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Employee burnout is an issue that businesses of all sizes face. If overlooked, it can lead to high turnover, disrupt the organization’s culture, impact productivity, and cut into profits. To deal with employee burnout, you first need to recognize the signals and then work with your employees to address it. It is important to take proactive steps to avoid burnout.

How can you proactively prevent employee burnout? By taking steps such as:

  • Fostering an open dialogue about an employee’s workload
  • Providing the necessary resources for employees to do their work efficiently
  • Encouraging employees to act on innovative ideas or process improvements that will positively affect the organization
  • Having clearly defined roles and responsibilities
  • Allowing appropriate flexibility in the workday
  • Scheduling breaks throughout the day and encouraging employees to take them

Despite your best efforts, sometimes burnout stills happens. Watch for these four signs so that you can swiftly take action.

1. Increased Absenteeism

When typically reliable employees start taking unplanned time off work, it may be a sign that something is wrong. While it could be a personal issue that they are dealing with, it could also be a sign of burnout. The first step is to talk with the employee about why their behavior has changed. If it is in fact a personal issue, perhaps there is a way the organization can support the employee. However, if the behavior has changed because of a work issue, it is your accountability as their leader to help the employee address it.

After identifying the issue, work with the employee to create an action plan to alleviate the feeling of being burnt out. Perhaps adjusting work hours or reallocating their workload is a good place to start. If it’s not a functional issue and the right balance of time and tasks already exists, consider a development program that fosters accountability and ownership of their work. When the employee feels personal accountability and understands that their contribution makes a difference, absenteeism decreases, and engagement increases.

2. Decreased Engagement

When an employee who is typically proactive and engaged becomes less interested in work, it’s a sign that burnout could be on the horizon. You can re-engage valuable employees by creating new challenges and setting up a coaching program to refresh their level of engagement and show your support for their growth and development.

Start by discussing career goals and work together to define the best path to reach them. Set up regular check-ins to monitor progress toward milestones. When disengaged employees have a new reason to boost their performance, chances are that they will be excited to rise to the occasion.

3. Explosive Reactions

Negative communication tactics like snapping at coworkers, yelling at employees, and being more sensitive to criticism than usual are indications of higher stress levels and possible precursors to burnout. For example, frustration with a colleague about how a certain task is performed can cause tensions to rise and contribute to burnout. That is when having the ability to effectively communicate that frustration and make changes before it comes to a head will not only foster better teamwork but also decrease the chances of employee burnout due to avoidable issues.

4. Time Management Complaints

If an employee claims that there isn’t enough time to get work done, it might be the case that the workload is unreasonable, in which case, you may need to reallocate tasks among the team. However, if the workload is realistic and an employee still can’t complete tasks in the course of their workday, it is more than likely a time management issue. Feeling overwhelmed with work is a sure sign of potential burnout. Providing training for improving time management skills is one way to develop organized employees who understand their stressors. Employees will then be able to more effectively prioritize tasks, make effective lists, and understand how their work contributes to the overall goal.

When you see these signs, don’t ignore them or assume they will fix themselves. Catching burnout early and strategizing how to alleviate it will stop it before it becomes a major issue. Make it a priority to talk to the employee about their behavior and, when possible, provide the necessary training and tools to help them solve their issue.

About the author

Dave_RootDave joined Eagle’s Flight in 1991 after having spent a number of years with a Toronto-based accounting firm. Since that time, he has held a number of posts within the company, primarily in the areas of Operations, Finance, Legal, and IT. In his current role as both Chief Financial Officer and President, Global Business, Dave is focused on ensuring the company’s ongoing financial health as well as growing its global market share. In pursuing the latter, Dave’s wealth of experience and extensive business knowledge has made him a valued partner and trusted advisor to both our global licensees and multinational clientele.

 

 

Re- Blogged From :- Eagle’s Flight

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No doubt, brainstorming company event ideas is a fun process, but if you want the event to align with your business objectives, it will require more than a 30-minute meeting and a whiteboard to get you there. Use the following process to help you decide which ideas make the most sense for your organization.

Start by Defining Your Goals

The first step in determining which company event ideas will best align with business objectives is to clearly define those objectives. You’re not likely to hit your target if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Before you contact any vendors or start looking for suitable spaces, sit down with key stakeholders to define the goals of the event. Of course, some full-day and multi-day events can have multiple objectives, but you must know what they are before you begin the planning with any guaranteed success.

