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Remote Employees Are Angry: 3 Keys To Re-Engage And Boost Performance

*As originally seen on Forbes.com

Are your remote team members thriving or suffering in silence?

A recent article in Harvard Business Review, by Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, discussed their study of remote employees and their findings were powerful. Here are some of the staggering statistics:

  • Colleagues don’t fight for my priorities: 67% of remote employees felt this way vs. 59% of onsite employees.
  • Colleagues say bad things about me behind my back: 41% of remote employees felt this way vs. 31% of onsite employees.
  • Colleagues make changes to the project without warning me: 64% of remote employees felt this way vs. 58% of onsite employees.
  • Colleagues lobby against me with others: 35% of remote employees felt this way vs. 26% of onsite employees.

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Michael Ferguson stated recently in Harvard Business Review, “There’s no magic tool for making sure your relationships with remote employees are as strong as they can be. Making a good effort requires being equally conscious of them and understanding the challenges they face. It means trying to replicate the experience of having them physically present with you. The more actions you take to show that you consider them full members of your team, the more likely they are to feel and act that way.”

I don’t have a magic tool or wand, but I do have proven strategies. Let’s dive into the three keys to shift their experience by making inclusion a priority.

1) Explicit Communication:

 Only 7% of communication is the actual content, seeing each other is essential. We don’t want to think that people are saying bad things about us, we want to ensure that we are giving someone the feeling of inclusion and belonging with our words and written communication. This occurs when we communicate often, we are fostering a sense of ‘we all belong here and we are in this together’. Utilizing video conferencing is a great way to have remote team members feel like they are as important as the team members that are physically in the office.

2) Appreciation & Recognition: Are you celebrating successes on a regular basis through visible appreciation (high five emails to the team, weekly round-up emails listing individual employee’s wins, leaderboards showing employees who are achieving their needle movers, gamification that shows who has won what based on their specific goals). How are you helping your remote team to feel appreciated and valued?

3) Engagement: How are you helping to keep everyone’s hearts and minds focused on how much they love your company?

 In my previous blog, 6 Brain-Based Leadership Game-Changers For 2018 [Infographics], I showed specific tools for making new meaning, effective feedback, neuro-storytellingreleasing resistanceunconscious bias and our SBM (Safety, Belonging, Mattering) Decoder. All of these tools can be applied to remote employees with massive success.

My clients find that the increased connection with remote employees often results in: unsung heroes and high potential team members being “discovered”new innovative ideas being airedproblems being uncovered and improvements to morale. When we have strategies in place to foster inclusion, we get remote team members who say, “I love my job, I trust my leader, I trust my co-workers, and I’m ready to rock today!” This is true emotional agility and engagement.

Which of the above practices will you add to your culture to show your remote employees that they are a valued part of your organization? Let’s reinforce the sentiment that out of sight does not mean out of mind.

 
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Featuring case studies and proven techniques, Power Your Tribe provides a set of powerful neuroscience-based tools to help managers identify emotions, release resistance, end isolation, focus on outcomes, and course-correct for continued success.

Learn More
 
 
 
 
 

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Why Leaders Need To Embrace Employee Motivation

*As originally seen on Forbes.com

 

How do we consistently get team members who say ‘I love my job, I trust my leader and l’m ready to rock today!’?

According to Gallup, the purpose of performance management is to improve quality of work, productivity and other business outcomes, but traditional approaches have consistently fallen short.

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Let’s look at Gallup’s findings:

  • Only 2 in 10 employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work.
  • 30% of employees strongly agree that their manager involves them in goal setting.
  • Employees whose managers involve them in goal setting are 3.6x more likely than other employees to be engaged.
  • 21% of employees strongly agree they have performance metrics that are within their control.
  • 14% of employees strongly agree that the performance reviews they receive inspire them to improve.
  • 26% of employees strongly agree that the feedback they receive helps them to do their work better.

The result? Gallup estimates the cost of poor management and lost productivity from employees in the U.S. who are not engaged or actively disengaged to be between $960 billion and $1.2 trillion per year. Wow! What steps do leaders need to take to motivate their employees?

