Corporate Culture

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3 steps to being unbusy

These days, most of us are busy—with work, family commitments, hobbies, and other interests. However, in our quest to do it all, we may be blocking our road to success. One survey found that 42 percent of Millennials said they would cancel a medical appointment because they’re simply too busy. But it’s not just our health that may pay the price for our busyness. Studies performed by psychologists have found that being too busy and multitasking not only make you less productive, but also disrupt normal brain function and can lead to feelings of stress and burnout. And if you’re burning the candle at both ends and feeling stressed, that can affect your performance at work, as well as your ability to lead yourself and others.

How to Get “Un-Busy”

If multitasking and being too busy make individuals less productive and hinder leadership effectiveness, then consciously getting “un-busy” will make a change for the better. Just to be clear, being “un-busy” is not about being lazy or slothful. Quite the opposite. It requires hard work to effectively manage your time so that you are investing enough of it in relationship-building, problem-solving, and other activities that will ultimately make you a better leader.

Even when it seems like there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that must get done, you’ll benefit from taking a step back and evaluating how to get more quality over quantity out of your day. To get out of the trap of busyness, here are three steps to getting “un-busy”:

Step #1: Enlightenment

For me, this came early in my career from reading about Lee Iacocca, the leading business personality of the day. After creating the Mustang and Pinto at Ford, he served as President and CEO of Chrysler from 1978 to 1992 and is credited with the 1980s’ revival of the company. In his autobiography, he talked extensively about what we now call work-life balance. One key interview question he used when hiring senior executives was to ask how they spent their holidays the previous year. If they claimed to have been too busy to take holidays, he would dismiss them immediately. He felt strongly that if they could not schedule their personal life properly, they could not lead at Chrysler.

At that point, I became enlightened and discovered that I could reach whatever pinnacle of success I desired and still control my time and my life.

Step #2: Conquer Peer Pressure

Unfortunately, peer pressure doesn’t end after high school. Throughout your career, you must be prepared to battle public opinion. I was once told in a job interview that the only way to move up in the company was to be the first to the office in the morning and the last out in the evening. Not only that, but the interviewer told me that one should park up front so everyone can see your car and know that you are putting in the big hours. In other words, look busy. I shared that I did not wish to be judged by this standard, but rather by my results (see step #3). To my surprise, I still got the job offer and spent nine successful years at that company. It turned out that my interviewer’s inaccurate perspective of the company’s culture stemmed from heavy peer pressure and an undue focus on clock-watching.

Step #3: Deliver Outstanding Results

If you want to be judged by the clock, you simply show up early and go home late. Conversely, if you want to be evaluated according to your performance, then you’ll focus on those activities that show others that you produce results and can be relied upon to do what you say you will do. For example:

  • Promptly returning emails and phone calls
  • Being on time and prepared for meetings
  • Understanding what is expected of you and delivering on your commitments
  • Admitting failure and showing a willingness to learn from your mistakes

If your goal is to do these things rather than filling your day with unending lists of tasks that will keep you busy, you will likely be more productive in your accomplishment of the things that matter most.

Develop and Improve Time Management Skills

For many, it would be a struggle to break the cycle of busyness and follow the three steps to becoming “un-busy”. To help bridge that gap, skill development in the area of time management can help individuals make the jump from feeling overworked and stressed, to a state of time mastery and higher productivity. Following the three steps to becoming “un-busy” and reinforcing those activities with targeted time management training will lead to a less busy and more productive day.

 

By Rick Willis 

6 Exercises to Improve Teamwork in the Workplace for Large and Small Groups

Promoting teamwork in the workplace creates opportunities to improve communication and collaboration skills, as well as forging stronger personal connections, which fosters a welcoming and supportive workplace culture. Plus, teamwork exercises allow your teammates to learn about one another’s strengths, which can be used to work better together as a team on the job.

Opportunities often exist between larger team-building initiatives so you can gather your team and run short, fun exercises to promote the continued development of the above skills. It will be important to clarify to your team why they’re doing the exercise, make it fun, and host a debrief session to wrap up the purpose of the exercise.

