Leading Business Problem #2: Top Talent Leaving

Leading Business Problem #2: Top Talent Leaving
​ Top talent leaving is the second leading business problem we highlight in our latest eBook Fierce Insight Into 6 Leading Problems Businesses Face Today—And How to Solve Them . Turnover and retention rates vary by industry, and from one organization to the next. While we can't make sweeping statements about what your ideal rates should be, it's sa...
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Hiring and Firing: When Work and Social Media Don’t Mix

Hiring and Firing: When Work and Social Media Don’t Mix
I'm sure you've heard some of the crazy stories about employees being fired for what they posted on social. Take for instance…. The Taco Bell employee who was fired for posting a picture of himself on social licking a stack of taco shells at work. The day care attendant who was let go when she posted, "I start my new job today. But I absolutel...
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How to Start Drastically Reducing Turnover in Your Organization Today

How to Start Drastically Reducing Turnover in Your Organization Today
In today's gig economy, individuals with unique skills and experiences are incredibly valuable to organizations…and their competitors. If companies want to attract top talent and reduce turnover, it's growing increasingly important to differentiate themselves and provide what employees really want. Why the First 6 Months Are Critical In a study of ...
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The Surprising Power of Appreciation at Work

The Surprising Power of Appreciation at Work
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes and explains how both positive and negative emotions have a cascading affect with employee morale. At Fierce, we have a term called an emotional wake . An emotional wake is what is remembered after you have left a conversation. Whether positive or negative, your emotional wake ripples out and affects your colleagues. It is contagious. A negative attitude in the workplace is just as infectious as a positive one. Per Chris Cancialosi, Forbes, constant complaining can have devastating outcomes on a team including: • It hurts productivity • It makes you look unprofessional • It brings people down Fortunately, a consistently positive outlook can produce the opposite results. According to Positivity Strategist Robyn Stratton-Berkessel, what you focus on grows. “It seems simple: you focus on joy and you grow joy, you focus on trust and you grow trust; you focus on...
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Strengths-Based Employee Development: The Business Results

Strengths-Based Employee Development: The Business Results
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Gallup and explains the business impact of a “strengths-based” employee development program. It is a well-known fact that employees are craving more on-the-job career development, and for the most part, are not receiving it. Common excuses and bottlenecks include, gaining support from company managers and leaders, fear of losing top performers, and not enough time and resources. Top performers are more likely to leave if they are not getting the career development that they are seeking, and the cost of losing those employees is much higher than employee development programs. “Gallup estimates that only about one in 10 people naturally possess high talent to manage, and organizations name the wrong person as manager about 80% of the time.” Per Gallup, part of the disconnect is that the wrong people are put into management roles and thus are not creating the right environment...
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Leadership Tips: Practice Coaching

Leadership Tips: Practice Coaching
In our Fierce Coaching module , the goal is to ask questions in order to help an individual work through an idea or issue, in order to find a new path forward. This week look for opportunities to do this with someone in your life. Start by asking: What is the most important thing we should be talking about? Don’t coach them because you want to share your brilliant idea, or because you’ve been in a similar situation and have all the answers. Coach them because every time you ask someone what’s the most important thing we should be talking about together, you give yourself and that person the opportunity, through conversation, to have new perspective at the end of the conversation. Don't miss this rich opportunity.

5 Ways to Improve Employee Development at Your Company

5 Ways to Improve Employee Development at Your Company
This week’s Friday resource comes from HuffPost and offers five ways to assist employees in their personal development. Many companies, especially start-ups, are often focused on short term growth to assure the business can stay afloat. But if businesses are to stick around for the long-run, employee development should be approached with a long-term mentality that comes with both short and long-term ROI benefits. Employees want to know their leaders have their best interests at heart. And for millennials, opportunity for development is a workplace necessity. Per David Hassell, “Your people are your company.” Here are 5 ways to improve development amongst your employees: 1. Professional Training “Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way. Depending on the role, formal employee training may be required to ensure competency and even excellence. Create a knowledge-base of critical information and best practices to pass on to new hires as you grow...
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Why it Pays to Support Employees’ Personal Development

Why it Pays to Support Employees’ Personal Development
“Supporting another’s success won’t ever dampen yours.” –Unknown Imagine one of your employees jamming out on a guitar, lifting weights at the gym, or reading a textbook. You may not make an immediate connection between these behaviors and revenue, results, or workplace culture. But can these types of activities influence business for the better? You bet your britches they can. Personal and professional development go hand-in-hand—whether it’s directly related to work or not, each impacts the other. Growth is growth, and all kinds of growth contribute to happiness. Research shows happy employees are more creative, energized and successful , and happiness increases productivity by 12% . When employees know you care about their growth, they respond. It builds trust, commitment, and a host of other benefits that impact the bottom line. Let’s break it down. Here are some big benefits your organization stands to gain by supporting employee personal development:...
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Up is Not the Only Way: Rethinking Career Mobility