What Employees Really Want

The workplace is evolving and shifting. As leaders, we need to realize that the wants and needs of our employees are changing. We saw this when we learned how to create a culture where Millennials and members of Generation Z can thrive.

The key to inspiring maximum performance from your team is not scoring them and offering standardized feedback based on their score. Instead, use a process that creates intrinsic motivation and benefits both the team member and the company.

Performance Motivation Is Key

Empowerment and motivation happen when people solve their own problems, and create their own aspirations and expectations. That’s why the outcome frame tool is a powerful first step. It helps our team find out what they really want and how they know when they’ve got it. It generates clarity and insights. Helping our people focus on the outcome they want to create, not the problems in the way, activates their reward (pleasure) network. Once our team knows what they really want, it’s time to create an action plan to motivate team performance.

  1. Impact Descriptions – Not Job Descriptions
  2. Clear Needle Movers
  3. Individual Development Plans (IDPs)
  4. Performance Self-Evaluations

To see each of these factors discussed in detail, please see the infographic below and my previous blog Why Performance Management Is Dead And Performance Motivation Is Here To Stay. (insert performance motivation vs performance management infographic here)

When you implement the above action plan, your team will begin to shift. They will be motivated to do outstanding work because they know their role is part of something bigger. They will realize they are valued and that achieving their goals is essential to the success of their organization. More importantly, they will begin to trust their leaders.

Trust creates reliable environments. Enriched environments are more reliable. Reliable and enriched environments equal ROI.

 The result? Team members making more connections, solving problems faster, figuring things out faster and innovating better.

Share with us how shifting from performance management to performance motivation is impacting your organization.

 
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Featuring case studies and proven techniques, Power Your Tribe provides a set of powerful neuroscience-based tools to help managers identify emotions, release resistance, end isolation, focus on outcomes, and course-correct for continued success.

Learn More
 
 
 
 
 

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6 Brain-Based Leadership Game-Changers For 2018 [Infographics]

*As originally seen on Forbes.com

 

The business environment has changed significantly in recent years, making it even clearer that relentless change is now the norm. Emotional agility is key to stay brilliant, no matter how turbulent the times and no matter what external changes you face.

Are you ready? Is your organization?

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3 Things To Start

Make New Meaning: What we call thinking is actually a series of pictures, sounds, and feelings that go by at light speed in our brains. The process by which this happens is illustrated and summarized in the diagram below. Information from the external environment is stored as Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Olfactory, and Gustatory (VAKOG) data in our brains. Our prefrontal cortex assigns meaning to the information, primarily by generating beliefs. If the feeling assigned to the information (person, place, thing, or activity) is bad, then the meaning we make of that information will be “it is bad.” Similarly, if the feeling assigned to the information feels good, then the meaning we make of the information will be ‘it is good.”

Human beings will reach only for the best available feeling on their menu. If we want to change behavior, we must add new or better feelings to the menu, not remove bad ones. It’s time for us to feel more powerful, not in having power over others, but in having power over our own experience and emotional state.

Give More Feedback: Giving proper feedback is necessary. The more we practice and encourage useful behaviors, the more automated they become. With frequent and proper feedback, you can train your team and organization to auto-course correct. Our clients love the two processes below, as they help everyone get to a shared positive understanding for growth/resolution.

  1. Feedback Frame
    • What’s working is ____________
    • What I’d like to see more of is ________
    • Equal amounts of each
    • Use up, down, across the org chart
  1. Four Conversations
    • Are you OK?
    • Is there too much on your plate?
    • Is this role not the right fit for you?
    • Do you really want to work here?

To see a more detailed Feedback Frame outlined, please visit my previous blog Fix or Fire? Who To Cultivate, Turn Around, Let Go Of At Work.