Some of the most common company event goals are:

  • Training for new skills or behaviors
  • Announcing new initiatives or a new communication strategy
  • Celebrating an organizational milestone
  • Cultivating the company culture

If your list of event goals includes a training element, you must ensure that the time and resources you spend will go toward supporting organizational objectives. These are different for every company but can include goals such as:

  • Becoming more customer centric
  • Improving efficiency in processes
  • Breaking down silos between departments
  • Developing a culture of innovation

Once you have identified where you ultimately want to be, you can decide which ideas will get you there.

Explore Experiential Learning

There are countless team-building exercises, lectures, and presentations you can do at a company event, but if your aim is to support business objectives, it may be time to make the change to experiential learning. Experiential learning allows participants to have fun—so much fun, in fact, they often forget they are at a training event—all the while, learning new skills and behaviors that are transferable to their job and will make an impact.

Experiential learning presents an immersive challenge that acts as a metaphor for real-world workplace scenarios. Individuals must work together to solve a puzzle or overcome a challenge, in order to achieve the results they are accountable for. Once the challenge is over, a facilitator will guide a discussion to reflect on their experience and understand not only how to overcome the challenges to win the game but also how to apply the learning at work. Because they had so much fun learning as a group and experienced how success feels during training, individuals leave the training excited and committed to do the same on the job.

Make Sure It’s Not Just a Game

The debrief is critical to the success of experiential learning. Without linking the activity to challenges that participants face in the real world, it is simply a training game. Although experiential learning allows participants to feel like they’re playing a game, it is essential that the content delivered is both useful and relevant to the business objectives.

Achieving the right mix of fun and relevance takes some expertise, which is why many people work with experienced partners to deliver experiential learning. A skilled facilitator is also necessary so that all of the valuable information learned during the event can be successfully linked to the daily reality that employees face.

As you begin to explore company event ideas, start by defining your objectives and measure every option against them. If one of your goals is training, choose the activities that are the likeliest to engage participants and deliver long-term results. Experiential learning can be used to teach almost any type of concept and to support your business goals, so it’s worthwhile to consider it next time you plan a corporate event.

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.

 

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All types of industries and professions have trade networks and peer groups, and human resources is no exception. Joining HR network groups is an excellent way to share ideas, learn about new tools and methods, and meet people who have similar experience. By interacting with people in similar roles outside your own organization, you can gain insights about common challenges and learn from the successes and failures of others. Read on to learn more about the types of networks you can join, the benefits of joining them, and some specific groups to consider.
Types of HR Network Groups

There is a wide variety of peer groups and trade networks for HR professionals, including those that require membership fees or dues and free options. Some groups have a narrow focus such as healthcare, training, or compensation, while others cover a broader range of topics. Some of the types of HR networks you might join include:

  • Professional accreditation organizations
  • Local chapters of national networks
  • Social networks for HR professionals
  • LinkedIn, Facebook, or other online groups

You can join as many networks as your budget allows to gain access to the many resources and benefits they offer.

Benefits of Joining HR Network Groups

The main purpose of joining a human resources network is to gain benefits such as learning something new, tapping into the crowd for more information, and networking.

Learn New Ideas

HR professionals are involved in many aspects of the business, including skills training, benefit administration, software selection, vendor selection, and much more. Participating in a network gives you the opportunity to learn about new ways to improve processes, training approaches that are more effective, and software solutions that can help you be more efficient.

Crowdsource Knowledge

Although internet searches are useful for learning some new information, the best way to get answers to important HR questions is to ask people with experience. Having a group of knowledgeable professionals at your fingertips allows you to hear different perspectives about the challenges you face every day and to find tested solutions that could work for you.

Network with Peers

The only people who truly understand what you do are the others who do the same jobs. You might have access to only a few people in similar roles at your own organization, but an HR group gives you countless opportunities to network with your peers both in person and digitally. Whether you are trying to solve a problem or just venting about your day, being able to do it with like-minded individuals can make your job easier.

10 HR Network Groups to Consider

If you are exploring HR networks to join, start with this list:
1- The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) – As the world’s largest HR professional society with 285,000 members in more than 165 countries, this organization offers learning opportunities, professional certification, events, and resources.

2- Professionals in Human Resources Association (PIHRA) - With more than 4,000 individual members in Southern California, this organization is the largest affiliate of the SHRM.

