Why Diverse Teams Need To Step Up Their Communication

Michal Aniol
This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field
 of Employee Engagement

A very good friend of mine, who is of Polish decent, was reading an article in Polish next to me and pointed to a name referenced repeatedly, that being Michał Anioł. She looked up at me peering over her shoulder and said, “You know this guy.” I honestly had no clue who she was talking about and said so. She looked at me like I was crazy. I reiterated that I truly had no idea who Michał Anioł was, assuring her that I was not joking. She looked flabbergasted.

She then turned the page and I was suddenly looking at the world-famous Statue of David, which I had first seen when I studied in Florence, Italy, in 1981. It was then of course that I realized she had been talking about Michelangelo, who of course I knew thoroughly and even wrote course papers about.

Such communication mishaps occur all the time in workplaces. Two people can interpret the same word or phrases in opposite ways. Cultural differences can further complicate the communication and outcome.

Given that Communication & Diversity Acceptance are seventh and tenth on the list of Top 10 Drivers of Employee Engagement, here are several proven tips on how to best handle each:

– Provide examples when communicating. (e.g., The Statue of David)

– Ask for clarification. (e.g., “Can you give me an example of why you expected me to know this Michał Anioł?)

– Encourage all managers at your organization to always share what they learn at management meetings with their work groups and direct reports. Research has consistently shown this lack of communication is the single greatest complaint about communication. As such, encourage your managers to put ongoing Outlook Calendar reminders to host “huddles” with their employees, thereby making such consistent communication inescapable.

– Make a concerted effort to “bridge the gap” as it relates to differences in culture, ethnicity, gender, age, language, education, etc. Furthermore, create an organizational culture that accepts, appreciates, and learns from those differences.

Many times, you won’t know if your communication has been unclear because no one has given you honest feedback. This problem can be even more common when working with diverse team members who have different backgrounds, experiences, and ways of working.

As the year winds down, now is the perfect time to start thinking about what can be improved in your workplace, and what you can personally do better. Focusing on improving communication can make a resounding impact in your day-to-day work experience, and that of your colleagues.

 

Kevin Sheridan is an Internationally-recognized Key-Note Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of employee engagement.   He spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, helping some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long- overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement.  His book, “Building a Magnetic Culture,” made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.  He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers. 

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior.  He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies. Kevin can be reached via email at kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com, on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinsheridan1 and on twitter @kevinsheridan12. His webpage is www.kevinsheridanllc.com.

The Sweet Gift Of Employee Engagement And Strategic Brand Promotion

This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement

On the heels of conducting a motivational keynote speech for a client in Las Vegas, one of the key executives sent me the most unique post-event thank you gift.  The gift so resonated with me since it leveraged three of the most impactful drivers of both employee engagement and brand promotion and recognition.

First, I’ll share the gift with you and then I’ll highlight the drivers it leveraged, such that you and your team can use them to make a difference for your employees and customers.

sugarhouse casino card

sugarhouse casino mounds bar

The gift was from Wendy Hamilton, the General Manager of SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia,  but was assembled by Trish Smylie, the Director of Customer Service.  Trish had creatively assembled a box labeled “Shoot For The Stars.”  I opened the box with great curiosity and found a hand-written note with messaging that was interspersed and punctuated with well-known candy.

sugarhouse casino starburst and rolo sugarhouse casino KIND and extra

sugarhouse casino card2

 

This gift was most powerful because it leveraged three key drivers of employee engagement and brand promotion:

  1. Strategic vision and mission. The candy in the gift was representing and promoting the organization brand, SugarHouse.
  2. Communicating lasting impressions with the customer. The thank you gift was fun and unlikely to be forgotten.  As such, others recipients,  especially customers, would give their future loyalty to the casino.
  3. Having fun. Fun is the missing driver of both employee and customer engagement. So many organizations, managers, and employees forget to have fun while working, and as such, this engagement driver goes under-utilized, or not leveraged at all, when trying to reach world-class engagement levels.

This video from SugarHouse Casino shows how much fun they are having, (quite fittingly beginning with Wendy the GM) and how much fun you could have at their property, and more importantly, at your organization.

 

Kevin Sheridan is an Internationally-recognized Key-Note Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of employee engagement.   He spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, helping some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long- overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement.  His book, “Building a Magnetic Culture,” made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.  He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers. 

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior.  He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies. Kevin can be reached via email at kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com, on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinsheridan1 and on twitter @kevinsheridan12. His webpage is www.kevinsheridanllc.com.

A Lesson On Employee Engagement From Thomas Edison’s Mother: Never Let Them Put You Down!

Edison
This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement

 

One day, as a small child, Thomas Edison came home from school and gave a paper to his mother. He said to her, “Mom, my teacher gave this paper to me and told me only you are to read it. What does it say?”

Her eyes welled with tears as she read the letter out loud to her child: “Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have good enough teachers to train him. Please teach him yourself.”

Many years after Edison’s mother had died, he became one of the greatest inventors of the century.

One day he was going through a closet and he found the folded letter that his old teacher wrote his Mother that day. He opened it.  The message written on the letter was: “Your son is mentally deficient. We cannot let him attend our school anymore. He is expelled.”

