Tag Archives: employee engagement

Communication - Performance Management

When Performance Suffers, Are You Actually Stealing?

Back in the 1950s, stealing in the workplace was pretty black and white. If your workplace was a production line creating widgets and you took a widget home, you knew very well that you had stolen this physical property. Nowadays however, not everything falls neatly into the category of a product or a service.

Now performance for many is processing information. Workplaces cannot simply put up a metal detector to see if information is leaving in someone’s pocket. Information resides in our minds – invisible to others and not very useful to the organization unless we communicate effectively. 

You probably didn’t mean to steal the information. In fact, you probably never even thought about it this way. But as technology changes, so do our workplaces. Once we understand the true nature of the materials that our jobs involve – be it physical materials, or in many cases information – we can then understand our responsibility to help move ALL those materials along.

Today’s workplace requires effective communication. We must be able to synthesize a tremendous amount of data and then provide it in the right format, at the right time. Sometimes that format is for a meeting with our boss, a report, a presentation, a meeting with a client, or marketing material.

Think about it this way. When you are paid to gather, assimilate, and pass along data, it is the same as if you were paid to gather materials, create a widget, and pass that widget to the next person. In an information age, information and data are now the property that companies are processing and profiting from.

So with new types of work, there also needs to be new boundaries to define an employee’s responsibility. Your performance may be based on your ability to gather data, to give an opinion, to help translate the information so it will be valuable to your colleagues and clients. If you don’t help this data or information progress down the line – the data in your head is not valuable to the organization. It’s as if you took a widget home in your pocket.  

To improve your workplace culture, leading to increased productivity and better employee performance, remind employees that sharing information is the new widget.

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Feedback and Recognition - Performance Management

High Performers and Stragglers

I was in my flower garden, another way to say I was in one of my happy places, and I was planting another clematis for what must be the 20th or so time. Why do I keep cajoling, prodding, and trying to grow a clematis in this spot when my other flowers are, pardon the pun, “blossoming”?

We do this same thing with high performers at work. We ignore the high performers while we cajole the stragglers. What if we focus more on your high performing team members and keeping them happy? You know, those amazing folks who always seem to have it all together and just make your work life easier. 

First up, make sure you’re encouraging the high performers to take breaks. And I don’t mean just a quick breather during the workday – I’m talking about real, honest-to-goodness time off. High performers can be prone to burnout, so make sure they’re getting the rest they need to keep their engines revving and their minds fresh.

Next, share the love when it comes to high-visibility projects. Give those high performers a chance to shine and show off their skills. It’s a great way to show them that you value their contributions and help them feel more engaged with the company as a whole. 

Don’t forget to ask for their opinions and provide positive feedback. Encourage them to attend workshops and conferences so they can keep expanding their knowledge base. And always remember to acknowledge their contributions, both publicly and privately – don’t just assume they know how awesome they are.

High performers are often very hard on themselves, so let them know they are valued. When performance appraisal time comes, go overboard!  

Make sure you’re respecting their work-life balance and allowing for as much flexibility as possible. In-person events are also energizing if you can make it happen. And keep ’em in the loop about new initiatives and trends so they feel connected and informed.

Remember, the more committed you are to them, the more committed they’ll be to the organization. So be a good role model and show them what high performance looks like.

Finally, make sure you’re using performance appraisals and executive coaching to keep those high performers on track and help them continue to grow. Keep ‘em blooming!

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Diversity and Inclusion - Employee Engagement

How Will You Observe Pride Month?

I came home exhilarated! It was such a fun day full of love and acceptance. I met my friend and colleague, Ann Murdoch at the Capital Pride Parade in Washington DC last year. Ann had helped arrange a spot in the parade for one of my clients, and we marched, danced, and giggled all along the route.

It was an honor to be with Ann and other friends celebrating love, diversity, inclusion, and a gorgeous day in the nation’s capital. 

How will you spend Pride Month, and how will you actively advocate for others? What is your town, city, or workplace doing to welcome diversity of all kinds?

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