Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

Remote Workplace, HR and Employers

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

As I see it, Millennials and Gen Z are doing things differently. From going to school, studying, getting an office job, finding a partner, getting a house, having kids and living in one place the rest of your life. Times have changed. There are more options. Companies wanting to attract the largest generation living and working in the U.S understand that Millennials do things differently. Different can be a good thing.

Flexible schedules, work remote (anywhere), more open and relaxed office environments, less meetings and greater ability to openly express one’s opinion with tact. The benefits to employers are higher retention, increased productivity, business growth, happier staff, less sick days and more. Technology is also a key factor. At work and personally, these generations are focused, passionate and relentless in their pursuit of work/ life and fun…on their terms! Employers best leverage is to offer them a reason to work for them. This may run counter-intuitive to leadership’s desire to have leverage but it works!

Consider this. Millennials want to make a difference. That is paramount in their decision to stay or look for another job. Next, is competitive salary and benefits, title and the ability to move up quickly. Both generations are keen to mentoring!

Generation Z desire job stability most. Salary and benefits are important, but long-term employment is very appealing to this generation.

Seeing a difference?

As leaders,you must show and explain to management/owners that these two generations, that combined account for 140 million workers, are here to stay. Communication, understanding and cooperation on both sides are key factors attracting and retaining these talented professionals.

Bottom line: Remote working has arrived. Some people work better remotely than others and you have to take time to recognize who they are. It can grow productivity and members of all five generations in the workforce are carving the opportunity to not commute M-F. Employers who offer remote work will attract more talent, retain them and grow a culture of happier workers.

Do you work remotely? Are you loving it? Are you offering employees this option? To learn more or to set up time to chat with Scott visit http://www.scottlesnick.com/

Millennial Mania and the Next Big Productive Wave

Monday, February 4th, 2019

We’ve been hearing, talking and learning about this numerical force of nature for more than a decade.

Now parents themselves, they also hold important positions at companies, in politics and in every other aspect of our lives. They touch our daily existence and we’re better for it.

I gave a keynote to 2000 people recently and mentioned that “some of you are worn out, checked out and even grossed out by the fact that you’re getting older. Right? Yet, your ideas carry weight and your experience is essential, however there IS a new sheriff in town. Personally, I’m often the oldest dude in any room now. And my generation actually began using ‘dude’ way before recent generations.”

Are we finished talking about this group? Have we seen the last of this coddled, tenacious, and social group of 80 million? I don’t believe so. But some people are writing that 2019 is the end of the Millennial discussion. I call these folks delusional! Wishful thinkers that want things THE WAY THEY USED TO BE.

Umm, when is the last time anything stayed the same?

All generations are asking for a healthier workplace with incentives for staying fit, healthier working conditions and open communications from C-Suite to new staff.
 
And, management wants increased productivity from all generations!
 
I offer up solutions in my presentations and training. Among them is the massively important and not so new-idea of having a workplace culture that is built around communicating openly and freely at work. Ideas flow, positive cultural changes are made and workers are essentially happier, plus more productive!
 
The truth can sting. Honesty grows relationships. Open and honest communications that are respectful often lead to greater workplace productivity and staff retention.

I understand that isn’t easy for everyone. However, leaders that want to grow need to do this. Employers that want to spend less money onboarding new staff must do this. And, Boomers, Gen X and Millennials best understand the specific needs of each generation. An hour or two meeting discussing the similarities and differences can yield big dividends for everyone. It can be fun, enlightening and empowering as we begin to prepare for the next big wave-Generation Z.

As we prepare for a generation of approximately 61 million strong, it good to remember that their group size is larger than Gen X but smaller than Millennials.
They are unique (as is every generation) and some have already graduated high school and even college.  However, their way of working and living is more aligned with a “Millennials meet the Silent Generation aka WWII AKA Greatest Gen” hybrid. This means quick to learn, eager to work yet stay in one place and are more conservative with their spending.
 
Marketing professionals have been reaching out to this group for years. And, they have not forgotten Millennials in their advertising either. Over 135 million strong, these two generation offer gigantic numbers of workers, consumers and voters.
 
