Want to Improve Performance and Engagement? Here’s Why Autonomy is Essential

Want to Improve Performance and Engagement? Here’s Why Autonomy is Essential
What comes to mind when you think of autonomy?  You might imagine engaging in solo work with your headphones on, focused, and free of distractions. Perhaps you imagine yourself sitting in a coffee shop or bundled up under the blankets at home with a cup of hot cocoa. While there might be some truth to this idea of autonomy, there's a lot more ...
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Work Faster!!! The Role of Urgency in Performance Management

Work Faster!!! The Role of Urgency in Performance Management
  "Nature never hurries, yet everything is accomplished." –Lao Tzu Business is fast-paced. In order to keep up with and outshine the competition, we quickly rush to complete our goals, often while multitasking. On top of the busy work day, some also rush to work, rush to meetings, and rush to get home. If the idea of being told to mo...
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Have Business Goals for 2018? Here's Why Planning is Paramount

Have Business Goals for 2018? Here
Whether you intend to grow revenue, improve professional relationships, or introduce new projects, one thing is for sure: planning is paramount. Without it, the shared vision you have for your organization, as well as your personal goals, won't become reality.  Would you chart the Atlantic Ocean on a sailboat without planning your route, equip...
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Build an Intentional Culture: 3 Tips to Align Behavior with Company Values

Build an Intentional Culture: 3 Tips to Align Behavior with Company Values
Intention is our aim, our objective. It is defined as a determination to act in a certain way.   Let’s take a look at the word “act” here. While many organizations have core values that create intention, oftentimes the values are not cohesive with  leader and employee actions. In other words, there is a need to define how your employees behave in everyday situations if they are to demonstrate the company’s most critical values. It sounds so simple, yet it is often overlooked. Take “respect” as a value example.  Many of our clients share this value. However, to one employee, respect might mean telling someone the absolute hard facts that come to mind for a particular strategy. For example, tell them how it is – be a straight  shooter  –  it  is to their benefit . On the other hand, to another employee, respect might mean allowing someone the space and...
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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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6 Ways to Integrate Play Into the Workplace

6 Ways to Integrate Play Into the Workplace
  This week's Friday resource comes from Inc. and offers 6 ways to incorporate play into the workplace. In the workplace, play has long been regarded as the opposite of work. Instead of placing them on opposite ends of the spectrum, what if we combined them? What if we could get work results from prioritizing play? Work that involves play allo...
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The Secret to Successful Business Negotiation

The Secret to Successful Business Negotiation
  "The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway." – Henry Boyle On the surface, negotiation can seem more complex than it really is. There are usually a lot of factors to consider on behalf of everyone involved, and our psyches can quickly lead us into the shaky territory of power plays, manipulation, or even fearful ...
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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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New Research: The State of Miscommunication - 6 Insights on Effective Workplace Communication

New Research: The State of Miscommunication - 6 Insights on Effective Workplace Communication
We’re excited to announce Quantum Workplace's launch of the Fierce + Quantum eBook on the state of miscommunication in the workplace. The free eBook dives deep into the issues of miscommunication and offers solutions for creating more engagement and clarity in one-on-ones, team meetings, and organization-wide. We wanted to conduct this research on miscommunication to fully understand the impact it’s having on organizations, including the costs (time, money, engagement, relationships, productivity, and more), and explore how effective conversations can help. Fierce + Quantum Quantum helps organizations retain top talent, motivate performance, understand turnover, and build magnetic cultures. Their studies reveal that communication is indeed at the heart of employee engagement. Fierce and Quantum have both researched employee engagement in the past, and have weighed in on the conversations needed to improve engagement and workplace culture. In preparation for this eBook, Quantum Workplace and Fierce Conversations designed a survey to capture...
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Fierce Summit 2017: Day 1 Highlights

Fierce Summit 2017: Day 1 Highlights
The Fierce Summit has finally arrived! This one-of-a-kind leadership and learning event has been anticipated throughout the year by both the Fierce community and those who are new to Fierce. The event is taking place in the wake of much time, commitment, and TLC on behalf of the Fierce team, our clients, attendees, and speakers. After our special facilitator day on Tuesday the 12th, this was our first day of the official two-day event hosted at the W Hotel in downtown Seattle. Our speakers were carefully chosen for their messages--messages that are both inspiring and on the cutting edge of leadership. These powerful messages resonated with their audience today in a way that I believe will leave a lasting impact. Here are some notable speaker highlights from day one: Juliet Funt: Activity is Not Productivity: Raising Execution Through Reclaiming WhiteSpace After Susan Scott’s warm and insightful introduction, Juliet Funt, founder...
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Attention, Leaders: Strengthen Empathy by Dropping These 4 Words from Your Vocabulary