Up is Not the Only Way: Rethinking Career Mobility
When we think of career growth, we tend to think about “moving up” the ladder. However, in today’s workforce, much is changing. Organizational hierarchies are less commonplace, jobs are more mobile and flexible than ever, and individuals are in a position to truly own their careers. Earlier this week, authors Beverly Kaye, Lindy Williams, and Lynn Cowart released their book titled Up is Not the Only Way: Rethinking Career Mobility . The book presents an alternative way of looking at our careers and presents tips for navigation that can advance our personal and professional growth and development in somewhat less-traditional (yet equally rewarding) ways. This book guides its readers into thinking about career mobility in a way that can lead to more options, and show how managers, coaches, and employees can partner to determine what's best and what's next. To give you an inside peek, here’s a content preview from...
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Leadership Tips: Know They Can Handle It  

Leadership Tips: Know They Can Handle It  
Excuses, excuses, excuses. People make excuses all the time when it comes to not having the conversations they need to have. We hear this everywhere regardless of one’s title, location, or status. One of the most common justifications to not have the conversation is the other person can’t handle it . Responses look like: They’ll get hurt. They’ll get defensive. They won’t talk about it. The irony of this excuse is that the person saying it is the one who is scared, uncertain, or assumptive about the outcome. Don’t get me wrong, there are absolutely valid reasons for feeling tentative. You may have been burned in the past. Maybe Johnny in the Finance Department spoke up, and he is no longer with your company. Maybe someone in your family continues to show up the same way every time things get tough. So given those realities, there is absolutely skill in...
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You Cannot Motivate Your Team, But You Can Inspire Them

You Cannot Motivate Your Team, But You Can Inspire Them
This week’s Friday resource comes from Forbes and lists ways leaders can inspire their teams. There are two types of motivation: external and internal. External motivation often comes in the form of rewards, money, fame, or praise. Internal motivation, on the other hand, is driven by our deeper values and needs. Leaders can create external incentives, but these efforts are short-lived once the reward has run its course for the receiver. The best way to produce sustainable results within an organization is to tap into each individual’s internal world and inspire in a way that leads to long-lasting and self-directed action. When leaders have the right kind of conversations with their team members, it can inspire, engage, and drive employees to act. Here’s what to address in these conversations, according to Frances McIntosh, Forbes Coaches Council: 1. Connect with their core values. “By identifying what’s important to them and what...
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Fostering the Sense of Belonging Promotes Success

Fostering the Sense of Belonging Promotes Success
This week’s Friday resource from Forbes discusses why belonging is important in the workplace and offers tips on how to create it. Having a sense of belonging is essential in our work environment for not only success but also our well-being. Belonging leads us to feel more engaged, connected, and fulfilled. To belong is to feel connected to the people we work with and to the work we do. John Baldoni, Forbes contributor, offers insights on how to generate this sense of belonging for employees. 1. Find purpose . "Work without purpose is work; work with purpose can be joy. When people know that what they do matters to others and how it is connected to what the organization gives meaning to labor. Purposeful work is work that encourages commitment." Read more tips and the full article here .

5 Conversation Tools for Nurturing Your Relationship with A Mentor

5 Conversation Tools for Nurturing Your Relationship with A Mentor
This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Forbes and offers tips for nurturing your relationship with a career mentor. A mentor can offer guidance, wisdom and insights they’ve gained over the years. As with any relationship, your relationship with your mentor needs to be nurtured in order to grow and maintain it. Deep connections require building trust over time, and there are steps we can take to facilitate the strengthening of the mentor-mentee connection. Per Kelli Richards, Forbes, communication is essential. She advises, “ Communicate frequently . As a mentee, it’s your responsibility to reach out to your mentor when you need her. You should express your appreciation both verbally and with your actions. Take suggestions to heart, act on them, and send regular notes to communicate your progress and how you’re applying advice. Make it clear that you’re following through so your mentor knows she’s investing her time...
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The Compelling Case for Giving Employees More Freedom

