Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

As we pointed out in the post “How Managers Can Close the Engagement Gap with Employees,” there are five conditions to stronger employee experience.  In this post, we will discuss how PXT Select hiring and placement assessments can help management close the engagement gap with their employees.  This is done mainly with performance models  and PXT Select reports.

  1. Meaningful work:  PXT Select measures 20 traits, its performance model pages help you to determine person-to-job fit using skills and talents not only for the current job, but for future career planning as well.   Matching the employee to the job assignment helps the employee be successful and makes them want to stay longer.  PXT Performance Models define the styles and traits necessary for each job so candidates can be better matched to functions where they will fit best.
  2. Hands-on management: PXT Select provides information on employee-to-manager fit using management reports that provide summary data and trait scales for reflection, in order to leverage employee strengths.
  3. Positive work environment: For team work environments, PXT Select can provide insights on employee-to-team fit with the Team report. Utilizing PXT Select helps organizations build teams that achieve results.
  4. Growth opportunities: PXT Select indicates person-to-culture fit for the organization’s environment so succession planning and career growth are possible. The Coaching report is helpful in planning advancement and future roles, which will require more skills as well as a person-to-culture fit.
  5. Trust in leadership: PXT Select allows organizations to support the development of leadership skills within teams and individuals by focusing on the development of 6 critical leadership skills. These skills are outlined in the PXT Leadership Report as:  create a vision, develop strategies, ensure results, inspire people, be approachable, and mentoring others.

Using PXT Select to close the gap between management and staff will build a stronger employee experience and increases employee engagement.  The result will be higher productivity that exceeds expectations.

If you are interested in finding out more about how PXT Select can help you, please contact us.  We also offer The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team and Everything DiSC behavioral assessments and training.

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Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace” 2017 survey showed only 30% of employees are engaged, 52% are disengaged, and 18% are actively disengaged.  In most organizations, that means less than a third of their employees are actively engaged in the job they do. Signs of an employee who is disengaged include:  lack motivation, does not take part even in fun company activities or celebrations, often silent, not enthusiastic about learning new things, or growing their career within the company. How can you motivate your employees and increase engagement?

Employee experience drives engagement and productivity.  Yours and their good intentions have to be transferred into behavior which leads to action.  To change behavior and close the engagement gap, it is important to understand the five conditions that lead to stronger employee experiences in these turbulent economic times.  Managers must provide employees with the following:

  1. Meaningful work: First, make sure you have a good talent and skills fit for their current role. Give them the independence and necessary tools to do their work. Share opportunities for individual empowerment and working in teams.  Allow time for creativity and necessary rest.  You may also want to review How PXT Select Can Help Managers Close the Engagement Gap.
  2. Hands-on management: Set clear goals and guidelines for activities. Acknowledge their accomplishments and offer coaching as needed. For ideas, see 5 Tips for Managing a Multi-generational Workforce and 5 Simple Tips to Managing a Successful Team.
  3. Positive work environment: Leverage their strengths and consider flexibility on their work schedule and place. The work culture should be inclusive and diverse.
  4. Growth opportunities: Have various training and support options available (this is especially key during work-from-home situations) that increases: skills, job flexibility, and career mobility.
  5. Trust in their leadership: Create mission and purpose for company and staff. Embrace leadership development; proved inspiration and motivation through positive and transparent communication. You may also review 10 Tips for Preventing Isolation in Your Remote Workforce.

For more about the issue of employee disengagement and the five conditions to engagement, read case studies in Mending the Engagement Gap: Driving Organizational Success through Employee Engagement.

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It is important for proper employee placement and as a tool for feedback to have performance models for the job titles within an organization.  Many organizations do this by staring with the job classifications they feel are most important to their organization or for their key functions at the management level.  Afterwards, they will continue down through all the job titles within the company.

There are many methods to build an organization’s performance model.  You can use a lot of time trying to find the best solution, which might include:  trial and error, pricey consultant.  or even create your own models with your Human Resource (HR) department.  You can go through several months and lots of dollars only to find out that your selected approach may not meet your expectations or fit your specific needs.

