Category: Benefits

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.

Meet Your New Coworkers: Robots

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

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Recent research has shown the dramatic degree to which robots are replacing people in the workplace.  In fact, it’s an alarming rate, especially considering that robots can be much more efficient than people.  With each additional robot, U.S. employment is reduced by 5.6 workers.  Furthermore, every robot added to the workforce per 1,000 workers reduces wages by as much as .25 to .5 percent.  And it is a trend that is likely to continue, with experts predicting that the number of employed robots (yes, employed), will quadruple by 2025.These fully autonomous machines do not require human supervision and can be programmed to perform myriad tasks, such as parts assembly, materials handling, painting, and welding.

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The #1 Driver of Employee Engagement: Recognition

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

Scientifically proven through Key Driver Analyses done by multiple employee research organizations, nothing beats recognizing employees for their hard work.  In partnership with the ATD, this video reveals:

  • The single greatest mistake organizations make vis-à-vis Recognition.
  • The three-step recipe for making Recognition efforts most impactful.
  • The importance of establishing a peer-to-peer Recognition platform.

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6 Easy Ways to Engage Salespeople

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

Last week I conducted a Leadership Development workshop for a large Fortune 500 company on the East Coast.  The workshop centered on the very hot topic of how to successfully engage a sales force and reap the benefits of that engagement.  The sales managers and salespeople attending the event left on a real high, fully ready to take their game to a whole new level.

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Managing Generational Differences and Culture at Work

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

Ever sense generational friction in your workplace? You are not alone. This workplace tension is most common between Baby Boomers and Millennials. Luckily, there are a variety of things you can do to improve coworker comradery despite generational differences. Subtle changes can go a long way in improving your company culture and boosting employee retention. Here’s how.

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8 Tips For Awesome Onboarding Of Millennials

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

Businesswomen shaking hands in meeting room at creative office
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Let’s face it:  Millennials are different.  As such, their onboarding process should be different and very unlike the onboarding process experienced by Gen Xrs and Boomers.  In fact, the very first weeks of a Millennial’s employment will largely determine their career trajectory within your organization.

A 2014 Bentley University Study revealed that the majority of Millennial graduates gave themselves a C- when it came to their level of preparedness to enter the workforce.  Thus, when they arrive at your company’s door, the importance of your onboarding process takes on a whole new meaning.  This statistic really underscores the importance of onboarding for this all-important generation (as of last year, the largest single generation in the workforce).

Inspired by a recent keynote presentation I gave on the subject, here are the eight sure-fire ways to properly onboard Millennials such that they are not only retained, but also are fully engaged members of your team:

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The Perils of Disengagement

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

In partnership with the Association for Training & Development, this video explores just how damaging it can be to tolerate Actively Disengaged employees on your team.  I should know.  My former account stole $110,000 from my company over the years.  But even worse, she sabotaged a deal I teed up to sell the company.  (The potential buyer was an auditing firm and she was scared the transaction would unearth her secret, so she stopped at nothing to avoid being caught.)  This shows how employees who don’t have the company’s best interest at heart cannot be tolerated.  You must learn to look for the core characteristics of these workplace arsonists and gossip mongers, and then transition them out of your organization.  All best-in-class employers actively migrate these worst workers out of their organizations.  Does yours?

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