Attention, Leaders: Strengthen Empathy by Dropping These 4 Words from Your Vocabulary
“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” –Rudyard Kipling Humble, empathic leaders have been found to be the most successful . Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence , defines empathy as “having the ability to sense others’ feelings and how they see things.” Words, in conjunction with our behaviors, create empathy. When a leader uses words to label others, especially harsh or negative labels, it can be damaging to those on the receiving end on a deep, visceral level, not to mention damaging to any goal an organization is trying to achieve. To be a successful, empathic leader, it’s necessary to drop damaging labels from your vocabulary. Management Research Group reports that empathy is widely considered “the most important (out of 22) leadership behaviors.” When a leader embodies empathy and kindness, it allows employees to build trust, feel safe enough psychologically to contribute, and tap into...
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How to Address Employee Toxicity: 3 Fierce Tips

How to Address Employee Toxicity: 3 Fierce Tips
You know the one. The one who frequently complains. Gossips. Blames others. Leaves people hanging. Today we released our recent survey results from a thousand full-time employees across the U.S. who weighed in on toxic employees. Cited by the majority of respondents, a negative attitude is the most toxic and most detrimental trait an employee can have. And more than three-quarters (76%) say a special talent or skill never or infrequently outweighs the impact of a co-worker’s negativity. I completely agree with our respondents. I have personally witnessed how a toxic employee can bring a whole team down. Toxic employees wreak havoc on an organization. First and foremost, they increase stress, according to those surveyed, followed by decreasing overall job satisfaction. For the organization as a whole, respondents believe a toxic employee decreases morale, followed by decreasing productivity, and decreasing the quality of work product. For women, toxic employees have...
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The Compelling Case for Giving Employees More Freedom

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: 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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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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How to Establish a Performance Improvement Plan

How to Establish a Performance Improvement Plan
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by SHRM and explains how organizations can establish a performance improvement plan to give struggling employees a chance to succeed. A performance improvement plan (PIP) enables managers to address a team performance issue and holds the employee accountable for turning around their performance. There are dozens of reasons why an employee may have poor performance. It could be a personal issue they are dealing with at home that is bleeding over into their work, or a miscommunication on expectations of the role. Per SHRM, there is a six-step process that when followed will help identify gaps in training and skills, create recognition of the performance issue, and will result in performance either turning around or not. If it is the latter, actions such as demotion, job transfer, or termination can result with no surprises. 1. Document performance issues. By documenting the areas that...
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Getting to the Root Cause: Performance Problems in Revenue-Producing Roles

Getting to the Root Cause: Performance Problems in Revenue-Producing Roles
A widespread belief exists in the world of performance management that the assessment of revenue-generating roles should be pretty cut and dry. You are either hitting your targets or you aren’t. And if you miss them too many times, you are out. I agree this perception is true, and , often leaders aren’t digging deeper to understand the root cause of the performance issues within teams. I am not advocating that we stop holding the bar high, nor am I suggesting we keep poor performers beyond the appropriate period of their performance assessment. I am suggesting there are common pitfalls that front-line leaders, especially those newer in their roles, can succumb to when evaluating revenue-producing roles. Failing to reach this deeper level of understanding can become costly, resulting in everything from excessive turnover to missed conversations. Traditionally, revenue-producing roles have been associated with the sales function. However, as business models...
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3 Tips for Supercharging Small Team Collaboration

3 Tips for Supercharging Small Team Collaboration
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes and shares three tips to supercharge small team collaboration and maximize efforts. Effective collaboration is critical to teams of all sizes, but it becomes especially important for smaller teams that do not have as much time, resources, and bandwidth as others. If your team is not operating at its highest potential, you could be in danger of running low on time or money. Being agile, adaptive, and most importantly, highly collaborative, is what separates high-performing teams from the ones that are just staying afloat. Per Matt Hunckler, Forbes contributor, and his interviewee, Max Yonder, there are some tips that can lead to better small-team collaboration. 1. Share Before You’re Ready.  We have all gone deep down the proverbial rabbit hole only to find out the task at hand did not come to fruition as plans changed. Not only is it disheartening...
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9 Habits That Destroy Workplace Relationships