You may know PXT Select as a hiring and placement tool with a variety of useful HR and manager reports.   Did you know the tool is based on job performance models?  The advantage of PXT Select reports are how they show the candidates results against your performance model and provide potential questions for interviewers.  With PXT Select, you have three possible methods to build performance models for your organization.  PXT authorized partners can help you build a model by:

  1. Replicating your top performers by using your existing job descriptions, tasks and skills lists
  2. Helping you to create custom models built especially for you via PXT consulting
  3. Utilizing their existing PXT Select performance model library of general job specific data

If you are interested in building or updating your job performance models, please contact us.  We are a PXT Select authorized partner.

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Telecommuting Remote Worker Working from home and telecommuting has a whole new meaning today.  Leaders need to be aware of the issues their employees face when working alone.  These issues are more than which technologies are the best to use.  There are feelings of isolation and loss in belonging to a group or a purpose.  Below are ten tips for leadership to prevent feelings of isolation in your workforce that is working remotely from home or others locations.

10 Tips for Preventing Isolation for Your Remote Workforce:

  1. Set Them Up for Remote Success.  While you may have sent your employee home with a laptop, camera and microphone, some people are more hesitant of new technologies. Have some “dry runs” or create a fun interaction and let the team members play with the tools.  Take the lead with your IT Department or application provider and get some tips and tricks for keeping information safe.  Show them how to: access/store documents on your secure server or cloud storage for shared or team documents.  Encourage them to reach out to team members using text, chat, instant message, phone, or electronic meeting tools for communication.   Leverage some of the many tools and technologies that are available like the various forms of virtual meeting for sharing ideas.
  1. Communicate with your Remote Employees on a Regular Basis.  You can simply call or email team members, but if you are looking to maintain engagement, take the time to do web-based video sessions. It is only a couple of extra steps to have one-on-one individual meetings or virtual meetings for your intact team members.  Encourage all your team members to make the extra effort to connect by phone and video. Working remotely can be quite isolating and all team members need to feel part of something.  Real-time phone and video captures what the chat, IM and texting cannot. Even the most extreme introverts will begin to feel isolated an lonely without the human interactions for too long.
  1. Manage with Realistic Goals and Timelines.  Being extra specific on what your expectations and timelines are will pay off in a big way for all involved. Be sure you agree on how to “urgent” items and provide true deadlines with milestones to reach along the way.  Consider color coding tasks and priorities assigned to reflect those things you need now versus later. The more they understand the expectations of tasks and timelines, the more successful they will be at meeting them. You need to realize that many have their hands full with the challenges of managing a family and a job.
  1. Provide Performance Coaching and Feedback.  While we are all busy scrambling to get our business in order along with managing competing priorities, do not forget to regularly coach your employees and give them constant feedback. This means employees need clear expectations. Find out what is keeping them from meeting their targets and see how you can provide guidance or resources to help them.  If providing critical feedback, be sure they are in a place to actively listen without others overhearing or interruptions. When it comes to your employees meeting targets, use PTC when they: exceed them – Praise them, meet them – Thank them sincerely, miss them – Coach them on their performance.
  1. Create Opportunities for Team Engagement.  As the team’s leader, you need to schedule time for you and your team members to connect with each other. Even though they are not physically seeing each other every day, there is no reason you cannot create a feeling of comradery. Consider doing a short lunch and learn, or a team building activity or even a group break using a virtual platform. Let them have a forum to share what is making them smile and also their challenges and fears. Some organizations are doing virtual events like: interactive happy hours, virtual cooking classes, and Everything DiSC learning sessions.   You might consider seeing if you could find a local charity or outreach to sponsor.
  1. Be Results-Focused – No Micro-Managing.  Assuming you have communicated expectations clearly, then the focus can shift to looking for accomplishments and results. Being overly concerned about every task being done and how every hour of the day is spent will make everyone more than a little crazy. Trust them to do what is needed to achieve the goals and if they are not, then a different conversation can take place. It is a new world and you will see many have to manage tasks on their own timeline, meaning, they may be having to spend more time with children in the day, but will give you a 150% in the evening or early morning.
  1. Strategically Communicate with the Individual.  While you lead and manage your remote team members, create a strategy and guidelines for when and how you will connect with them for reports, updates, etc. Remember, your team members have different communication styles and preferences. Adapt to their style as much as possible for the best results.
  1. Encourage Stepping up to the Plate.  As a leader, it is important to ask team members who are in a position to help, to step up to the plate to help their fellow co-workers who are struggling to manage family issues at home while trying to work.  Challenges will arise for your remote employees, so fell free to ask team members, who may not have as much personal responsibility, to reach out to co-workers and see if there are any tasks they can take off their plate to relieve stress and reduce feeling of isolation.
  1. Provide Management Consistency.  Although as a leader may want to let the employee decide how to work, you might provide guidelines as to use of company technology for personal use, work-time policy, and confidentiality.  Your HR department or consultant can provide you some best practices that you could share. This will avoid confusion between team members who have their own ideas as to what they should and should not be doing while working remotely.  Some may need time management tips for telecommuting as well as the technology training.
  1. Support Their Needs, Professional and Personal.  When we work in a physical space daily, we get to know those on the team beyond a professional level. We learn about their families, personal values and beliefs, as well as their own personal history. Take the time to be intentional about deepening the relationships you have with your employees as well, to help create a sense of belonging and community for them.  Simply said, make them feel valued by checking in on them.  Be prepared, many will have more on their plate than you knew, listen – really listen.  If necessary, give them the guidance or the employee assistance they may need.