3- HR Training & Development (LinkedIn) - With almost 35,000 members, this subgroup of HR.com has been developed specifically for HR training and development specialists to network and share information.

4- Human Resources (HR) Professionals (LinkedIn) - This informal networking group of more than 200,000 HR professionals discusses trends and issues such as talent management, employee development, and compensation and benefits.

5- Human Resources Management & Executive Network (LinkedIn) - More than 70,000 HR leaders in management-level roles connect with peers to discuss HR trends and initiatives that can help foster or inspire your own career growth in your organization.

6- HR Jobs and Ideas (LinkedIn) - This human resources, talent management, and hiring networking group with more than 200,000 members is dedicated to sharing the latest information about HR ideas, jobs, and technology.

7- National Association of African Americans in HR (NAAAHR) - This association has over 25 chapters and a social media community of over 15,000 members who benefit from shared learning, professional development, and personal growth opportunities.

8- Human Resources Management Association of Chicago (HRMAC) - A group that began with seven people in 1915 has blossomed into a network of nearly 750 Chicago-area organizations and over 7,000 professionals focused on the HR strategies that support business success.

9- HR Professionals – CANADA Chapter (LinkedIn) - This group of over 4,000 professionals discusses recruitment, training and development, performance evaluation, competence assessment, and succession management.

10 HealthCare HR (LinkedIn) - Over 10,000 HR professionals in the healthcare industry participate in discussions aimed at solving common challenges.
No matter what type of industry you are in or what challenges you face, chances are there is an HR network group that is a good fit. Choose one (or more) of these 10, or do some research to find and join networks in your area and take professional development into your own hands.

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.

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Have you ever felt like you could benefit from an unfiltered, genuine look at how your employees truly feel about any number of things going on in your organization?

Of course you have! This kind of feedback is crucial to understanding your true company culture. And the best thing? It can more than likely be found in your breakroom. “Water cooler talk” can be a valuable resource when it comes to defining and transforming your company culture. In fact, you can never fully understand your company culture without it. Here’s why using that casual chatter around the water cooler is essential for your organization.

Water cooler talk says a lot about your culture.

When company leadership tirelessly works to define the company’s values, vision, and goals, it’s very possible to miss how these things actually play into the day-to-day life of employees.

What is said around the water cooler is a reflection of your company culture. Culture isn’t owned by your leadership team or defined by what’s written in your mission statement. While culture transformations must start from the top, company culture is embodied by the behaviors of all the individuals in your organization. If those individuals who are invested in your organization, discuss, critique, or formulate possible solutions for company policies, events, or decisions, you should be aware of it.

That’s why it’s so important to get feedback from the front lines, not just the C-suite, because they are the ones who have a personal connection to what’s being talked about around the water cooler. In order to get an accurate picture of workplace behaviors and attitudes, you must survey all employees, top to bottom, using tools like anonymous employee surveys and focus groups.

Be honest with employees that you are looking for their genuine and honest feedback. After all, holding back or sugarcoating feedback won’t lead to any changes. Knowing what your employees are saying and thinking about your company when the stakes aren’t high (i.e. when they’re just chatting with one another or filling out an anonymous survey) provides a crucial, unfiltered view of their attitudes toward the company. You’ll discover if those attitudes toward company policy are warranted (and thus if you need to make some major policy changes) or if you need to work to change unfounded toxic attitudes. You’ll never know which course to take, though, if you ignore the water cooler chatter altogether.
Of course, you’ll probably get some positive feedback as well, which can be just as helpful in understanding what’s working and what’s not for your company and its culture. Positive feedback reinforces what your company and its culture are doing right, while negative feedback can act as the catalyst for correcting the dysfunctional aspects.

Water cooler talk becomes even more essential during times of transition.

If your company is undergoing a major change—like a merger, management change, or culture transformation—getting that unfiltered feedback from the front lines becomes all the more important. Tension can run high during times of change, even if you’re implementing change that will make the lives of your employees easier or more fulfilling. We’re resistant to change by nature, which is why clear lines of communication—lines that run up, down, and across—become that much more important during change initiatives.