9 Habits That Destroy Workplace Relationships
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Entrepreneur and shares nine habits that can destroy workplace relationships and how to avoid these slip-ups. It is well known that if you work a full-time job, chances are you’re spending more time with your “work family” than your immediate family. Due to the sheer amount of time spent with your colleagues, it is important to the individual employees and the business to have amicable relationships. There are countless reasons for forging strong bonds with coworkers. It boosts office morale, increases productivity, and most importantly – builds trust. If the reasons for creating these bonds at work are clear, what can get in the way of them? Per John Rampton, Entrepreneur, some nasty habits that can lead to strained relationships include: 1. Gossiping – Although the watercooler chat can be tempting sometimes, it’s best to avoid topics that include other colleagues. Gossip...
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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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How to Create an Action Plan to Achieve Your Goals

How to Create an Action Plan to Achieve Your Goals
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The Balance and talks about how to create an action plan that will help you achieve your lofty goals in 2017. We all know that setting goals is important for personal and professional development. It can be much more difficult to identify specific tactics that work to move the needle towards achieving your goals. For starters, try writing down your goals and placing them close to your desk. This may seem minor, but a surprisingly small percentage of people physically write down their goals. The act of writing the goal down solidifies it and forces you to revisit your goals every time you see them staring at you. Leslie Truex, The Balance, offers six steps that can help create an action plan towards achieving goals. For starters, you must make sure your goals are SMART. “Here is a basic definition of SMART...
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Leadership Tips: Build Emotional Capital

Leadership Tips: Build Emotional Capital
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is awareness of yourself and your impact on others around you. EQ allows you to build relationships and drive results. Kendra Cherry, a psychology expert, discusses the differences between IQ and EQ in her article “ IQ or EQ: Which One Is More Important? ” She cites research that shows EQ plays a bigger role than a person’s intelligence in determining their success or failure at work. In fact, TalentSmart tested emotional intelligence alongside 33 other important workplace skills, and found that EQ is the strongest predictor of performance, When considering this fact, your ability to have conversations with emotions and increased understanding is not a soft skill. It is directly correlated to the results you achieve…or don’t. And it’s a significant factor. This week’s tip is to build emotional capital with people important to you. Avoid taking a withdrawal from people’s emotional bank accounts, and instead,...
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Going Deeper with Accountability

Going Deeper with Accountability
Accountability is a huge challenge in business today . The Workplace Accountability Study recently revealed that 82% of respondents have no ability to hold others accountable, but 91% of people rank accountability as one of the top development needs they’d like to see at their organization.  So simply put, we all want accountability, but we feel we don’t have the ability to get it. At Fierce, we’ve worked with thousands of leaders and organizations over the years to help them create the business culture they want and more importantly, need, to get results. We’ve heard leaders describe accountability as culpability, responsibility, wrong doing, and “blame.” In other words, I need to know who to blame if this all goes wrong. And it is true – the majority of people attach some level of fault and blame to the word accountability . Accountability is something that you must choose every day....
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Be Awake. Be intentional.

Be Awake. Be intentional.
On a scale from one to ten, how awake do you feel in your life? Are you paying attention to the most important things right now? As summer comes to an end, think about these questions during this transitional time. I was recently talking with a retail executive, and she shared with me that her team stepped away from their phones and computers for a whole strategy session. Everyone noted that they were present with one another in a new way. One of the comments was:  I actually felt like I was paying attention to what I needed to, instead of the 10 distractions that come up every hour . I am sure you can relate to the feeling of distractions running your life. And every day, whether we want to admit it or not, we pay a price for not being awake to this. Our actions and inactions have...
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Your Employees’ Emotions Are Clues to What Motivates Them

Your Employees’ Emotions Are Clues to What Motivates Them
This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Harvard Business Review  and explains why employees’ emotions are clues to what motivates them.    Emotional intelligence is one of the most important leadership characteristics. One of the reasons this is such a desired trait is that emotional intelligence helps us understand what motivates the people around us – even if they are not completely aware. In his article, Art Markman asserts that companies focusing solely on producing optimistic emotions within are hurting the productivity of their organization. “The more satisfied people are with their current state, the less motivated they are to move forward and achieve new things. A little negative emotion reflects that people have goals that they have not yet achieved.” It is important for leaders to understand and pick up on these emotions. Negative emotions should be seen as an opportunity to connect with an employee and help...
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Why Working Smarter Means Conserving Your Energy