This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Inc. and builds a case along with tips for giving employees more freedom.   Growing research shows that employee autonomy leads to higher levels of workplace satisfaction and improves workplace performance by allowing creativity to flourish. It also grants a sense of ownership and accountability while spurring productivity. Bellhops, a startup company employing students from around the country to coordinate and assist with residential moving jobs, allows its contracts to have total autonomy over their schedule, who they work with, and how much money they make. Per Bellhops and Shelley Prevost, Co-Founder and CEO of Torch, here are some tips for creating more autonomy in your workplace. 1. Relinquish the 9-5. “People are all different. Some do their best work in the early morning. Some prefer to grind it out on the weekends or in the wee small hours of the morning....
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Want to Improve Workplace Performance? Don’t Overlook This Essential Element

Want to Improve Workplace Performance? Don’t Overlook This Essential Element
Improving performance requires leaders to consider employee engagement, satisfaction, and culture and ask how these areas can be strengthened. One how  element of performance that deserves an in-depth look is autonomy . What comes to mind when you think of autonomy? You might imagine engaging in solo work with your headphones on, focused, independent, and free of distractions. While there might be some truth to this idea of autonomy, there’s a lot more to it. For starters, it’s less about how often we interact with others and more about ownership, accountability, trust relative to our work, and having a sense of control over how we use our time. In a larger context, autonomy creates a sense of empowerment for the person who is autonomous. Let’s look at some data that supports just how much autonomy matters… Researchers from the University of Birmingham have reported that if you have flexible working...
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Leadership Tips: Provide Autonomy

Leadership Tips: Provide Autonomy
With engagement levels of employees at an all time low, many organizations are looking at what they can do in order to engage the hearts and the minds of their teams. While there is no one single right answer, our Fierce Whitepaper,  What Employees Really Think About Best Practices: Survey Uncovers 3 Things Employees Crave , shows that the top highest rated practices are Transparency, Autonomy, and Responsiveness. Nearly 50% of those responded identify the most beneficial practices as those that encourage accountability, development, and individual empowerment within the organization. Autonomy does just that. As defined in the Fierce whitepaper , autonomy provides people with the freedom to make appropriate decisions which ensures employees remain focused and engaged. This week, ask yourself: Do I provide my team the necessary level of autonomy to be active and engaged in their work? Are they clear on where they can act and when they...
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Leadership Tips: Ask What Else

Leadership Tips: Ask What Else
  In our coaching model, we instruct you to ask “ what else? ” at least 3 times in different parts of the conversation. Each time you ask, you are going deeper into the question. You are exploring – unlocking new territory.   The need to ask “ what else?” is everywhere.   For example, think about when someone asks you: How’s it going?   How do you usually respond?   When I ask people this, the initial answer is usually very surface. Examples: Work is busy but good. Family is good. Vacation was good.   This conversation is always different when I ask “what else?” after they give me the first, ceremonial answer. Only after the “ what else” does something juicier come out. It is almost like “ what else” translates to “ no, really, I want to know.”   This week’s tip is to concentrate on where...
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Leadership Tips: Develop People Around You

Leadership Tips: Develop People Around You
"The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership." - Harvey S. Firestone, Founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company Here at Fierce, we’re in the business of helping others grow. And our clients are on all different paths in supporting their people’s development, from offering very sophisticated development programs to just starting on the path of giving options. Regardless, the leaders we work with realize that developing their people is a critical piece for success. This isn’t just a “check the box” – employees crave it. According to EdenRed, 68% of workers say training and development is the most important workplace policy, followed by working hours flexibility (74%), then promotion of health at work (72%). I’d argue it goes beyond the policy, because people truly want growth opportunities. So you must ask yourself: If this perk is highly desired, how do I help aid others’ development?...
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Benchmarking Human Capital Metrics

Benchmarking Human Capital Metrics
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by SHRM and explains how organizations can benchmark human capital metrics. There are dozens of reasons why organizations use benchmarking. With sales roles that deal exclusively with numbers, it can seem a lot easier to benchmark progress and use the data to support business strategy and goals. The Human Resources function at companies is no different and benefits from the same ability to align their human capital metrics to support overall business strategy. Benchmarking is quickly becoming a necessary tool that all HR professionals must equip their departments with to accurately measure processes, practices, and results within their industry. When used correctly, benchmarking can show how an organization’s HR strategies can influence and shape organizational performance and company culture. When a company decides to roll out a new human capital initiative, it is important to understand the expectations of what that program should...
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Leadership Tips: Don’t Procrastinate with Your Conversations