Use Neurostorytelling: All leaders need to be great storytellers. Stories are potent engagement and teaching tools. They help us navigate change by experiencing it vicariously through the characters in the story. They help us to create new beliefs and expand our identity to see ourselves as bigger, more capable, and more powerful than we had previously. We connect to the storyteller via mirror neurons; we get deeply engaged and feel/hear/see and even smell/taste what’s happening in the story. The stories you tell about your organization need to be positively impactful in this way too. The storytelling recipe my client’s love can be found in my previous blog Why Leaders Need To Be Great Storytellers.

2 Things To Stop

Resist What Is: Resisting your experience is like having your fingers stuck in a Chinese finger trap. The initial reaction of the victim is to resist and pull their fingers outward, but this only tightens the trap. Resistance merely stabilizes your present state. Whatever we focus on, we fuel. When we resist the emotion, we make it stronger and actually give consent.  Once we embrace resistance, we are ready to transform resistance. To help identify what’s being resisted, check out my previous blog Resistance Is Necessary For Optimal Organizations.

Pretending Humans Aren’t Biased:  All human beings are biased. It’s a natural state of the brain that evolved from the days when we needed to be able to calculate very quickly if something was like us and thus friendly, or unlike us and possibly dangerous. In fact, the brain has far more (three to four times as much!) real estate devoted to identifying threats, than to identifying opportunities and rewards. There are over 150 different types of biases and all have their roots in the structure of the brain.

Understanding and checking our biases leads to better decisions and more accurate cognition (thinking). When we understand, we make better decisions.

To truly promote diversity and inclusion, it is absolutely critical to train your team in effective communication skills. Techniques like rapport, inquiry mode, and feedback allow people to get to know each other as individuals, not as ethnic, race or gender groups. And that, my friends, is the secret to having diverse teams with lots of inclusion and to busting bias.

As mentioned in a previous blog, How To Work With Unconscious Bias In Your Organization, awareness alone doesn’t work, but structures which prevent biases and the creation of skilled communication patterns and habits does.

1 Thing To Continue

Make Engagement A Priority: The best way to boost revenue, profits, fulfillment, fun and performance in general is to create an emotionally engaged culture. Working together is like polishing rocks. Team members won’t always agree or get along, but in high-performing teams, they bounce back to the Smart State higher, harder, and faster than their competitors do.

To become resilient and shift to our Smart State, we must have safety, belonging, mattering. How do you know who needs what when? We start by using the SBM Decoder.

When we give people what they crave, their critter brain calms down and we can guide them into their Smart State. This is where true rapport, connection, alignment, enrollment, and engagement live. High performance, collaboration, and sustainability are the results! Remember, Safety + Belonging + Mattering = Trust.

Here’s to an amazing 2018, where each of your team members is connected to the heart of the organization!

 
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Featuring case studies and proven techniques, Power Your Tribe provides a set of powerful neuroscience-based tools to help managers identify emotions, release resistance, end isolation, focus on outcomes, and course-correct for continued success.

Learn More
 
 
 
 
 

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The #1 Tool Successful Leaders Use To Radically Shift Their Reality

*As originally seen on Forbes.com

As a leader, in what area of your life do you need to shift from being disempowered to being empowered?

We form our own reality based on visual, auditory, and kinesthetic cues. These cues recall our beliefs about the world and ourselves (our identity), which results in either feeling good or feeling bad. If you’re on a sales team that feels bad, chances are you won’t be achieving your quota because your energy will be low as well as your motivation and creativity. Is there anything you can do right now to feel better and be more productive?

Stuff happens, and sometimes we need to do a quick “pattern-interrupt” to pause our default and choose a better-feeling alternative. Remember, it is not what happens that matters but rather, what it means that matters. Change the meaning, change the feeling. We need to make more helpful meaning. Reframing is a terrific tool for making new meaning quickly and easily, as well as for editing your belief system in the process.

By formal definition, reframing is a way of viewing and experiencing events, ideas, concepts, and emotions to find more useful alternatives. It is a practical and valuable tool to shift perception, including your perception of yourself or others’ perceptions of themselves.

