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Why Psychological Safety Matters at Work - Heather R Younger

By Heather Younger | Jun 21, 2022 | Comments Off

 

Why Psychological Safety

Matters at Work

 

The term “Psychological Safety” was coined by Amy Edmonson in her book Fearless Organizations. It has gained much popularity, but I want to enlighten you as to why it’s critical to employee retention and dramatically minimizing the impacts of the Great Resignation in your workplace.

 

Before “psychological safety” was known to many, the concept of “safe spaces” was created. It started out on college campuses as a way to ensure that those who were in marginalized groups could feel safe to talk about things like microaggressions and why they felt unsafe being themselves on campus. Physical spaces were created where they could come and be free from poor and discriminatory treatment or language. Over the years, this concept is more broadly applied to anyone at work, not just those in marginalized groups. Now, it applies to things like:

 

  • Do we feel safe in the broadest term to be our full selves in all environments?
  • Are we comfortable with being the dissenting opinion in a room?
  • Do we feel ridiculed when we voice our perspectives?
  • When we open up with different ideas, are those ideas applauded or looked down upon?
  • How physically safe do we feel?
  • Is my voice heard and acted upon at all?
  • Do people at work frown on how my cultural differences impact my thinking?
  • Do we fear that we are being or will be harassed or threatened at work?

 

This list goes on and on and is at the center of why people choose to quit their jobs. How we answer these questions for ourselves determines whether or not we feel “safe” or even psychologically safe. Would you stay very long in a place where you did not feel such safety? Given this backdrop, it is critical for organizations to create psychological safety for employees if we want to retain them.

 

Below are some ways for you to create psychological safety in your workplace, whether remote or on-site, and minimize the chances that a lack of “safety” will be a driving factor for employee turnover:

 

1. Make Every Space a Safe Space


I’d like to challenge our thinking on the idea that we need just one “space” or just one “moment in time” to create psychological safety. While my firm works with organizations on facilitating listening sessions and in employee survey strategy, the end goal will always be to create a foundation of trust so that many moments and every space (virtual or not) can be safe. Organizational leaders must commit to make every one-on-one, hallway interaction, team meeting, or group meeting feel safe. You want people opening up and even having respectful debates in the open rather than leaning into the divisiveness of whispers and hidden agendas. Promote this in your words and in your actions, in what you support and what you put your resources behind.

Every space should be a safe space for it to be long-lasting.

 

2. Commit to Consistent Organizational Listening

Every organization should have an organizational listening strategy to be sure they are listening “Above Organization” as well between people and between team members and customers. When you listen in this way, you are able to see the aggregate, the trends, and signs of discontent. It also helps organizational leaders recalibrate strategic direction as a way to own talent management outcomes. What we don’t know can definitely hurt us. Organizational leaders who are focused on listening as a key to achieve desired outcomes will minimize the “Great Resignation” dilemma. Those who feel heard and see the action behind their request are much more likely to want to stay with that employer. Would you want to leave a place that listens to you and takes action on your voice?

 

3. Train Everyone on What Not to Do


It’s one thing to want to create more psychological safety at work and want to make every space safe. It’s another thing to ensure that everyone knows how to do that and what it looks like in practice. It is incumbent upon the senior leaders to educate and provide opportunities for all team members to learn what are right things to do and what are the wrong things to do to create safe spaces where people feel like they can be themselves, open up to tell their truth, present dissenting ideas and so on. This should be mandatory training that has at its base, roundtables and open dialogue. This is inclusiveness in a more expansive light. What makes everyone at work feel most safe whether they are in the office or behind a Zoom screen?

 

4. Enforce Your Norms and Values


Make sure to review and recreate your organizational norms to be sure that everyone knows what is acceptable, include a diverse set of employees from all areas and levels in the organization to come up with these norms so that they are representative. Also, be sure to have some enforcement mechanisms in place for when team members inevitability overstep the acceptable practices. Along these lines, be sure to give a little grace as you transition as everyone will be learning a new way to show up. This is not a journey to perfection, but rather a journey to getting better for the good of the whole.

