Wishing you and the team at your company Happy Holidays from everyone here at GES.
Wishing you and the team at your company Happy Holidays from everyone here at GES.
There are about 2 weeks left of intense holiday shopping (including the Black Friday madness that ensues). Your front-line workers are likely feeling a little burnt out from the holiday shoppers and it’s your job as their fearless leader to find ways to motivate and engage them through the coming weeks and beyond!
Although I hope your service experience isn’t chaos, it’s in these busy times where it’s critical to lead by example and show your employees what servant leadership is all about by leading from the front lines. Read more in A Guide to Being a Servant Leader.
Leading from the front lines means that your leaders takes their cues in a bottom-up direction from your front-line talent rather than through the typical hierarchical structure from the top down. Your front-line talent has the most direct experience with your customers so they know what they want, how they want it and what is standing in the way of them delivering it. You can find out more about Leading From the Front Line here.
So here are 3 simple things you can do in the next 2 weeks to motivate your seasonal and full-time employees and allow them to continuously improve and exceed your customers’ expectations during the busiest time of year.
Listen and Communicate. As your direct line of connection to your customers, it is so important for you to provide ample opportunities for your front-line employees to communicate openly and transparently with leadership about what your customers want. As their leaders, you must listen to what they have to say and make a plan of action about how you will put their concerns into action. You should also communicate with your front-line staff about expectations with customers, and try to give them autonomy to make good decisions within the scope of your company culture and values.
Remove Obstacles. When you listen and communicate with your talent (as mentioned above) you will discover the things that stand in their way of being able to provide great service to their customers. Many companies have too many bureaucratic processes and procedures that get in the way of their employees delivering exceptional service to their customers. Because of this, employees often they do not feel enabled to go the extra mile to help a customer; however, this can often mean the difference between losing a customer and creating decades of loyalty. Examine your policies and procedures and assure that they are absolutely necessary to function. Remove those that do not serve your higher company mission. Some of the most successful customer service companies place very little rules on their employees (e.g. Nordstrom, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, Netflix, Apple, etc.) with very high success and exceptional performance.
Recognize and Reward. Especially around this time of the year, taking the extra time to recognize and reward your front-line employees for their hard work, will return in their service tenfold. Also, when you recognize those employees who have great performance, it will set expectations for other front-line talent to do the same. During the holidays, and in December specifically, many people have split focus – thinking about everything they must get done, tired and distracted from holiday parties – that is why it is critical to motivate them with incentives, rewards and recognition to continuously keep their eye on the prize – making your customers happy!
To motivate employees to continuous levels of high performance now and year round you should implement an employee recognition program. The most successful recognition programs are customized and personalized so that your employees get the rewards and recognition they want, at every touch point. Get in touch with me at email@example.com or book 15-minutes in my calendar to chat about how GES can help you with your 2018 recognition goals and initiatives.
Now that December is here, everyone is preparing for the year end, closing out projects, and setting plans and intentions for 2018.
This last month of the year is a great opportunity to inspire and motivate your talent for the year ahead. It’s also a great opportunity to recognize and reward them for the great work they accomplished this year!
Motivation and recognition are so important in December, because it can otherwise be quite a distracting month. In the US, employees are coming back from one big holiday and gearing up for the next. Many people also schedule their remaining vacation time during December, which can result in not a whole lot getting done this month.
Here are some tips to inspire and recognize your employees leading into the holiday season and create some workplace engagement and merriment that will set the tone for 2018!
Make the World a Better Place. The holidays have always been considered a time for giving back. Why not emphasize the importance of this and show that your company culture and values match those of your employees? A recent study conducted by MetLife found that, “Part of sharing values is looking outside the four walls of the office – 61% of employees say that it is important to them to work for a company that contributes to the local community” (Business Wire, 2017).
Some suggestions include, throwing workplace wide giving campaigns such as food drives for charity, or even give your employees a day off or time to volunteer with their favorite local charity.
Emphasize Shared Values. Building upon the last tip, the study also found that, “Fully nine out of 10 employees (89%) say they are willing to trade some of their salary to work at a company whose values match their own – a great deal of their salaries in some cases” (Business Wire, 2017).
Take this season as an opportunity to really emphasize your company values and culture and promote them throughout the workplace for better alignment. This can take the form of internal communication campaigns, promotion of peer-to-peer recognition, manager to employee recognition, and opportunities for learning and development. There have been countless benefits attributed to companies who have organizational alignment of their culture and values. Read more about the 4 Ways to Create Organizational Engagement here.
“Companies can reap rewards when they share values and act on these values, as employees who felt their values aligned with those of their employers were more than twice as likely to be satisfied in their jobs (78%) and feel loyal to their companies (77%) than those whose values didn’t match (32% and 31%, respectively). When values match, more than three-quarters (78%) plan to stay at their company, compared to 57% when values are misaligned” (Business Wire, 2017).
