How to Play to Your Strengths

Most feedback accentuates the negative. During formal employee evaluations, discussions invariably focus on “opportunities for improvement,” even if the overall evaluation is laudatory. Informally, the sting of criticism lasts longer than the balm of praise. Multiple studies have shown that people pay keen attention to negative information. For example, when asked to recall important emotional events, people remember four negative memories for every positive one. No wonder most executives give and receive performance reviews with all the enthusiasm of a child on the way to the dentist.

Traditional, corrective feedback has its place, of course; every organization must filter out failing employees and ensure that everyone performs at an expected level of competence. Unfortunately, feedback that ferrets out flaws can lead otherwise talented managers to overinvest in shoring up or papering over their perceived weaknesses, or forcing themselves onto an ill-fitting template. Ironically, such a focus on problem areas prevents companies from reaping the best performance from its people. After all, it’s a rare baseball player who is equally good at every position. Why should a natural third baseman labor to develop his skills as a right fielder?

Why should a natural third baseman labor to develop his skills as a right fielder?

The alternative, as the Gallup Organization researchers Marcus Buckingham, Donald Clifton, and others have suggested, is to foster excellence in the third baseman by identifying and harnessing his unique strengths. It is a paradox of human psychology that while people remember criticism, they respond to praise. The former makes them defensive and therefore unlikely to change, while the latter produces confidence and the desire to perform better. Managers who build up their strengths can reach their highest potential. This positive approach does not pretend to ignore or deny the problems that traditional feedback mechanisms identify. Rather, it offers a separate and unique feedback experience that counterbalances negative input. It allows managers to tap into strengths they may or may not be aware of and so contribute more to their organizations.

During the past few years, we have developed a powerful tool to help people understand and leverage their individual talents. Called the Reflected Best Self (RBS) exercise, our method allows managers to develop a sense of their “personal best” in order to increase their future potential. The RBS exercise is but one example of new approaches springing from an area of research called positive organizational scholarship (POS). Just as psychologists know that people respond better to praise than to criticism, organizational behavior scholars are finding that when companies focus on positive attributes such as resilience and trust, they can reap impressive bottom-line returns. (For more on this research, see the sidebar “The Positive Organization.”) Thousands of executives, as well as tomorrow’s leaders enrolled in business schools around the world, have completed the RBS exercise.

In this article, we will walk you through the RBS exercise step-by-step and describe the insights and results it can yield. Before we proceed, however, a few caveats are in order. First, understand that the tool is not designed to stroke your ego; its purpose is to assist you in developing a plan for more effective action. (Without such a plan, you’ll keep running in place.) Second, the lessons generated from the RBS exercise can elude you if you don’t pay sincere attention to them. If you are too burdened by time pressures and job demands, you may just file the information away and forget about it. To be effective, the exercise requires commitment, diligence, and follow-through. It may even be helpful to have a coach keep you on task. Third, it’s important to conduct the RBS exercise at a different time of year than the traditional performance review so that negative feedback from traditional mechanisms doesn’t interfere with the results of the exercise.

Used correctly, the RBS exercise can help you tap into unrecognized and unexplored areas of potential. Armed with a constructive, systematic process for gathering and analyzing data about your best self, you can burnish your performance at work.

Step 1

Identify Respondents and Ask for Feedback

The first task in the exercise is to collect feedback from a variety of people inside and outside work. By gathering input from a variety of sources—family members, past and present colleagues, friends, teachers, and so on—you can develop a much broader and richer understanding of yourself than you can from a standard performance evaluation.

As we describe the process of the Reflected Best Self exercise, we will highlight the experience of Robert Duggan (not his real name), whose self-discovery process is typical of the managers we’ve observed. Having retired from a successful career in the military at a fairly young age and earned an MBA from a top business school, Robert accepted a midlevel management position at an IT services firm. Despite strong credentials and leadership experience, Robert remained stuck in the same position year after year. His performance evaluations were generally good but not strong enough to put him on the high-potential track. Disengaged, frustrated, and disheartened, Robert grew increasingly stressed and disillusioned with his company. His workday felt more and more like an episode of Survivor.

Seeking to improve his performance, Robert enrolled in an executive education program and took the RBS exercise. As part of the exercise, Robert gathered feedback from 11 individuals from his past and present who knew him well. He selected a diverse but balanced group—his wife and two other family members, two friends from his MBA program, two colleagues from his time in the army, and four current colleagues.

Robert then asked these individuals to provide information about his strengths, accompanied by specific examples of moments when Robert used those strengths in ways that were meaningful to them, to their families or teams, or to their organizations. Many people—Robert among them—feel uncomfortable asking for exclusively positive feedback, particularly from colleagues. Accustomed to hearing about their strengths and weaknesses simultaneously, many executives imagine any positive feedback will be unrealistic, even false. Some also worry that respondents might construe the request as presumptuous or egotistical. But once managers accept that the exercise will help them improve their performance, they tend to dive in.

Within ten days, Robert received e-mail responses from all 11 people describing specific instances when he had made important contributions—including pushing for high quality under a tight deadline, being inclusive in communicating with a diverse group, and digging for critical information. The answers he received surprised him. As a military veteran and a technical person holding an MBA, Robert rarely yielded to his emotions. But in reading story after story from his respondents, Robert found himself deeply moved—as if he were listening to appreciative speeches at a party thrown in his honor. The stories were also surprisingly convincing. He had more strengths than he knew. (For more on Step 1, refer to the exhibit “Gathering Feedback.”)

Step 2

Recognize Patterns
In this step, Robert searched for common themes among the feedback, adding to the examples with observations of his own, then organizing all the input into a table. (To view parts of Robert’s table, see the exhibit “Finding Common Themes.”) Like many who participate in the RBS exercise, Robert expected that, given the diversity of respondents, the comments he received would be inconsistent or even competing. Instead, he was struck by their uniformity. The comments from his wife and family members were similar to those from his army buddies and work colleagues. Everyone took note of Robert’s courage under pressure, high ethical standards, perseverance, curiosity, adaptability, respect for diversity, and team-building skills. Robert suddenly realized that even his small, unconscious behaviors had made a huge impression on others. In many cases, he had forgotten about the specific examples cited until he read the feedback, because his behavior in those situations had felt like second nature to him.