Based on front-line feedback, you’ll be able to discern whether most employees are concerned, wary, confused, or enthusiastic (or a mixture of these feelings) about the changes taking place. Taking a pulse check on how your organization is feeling by tuning in to water cooler talk can reveal if you need to ramp up communication efforts or even tweak the direction of your initiative. Additionally, don’t wait until after you’ve deemed your change initiative complete to tap into the water cooler talk. It’s much easier to course-correct during times of transition than to have to undergo a whole new transition when you realize your changes have not been well-received or understood.

If you want to strengthen or transform your company culture, then it’s time to change your perspective on water cooler talk. It’s not idle chitchat or gossip—it’s your employees’ authentic thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors toward your company culture. Put into place ways to tap into this powerful resource to ensure your company culture initiatives are headed in the right direction. This type of feedback is an insightful resource for those concerned with the company’s culture. Used wisely, by ensuring employees understand that you care about what they’re saying, you’ll be able to incorporate their thoughts for their good and the company’s. Be honest about your intentions and promote authentic feedback in any form from employees.

 

 

Ian_Profile_WebAbout the author

Ian 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.

 

Re- Blogged From :- Eagles Flight

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Many learning and development professionals quickly realize that creating leadership development programs from scratch is a daunting task, or they don’t know where to start when it comes to revitalizing their existing program. If you’re thinking this sounds familiar, you understand that it’s rare to have all the necessary skill sets in-house, and that the time and resources required to create and implement a program are often too onerous to be realistic.

Partnering with leadership development experts is an excellent alternative to building your program from scratch, but it’s essential to find the right fit. Ask yourself the following 4 questions to help you evaluate your options when searching for the right training partner.

Define Your Goals

You must know exactly what you need before you can find the solution to match. Ask the following four questions and keep the answers top of mind when it comes time to make the final decision.

1. Who Will Participate in the Program?

This is important to know because any leadership development program you select must align with the individuals participating. Many initiatives start with an effort to develop employees at a certain level, but in order to build a truly robust leadership pipeline, it makes sense to provide training and development for entry-level leaders all the way up to top-level executives.

Neglecting senior leadership simply because they are already in high-level roles can actually hinder your development efforts. Individuals always have more to learn and senior leaders are one of your biggest internal assets when it comes to grooming future leaders. Look for a program that provides training for leaders at every level and turns senior leaders into coaches and mentors—a crucial aspect to the success of your organization’s future leaders.

2. What is the Framework Used for the Program?

Every organization faces unique challenges and has its own distinct mix of skill sets and competencies. It is essential that the program you select aligns with the gaps and opportunities your organization is trying to address. Ask any potential partner how their program ensures alignment. Here’s a clue: Any program that cannot be customized specifically for your company is not likely to meet all your needs.

Another important consideration when evaluating the program’s framework is the training style(s) the partner offers. Are you looking for e-learning, lecture-style training, or experiential learning? If you’re not sure, start by researching which learning styles are most effective for the participants who will be involved, and make sure the provider you choose offers a combination of approaches that will work for your team.

3. Does the Program Address the “Why” for Learners?

Learning new information without understanding why you are doing it rarely produces lasting behavior change. In the context of leadership development programs, candidates must know that they are participating in a comprehensive course that aims to develop their leadership skills and that it will continue for years to come. This is especially important for today’s workforce because it builds loyalty and helps reduce turnover.

Look for leadership development programs that clearly spell out a growth path for high-potential candidates. Staying consistently engaged in their own development and knowing that there is more coming will keep future leaders committed to the organization. This type of long-term program also demonstrates that the company is invested in their success.

4. How Does the Provider Measure ROI?

Measuring the effectiveness of any type of investment is just smart business. Although it can be more difficult to measure the ROI of a training program, it is possible. Measurement should be integrated into the program for two important reasons:

1-You want to know that your investment is worthwhile.

2- You need to confirm that new information is retained before training continues.

Ask any potential provider what methods they use to measure progress and how you will know if the program is working.
In most cases, evaluating multiple potential partners does not allow you to compare apples to apples. Because the offerings of each provider cannot necessarily be compared side by side, you must look at them through the lens of your internal goals. Start by defining those goals, and then evaluate how each partner aligns with them.

 
John_Profile_WebAbout the author

Since 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.

 

Re- Blogged From:- Eagle’s Flight

 

 

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Training employees to become better managers or executives is an important part of maintaining a strong leadership pipeline. Without this type of development, an organization can be left with leadership gaps that result in decreased productivity, unintentional shifts in the company culture, and potentially lost profits. That is why it is crucial to address certain leadership topics throughout an employee’s development, in order to improve communication skills and team dynamics.