 

5. Reward Their Courage


You have heard that it’s much more effective to reward good behavior than punish bad behavior, right? When we are thinking about making every space a safe space, we will need to be more intentional in pointing out, behind closed doors and in larger meetings, when someone presents a counter idea and our appreciation for their doing so. So much of the fear that comes with the lack of psychological safety stems from environments where people either don’t notice when someone raises their hand with a different view or say nothing about it. 

Additionally, if you are the most senior person in the room, you may need to use it as an opportunity to point out the kind of thinking that you value, but recognizing the person or people who speak up. Side note: With those who are really shy or have social anxiety, you might want to chat with them one-on-one first to gain their buy-in to bring the idea up in the group setting. Otherwise, they might be horrified to have to defend their view in the larger group, especially if they don’t think they will get your support. Reward their courage with encouragement and guidance. They will never forget it.

 

 

As many organizations are grappling with high employee turnover and deciding whether virtual or hybrid work is here to stay, workplaces that can create psychological safety and overarching safe spaces for team members will win the talent race. Your commitment to differentiating your employer brand in the ways I described above will make all the difference in whether your people want to stay or want to go, fast!

__________________________

 

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Learn From Your Wins. Watch Diana's Inspiring Innovation Video

By Diana Kander | Jun 06, 2022 | Comments Off

 

I want to share with you some research that was done with basketball coaches that had really close games.

They either won or lost by two or four points. When they would lose close games, the coaches would change everything about how they approach the game. What they did in practice, what plays they ran, even what positions the team played. Alternatively, the coaches that won by two or four points, they changed nothing.
 
Statistically, both of these coaches performed the exact same. Both of them did about half of the things correctly and half of the things could have been done better. Yet when we win, we don't stop and say what could have gone better.
 
So here is a little innovation trick-question to continuously ask:
 
How do we learn from the wins?
 
Everybody has their action reviews when things go horribly bad or we lose a big job. We say "get everybody in the room, let's talk about what happened". But it could be as close on the ones you win. There could be 40 or 50% of the things that you did that could have gone better. When we don't examine the wins, we end up missing huge opportunities to improve.

 

To learn more about creating a lasting impact at your next event, connect with us here.

 

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Payroll Industry Transformation - 40th Annual Payroll Congress

By Mike Walsh | Jun 03, 2022 | Comments Off
 
CEO of Tomorrow, entrepreneur and the keynote speaker for the 40th Annual Payroll Congress, Mike Walsh brings "a futuristic vision" to the world of payroll as highlighted in Congress Today.
 
He emphasizes that employees are on the verge of seeing complete transformation in their industry, and offers tools to navigate through the upcoming changes. 
 
Mike brings awareness to diverse industries such as payroll, by educating attendees with insights on AI to future-proof the workplace. His engaging and energizing speeches will leave you ready to take on the changes with confidence. 
 
Walsh believes that agility, adaptability and resilience have led us to find that digital transformation has changed to digital delivery. It is a key feature in the workplace that is required to stay relevant in this day and age. 
 
Contact us about booking Mike to help educate your field today!
 
Mike-Walsh-Futurist-Speaker

The Problem You Have, But Don't Know You Have by Mike Rayburn

By Mike Rayburn | May 25, 2022 | Comments Off

 

Every organization deals with it to greater or lesser degrees.

Chances are you don’t even realize it.

It moves silently, unseen, mostly undetected.

It creeps in slowly over time.

It can act like the Mob in Vegas, quietly skimming a little off the top everywhere, slowly depleting life, morale and resources.

Or it can be bold and unapologetically malevolent.

It finds it’s footing in:

  • Routine
  • Old Thinking
  • the Complacency of Success,
  • (most egregiously) That’s the way we’ve always done it” reasoning.

So… what is this silent killer of dreams, growth and problems?

Stagnation

Stagnant morale, stagnant creation and innovation, stagnant sales, stagnant growth, and stagnant execution.

I spent a fair amount of time considering what problem I solve for both organizations and individuals… and my conclusion is “Stagnation.”  