And, all generations want support with topics ranging mental health issues to free fruit and water; from biking to work incentives and more. Business leaders have begun to recognize the fact that happy, healthy employees mean more productive employees, regardless of generation. Having a wellness plan can also help to attract and retain the best talent.
 
The days of lumping everyone into a specific age group are fleeting but not gone. Recognizing individual talent, providing a healthy work environment and connecting them to your company’s goals through open communications are the new normal.


A workplace that has an open and positive workplace culture grows, matures and retains employees better than ones who do not. And, recognizing the similarities we have and connecting us to one another is essential in maintaining a positive and productive workplace.

What are you doing to connect generations at work? If asked, would your staff agree that your organization has an open workplace environment that creates a culture of ideas, health and is both client and employee-focused?
 
To learn more or to set up time to chat with Scott visit http://www.scottlesnick.com/

Limited Resources or Unlimited Resourcefulness: Getting More Done

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

How can we increase our productivity when confronted with limited resources? This talk proposes that we start from the understanding that resourcefulness requires consideration of multiple perspectives of the same resources. Resourcefulness follows from having the context to see something well enough to understand how we can take advantage of what otherwise might appear to be an obstacle.

Scott Lesnick exemplifies the attributes of the Never Give Up guy in many areas of his life.

Scott Lesnick at TEDx Oshkosh

Having experienced an unimaginable horror in his personal life, Scott was able to focus on his resourcefulness, despite limited resources, to bring about a positive resolution. His tenacity and persistence has shown in his personal triumphs, business successes, and having run more than 50,000 miles over 30 years.

An author and speaker known around the world, he earned the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association. In addition, Scott has 28 award-winning sales and management years at a Fortune 500 company. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

Leadership: 9 Ways to Successfully Navigate Changes, Tragedy and Triumph – Implementing the Never Give Up Perspective

Friday, March 23rd, 2018
My entry into the world of professional speaking came about when I wrote my first book Kidjacked: A Father’s Story. It told the true events that rocked my world to its foundation. You see, when my kids Jonathan and Alexandra were 4 and 2 years old they were kidnapped and taken to the Middle East by the person I trusted most- their mother, my wife Liza! Leadership was not foremost on my mind, But as it turns out, it needed to be.

Yeah, I was devastated, lost and emotionally trashed. And yet, I accomplished what few people said that could ever be done. I located them, came up with a less than fool proof plan and eventually was successful in getting them home to America! And, I had the honor and pleasure of raising them…except for a few moments in the teenage years!

Today, my kids are grown, I’ve remarried and with the extraordinary help of my fantastic wife Meg, we raised two wonderful adults.

Today’s world is filled with horrific stories.
It’s difficult to pick up a paper, read an article online or talk to a coworker without discussing a school shooting, another woman being harassed or worse at work or cyber or personal bullying.

Okay, the bury our head in the sand approach is not working. And, we complain, almost in unison that this and that must end. Today! Yet, it all continues, we feel helpless and there often appears to be no end in sight. It requires individual leadership.

Feeling like crap, are you? Well, happily there IS something you and I can do. I learned it many years ago and I call it The Never Give Up Perspective.

Here’s how it works.
Are you old enough to remember when seat belts were often not worn in cars? No laws required it. How about drinking and driving? Smoking on airplanes? Same sex marriage? Legalized Marijuana? Laws, laws and more laws! So, how does change professionally and personally take root and grow into a movement and more? Here’s how change works and keeps going:

  1. Communication
  2. Sharing information
  3. Getting mad
  4. Losing someone/something you loved
  5. Doing something. Speaking up/speaking out
  6. Be brave
  7. Realizing that whatever you’re aiming for takes time
  8. Building a base of support
  9. Never ever under any circumstances giving up!

You have something(s) you’re passionate about at work. Something that MUST change.

We all do. Be that voice. Be brave. Know that others feel the same way and are looking for a leader to support.
You’ve seen the ugly in life. You’ve seen the inappropriate in the workplace. The leader is you. The first move is yours.

Moms got MAD and driving while drunk laws changed.

People did not want others smoking on the plane and in restaurants/bars. Laws were enacted.

People wanted people to marry whomever they choose. Laws were changed.