The types of leadership topics that are most relevant will depend on factors like where an individual is on their development path and the foundation of skills that has already been created. Consider including these ideas as you develop your leadership development program.

1. Communication

For those individuals who are early in their journey to becoming a leader, learning how to effectively communicate is critical. Learning and implementing techniques for active listening is the first step in avoiding misunderstandings and overcoming roadblocks. As they continue to grow into leadership positions that require managing people, they can achieve greater impact by learning how to solicit and provide feedback to improve performance. Senior leaders benefit from learning how to create and deliver the consistent messages that will promote a unified culture.
Why leaders engage: Everybody faces challenges that can be resolved using strong communication skills. Leaders in training want to know how they can be better at communicating effectively so that they can generate the results they expect from their teams.

2. Execution

One of the many strengths that makes an individual a great leader is the talent for developing brilliant strategies. However, in order to be effective, this skill must be paired with the ability to execute. Learning how to implement smart strategies through creating plans, tracking milestones, and leveraging innovation enables leaders to demonstrate that their strategies are valid by delivering results.

Why leaders engage: Teaching leaders how to put their strategies into action empowers them to develop new initiatives and gives them confidence in their ability to bring them to reality.

3. Leadership During Transitions

One of the most challenging times for any organization is a period of transition. Whether it is a change in leadership, a merger, or opening a new branch office, employees crave structure, knowledge, and security in their roles. With the right approach and solid change management skills, leaders can continue to drive productivity during transitional times.

Why leaders engage: This type of training is always relevant but is particularly powerful before a planned transition. Having a clear approach allows executives to respond to change with confidence and poise.

4. Empowering Others

All leaders must delegate tasks, both large and small. In addition to knowing which tasks are appropriate for the right people, a good leader also has the skills to engage individuals in the decision-making process so that they feel empowered to do whatever is required to produce the best results. Leaders who know how to empower others unleash the full potential of their teams.

Why leaders engage: Leaders who focus on optimizing results want to learn how to get the most from their teams. Although they might know how to maximize their own productivity, they might not yet know how to encourage the same in others.

5. Team Performance

By its very nature, a leadership role requires an individual to guide other people. Different personalities, work ethics, skill sets, and other factors contribute to the many challenges a leader might face when trying to improve team performance. Having the practical skills to overcome these various hurdles enables a leader to both help individuals grow and foster higher levels of collaboration.

Why leaders engage: Effectively leading teams is an ongoing process that requires a broad but refined skill set in order to handle the wide range of situations that will arise.

Development programs for emerging leaders, managers, and executives can include many types of leadership topics. Select the ones that make the most sense for everyone depending on their career level, the challenges they currently face, and the journey you expect them to take as they continue to grow as leaders.
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.

 

 

Re- Blogged From:- Eagles’s Flight

The way a manager leads a team is a driving factor behind what their team accomplishes and produces. It can impact the productivity of their staff and the overall output of the organization. Organizational efficiency is a byproduct of each department, which can be significantly influenced by the different forms that management can take.

Unfortunately, there’s no universal standard or approach, when it comes to management styles. The most appropriate approach ultimately depends on the structure of your team, including your people—their experience and expectations—and situational factors such as short- or long-term growth and organizational goals.

How Different Management Styles Affect Business OutcomesWhile there is no definite way that managers can apply every organizational style to their management technique, it’s best for leaders to at least be aware of a range of leadership characteristics so that they can appropriately apply facets of the techniques to specific situations.

Directive

Also known as the coercive style, the directive management technique has a primary objective of obtaining compliance from employees. This authoritarian approach closely monitors employees, motivates employees through discipline, and generally positions the manager at the center of the organizational structure. While this management technique is effective when there is a crisis or potentially perilous situation in the mix, it is not effective as a long-term management strategy if you wish to further develop employees.

Ultimately, this managerial style is useful when deviation from the norm is a risky decision. In highly litigious industries or situations, the directive manager drives their team to success. However, if employees are highly skilled, or you’re looking to develop certain skill sets, this management preference can stifle growth. Little to no learning happens within this style, and employees often become frustrated and unresponsive to the micromanagement that occurs.

Authoritative

Authoritative managers lead with the idea of implementing long-term direction and foresight across their teams. Also referred to as visionary leaders, these managers embody the “firm but fair” mentality. While they provide employees with clear explanation and direction, they may choose to motivate by persuasion. These leaders include a large amount of feedback on their employees’ performance.