This is precisely why everything I do for groups and individuals always comes down to this postulate:

Look at what is, and ask what if?

When you look at your processes, your products or services, the environment around you, your marketplace, your community and even world events, and ask, “What IF?” you open up manifold possibilities and opportunities every time!

For organizations…

When you look at your teams, your sales, your innovation, your execution, and your morale, where do you see stagnation?

Do your people feel excited most of the time? Or do they go through the same motions they always have?

You might need to observe for a while to catch it, but it’s almost always there.

As an individual…

  • Are you passionate about your life, or are you enduring it?
  • Are you living what you love, or going through the motions?
  • Are you powering forward, or coasting?
  • Do you feel alive? Or indifferent?

For your events…

  • Are your events exciting, energetic and transformational?
  • Or are they predictable and dull?

3 Ways to Cure Stagnation... through my keynote and resources… by elevating, innovating and transforming! (… and making everyone laugh a lot!)

This is what Kimberly and I do for individuals… cure stagnant lives by igniting passion, uncaging truest self-expression, and foster living by design rather than by default in our “What IF Weekend” un-retreats.

So… How can I help?

Let’s talk about it.

Action step…

Where is your life or business stagnant?

What if you could do exactly what you’ve imagined, how would you?

 

Mike-Rayburn-Keynote-Speaker

4 Keys to Make Habits Stick by Stacey Hanke

By Stacey Hanke | May 16, 2022 | Comments Off

 

Repetition creates automation. Getting better at anything requires deliberate practice.

Think about the hours one might spend at basketball practice, shooting hoops and mastering drills. These skills eventually become automatic. The same is true for you! We all want to be influential, but few deliberately practice communication skills until they stick.

When we practice, actions become habit and the brain no longer needs to get involved. The body can automatically complete an action while allowing your brain to focus on the strategic aspects of a conversation – not the delivery. Deliberate practice requires feedback for development to improve.

Think back to when you learned how to drive. Your parents taught you when to change gears, brake or accelerate – all while following the rules of the road. It was challenging and frustrating. Just when you got the hang of one thing, it was time to learn something new. Eventually, your practice paid off. Now, you just get in your car and drive.

Being an influential communicator doesn’t just happen. It requires deliberate practice coupled with ongoing feedback from someone you trust.

Four steps to grow your influence and have others act on what you have to say.

1. Break it Down

We’ve heard the saying “quality over quantity.” The same holds true for improving your influence skills. Start first by recording yourself in an upcoming interaction – whether it’s in-person or virtual. Immediately review the playback. Write down everything you see that needs improvement. Then, break it down into manageable pieces. Focus on one habit at a time. Repeated deliberate practice executed in short bursts at regular intervals is better than working on something all day. Practicing in short durations will reinforce your subconscious, creating permanent long-term habits.

2. Put in the Work

Learning something new requires repeated exposure. Studies show that some habits can be solidified with 7 hours’ worth of practice, while others can take up to 7,000. I promise you will see substantial changes in your daily interactions if you’re willing to put in the concentrated effort for each interaction. Set aside five minutes each morning and write down the skills you’re willing to commit to throughout the day. Carry it around with you as a reminder to remain focused in each conversation. You’ll be surprised how quickly your habits begin to change.

3. Get Clear

Goals partnered with practice become a powerful motivator, creating the momentum needed for ongoing improvement. It’s easier to stay motivated when we see ourselves getting better. We get comfortable being uncomfortable because we know change lies ahead. Get clear on what specifically you want to accomplish in the next 30 days. Focusing on 30 days at a time will create instant changes to your influence skills.

4. Seek Immediate Feedback

Practice makes permanent, so what you practice matters. Seeking immediate feedback is crucial to reinforcing what you’re doing and why. Don’t settle for “you did great.” Instead, ask for specific feedback on exactly what worked and what still needs work. Specific feedback helps you create a plan to immediately focus on skills in need of improvement. If you want to grow your influence, start by determining which communication skills need improvement.

Make the commitment today to take to your communication skills from good to influential. It’s worth the work!

Contact us about booking Stacey for your next event!

