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Monthly Archives

July 2016

Caution: Training Is Useless

By | Civil & Healthy Workplaces | No Comments

So you’ve done a training on an important workplace skill… active listening, giving feedback, professionalism, conflict management… But then what? How will you ensure people keep doing whatever it is you taught them to do?

There is a lot of research on how well we retain information, and it ain’t good. “They say” that we can only remember about 80% of material right after the training is over, and over time, that number steadily declines on down to 10%.

With the human mind already serving as an obstacle for learning retention, your organization must take extra steps to ensure information sticks… and that behavior changes.

That’s the point of training right? Behavior change?

Real behavior change only happens when the work environment makes it easy.

For example, managers must be doing things to facilitate employee use of the skills taught in the training. Having conversations with employees about what they hope to learn before the training, and discussing what they learned immediately after, are key.

Managers should also help the employees develop action plans to implement the skills gained into their daily lives.

Before training, you should also make a plan for what you will do after the training to encourage behavior change. Plan on rewarding those who exemplify the right behaviors, ask employees to find a partner to help hold them accountable, or create a Google drive folder where people can post updates on how things are going.

Also plan on gathering the training participants three months after the training to discuss what’s working well, challenges and best practices.

My goal is to ensure any training you do on ending bullying – and building a positive workplace – sticks. But, all of these rules apply to all of your training programs.

Stay tuned… next week I’m going to share one of my training tools so that you can implement a positive workplace mini-training yourself.

 

Catherine

The Top 5 Reasons Organizations Have Bullying

By | Workplace bullying | No Comments

I recently returned from speaking at the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) international conference (I had an audience of 1,000 – pretty cool). After I speak at conferences I always get a slew of emails from attendees, but this time around I noticed a very specific pattern: most of the email addresses ended in .edu or .gov.

Research has found that education, government and healthcare are the three industries where bullying seems to really thrive, but it was interesting to see this at play in my inbox.

So what do those three industries have in common?

More importantly, what do you have in common with those industries?

If your organization has one or more of the following, then you probably have bullying:

  1. Many employees who have worked there for a long time
  2. Many employees who are very smart (e.g., doctors, professors, engineers, etc)
  3. A bureaucratic culture (e.g., lots of rules, regulations, policies and top down leadership)
  4. Leaders who focus on the bottom line at the expense of customers and employees
  5. Organizational change (e.g., downsizing, changing work teams, restructuring, etc)

Of course, every organization in any industry has the possibility of bullying. But research has found that these five things are regularly predictors of bullying.

Also notice that this list is about the organization itself, and does not include people (i.e., bullies). People are not predictors of workplace bullying, the organization is. Bullying only happens when the organization allows it to.

Food for thought.

Great example of giving feedback

By | Workplace bullying | No Comments

I recently wrote a training program for a client on the topic of giving feedback, and since giving feedback well is an important part of a positive workplace, I thought I’d share this video I discovered in the process.

(Disclaimer, I have no idea who this person is, but he delivers textbook perfect feedback, so it makes for a great facilitated discussion.)

I suggest a 20-minute manager and supervisor meeting to show the video, and then ask: “What does this manager do well?” and facilitate a discussion about it and how to apply the information to your workplace.

Here are nine learning points I came up with, but your group might come up with more:

  1. He starts off with a positive. It sets a good tone for the meeting.
  2. He gave very specific information about her being late – he provided the specific time she came in. We take in feedback better with specific examples, and we can’t argue with them either.
  3. He says “I noticed you came in at 8:45.” Starting with “I noticed” instead of “You” seems to make people listen. It’s easier to take in feedback when someone says “I” because it sounds less threatening and accusatory. It’s easier to hear.
  4. He let her come up with her own solutions for resolution. People buy into their own ideas much more than they buy into other people’s ideas, she’s more likely to implement those solutions.
  5. He sat across from her, so there is no power play here.
  6. He asks questions to keep the conversation going, rather than just telling her she’s in the wrong. In reality, he who asks the questions holds the power in a conversation.
  7. It sounds like he meets with her often. Good leaders touch base with their employees regularly, so they don’t lose control of situations. It’s much easier to have a conversation like this one, than to let an issue fester and try to correct it later.
  8. He tells her exactly what happens when she is late. Everyone needs to understand “the why.” We are more inclined to make change if we understand how our actions affect others. We change when there’s a meaningful reason to change, and we do not change just because someone asked us to.
  9. His tone of voice is calm, cool and collected. He is demonstrating self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management (i.e., emotional intelligence).

After all, the point of giving feedback is get change in behavior. That means we have to do what we can to get behavior change.

No cost, not-too-time-consuming training. Done!

The 5 Steps to Create the I.D.E.A.L. Work Environment

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Is the “ideal work environment” even possible?

Absolutely!

If it were, what would you want it to be like?

What are the characteristics of your “ideal work environment?”

Below are the five simple steps to make it happen in any small business workplace:

I = Identify the behaviors, communication styles and other characteristics people working in the environment would need to consistently display. Both company leaders and all employees should participate in this process. It can be done with everyone together, or can be done separately, and the two lists merged.

D = Determine the potential roadblocks to implementing these newly identified characteristics.  Get them out on the table, address them, and agree to focus on the newly identified desired future workplace characteristics. I know you’re fearful and skeptical this can work, and it will when you approach it the correct way.

E = Enroll & Engage all personnel in new behavior and performance expectations. This is done solely with an eye towards the future and defined consistent with the new culture expectations from Step 1.

A = Apply the Clean Slate Strategy. This provides everyone a fresh start. When implementing this strategy everyone agrees to let go of the past, give all co-workers and company leaders the benefit of the doubt, and focuses only on ensuring accountability to the agreed future.

L = Look & Listen to what’s occurring in the work environment. Be open to discussing individually with team members, and within teams, everyone’s accountability to the new work environment. Be open to making adjustments and course corrections where it makes sense so the work environment continues to get even closer to “ideal.”

To get the full report that takes you step-by-step through the 5 Steps to Create Your IDEAL Work Environment go here: www.YourChampionshipCompany.com/IdealWorkEnvironment

Skip Weisman, The Workplace Communication Expert, is an internationally recognized speaker, coach and consultant and former professional baseball executive, helping small business leaders transform communication in their workplaces to create a more positive, more productive and even more profitable company. Learn more about Skip at www.YourChampionshipCompany.com .