Authoritative leaders are effective when clear direction and standards are needed. These leaders lead by example and manage with a high level of conviction. When leaders are credible, employees are apt to follow their guidance. While this leadership technique works in some situations, like directive management, it does not develop employees to their fullest ability. Because management provides guidance, employee insight and opinions often take a backseat, which can limit collaboration.

Affiliative

Affiliative leaders work to develop strong teams. This style of management is concerned with creating harmony between employees, management, and departments. These leaders promote open communication and place an emphasis on building cross-departmental, interpersonal relationships. Often, managers work hard to avoid conflict and motivate their employees by keeping them happy.

This management style generates positive results across companies that rely on structured teams. When combined with other management styles, affiliative leadership can help coach employees. Leaders manage and mitigate conflict, which ultimately fosters a collaborative work environment that produces results. While this management technique does build harmony, it does not create much accountability. Therefore, this style is most effective in work environments in which tasks are routine and performance is reliable.

Participative

Commonly recognized as democratic leadership, participative management has an overarching objective of fostering commitment and consensus across a team. In this style, management actively encourages every employee to voice their opinions in the decision-making process. As opposed to directive and authoritative leadership—in which management emphasizes individual performance—participative managers motivate by rewarding team effort.

This honest, transparent work environment can inspire employees to feel involved and part of their organization. It’s especially effective when an organization has a structure in which experienced, credible employees work together in a steady, stable environment. Participative managers can foster collaboration and drive creative solutions. However, much like affiliative management, this style does not work well in environments that need to be closely monitored.

Coaching

The coaching technique is a self-explanatory style that centers on learning. Much like the authoritative leadership, this management style has a primary objective of fostering long-term professional growth and development. Managers spend significant time training, evaluating, and coaching employees. By encouraging employees to develop specific skill sets and strengths, managers can positively influence the performance and output of their team members.

While this style doesn’t directly contradict team-driven approaches such as participative and affiliative management, it does tend to drive a one-on-one mindset. Taken to an extreme, managers that deploy coaching techniques can be misinterpreted as micromanages. In this regard, it’s important for managers to offer coaching opportunities to every employee, which, in some situations, may be time-consuming.

While each of these leadership traits has something different to offer, not every management style will suit your organization. How would you describe your own management style?

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.

The Essential Corporate Event Planning To-Do ListPlanning a corporate event of any size can quickly make you go crazy. We get it—there are so many moving parts to keep track of! That’s why to-do lists and templates are an event planner’s best friend. Start with this high-level to-do list when you begin brainstorming your next conference or training. These are the big pieces to keep in mind as you develop your event plan. Check them off as you go along—or use this list to create subtasks under each to-do item that relates directly to your event.

  • Align your event with your organization’s overall goals. Want to make sure you get executive and employee buy-in for your event? Clearly outline how your event supports stated business goals. The C-suite will appreciate that you’ve tied the event to the company’s bottom line. Your employees, meanwhile, will appreciate that your event has a concrete purpose (beyond the typical, vague “professional development” reasons)—they won’t view your event’s training as just busywork!
  • Determine benchmarks for the success of your event. Before you start planning your event’s logistics, it’s important to define what success looks like. What will be your event’s key takeaways—and how will you measure success? What’s your expected ROI? Almost every component of your event should be designed with these benchmarks in mind.
  • Develop a fun, thorough theme. Theming your corporate event is an excellent way to amp up excitement for your participants. You can also strategically use your theme to tie all of the day’s sessions and activities together, weaving a common thread throughout. Theming your event is only worth it, however, if you put in the effort to ensure the theme is cohesive and creative. From themed dining options to getting company leaders to dress up according to the theme, success lies in the details. Your participants will pick up on a perfunctory effort, and then your excitement-inducing theme may do the opposite!
  • Find ways to engage employees. Even if your corporate event involves more keynote speakers than hands-on activities, it’s still crucial to keep your employees engaged and involved throughout the entire event. Social media can be a big help here—encourage your employees to post pictures and key insights on their own social media channels, using a designated event hashtag. To avoid the dreaded dead-eyed stare from the crowd, get your participants up and moving frequently.
  • Measure your event’s ROI. After you wrap up your event, it’s time to determine how you performed against your benchmarks. Collect feedback from participants through surveys or small group discussions to see how your event was received by employees. If your event focused on teaching participants new skills to change behaviors, you could use skills assessments and reports from their managers to determine how well they’ve retained information and if they’ve actually applied their new skills on the job.
  • Design a retention program. The learning doesn’t stop after your event ends! To ensure your participants put their new skills and knowledge to good use, develop a post-event retention program that reinforces what participants learned during your corporate event. Combine online tools—like web-based quizzes, review videos, and online forums—with in-person strategies like one-on-one check-ins with managers or group review sessions with colleagues.