Have a 2017 Recap Retreat. What better way to celebrate your achievements from 2017 and motivate and set goals for 2018 than with a retreat! This is probably best done at a smaller scale within workgroups and could be a day away from the office with reflective meetings, session planning, brainstorming and more. But be sure to throw a little fun in there for motivation and incentive! Perhaps that includes interactive games throughout the day, a wine and cheese mixer or maybe even a motivational guest speaker!
Celebrate the Season. Take an opportunity to put ‘work’ aside for one afternoon or evening and celebrate together with a staff meal. Perhaps it becomes a potluck lunch or a fancy holiday party, whatever it may be, make sure your leaders take an opportunity to sincerely thank employees for their hard work this past year. Give employees a chance to mingle together and share in the holiday spirit.
You can also use this as an opportunity to recognize key players from 2017 and reward them as you see fit. Every year our staff holiday party is filled with fun, laughter and plenty of recognition, including rewards for top players, token gifts for all staff members, games, food and music! It’s a wonderful evening of celebration and it gives everyone the opportunity to mingle with people from other departments they might not typically see regularly.
Focus on Wellness. Not only is this a time where many people end up sick or rundown (at least that’s the case here in the cold Toronto weather), but some people may also struggle emotionally (and physically) with the holidays. This could be a good chance to run an internal fitness and wellness campaign through your total recognition program. Perhaps you reward employees for their steps walked or exercise achieved. You can even have some friendly competition with a big prize for the winner!
It’s also important to try and promote healthy eating around this time, as it’s the time when lots of sugary treats are brought in to share. You can counter balance that by having healthy snacks on hand in the office lunch room such as fruit and vegetables, or maybe even having a healthy catered lunch (not a pizza party).
To me, wellness means being balanced physically, mentally and emotionally, so having support for those employees who might experience a hard time around the holidays it crucial. This could take many forms such as having a counsellor or therapist available during office hours, having a massage therapist come in for a quick massage (this was one of my favourite things), having a yoga teacher come in for lunch time yoga sessions or perhaps having a work wide meditation morning to calm the mind and set intentions with guided meditation. Read more about the Benefits of a Wellness Culture and how to Improve Wellness Metrics with Recognition and Engagement here.
Investing in your employees’ wellness will return tenfold in their productivity and engagement. Plus, “Nearly two-thirds of American workers expect companies to go beyond providing a paycheck and contribute to their well-being (59%), and contribute to the well-being of society, as well (57%)” (Business Wire, 2017). If you’re not providing these opportunities, it’s likely that they will lack in motivation and look for opportunities to work for a company that does.
If you found these tips helpful, get in touch to learn more about creating employee engagement and alignment with this type of culture utilizing an Employee Recognition and/or Learning program. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a 15-minute discovery call in my calendar here.
Many learning and development leaders are struggling to find ways to keep their learners engaged in their learning programs. One of the top reasons learning and development opportunities are boring and not motivating for employees are that they are too long and don’t emphasize taking action. That’s where microLearning comes in to help jazz up your learning program!
Microlearning is essentially a method of teaching and delivering content in small, specific doses. In this type of learning, the learner is in better control of when and what they are learning. Read more about if MicroLearning is a Good Fit for your Organization here.
MicroLearning has been shown to produce results in every industry, on every continent. It’s key features are that it is:
Another one of the top reasons learners feel bored and unmotivated when it comes to learning, is that there is a disconnect between the learning and what is in it for them.
For learning and development to be motivating and engaging for your employees, you must be able to show the bridge between where they are now, where they want to be, and how the learning will help them achieve that. Even if the content is good or helpful it will NOT produce sustainable change or results if the delivery fails to engage the learner. Read more about why action planning is the Key for Successful Learning here.
GES’s Layered Learning program is MicroLearning taken a step further to focus on action planning, reinforcement and accountability. See more about the design of our learning programs here.
What to Look for in a MicroLearning Program
Learning providers face the challenge of delivering learning in a way that is accessible, digestible and most importantly translatable to a real-world environment.
Some of the things to look for when searching for a MicroLearning program include:
On Demand/Mobile. Your talent is busy. They want their learning, when they want it — in-time and on-demand. MicroLearning adds the element of time convenience in a high-tech, yet interactive environment that so many people desire. MicroLearning programs deliver a whole new set of competencies to their toolkit, virtually seamlessly with mobile, in-time learning capabilities.
Digestible Content. With traditional learning, organizations often try to give learners as much as they can, as fast as they can, often taking them off of the job for training. With MicroLearning, learners are given shorter lessons, which are easier for them to complete with busy schedules. Plus, learners are enabled to produce massive change without it feeling cumbersome or burdensome by receiving content and competencies in small, digestible doses.
Repetition. Repetition allows for increased retention because the learner isn’t getting too much information too fast. By utilizing MicroLearning, your organization can provide a clear and consistent message to all employees across the organization, repeated and reinforced, so it becomes embedded in your company culture.
For more information on how to begin implementing a MicroLearning program in your organization, get in touch with me at email@example.com or set up a 15-minute discovery call or demo of our learning programs here.