Do You Lead Your Team By “Age”, By “Stage” Or By The Seat of Your Pants?

Do You Lead Your Team By “Age”, By “Stage” Or By The Seat of Your Pants?

 

By Paula Morand

How can your corporate leadership style fit everyone in your group when your employee base ranges from wired-in-20-somethings fresh out of school to seasoned professionals with decades in your industry?

No doubt your organization benefits from this range of talents, but keeping them all connected and motivated can be a monumental challenge. You can’t even generalize all that much because the range of personal communication styles and work preferences in each age group today tends to fluctuate wildly.

So how can you as a leader get across the priorities of the day to such a wide base and keep the full team moving in sync, motivated and on target? Why not try this radical approach: meet your workforce at the “stage” they’re at, not the “age” on their driver’s license?

Let’s look first at communication. Technology rules the day regardless of what you may personally prefer, so it’s time as a leader to fully embrace all the systems you have at your fingertips. The “age” of your employees is not as important as the “stage” of technology each of them have embraced. Become the kind of leader who is equally comfortable using a combination of types of messaging, but ensure that each message conveys the same order of priorities and clear expectations.

This approach might call for duplication of effort, and some rather creative crafting, but think of the benefits. Anyone who likes bite-size 140-character missives is happy to hear from you. Those who like a full email message to refer to and respond to also get what they want. Internal message blasts or succinct posts to your intranet – yes, they got it!

In other words, post where people see it, using a range of media options so everyone feels connected. Just keep it consistent, timely and responsive. Maybe this creative approach is not your thing? Then assign a communication specialist to help you with crafting, posting and tracking interaction because communication today goes both ways. Be prepared to react to feedback immediately.

So the message is out but what’s next? How about motivation? As you probably know already, what’s appealing to the 20-somethings, mid-careers, and your mature workforce can be as different as night and day. Then you find out that not every 20-something is like their peers, and mature employees aren’t all about retirement dreams and exit strategies.

When it comes to motivation, everyone seems to click to different things. So again my advice is to think less about “age” and more about “stage”. The “stage” someone is in at work reflects their state of mind and their stage tells you more than their birth date ever could.

If someone is building career skills in a specific area, they will be motivated by opportunities to grow and ways to learn more. If someone is settling down in their personal life, regardless of their age, they’ll appreciate perks that work for their new lifestyle and which allow them sufficient time with their partner and to enjoy a satisfying personal life.

For people who have committed 10 or more years to your group, regardless of their age, many of them are at the “stage” where they are looking for upward mobility and ways to gain position and prestige. If you don’t offer enough progress for them, they’ll look elsewhere, and they’ll soon be looking at you and your company through their rear-view mirror.

The solution is to develop motivational strategies to meet your valuable employee assets at the “stage” they are at. Offer incentives that are geared to motivate them at the current point they are at in their career or lifestyle, and build on what works best.

Anyone might love an á-la-carte benefits list, flexible time-off, or remote work options but they do so for very different reasons. Perhaps they’ve got their eye on a mission trip overseas before their 30th birthday. Or they need a little extra time off each month to take care of an aging parent or a spouse going through cancer. Might be that they share childcare duties with a spouse on shift-work and coming in at 9:30 a.m. improves their life drastically, keeping them very highly motivated.

In summary, today’s technology and lifestyle choices have trumped the demographic divide so it’s time to ensure your leadership style meets the stages your employees are at, and doesn’t just program to the years spent on this earth.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Paula_Morand/2301858

Why You Need More Women On Your Team

shutterstock_192409466

Why You Need More Women On Your Team

By Bill Stainton

Here is today’s message to all you business leaders out there:

Don’t be like me.

YOU: “But Bill, you’re my hero! I’ve modeled my entire career-my entire life-around you!”

Yes, and in most cases you’d be correct to do so. But not in this one particular aspect. Let me explain.

For 15 years, I was the Executive Producer of a sketch comedy TV show in Seattle. Now, comedy always has been-and sadly, still is-primarily a boy’s game. That’s why the Tina Feys and the Amy Poehlers of the world stand out-because they’re exceptions (and also because they’re exceptionally talented). As the Executive Producer, it was my job to hire the staff. And here’s the mistake I made, the one I don’t want you to make:

I didn’t hire enough women.

Now, while I can hide behind the “there weren’t a lot of world-class female comedy writers in Seattle back then” excuse (and I’m not necessarily saying that’s true, just that it’s true enough that I can sleep at night), you can’t. You don’t have that excuse. And you shouldn’t want it anyway. Instead, you should be actively, intentionally seeking out talented women to be a part of your team. Here are a few reasons why:

If your team is made up of predominantly males, you will get predominantly male solutions to your challenges, from a predominantly male point of view. If your competition has a more diverse team, it’ll get more diverse-and better-solutions, and it’ll beat you. Is that what you want? [Correct answer: no.]
Half of your customer base is female. (And probably more-women control nearly two-thirds of the purchasing decisions in the U.S.) Shouldn’t “half of your customer base” be represented on your team?
More women make your team smarter.