Think of reframing as putting on a different pair of glasses. What would you see if you put on a pair of sunglasses with a heavy tint when you were in a dark room? You would see shadows and dark forms you couldn’t identify. What would happen when you took off those glasses? You may see the most beautiful room in the world. When you switch your glasses, what you see changes.

Reframing, mentally and linguistically, does the same thing. It changes the story you tell yourself about what happens.

Harvard researchers proved a while back that the stories we tell ourselves shape our world. The good news is that we can also create new stories about the decisions we’ve made about ourselves, our abilities, and the world. We have the power to change our experience. Here are two examples.

In Business

Initial story: It’s really hard getting a job fresh out of college these days. The market is crowded, and overqualified people are competing for every single job. No wonder I’m unemployed and it’s tough.

Reframe: It’s awesome that there are a lot of people job hunting right now because it gives a person the opportunity to really bring his or her “A Game” to stand out. I’m sending my résumé in creative ways to get an interview, I’m doing more research than I ever have done before to prepare for interviews, and then I’m following up after the interviews using different methods. I am learning a ton!

See how the meaning shifts from defeat and deciding that job hunting will be hard (which means it will be because the universe is an exquisite mirror) to a sense of power, can-do, creativity, and agility?

In Personal Life

Initial story: I was a girl in a household of boys. My brothers and parents wanted another boy, so I was perpetually left out and labeled as a disappointment. I’ve never been good enough.

Reframe: I grew up in the perfect family to learn to see and honor my unique value. I was given great opportunities to be independent and forge my path in life. I also learned to be self-reliant, which has made me strong and fearless.

See how the meaning she is making shifts from disempowering to empowering?

 

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Featuring case studies and proven techniques, Power Your Tribe provides a set of powerful neuroscience-based tools to help managers identify emotions, release resistance, end isolation, focus on outcomes, and course-correct for continued success.

Learn More
 
 
 
 
 

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Why Is Resistance A Necessity For Growth?

*As originally seen on Forbes.com

You may be familiar with the Chinese finger trap. It’s a toy that traps the victim’s fingers (often the index fingers) in both ends of a small cylinder woven from bamboo. The initial reaction of the victim is to pull their fingers outward, but this only tightens the trap.

Resisting our experience has the same effect. We resist things, situations and people we perceive as hurtful, painful, or threatening to our safety, belonging, or mattering. Without these three key emotional experiences, we can’t shift to our Smart State and we can’t navigate our constantly changing landscape to reach self-actualization. Also, we are wired to resist what we believe will create a worse feeling for us.

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Resistance Is The First Step Towards Change

The origin and etymology of resist (Late Middle English) is from the Latin resisterere- (expressing opposition) + sistere (to stand). Aha! So resistance really means to stand in opposition. What are you taking a stand against?

Let’s also take a look at the word reject, which is what we’re doing when we are resisting our Present State. The origin and etymology of reject (Late Middle English) is from the Latin verb rejacerere- (back) + jacere (to throw). Reject means to throw back or throw against. This stance isn’t just in opposition, it is opposing by attack. Yikes, this is even worse than resisting.

Resistance isn’t necessarily bad. It’s often simply the first step of navigating change. The goal is to move forward rather than get stuck resisting. Resistance shows that someone is engaged to a degree, which is much better than being disengaged. Don’t be surprised if resistance turns to mockery, as some people express their upset that way. As leaders, it’s essential to move your team through this stage by asking what they are resisting.

To help them identify what’s being resisted, ask them to contemplate what’s:

  • Annoying about the particular change or initiative
  • Dumb about the particular change or initiative
  • Unreasonable about the particular change or initiative

Then we address what we can, with the agreement that they’ll try the new initiative or plan. Ultimately they’ll find some aspect of it to be useful. Over time this process will become habitual and eventually a new standard is established. Voilà! Enjoy the afterglow, until the next change comes along.

Embrace Change And Gain Energy

The trouble with resistance is that it takes a tremendous amount of energy in the form of pushing back and rejecting. When we direct energy toward what we don’t want, it actually helps draw it toward us. For example, the more you try to pull your fingers out of the Chinese finger trap, the tighter it becomes.

