Posts Tagged ‘communications’

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

Com-mu-ni-ca-tion: The KEY to Productivity, Job Satisfaction and Retention

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Com-mu-ni-ca-tion:

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Com-mu-ni-ca-tion: The KEY to Productivity, Satisfaction and Retention

Why is this not task completed?

How come you aren’t you getting MORE done?

Why am I a crappy manager? Oops, scratch that one!

The many benefits of my decades in corporate America and now as a professional speaker are the lessons I learn from leaders. This includes what TO do and what NOT to do with regards to great communications with your staff.

Surprisingly and appreciated by yours truly were men and women at several recent conferences I presented at who had admitted to me that they strive to communicate better but either don’t know how or don’t have the time.

Here are Scott’s 7 tips to better communications with everyone. Please remember that when used properly, great stuff happens. The stuff I’m referring to includes, but is not limited to the title above.

  • Listen- Your staff has things to share. Things you need to know. But if you’re TOO busy then…
  • Access- What do they need, how can you assist? What else can I do to move them forward?
  • Open that door- I am honored that folks share so many professional and personal stories with me because I learn and grow. I have learned that some staff/employees feel that you’re difficult to approach or that you will yell at them. So, they don’t bother and productivity suffers.
  • Two Minute Drill- Listen and help your staff understand how and why what they’re doing matters, who it affects and the outcomes it will produce. Or, as one C-level put it-“I need to shut the hell up and let them talk. Then, my words are more helpful; I can assist in some way and reassure them that they are heading in the right direction.”
  • Big Pic- Employees (especially Millennials) want to understand the big picture, how they are involved and what the desired outcomes are. The days of holding back information have passed. It’s sharing time!
  • Dampening ones enthusiasm- Or DOE lowers productivity, lowers retention and more. Today’s workplace currency is great communications! Spread it and watch the positive growth in your department, your workplace and your world.
  • Want to make a bet? If you think the six tips above are lame, don’t work or are “above” you, then please ask yourself this one question.

How do I want those in my professional and personal life to communicate with me?

 

Yeah, I thought so. You get it!

 

Scott Lesnick is a Professional speaker and author

Learn more at www.scott lesnick.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Politics, Religion and Pizza

Monday, August 15th, 2016

 

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Today’s insight focuses on an important part of our fabric It’s calling again and again and will we’re able to ignore it for a while; its power can overtake us in a moment of weakness.

Sure, I’m talking pizza-hot or cold! But what’s my pizza got to do with this political and religious stuff you lead with, Scott?

Well, the stuff that fills a person’s soul on the first two issues used to be something we mostly kept to ourselves. Many still do, but there has been an increasing attempt from many in the last, say, 15 years to tell you how to think and what to believe.

Before this, we had little care of our family and friends’ political views. We just wanted to get along. Religion and politics was discussed and mostly forgotten during holiday meals.

Not so in 2016.

Today, folks want to tell you who to vote for, which religion, if any is the best and won’t like you as much if you disagree.

I mean would you ever tell someone which ingredients to put on their pizza? I mean, would you! Hell no, that’s against the laws of…..um….PIZZA!

Today’s workplace is filled with passion, purpose and people with opinions. Important, yes but we tend to push the line of personal beliefs and choice more than ever.

So here are 5 ways to stay friends, grow relationships and not get punched!

  • Hey, your political opinion is you own. Please keep it to yourself unless asked. We have our own thought process and are able to navigate things just fine. We got to work today all by ourselves didn’t we?
  • Religion is all over the place. More than politics. So, SHHHHHHHH. People don’t really care where you are on this topic. If they do ask, than it’s open season to chat.
  • Remember 1 & 2 because it can save you a relationship or 3!
  • Listen, respect and acknowledge statements even if they are different than yours. You want the same, right? Ha, trick question – I knew you did!
  • Lastly, pizza. You like anchovies and barbecue sauce. I don’t. It’s okay because I ain’t even going to try and convince you to try my delicious black olive and onion ZA. Why would I?

Yet, we sometimes think that we can sway political and religious opinions over a cup of coffee or adult beverage.

Work and life are fun, challenging and full of twist and turns. And speaking of turns, I know this great pizza joint that make thin crispy crust with great sauce too.

Care to join me? We can discuss….sports?

 

Scott Lesnick is a high content speaker and author. Learn more at www.scottlesnick.com

Stop Wasting Talent-Part-2

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

Alright, we left off on a good note. I asked:

Your job is rewarding and challenging. This applies to you to. Are you happy? Are you looking? Are you doing a little extra to make sure you don’t lose valuable employees? Okay then, work it!

Several kind readers have shared privately the challenges they face with public vs. private sector staff. The public sector has less money to keep its talent and the private sector is also stretched thin as money to retain good employees is often not a high priority.

So, what are some of the top ways of keeping YOU happy? How do we make sure You stay put? Besides money, what can we offer YOU that help bring real value in your professional and personal life?

With my teams I made a point of doing some of the following.  I wish I knew about all of these.

Armed with this knowledge you’ll have a stronger chance of utilizing, cultivating and keeping talent. Not in order of most important to least because each of us is unique!