 

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How Technology Fuels the Hybrid Workplace by Mike Walsh

By Mike Walsh | May 09, 2022 | Comments Off
 

Imagine your life in the future. Is it a world of robots, self-driving cars and day trips to Mars? What if the future isn't just a distant upgrade? But a tech-powered invitation to live our lives differently, right now.

Imagine if you could speak over 100 languages at once? What if words weren't a barrier to being understood? By anyone? Anywhere? Instant translation changes everything.

The power of unleashing many minds and all our working as one. The creative collision of different cultures and new ideas - creates connections across the globe.

When being understood means you feel seen and included.

Imagine if you could work your way… forever. A shared experience whether you’re 5, 50 or 5000 kilometers from the rest of your team. You are tapping into a new, cultural operating system that accepts how we can connect with the world.

Hybrid working is inclusive work. The idea that you must go to a place to get anything done is ancient history.

But great things also happen in-person. Imagine if you had control of every environment? Every movement is part of something connected — from screen to screen, home to office and everywhere in between.

Collaboration tools like WebEx have changed everything.

So, find your space in a system. Escape noise and distractions to listen and be heard. To think, and to breathe. Because wellbeing is as important as productivity.

To find the future of work with smart questions and even smarter technology, the future is now.

 

Mike-Walsh-Futurist-Speaker

Business Disruption That Wins by Phil M Jones

By Phil M Jones | May 02, 2022 | Comments Off

What did Uber look at? They looked at a process that sucked.

Learn more about Phil M Jones >

Uber disrupted an industry massively, yes? And they really made a dent.

Here's what they didn't invent. They didn't invent traveling by motorcar. They didn't invent traveling in the back of the motorcar.

They didn't even invent traveling in the back of the motorcar with somebody else driving who was paid to do so.

All of that stuff existed.

What did they look at? They looked at a process that sucked.

Does anybody remember ordering a Minicab? Let's see if the process, my experience, is anything like yours.

So, you need to get to the airport tomorrow morning. You need to be there for 9am. So, what you do is you call today to book the Minicab. It will take you about an hour to get there, so you ask it to be with you at 8 am.

Reasonable conversation happens, Minicab is booked. 8:02 am the next morning, where's the Minicab? It's not there, right? So, you're making a phone call through and what do they say?

What do they say, “It’s on its way!”

What did they say next? 8:17, it clearly wasn't around the corner, was it? Finally arrives. You get into the car after putting your own bag in the trunk.

You get into the car and the driver says, “What? Where are you going?”

I'm like, “I told you this yesterday!”

But you politely tell them anyway, right?

And then they say, “Which route do you want to take to get there?”

And you're like, “That's your job!

But anyhow, you still navigate them to be able to get there. Finally, you get to the destination, correct? Running a little later than anticipated.

They say, “That's $37.42.”

So, you hand them your credit card and they say, “Cash only.”

So, you rummage around in your bag finding the only cash you could find. You hand them a $50 bill and they say, “No change!”

So, Uber show up - create a process that is slightly more efficient for the consumer than that - and what did the Minicab companies do?

They say, “It's not fair. Just, not fair!”

And how well did that work out for them? Didn't work out too good did it?

They stomped their feet, they tried to push through legislation. They said every version of, “It's not fair.”

Yet still, who won? The consumer won. Not Uber. The consumer decides what level of service they're looking for. Not the company. The consumer decides.

And Uber won because they put the consumer first.

 

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Are You An Inclusive Leader? by Heather R Younger

By Heather Younger | Apr 26, 2022 | Comments Off

 

“We are trying to construct a more inclusive society. We are going to make a country in which no one is left out.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Learn More About Heather R Younger >

My daughter had a tough middle school year. She agonized over how she felt left out of circles and discussions and events. I would often coach her to look past it all and realize that many of her classmates were going through similar things.

Her situation felt different. She told me that she felt like her classmates looked past and through her to talk to and include other people. She was really hurt, and so was her self-esteem. I supported her and told her to hang on a little longer since she would be graduating. Then, one weekend, she looked at one of her social media pages and noticed that one of those classmates had a birthday party that included mostly everyone from her class but excluded a few.