The right tools, checklists, and a clear goal in mind can help make your next event a rousing success. If you’ve planned well-received corporate events in the past, how have you kept track of all the important planning components?

EF authorABOUT THE AUTHOR

As 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.

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4 Essential Keys to Understanding Your Company's Culture

You’ve heard about the importance of company culture and how it can both attract new employees while keeping current ones engaged. However, you might still be wondering what exactly makes up company culture, why is it important, and does my own company even have a defined culture? Company culture may seem like a vague and elusive concept, yet there are several ways to define it. Here are four keys to understanding your organization’s culture and the necessary criteria to determine whether yours may need to evolve.

Key 1: Recognize That You Do Have Company Culture

Every organization has company culture, whether intentionally cultivated or not. In short, it refers to the combination of values, goals, ethics, and expectations that govern and influence employee behaviors. If negative behaviors have been left to develop unchecked, with no guidance or direction, then yes, a company culture that supports bad habits may have taken root. Simply put: There’s no blank slate when it comes to company culture. If you’re envisioning a specific kind—for instance, a customer-centric one—it’s not enough to simply announce that vision. You must first figure out what (and how) current behaviors need to shift in order to develop a roadmap to achieve those changes. That’s why it’s so important to define your current company culture before you try to steer it in a new direction.

Key 2: Analyze Your Company’s Priorities

If you want to better understand your culture, look at your company’s priorities. These goals and initiatives reveal what your organization values and what it does not (both explicitly and implicitly). Questions to ask yourself about company priorities may include:

  • Do your employees hear more about increasing the bottom line or increasing customer satisfaction?
  • Does your company give employees the freedom to experiment and innovate when it comes to solving problems, or is following protocol more important?
  • Is taking calculated risks seen as a distraction or opportunity?
  • How much (or how little) does your company invest in ongoing training efforts, both in terms of money and time?
  • When your company considers adopting certain efforts or changes, are the thoughts and feelings of both leadership and employees considered?

Exploring questions like this can give you clues as to what kind of culture your company has cultivated. Is it one with a workforce that’s empowered, engaged, and encouraged to innovate and improve? Or a culture where the bottom line is often prioritized? If your company’s priorities give you pause, it may be time to explore a culture transformation.

Key 3: Inquire About Company Culture

Your company culture is made up of behaviors, those that are encouraged, permitted, and hindered. To understand what kind makes up your organization, it’s best to go directly to the source: your employees. Consider ways to get feedback on which behaviors currently serve the company well and which need to be discouraged or changed to elevate your organization. Gather feedback from all levels of employees, from executives to front-line managers. Surveys, company-wide assessments, and focus groups can all help create a clearer picture of the behaviors that define your current company culture. Again, the key is to engage every employee as you ask for feedback because the sum total of all employee contributions and behaviors are what make up your culture.

Key 4: Look to Your Leaders

While every employee contributes to company culture, leaders have more impact and influence. Examine the messages your leadership team puts forth, and whether action follows those words. Leadership may espouse values and a mission that excites employees, but if leadership itself doesn’t “walk the walk,” their behavior can contribute to a culture of distrust and disengagement. Culture starts from the top down, and your leadership sets the tone for what’s permissible and encouraged in your company and what’s not. After examining your culture using the four keys listed, where do you think your company culture needs a tune-up—or is a complete culture transformation in order?

Dave_RootABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dave joined Eagle’s Flight in 1991 after having spent a number of years with a Toronto-based accounting firm. Since that time, he has held a number of posts within the company, primarily in the areas of Operations, Finance, Legal, and IT. In his current role as both Chief Financial Officer and President, Global Business, Dave is focused on ensuring the company’s ongoing financial health as well as growing its global market share. In pursuing the latter, Dave’s wealth of experience and extensive business knowledge has made him a valued partner and trusted advisor to both our global licensees and multinational clientele.