You can implement these six exercises for your team, and in the areas where you will see a benefit:

1. Company Concentration – Reinforces Company Culture

Use this classic memory game to teach team members more about your organization and each other. Create cards with facts and photos, like the company’s founding date, individuals’ names/faces, product specifications, etc. There should be two versions of each card. Face the cards down in a grid pattern on a table, and have players flip them up one at a time, flipping them back down after each turn. The goal is to match the duplicate cards by remembering their placement in the grid; in the process, players will also be memorizing the company and teammate facts.

2. Group Timeline – Strengthens Relationships

This interactive activity is a fantastic opportunity to explore the team and company culture by giving people a chance to learn more about the company and others, thus creating a shared sense of history. You will need to create a timeline (either physically or virtually) that extends back a period of history for your team or company. Pin important organizational dates to the timeline, like big product launches and mergers. Then ask everybody to pin up a few important moments in their own lives. Team members will learn more about each other, their generational differences, and their breadth of experience. This is both a fun, cultural exercise and one that promotes collaboration and understanding.

3. Progressive Brainstorming – Improves Communication

If quieter voices on your team are getting lost, progressive brainstorming will be a great opportunity to ensure that everyone on the team is heard, even the more introverted members. Progressive brainstorming means you bring forward a problem and brainstorm solutions for it. Instead of calling out ideas, have the first team member write down their idea for a solution. Pass the paper around the group so that each member adds his or her own new ideas or builds on the existing ones. Everyone gets the chance to participate, promotes different communication styles, and allows you to practically and uniquely solve a problem faced by your team. As a bonus, this can be done virtually with remote teams as well!

4. Shared Journal – Promotes Collaboration and Company Culture

While a shared journal may seem like an odd team-building activity, it’s actually a great, low-pressure opportunity for coworkers to learn more about each other; they can use it to contribute to a team and organizational culture of fun and collaboration. This is how it works. Put a journal and writing supplies in a communal area in your office (such as a lunch room) and open it up to coworkers. This exercise can be easily modified to work virtually for remote teams! The journal can act as a space to write inspirational quotes, paste in event mementos, impart office expertise, share office moments, and more. After a set amount of time, gather your team and debrief the experience: what were the benefits, did you learn anything new, how does this support our culture, and so on.

5. Find the Connections – Reinforce the Importance of Relationships

People who don’t often interact need opportunities for discussion as well as the chance to forge relationships that support better departmental communication and collaboration. This can be done in an easy-to-implement exercise. Divide your team or department into smaller groups; each group can submit at least one thing each member has in common. Finding points of commonality will help your team members to see each other as more than just coworkers, but as human beings not so different from themselves. That can go a long way toward creating a culture of psychological safety in your team. This exercise can also be taken to virtual meeting spaces!

6. Explore Possibilities – Fosters Innovation

For the team that lacks creative, out-of-the-box thinking, which is necessary in a culture of innovation, this exercise can be made truly fun! Take a lunch, buy pizza for the team, and gather random objects from around the office (stapler, chair, fork, and so on). Let your team members brainstorm alternate uses for each one. While the purpose of the exercise may not be explicit to some team members, when you debrief its purpose, your team members will more clearly see the connections to their life on the job.

When people get the chance to tackle challenges with their coworkers in interactive situations outside of their daily tasks, they get to know one another as individuals with their own sets of strengths, weaknesses, and passions. Promoting teamwork in the workplace through collaborative and fun exercises fosters personal connections and strengthens crucial teamwork skills, leading to higher-performing and culturally strong teams.
About the author
Ian_ProfileIan has been with Eagle’s Flight since 1997, and is Executive Vice President, Global Accounts. He holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of British Columbia. Ian spent 12 years at Nestlé Canada and brings a wide range of experience that includes practical business experience in management, sales, program design, development and mentoring. He works closely with the Global licensees to ensure their success as they represent Eagle’s Flight in the worldwide marketplace. He has developed outstanding communication skills and currently is the Executive in Charge of a large Fortune 500 client with a team of employees dedicated to this specific account. As a result, Ian has been instrumental in driving the company’s growth and strategic direction.