Edison became emotional reading it and then wrote in his diary: “Thomas A. Edison was a mentally deficient child whose mother turned him into the genius of the Century.”

A positive word of encouragement can help change anyone’s destiny.

Although it’s widely known that Edison struggled with learning as a child and only attended public school for a short time, there is much conjecture on the internet as to whether this story about his teacher is true.  No one knows.  Regardless, it illustrates the importance of both owning your own engagement and never letting others ruin your outcomes or future.  If people don’t believe in you or the mission you’re committed to, it shouldn’t affect your own personal drive.  This is true at school, at work, and in your personal life.  Never let people put you down!

 

Kevin Sheridan is an Internationally-recognized Key-Note Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of employee engagement.   He spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, helping some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long- overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement.  His book, “Building a Magnetic Culture,” made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.  He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers. 

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior.  He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies. Kevin can be reached via email at kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com, on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinsheridan1 and on twitter @kevinsheridan12. His webpage is www.kevinsheridanllc.com.

Video Blog: The Power of Recognition

This guest video blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement.

There are hundreds of millions of workers worldwide who feel unappreciated in their jobs and have not heard a “thank you” from someone for a very long time, if ever.  This video illustrates the importance of, and best practices on, the number one driver of employee engagement:  Recognition.  Is your organization properly and fully leveraging this key driver of engagement?  Find out.

http://kevinsheridanllc.com/2017/10/the-power-of-recognition/

This guest video blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement.

 

Kevin Sheridan is an Internationally-recognized Key-Note Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of employee engagement.   He spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, helping some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long- overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement.  His book, “Building a Magnetic Culture,” made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.  He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers. 

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior.  He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies. Kevin can be reached via email at kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com, on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinsheridan1 and on twitter @kevinsheridan12. His webpage is www.kevinsheridanllc.com.

Lessons On Engagement From My Native American Sister And Iraq War Veteran

PhotoBlogMelissa1This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement.

Recently I went home to the Native American Indian Reservation in northern Wisconsin on which I was raised.  I always find it so grounding to go home to the “Res” as it is known to the locals.  It was especially grounding this trip because I got to spend two and a half peaceful hours with my Chippewa little sister, Melissa Doud, on her new pontoon boat.  Although I am not Native American, and not her blood brother, we share kindred spirits and souls, and much family and Native American history, not the least of which was dancing in the “Pow Wows” for the white tourists in the summer.

Thus, it was with great emotion that I listened to Melissa talk about her 20-year defense of our country as an active in the army, her one Iraq “tour” and the subsequent PTSD, and her divorce, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts.   Melissa shared three key factors on how she made it through this challenging time of her life, all of which are also helpful to employees facing similar despair in their jobs:

  • She kept forging ahead, trying to stay as active and positive as humanly possible.
  • She asked for help, especially from fellow combat veterans, support groups, and therapists.
  • She used her children for both emotional anchoring and inspiration, especially recognizing that restoring her state of mental health was essential for her kids’ survival.
  • Wow.  No matter what side of the current kneeling or no kneeling NFL drama you are on, I hope you can salute military veterans like Melissa and what they have done to protect our rights to free speech and democracy.

As a special thank you to this special veteran, I implore you listen to Bullet Dress on Soundcloud.)  In the song, she references her Chippewa name, Animikiikwe, pronounced (Ah-nimi-key-kwe), which means “Thunder Woman” or “The Storm is Coming.”

PhotoBlogMelissa2

With unending gratitude to all veterans who have served our country, Gaagige Nisayenh 

(The Chippewa name given to me by Melissa this trip, which means “Forever Brother.”)

Kevin Sheridan is an Internationally-recognized Key-Note Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of employee engagement.   He spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, helping some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long- overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement.  His book, “Building a Magnetic Culture,” made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.  He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers. 

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior.  He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies. Kevin can be reached via email at kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com, on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinsheridan1 and on twitter @kevinsheridan12. His webpage is www.kevinsheridanllc.com.

Sexual Harassment: The Workplace’s Dirty Little Secret

Sad Woman Sitting On chair With calculator And note book account by serious expenses
This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement

Recent headlines have been littered with numerous stories of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and rape.   Harvey Weinstein.  Google.  Uber.  Silicon Valley.  SoFi.  Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes of Fox News.  Three hundred and ten accusations against filmmaker James Toback.  Mark Halperin.  Taylor Swift allegedly being groped by radio host David Mueller.  And for real, our 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush?

Sadly, sexual harassment is so pervasive that we sometimes don’t see it.  Gender inequality in the workplace has gotten better over the years, but it’s still a far cry from giving men and women equal opportunities.  As a result, despicable men often use their power and influence to coerce and take sexual advantage of women who simply want to advance their careers.  This puts women in an incredibly difficult place.  They are forced to decide whether to ignore inappropriate behavior that truly should be punished, or risk their reputation and career by confronting or speaking out against someone who has a much more powerful position.  Many women choose to ignore inappropriate behavior, which makes these despicable men think they can get away with continuing to act like creeps and criminals.  It’s turned into a disgusting cycle.  (Hollywood is the perfect example.  So many people knew about the entertainment industry’s dirty little secret, but did not report it.)

