Top Competencies Managers Must Possess in 2018 and Beyond

Managing is no longer about keeping tabs on every task employees undertake or watching over their shoulders every second they’re in their seats; it’s about leading people correctly so employees and companies can grow into their strengths and rely on others’ strengths to supplement their weaknesses. Today’s managers need to be leaders, helping the people who work for them discover what makes them successful. This way their employees can build upon their skills and continue to develop. Every Manager, like every employee, has leadership abilities, but some may need a little help in discovering their leadership potential. If Managers are open to learning and ready to challenge themselves a bit, a Manager can make a smooth transition from just a Manager to becoming a great Leader. Although, before you can achieve optimal leadership qualities, you must know what they are. The following are some of the top competencies managers must possess for 2018 and beyond: 1. Coaching Do you see poor performance as a problem or an opportunity? Managers and leaders often view the same situations in very different ways. Managers tend to see the problem and become frustrated by the bottleneck a poorly performing employee is creating. Leaders, on the other hand, view problem areas as opportunities whereby they can guide their staff members toward success. Coaching involves a lot of listening and asking good questions. Coaching focuses on a few key elements: Enhancing one’s skills or knowledge One-on-one shadowing or teaching On-the-job learning Informal conversation, which allows employees to provide honest feedback about what may not be working Focuses on development Provides time for a two-way conversation...

Common ways bad managers kill employee motivation (and what to do about it!)

Managing people should be easy, right? How hard can it really be to hire the right people, give them tasks, and expect high-quality output? Well, as the old saying goes, if it were easy, everybody would do it. The truth is, managing people is a tough job, and if you’re not careful, bad managers can demotivate your team without even realizing they’re doing it. Sometimes, it’s all about style. Other times, personality comes into play. Here are a few of the top ways bad managers kill employee motivation, along with some ways to remedy unmotivated situations: 1. Assuming What Motivates the Manager Also Motivates Their Staff People are different. They learn at different paces, grasp concepts in different ways, and are motivated by different driving forces. For some employees, pay is the ultimate motivator. For others, praise and recognition beat out the bottom dollar. While everyone should be working toward common goals, it is essential that managers learn what makes each employee tick. In doing so, managers can tap into the true motivating factors for each individual, thereby creating a stronger, more cohesive team that pulls on each person’s strengths. One motivating take-away: when employees feel valued, they’re less likely to look elsewhere. 2. Not Leading by Example It can be hard to lead an 8-to-5 life. People need to make doctors’ appointments, have their oil changed, and tend to house repairs from time to time. It’s hard to juggle these tasks when many businesses operate on bankers’ hours. If managers are taking all the time they need to take care of life, while employees are discouraged from requesting infrequent...

When did employee appreciation become just another Millennial thing?

Employee appreciation — is it just a modern-day buzz phrase or something that most companies have been missing all along? As Millennials have begun to infiltrate the workforce, phrases such as “employee appreciation,” “employee engagement,” and “company loyalty” have popped up in publications and social media feeds all over the world. Suddenly, as the younger generation has geared up towards professional careers, it seems employers have begun to take notice of employees’ needs. But why did we wait so long? If you walk around your organization and ask your team what changed when Millennials entered the picture, they’d likely throw the question back in your court. Truly, what did change? In fact, all of your employees want to be appreciated, no matter what age, life status, or generation classification; if they’re doing a good job, they expect to be respected, and rightfully so. After all, outstanding employees are hard to come by, and your Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers deserve just as many accolades for jobs well done as do their Millennial counterparts. On that note, it’s important to keep in mind that, if your top employees don’t feel appreciated, they’ll happily find themselves on your competitors’ payrolls — no matter how old they are. Why Do People Leave Their Jobs? The number one reason people leave jobs is not money — it’s management. Draconian cultures are forcing good people to walk right out the door, despite any amount of time, effort, or capabilities they’ve brought their current organizations. ‘Appreciation’ is another word for ‘feedback.’ Unfortunately, this simple concept is lost on most managers who experience high amounts of turnover....

Survey Shows Employers Offering More Tools and Resources to Improve Financial Outcomes for Workers

As employers expand their focus on the overall financial well-being of their workers, a new survey from Aon Hewitt reveals that an increasing number of companies are broadening the types of financial and retirement planning tools and resources they provide to workers. Employers are also taking advantage of the size and purchasing power of their defined contribution (DC) plans to reduce costs and improve returns for employees. According to the survey of nearly 250 U.S. employers representing approximately six million employees, 93 percent intend to focus on the financial well-being of their employees in a way that extends beyond retirement. Nearly half (46 percent) are very likely and another 47 percent are somewhat likely to add new plan features, mobile apps or online tools to assist individuals with understanding financial concepts and financial planning. Additionally, more employers are offering tools and resources to help boost retirement savings: 69 percent currently offer online investment guidance, up from 56 percent in 2014, and 18 percent of the remaining employers are very likely to add this feature in 2015. More than half (53 percent) offer phone access to financial advisors in 2015, up from just over a third (35 percent) in 2014. Approximately half (49 percent) offer third-party investment advice, up slightly from 44 percent in 2014. 47 percent offer managed accounts, up 8 percentage points from 2014. “Employers’ focus on financial wellness has been steadily picking up steam in recent years. This year, even more organizations will address this topic head-on and help workers think beyond just saving enough for retirement and consider all aspects of their financial health,” said Rob...