Leadership Tips: Don’t Procrastinate with Your Conversations
What conversations are you currently stalling? At work? At home?   No one likes to admit it, yet we do often put off tasks and responsibilities. Many studies report that extreme procrastination affects over 20% of the population. Even if you aren’t in this group, the lure of waiting until tomorrow affects us all at times. An online survey by The Procrastination Research Group posed the question, “To what extent is procrastination having a negative impact on your happiness?” Of the 2,700 responses, 46% said “quite a bit” or “very much,” and 18% claimed “extreme negative effect.” And yet, there are real reasons we put off doing things that are important. When it comes to conversations, we often put off the vital ones we need to have for reasons like: It will take too long.   The other person can’t handle it.   It’s not the right time. Those are...
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5 Steps for Giving Productive Feedback

5 Steps for Giving Productive Feedback
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Entrepreneur and shares five steps for giving productive feedback that helps employees grow. Providing open and honest feedback to colleagues and employees is the most important element of growth and professional development. However, providing this feedback consistently is not always easy for both manager and employee. Many people cringe at the words, “Can I give you some feedback?” It is dependent on the manager to create enough trust and rapport with their reports to alleviate the fear and anxiety that is associated with a feedback conversation. By managing feedback in a positive way that helps the employee understand that feedback is meant to improve their performance and develop their skills, the individual receiving the feedback can approach the conversation calm and ready to listen. Per Scott Halford, there are five tips managers can exercise to create productive feedback that sticks: 1. Create...
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Why Frequent Feedback Conversations Are Thriving (and Annual Reviews Are Dying)

Why Frequent Feedback Conversations Are Thriving (and Annual Reviews Are Dying)
How often do you receive feedback at work? How often do you give it? “Not often” is a common answer. And I’m here to tell you that “not often” is not often enough. I used to work for an organization where employees received bi-yearly reviews. During these 30-minute meetings, my supervisor and I would go over the review forms and determine what was going well and where there was room for growth. The reviews were helpful when they occurred, but I wonder— if I had received this feedback months ago, or as issues were occurring, what difference would it have made for my own growth, the quality of my work, and the company? I’d bet money that it would’ve made a significant difference. The Case for Frequent Feedback Feedback (and how often it’s delivered) directly impacts performance and employee engagement. Hands down, employees perform better with more frequent feedback ....
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Leadership Tips: Check-In Now

Leadership Tips: Check-In Now
Step back and reflect on all of the people you will interact with this week - inside and outside of work. Do you have a gut feeling about something that needs to be talked about? Now is the time to do something about it. I'm not saying that your instinct about a situation is necessarily correct.   Many times our instincts are fueled by our own fears or thoughts around a certain situation. What you may perceive as an issue, may be something entirely unrelated. However...what if it isn't? Is it worth glazing over? This week's tip is to connect with the person you most need to check-in with.   Be specific and share what you sense. The worst that can happen is you are wrong. Just be prepared to be.

When Giving Critical Feedback, Focus on Your Nonverbal Cues

When Giving Critical Feedback, Focus on Your Nonverbal Cues
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Harvard Business Review and shares tips for focusing on nonverbal cues and body language when having feedback conversations. One of the most difficult things to do, from novice managers to tenured leaders, is give feedback. Especially when the feedback is critical and not easy to deliver. There is always a balancing act between delivering honest and open feedback and not discouraging the employee, causing them to retreat further inward. The ability to give this feedback successfully starts with the culture of the workplace. If employees are engaged and part of an inclusive environment where their voice is heard, chances are they are more likely to respond well to feedback. Per Emma Seppala, Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion, using a positive, open, and supportive style of feedback where employees feel safe can lead to incredible outcomes. “Leaders and managers in...
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Workplace Appreciation: How to Create Warm Fuzzies

Workplace Appreciation: How to Create Warm Fuzzies
"The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated." -William James Who can honestly say they don’t appreciate a warm fuzzy from time to time? This past holiday season at the Fierce office, we participated in a gratitude exercise where each person was instructed to express their appreciation for their randomly-assigned gratitude partner. We were given the name of our partner beforehand and then met as an entire company to verbally deliver our gratitude. As you can imagine, the room was filled with an abundance of warm fuzzies that day—warm fuzzies that gave us a burst of energy and a feeling of unity as we transitioned into the new year. Sometimes we operate in the workplace not knowing whether our efforts are noticed by others. When our efforts are noticed, the acknowledgment we receive has the power to increase our motivation by letting us know we’re respected...
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How to Make Microlearning Matter