EF author

It seems that everyone has gone social. According to the Pew Research Center, seven in 10 Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, and share information. For HR, the most common use of social media has been in the area of recruiting. In fact, 84 percent of organizations use social media to attract talent, according to SHRM’s latest Social Media Survey.

In addition to using social media for recruiting, there are many other opportunities to use these tools in HR to maximize employee performance and unlock workforce potential. You, too, can go social by using social media to support your HR initiatives, from building company culture and employee engagement to supporting training and development.

Share Your Culture Using Social Media

Social media can be a great conduit for defining and communicating your company brand and culture. It can help you celebrate your culture and highlight examples of it with video, stories, and images that get shared, liked, and downloaded by your employees and customers. One study by a global PR firm found that content shared by employees is re-shared 24x more frequently than content shared by company channels. So, in addition to posting content about your culture on your company Facebook page or Twitter account, you can enlist employees as brand ambassadors to share those stories and tell more of the world what truly represents your company culture.

Learn How to Maximize the Value of HR and Unleash Employee Potential In Our Latest Guide

Social media in HR can also be a valuable tool for supporting the development of a high-performance culture among employees. When your goal is to rally people around your core values and help them live the culture you are building, social media can get people talking and sharing internally. Tools like Workplace by Facebook create one big social network just for employees, allowing you to build a unifying culture. In addition, social platforms like Slack, Yammer, or HipChat can provide a useful forum for collaboration, problem-solving, or the solicitation of employee feedback on a shared goal or corporate challenge.

Use Social Media for Employee Engagement

You might agree that employees tend to feel more engaged in the workplace if they feel informed and have a way to share their opinions. Whether you’re developing a new strategy for employee engagement or adding new activities to your engagement toolkit, social media can help. In an HR Executive Online article about how some companies use social media beyond recruiting, HR professionals explain how they use social media not only to inform but to help employees feel engaged and connected to the company and their coworkers. Among the examples were:

  • Posting news of team achievements or awards that employees can share or retweet
  • Creating a hashtag for an important company initiative or charitable even.
  • Sharing remote employees’ day-in-the-life stories with employees in other offices.
  • Issuing weather advisories and helpful weather tips to employees via social media channels

Reinforce Training & Development with Social Tools

Social media can support your training initiatives by encouraging more sociability among participants and helping to reinforce newly-learned skills. A recent SHRM article described how social media in HR supports learning initiatives before, during, and after training has taken place. Some of the ways you can use social media to support training activities include:

  • Before training: Build excitement for an upcoming training session by posting related content on an internal social network and/or LinkedIn, and invite ideas and opinions.
  • During training: Engage remote employees in training sessions in real time with the help of social media platforms like Periscope and Meerkat, which allow employees to follow along with the aid of live video feeds.
  • After training: Populate virtual bookshelves with relevant multimedia content related to the training and share with participants on social media.

Take the Next Step: Go Social

Social media in HR can be a useful tool for connecting individuals across teams, departments, and offices. By bringing people together, social media promotes collaboration around shared goals and challenges. It can also help you to communicate and shape your company culture by keeping individuals and teams informed and engaged. Lastly, social media tools can complement training activities by enhancing the training experience and aiding in the reinforcement of learned skills.

About the author

EF authorAs Chief Operating Officer, Sue’s extensive senior leadership experience and facilitation skills have established her as a trusted partner and organizational development expert. She has a proven track record of successfully leading culture transformation in Fortune 500 companies and has established herself as an authority on training and development. Sue has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of programs and custom designed solutions for Eagle’s Flight.

 

 

 

Re – blogged from :- Eagles Flight

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How to Conduct a Corporate Culture Gap Analysis

What is your corporate culture?

While many organizations may be able to generically state the shared beliefs and values of their employees or point to the writing on the walls, some struggle to truly define, live, and measure their company culture. Culture permeates every aspect of your company and is defined by what the people of the organization do, not just what is written on the walls or believed by the majority of employees. Moreover, measuring an intangible concept such as company culture can be a daunting undertaking. While some parameters are clear, others are far more difficult to define.