You’ve likely heard the expression “what we resist persists.” Look at what you’ve resisted. Did they stick around in your life longer than you would’ve liked?

Resistance merely stabilizes your Present State. Whatever we focus on, we fuel. When we resist the emotion, we make it stronger.

Once we embrace resistance, we are ready to transform resistance.
 

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Featuring case studies and proven techniques, Power Your Tribe provides a set of powerful neuroscience-based tools to help managers identify emotions, release resistance, end isolation, focus on outcomes, and course-correct for continued success.

Learn More
 
 
 
 
 

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Five Ways To Get Optimal Outcomes From Your Team

*As originally seen on Forbes.com

What makes a team optimal?

Alignment, communication, collaboration, energy management, leverage, trust, and what else?

Google did some comprehensive multi-year research on this topic. I’ll refer to it below and map it to my work during the past 30 years in the areas of safety, belonging and mattering.

I’ve found it all comes back to safety, belonging and mattering, no matter what structure you want to wrap around the idea of optimal teaming. Let’s look at what Google learned in its extensive research on the topic.

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Over the course of two years (ending in November 2015), Google conducted more tahn 200 interviews where it assessed more than 250 attributes of what makes an optimal team. The findings from the 180 teams studied were surprising.

While they had hoped to find a recipe for an optimal team (for instance, take one Ivy League MBA, one extrovert, one expert engineer), Google actually found that who was on the team mattered far less than how team members interacted, structured their work, experienced their contributions. The answer was in behavior and emotional resilience. The results echoed some of what Carnegie Mellon researchers found back in 2010 with their collective intelligence work.

They learned that five key dynamics resulted in optimal teams:

  1. Psychological safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?
  2. Dependability: Can we count on each other to do high-quality work on time?
  3. Structure & clarity: Are goals, roles, and execution plans on our team clear?
  4. Meaning of work: Are we working on something that is personally important for each of us?
  5. Impact of work: Do we fundamentally believe that the work we’re doing matters?

Google found that psychological safety was by far the most important dynamic. Without this people don’t feel comfortable speaking up, asking questions, checking in. There’s too much risk of being labeled as “out of it” or “clueless.” All humans want to belong to a  group, and we’ll take tremendous risks (such as not speaking out even if we feel it’s very important) if we feel we may become an outcast, lose status in our tribe or be ostracized somehow.

Googlers now use a tool they call gTeams. It’s a 10-minute check-in on the five dynamics. A modified check-in is below, one that our clients find works very well. During the past year more than 3,000 Googlers across 300 teams have used gTeams and focused on the fie factors above. They often will kick off team meetings with each team member sharing a risk they took in the past week. The net is that they’ve seen psychological safety ratings increase by 6% and structure/clarity increase by 10%. But the best part is the increased connection in the team due to increased communication.

Rate Your Team Per Google’s Five Dynamics

Consider the five factors from Google:

  • Psychological Safety
  • Dependability
  • Structure & Clarity
  • Meaning of Work
  • Impact of Work

On a scale of 1-5 where 5 is excellent, rate your experience of each factor in your team. Now total up your score. Here’s our rating format. If your total score is:

Up to 10: High Risk. There’s a lot of work to do. Use the table below to map to safety, belonging, mattering. Get a neuroscience-based coach, and get to work healing your culture.

11-18: Risky. Your team is not performing nearly as well as it could. Let’s get everyone more connected and collaborative. Time for team training and coaching.

19-25: Solid. Congrats! You’re on a high-performing team. Time to raise the bar!

Below is a shortcut to help you figure out where to focus, how to get better, and a way to talk about this concept with your teammates in a structured way.

Let’s now map frameworks:

Easy, yes?

All other models simply help you implement programs to deliver these three core human needs.

See how this model helps your team!
 

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Featuring case studies and proven techniques, Power Your Tribe provides a set of powerful neuroscience-based tools to help managers identify emotions, release resistance, end isolation, focus on outcomes, and course-correct for continued success.