Why Working Smarter Means Conserving Your Energy
This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by BBC.com and offers insights into how employees can avoid burnout and work exhaustion by conserving their energy. A common workplace phrase we hear is “work smarter, not harder,” but how is this really done? Surely everyone would be working smarter with higher energy levels if this was easily attainable. According to Dizik, “Working smarter is not really about being focused on details to assure productivity, but rather being focused on the energy we harness while we’re working and relaxing.” When operating at a frantic pace, it is extremely difficult to measure energy levels and gauge if you need to take a break or have the capacity to keep pushing. Tracking how you feel at any given hour throughout the day allows you to set your schedule to do your best work during your “high energy times.” This could be first thing in the...
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The Power of Context in Performance Management

The Power of Context in Performance Management
Our beliefs, attitudes, and biases create a filter in which we view the world. At Fierce, we call this context . While it is unconscious, context affects everything we experience daily. What we believe determines how we interpret the world around us, and yes, it has a direct impact on the results we are – or are not – getting in our lives. Context shouldn’t be ignored during a performance management discussion. Before you begin the conversation, examine your context around the individual and the situation. Is it negative or positive? Ask yourself these questions: What are my beliefs (context) about this individual?   Are there beliefs that I am holding skewing the way I am preparing to approach this conversation?   What context does this person hold about me? This conversation? This company? What you believe to be true about people determines how you interact with them and how...
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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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Why Businesses Should Rethink the Annual Performance Review

Why Businesses Should Rethink the Annual Performance Review
This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Forbes and provides insight into why businesses should ditch the annual performance review in favor of a more agile on-going performance conversation. The article focuses on Adobe’s need to shift their performance review process in 2011 after having significant changes to their business model by introducing cloud-based software and real-time services. These changes did not translate to how Adobe was evaluating performance, supported employee growth and fostered a team environment. Common pains with the yearly review process were that both managers and employees alike dreaded preparing for and delivering the review, and in the months following, Adobe saw an increase in voluntary attrition. The antiquated yearly review system was actually hurting the company and hindering their employee’s personal growth more than helping. There were three key areas that needed to be changed: The annual review process Evaluating past performance Comparing employees against...
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Fierce Performance Management: Tips & Tools to Unlock Potential

Fierce Performance Management: Tips & Tools to Unlock Potential
A workplace revolution has begun. The old school performance review processes with ratings and rankings are out the door. And they are being replaced with fresh and agile approaches that make the people the most important factor in the process – not the numbers. Is your workplace  part of this movement? We just wrapped up the inaugural Human Capital Institute (HCI) Performance Management Innovation Conference in New York yesterday. There were robust conversations about leadership development, growth plans, separating compensation from the performance review process, and many other thought provoking topics. Earlier this year, our 2016 predictions included the continual revamp of the performance management review. As we partner with our clients, I am continually impressed with how organizations are shifting their processes to be more and more human-centered. While Fierce does not create the technologies or systems for all of the performance process, we focus specifically on the conversation...
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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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Achieving Goals: Wading Through Your Murky Waters

Achieving Goals: Wading Through Your Murky Waters
Walter Elliot stated, "Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other." I can relate to this quote a lot lately - both figuratively and literally. Two years ago when I was training for my first Olympic distance triathlon, I had to constantly remind myself one step at a time . It was always on my bucket list to train for a triathlon, and I am so proud that I have a few under my belt now. It opened a totally new understanding about myself and how I can achieve things that seem so big initially. Although my training period brought me a lot of joy, it also created doubts I didn't even know I had about myself and my own abilities. Being an overachiever, "type A" kinda gal, quitting rarely comes into my mind as an option when I set my mind to...
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Leadership Tips: Celebrate National Recommitment Month with Your 2016 Goals