She was not invited. And although this was not a new occurrence, it still hurt.

I get it!

Everyone has the right to invite whomever they want to their parties. However, social media changes the impact in many ways because people can celebrate and exclude others in a more public way.

I can’t help but think about how Inclusion plays a similar role in the workplace.

Are there people inside your organization who feel passed over and looked through? Are there high-performing employees who have great things to say but don’t get a chance to say them?

How inclusive are you?

Do you make sure that unpopular voices have a seat at the table? Are they in the room but not really recognized as an important voice? Do you look through certain people to cater to those who look a certain way or speak a certain way?

Below are five considerations if you are striving to be a more inclusive leader:

1. LISTEN AND ACT

Who do you listen to? Do you consider the narrow view of just a few, or make sure you include people with varied backgrounds? Do you act upon the most common voices, or are you courageous enough to act upon the uncommon feedback?

Inclusive leaders both look for and listen to diverse perspectives and take certain actions to show that those perspectives are valued.

If you want to be a more inclusive leader, listen to everyone and commit to taking action on much of what you hear.

2. EXPAND YOUR CIRCLE

Who is in your inner circle? Leaders who take the time to ensure that their circle is only homogeneous in values and purpose and not based upon the same physical characteristics or background are simply more inclusive.

Some years ago, I had a diverse coaching client who recalled a time when her boss held a firm party and excluded her. She found out about it, because others in the office were talking about it and brought gifts back they received at the party. She felt like an outsider and did not understand why it happened. Her boss never gave her an explanation.

Was this type of behavior typical for this leader? Most likely, yes! We are often more comfortable with people who share our same lived experiences. But, unfortunately, when we surround ourselves with people like us, we create more blind spots and minimize our chances of creating more innovative teams.

Inclusive leaders go out of their way to include people who might challenge their thinking and bring innovative ideas to the table.

If you want to be a more inclusive leader, review and expand your inner circle.

3. COLLABORATE OFTEN

To collaborate means to admit that you alone don’t have the answers. Instead, the best solutions spring from the back and forth at the collaboration table.

If you want to be a more inclusive leader, dare to invite many different types of people to the table because that is when the fun begins!

4. AUDIT HIRING AND PROMOTION PRACTICES

Affinity bias is real. It is when we are inclined to include those around us who are like us. When hiring and promoting team members, this type of bias can be a barrier to real Inclusion. Audit your hiring and promotion practices and consistently ask yourself whether you are letting bias get in the way of including others who aren’t like you.

5. MONITOR THE LANGUAGE BEING USED

To be an inclusive leader, we must consider the language we use around those inside or outside our circle. To include also means to make someone feel welcome or like they are important. If we are or someone in our circle is using words that exclude, then we have a problem. Take the time to evaluate and research the right things to say and how to refer to certain situations and people in your space. So often, we or those around us initiate microaggressions against those in marginalized groups and harm them by our words.

Inclusive leaders monitor for this and tweak and adjust along the way.

________________________________

Someone once told me that “diversity is being invited to the party, and Inclusion is asking them to dance.”
So, let’s all commit to being the kind of leaders who ask many people to dance!

 

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The 5 Attributes of Today's Leader by Clint Pulver

By Clint Pulver | Apr 19, 2022 | Comments Off

“You’re either the number one reason why people
are staying, or you’re the number one reason why they are leaving.” - Clint Pulver

So often, organizations wonder why their turnover rate is high. But the truth of the matter is, as a leader, you’re either the number one reason your people stay, or you’re
the number one reason why your people are leaving.

Roughly 60% of the employees interviewed by Clint’s Undercover Millennial research program were currently looking for new employment. How do you get your employees to love their job and want to stay and grow with your company?

The diagnosis is with you – the leader.

Employees are not quitting companies—they’re quitting bosses.

The answer to employee turnover is easier than you think and is why Clint Pulver’s keynote and book, “I Love It Here,” are resonating with so many companies and audiences – the diagnosis begins with your leadership.