Re-blogged from Eagle’s Flight

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eLearning vs. Experiential Learning A Complete Comparison

eLearning has been gaining momentum for years in the corporate training realm—it can no longer be called a “trend.” As technology continues to evolve, so will the impressive tools and training methods coming out of the eLearning space. However, how does the relative “new kid on the block” compare to experiential learning? Let’s explore the merits of these two popular approaches and if there’s space for both in your corporate training initiatives:

eLearning in the Workplace

eLearning, or electronic learning, encompasses a wide range of training tools and methods, which has helped make it a $100 billion-plus industry. Here, though, are several common ways that eLearning takes shape in corporate training today:

  • Video instruction
  • Interactive tutorials with quiz components
  • Gamified learning, where users learn new concepts by working through online games
  • Podcasts and other prerecorded materials

The specific benefits of eLearning vary according to its implementation, but this training type as a whole has several advantages. For one, eLearning is easily scalable. eLearning can easily grow with your company, because the only things you need for implementation are computer access and the training program itself. Relatedly, eLearning may be a good fit for companies whose offices are scattered across the country or for companies that employ a lot of remote workers.

Another big benefit? More recent gains in the eLearning industry have ushered in on-the-go, on-demand corporate learning. Today, eLearning platforms are being built so that they can be easily accessed on mobile phones—many eLearning training programs even come with their own downloadable apps. This gives users more choice and flexibility in their learning, so they can fit training into busy schedules.

One big drawback of eLearning, however, is that the industry is constantly changing. Unfortunately, that means that electronic training software can become obsolete in a matter of years, as more effective eLearning platforms come along. That leaves companies with a tough choice: upgrade their entire training platforms every few years or keep using the same eLearning platforms with the knowledge that other companies—including competitors—are investing in newer, more effective eLearning approaches.

The Experiential Learning Competitive Edge

On the other end of the training spectrum, you have experiential learning. Experiential learning takes a completely different approach from that of eLearning: Trainees learn how to change their behavior through participation in hands-on, discovery-based learning sessions. During these immersive training exercises, participants work together to solve a themed challenge, like traversing a dangerous desert to mine gold. During the experience, it may feel like a fun game for participants, but it’s actually a metaphor for the issues that trainees struggle with on the job. After the participatory training exercise, a facilitator leads a debrief session. During the debrief, the facilitator reveals the metaphor and explains how the strategies that trainees used to win the game are the same strategies they can use to “win” at work.

Experiential training differs from eLearning in a couple of big ways, most obviously with its live, participatory nature. This puts experiential learning at a huge advantage in terms of retention. Learners retain up to 90 percent of experience-based learning, while passive learning (which encompasses many eLearning approaches, like online videos) has retention rates as low as five percent. At first blush, eLearning may seem like the more cost-effective training method, thanks to its scalability—but experiential training actually provides a much higher ROI. It doesn’t matter how affordable a training method may seem; paying any amount for information that likely goes in one ear and out the other is just too much.

Some eLearning approaches, however, involve more than just passive reception, like interactive quizzes and gamification. Still, experiential training has a leg up even on these eLearning approaches, thanks to one crucial aspect often overlooked in training: conviction. By participating in live and real challenges as themselves (instead of as a character in an online game, for example), trainees are able to build personal conviction. The structure of the themed challenge allows trainees to immediately see the consequences of their own actions, which means they cannot skirt personal responsibility for their behaviors. Participating in such a visceral experience with immediate consequences also illustrates the power of behavior—behaviors, and not just circumstances, can determine success or failure. Participants leave the training session with the conviction that changing their behaviors at work can have an equally powerful effect on their job outcomes.

Experiential training’s edge in retention and building conviction means it’s one method of learning that’s here to stay for the long haul. For the most effective learning outcomes for your colleagues, however, combining eLearning and experiential learning may be the best approach. eLearning can be used to support the new skills and behavior changes taught during experiential training as part of a retention program. Using online lectures to recap material and quizzes to test retention, for example, helps colleagues keep their training top of mind long after the experiential training session ends. eLearning exercises can also be used to help measure retention rates, giving managers a better idea of how impactful their training was—and what tweaks may need to be made in the future.

Do you use a combination of eLearning and another training method for your current training initiatives? What have your results been?

EF authorABOUT THE AUTHOR

As 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.

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