  • Train Us– Right below money rest two very important wants. Employees understand that training makes them better, grows knowledge and understanding and increase opportunities for advancement.
  • I Belong!-Feeling like you contribute, matter and make a difference is huge. Being recognized in the hallway matters too. Don’t pass up a chance to chat with your staff. If YOU don’t feel this are you going to consider looking for another position?
  • Information Share– Let your employees in on what’s going on. Let them feel part of the process. Also, allow them easy access to top management so that they can present Thoughts, ideas and even concerns.
  • Recognize a Job Well Done-From first year to seasoned veteran we desire praise and often pick up our game after receiving it. And, giving/receiving praise has a positive chemical reaction in the brain and body! Appreciation is VERY important!
  • Job security- Employees from 21-88 need to know/feel that their job is waiting for them when they arrive every morning. Just a hint that it doesn’t will have them looking from work elsewhere. And in a strong job market the opportunities rest firmly in their court.
  • Kind, tactful and helpful guidance and criticism- The emotional well-being of employee’s matters and it should matter to all managers. As adults, we want to be treated with respect regardless of title and position. Kindness, humor and constructive guidance are far more effective than brute force and a crappy attitude.

 

  • Open the door-let ‘em in- Sir Paul McCartney had it right. Being included and feeing part of what is making the company tick matters to many employees. And, they often bring valuable insight that can be the catalyst to further grow and prosperity for individuals and the company.

 

Working is an honor, privilege and a necessity. 28 years at a Berkshire Hathaway Fortune 500 company and speaking from coast to coast have taught me the value of each of us. Collectively, we have a greater chance of meeting goals, exceeding expectations and having some fun in the process. THIS is what successful companies and great managers strive for. Are you part of this awesome team or do you need to make some changes?

 

Scott Lesnick is a keynote speaker, consultant and author of Kidjacked-A Father’s Story.

Check him out at www.scottlesnick.com

Roses Are Blue

Monday, August 10th, 2015

 

 

 

 

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As Leaders, we all know the importance of compromise in our professional and personal lives.

Without it, things fall apart quickly. With it, opportunity improves and progress is made albeit sometimes slowly with challenges along the way.

However, your ego can get in the way along with personal feelings. Susan knows this first hand.

As a C-level executive, she has seen a lot and been through even more. At a recent conference she shared with me one of the reasons she beat the odds and rose to the top – not only as a woman but as a mother, wife and dedicated employee.

“Many managers around me were working towards the same goals as I was; climbing the corporate ladder. Leadership was in our blood. Most of them didn’t succeed. Time after time I would sit and watch as good people around me self-destructed, gave up or moved on. It wasn’t confidence or lack of ability that slowed them down or ended their careers; it was their desire to compromise.”

She explained, “People respect compromise Scott. They also appreciate it especially if you’re on different sides of an issue. They hate and I mean HATE those who are inflexible. Communication is so very important.”

“This is nothing new,” I replied. “Compromise has lead to many great accomplishments for thousands of years. What’s the key to reaching compromise and avoiding an impasse?”

“Well, it begins with repeating the other person(s) goals, demands, and desires back to them in a succinct manner,” Susan continued. “The key is making sure that each side understands what is at stake as well as the position of the each party involved. People who are not flexible lose in the long run. Those who can grit it out with less emotion and more productive dialogue win!”

“What does it matter the color of a rose? Red, yellow, pink. We can dye them to fit any occasion-even blue. Compromise allows conversations to move forward. Solutions are often reached and both sides can feel a sense of victory. Without this, you end up at an impasse,” she explained.

“That can cause ill will, lack of progress and a decrease in overall productivity and efficiency. No one needs that!” she concluded.

What are your challenges at work? Do you look for compromise and lead well or do you say it’s my way or the highway?

 

 

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!

 

Saying NO to Get to YES!

Monday, April 20th, 2015

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Since birth we’ve been taught that no means no. So ingrained into our psyche, we hear the word and often back down. Yes, there are absolutely times when no is NO!

As adults, we adjust realizing that no can have many meanings. In sales it can mean not now. In leadership and management the same holds true. And, it spans all generations.

However, saying no can bring you to yes because it is an attention getter and has been our entire life. It can also give you time, space and freedom. That’s a YES!

As I speak around the country, people will confide that they’re afraid of saying no while others, state with pride, that they say no too much.

Going off the basic premise that we all like to receive yes’s try these techniques to turn your no’s into yes!

I have had many people contact me with stories of how this has changed their life, increased productivity and captured back some of their precious time. This idea is not new, but we need to be reminded of its power to enable us to gain back control in our hectic lives.

  • Eliminate fear. Not easy to do, but the results are often better than you realize. The issue is that we often convince ourselves of a horrific outcome before we try. Thankfully, we are often wrong. Saying no challenges others to come up with a different, better approach or leave you the heck alone. Win-win!
  • Practice makes When you begin to embrace the power that comes with saying no, you’ll notice that you have more time. That’s true at work, home and relationships that bring you down. Understanding that we balance when we say no with our needs, wants and desires.
  • Yes’s naturally grow in frequency because as stated above we are wired to want to hear yes. This is much more than an experiment, it works. To increase your chances of receiving a yes try following your NO with the word however or but.

It sounds like this:

I understand that you’d like me to work on this project however I have three that I am working on right now that have strict deadlines. Which one would you like me delay so that I can work on this for you? Or, Sue has asked me to complete these projects but if you’d like to ask her to choose which of these I should stop, I’d certainly work on this for you. Chances are the person(s) asking you have no idea what is on your plate. You just told them without being nasty and often will not have more piled on your desk.

 

And that’s just at work. Saying no in your personal life has rewards too. The biggest, being more time for you to do that which means the most. Saying no increases your time allotment that is to be guarded tightly.

 

Remember, like any form of exercise this takes practice. Start off small with those you trust and build.