Seatbelts-new laws

Inappropriate behavior in the workplace- laws, regulations and PEOPLE being brave and speaking up!

Kids kidnapped– Moved forward, fell down many times and never gave up. So, did all of the women and men who made the changes above.

Safer gun laws that protect our children and citizens… Perhaps closer then we think!

As humans we’re often quick to complain, quick to judge and slow to react.
History shows us that it is often the act of 1 person that begins to move a cause or action at work or in society forward. A brave woman in Selma. A brave man in San Francisco, a group of mothers and more!

Please, don’t wait for that women to come forward. Don’t watch to see which man will speak up. Instead, be that person that so many are waiting for. It always begins with a single voice. Perhaps yours.

#METOO, gun violence, workplace harassment, bullying, cyber shaming. How do you deal with these things? Do you speak out against this and more?
Are you willing to be THAT voice of change professionally and personally? We’re counting on you! We counting on your leadership, communications and guidance.

Interested in having me speak at an upcoming event? Let’s chat.

Want more productivity tips?

Read my monthly blogs to get tips and tricks on increasing productivity, improving communication, and living your best life  – http://scottlesnick.com/blog/

Scott Lesnick is a popular keynote speaker, author and trainer.
Learn more at www.scottlesnick.com

Igniting Your Productivity with Great Leadership

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018
Productivity is essential to maintaining growth.

2018 is going to be filled with buzz words like:
Artificial Intelligence (I know a few folks who seem to have this!)
Dark Data– Collected information that organizations have yet seldom use
Millennials– Their power (75 + million) is increasing and they will have a voice and say in everything from politics to business!

The list is vast. The U.S. is changing as it always does and regardless of your politics, productivity demands remain constant.

 

Professionally and personally we are tasked with a difficult chore. One that never goes away. Our jobs desire/demand higher productivity. Our management, nicely or not, are always looking at us to grow our productivity. And, our lives outside of work don’t necessarily stand for a decrease in productivity either. Hell, it’s a miracle that we keep it together so well MOST of the time!

 

Each of us desires higher productivity especially when face with limited resources or significant change. Isn’t this something that we face every day in business?

 

So, what’s getting in our way? What are these barriers that attempt to thwart high productivity?

 

To begin with, it could be that eternal quest to increase sales, grow profits &/or have better communications between departments. It could be limited budgets, understaffed companies or even slackers!

 

It can be a lack of resources, limited budgets or navigating significant change.

 

And, I see businesses and speak to C-level executives that are still managing their staff like it is the 1940’s-50’s! Of course, this is going to change but it’s taking too long. They’re killing retention, reducing employee morale and cutting into their profits.

In my new keynote, I address this and much more with an idea:
In order to truly resolve this problem, achieve our goals and increase our productivity, we must understand that resourcefulness/ingenuity requires considering multiple angles/perspectives of the same resources.

Resourcefulness comes from having the context/ability to see things well enough to understand how you can use what otherwise appeared to be a constraint.

All these ways we’re trying to grow our productivity aren’t necessarily solving the actual problem.

Your sharing of information and open communications increases productivity. Yet, some of us want to hoard it like it’s the winning Powerball ticket!

Dark Data– please consider the steps that you can take a work to increase the open sharing of information, context and perspectives.

AI– Company information and communications will once again be shared via messenger apps. The new generation messages will provide a more cohesive platform for staff, management and C-level to share, compare and report. And, companies in the AI marketplace will now offer systems to do mundane work, freeing up employees to focus on the more critical projects that use their talent and grow productivity.

Millennials – Look, I’ve been preaching for years now. I hope that my words have reached you. The future of our jobs, your success and productivity depends, in great part, to this generation. 75 million plus, passionate, progressive and poised women and men positioned to lead this country in business, politics, science and much more for the next 50+ years.

What are you doing to increase your workplace productivity? Are you working in an environment that shares information, has open doors and encourages employees to share even between departments? Are leaders helping or getting in your way?