When you consider that culture is the sum total of the individual behaviors of employees, it may become clearer how you can identify measurement techniques. In management, a gap analysis is the comparison of performance against the potential or desired performance. Applied to company culture, a culture gap analysis can measure whether your team is living the defined culture and, in turn, utilizing resources and technology to drive said culture.

To help conduct a corporate culture gap analysis, here are a few steps your team can take action on today.

Define Desired Culture


In order for a gap analysis to occur, a team must first outline its desired culture and the results of it. The first step in conducting a culture gap analysis is knowing exactly what type of culture your organization embodies currently, as well as the future goal.

Defining your culture requires your team to take a look at its priorities, as your goals and initiatives can uncover your organizational values. Here are some questions you might ask yourself:

  • How do your employees hear more about increasing the bottom line or increasing customer satisfaction?
  • In what ways does your organization provide employees with the freedom to experiment and innovate?
  • What are your organization’s views on calculated risks? Are they seen as an opportunity or a distraction?
  • How much does your company invest in ongoing training efforts, in terms of money and time?
  • How do the thoughts and feelings of both leadership and employees impact your company’s decisions to adopt certain efforts or changes?

These questions will provide clarity on the type of culture you have and want. From innovative cultures that empower employees to tackle challenges in creative ways to customer centric cultures that encourage team members to put themselves in their customers’ shoes, the definition of a company culture is contingent on the metrics you choose to assess it with. Customer centric metrics may include referrals, calls to support, and customer reviews. An innovative culture may measure results on a performance-based scale and consider innovative processes and behaviors as indicators of success.

Conduct Anonymous Surveys and Assessments

After identifying your desired company culture, you can measure its desired performance against actual performance. Although identifying company culture is an initiative that must begin at the top and cascade throughout the organization, it’s important for leaders to consider the opinions of their employees. From front-line managers to executives, the opinions and insights can shed light on behaviors. After all, your employees live in the current culture every day and, as such, have ideas about how the culture could be improved or strengthened.

Gathering opinions and feedback can take the form of surveys, focus groups, and assessment techniques, which are all quantitative methods. One-on-one meetings with executives can yield illuminating insights as well. Supplementing feedback with specific examples and illustrations of company culture can provide a well-rounded idea. Ultimately, comprehensive, employee-driven feedback can help create a clear picture of the behaviors that define your company culture.

Create Action Plans and Strategies Based on Feedback and Gaps

Performing in-depth cultural assessments based on quantitative data, interviews, and surveys can enable your organization to identify the gap between your current culture and your desired company culture. This information can then be applied to techniques that will promote the necessary change. After comparing both your current and desired cultures, it’s essential for success to create strategies that address the information extracted from your efforts, that are realistic, and that can be reasonably implemented. Think of the stakeholders, timeline, or possible roadblocks ahead of implementation, in order to make the change as seamless as possible.

Creating strategic objectives based on your feedback not only helps your organization digest information, but it helps put those cultural objectives into action. Defining culture and measuring it comprise one thing; developing a plan to adapt to your discoveries is another thing. Transforming your corporate culture using a gap analysis often requires implementing new skills training. It’s up to you, as change leaders, to inspire motivation across your organization. When your team members understand the benefits of your plan, it builds conviction and makes them more willing to support the efforts.

 

About the author

PaulAs Executive Vice President Global Performance, Paul has extensive experience in consultation, design, and delivery of programs over his 20 year career with Eagle’s Flight. Through his genuine personable approach, Paul is not only a trusted advisor but also a valued partner to his clients; he works seamlessly to ensure that Eagle’s Flight solutions are aligned to their needs and desired outcomes. As a result, Paul is the account executive for Eagle’s Flight largest account. Many of his clients are multi-year accounts from multinational, Fortune 500 companies.

 

 

Re- Blogged From :- Eagle’s Flight

John_Profile_Web

Far too often, millennial employees are mistakenly labeled as entitled, unsatisfied job-hoppers. According to a Gallup study, however, it’s not that they’re necessarily entitled. Instead, it’s that many of them feel indifferent and detached. According to the study, only 29 percent of millennials are engaged and feel an emotional and behavioral connection to their job and company. What’s more, another 16 percent are actively disengaged, meaning they are susceptible to burning out or negatively impacting a company.