The RBS exercise confirmed Robert’s sense of himself, but for those who are unaware of their strengths, the exercise can be truly illuminating. Edward, for example, was a recently minted MBA executive in an automotive firm. His colleagues and subordinates were older and more experienced than he, and he felt uncomfortable disagreeing with them. But he learned through the RBS exercise that his peers appreciated his candid alternative views and respected the diplomatic and respectful manner with which he made his assertions. As a result, Edward grew bolder in making the case for his ideas, knowing that his boss and colleagues listened to him, learned from him, and appreciated what he had to say.

Other times, the RBS exercise sheds a more nuanced light on the skills one takes for granted. Beth, for example, was a lawyer who negotiated on behalf of nonprofit organizations. Throughout her life, Beth had been told she was a good listener, but her exercise respondents noted that the interactive, empathetic, and insightful manner in which she listened made her particularly effective. The specificity of the feedback encouraged Beth to take the lead in future negotiations that required delicate and diplomatic communications.

For naturally analytical people, the analysis portion of the exercise serves both to integrate the feedback and develop a larger picture of their capabilities. Janet, an engineer, thought she could study her feedback as she would a technical drawing of a suspension bridge. She saw her “reflected best self” as something to interrogate and improve. But as she read the remarks from family, friends, and colleagues, she saw herself in a broader and more human context. Over time, the stories she read about her enthusiasm and love of design helped her rethink her career path toward more managerial roles in which she might lead and motivate others.

Step 3

Compose Your Self-Portrait
The next step is to write a description of yourself that summarizes and distills the accumulated information. The description should weave themes from the feedback together with your self-observations into a composite of who you are at your best. The self-portrait is not designed to be a complete psychological and cognitive profile. Rather, it should be an insightful image that you can use as a reminder of your previous contributions and as a guide for future action. The portrait itself should not be a set of bullet points but rather a prose composition beginning with the phrase, “When I am at my best, I…” The process of writing out a two- to four-paragraph narrative cements the image of your best self in your consciousness. The narrative form also helps you draw connections between the themes in your life that may previously have seemed disjointed or unrelated. Composing the portrait takes time and demands careful consideration, but at the end of this process, you should come away with a rejuvenated image of who you are.
In developing his self-portrait, Robert drew on the actual words that others used to describe him, rounding out the picture with his own sense of himself at his best. He excised competencies that felt off the mark. This didn’t mean he discounted them, but he wanted to assure that the overall portrait felt authentic and powerful. “When I am at my best,” Robert wrote,

I stand by my values and can get others to understand why doing so is important. I choose the harder right over the easier wrong. I enjoy setting an example. When I am in learning mode and am curious and passionate about a project, I can work intensely and untiringly. I enjoy taking things on that others might be afraid of or see as too difficult. I’m able to set limits and find alternatives when a current approach is not working. I don’t always assume that I am right or know best, which engenders respect from others. I try to empower and give credit to others. I am tolerant and open to differences.

As Robert developed his portrait, he began to understand why he hadn’t performed his best at work: He lacked a sense of mission. In the army, he drew satisfaction from the knowledge that the safety of the men and women he led, as well as the nation he served, depended on the quality of his work. He enjoyed the sense of teamwork and variety of problems to be solved. But as an IT manager in charge of routine maintenance on new hardware products, he felt bored and isolated from other people.

The portrait-writing process also helped Robert create a more vivid and elaborate sense of what psychologists would call his “possible self”—not just the person he is in his day-to-day job but the person he might be in completely different contexts. Organizational researchers have shown that when we develop a sense of our best possible self, we are better able make positive changes in our lives.

Step 4:

Redesign Your Job
Having pinpointed his strengths, Robert’s next step was to redesign his personal job description to build on what he was good at. Given the fact that routine maintenance work left him cold, Robert’s challenge was to create a better fit between his work and his best self. Like most RBS participants, Robert found that the strengths the exercise identified could be put into play in his current position. This involved making small changes in the way he worked, in the composition of his team, and in the way he spent his time. (Most jobs have degrees of freedom in all three of these areas; the trick is operating within the fixed constraints of your job to redesign work at the margins, allowing you to better play to your strengths.)

Robert began by scheduling meetings with systems designers and engineers who told him they were having trouble getting timely information flowing between their groups and Robert’s maintenance team. If communication improved, Robert believed, new products would not continue to be saddled with the serious and costly maintenance issues seen in the past. Armed with a carefully documented history of those maintenance problems as well as a new understanding of his naturally analytical and creative team-building skills, Robert began meeting regularly with the designers and engineers to brainstorm better ways to prevent problems with new products. The meetings satisfied two of Robert’s deepest best-self needs: He was interacting with more people at work, and he was actively learning about systems design and engineering.

Robert’s efforts did not go unnoticed. Key executives remarked on his initiative and his ability to collaborate across functions, as well as on the critical role he played in making new products more reliable. They also saw how he gave credit to others. In less than nine months, Robert’s hard work paid off, and he was promoted to program manager. In addition to receiving more pay and higher visibility, Robert enjoyed his work more. His passion was reignited; he felt intensely alive and authentic. Whenever he felt down or lacking in energy, he reread the original e-mail feedback he had received. In difficult situations, the e-mail messages helped him feel more resilient.

Robert was able to leverage his strengths to perform better, but there are cases in which RBS findings conflict with the realities of a person’s job. This was true for James, a sales executive who told us he was “in a world of hurt” over his work situation. Unable to meet his ambitious sales goals, tired of flying around the globe to fight fires, his family life on the verge of collapse, James had suffered enough. The RBS exercise revealed that James was at his best when managing people and leading change, but these natural skills did not and could not come into play in his current job. Not long after he did the exercise, he quit his high-stress position and started his own successful company.

Other times, the findings help managers aim for undreamed-of positions in their own organizations. Sarah, a high-level administrator at a university, shared her best-self portrait with key colleagues, asking them to help her identify ways to better exploit her strengths and talents. They suggested that she would be an ideal candidate for a new executive position. Previously, she would never have considered applying for the job, believing herself unqualified. To her surprise, she handily beat out the other candidates.
Beyond Good Enough
We have noted that while people remember criticism, awareness of faults doesn’t necessarily translate into better performance. Based on that understanding, the RBS exercise helps you remember your strengths—and construct a plan to build on them. Knowing your strengths also offers you a better understanding of how to deal with your weaknesses—and helps you gain the confidence you need to address them. It allows you to say, “I’m great at leading but lousy at numbers. So rather than teach me remedial math, get me a good finance partner.” It also allows you to be clearer in addressing your areas of weakness as a manager. When Tim, a financial services executive, received feedback that he was a great listener and coach, he also became more aware that he had a tendency to spend too much time being a cheerleader and too little time keeping his employees to task. Susan, a senior advertising executive, had the opposite problem: While her feedback lauded her results-oriented management approach, she wanted to be sure that she hadn’t missed opportunities to give her employees the space to learn and make mistakes.

