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Friday Fever: Keeping Your Employees Engaged at Work

Posted By Niki Ramirez, HRAnswers.org, Sunday, June 5, 2016

Employee engagement is important every day, but let's just talk about tackling Fridays for now.

You probably already know how it goes… It’s 2:30 p.m. on Friday and the far-away looks on your employees’ faces are easy to read. It’s only natural for employees to want to wind down as the week comes to a close. So there they are, sitting at their desk, thinking about weekend plans with family and friends.

Rather than look the other way and allow them to just "wait it out" on Fridays, here are three great ides to try to address this weekly downturn in engagement and productivity:

Make time to socialize and connect: when the afternoon lull hits, bring your team together in a more social setting to keep energy high and ideas flowing.

Gather everyone in a common area (like a training room, conference room, etc.) or head out to a local coffee shop or bowling alley to talk about what the next week holds, what folks are looking forward to, and what you can do to support one another. Share a snack, drink or other treat as well. Organizational psychologists agree that eating together increases connectedness and feelings of unity. Bottom line: time spent getting to know your employees, listening to their ideas and building relationships will always be time well-spent.

Just for Fun Friday: from ping-pong battles to chess tournaments, allow your employees to let loose and have some fun.

The human brain thrives on fun and novelty. We all perform better and are more successful when our lives are balanced with work and play – and it's not a new idea, we know that work and play CAN go together! I’ve read about teams that leave together (early) on Friday’s and employees go to the gym together and pump iron for the last 2 hours of the week. And here are a few other cool ways to end a Friday at work:

·        crafting and coloring time

·        bring in a yoga instructor or provide employees with chair massage

·        host a chili cook-off, parking lot BBQ, or cookie exchange

The easiest way to ensure that the activities planned really are meaningful and fun for your team is to allow a handful of employees to form a “social committee” – give them a budget and let them go to it, planning activities that they know everyone will truly enjoy!

Allow employees to set their own Friday schedule: this may sound pretty far out, but what if you just let your employees go home on Fridays when they felt they were in a good position to do so?

Employees who know they can leave when they are "done" will work diligently to knock out their to-do list in order to get their weekend started. If you do try this tactic, make sure you keep in touch with your employees throughout the week so that you have a pulse on what they have to get done before they call it a wrap. It goes without saying that this will not work for every employee, in every circumstance. Some positions will lend themselves to this far more easily than others.

Just Do It!

There is immeasurable value in making time to connect, have fun and socialize with your employees; and allowing your employees the autonomy to set their own schedule on Fridays (or any day, really!) can prove to be an equally powerful tool. 

Get organized, talk to your employees and start small. You'll discover that your team is more cohesive and productive in no time.

There are a wide variety of strategies that business leaders use to increase and maintain employee engagement, what ideas do you have? Please share in Comments.

 

About the author: Niki Ramirez is a seasoned professional consultant, speaker and coach with a knack for engaging business leaders.  She has a successful track record partnering with a wide variety of local businesses to analyze current human resources and business operations with the objective of collaborating to design cost-effective training, employee relations programs, develop employment policies and procedures, and help business leaders exceed their goals.
Maybe most importantly, Niki is the proud momma to three strikingly gorgeous, intelligent kids.  She loves to horseback ride and get outside to hike and explore the world every spare minute that she has.

Tags:  employee engagement  employees  HRteam  human resources  management  managing people  small business  success  team building 

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A Focused Life = An Organized Life

Posted By Les Taylor, Outperformers International, Monday, March 9, 2015
Developing the ability to stay focused will help you in a number of ways; You know the importance of developing positive relationships, especially in business. Being able to focus on important conversations will help make that possible.

Problem solving and decision-making are critical skill sets for success in any endeavor. Staying focused while you and your colleagues’ work through a difficult issue will lead to team success - and ultimately career success.

These are just two examples of why being able to focus is an important life and business skill to develop.

Here are a few ways you can ramp up your focusing skills:

Keep an organized work area.

Get rid of the clutter on and around your desk. If something’s been on your desk for more than a few days either act on it now, file it for future action or throw it away. Especially those old magazines you’re going to read someday.

Create a success list instead of a to do list.

Your success list is a short list of tasks you’ll need to accomplish today in order to complete an important project or accomplish a goal. Everything else goes on a master list for future action.

Conquer procrastination.

Recognize procrastination for what it is – a bad habit. Procrastination is simply choosing not to choose. Clearing out the clutter (in every aspect of your life) and making a (daily) success list will go a long way in helping you conquer procrastination.

An organized, focused life equals a productive life. Develop the habit of staying focused.

Tags:  focus  staying organized  team building 

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7 Qualities of an Effective Team

Posted By Les Taylor, Outperformers International, Tuesday, February 24, 2015
If you were asked to put together a team to take on an important project, how would you go about choosing your team members? Assuming the available pool of employees or coworkers includes the technical skills you’re looking for, what other qualities or characteristics would you need to consider to put together a team that will work together well and get the project done on time and within budget?

While technical skills are important, I’d argue for selecting your team members with these personality traits as much as selecting them based on technical acumen.

Reliability
You’ll need team members who’ll show up every day, ready to face the challenges of the project at hand. Maintaining momentum on a project is paramount in making sure things are completed on time.

Constructive Communication
Communicating constructively means respecting the opinions and feelings of others. Differences should be shared in a positive but respectful manner.

Good Listening Skills
Being a good listener means having the ability to consider, absorb and understand the ideas and opinions of others. As Stephen Covey reminded us: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

The Ability to Engage
Active participation by all team members is essential for project completion. Good team members show up for meetings, prepared and ready to engage in the discussion.

Flexibility
Remember, the only thing constant is change. Good team members are prepared to deal with changing conditions.

Commitment
Strong team members are committed to doing a great job for the company, their team and the work the team’s involved in.

Creativity and Innovation
Let’s face it: more often than not, teams are created to deal with a problem – or a problem project. Good team members are solution oriented, not problem focused.

Summary

Team building is, and will continue to become, an increasingly important aspect of management. Learning how to put together a team of people who can effectively and creatively deal with organizational problems is an important management skill to develop. While relying on technical abilities is important, putting together a group of people with the right personality traits will, more often than not, determine the success of the project.

Read more on each characteristic here.

Tags:  effective team  team building  team work 

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