That’s a whopping 55 percent of millennial workers who do not feel engaged with their work. So what does this mean? Are all millennial employees a risk to your company? Are they all actively seeking new opportunities?

While situations certainly vary from company to company, overall, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, a 2015 IBM study indicates that 47 percent of Gen X’ers would leave their job for one that offers more money, compared to 42 percent of millennials. Additionally, 70 percent of baby boomers think their organization ineffectively addresses the customer experience, compared to 60 percent of millennials.

As this illustrates, many millennials’ thoughts and beliefs aren’t all that different than their older peers. They don’t all need a trophy for every single accomplishment, and not every millennial is willing to jump ship if a job doesn’t fulfill their agenda. Read on to find out what type of corporate culture supports the success of millennials and in turn, the organization.

What Do Millennials Value?

For starters, it’s worth noting that the millennial workforce is more racially and ethnically diverse than those before them. According to the Brookings Institute, this racial diversity is the generation’s most defining and impactful characteristic. This diversity has led to a more accepting and charitable collective worldview, as illustrated in a recent Deloitte survey, which showed that 77 percent of millennials are involved in charity or a “good cause.”

Since 2013, Deloitte has measured millennial world and professional views. As this year’s survey illustrates, many feel accountable, to a fair degree, for many issues in both the workplace and the world at large, but that they are unable to make a meaningful influence. It’s in the workforce, however, that they feel a greater sense of control. It’s here where they feel most impactful. They are excited by the influence they can have on their peers, customers, and suppliers, even if the impact is on a smaller scale.

Despite the fact that many struggle with debt, millennial workers are generally not motivated by money. Instead, as the Deloitte survey already illustrates, they are driven by making the world more compassionate, sustainable, and innovative. To drive this point home, according to a Net Impact survey, 40 percent of millennials deem getting a job that can make a difference as “very important.”

Aligning Culture with These Values

As a whole, millennials are driven by making a difference. The truth is that many companies use words such as “impact” and “purpose-driven” without truly understanding what they mean to their organization. To help attract and retain millennial team members, it’s up to your organization to implement the type of corporate culture that not only discusses altruistic views, but also embodies them.

While it’s true that not every company can save the world, they can certainly strive to be transparent about how they’re using technology and resources. They can also strive to create shared value and enact social and environmental changes. Remember, it’s not necessarily the scope of the impact that millennial workers care about—it’s the efforts in the first place.

Part of this rests in your organization’s ability to align its cultures with the values of your millennial employees. In the same Deloitte study, 86 percent of respondents believe the success of a business should be measured in terms of more than just its financial performance, with the top issue ranking as “education, skills, and training.” In this regard, it’s important to create opportunities for development, coaching, and mentorship.

As the Gallup study illustrates, the relationship between a manager and its millennial employees is a vital link in performance management. In fact, 44 percent of millennials are likely to be engaged with managers who hold regular meetings. Consistent feedback not only impacts engagement, but it also produces positive performance. Employees who regularly meet with management perform better for their team and company.

Providing feedback and implementing a leadership development program not only aligns your organization with values shared by a majority of millennial employees, but it can also result in growth for both your employees and your company. These programs enable you to cultivate leaders from within your organization. By offering leadership training to your entire organization, you’re able to ensure that frontline professionals with no direct reports can develop their individual potential and leadership strengths.
About the author

John_Profile_WebSince 1991, John has acquired extensive experience in the design and delivery of a diverse portfolio of programs. In addition to his executive responsibilities as President of Leadership and Learning Events, John is considered a valued partner to many executive teams. His insight and experience enable him to effectively diagnose, design, and implement complex culture change initiatives in a collaborative and engaging manner. Moreover, John’s experience in global implementations allows him to draw from a deep well of history to create unique and customized solutions. John’s passion for developing people makes him a sought after speaker, partner and coach and is evident in the high praise he receives from clients.

 

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