Using the ten tips make it easier for leaders help their employees overcome the feeling of isolation when working alone at home or other remote locations.  Knowing that their leadership cares, about both the professional and personal issues of telecommuting, will encourage a sense of belonging and instill more purpose into their work done from home.

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Leaderhip Books On this blog, I have recommended reading for success and given book suggestions. Reading books has worked well for me and has helped others. Many great leaders today and in history have said that they took time to read books. Books not only take you on adventures, they can improve your mind by helping you develop personally and professionally, Reading can help leaders become not only intelligently and technically smarter, they will gain emotionally and empathetically too. Through books, you can see things from a different viewpoint, get new ideas, and increase your knowledge.

“Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today.”
– Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook

According to The American Institute of CPAs, reading can help you get ahead. Reading expands you vocabulary and increase your ability to communicate. Reading also reduces stress, enhances creativity, and increase focus. So why not read more?

“Reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding.”
– Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft

According to the job posting site Monster, reading is good for your career development. Books make you smarter, improve your writing skills, and enhance your analytical skills. So why not pick up a book today?

“Read 500 pages…every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest.”
– Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

The quotes from great business leaders above should be enough to convince you if you want to be a great leader then you need to take time to read books. If not, then read Popular Science article on how reading is good for the brain. As we noted above, books increase your knowledge, Knowledge is definitely a competitive advantage. So get reading this year to improve yourself and your business!

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3 Tips to Create a Listening CultureEveryone understands that listening better makes you a better communicator, but how do you develop a culture of listening? After all changing cultural norms in the workplace is not an easy task.  Below are 3 tips on candor, styles, and emotions you can try to create to a culture that listens to everyone.

Reward candor as a positive way to build a better listening culture. If you want people to share their ideas openly, it is important to give a simple “thank you” or say things lie “that is a great idea [perspective or thought].”

Adapt to the style of co-workers.  When you adapt, with the other person’s communication style in mind, more effective interactions can take place. DiSC is a tool that can help make you more aware of the styles of others.  When conversing with the other DiSC styles below make an effort to follow these suggestions:

  • D – make efficient use of time, stay focused, expect blunt truthfulness
  • I – support their enthusiasm, be open to collaboration
  • S – show concern for their feelings, use an easy-going approach
  • C – keep the message objective, expect skepticism

Manage emotions because it can be painful for people to experience new ideas or challenges to the old way of doing things. Many may have strong, emotional reactions – so expect them and be willing to open a conversation around their issues.  You need to acknowledge the existing emotions, pause before reacting, and then form a response that that supports your new culture.  It takes emotionally agile people to work across cultures, generations, and to adapt to rapid changes in the workforce.

For more communication suggestions, review Focus on Effective Communication Skills post.


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Human Insecurity

According to Mark Scullard, insecurity can lead to the following drains on corporate culture:  gossip, territorialism, cliques, cynicism, defensiveness, hiding mistakes, resistance to change, fear of risk, passive aggressive communication, avoiding feedback, withholding of information, false consensus, and pocket vetoes.