Will you assist in the transformation from sharing information when necessary to sharing information at all times in an effort to grow workplace productivity, increase employee satisfaction and grow staff retention?
Scott Lesnick is a keynote speaker, trainer and author.
Learn more at: www.scottlesnick.com

They’re Here… Again! Part 1 of Generation Z

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Several years ago I became unpopular. Yes, I did what I always do. I stirred things up. This time it was the generational pot.

Five years ago, Millennials were a bad word. Five years ago, I would get my fair share of crap from some attendees as I began to do what few were doing at the time- flying Millennials’ flags high, showing why they were so important and upsetting Boomers and Xers along the way.

Today, their leadership can be seen at businesses and associations across North America.

Thankfully, most folks would begin to see things as I saw them. I’d even have women and men come up to me after I presented and thank me for helping them understand their unique talents, characteristics and motivation.

Well, it’s that time again folks. But this time it’s Millennials on steroids mixed with a healthy dose of the generation preceding Boomers- The Vets aka -The Greatest Generation.

The iGen, Generation Z, Globals; this generation ranges in age from 7-21 years of age. And they are massive in numbers at around 84 million in the US. They’re productivity and work ethic is great, once you get to know them.

A few things to keep in mind when working with this generation are:

  • They love their technology.

Generation Z was born just before the age of smart phones and grew up using them. Don’t take them away. This is their life line. The employer who works with this information is better positioned to retain these passionate young women and men.

  • College – sure, but not the way you necessarily want us to.

Globals aka Generation Z, have seen the debt that their siblings, parents, and others have accumulated to get a 2-4 year degree and they’re scared. They’re also angry.

The thought that tens of thousands of dollars must be spent along with high interest rate debt is more than just upsetting.

So, some are opting to go from high school to the workplace while earning their degree online or during evenings/weekends.

They may not come to you with a college degree, but they’ll most likely get one and it will be their way.

The employer who understands this newer trend will be poised to hire and retain a young and talented pool of employees.

  • This generation is more conservative when it comes to job security.

They’ve heard about downsizing. They’ve listened as family members described the struggles of 2008. They’re cautious and desire job stability. Offer this, and you’re more likely to retain them and get their friends to consider working for you too!

The iGen are poised to rock the economy, the workplace and our lives. If you’re ready you have a distinct advantage. If you welcome them, you will be adding a new layer of young talent to your staff. However, if you wait on the sidelines to see what they’re all about, if they’ve “got game” and will perform well, your competitors will pass you by in a blink of an eye.

 

Scott Lesnick is a keynote speaker, trainer and author.

Learn more at: www.scottlesnick.com

The Productivity Fix

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

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In my new keynote, I share the not-so-secret information that sometimes slows our productivity and offer up powerful solutions that are quite effective in increasing it.

It’s feels like the more effort we put in place to increase our productivity, the more hurdles pop up in an attempt to slow our progress.

Leadership, open communications and the ability to be resourceful are essential.

The problem is that constraints get in our way and limited resources only add to a decline in productivity. And, we’re often scrambling to keep our workload from getting the best of us.

There’s little doubt the each of us wants higher productivity, not less, when faced with these constraints.

It can affect any and all departments and all positions in the company as well. From leaders and management to first year employees.

Sometimes, we’re aware of the barriers and other times not so much. But, it’s this desire to remove them that is essential to growing productivity, retaining employees and growing workplace satisfaction.

Think about what’s at stake

Sales, marketing, production, admin, HR, IT, company initiatives and more have the opportunity to receive and deliver more information if they can identify the staff that could benefit from it.

Our customers benefits too, because the sharing of information that is not secret or proprietary can increase sales, inventory and margins.

Resourcefulness is essential in increasing productivity as history shows us repeatedly.

Too often, we recognize and even complain about the resources we don’t have. We’re quick to point out what’s not working or why we cannot produce like we used to produce.

The answer is based on studies for my new book, 28 years in corporate America and workplace observations, both inside and on the streets, where deals are made and lost.

Think about Gates and Allen. They began with Traf-O-Data. It read and processed traffic tapes but was too expensive for municipalities. They failed.

But Paul Allen and Bill Gates of Microsoft fame took inventory of the resources they had, looked at multiple perspectives of these resources and focused on microprocessors.

These efforts would eventually lead them to an inexpensive desktop computer that ran on microprocessors for much less then what was available.