In the end, the strength-based orientation of the RBS exercise helps you get past the “good enough” bar. Once you discover who you are at the top of your game, you can use your strengths to better shape the positions you choose to play—both now and in the next phase of your career.

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7 ways leaders can rise to the challenge of today’s employees

Technology is changing the way workplaces operate in many areas, and in the past, they’ve tended to be more static. People worked in the same place, under the eye of a supervisor, doing the same sorts of things, and changed jobs less frequently.

But now, people work remotely; they are supported in new ways by technology and they often work in cross-functional teams in different locations. The world of work is changing; people expect to move roles and develop new skills. Employees are stepping up in this environment, taking more responsibility for delivering company goals, being more autonomous and increasingly helping to lead their organizations.

Managers and company leaders need to up their game too. I think the gloomy predictions that are often made of a future where workers are replaced by robots might be a bit dated – in fact, it might be more likely that some of the managers will no longer be needed. The people on the ground in customer-facing roles will be more important than ever.

READ MORE: Can HR change the way our leaders think?

Instead, it will be unhelpful bosses – the ones who micromanage, don’t share information, make important decisions without consultation and look for someone else to blame whenever something goes wrong – whose coats will be on shaky pegs.

Here are seven tips for managers who want to up their game to the level of their best employees:

1. Don’t create HiPPOs
A HiPPO is a “highly-paid person’s opinion.” Some organizations are dominated by these. It can be dangerous for people lower down the hierarchy to confront a “HiPPO” or to find themselves in its path. But a bunch of charging “HiPPOs” can also drag the business off course pretty quickly. These are not the best way to run any organization.

Managers who want to add value are more interested in gathering information from the people on the ground. Every plan, no matter how well-laid, alters when it meets reality and in an organization where the customer-facing employees voices are silenced by “HiPPOs,” that divergence will likely not be noticed until it is too late to do anything about it.

2. Share the vision
What is the vision for the organization? Everyone should understand the company’s goals and what part they play in reaching them. These objectives shouldn’t be expressed in purely monetary terms – this is about creating a shared mission and making everyone feel part of the team. The mission should be expressed in terms of delivering outcomes for customers or clients.

When people in different roles understand what the outcome is that they are working towards, then they can own this and take responsibility for delivering against it. Of course, they also have to agree on what is expected of them and what ‘done’ looks like.

3. Keep everyone in the loop
Ensuring transparency of information is key to supporting self-managing teams. There are many different kinds of collaborative workplace technology available today which make it possible to share live, real-time information with everyone across the organization.

It is important that the information which is gathered for sharing is relevant and useful and there isn’t an overgrowth of data-collection requirements. But having the right information at the fingertips of people at every level means they are in a much better position to contribute effectively.

It also means employees can also more readily see and understand the value of their own contribution. That is fundamentally more engaging.

4. Share decision-making authority across the organization
Organizations where all the decisions are made by the people at the top, struggle to grow effectively. Bottlenecks are created and information gathered on the ground has to be pushed upwards before commands are relayed back down. It’s slow, bureaucratic and limiting.

Highly-skilled employees who are in customer-facing roles are generally most likely to understand the context of a specific situation. Not only that, but they are also the main source of fresh ideas and innovations that will drive real value for customers.

5. Don’t have a blame culture
In a blame culture, people fear taking decisions because when one is made that later turns out to be wrong, somebody will be singled out as “the culprit.” It is not helpful to set targets and then complain and criticize everyone who misses them.

It is much more effective to have a team culture where people deal with errors that arise and work together to avoid making the same mistakes again. The team can also try to continuously improve the decision-making process. If you have a good decision-making process, over time you will get more right than wrong.

6. Look for trends
Improving business performance involves measuring a range of metrics around things like the value that is being created for customers and the competitiveness of what the company offers. Most managers have a range of key performance indicators or KPIs that they study.

But it is important not to put too much importance on single points of data. Looking for trends enables managers to look ahead to where the market is headed and to help steer the company in the right direction.

7. Encourage people to develop and grow
Managers who add value encourage people in their teams to develop themselves, their skills and talents with appropriate training and experience. They should add a line to their resume each year and focus their energy on external, customer-facing work rather than making life easier for their boss.

This is good for both the business and the employees, and the managers know that if they don’t continue to offer a great working environment, these highly-skilled people may go elsewhere

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How AI Can and Will Affect the Recruiting Process (and How It Won’t)

We hear a lot about AI’s effect on jobs, but what about its effect on recruiters? This article explains how AI can improve life for recruiters as well as what AI can’t and shouldn’t do, writes Matt Fischer, president and CTO of Bullhorn.

One popular image of artificial intelligence is that of robots taking over the world à la The Matrix or Westworld, but even the comparatively gentle image of AI-driven machines taking our jobs is overstated. AI is, however, poised to play a great role in transforming staffing and recruiting. According to our research at Bullhorn, more than half of recruiting industry professionals and executives professed at least some knowledge of AI technology, and it follows that they recognize how it might help them. And by “help,” I mean in ways that are designed not to take recruiters’ jobs, but to help them do their jobs better. Another reason not to worry: there are things AI simply cannot do well or should not be asked to do, meaning that human recruiters are essentially being promoted to focusing more of their time on work that adds value.

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AI demonstrates its positive effect on recruiting
For the recruiting industry, AI is already in the earliest stages of use for finding and hiring the best talent. Between the ongoing development of AI for recruiting platforms and the understandable lag in adoption at this early phase, many of the capabilities AI can bring to the recruiting process are yet to be fully deployed. Still, we can talk with confidence about what AI can, and in some cases, already does, do for recruiters:

AI can help find better-qualified candidates at the right time; AI-enabled tools can continuously monitor huge databases of passive candidates and identify signals that predict a candidate’s readiness for a new opportunity. This increases both the available talent pool for a given position and the engagement rates with those candidates.
AI helps increase recruiters’ response times; many communications, such as interview confirmation emails and texts, can be automated, leaving recruiters more time to focus on the more customized interactions needed to cultivate relationships with candidates.
AI can sense market shifts; for example, trends indicating certain widespread changes in the talent pool – perhaps there is a previously unanticipated rise in job requests for WordPress developers – can help recruiters anticipate skills gaps and talent shortages ahead of the competition.
AI improves diversity by reducing human bias; the most well-meaning recruiters will still fall to unconscious bias. This covers anything from racial and gender diversity to age and even geographical location. With proper programming, AI mitigates that bias roadblock, helping to level the playing field and identify qualified candidates recruiters might otherwise miss.

