Management Principle: Behavior

Back to the basics would be a good way to look at today’s principle. In the end, it’s not what we say but what we do that speaks most clearly about our personal and corporate integrity. Simply proclaiming that “we value people” without the underlying behaviors, will produce disdain to the listening ear. Public declaration and private practice must match to inspire others to do great things…

Behaviors. In a day and age when companies allocate large quantities of time and money to codify core beliefs into published value statements, one would think that corporate cultures would be the best working environments in history. Defining the culture is easy–what’s most difficult is to convert cultural beliefs into actual, congruent behaviors. This is where most companies lack efficacy to create transformational environments. Corporate officers who understand this dynamic take the time to cultivate good behaviors first in themselves and then in those under their care.

History proves that the most attractional leaders are those who are humble and understand human nature. They know how to apply proper human incentive systems that create motivated, sacrificial employees who “volunteer” their time and talents rather than simply showing up for a paycheck. They apply a proven process to create awareness, develop conscious competence through repetition and reinforcement, and finally unconscious competence (second-nature reactions) in those they lead. The result-well developed people, a thriving culture, and ultimately, managerial leverage to do great things.

Coaching questions: What steps are you taking to develop congruence in your behavior? How will you then cascade this learning to your staff?
Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.

Top 10 Clues that Employees are Disengaging

Leadership Tip of the Month:

Employee engagement is critical to retaining top performers. Assessing the level of engagement and executing an improvement plan are helpful. However, surveys are a snapshot measurement. There are signs you can be watching for that may alert you that your improvement plan isn’t working. Just because you have a plan doesn’t mean you need to sit back and relax!

Clients Communication Style, Client Financial Facilitation

From 2008 to 2010, employee engagement dropped to 56%. This was the largest rate of decline in 15 years, according to Aon Consulting.? So how can you measure employee engagement within your organization?? Generally companies will deploy an employee engagement survey using an external company to administer the survey ensuring anonymity for employees. Others will develop their own internal surveys which? lack question validity and robust reporting features which can be drawbacks to developing an improvement plan.

But what if you don’t have the time or money and want to get a broad sense of overall engagement, what are your options?? My suggestion is to look for the top 10 clues that employees may be disengaging from their work.? And, the 10 clues are:

  1. Quality of service and products is dropping-employees are not showing a genuine level of concern for customer needs and the quality of their workmanship
  2. Absenteeism is increasing-the amount of time employees are missing from work is affecting overall department or company performance and may be affecting the morale of those having to pick up a greater work load.

Read more on the Executive Velocity website.

Author: Beth Armknecht Miller, President and Executive Coach, Executive Velocity Inc

Management Principle: Internal Justice System

Some of the most important parts of corporate life are those that are invisible in nature. For genuine employee engagement to occur there must be an underlying culture that meets and satisfies basic human needs. Professional leadership and management literature indicates that people work best when clear boundaries are understood and cleanly applied. I hope you enjoy today’s principle on internal justice systems.

Internal Justice System - In every place where some form of hierarchy exists a de facto internal justice system will automatically emerge. It will include rules of engagement (stated or unstated), relationships to authority, and sanctions for certain behaviors (fair or unfair). In the business setting the people who will detect this reality the most are those closest to the actual work-the ones who are at the lower levels of the organization chart. This points to why it is so critical to define the culture clearly, and to apply all standards equally across the board. What applies to the line worker should also always apply to the chief executive, who is tasked to serve as the ultimate model. Companies that fail to codify and apply sound cultural principles will experience declining morale and higher turnover rates. Humans, without some form of structure, will usually default to more base behaviors. Sadly, those at highest risk are oftentimes the organization’s leaders. All of these hazards can be effectively addressed through the use of team contracts. Coaching questions: If you were to describe your culture in three adjectives, what would it reveal? Where might your culture need attention, requiring more clarity?

Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.