Today Bill Gates is worth $70 billion and Paul Allen $20 billion. That’s leadership and productivity!

To increase our workplace productivity we must consider multiple perspectives of the same resource.

Doing this while sharing information with coworkers and different departments at work will:

1-Give you an advantage over your competition

2- Increase productivity

3- Grow employee retention

What are you going to do to assist your teams to increase their productivity?

 

Scott Lesnick is an international speaker and author. Learn more at www.scottlesnick.com

Leadership, Staff and Workplace Excellence

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

The pendulum has swung back in favor of workers. Businesses are hiring, unemployment is hovering around 5.5%  or less and workers understand that there are many more work options available. Retention is always an issue and now you have to fight hard to keep your best from jumping ship – a right they have and will exercise when appropriate.

Our competition is stronger than ever. Our business goals increase yearly but the leaders with unhappy staff will lose them in the blink of an eye.

New hires understand that the options are out there and will make up their mind within 30 days of starting a job how long they plan on staying.

You ain’t got much time to make them satisfied, comfortable and committed. Great leadership is essential!

Excellence comes from more employee training, a watchful eye on their wants, needs and desires and an overall feeling that they matter and that you care.

When I conduct breakout sessions, I often include an activity that allows us to “deep dive” into issue. Sure I can present but a room full of talent can always come up with more ideas, thoughts and recommendations than one person can offer.

Here is what I learned at three different conferences I presented at last summer about what employees want. I’ve shortened the list down to seven. They are:

  • Training, training and more training. The reason- more knowledge, better opportunity for advancement & improved skills.
  • Cross Training– They want to better understand what others at the same company do and how it affects their role. Plus, they may find an area of the company that they are better suited for.
  • Employee recognition- Sure, you remember when we did more of that! Well, they want it to come back. Gas cards, bonus, lunch. Employees need to hear that they matter, make a difference and are an integral part of your team.
  • Ask them. Asking for feedback and input grows trust and builds relationships. Plus, great ideas can come from anyone at work but you have to ask.
  • Cross mentoring. Attendees have convinced me that mentoring not only works, it moves projects and employees along faster. Because we are now seeing Boomers & Xers specifically working with Millennials and the results are mostly very positive. Millennials can offer fresh perspectives, are a whiz with technology and are fast learners. Older generations have plenty of experience and are often in a higher profile position. Legacies are left by those in their forties and up, mentees advance faster than those who are not mentored and succession planning is stronger as a result.
  • Humor me. Lighten up, lose the “boss” attitude and come down to our level. Today’s best leaders understand that relationships increase productivity, grow business and make for a ‘lower stress’ work environment. No laughter, no fun, no appreciation. Where would you rather work?
  • Social gatherings. We understand that outside of work people let their hair down and tend to relax. Some more than others! New bonds are formed, relationships grow and leaders show their ‘off site’ personality. When offered and organized, the results can be tremendous and the cost to benefit ratio low!

Excellence in anything requires dedication, assistance and time. Today’s leaders lead from the sideline, in the trenches and wherever they can to be effective.

How do you lead?download (1)

Successfully Navigating Change in the Workplace

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

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Human Resource is described as: the department of a business or organization that deals with the hiring, administration, and training of personnel.

Sure, but add the words human beings to the definition and it takes on a multitude of layers that can resemble a three dimensional game of chess! And change can cost billions!

 

When I decided to speak on change I quickly realized that this topic bridged the professional and personal lives of employees. After all, we’ve all been faced with change and understand all to well that it can sometimes be difficult at best.

Thankfully, 28 years of helping others navigate change at a Berkshire Hathaway Fortune 500 company gave me insight I share with groups from coast to coast.  As HR professionals, we’re called upon by Ceo’s, Presidents, first year employees and everyone in between to assist in various levels of change. I call it “Fractured Time” because it depletes energy, decreases productivity and places fear into otherwise strong workers.

 

 

Happily, I found many women and men who were able to navigate change and even thrive during difficult times. Here’s how they did it.

  1. Eliminating Fear

Think it’s easy, we’ll guess again. I’ve seen giants fall to change and $35,000 a year employees navigate it so well they received promotions.