How to Make Microlearning Matter
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and explains how to make microlearning matter to your organization. Microlearning, or “self-directed learning,” is gaining popularity within organizations around the globe. In an increasingly regionalized workforce, the ability to get remote teams together in-person for professional training can be difficult. In a world where people are constantly consuming information through video and mobile technology, microlearning can enable significant employee growth without significant time investments. An employee can learn about new industry trends on their morning commute or read a new recipe for dinner on their lunch break. The phrase “just google it” is a common answer to any burning question, and employees can learn on-demand from a plethora of online resources. New online learning platforms like the one founded by Harvard and MIT named edX allows people all over the world to access high-quality...
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Leadership Tips: Create Self-Directed Learning Opportunities

Leadership Tips: Create Self-Directed Learning Opportunities
Learning has always been a lifeline for me. Like many others in our digital age, I’m constantly looking for ways to learn throughout my day. When I ask my friend for a new workout at the gym, I’m learning something that will help me with my fitness goals. On my commute in, I watch videos and read articles on how to “up” my game in the latest digital marketing innovation. While thinking about what to cook for dinner, I search the web for a new recipe and watch short tutorials on how to prep. Throughout my day, the opportunity for micro-learning—small, bite-sized learning—shows up. This micro-learning trend is showing up in the workplace too. We see a continued emphasis in the workplace for employees to drive their own learning, and more than ever in 2017. Some of this is due to technology and ease of access, while some is a...
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Leadership Tips: Celebrate Your Team

Leadership Tips: Celebrate Your Team
We are in the 2016 home stretch. Now is a fantastic time to rally your team together and celebrate this year’s successes. As a leader, when you think about this year’s accomplishments, you probably go straight to the major business outcomes, from excellent talent acquisition to product launches to client retention. Those all should definitely be celebrated. And here I am encouraging you to go deeper on the individual level with your team members. Understand what they like celebrating and give them the attention they deserve. Here are three exercises to explore. Choose one or do all. Perhaps let each of your team members choose their own activity. The main point is to focus, learn, and celebrate. Reflect in a month-to-month format. Have your team member list their major accomplishments in each month of 2016. Encourage them to look back on calendars, emails, and notes. Oftentimes we are moving so...
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5 Hacks for Growing Your Team's Capacity

5 Hacks for Growing Your Team
In times of constant change, we, as leaders, are often challenged with doing more with less . It can often be a reality – less resources, less people, and more ambitious goals. You can look at this from a negative lens. Or you can see the opportunity. Below are five ways to generate learning opportunities, and in turn, build your team’s capacity. 1. Conduct quarterly growth conversations. It is interesting how so many companies focus on growth and development within the first sixty days of a person’s role, and then it quickly turns to quotas and KPIs. Where did the development go? Be intentional about growth and have conversations on a regular basis about it. 2. Create stretch assignments. Look at projects in new ways. While you may worry about someone getting “off task”, it is often the opposite when someone is doing something different that interests them. It often...
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Leadership Tips: Break Down a Silo

Leadership Tips: Break Down a Silo
The word silo comes from a farm storage silo – a tall airtight container with no windows. In many organizations that is exactly what a silo feels like, and often silos are competing for limited resources. According to a Clear Company survey, 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Does this surprise you? We know from the work we do at Fierce that this is true. One of our clients shared that if they could quantify the biggest line item on the loss side of their P&L statement, it would be miscommunication. So why do we stay in our boxes/silos/bubbles? Well, it is less work. It is more comfortable. I love the quote from Brené Brown, “You can choose courage, or you can choose comfort, but you cannot choose both.” Leaders (with or without the titles ) today who have the most influence are...
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9 Ways to Keep Employees Motivated During the Dog Days of Summer

9 Ways to Keep Employees Motivated During the Dog Days of Summer
This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by CIO.com and provides nine ways to keep your team engaged and motivated during those long, hot summer days. In the article, Schiff provides tips and tricks from HR experts on ways to take advantage of beautiful summer days and re-energize your team at the same time. Some of the tips require little to no organization and can be fun, spontaneous outings like conducting your sales meeting outside. As long as you do not need a projector, technology allows us to work outside seamlessly. If the office is getting stuffy and employees are butting heads, hold a friendly team-building competition. There is no better way to get some work angst out than a lively game of ping-pong or an office soccer game on the pitch. Another common approach is allowing employees to have flex schedules on Fridays – as long as deadlines are...
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Employee Recognition: 3 Simple Conversation Tips

Employee Recognition: 3 Simple Conversation Tips
We live in a time where everyone is visible more than ever before -- now we can even see how far our reach extends with profile views, shares, tweets, and “likes.”  In a world where every failure, frustration, and triumph is publicly recognized online, an unexpected yet poignant result is that conversely, many of us feel less “seen,” both in the workplace, and at home. According to a 2011 Workforce Mood Tracker Survey, 69 percent of employees would work harder if they were recognized more often in the workplace. Recognition is inspiring and if we had more of it, we’d probably work harder with our families and friends as well. We must make recognition less complicated and more accessible. When you peel it all back, conversations are the workhorses of every organization….and great leader. Conversation is an accessible tool that can continually be honed and used to move closer or further from where...
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7 Ways to Improve Employee Development Programs