*Dean Harbry is entertaining creating a second roundtable group?with the?purpose?of helping organizational leaders develop and implement a team contract. Please let me know if you are interested or know of anyone who may benefit from this process.

Management Principle: Equanimity

Attractional leaders use every opportunity to frame circumstances for followers in a positive way. It’s an inspirational approach that provides hope, confidence and emotional energy in followers. Anything less creates a negative drag that slows performance and compromises excellence in execution. Equanimity is the foundational tool of a seasoned executive–I hope you enjoy today’s principle.

Equanimity. Among the most critical of all influence skills is an organizational leader’s ability to maintain equanimity (emotional balance) during times of difficulty and uncertainly. Daniel Goleman asserts that a leader’s primary role is to lead emotionally, that is, to communicate important messages by properly framing circumstances. Lieutenant General Chesty Puller was quoted as saying, “They won’t get away this time,” after being surrounded by eight enemy divisions. This is the professional approach, the use of positive framing. Equanimity is rooted in one’s personal insight and fueled by confidence, which translates current challenges into tangible opportunities to succeed. The degree to which we communicate negative messages, though stress emotions and tense gestures, we demean and demoralize the troops, creating fear, insecurity and repulsion. Professional leaders who know the art of leading emotionally are attractive in style and rarely ever use a show of force to command obedience in his people. They do what he asks because they admire and love him. He inspires rather than criticize.

Coaching questions: How are you at demonstrating equanimity when things go wrong? What steps may you need to take to strengthen this influence skill?

Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.

Management Principle: Human Incentive Systems

I hope your new year is off to a great start as we are all busy implementing new strategies and tactics. Collaboration, knowledge sharing, and teamwork are more critical than ever due to constrained resources. The difference between a good company and a great one is its people–providing the right human incentive systems is what ultimately creates a great company. I hope you enjoy this week’s principle.Human Incentive Systems

Human Incentive Systems. Professional leaders and managers thrive on large-scale initiatives that are carefully planned and well executed. To achieve anything of scale, we must leverage the thinking and output of others. Some mistakenly believe that if people are paid fairly, they will be motivated to do good work. Research suggests that pay will only guarantee an employee will show up for work. To motivate them to perform at higher levels, we must utilize a battery of human incentive systems that are nonfinancial in nature. Professional managers both understand and embrace this dynamic, and work successfully with diverse people using the human touch. They build strong managerial relationships, support their staff with discovery questioning to develop their thinking and judgment, and, even when correction is necessary, they do it in the employee’s best interest without getting emotionally hooked. While they are hard on principle they are typically soft on people–caring, but not sentimental–firm, but not harsh. Treating people as valued human beings ensures the best possible results.

Coaching questions: What non-financial human incentive systems do you currently have in place that builds staff loyalty and increases productivity? What could be done to go to the next level?

Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.

Management Principle: Law of Holes

For organizational leaders, success is tied to the well being and the performance ability of staff members. We should care for our staff in such a way that incents them to work hard and remain loyal. When that doesn’t happen, we will often resort to blaming others?when we should be looking in the mirror. Professional leadership is a difficult journey requiring the utmost in patience and developed influence skills. I hope you enjoy today’s principle.

Law of Holes. We are taught to “keep our shoulder to the flywheel” until we’ve generated enough momentum to sustain forward movement on our goals and initiatives. This is true for many of our strategic plans; however, there are times when our efforts provide little evidence of hoped-for results. Discernment tells us that we need to change course, but we become so blinded by our belief that we continue by just trying harder. Insanity is doing the same things over and over again, and expecting different results. The law of holes states that when we realize we are digging a hole, stop! This principle applies to many contexts but reflect on its impact when managing people. Professional practitioners tell us we can accomplish big things if we leverage people through delegation and by defining clear roles and responsibilities. All true, unless we fail to effectively influence people in a way that is consistent with human nature. Delegating properly involves the use of wise and appropriate human incentive systems.

Coaching questions: When managing others, what methods have worked best in your past? How can you apply these same protocols to your current context?

Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.