Learn more: Things You Should Know Before Using AI Recruitment Software

AI has its limits; recruiters should recognize them
AI can analyze data and replicate repetitive tasks to help recruiters, but it cannot take their place. In fact, rather than replacing jobs in recruiting, AI is poised to give staffing and recruiting professionals more time to do the parts of their jobs that require human decision-making. Recruiters are better-equipped than machines to analyze data to find the “why” in the data and to perform the more personalized tasks in the hiring process. Examples of the limitations of AI include:

AI is fast and accurate, but not error-free; one error made in machine learning can be very difficult to correct if not caught quickly.
AI makes connections from data but does not define causes; AI is excellent for detecting patterns, but it is still up to humans to decipher the meaning behind the correlation.
AI follows defined sets of orders; AI works best when designed to accomplish narrow tasks. For example, AI is a great tool for harnessing large amounts of data, but it will not be able to see the bigger picture that affects the data. For instance, if more women are entering construction management, biases previously built into the algorithm could still turn up mostly male candidates.

As the understanding of AI in the recruiting industry increases, so will the development and adoption of AI tools to support the hiring process, from candidate engagement to communications workflows and beyond. Staffing and recruiting professionals need to be aware of how AI tools lead to savings and better candidate experience, as well as how their limitations allow them to focus more on work that improves the candidate experience.

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Microsoft president reveals what a ‘successful CHRO’ looks like

Kevin Peesker is no stranger to transformational leadership. At the helm of Microsoft Canada since 2017, Peekser’s 28-plus years of experience in technology has taken him to over 70 countries. Formerly the president of Dell EMC Canada, Peesker is an icon in the in the industry – and his commitment to customers is unprecedented.

HRDC: Microsoft is famous for its collaborative culture – what’s the secret to your success?
Kevin Peesker: I joined Microsoft four years into Satya Nadella’s tenure as CEO, and it was clear to me from the start that our company culture started with him and his leadership team but was viewed as coming to life through the ownership of each member of Microsoft globally. From day one, Satya asked every employee at Microsoft to approach their work with a growth mindset. He believed that the only way we could be truly successful is to be a ‘learn-it-all’ culture instead of a ‘know-it-all’ culture. By doing so, he freed everyone to be curious and to tackle challenges – whether they’re solving a customer’s problem or solving global challenges like climate and accessibility – by breaking down silos and tapping into the collective wisdom of their peers. When this unleashing of human potential is aligned to a powerful mission – to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more – you have a team galvanized with shared purpose.

I think of enabling culture as being similar to requiring air to breathe. A core piece to the culture puzzle has been providing Microsoft employees with technology that empowers them to create and collaborate, not only across teams but across offices and time zones. At Microsoft, we’re reimagining modern workplace technology to better serve the people in it. We developed Teams as a hub for teamwork that brings together conversations, meetings, files and apps into a single app so everyone on the team has access to the information they need to do their best work wherever and whenever they’re most productive.

Before our customers use the latest software releases, we drink our own champagne and push the tech to our people. There is often a pushback on inflicting change in an organization, but in today’s transforming world, change and adaption must be a core muscle of culture. I was at a meeting recently where Satya mentioned, “You don’t get fit by watching other people go to the gym.” When it comes to culture, it is a participation sport!

HRDC: How would you describe your leadership style?
KP: It is an absolute honour to lead the incredibly capable and talented team at Microsoft Canada. I grew up in a smaller city in Western Canada in a highly egalitarian environment where every person was recognized for the value they bring to the community. Being respectful of others, truly appreciating their contributions, being humble and confident to take risks – that was my upbringing, which I do consciously endeavour to ingrain in the way I show up.

Being in the tech industry for just under 30 years across five continents has shaped a leadership requirement to be agile, resilient, empowering and enthusiastic. When I joined Microsoft on day one, it was shared with me that an expectation of leaders and team members in the company is to create clarity, generate energy and deliver results. It took me 30 seconds to internalize and figure out – wow, that is so crisp and real, I love it, I can do that, and hey, I can use that template every single day as a leader in this incredibly fast-paced, somewhat complex industry.

Technology is accelerating at a rate that was once unimaginable. I do feel all leaders, regardless of industry, must be agile and willing to quickly change course to compete. For some, the uncertainty is unnerving, but it also creates tremendous opportunity – not only for Microsoft, but also for our partners and our customers. Our job as leaders is to create clarity.

When it comes to generating energy, deep in my core, my energy comes from being grateful – grateful to have been born in a country like Canada, grateful for a great education, for the learning from others, for my family and friends. I’m thrilled to get up and at it each morning!


Analytics that Transform Learning Programs

Data is the currency of HR, and just like money, you have to be careful how you use it. Having said that, analytics can teach you how to create a successful and efficient learning program.

Analytics in Learning
“Learning doesn’t drive the corporate strategy, it aligns with the strategy,” Martha Soehren said. Soehren is the Chief Talent Development Officer and Senior Vice President with Comcast.

For that to be the case, analyze the implementation of current learning programs and business goals to produce an aligned strategy that predicts learning output and outcomes.

Soehren explains Comcast achieves this through the National Executive Learning Council. The council is made up of members of the C-suit and some other senior leaders.

“When we meet, this body ensures alignment between the business and learning, sets new expectations and strategy, ensuring learning priorities are in alignment with both the business imperatives in the pipe line as well as key performance indicator (KPI) data across the business that is monitored on a minute-to-minute basis, in many cases,” Soehren said.

One of the changes made after the creation of the council was to mandate all front0line leaders get 24-hours of instructor-led training. Why?

“We want supervisors to spend the majority of their time coaching their team members. We want them in the field, in the homes, and in the call centers assisting, giving feedback, and driving a better customer experience with their team members,” Soehren explained.

In the case of Parkland Health and Hospital System, learning goals align with the organizations overall strategy through culture, employee engagement, and patient satisfaction.

That’s not all.

