am such an advocate of the 360 review process that I’ve written about it on multiple occasions. By learning and having the opportunity to give and receive feedback, employees can improve their work relationships and leverage themselves and their organizations to the next level.

Is it time for your organization to do a 360?

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Diversity and Inclusion - Mindset

What Do Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Juneteenth Have in Common?

As the calendar turns and we go from one special occasion to the next, I am often surprised to hear, “I hate Christmas!” “We never celebrate Valentine’s Day.” “Every day should be Mother’s Day!” 

If we read between the lines, we will understand that what is actually meant is, “Keep Christ in Christmas.” Or, “Share love every day instead of supporting the Valentine’s Day marketing ploy.” Unfortunately, we can now add Juneteenth to this list. 

If you didn’t know, Walmart started selling a Juneteenth ice cream last month, and soon after experienced a social media backlash. You can read about it here

Since I was not in the Walmart meeting rooms when the decision was made to create, brand, and market the product, I won’t speak to that. I will, however, point out that Juneteenth is a time to honor and support Black business owners as well as Black playwrights, scientists, and authors, just to name a few.  

So, if Walmart’s attempt to capitalize on the holiday is controversial, how should we support the holiday and its meaning? 

Take some time this week to watch a documentary, listen to a podcast, or visit a museum. Learn about our country’s history, and work to create more change in your community. Buy from Black-owned businesses. We produced a list last year for our DC friends, but it’s an easy Google search wherever you live. And if you are having a hankering for ice cream, order Creamalicious

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Leadership - Mindset

Your Organization Looks Like You

When I read this article, one of many on “The Great Resignation,” I was reminded of what my accountant told me many years ago. She said, “Over time, employees start to reflect the values of the leader.” While this article refers to creating a culture where employees have personal well-being, the message of leaders modeling the culture they desire applies to all areas of leadership. In the article, the author, Jen Fisher wrote, 

”When I wasn’t taking vacation, my team noticed and followed suit. That’s why it’s so important for leaders to model positive well-being behaviors and show their teams that rest and recovery is both permissible and necessary.”

What leaders say is very important, but what they model is just as important, possibly even more so. Leaders, managers, supervisors, if there is anything that you are encouraging, demanding, or expecting your employees to do, and yet you are not consistently modeling, you are likely wasting your words.

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