In his white paper The Invisible Drain on Your Company’s Culture, he write “these actions slowly, and usually imperceptibly, corrode the machinery of the organization’s culture—a steady drain on efficiency, communication, transparency, engagement, creativity, and objective decision making. And, of course, all of this trickles down to the bottom line…”

People bring their personal issues into the workplace every day!  Insecurity is a natural human condition and possibly the root of most workplace conflict. At work people pretend that insecurity is something they should not reveal.  Insecurity is dismissed as a character flaw or weakness in the workplace, rather than a unconscious feeling.

Today, most leaders recognize the impact of personality and interpersonal relationships on their organization’s success, although they were unaware how much of their time might be spent managing insecurity and its consequences. However, Scullard says there is something managers can do.  Managers should understand the two dimensions of human nature (via DiSC model) to help organize interpersonal relationships and they can encourage trust in the workplace.

Want to know more about why you should use Everything DiSC?  View Creating a Winning Culture video featuring customer testimonials.

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Everything DiSC - Management

Everything DiSC – Management map

We often hear that behavioral styles training is “all fluff”.  To help leaders understand how it can benefit an organization, we often point to case studies showing how profit-based companies, government offices, and non-profits have implemented Everything DiSC successfully.  These case studies give a big picture benefit for the organization.

What do individual managers who went through the Everything DiSC training to learn their own style and that of their: co-workers/ team mates, managers, and subordinates think about Everything DiSC?  Below are some of the individual comments when we followed-up to find out how the Everything DiSC training helped in managing and/or working with others?

  • It helped me to determine how to approach different employees.
  • I am very conscious of my actions and re-actions now. Emotions are all good; the way that we allow them to manifest dictates good or bad!!!
  • Am more aware of different profiles of Managers and how to handle different styles.
  • I’m not so quick tempered when I’m dealing with an outraged employee. I make time to think of his/her style and how to deal with this individual.
  • I have more tolerance for other people’s style.
  • By learning employees’ style has helped me communicate better.
  • When dealing with the District Managers on my level trying to figure out what disc style they are and know that I can’t deal with them all the same.
  • I use the disc chart for my managers and it has helped me know how to get more out of them.
  • Remembering what DISC style I am trying to communicate with.
  • I look at people differently because now I see that other people don’t follow and or hear simple instructions the same.
  • Deal with coworkers better.
  • Understanding people’s personal style has helped in knowing how to address them.
  • When trying to explain projects or instruction to an employee, I now first plan out my execution of direction in accordance to THAT employee.
  • Remembering that there are a lot of different personalities in the people I manage.
  • Applying the DiSC model to characterize and understand reports and associates.
  • Learning and continuing to work on my communication skills (reading people and understanding them to communicate effectively to reach a goal, teach or instruct)
  • Try to be more opened minded and look at it from their eyes.
  • People are different and need to be led by different manners. Sometimes just understanding how a person works/thinks makes all the difference in leading them.
  • Learning each other’s style D, I, C, or S.
  • Learn to be more open to other “types” of people and how they learn
  • Overall how I approached a problem with any of my guys! Instead of getting in there and pretty much treating them all the same, I try to approach each and every one of them differently and according to the situation they may be in. I always remember what you guys had said….not everyone reacts the same in a situation!!
  • Everyone is unique in their own way and how to deal with the different styles of people.
  • I do better at recognizing people’s good points and try to build on those points.
  • Try to remember I am dealing with many different types of folks that are motivated in many different ways.
  • Read people better and communicate with them.
  • It’s easy to read people better.
  • Understand your leadership style and the style of those who report to you, and whom you work with – learn to understand and speak their “language” to optimize the team.
  • Relate to other people that have different disc management styles.
  • Learn to be more open to other “types” of people and how they learn
  • That everybody looks at things differently and I need to be more open to the concerns and interests of my employees
  • Learning about the different DISC styles.
  • Relating ideas to personnel and best ways to approach personalities.
  • Realize that everyone has a style and each of us should learn to adapt our styles to reach effective communication to be productive.
  • Other people are different from myself and will see things differently. That is good. Use it.
  • That everyone else in this world doesn’t think and follow simple instructions the same way I do.
  • We all deliver and receive information in different ways. I try to remember that when speaking with different DISC types
  • Not everyone needs to be managed in the same manner as me!