As the father of two intelligent and talented girls who will be entering the workforce in the near future, the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace terrifies me.  It’s hard to know where to start fixing such a big problem, but a good place to focus is gender equality in the workforce.  If more women hold positions of power and earn similar wages as men, the power balance will shift and sexual harassment should decrease.  We need to start by questioning the status quo.

Shockingly, nearly 50% of men think that when just one in ten senior leaders of their company is a woman, that’s enough.  Nearly as remarkable is that roughly a third of woman agree. In addition, men and women have very disparate perspectives on that progress:

  • My company is doing what it takes to improve gender diversity.1
    • Men: 63% agree
    • Women: 49% agree
  • My company often or always addresses disrespectful behavior toward women quickly.1
    • Men: 55% agree
    • Women: 34% agree

If we can change how we think about gender inequality and demand better, progress can move quicker than the current glacial pace.

So, what can YOU do to correct this injustice?  Here are 8 concrete steps:

  1. Make a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment and gender inequality part of your corporate culture.
  2. If you’re a senior HR leader, make a compelling business case for gender diversity and link it both to business results and employee engagement.
  3. Help women feel comfortable coming forward so that instances of harassment are reported to Human Resources, the harasser’s manager, the Equal Opportunity Employment Officer, and if applicable, police authorities.
  4. Safeguard that all incidences are documented, and if possible, videotaped. Be as specific as possible, recording dates, times, places, and possible witnesses.  Also record who the incident was reported to, as well as their response.
  5. Make use of your company resources. Check the company handbook and follow the related company policy accordingly.  If company policies are lacking, ask that they be updated.
  6. Recognize the critical role managers play. Given that managers make the day-to-day decisions that influence women’s careers, they are in the best position to protect and support their fair and equal treatment.  Acknowledge that managers may need more training to properly address issues.
  7. Support coworkers who have experienced harassment and encourage them to come forward and report what happened.
  8. Publicly share your experience using the hashtag #MeToo. The more women who do so the better, since it will give the world an accurate sense of the magnitude of the problem.

No company can afford to leave top talent left out, ignored, and treated unfairly.  And in a country founded on the value of equality, everyone deserves a fair chance, regardless of his or her gender, race, values, background, or beliefs.

Source 1:  LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co. Women In The Workplace 2017 Survey of over 70,000 men and women

 

Kevin Sheridan is an Internationally-recognized Key-Note Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of employee engagement.   He spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, helping some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long- overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement.  His book, “Building a Magnetic Culture,” made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.  He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers. 

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior.  He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies. Kevin can be reached via email at kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com, on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinsheridan1 and on twitter @kevinsheridan12. His webpage is www.kevinsheridanllc.com.

The Business Case For Leadership Development & Learning

Hot discussion in the meeting. Serious business partners are using brainstorm method to achieve success in their start up


This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement

 

 

ONCE YOU STOP LEARNING, YOU START DYING.”
Albert Einstein

It is not uncommon for Chief Learning Officers (CLOs) to struggle trying to secure funds and commitment for leadership development programs, despite the value that organizations see from such programs.  I’ve been surprised and disappointed to read so many recent articles that assail the value of these programs versus the amount of money spent on them, including a Wall Street Journal article entitled “So much training, so little to show for it,” and a 2016 Harvard Business Review article calling leadership development programs “the great train robbery.”  In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.  This blog is written to specifically arm you with the cold hard facts illuminating the immense value of leadership development programs.

A 2015 joint study by The Conference Board and Development Dimensions International (DDI), found that CEOs of global companies ranked leadership development efforts as one of their top five human capital strategies.  In addition, the study highlighted that 82% of the people reporting to a manager who had been through leadership development training witnessed that manager’s  positive behavioral changes.  Improvements included leadership skills such as performance management, managing conflict, fairness, communication, building trust, influencing, and leading change.  Further, 81% of those reporting to recently-trained managers said they were more engaged in their jobs.

Here are some other very compelling and scientific metrics from the same study that prove the incredible value of leadership development and learning, all from the organizations that reported post-training changes in leadership behaviors:

  • 114% higher sales
  • 71% higher customer satisfaction
  • 42% better operational efficiency
  • 48% more product/work quality
  • 300% additional business referrals
  • 233% extra cross-selling
  • 36% higher productivity
  • 90% lower absenteeism
  • 49% reduced overtime work/pay
  • 105% less grievances
  • 11% lower downtime
  • 90% less rework
  • 60% fewer workplace accidents
  • 77% lower turnover

It goes without saying that when armed with these convincing statistics, any Chief Learning Officer should be able to secure both funding and commitment for future learning and leadership development programs.

 

Kevin Sheridan is an Internationally-recognized Key-Note Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of employee engagement.   He spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, helping some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long- overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement.  His book, “Building a Magnetic Culture,” made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.  He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers. 

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior.  He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies. Kevin can be reached via email at kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com, on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinsheridan1 and on twitter @kevinsheridan12. His webpage is www.kevinsheridanllc.com.