I began to notice that those who understood that changed occurred all the time were much better equipped to make it through unscathed. One person described it this way.

“Today, we’re facing this direction and next week we’ll be facing another direction. What’s important Scott is that we continue to face in the direction our company is in and make personal adjustments along the way.”

So true. How about you? The great unknown that fear places upon us will slow you down to a crawl if allowed. Change occurs and we can do little to stop it. However, we can do much to increase our chances of making it through the change. Begin with eliminating fear. Make it your friend. Come to some sort of agreement. Okay fear, I acknowledge you exist but I’m in control! Successful women and men know this. Sure, it bothers them and makes work/life interesting. The key is in how we choose to deal with it.

 

  1. Personally Speaking

We face change at home all the time. It can follow us to work in our car or on the train. Pretending it doesn’t matter won’t make it go away. Dealing with it will.

Someone once said- We speak about someday dealing with that or someday dealing with the change that’s glaring us in the face when someday isn’t even a day of the week!

Our complex lives leave little time for relaxation. Is there a way to gain back some precious time that runs through our hands like sand?

Once again, our ability to confront change head on and deal with it can bring the most positive results. These include: More time for you. More time to give to others and the change that was staring you in the face just a day ago is now a thing of the past. Ahhhhhh…..

And of course, you squashed the fear and succeeded. Way to go!

 

 

  1. The Payoff- The Secret

DYK? Managers, bosses and companies are always watching our performance. Duh! We’re all graded on it and given raises and promotions, in part for our good performance.

Most of us answer to someone with a higher position at work. At the end of the day we go home and become the non-work us leaving that world behind. Our lives are full, we need some rest and then it’s back to work in the morning.

At the office, change affects us, connects us and sometimes directs us. If you’re looking for a promotion, if you like receiving that yearly raise, if you’d like to stay employed than you have a distinct advantage over others. Remember what I mentioned above? There is a direct correlation between perception and advancement. If your manager remembers your Ninja-like skill of successfully navigating change you will be looked upon as a savior. Why? Because, you made a difficult situation pertaining to change easier for them to navigate. And, trust me; they also remember the staff that did not assist them as well. They complained- a lot. They couldn’t handle it well. They poisoned those around them.

In the meantime, YOU kept it together. YOU successfully navigated change. YOU are the one that will be remembered as opportunities arise.

Was it easy? Heck no! Did you make it? Heck yes. Are you better for having done so?

YES, yes you are!

 

5 Reasons Those Damn Millennial’s… Rock!

Monday, April 13th, 2015

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I got lucky when I decided to build a presentation on the 4 to 5 generations currently in the workplace. The topic was hot, the generations unique and Millennials (of course) were getting trashed.

Sure there were some reason for concern, but I would point out to hundreds of attendees they had it wrong. Gasp!

As a baby boomer I remember hearing from previous generations that MY generation wouldn’t amount to much. No work ethic, etc. Checking the scorecard I see that these predictions were incorrect. We’re so quick to criticize younger generations, but each one has done a great job at helping us move forward collectively. Millennials are doing the same!

  • Do you use Facebook? The dude who started it is a Millennial! Okay, that was too easy. But, they are the most tech savvy. They’re eager to learn. This is good!

 

  • They learn quickly. This is great. Their eagerness to grow is part of their culture. Plus, they are the #1 generation in the US AND the #1 generation in the workforce.

 

  • They are far more diverse than previous generations. Plus, more come from single-parent homes, blended families, and families with same sex parents than ever before. This is a fact! And, Millennials are pro women. They work to live not live to work.

 

  • NOT TRUE! Contrary to popular belief this generations does like to work, they simply approach it from a different angle. Many are dependable, innovative and open to trying creative ways of completing tasks. They are social, willing to be mentored and YES they want an opportunity for growth/advancement.
  • Look ahead. Jerks come in all colors, shapes and sizes. So do managers! Thankfully, the same can be said of nice people! Already making a huge impact, todays Millennials are going to be running major companies in 5-10 years. How you treat those younger than you might have an impact on your paycheck. Treat people well because they remember! Treat people poorly and…..