Management Success Tip #39: The Real Reason Why Employees Are Happy The Boss Is On Vacation

Know why your employees are so happy when the Boss is on vacation? You probably think it’s because they figure they can goof off and get away with not doing work. And that may very well be true for some of them.

But if you listen to what most employees say when the Boss is absent, what you’ll hear is “Finally! I can get some work done!”

Bosses and managers are under the misapprehension that an employee will only be truly productive if said boss or manager plays “helicopter-manager,” ready to pounce on every potential mistake or unoccupied moment. Unfortunately, that kind of over-the-shoulder or email-barrage micromanaging ensures that there will be more mistakes, and more moments of pure frustration for your employee when nothing useful gets done.

Instead of managing-by-hovering, try giving clear, detailed instructions up front, and then check in with your employee with questions such as: “Is there anything you need to get this project out?” “Is there anything holding up the works?” “Any resources you are lacking?” “Anything you need from me?”

Trust that if your employee needs something to get the work done, they’ll say so. And then, your response is simple: “What can I do to help?”

Research shows, over and over again, that what employees want—beyond reasonable pay—is the opportunity to succeed at meaningful work. Give them that opportunity, and watch their productivity and your profits, soar.

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Management Success Tip #38: Use What Disneyworld Discovered About Grabbing Attention to Grab Your Employees’ Attention

When Disneyworld execs commissioned a study to find out what captured infant and toddler attention at their parks, they found out—much to their surprise–that it wasn’t the whirling rides, the glittery costumes, or the sweet-smelling treats, it was their parents’ cell-phones! Especially when the parents were chatting on their phones.

Whatever you give attention to will attract other people’s attention. For example, when you walk down the street and notice someone staring up at something, you’re likely to look up to see what they’re staring at—you and the other hundred or so people walking down the street!

It’s no different when you’re in a meeting with your team, or with a single other individual. When you’re meeting with a team, focus your undivided attention on the person you want everyone else paying attention to. Listen to them with your eyes as well as your ears. Keep your thumbs away from your handheld. Your laser-like focus will attract the team members’ attention to that individual.

Similarly, in a one-on-one, put your attention where you want the other person’s attention. If you want them to attend to your words, then look the person in the eye when you speak to them, and don’t fidget or otherwise allow yourself to be distracted. If you want to lend importance to what the other person is saying (and letting people know they are important is the very basis of appreciation and making happy employees), listen single-mindedly to what they have to say, with good eye contact and allowing nothing to distract you from their words.

Attention is powerful. Use yours well in the service of your success.

Hilton’s “Catch Me at My Best” Contest Validates Employee Value

Hilton’s “Catch Me at My Best,” a contest running through August 31 recognizing employees doing good work, is an example of how Hilton understands that valuing employees leads to higher company loyalty that will ultimately mean more company success.

I was on a business trip and saw the promotion at a Hampton Inn, one of 10 Hilton-owned brands. I was thrilled to see the effort Hilton is putting into the contest. Hilton says it’s using the contest to reinforce the values and behaviors that drive their success. That’s exactly what valuing employees does.

Catch Me at My Best enables hotel guests as well as managers and staff to recognize employees at Hilton properties for their positive acts of hospitality. Each hotel submits their “catches” and a running tally is kept online. Once the contest ends, individual employees and hotels are singled out for their good work.

Personal recognition has become very important in recruiting, retaining and motivating employees. A recent survey of 10,000 employees from Fortune 1,000 companies reveals that lack of recognition was a major reason for leaving a job. The survey results are an eye opener and should prompt every business owner to evaluate what they’re doing in their own company to recognize positive employee effort.

While Hilton understands the importance of employee appreciation and its impact on company productivity and company success, sadly, many businesses and managers don’t realize the need to appreciate their employees at all, figuring that paying them a salary is ample reward. In today’s workforce, that’s not enough. Recognition is easy, costs little or nothing but the payoff is huge.

 

Management Success Tip #37: Let Employees Know They Matter By Asking Them How!

One of the key ways of making employees happy is by letting them know they matter, that they are important in their own right, and important to the success of the company.

David Farr, CEO of Emerson Electric has a particularly innovative way of letting employees know they matter. He asks virtually everyone he encounters in his organization a brief set of questions, including:

1.) How do you make a difference?

2.) What improvement idea are you working on?

This is brilliant! These questions demonstrate an effective, powerful use of appreciation.

When you ask an employee how they make a difference, you are letting them know you think they DO make a difference. When you ask the question with genuine interest, wanting to know, from their perspective how they contribute in their day to day, you validate that employee’s work.

When you ask what improvement idea your employee is working on, you let them know that you believe they have what it takes to come up with an improvement. You’re supporting their ability and job-expertise. Not to mention encouraging them to come up with an improvement, and since the person on the job is usually the best placed to know what improvements would truly be useful, they’re likely to suggest a good one.

Appreciating your employees is a sure, easy, cost-effective way to great success in your business. Use it!

Management Success Tip #36: Use Conflict As A Success-Maker, Not A Success-Breaker!

You are going to have disagreements with those who work with and for you. It’s inevitable. If anything, disagreements are pivotal to business success and growth, because differing points of view are what spur innovation, otherwise we’d be stuck on cloning ourselves and our ideas over and boringly-over again.

However, conflict is not inevitable. Conflict occurs when disagreements get out of hand, and people fall into “I’m right, you’re wrong” as opposed to “I’m right about what I think and you’re right about what you think, let’s see what might make sense to both of us.”

So how do you deal appreciatively with a disagreement that looks like it’s morphing into conflict?

1. Take a breath
Slow down, cool your jets, suggest that one or both of you take a break.

2. Step back
Brains do not function well when you’re angry or upset. Step back from further interaction until you’ve both cooled down emotionally, so you can once again engage your brains.

3. Look at the situation from the other person’s point of view.
As challenging as it may be, this is the single most effective road to using differing points of view as reasons to succeed with your business.

We all think we’re right, and we all have reasons why we think our perspective is right. This is an opportunity for you to explore why the other person thinks their idea has merit. Genuinely, sincerely, non-defensively, ask them to describe their idea or objection or whatever it is more fully, and look for common ground within that description, something you can agree with, even if it’s something as vague as “for the good of the company.”

From common ground, even the most opposing points of view can find something positive to build on—together.