7 Ways to Improve Employee Development Programs
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Harvard Business Review and explores different ways to improve employee development programs. It’s no surprise that employee development programs are a critical part to the growth and progress of any organization. A 2014 report published by Training Magazine found that over $100 billion dollars is spent annually on learning and development programs, yet many survey respondents felt there is considerable room for improvement within these programs. In his article, Ferrazzi highlights seven challenges that companies must tackle to create truly effective development programs. A few of these include: Providing flexible learning options. One of the greatest issues with development programs is finding the time to actually do them. Companies must cater to the busy schedules of their employees by offering on-demand and mobile solutions. Provide different programs for diverse learning styles. In a multigenerational workforce, it is paramount for organizations to cater...
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Leadership Tips: Create Opportunity for Your Support Staff

Leadership Tips: Create Opportunity for Your Support Staff
This week honors Administrative Professionals . According to the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), there are more than 22 million administrative and office support professionals working in the United States. A recent OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of more than 2,200 administrative workers showcased that only 43% of support staff feel their full range of skills are being used, and only 7% of support staff feel they are completely utilized. That means 50% want more opportunity. One of the easiest ways to create growth opportunities is to delegate. Many people view delegation as a way to get rid of menial tasks (what we call dele-dumping ), instead, think about delegating as a way to grow the skill set of a colleague. Think about what is currently on your plate. A couple years ago, I read a piece by Jim Schleckser, CEO of the Inc. CEO Project, he argues that the...
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5 Tips for Having a Better One-on-One with Your Direct Reports

5 Tips for Having a Better One-on-One with Your Direct Reports
According to Lucid Meetings research, 55 million meetings occur per day. For average workers that means eight meetings per week. For managers, 12 per week. Meetings can vary from status updates to brainstorming, from company-wide to one-on-one’s. They range from mission critical for completion of a project or milestone to completely useless. And let’s be honest, with so many hours in meetings, it can be easy to go into autopilot. I want to focus on one-on-one meetings, because I see them as one of the best ways to build personal relationships and connections. These meetings give me insights about the person, our team, and the overall operations of the business in a way nothing else can. When effective, they truly give me a pulse on what needs to potentially start, stop, and continue. The catch? I must be willing to REALLY invite feedback and truthfulness into the conversation. It needs...
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Retaining Talent In A Competitive Economy

Retaining Talent In A Competitive Economy
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by  Forbes  and discusses different tactics with regards to retaining top talent in a competitive marketplace. Old-school retention tactics such as competitive salary, stock options, and cash bonuses are not necessarily key motivators for keeping top performers at your firm from moving on. Companies need to start looking ahead instead of behind, and to do so, it is important to understand the changing demographics of your firm's staff. Employees nowadays seek recognition and collaboration just as much as a competitive salary with stock options.  An employee’s progression towards an annual bonus should be publicized and encouraged, not measured in a board room behind closed doors. So what will you do to retain your best performers? “There are ways to motivate other than creating a dog-eat-dog macho workplace environment. Collaboration rather than competition; praise rather than punishment.” Read the article.

Leadership Tips: Appreciate a Golden Egg

Leadership Tips: Appreciate a Golden Egg
Yesterday was Easter in the United States, and often the day includes Easter egg hunts. Kids, young and old, search high and low to collect as many eggs as possible. It’s an exhilarating experience when it is happening, and when it is over, an egg count determines the winner. There are so many analogies to this egg hunt in corporate life. We run after the most leads, the most deals, the most talent, and then we find ourselves continually measuring where we stand to others. Did we beat so and so? Did we hit our target? The actual chase and constant “measuring up” isn’t even the biggest issue – it is the lack of appreciation for what we have. It often makes me think about a story from Aesop’s sixth century B.C. fables. You may have heard this: ONE day a countryman going to the nest of his Goose found...
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Leaders, Don’t Follow the Oscars - Stop Once a Year Recognition

Leaders, Don’t Follow the Oscars - Stop Once a Year Recognition
Last night was the 88 th Annual Academy Awards – an annual tradition to recognize excellence in cinematic achievements. Essentially, it is a once a year recognition program for people in the industry. People get dressed up and wait to hear the results. In some ways, it isn’t much different than what happens in many organizations. So I ask: Do you have once a year recognition program? Do promotion opportunities come once a year? Waiting every 12 months for a “main event” announcement is not how recognition should happen. According to a Bersin & Associates study , only 17 percent of employees indicated that their organizations’ cultures strongly support recognition. This lack of effectiveness is largely driven by the misdirected nature of most recognition programs: 87 percent of organizations reported that their programs are designed to recognize service or tenure. These programs do not meet the needs of today’s employees,...
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Are You a Feedback Genius? Test it!