Leadership Tips: Celebrate National Recommitment Month with Your 2016 Goals
May is National Recommitment Month, which means we should review the goals we set back in January . Have you ever heard of this concept for May? I hadn’t. However, I love it, because we talk every day about how to make sure employees, leaders, and companies get where they want to go. And in order to do this, they must track trends. Conversations are the most accessible tool you have, every single day, to assess if you are heading closer to or further from what you want and need to achieve. Conversations with your team. Conversations with your partner. Conversations with your kids. And most importantly, conversations with yourself. So much in this world is unpredictable, and yet, you always have this way of navigating in your life. I’m sure some things have changed for you since 2016 kicked off. In the first blog I wrote this year, I...
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4 Habits of the Most Successful Leaders

4 Habits of the Most Successful Leaders
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Forbes and discusses four habits the most successful leaders have in common. It is undeniable that the greatest leaders in the world share similar habits to continue their success. Great leaders transform organizations, quickly captivate the audience of a room, and most importantly – they teach others around them how to be great leaders by example. In today’s society there is a leadership gap , resulting in an uninspired workforce lacking the most important facet of business: leadership. So what is the common thread between great leaders? “People are eager to learn from them, and are mobilized by their missions. And great leaders make the impossible happen every day, igniting passion and innovation throughout an organization.” Read the article.

Dan Pink - The Puzzle Of Motivation

Dan Pink - The Puzzle Of Motivation
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Ted.com and uncovers what really motivates employees to perform better. One of the biggest mistakes leaders make in their career, is assuming feedback conversations are a one-way street. Feedback shouldn’t just be about communication what went wrong or right. We also need to spend time understanding what inspires people to do their best, because that is where the answer to employee motivation really lies. In his 2009 TedTalk: The Puzzle of Motivation, Dan Pink explores the three elements required for intrinsic motivation. Do you know what matters to your team?         Read the complete transcript here.

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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The 1 Thing You Can Do Right Now to Be More Successful

The 1 Thing You Can Do Right Now to Be More Successful
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Fortune and offers advice on the one thing you need to do to foster future success in the workplace. As we jump into the New Year, we hope you have spent some quality time reflecting. But before you commit to your 10 step self-improvement strategy for 2016, we caution you not to focus on your shortcomings too much. As Shawn Archer pointed out in his 2012 TED Talk, as a society we have developed an illogical formula for determining happiness – “If [we] work harder, [we'll] be more successful. And if [were] more successful, then [we’ll] be happier.” Instead we need to flip the formula for success. According to The One Thing You Can Do Right Now to Be More Successful , the first step is to focus on developing your unique superpowers . By building on your strengths, you will not only...
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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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Engaging Your Employees is Good, but Don’t Stop There

Engaging Your Employees is Good, but Don’t Stop There
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and explores how to not only engage but also inspire your employees. Recent studies by Bain & Company found that inspired employees are 125% more productive than satisfied employees and 56% more productive than engaged employees. So I ask: How do we take employees from satisfied to truly inspired? It starts by looking at the top. Managers and leaders are often the ones who decide where an organization’s resources and efforts get invested. Too often they focus solely on monetary incentives, which can lead to a purely transactional relationship. According to the article Engaging Your Employees is Good, but Don’t Stop There , real inspiration starts by connecting your team’s or the individuals’ mission to the company’s overall purpose. Are you meeting each individual’s pyramid of needs? “The foundational elements—call them employee satisfaction—are fundamentals such as having a safe...
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The 4 Pillars of Better Leadership

The 4 Pillars of Better Leadership
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Entrepreneur and outlines concrete steps leaders can take to improve their leadership skills. Whether you are an aspiring leader or currently managing a high performing team, you should constantly be reflecting and improving on your leadership skills. The 4 Pillars of Better Leadership recommends starting with taking care of your employees. As a leader, your most important asset is your employees. Great leaders understand that happy and productive employees need more than just their intrinsic needs meet. Employees need to feel they are supported on an emotional level as well. This means taking the time to enrich your relationship on a personal level with each of your team members. When was the last time you asked how your employees were doing? “A good leader doesn’t lead from behind a desk or an email account. A good leader leads from the front, interacting...
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How to Give Tough Feedback That Helps People Grow