“We also align with the goal of growing talent and great careers,” former Parkland Chief Learning Officer Paul Rumsey said. “We started to track the internal promotion rate and improvement in team engagement scores for leaders who complete our year-long leadership development programs.”

It also ties into their annual performance appraisals.

“Our individual goals came directly from the Parkland strategic plan; therefore, all employees understood how their performance and work aligned with the greater strategic plan and organizational goals,” Rumsey said.

Data Transforming Learning
So, how does one do that?

Step One: Evaluate learning and development programs that already exist in light of shifting business strategies and priorities. Too often, companies revise or adapt what they use for training rather than potentially scrapping and reinventing programs to support future needs.

As an HR professional, the first question to ask concerning your learning and development programs is: “Can our programs remain unchanged in a dynamic operating environment?” To be sure, we change and adapt technical and sales training to follow new product launches, yet we may overlook the relevant capabilities of those designing our products and leading our organizations. This is not to suggest that all existing learning and development programs quickly become outdated or irrelevant, rather, there must be an objective and formal process to assess, evaluate and reinvent these programs to ensure alignment of human capability with business strategy.

Step Two: Establish metrics for measuring training’s impact on the business to determine if the learning objectives are driving the intended behaviors and performance.

Assuming that you have assessed and evaluated learning and development programs to validate relevancy to business strategy, the next question to ask is: “How do I know programs are having the desired impact on the business, and to what degree?”

First, consider the top level metrics that capture the overall performance of your company: measurements like sales and earnings growth; quality; on-time delivery; product cost and safety are common examples.

Next, establish the linkages that tie these metrics to people activities and the incremental benefit or performance expected to result from the learning and development program. For positions that directly generate revenue (i.e. sales) or reduce costs (i.e. operations) the connection between incremental performance and outcome is more easily defined. For indirect, executive or other management level positions, the connection to hard measures may be more difficult. In these cases, core competencies or behaviors may be captured through evaluations from internal or external sources such as customers and suppliers.

GUIDE – Corporate Learning: L&D’s Untapped Resource

Once the measurements and incremental benefits are defined, they should be captured and tracked through the company’s performance management system using the smart criteria: specific; measurable; achievable; realistic and time-bounded. As an alternative or supplement, structured survey instruments can be developed and sent to stakeholders who are positioned to observe the degree of improvement.

Finally, do not be deterred from evaluating the impact programs have on employee engagement and retention— two strategic measures that are often overlooked. Although this approach will not precisely capture and measure the benefits of training, it is vastly superior to using intuition or other subjective methods to determine the business improvements.

Step Three: Measure the efficiency and process effectiveness of delivering learning and development programs.

Once you determine that the right programs are being offered and the desired results are being achieved, the last question to ask is: “How do I know that these programs are being delivered in the most efficient and cost effective way?” Aside from the program cost, the number trained and the frequency, determine the overall value compared with outside alternatives.

RELATED:” Is L&D Obsolete?

As a general rule, eliminate, off-load or outsource whatever is not part of the core business, or that which can be delivered cheaper through alternative means. There are numerous firms that sell and deliver training programs – and some of these may be the right solution for your business. However, do not relinquish ownership and responsibility for learning and development programs that tie directly to the core competencies of the company. Like other forms of intellectual property, they drive the performance of your business. Although it may be the right decision to deliver these programs through third party providers, retain control of the design and development.

Establish a means of evaluating your learning and development programs against objectives standards for cost, quality and delivery. There are plenty of professional and industry resources to draw upon. Start benchmarking to generate ideas, compare metrics and adopt best practices.

Continuous improvement and the need to sustain earnings growth drives us to evaluate everything we do. Every HR professional should evaluate human capability and performance in light of changing business needs. The three steps outlined provide a framework for implementing a more comprehensive approach.

In Summation
Data is a powerful tool. If used properly, it can render great success. Such is the reality with learning programs. As we progress into the future with more and more technology, an abundance of data will be created and collected. In the case of data as it relations to learning programs, it can be used to ensure the choices made will truly support the workers and the business.

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How to Get Noticed by Your Boss’s Boss

You’re bright. You have good ideas, insights, and the ambition to take on more. But you aren’t getting the opportunities you want, and your manager has not been helpful. How do you get noticed by senior leadership without going over your boss’s head?


Chuck and Dave have decades of leadership experience during which they’ve been on the lookout for “future stars” or “high potentials.” These employees are often identified as hard workers with the drive to make a difference — not only in the company’s success but also in the success of those around them. They go above and beyond their job titles and get noticed because they demonstrate potential to do great work on a more advanced level.

After putting our collective heads together, Chuck, Dave, and I landed on ten steps you can take to be recognized by senior leadership as one of them. If followed, these actions can help you grow and move toward greater opportunities — without coming off as a braggart or upsetting your direct manager.

Demonstrate your commitment to your growth and to the company. One way to show how serious you are is to invest time outside of the office in learning skills that will help you grow and contribute to the company. This could mean taking courses that support the work you are doing, or reading texts in the areas you want to master. For example, if you want to get better at developing strategy, ask your boss (and boss’s boss) if they can recommend any books. Another way to show commitment to growth is to tell your boss that you’re interested in taking on special projects, ones that will both help the company reach its goals and provide you with an opportunity to stretch yourself.

Focus on the team’s success, rather than your own. While the voice of ambition may be telling you to focus on your own success, senior leadership notices those who work collaboratively and support others. They recognize that the greatest opportunity for success lies in a team working well together. “It’s easy to notice someone who gives their time and advice to help make others successful,” says Dave, “whether they be their direct reports or peers. Someone who makes those around them better is invaluable.”

Know your numbers and take ownership of your work. Whatever part of the business you own, small or large, you have to know it inside out, and be ready to discuss the performance metrics and business analytics that matter most (revenue, profit and loss, etc.). You want to have a good idea of where you stand within the larger organization, especially in moments when all eyes are on you — such as presentations, meetings, or project reports. When you are able to prove the value of your contributions, you are able to prove the value of your worth as an employee and team member. Think of it as an opportunity to show senior leaders why they should be paying attention to you. Remember, though, this also means taking full responsibility for your failures. Adopt a “no excuses” mentality. Doing so shows a level of self-awareness that is inherent to great leadership.

Do what you say you will and do it well. Once you commit to something, commit to doing it well. When opportunities arise, execs are looking for someone with a good track record of getting the job done and bringing in positive results. This means your name needs to be associated with good work. Those who can take on small projects and hit a home run are more likely to be asked to take on bigger projects later.