Are You a Feedback Genius? Test it!
A Feedback Genius: Someone who is strong in both giving and receiving feedback. This person gives feedback frequently and chances are that has made them pretty good at it. This person welcomes feedback and receives it with interest and gratitude (most of the time). Would you consider yourself a feedback genius? Feedback is something that everyone craves, yet many people do not give enough of it. When we talk about Fierce Feedback, we define it as a conversation in which we have the opportunity to see what we may not see. And in order for people to feel engaged, they need to be learning about their discipline, their role, and most importantly, about themselves. According to a 2013 Zinger Folkman study of 22,719 leaders, leaders who ranked at the bottom 10% in their ability to give honest feedback to direct reports received engagement scores from their subordinates that averaged 25...
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Leadership Tips: “Feed” Others with Your Feedback

Leadership Tips: “Feed” Others with Your Feedback
Recall a time in the last month that you, as leader or peer, needed to give someone feedback – positive or constructive. Did you give it? Why or why not? Consistently throughout my work week, there are at least three or four times that someone will describe a situation to me about someone else, inside or outside of work, and my response is the exact same: Did you give he or she that feedback? (And I often ask the same question while processing the situation myself.) Feedback should be given for both positive and constructive intent . If Katie impressed every single person in the room in her last client presentation, did you give her specific feedback about how great she was? And going further, the impact it has on you? Or on the flip side, if Dan was tentative and less poised in his last presentation, did you give...
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Tom Wujec - Build a Tower, Build a Team

Tom Wujec - Build a Tower, Build a Team
    This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Ted.com and provides one activity that will uncover everything that is holding your team back. In theory, teamwork should bring organizations together, produce better results, and increase organizational adaptability. But in reality, most team projects start with individuals jockeying for power. And that’s where the team dynamic needs to shift. In his 2010 TedTalk: Build a Tower, Build a Team , Tom Wujec shared that we all need to stop trying to be the CEO of ‘X’ project. Can your team handle the marshmallow challenge? Read the complete transcript here.
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3 Tips to Build an All-Star Team

3 Tips to Build an All-Star Team
As we get closer to Super Bowl Sunday, there is a lot of talk about teams. Who will win? Who will have their head in the game? Just like in athletics, building a high-performing team in your organization requires effort and heart. When you are part of one, you feel it. Some people call it “being in the flow”. All-star teams do not happen by luck. To build them, they take practice, discipline, and the ability to learn from mistakes. The difference between an A team and an A+ team is the difference between a million in revenue and a billion in revenue.” – Paul English, Kayak Say Thank You The reality is that many people do not spend enough time appreciating one another. A great exercise that we have used internally at Fierce requires each individual to sit at the front of the room in a chair for two...
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3 Tips to Recruit with Purpose

3 Tips to Recruit with Purpose
In 2016, we at Fierce predict that job candidates will want to ensure a potential company’s purpose and mission align with values they hold near and dear to their hearts. While this seems complicated, it really isn’t. There are simple ways to stay connected and really recruit while engaging the heart and mind. Ask job seekers about their values. The next time people come to you complaining about their current job (or if they have come to the conclusion that they need a new one), ask what their values are. This is not about perks and culture as much as answering the questions: What do you stand for? What matters to you? Have them write their values down and really talk about them. This relates to finding the why .   To bring new people onboard, make sure their values align with the company’s. Values and purpose, over tangible items...
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Leadership Tips: ‘Tis the Season to Delegate

Leadership Tips: ‘Tis the Season to Delegate
It is common this time of year to have less employees (and focus) in the office. With holiday trips, family visits, and general festivities, people have their time and priorities stretched very thin. So now is the time to get creative about who and how projects get completed. Consider this: We are rounding out a new year, and when we interview leaders, people often want to take on new things at this time of year. That perfectly aligns with the opportunity to take on new tasks when people are away. This week’s tip is to use delegation as a way to get more things accomplished during the holiday season. Well in advance of your departure, identify team members or colleagues who either have experience with similar opportunities or who have shown aptitude in other areas and an interest in yours. Clearly outline the level of decisions they can make around...
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Leadership Tips: Yes, It Matters. Acknowledge the Best.