Cultures Driven by Business: Ideo, Wawa and Netflix

MEA Members heard from two leading economists/forecasters over the past 3 months.  Both project strong economies for the next several years which will have an impact on salaries (rising as critical resources become more scarce) and the face of the workforce as more Baby Boomers feel confident enough to retire and the percentage of Millennials in the workplace continues to rise (Currently over 25% and expected to rise to 50% by 2020).  As reported in our Business Trends Survey, MEA Members are already expressing greater concern over retention (40%) which will only worsen as unemployment declines.  For example, 20% of Survey participants already expressed difficulty hiring entry level positions! More and more companies are examining their Culture and Core Values as a critical business tool to motivate, engage and retain their talent.  Recently, I separately read about 3 great companies with very different Cultures and Core Values which work for their Business. 1. Wawa – Servant Leadership (SmartCEO Magazine).  If you are a Wawa junkie like me, you know they outdo everyone else in the fast food/convenience store category.  Their mission is concise – to simplify their customers daily lives – but what is unique is their complete adoption of servant leadership principles to remove obstacles to providing great service and make associates jobs easier since they are the face of the Wawa brand.  The Servant Leadership principles are based upon the 1970 essay by Robert K. Greenleaf. Here are the six Wawa Core Values: Value People Delight Customers Embrace Change Do Things Right Do the Right Thing Passion for Winning Wawa leadership expresses their Core Values through Servant...

Top Talent Practices Video

We hope you’ve had a chance to try one of our Top Talent Email Challenges. You might be wondering why we are sending you these emails.  First, these questions are fun, interactive ways for Members to engage with MEA, but more importantly, we hope they help you examine your HR practices and make sure you’re putting the proper focus on top talent in your...

Recap of One Page Talent Management Briefings

On May 9th, MEA sponsored presentations by Marc Effron, author of the Harvard Business review best selling book One Page Talent Management to more than 80 Human Resource professionals and CEO’s.  The reviews were highly favorable across the board. Marc has spent many years as a Talent expert inside small and large companies, as a practice leader with a large consulting firm and now as founder of a global Talent Strategy firm.  He explained his approach to Talent Management as being founded on some very simple principles.  Taking a page from principles of Lean and Six Sigma, Marc has documented that talent can be developed by repeatable systematic processes that are designed to the specifications needed for that business.  Marc’s challenge to the audience was to embrace the notion, used by most successful large companies, that “Better Talent Leads to Better Business Results.”  If you do, then he believes that any business willing to make some changes can build better talent.  He has seen this work at companies of all sizes noting that it works very well at mid-sized companies where Simple and Practical are favored by managers and supervisors. The One Page Talent Management approach follows some key practical guidelines: 1. Be Clear about the Business Problem to be Solved.  Too many HR programs are put in place based on some notion of best practices, latest trends or new technology.  The most important step is often the most overlooked:  How can talent support the business today and tomorrrow.  Marc was of the view that the process must always begin with Senior Leadership direction on this question. 2. Start...

Employee Engagement: Why it Matters

Many of you have heard the phrase “Employee Engagement” and may think it is just another HR phrase or idea of the day. Please take a minute to read this and reconsider your view. There is significant research over the past 15 years to support the view that companies with highly engaged employees have better business results than companies with low engagement ratings. Of great concern, the Gallup organization, which has been measuring the impact of Employee Engagement across thousands of companies, estimates today that only 28% of US employees are highly engaged. The impact of the disengaged is even greater on the partially engaged employees (53% on average.) The partially engaged are often swayed by the seemingly loud voices or behaviors of the disengaged, or “engagement saboteurs”, when the voice of the highly engaged is so soft. The real gain from improving engagement levels results from the shift of more partially engaged employees to highly engaged employees as this not only improves engagement levels but also mutes the voices of the disengaged. At a recent national conference on Talent Management, successful companies across the board, were placing a strong emphasis on Employee Engagement. Companies like Jim Beam, Cardinal Health and Fifth Third Bank have employee engagement as a top corporate priority along with leadership development and succession. Moreover, a recent global CEO study distributed at the conference by Deloitte indicated that Employee Engagement was in the top 3 of most pressing HR concerns. Aon/Hewitt recently reported that high employee engagement companies outperformed average market returns by 22% while low employee engagement companies underperformed by 28%. Even more compelling...

Engagement Leads to Results

Employee Engagement… is it just one of the latest “buzz words” to be tossed around in management circles? Or, is it more than that? And if so… why should you care? The reality is that workplace engagement is the core of the unwritten social contract between employers and employees. It also serves as a leading indicator of financial performance according to Gallup Management’s Jennifer Robinson. Employee engagement boosts organizational performance. More specifically it is linked to improved critical business outcomes including: increased customer ratings, higher profitability, improved productivity, better quality, reduced safety incidents, and decreased absenteeism. WHAT IS EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT? Wikipedia describes an “engaged employee” as, one who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about their work, and thus will act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests. Employee engagement is a measurable degree of an employee’s positive or negative emotional attachment to their job, colleagues and organization which profoundly influences their willingness to learn and perform at work”. Engagement can be further defined as the level to which people find satisfaction in their job, see value in doing that job, and feel appreciated while doing it. Feeling good about what you do, leads to increased performance and improved results. Job Satisfaction + Job Value + Appreciation = Engagement Critical Factors for Engagement Success Critical Factor 1: Hiring and Job Fit Having the right employees working in the right jobs, meaning employees are capable of doing the job and even more importantly wanting to do the job. To engage your workforce it is imperative to put the right persons in the right jobs Critical Factor 2: Effective Leadership...