Continually train yourself to think strategically. Being a strategic thinker is imperative to moving forward into roles with more responsibility. The best leaders know how to balance working “on” the business (strategy) with working “in” the business (day-to-day operations). When working “on” the business, they must be able to look beyond their to-do lists and think strategically about which opportunities will help the organization reach its larger goals. To do this, you have to be able to see the big picture, and keep it in mind when making decisions. This is a skill that doesn’t always come naturally. “If you want to get good at strategic thinking,” says Chuck, “you have to practice. It’s a muscle that needs to be exercised. The more you work on it, the better you’ll get.”

Challenge old ways and find new solutions. Do you see a different approach to a problem your company is facing? Maybe a creative way to meet a new challenge? If your organization is forward-thinking, all ideas should be welcome, particularly if you present them with humility and an appreciation for past efforts. The next time you have an innovative solution to a difficult problem, share it openly to show what you have to contribute. “I notice people who challenge the current process and communicate the possibilities of a different solution,” says Dave. “In our organization, people rally around them. We give these people more responsibilities. They don’t have to ask.”

Consistently improve your communication skills. You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room, but you do need to be thoughtful during your interactions with others. Whether you are giving a presentation, working on a group project, or having a difficult conversation with your boss, it’s important to know your audience and prepare how you will communicate with them in advance. Every person and situation will ask something different of you — so be adaptable and know how to adjust. You may want to project more confidence during a presentation, for example, but be more humble when working with peers. You may want to approach your boss with curiosity in some scenarios, but in others, approach them with data to support your point. It’s always a good idea, however, to follow up with others and make sure you clearly understand their expectations.

Build relationships with people throughout the company. Don’t just stay within your “wing” of the building. Look for opportunities to connect and collaborate with other key players in your organization. When you build connections, you expand your network of allies and increase your visibility and influence. “Great leaders don’t just wait to be asked, they put themselves in positions and situations where they’re more likely to be asked,” noted Chuck. When you work collaboratively and cross-functionally, your name will keep coming up for all the right reasons.

Live the values and purpose of the organization. Organizations use purpose and value statements to communicate what is and isn’t expected of employees. Values speak to what an organization seeks not only in its staff, but in its leaders as well. A strong leader knows the values, lives them, and encourages the upholding of the values in others. “A person doesn’t need to be the most vocal or work the most hours to be noticed,” says Dave. “It’s the person that demonstrates the values and ethics of the organization and lives the purpose, who will inspire people to follow them.” The best way to show your commitment to your company’s purpose and values is to talk about them. In meetings, give kudos to colleagues whose actions align with your organization’s values, and when discussing projects of your own, note how they reflect the company’s core purpose. In doing so you are saying to others, “I’m paying attention, and I’m noting when we do great work.”

Raise your hand. Don’t be afraid to ask for opportunities to show your skills and talents. While there is certainly a line to be walked here — you don’t want to push too hard, or repeatedly ask the same question — showing initiative is always a good thing. If you see an area where you believe you can be an asset to the company and support strategic initiatives, ask to participate. Explain why you believe you can make a valuable contribution, as well as what you will gain from the opportunity. Ultimately, your boss and boss’ boss want to put you in a spot where you can do the most. Sometimes you’ve got to identify where that is and ask for it.

There is no short path to getting noticed. And even if you find one, you may not have what you need to do the job well if you get there prematurely. But if you focus on these ten key areas with dedication, patience, and the acceptance that growing a stellar career takes some time, you’ll keep moving in the right direction and be ready for what’s next when it comes.

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5 Ways to Connect With Your Team on a Personal Level

Not that long ago, I was watching “The Wizard of Oz” with my family. I hadn’t seen the movie in years. During this viewing, however, I picked up on a new leadership lesson: the importance of connecting with your teammates as a real person.

Think about it: Throughout the film, the Wizard relies on mystery and fear to rule Oz. But when did he become most helpful? When he revealed who he truly was and personally engaged with Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. From there, he was able to actually help them build the confidence to obtain what they’d always wanted — a brain, a heart, courage, and a homecoming.

Back in Kansas, or wherever you call home, the same idea applies. In fact, according to a survey on employee job satisfaction and engagement conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 74 percent of respondents stated their relationship with their supervisor was one of the top five factors influencing their engagement at work. As Gallup has found, when companies have a more engaged team, they’re more productive and more profitable.

How can you step behind the curtain and connect with your teammates on a personal level? Here are five places to start.

Today In: Small Business
1. Communicate frequently.

As a leader, communicating with your team is key. After all, it gives your team members the chance to ask questions, share ideas, and solicit feedback. As a result, they feel like they’re part of the bigger picture — as long as you actively listen and act on their suggestions. (Even explaining why you’re not able to act on them can go a long way.)

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More importantly, it gives you the opportunity to get to know them better: their strengths, their weaknesses, what interests they have inside and outside work. You’ll have a better idea of what they want their future to look like and how you and your company might play a role.

Best of all, there’s a variety of ways you can communicate with your team on a regular basis. You could schedule one-on-ones, plan team brainstorming sessions, or use communication tools like Slack. You could eat lunch with teammates or stop by for a quick chat when they’re taking a break.

2. Go beyond “How are you?”

Harvard Business School research shows that asking a single question like “How are you?” won’t get much of a response. Instead, you need to dig deeper, asking open-ended follow-up questions. And those should delve into what’s going on beyond work. Find out about their backgrounds and personal interests. You don’t need to know every detail of their lives — and you shouldn’t — but getting to know what sparks joy for them is an effective way of showing that you care about them as people, not just employees.

Personally, you can encourage your team to open up more by being transparent yourself. Discuss your interests, and tell stories about your life. That should be enough to make people feel more at ease. Another option for breaking the ice is to partake in team-building activities that can help everyone get to know each other’s talents and personalities.

3. Help each employee reach his or her goals.

“You need to hold people accountable to their goals,” Tom Ferry, CEO of Tom Ferry International, told CNBC. “One of the big steps in that process is having someone identify their true motivation, or why.”

You can achieve this by creating an environment that fuels this type of growth. Have team meetings to discuss goals as a group. Host one-on-one meetings with individuals to hear about what drives them in their work. Ask about their goals outside work, too — someone who wants to run a marathon or seeks a writing outlet may trigger new ideas.