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Lunch & Learn, Learn at Lunch

Lunch and Learn Topic Ideas

A Lunch and Learn is an easy way to encourage continuous leaning in your organization. These short informational sessions can provide quick training opportunities for your staff.  If you are thinking about adding Lunch & Learns to the list of educational options you offer in-house, consider the 10 questions below to get ideas for possible training topics.

  1. Have your teams been trained, yet still seemed to fall short in some areas of team-building and collaboration?
  2. Do you already have topics you would like to introduce to the team?
  3. Is it important to reinforce your company values and business ethic policies?
  4. What new products or additional services could you introduce to sales and service staff?  
  5. Is there a new management strategy you want to educate staff on and gain buy-in for?
  6. Did you do a big training event last year that you should do quick refresher for on one or more key components?
  7. Is there a new technology tool in the company that several people need a basic introduction to instead of actual hands-on training? 
  8. Are there advanced topics your technical staff members can learn as small snippets of information?
  9. Does your leadership team want to learn new skills, however they do not feel they have the time to go to long training workshops?
  10. Are your employees feeling stressed or burnt out and in need of solutions?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then a lunch and learn session may be the answer to getting the training out there quickly.  With all the new virtual meeting options out there, you can include remote attendees as well.  Just be sure you test the presentation and technology options before the lunch and learn starts.

For more tips on delivering Lunch & Learn training, see Learn At Lunch: A Great Team, Sales, and Management Training Option.

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Wiley announced the winners of their product sales awards at the April 24-26, 2019 MindLab Conference in Denver, Colorado (more photos from event).  Among the Diamond-level winners were Roy Davis (owner of Davis Success Solutions) and wife, Mary Anne (owner of Peak Performance Solutions).  Since both Davis’ are certified/accredited facilitators for Everything DiSC and The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team training options, their separate training companies are able to collaborate on delivering training workshops and seminars to their various customers.  Both Roy and Mary Anne Davis are also asked to speak on DiSC, leadership, and team-building topics at many association luncheons or dinners.  Additionally, Mary Anne is sought out as a sales/marketing speaker.  Roy Davis is also a popular speaker for career development topics.

Everything DiSC Authorized Partner

All award levels are based on sales of Everything DiSC and  The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Wiley products lines.  The two highest awards Wiley gives are Diamond ($125K+ sales) and Emerald ($75K+ sales), which are celebrated at a special Authorized Partner evening of the MindLab event.  The Davis couple has won Diamond in 2018, 2017, 2015, and 2013.  They have won Emerald in 2016, 2014, and 2011.  Other Wiley awards levels include:  Ruby, Sapphire, Topaz (new for 2019), and Opal.  Many of the other awards have been won by Davis Success Solutions each year since Roy began his authorized partnership for the variety of DiSC profiles in 2005, shortly after staring his business in 2004.  The selection of Everything DiSC behavior profiles and associated reports includes:  363 for Leaders, , Management, Productive Conflict, Sales, Work of Leaders, and Workplace which can be for both personal and professional communication use.  The Davis’ began offering  The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team products and training in 2014 and PXT Select assessments and reports in 2017.

The Five Behaviors of a Team Authorized Partner

Working with Wiley to increase the training offerings of Davis Success Solutions and Peak Performance Solutions has been successful for both companies.  It has also been extremely beneficial to their clients as well.  Customer success stories have been published in Training and Development Magazine (an ATD publication) and as examples published by Wiley.  The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team success stories include AmerisourceBergen and City of Schertz.  Working with Southwest Business Corporation is an Everything DiSC success story (see also testimonial video).

PXT Select Authorized Partner

Peak Performance Solutions has been in the training business since 1994.  Roy Davis and Mary Anne (Wihbey) Davis’ companies have been co- facilitating workshops since 2004 for synergistic success, before the two independent company owners married in 2010.  Each company has other training offerings, besides those based on Wiley products, which are unique based on their individual expertise.  As well as their standard course offerings, both companies also offer customized training in each of their areas of expertise designed to meet their varied client needs.  For training outside their scope of knowledge, each training company may contract with other experts that they collaborate with, in order to insure customers get the best options to fill specific skill gaps within the client’s organization.

Davis Success Solutions

Peak Performance Soltuions

Check out their company websites or contact Roy Davis at Davis Success Solutions or Mary Anne Davis at Peak Performance Solutions to find out how they may help you with your training needs.

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