YOU: “Huh? I get the first two, but what’s this about women making my team smarter?”

It’s true-and that’s backed up by Harvard Business Review. A study reported in HBR found that “if a group includes more women, its collective intelligence rises.”

Now, before you start shouting, “Let’s get rid of all the men!,” you should know that the research supports gender diversity. You want a mix-but within that mix, the more women the better.

So, as a leader, if you’ve got an opening on your team-whether that team is a work team, a mastermind group, or even a sketch comedy TV show-be proactive and find a talented woman.

It’s the smart move.

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9026209

Importance of Team and Team Work – iMA Can Help

Blue 3d People Working Together To Hold Colorful Pieces Of A Jig

Teams are formed when individuals with a common taste, preference, liking, and attitude come and work together for a common goal. Teams play a very important role in organisations as well as our personal lives.
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success-Henry Ford”
The above proverb by Henry Ford can very well highlight the importance of working together in teams.
Every employee is dependent on his fellow employees to work together and contribute efficiently to the organisation. No employee can work alone; he has to take the help of his colleagues to accomplish the tasks efficiently. It has been observed that the outcome comes out to be far better when employees work in a team rather than individually as every individual can contribute in his best possible way. In organisations, individuals having a similar interest and specialisations come together on a common platform and form a team.

A sales team has employees inclined towards branding and marketing activities to promote their brand. An individual with a human resource specialisation would be out of place in such a team. Research supports that organisations with clearly defined teams are more successful as compared to those with a one man show.

Team work is essential in corporates for better output and a better bonding among employees.

  • No organisation runs for charity. Targets must be met and revenues have to be generated. Tasks must not be kept pending for a long time and ought to be completed within the desired timeframe. A single brain can’t always come with solutions or take decisions alone. He needs someone with whom he can discuss his ideas. In a team, every team member has an equal contribution and each team member comes out with a solution best suited to the problem. All the alternatives can be explored to come out with the best possible solution. Thoughts can be discussed among the team members and the pros and cons can be evaluated.
  • Tasks are accomplished at a faster pace when it is done by a team rather than an individual. An individual will definitely take more time to perform if he is single handedly responsible for everything. When employees work together, they start helping each other and responsibilities are shared and thus it reduces the work load and work pressure. Every team member is assigned one or the other responsibility according to his specialisation, level of interest and thus the output is much more efficient and faster.
  • Work never suffers or takes a backseat in a team. Mike was taking care of an important client and was the only one coordinating with them. Mike took a long leave and there was no one else who could handle the client in his absence. When he joined back after a long vacation, the organisation had already lost the client. Had Mike worked in a team, others could have taken the charge when he was not there. In a team, the other team members can perform and manage the work in the absence of any member and hence work is not affected much.
  • There is always a healthy competition among the team members. Competition is always good for the employee as well as the organisation as every individual feels motivated to perform better than his other team member and in a way contributing to his team and the organisation.
  • Team work is also important to improve the relations among the employees. Individuals work in close coordination with each other and thus come to know each other better. Team work also reduces the chances of unnecessary conflicts among the employees and every individual tries his level best to support his team member. The level of bonding increases as a result of team work.
  •  Team members can also gain from each other. Every individual is different and has some qualities. One can always benefit something or the other from his team members which would help him in the long run. Everyone is hungry for recognitions and praises. One feels motivated to work hard in a team and to live up to the expectations of the other members. Each member is a critic of the other and can correct him whenever the other person is wrong. One always has someone to fall back on at the time of crisis.

Team and team work must be encouraged at workplace as it strengthens the bond among the employees and the targets can be met at a faster pace. Workload is shared and individuals feel motivated to perform better than his team members.

 

Needing to improve your Team Engagement?

Getting the best from teams and effective team working is key to your success as a Leader and business. The challenge is to adapt your thinking, communication and style to leverage the potential of teams.  At PlusOne Dynamics we invite you to complete our free iMA Questionnaire,it will only take 2 minutes and will reveal your preferred communication style as a successful Leader / Manager plus how you can communicate effectively with your team while enhancing the connectivity, productivity and engagement of your staff. An iMA Audit or Workshop at your next Team Building event or session will greatly enhance the connectivity and performance of your team and have them motivated to engage in your business direction.

iMA is an exciting universal language, designed to maximise connectivity: mutual liking, trust, understanding and respect. Everyone speaks one of four iMA dialects, putting them on the same wavelength as 25% of the world’s population.  iMA is a simple way of observing and understanding the differences in people, then connecting with them on their wavelength. When this happens communication, trust, understanding, co-operation and sales increase, and stress and tension decrease.
I stands for Identify your iMA colour style and that of the person you want to connect with.
M stands for Modify your message by encoding it in a way that is most likely to be understood.
A is Adapt the way you treat one person vs. another.