How to Give Tough Feedback That Helps People Grow
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and outlines the difference between critical and constructive feedback. For most of us, just thinking about feedback elicits a sense of discomfort, anger, and even contempt. We can be so afraid of it that we either avoid it all together or hide behind anonymous feedback. But as a leader, providing honest, clear feedback is one of the best gifts you can give your team. Approach a feedback conversation as an opportunity to deepen an employee’s self-awareness and propel growth. How to Give Tough Feedback That Helps People Grow recommends creating certain conditions in which the receiver can take in feedback and learn from it. What conversations are you not having? “Managers fall into a number of common traps. We might be angry at an employee and use the feedback conversation to blow off steam rather than to coach. Or...
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Differing Work Styles Can Help Team Performance

Differing Work Styles Can Help Team Performance
This week's Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and shares a different way to look at helping team performance. Differing Work Styles Can Help Team Performance urges leaders to look at work style diversity as a way to boost their team. Work style is the way one orients with tasks. The first suggestion is to observe your team members to learn more about their work style. Next, it is important to leverage each person’s strength and coach according to their different styles. Have you paid attention to your team members’ work styles? What is the mix in your team? “When members of a team, or leaders of an organization, all have the same style, you’ll quickly run into trouble. For example, if everyone in your group has a big-picture, strategic, intuitive approach to work and chafes against the structure of project plans, you might frequently be over...
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Why Won’t the Yankees Dump A-Rod?

Why Won’t the Yankees Dump A-Rod?
Tampa, Fla. When Alex Rodriguez arrived at his workplace here on Monday, his bosses weren’t happy. As usual, the communication between Rodriguez, the employee, and the New York Yankees, his employer, was nonexistent. Rodriguez hadn’t told his superiors that he was reporting to work two days early, and it led to yet another awkward situation for his company. If this sort of tension existed in almost any other line of work, such an employee might well have been jettisoned long ago. Coming off a season-long suspension for performance-enhancing drug use, which he initially fought, Rodriguez has by his own admission been “a headache.” He isn’t even a high-performing asset anymore, having posted a pedestrian .771 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 2013. So why won’t the Yankees just dump him? The short answer is that Rodriguez is owed at least $61 million over the next three years, whether he is on the Yankees’...
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When to Delegate? Try the 70 Percent Rule

When to Delegate? Try the 70 Percent Rule
This week's Fierce resource was originally published on Inc.com and was written by Jim Schleckser. Do you find yourself wishing someone would take work off your plate? When to Delegate? Try the 70 Percent Rule   identifies a constant challenge in every single organization that exists. Picture this: a bag of 100 rocks in a backpack, each weighing 1 pound and oh yeah, you carry it everywhere you go. Imagine being able to take 30 percent of that away, immediately the load feels lighter and you too feel lighter. You now have mental and physical capacity to tackle a challenge or two that you've had to overlook several times. Doesn't that sound relieving? Think about what is currently on your plate that you can delegate. Who in your organization or on your team is interested in developing?  "Trust is one of the most important factors when it comes to delegation,...
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Love in the Air: Let’s Talk About Assumptions

Love in the Air: Let’s Talk About Assumptions
Office Romance.  Whether this term conjures up thoughts of fondness, anxiety or dread, it is an unavoidable reality in today’s workplace. This Valentine’s Day, here at Fierce, Inc. we have decided to set the record straight on the reality of inter-office dating. There’s a need to question the assumptions many of us have with the idea of dating a colleague—and to take the negative notions out of the equation. Assumption: We have to keep this a secret; we’ll both get fired if anyone finds out. Reality:  In this day and age of social media and a need to overshare, chances are, people will find out. And you don’t want your boss or colleagues to find out via a tweet or Facebook post that you are dating their officemate. Even if you aren’t officially “friends”, news gets around (as do retweets). Instead, schedule a meeting early in the relationship, and come...
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7 Daily Mantras to Boost Your Productivity

7 Daily Mantras to Boost Your Productivity
This week's Fierce resource was originally published on FastCompany.com and was written by Faisal Hoque. Fifteen days into the year and we are all thinking about the same thing. How we are going to achieve our goals and quotas for the year, right? 7 Daily Mantras to Boost Your Productivity shares ideas on how to do just that. Don't let your stretch goals overwhelm you, take it day by day and set yourself up for success. Many people don't believe they need a plan for reaching their goals, and my thought is, those people are pushing their luck. One day it won't be as easy. Think about: What you can focus on that will really support your goals. What is it? Create SMART goals to help you get there. "If we want to be productive with our time and manage it well, we need to spend our time working toward achieving smaller goals...
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