Leadership Tips: Yes, It Matters. Acknowledge the Best.
Madeline Albright once said, “What matters anywhere, matters everywhere.” That statement is especially relevant in our increasingly divisive American and global landscape. In those five words, she says: Don’t act like something doesn’t apply to you. Don’t brush off an issue thinking it isn’t yours. We are connected. Yes, that matters. And yes, those people matter. We can’t run away from that. So let’s assume you support that idea. Then we, as humans, have an obligation to recognize people, even in far reaching corners and places, who make our world better. Their efforts may not immediately affect us; however, we are connected. Their setbacks are our setbacks. Their progress fuels our progress. Oftentimes our acknowledgement as a collective is shown in the form of an award. Nobel Prize Day is this Thursday, December 10. The Nobel Prize exists to award those who have done their best to benefit the world...
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Leadership Tips: Don’t Be Shy, Show Gratitude in Your Workplace

Leadership Tips: Don’t Be Shy, Show Gratitude in Your Workplace
During the Thanksgiving holidays in the United States, we often focus on giving thanks to family and friends. We eat and celebrate during our days off and have much needed relaxation time. Some of us travel to the other side of the country to reconnect. Others curl up at home. Before you leave the office (mentally or physically) to enjoy the holiday, this week’s tip is to show gratitude and encourage its expression in your workplace. Think about your colleagues and teammates. You most likely spend more time with them than your family and friends. What stands out to you? What will you do to show appreciation? How can you help your team show it? One idea is to supply cards for team members to write notes to one another expressing appreciation. The goal is to make each note very specific and share why it is significant to the team...
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3 Tips to Connect Your Team with Purpose

3 Tips to Connect Your Team with Purpose
I have always admired the rituals and connection that people in the United States military share. I had a unique experience as a child, because my father was in the military and my birthday is Veterans Day (and no, that wasn’t planned). That means most birthdays I spent at Veterans Day ceremonies and taking pictures with fighter jets and submarines. Despite those glitzy elements, hearing the Veterans’ stories was my favorite part. Every time I asked Veterans about their service, despite the hardships and sacrifices, their eyes often lit up. They would tell stories about their purpose, and their comrades, and their experiences. I’ve reflected a lot on that over the years – especially going into the human capital/people strategy field. So I have to ask: How many of your employees’ eyes would light up talking about being on your team? Are your employees connected to the purpose? Are they...
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A Simple Formula for Changing Our Behavior

A Simple Formula for Changing Our Behavior
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and identifies the common communication mistakes that are holding your team back. Think back to the last time you tried to give a team member constructive feedback. How did it go? For most of us, it usually ends with someone walking away frustrated, angry, or disappointed. With such a predictable outcome, it’s no wonder some managers throw in the towel and relegate feedback to a dreaded yearly event. Yet, studies consistently show that employees want and value feedback. So, where is the disconnect happening? It starts with the way we approach the feedback conversation. Instead of letting our emotions rule the conversation, A Simple Formula for Changing Our Behavior recommends delivering constructive feedback in three steps. Identify the problem. State what needs to happen. Offer Help. Why is change so hard? “Learning — by definition — will always feel...
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3 Ways to Build Employees into Leaders

3 Ways to Build Employees into Leaders
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on TrainingIndustry.com and outlines three tips for developing more leaders within your organization. Organizations need more leaders and less bosses. What do we mean by that? Well an organization’s culture either creates more bosses or more leaders, and this choice has a huge impact on an organization’s bottom line. While bosses just want to get things done, leaders will constantly push themselves to improve. When confronted with an obstacle, a leader will explore avenues outside of the set process to solve the problem at hand. The question simply put is: How do we create more innovators and less followers? Three Ways to Build Employees into Leaders urges organizations to stop coaching and start challenging your employees. If you never challenge a team member, they will never have a reason to tap into their leadership potential. Are you holding your team accountable? “Increase the...
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Leadership Tips: Have a One-on-One

Leadership Tips: Have a One-on-One
September is One-on-One month. Yes, that means intimate conversations with your colleagues, family members, and friends. At Fierce, we start all of our one-on-one conversations with the same question: Given everything on your plate, what is the most important thing you and I should be talking about today? And then we allow the space for the person to reflect and respond. In these conversations, be curious and truly present. Set your tasks aside, close your laptop, and go eyeball-to-eyeball (or phone cheek to phone cheek). This week’s tip is to have a one-on-one with someone in your life – either at work or home. Find a quiet place where you can be with the person for an hour. Who will you have your first conversation with?