Learn More
 
 
 
 
 

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Challenges Retaining Talent? Here’s What They Are Really Trying To Tell You

*As originally seen on Forbes.com

Is there a correlation between the style in which someone quits and the organization itself? A study conducted by Anthony Klotz, Oregon State University College of Business and Mark Bolino, University of Oklahoma Price College of Business discovered the 7 ways that people quit and that a connection may exist.

Let’s take a look at the 7 ways that talent quits and what a leader can do to not only increase retention, but if a person must leave, how to keep them in the categories of 1, 2 and 3.

7 Ways People Quit

  1. By The Book: 31% quit by having face to face conversations, combined with a letter of resignation that states the exact reason they are leaving along with a notice period.
  2. Grateful: 9% were positive and willing to have their departure from the organization be painless for their leader and their team.
  3. In The Loop: 8% actually had the supervisor/leader ‘in the loop’ with the resignation.
  4. Perfunctory: 29% will have a face to face conversation, give a letter of resignation and a notice period but won’t elaborate on the specific reasons they are quitting.
  5. Avoidant: 9% kept contact with the leader to an absolute minimum and involved bringing in a third party like HR or ducked out by sending in their resignation over the weekend as opposed to face to face conversations.
  6. Impulsive: 4% will reach a breaking point without having a conversation at all, there is no notice, no letter or resignation and certainly no willingness to have the transition period be as painless as possible for everyone involved.
  7. Bridge Burning: 10% will quit not only without any notice, but they want to make sure that their leader and/or organization know that they are extremely upset and why. Emotions run high and both parties lose.

There are two key points that should be examined. First, your talent has made a decision to leave. Can they be retained? Second, your talent will make a decision regarding how they will leave. Can leadership impact how they will choose to leave?

Retain Your Talent

All too often leaders don’t create and foster an environment where talent feels comfortable or confident enough to stand out. It’s easier to blend in with the crowd versus stand out and be seen.

 These individuals will see and feel the benefits they bring to the company. Talent that thrives:

In previous blogs we have discussed how to foster and nurture an environment where your talent will get and stay engaged. These tools will help you form an action plan that you can start implementing today to retain these individuals:

Prevent Drama Filled Exits

If more drama filled exits are occurring, it may be time to examine the underlying issues. In the case of Impulsively Quits or Burns Bridges, it’s not surprising that research showed those individuals may be experiencing higher levels of abuse from their leaders or they may ‘feel’ that they were treated unfairly. For these individuals, leaving in any other manner except one that is high-emotion isn’t an option. By working on creating and sustaining a workplace culture where team members are invested in their role and the success of the business, if the time comes that they must exit, the probability of them staying within the categories of 1, 2 and 3 increases.

In some cases exiting is unavoidable. They may be moving, deciding to take a different direction in their career or they simply do not want to work for your organization anymore. In these cases, how can we make this process as seamless and positive as possible for both parties?

Compassion & Communication

If both parties add compassion and communication, a win-win is created. The person leaving may decide to stay. If the circumstances surrounding their exit are unavoidable they will do all that they can to make this transition process a positive experience for everyone. When the leader holds the person exiting in a place of compassion, they will have time to reflect on the culture they are helping create at the organization and they may find ways to improve. Both situations require a culture where it’s safe to communicate, where both parties feel they matter and they know what they say will be valued. Through compassion and communication, the entire process will be filled with ease, grace and dignity.

This Tool Works! Using Effective Sales Meetings to Create Massive Momentum

How’s your sales team performing? Are they generating the high-quality leads you need on a regular basis?

If you want your sales team to be engaged and intrinsically motivated to succeed, you need to provide the incentives and structure to support success – and those incentives and structures need to be communicated clearly and regularly.

That’s why when clients come to us for help with sales and marketing effectiveness, one of the first things we often do is to streamline the sales meeting.

Your sales meetings provide key opportunities for you to deeply connect with your team and make sure they’re on track with what you need. But these meetings are only effective if you’re running them the right way.