From the thousands of millennials and younger workers interviewed with the Undercover Millennial program - what they loved or didn’t love about their job - the most prominent answer for being satisfied was that they, “loved their boss.” Although there are many leadership styles Clint has identified from his program, the Mentor-Manager is the top proven way for leaders to engage with their employees.

The top 5 attributes of this style of leadership are:

  • One-on-one coaching, focusing on personal growth
  • Shifting the focus to the employee and their personal and professional goals
  • Helping the employee establish their path, values and purpose—both within the company and outside of it
  • Putting focus on the people within the ship, instead of just where the ship is headed.
  • Standing next to others and walking the path with them.

“Great mentors have the ability to communicate a person’s
potential and worth to the point that the person begins to see it in themselves.”

With this in mind, never underestimate the power of a Mentor
Manager, and your ability to move people—both physically and mentally.

Learn more about why Clint’s message is inspiring and moving people to action, young and old. His years of research, proven application and incredible strategies for engaging employees are at the core of his bestselling book, “I Love It Here,” his Mentor-Management keynote message and his drum experience. You don’t want to miss it! 

Learn more about Clint Pulver

Think Before You Act by Stacey Hanke

By Stacey Hanke | Apr 11, 2022 | Comments Off

 

Thinking before you act reminds you to remain calm, even in challenging situations.

We have heard the old saying “think before you speak;” but have you ever heard “think before you act?”

Our actions are always under surveillance. Someone is always watching what we do.

What message do your actions convey?

Is your behavior consistent Monday to Monday, or do people wonder which version of you they’ll get when they interact with you?

Influence isn’t one-dimensional. It’s sights, sounds and how we make others feel. You’re always under surveillance. Everything you do and say either enhances or jeopardize your influence.

It’s easy when stakes are high to try and ‘turn on’ our A-game, but then we tend to get lazy in casual conversations.

This inconsistency leaves others wondering… who we really are. It damages our reputation, credibility and our ability to influence others to willingly act on what we have to say.

The idea of turning on your personality in one place versus another is exhausting. It’s a charade no one can keep up with. You must be believable.

What if you had that high stakes presentation and you nailed it.

Everything you practiced was performed perfectly. But then, after the presentation, you ran into a co-worker in the hallway, and you resorted to your old habits.

Which person – do you think your co-worker is going to believe?
There are three reasons leaders must demonstrate consistency in all they do.

1. Practice what you preach.

Hypocritical actions are reputation killers yet fail to practice what they preach.

It’s the executive who says employee contributions matter but then fails to get to know their staff.

It’s the manager that demands everyone put away their phones before a staff meeting yet are seen distracted on their own device.

Accountability matters. You must act in the same way you expect others to. Trust is not built from a “do as I say, not as I do” approach.

2. Think before you act.

How many times have you overreacted in a moment of frustration?

Maybe you’re frustrated with the poor service at a local coffee shop and decided to speak up in a way that doesn’t reflect patience or respect.

Have you ever stopped to consider who is watching your reaction

Maybe it’s the prospect you’re meeting with next week, or the investor researching your firm. Perhaps it’s the employee you’re trying to recruit or the executive you want to partner with.

You’re always under surveillance. Someone is always watching.

Thinking before you act reminds you to remain calm, even in challenging situations.

Next time you feel frustrated, save yourself the embarrassing foot-in-mouth moment by thinking before you act.

3. Seek honesty.

Even the very best require continual coaching to get better. Every successful athlete seeks the honest feedback of a coach to improve.

Unfortunately, the higher up the corporate ladder most leaders climb, the less likely they are to receive honest feedback.

Eventually, everyone glosses over the hard truth needed to really improve. No matter how impressive your title is, you need coaching to improve.

Get yourself a professional coach or mentor. They will help you really understand how others perceive you.

Coaching is necessary to become consistent. It helps you fine tune every aspect of your communication skills so you can treat every conversation like a high stakes interaction.

Think before you act to remain consistent in everything you do.

When you communicate with consistency Monday to Monday, you’ll enhance the way you do business, build stronger relationships, and move your listeners to act.

Contact us about booking Stacey for your next event!

 

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