Review our iMA Services here, and consider a PlusOne Dynamics iMA Workshop for your next team building event.

To become an even better Leader we invite you to download our PlusOne Dynamics free e-book – “12 Cs of Building a Team that Works“, you will gain valuable insight into to how you can grow and build your team using effective communication and contexts. This FREE e-Book provides a simple “answer these questions” guide surrounding your team, communication and connectivity.

Download Here – No Signup required!
http://www.plusonedynamics.com/12cs_for_building_a_team.html

Turn Your Disengaged Employees Into a Dedicated Team – iMA Can Help!

Turn Your Disengaged Employees Into a Dedicated Team

06 Mar 2013

Originally posted in 2012 on LeadershipInstitute.com by Colette Johnston Click Here to see the original.

PoD_Team_Work (sm)

Team building is simply actively listening, respecting employees, and implementing small changes. Often the first instinct when facing a disgruntled or disengaged employee is to show him or her the door. But look around. Is there more than one person who feels disengaged? Hiring and training new employees eats away at your bottom line, and creates insecurity for the survivors weakening the whole team.

In this struggling economy building a cohesive team by turning the negatives into positives is the quickest way to a better balance sheet. Take a Best Buy store in Manchester, Connecticut as an example of how teams can be turned around when the manager listens, digests what he hears, and implements, rather than reacts in the moment of perceived crisis:

Blue shirts. Great service. Knowledgeable. Perky. A well executed plan for success. That is the story of store 484, in Manchester Connecticut. It took a new manager, Eric Taverna, with a mission to change the team culture from disengaged employees into a dedicated team. It all started with a Gallup poll. When the results came back Taverna did what every great manager should do:

  • Listen – actively listen. There is no greater compliment than someone listening to you.
  • Respect employees’ opinions and give full consideration to their ideas – put out a suggestion box, or corkboard that offers anonymity.
  • Implement change that reflects input from your employees -it shows that you listen, and value their ideas.

In the Best Buy example, one of the most requested changes was that employees close the store together. Their motto is now, “Team Close” which has a double meaning and is a powerful implication for team unity. According to the Gallup Business Journal that motto has now been broadened to “One store – one team.”

You don’t have to hire a research firm to find out “what’s up?” with your team. Listening, and building your own “team close” can happen with a well-crafted team building session, tailored to your specific needs. When your whole team comes together, learns how teams can and should work, they walk away smiling and feeling empowered.

Building a strong empowered team culture can do a lot more than put smiles on your employees’ faces. It can make your managers smile at rising revenue numbers. It is a well proven fact that engaged employees feel valued, work harder, and give better service to customers. When customers feel well-served, enter a friendly atmosphere, and feel like the person offering the service listened to them, and provided solid answers, they walk away saying, “I’ll tell my friends about this one.” All it takes to do more business is a team that is really a team. Turning your employees into a team may take a little team building that will more than pay for itself.

 

Colette Johnston

Colette Johnston is a Corporate Development Manager who works with clients in over 30 major cities including Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and New York.

 

Considering a Team Building Event?:

Getting the best from teams and effective team working is key to your success as a Leader and business. The challenge is to adapt your thinking, communication and style to leverage the potential of teams.  At PlusOne Dynamics we invite you to complete our free iMA Questionnaire,it will only take 2 minutes and will reveal your preferred communication style as a successful Leader / Manager plus how you can communicate effectively with your team while enhancing connectivity and productivity. An iMA Audit or Workshop at your next Team Building event or session will greatly enhance the connectivity and performance of your team.

iMA is an exciting universal language, designed to maximise connectivity: mutual liking, trust, understanding and respect. Everyone speaks one of four iMA dialects, putting them on the same wavelength as 25% of the world’s population.  iMA is a simple way of observing and understanding the differences in people, then connecting with them on their wavelength. When this happens communication, trust, understanding, co-operation and sales increase, and stress and tension decrease.
I stands for Identify your iMA colour style and that of the person you want to connect with.
M stands for Modify your message by encoding it in a way that is most likely to be understood.
A is Adapt the way you treat one person vs. another.

Review our iMA Services here, and consider a PlusOne Dynamics iMA Workshop for your next team building event.

To become an even better Leader we invite you to download our PlusOne Dynamics free e-book – “12 Cs of Building a Team that Works“, you will gain valuable insight into to how you can grow and build your team using effective communication and contexts. This FREE e-Book provides a simple “answer these questions” guide surrounding your team, communication and connectivity.

Download Here – No Signup required!
http://www.plusonedynamics.com/12cs_for_building_a_team.html