“Finally, act as a coach and accountability partner as they implement their goals,” says Ferry. “When you take a genuine interest in your employees and impact their lives beyond the office, you build lasting relationships and a more loyal tribe.”

4. Recognize and celebrate.

I’m a fan of “The Office.” One of my favorite episodes is when Jim’s left in charge because Michael’s gone on an excursion to become “Survivor Man.” Jim decides to consolidate all birthdays into one celebration. Obviously, this doesn’t go well.

Individual birthdays were so popular at Dunder Mifflin because they made each employee feel appreciated. Even something as trivial as getting to decide what type of cake you get for your birthday makes you feel like a big deal.

Obviously, you can’t celebrate every day. But when it comes to milestones and important dates like birthdays and anniversaries, a little celebrating can go a long way — even via a handwritten note.

And don’t forget to recognize your employees’ hard work. Send a quick email thanking them for the thoughtful question they asked at the last meeting or acknowledging the improvement in their work. You can also surprise them with gifts that they’ll either enjoy or become more effective with.

5. Stop saying you don’t have time.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that it’s not worth my time and energy to make plans with people who don’t follow through. For example, I had a friend who would always flake on our plans. Eventually, I stopped making plans with him at all and focused on spending more time with people who actually wanted to hang out with me.

The same idea is true as a leader. If an employee is constantly asking if you have a moment to discuss a project or conflict, only to hear, “Sorry, I don’t have time,” that person’s going to feel as if you don’t care. She’ll stop coming to you for help or advice — or leave your company altogether.

The better option is to make time for your team. That doesn’t mean always stopping what you’re doing. But, in the grand scheme of a day, we all have five minutes to respond to an email or refer someone to a resource he needs. If the teammate needs more time than that, ask him to schedule a time to talk with you. It shows that you value your time and his, and you want to give him your full attention when you can.

Connecting with your team on a personal level may not seem like a priority, but if you want to build and retain top talent, it’s an area you must focus on. When you do, you’ll be able to boost engagement, productivity, and profits — and build a foundation you can all grow on.

HR News: Study Finds HR Most Stressful Profession

Work can be hard. That, obviously, doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Generally speaking, most days are great, but there are rough ones peppered throughout the year. For HR though, there is new statistical data that indicates those professionals deal with more stress than another other profession. Also making HR News headlines this week: the latest jobs report is out from the U.S. government and one industry is celebrating impressive job growth despite the previous month’s slump and Google Cloud is under new HR leadership as it works toward taking on competitors, Amazon and Microsoft.

HR News
HR Most Stressful Profession
Everyone thinks their profession is the most stressful. Now, HR professionals have statistical proof indicating the human resources profession tops all others. Human Resources Online writes, according to a new report from Perkbox surveying some 16,000 respondents from more than 50 cities in the United Kingdom, 79 percent of HR professionals say they were negatively impact by their job. Behind HR, 63 percent of legal workers and 54 percent of retail, catering and leisure workers said the same.

WHITEPAPER: The Resounding Cost of a Silent Culture

So, why is the percentage of stress for HR professionals so high? According to Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the reasons include:

Constantly being asked to multitask
Discussing negative issues
Constant pressure to find solutions to company issues
Transportation Jobs On-Top In September
The September jobs report is out and the transportation sector is the clear star. The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted the industry added 16,000 jobs. Business Insider reports September’s growth follows a previous month of shrinking positions. Across the country, some 136,000 jobs were added. That number was lower than expected. Regardless, unemployment remains at an historic low.

New HR Leader at Google Cloud
Former SAP executive Brigette McInnis-Day has been tapped to lead Google Cloud’s human resources department. The move comes as the company is scaling in order to meet cloud market leaders head on in competition. Those market leaders: Amazon and Microsoft. The move to bring McInnis-Day onboard comes after Google Cloud previously announced it would triple its salesforce according to CNBC. McInnis-Day, who officially joined the company on September 30, served previously as the chief operations officer and head of digital HR for SAP’s SuccessFactors

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Top 5 Ways to Turn Your New Hires into Engaged Employees

No matter how big your company or what industry you are in, many companies often miss the opportunity to effectively engage their new hires, leading to lower levels of productivity and advocacy. In today’s article, we wanted to share some great examples of how new hire engagement can be built.

1. Don’t have a disconnect between your recruitment process and onboarding journey.

Over 59% of employers now say that talent brand represents one of the key components of an organization’s HR strategy (with 39% of businesses expected to increase investment in their talent brand initiatives). That means a lot of time and money is being invested in developing an EVP (employee value proposition) and portraying the many reasons why it is so great to work at an organization. So, why then do many organizations go silent after a new hire returns their contract?

Keeping up a similar level of communication (exciting communication..not just admin requests) is one way to build excitement and advocacy even before a new hire has stepped in the door for their first day. This will create engagement to (hopefully) stop them from accepting an offer elsewhere before they start. It will also have them more ready to get stuck in their role when they begin – as there’s more connective tissue established.

2. Make their first day memorable – provide a WOW welcome.

Okay, we all know there are a few basic things you need to get right for a new hire’s first day. Surprisingly, it still is often these basic things that aren’t ready for day 1 – like having an operational laptop, the new hire’s manager being in the office etc.

However, if you truly want to build employee engagement and advocacy for your new hires – you need to go the extra mile. Perhaps during the interview or pre-boarding stages, hobbies or interests were discussed. Have the manager or team take a few minutes to add a personal touch to a desk or the team’s area. You might take over the screen in the reception with a welcome image for the new hire. Not only does this create a sense of belonging, it is also a great way to provide some free talent brand moments (we all love the LinkedIn posts showing us just how great day 1 was).


3. Create an easier way to navigate the dreaded internal systems.
So you’ve done a great job making the new hire feel engaged and welcomed. But after lunch or on the second day, it’s time to start getting into some company content.

Deep breath, followed by a sigh.

Every new hire dreads the mundane e-learnings, and most employers know how hard it is to navigate a learning system or intranet. In one survey, between 16-17 percent of the respondents left between the first week and the third month of starting their new job, so creating a smoother entry into the company goes a long way to increase employee retention early on.

Rather than loosely telling a new hire where to go to access systems and content, why not drip feed specific links to locations to find content at different stages during the new hire’s first few weeks? Imagine as a new hire, on your third day – you have an email in your inbox directing you to relevant links? This will avoid any awkward moments of uncertainty or confusion, that’s for sure.