Here are three things you must have in place for sales meetings to be effective: 

  1. An easy, clear, and concise reporting structure. Reporting should be as easy as possible for the salesperson and not include anything unnecessary.
  2. Clear deadlines for when reports need to be filled out so that status can be covered in meetings.
  3. Exciting, personalized incentives for reaching goals!

When your meetings are more streamlined and effective, and your team members know clearly what’s expected of them and how they’ll be rewarded, they’ll feel more engaged, empowered, and motivated to succeed!

After that, the sky’s the limit! Here’s what one of our clients had to say after going through this process and the steps that followed:

“When my boss said he wanted me to increase our top line sales by 30% fast I was wondering how I’d do it. We’re a huge company, and growth like this doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve been in sales for decades and increased quotas are nothing new to me. I thought I knew the ropes. Then I met the team at STI.  

STI helped us to use the latest neuroscience techniques to shift the state of our sales team to a more positive and empowered state, to streamline our sales process, to develop rapid rapport with our prospects and partners, to more deeply engage with our sales and service teams. They’re also helping us to propel innovation to new heights via an Innovation Incubator, Innovation contests, and an Innovation Advisory Board—all of which are getting our sales and engineering teams super excited. 

The result is that we now have massive momentum… we have a clear and rapid path to our increased sales, we’re getting more meetings, we’re closing faster, we’re having a lot more fun and lot less stress. I have new tools to develop my sales team faster and keep them on track. Sure wish I knew this stuff a decade ago. Thanks STI for helping us sell at the level I always knew we could.” 

~Tom Moore, Director of Sales and Marketing, Baxter Manufacturing

This tool works! Ready to put Effective Sales Meetings to work in your organization?

Start by downloading our done-for-you Effective Sales Meetings Guide to get our personal recommendations for reporting structures, meeting topics, meaningful incentives, and more. 

And then let us know how it goes! Comment on this post or send us an email. We love hearing your success stories!

Three Keys To Effectively Managing Remote Workers [Infographic]

*As originally seen on Forbes.com

In a mere 3 years the mobile workforce is projected to comprise roughly three-quarters of U.S. employees.

Is your organization ready?

According to Gallup, remote working has been on the rise since 2012: from 39% in 2012 to 43% in 2016. The desire to work remotely is here to stay and it isn’t limited to a few select industries. Gallup found that the finance, insurance and real estate industries experienced the greatest surge in time spent working remotely, followed by transportation, manufacturing or construction, and retail industries.

We love this infographic from HR Magazine which shows the latest statistics and trends:

Society for Human Resource Management

While remote work may not make sense for all organizations or for all roles within an organization, it is important to take a closer look. Whether you have a remote workforce or are thinking it may be a good idea to implement in your organization, there are ways to make sure your team stays engaged. Let’s dive into the three keys to optimizing your remote workers’ experience.

Explicit Communication:  We want to ensure that we are giving someone Safety, Belonging, Mattering via our words and written communications. When we communicate often (results, requests, info updates) we include people—and we foster a sense of us all belonging together. We want to engage everyone during meetings and if possible, have those meetings via video conferencing. Remember, only 7% of communication is the actual content, so seeing each other is essential. When relying on other methods of communication, such as text or email, you can use my coding system to optimize email communication to get optimal results. This will save time, clear up confusion, manage feedback and make sure everyone is on the same page.

Effective Delegation:  There is effective delegation, and there is “rubber band” delegation: when we delegate something and it snaps back to us incomplete. Here’s our 5-Step Effective Delegation Process that our clients find helps them to end rubber band delegation, and increase ownership and accountability. With remote workers effective delegation is even more essential as the “walking by your cubicle” conversations are non-existent. This fosters ownership and reduces the likelihood of the “order giver-order taker” dynamic, which crushes the spirit of ownership, innovation, and a feeling of empowerment.