4. Allow for pulse checks to generate instant feedback.
When a new hire joins your company, there are many moving parts, both for the new hire personally and for the company as a whole. Because of this, there’s most likely going to be something that doesn’t go to plan.

Traditionally, employers have chosen to collect new hire experience data at various points – some collecting recruitment process data, others favoring quarterly or bi-annual employee surveys – and others who collect no data at all.

One of the biggest issues with these processes is that problems may not be identified until it is too late. Of course, this needs to be balanced with not over-surveying a new hire. However, having a check in after a new hire’s first week and month can allow for issues to be identified and rectified early on, making an employee feel much more settled and engaged.

One point here though – if you do decide to survey at frequent intervals, it’s important to have a plan on how to take action on the feedback you receive. Certain automated systems, such as Enboarder, have the ability to trigger an alert to a team member if a poor score is given during a check-in survey.

Enboarder onboarding software

Onboarding software can give you timely reminders and
notifications to help you detect potential issues
your new hires may have.

5. Coach managers to constantly share feedback (a probation review shouldn’t be a shock).
For some, the perception of how they feel they are settling into their new role can be quite different from reality – either positively or negatively. If you truly want to make an employee feel confident and engaged in their role, it’s crucial that their manager offers transparency in how they are settling in.

To create the easiest method here, training your managers on the importance of goal and KPI setting can create an objective way for a new hire to understand how they are progressing in their role. Your managers will most often be well-intentioned, they might just not realize the importance of frequent feedback.

Prompting a manager to have 1:1 catch ups occurring at the end of the first week and month at a minimum is one way to make a new hire feel valued, and for objective feedback to be given. This allows for development areas to be explored, and for a new hire to feel empowered, knowing exactly how they are tracking and where they can be improving. By not providing feedback until probation review time, a new hire has no chance to change their way of working and will feel much less engaged with you as an employer.

Before You Go

The first few weeks new hires spend in your organization are a bit like their honeymoon period. For employers – and HR departments – this onboarding period represents a fantastic opportunity to turn their new recruits into engaged employees.

Unfortunately, companies often don’t seem to grasp the importance of a great onboarding experience. As a result, a lot of those new hires that weren’t easy to recruit in the first place, leave prematurely. Use these 5 tips to create your own engagement boosting onboarding process – and keep everyone onboard (pun intended) – instead.

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3 Steps To Fix A Broken Culture

Our world is in a constant state of change and organizations are evolving to create exceptional cultures.

According to Gallup, “The world’s best organizations don’t simply promise a great employee experience; they create a culture of engagement in which employees can continuously develop and thrive. Leaders at these world-class organizations treat their workplace culture as a powerful competitive differentiator. They set the tone for their desired culture, communicating consistently and holding managers accountable for team engagement and performance.”

Gallup awarded 39 organizations the prestigious Gallup Great Workplace Award for 2018. What did these organizations do that placed them at the top? They created outstanding workplace cultures. How did they do this? By discovering what their people craved, assessing their current culture and implementing a GAME plan. These three steps create alignment, foster communication, focus on strengths and leverage trust. Let’s dive in so you can have an exceptional organization.

Step 1. What Do Your People Crave?

A curated report prepared by the Center For Women and Business at Bentley University researched the impact of multi-generations on the workplace. This report helped us learn what each of these groups wants and need to perform at optimal levels. Here are their findings.


have a distrust of authority and value team interaction
prefer verbal communication and are social
loyal and have an affinity for hard work
Generation X

appreciate well-defined and measurable goals
prefer direct and timely feedback
seek a work environment that is exciting, challenging and meaningful

want coaches, not bosses
want to develop their strengths and not fix their weaknesses
it’s not just their job – it’s their life
Generation Z

money and job security are their top motivators
want instant feedback, want to be mentored in an environment where they can advance quickly
competitive and how they can advance are pivotal
Giving your team what they need to excel all comes down to safety, belonging, mattering.

benefits programs create safety
tribal rituals and celebrations create belonging
recognition programs like Rock Stars and High Fives create feelings of mattering
individual Development Plans create mattering plus
thoughtful, value-based onboarding processes affect a combo pack of all three
Step 2. Assess Your Culture

As discussed in a previous blog, assessing who needs what (safety, belonging, mattering) can be done by asking your team to participate in a SBM Index. They will rank the below 10 questions to assess the level of safety, belonging, mattering in your culture. Since there are 10 it’s easiest to give each answer a score of 1-10 (where 1=low and 10=high). This way you’ll get a total score that you can measure and watch improve as you strengthen your cultural programs. And the higher the score, the better the engagement. Many of our clients find a verbal scale works best. Here’s an example: 0= Disagree, 2.5 = Somewhat Disagree, 5 = Somewhat Agree, 7.5 = Agree, 10 = Consistently Agree. See what makes sense for your team.

It’s safe to try new approaches, to innovate, to share my ideas at work
I trust my team members and colleagues to support my and the company’s success
I feel emotionally and physically safe at work—in the environment, with the tools provided, with my colleagues
I am motivated by my company’s mission, vision, values
I receive acknowledgment and appreciation at work
When I make a mistake I am corrected with respect and the desire to help me improve
I have a career development path that my leader continuously supports me in
I understand the expectations of me and my performance
I feel I matter to my leader and the company—I am making a difference here
I would recommend a friend to work here
Be sure to have a comments section for each statement. This is where some of the greatest gold will show up!

Step 3. Create A Cultural GAME Plan From Your Results

The best way to create an exceptional workplace culture is by implementing a GAME plan.

Growth: are you helping your team to aspire to greater knowledge and capabilities? Individual Development Plans, Leadership Lunches, Annual Learning Plans all help. Do you have them?

Appreciation: How are helping your team to feel appreciated and valued? Do you use High 5s, Rock Star, Weekly Wins, Friday Toasts?

Measurement: Are you ensuring your team performs and understands your expectations? Do you have accountability structures, feedback, performance reviews, engagement surveys?

Engagement: Are you helping to keep everyone’s hearts and minds focused on how much they love your organization? Do you have a solid Mission Vision Values, “Coffee w/CEO” program, company contests, Visual-Auditory-Kinesthetic goals (goals that you show people the progress on, talk about, anchor in an activity?

A GAME plan is essential to provide the most fulfilling work experience, which will yield the happiest and most committed, productive, loyal, long-term, constantly evolving team members. You, your team and your organization deserve this.

The result of implementing these three steps? A highly engaged culture and an exceptional organization.