Perceptual Positions: These make the difference! Perceptual is your perception in relation to immediate sensory experience. Position is the physical location of your body. This is an exercise that my clients and their teams have found to be extremely helpful when conflict arises in their organizations—or prior to a potentially challenging conversation taking place. This tool is ideal for remote workers because if we can gain clarity into what the other person is experiencing, even when we aren’t in the same office space as they are, we can communicate more effectively as well as understand their potential struggles. The result? Productivity rises and outcomes are achieved faster. You can try out Perceptual Positions here. The key is to get on another person’s “map”—to get a feeling for what it means to be them. Taking the time to meet a person where they are the greatest way to establish rapport, connection, trust.

Remote workers are on the rise. Are you ready?

The Surprising Link Between Customer Experience And Employee Engagement

*As originally seen on Forbes.com

How would your customers describe their experience with your firm?

Please take a moment and rate the Customer Experience (CX) that you believe you deliver:

  • Better than all companies in any industry
  • The best in our industry
  • Considerably above average in our industry
  • Slightly above average in our industry
  • Average for our industry
  • Slightly below average in our industry
  • Considerably below average in our industry

Now, what CX would you like to deliver within 3 years?

Credit: Temkin Group Q1 2017 CX Management Survey

Data: Q1 2017 CX Management Survey of 180 organizations with $500 million or more in annual revenues

According to Aimee Lucas, Customer Experience Transformist and VP at Temkin Group, 55% of all the companies surveyed want to be best in their industry or better than all companies in any industry when it comes to the level of CX they deliver they deliver within three years. That’s a big crowd wanting to get into a small, small slot.

As Aimee and I caught up at the recent North American Employee Engagement Awards it became crystal clear: it’s time to stress the connection between Employee Engagement (EE) and CX. Now.

Customers today have a louder voice (think Yelp and other rating sites), have access to more information on you and your competitors, and as a result expect an increasingly awesome experience. And they should.

Meanwhile your competitors are launching new products and services faster than ever before, and are consistently raising the bar on CX. And they should.

So what’s an organization to do?

Arm yourself with these 3 CX-Boosting Strategies!

3 CX-Boosting Strategies

1) Become A CX Leader — By Focusing First On Employees

CX leaders (companies whose CX is significantly better than their competitors) have more engaged employees. Here’s what Temkin Group found:

Credit: Temkin Group Employee Engagement Benchmark Study, 2017

Base:   5,552 U.S. consumers employed in for-profit organizations

How exactly does engagement work? What happens in the brain when we are engaged?

Engagement comes from feeling good, from passion for the company, from meaningful work, from attaching part of one’s identity with their job. And this comes down to some neurotransmitters and a hormone. As leaders when we intentionally help the brains of our employees to generate dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin we create good feelings for the organization. Dopamine (anticipation of reward) and serotonin (feeling good, well-being) and oxytocin (bonding, feeling connected to others) can be created via a number of programs in your Cultural GAME Plan.

So how do you become a CX leader and get engaged employees? This is where HR comes in…

2) Get HR To Connect EE And CX

HR owns the cultural programs, so it’s key that they are first looped into Employee Engagement (EE) so they can help support CX. First a strong mission, vision, values sets the tone for your tribal purpose and code of conduct (oxytocin). Next, acknowledging employees for being models of your values creates social validation (dopamine and serotonin). There are many more ways that you can read about in my many blogs on employee engagement and in #3 below.

Next, when HR runs regular SBM Indexes, you can easily diagnose and cure and engagement dis-eases so you can continuously raise your engagement bar.

 It matters, it’s a reflection of them and what they believe in, who they are, how they show up in the world.

According to Temkin Group’s research when HR is significantly involved in CX the organization is 50% more likely to be a CX leader. Wow.

Is HR involved in CX at your organization?

Credit: Temkin Group 2016 HR Professionals Survey

Which brings us to the next item to check on our list, specifics for creating EE and CX.

3) Clarify Exactly How/Where HR Can Support EE And CX

Here are some ways that HR can forge the EE-CX link…

All of the above examples and blogs will help you keep the brains of your employees in their Smart State, which will in turn help your customers spend more time there too! Smart State = Engaged, Aligned, Tribal, Together.