Tag Archives: skills

Top 5 – Motivating Others

followIn today’s highly competitive world, a highly motivated team is vital for any business seeking to be number one.  Therefore it is a critical skill for managers and business leaders to be able to motivate others.

There is a long standing debate that begs the question ‘Do managers actually motivate their staff or are the staff motivated by the environment they are in?

It is more likely the latter, an effective manager and leader has the tools to create and impact the environment of the workplace to ensure it is a positive and sustainable one.

This week’s Top 5 looks at some of the best ways managers can motivate their staff.

1.  Give people responsibility
More than they think they deserve and as much as they are capable of handling. This will empower them assuming they are already motivated. Demonstrating your belief in them will boost their confidence and their beliefs about themselves.

2. Make them feel they matter.
Here are some ways you can instantly make the members of your team feel they matter. Take time for one on ones, use active listening, help them champion causes they believe in and provide feedback, support their career ambitions and ask them ‘what is it that I do that stops you from doing your job?’

3. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Knowledge is power and power is motivating. You can never communicate too much but be careful on what and how you deliver the message to avoid  information fatigue. The optimum approach to delivering information is to remember that everyone  should know everything about the business that concerns them.  Ask your staff what they would like to know about and provide them with this information promptly.

4. Treat people with kindness and respect
There is an old adage that says ‘do unto others as you would be done by’. In other words treat people the way you would like to be treated. Demonstrate trust in your team and they will show you trust in return.  There are simple things you can do like ensure ensuring you handle personal problems in a sympathetic yet positive manner. Ensuring your teams salaries and benefits are looked after and paid promptly.

5. Find out what motivates them individually.
No two people are the same; some might like to head home to see family early on a Friday.
Others might like team drinks night once a month. The ability of a manager to recognise what motivates each individual is a contributing factor to the overall teams’ success.  As a manager you need to be aware of what these ‘motivational forces’ are.  Theorist Abraham Maslow grouped them into five areas. 1. Physiological needs (food clothing shelter etc), 2. Safety Needs (a sense of security), 3. Social Needs (interaction with other people; having friends), Esteem Needs (being well regarded and having the appreciation of others) and Self Actualisation (realising individual potential).

Motivating others through affecting the environment takes time and skill.  As a manager these skills can be gained or developed by attending our highly successful and sort after Happening People Leadership Academy.  Start the year with a real boost and develop a highly motivated work force.  We are looking forward to your call! 1800 68 67 69 or find out more by visiting http://www.HappeningPeople.com

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TOP 5_Benefits to Coaching and How to Achieve it

CoachCoaching is goal focused to develop skills in organisations to achieve better results.  Yet in a recent survey conducted by Happening People a huge 45% of respondents were not being coached by their manager.  This is a staggering figure when you consider that coaching provides an enormous amount of benefit to not only the coachee but also the manager and the organisation.

In 1999 Eric Parsloe wrote in his famous book ‘The Manager as Coach and Mentor” that coaching is “a process that enables learning and development to occur and thus performance to improve. To be a successful a Coach requires a knowledge and understanding of process as well as the variety of styles, skills and techniques that are appropriate to the context in which the coaching takes place”.

This week we go beyond just looking at the benefits of coaching we also detail HOW you can go about achieving these benefits with your team and in your workplace.

If you are yet to ‘like’ us on Facebook, take the opportunity now and during the coming week you will receive our bonus benefit to coaching and how to achieve it, this is a tip not to be missed as it looks at the effect coaching has on your reputation.

So it’s time to jump straight in to Happening People’s TOP 5_Benefits to Coaching and How to Achieve it

1. Talent Retention
BENEFIT: Coaching retains talent because employees feel valued and invested in.
Statistically employees are less likely to jump ship when they are provided with training and professional development opportunities as well as being supported by their management team.
HOW: Let each member of your team know you will be formalising coaching sessions with them and why.  Be mindful if you do not sit down with team members routinely they may feel they are being micro managed so take the time to carefully explain what coaching is and the benefits of coaching for them .

2. Morale Booster
BENEFIT: Coaching boosts employee morale.  Employees develop a high level of self-esteem and job satisfaction as positive recognition and feedback is known to increase staff motivation and initiative.
HOW: Openly praise team members not just in coaching sessions, this is more easily done when your team is being invested in, and they form a ‘winning’ culture and success breeds success. There are a number of ideas you can introduce to encourage morale; consider an employee appreciation night or provide movie tickets to the star performer of the week. You could have a ‘knock off early Friday’ for consistently great performance or best improved.

3. Skills Lift
BENEFIT: Coaching upskills your people and strengthens and develops the skills of the overall team
HOW: Develop a skills matrix that details the current skills of your team members, identify with them areas they need to work on to improve.  Meet with them and work together to formulate a plan to achieve these skill uplifts.

4. Productivity Improver
BENEFIT: Coaching Improves productivity as goals are achieved
HOW: Research suggests that individuals can achieve an improvement in work performance by as much as 20-25% simply by goal setting. During the coaching sessions discuss the goals the coachee needs to achieve, break them down into tasks and work through a plan with your coachee to achieve the plan.

5.  Performance Management Tool
BENEFIT: Regular Coaching avoids surprises and defensiveness at performance appraisal time.
HOW: Link the coaching to the KPI’s(key performance indicators) and the overall performance management program. That way your employees will be actively working towards achieving their KPI’s throughout the year.  When they are asked to gauge their own performance they will have already had many discussions with you and the ‘truth’ of their performance will be clear to you both.

As you can see there are so many tangible benefits to Coaching, if you are new to coaching or would like to be more effective as a coach, Happening People can help, click here or call Happening People on 1800 68 67 69 or go to www.happeningpeople.com

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Top 5 – How to Be a Great Mentor

Not to be confused with a coach a mentor is a peer to peer guide or is often described as someone who has walked the path before others.  If you wanted to be the worlds best swimmer then you would work with the worlds best swimming coach but if you wanted to know what it was like to be the worlds best swimmer then you would talk with someone who has done it and this person is a mentor.

Mentors are people who help the mentee to develop and grow until the mentee feels empowered to function alone.  Mentors do this by providing support, sharing their experiences, knowledge and skills whilst keeping in mind the level of skill and experience the mentee possesses. The relationship between the mentor and the mentee usually unfolds over time and can be formal and informal.

The role of a mentor is one that is best taken seriously for the mentee’s often see their mentor as ‘larger than life’ or the expert and it’s probably healthy for them to see  you in such a way initially to help establish the relationship for they are looking for someone to point the way.  They are often unsure of their abilities through a lack of experience and the mentee seeks to acquire your abilities.  At times you may even feel that the mentee is becoming you.

There are a variety of skills good mentors possess which enables them to have long and successful relationships with their mentees who often go on to be their friends and provide mutual counsel.  If it’s time for you to jump on the mentoring bus or indeed you are already on-board Happening People give you our Top 5 on How to Be a Great Mentor and in this top 5 check out our extra top tip (it’s one you won’t want to miss!) by liking our Facebook page www.facebook.com/happeningpeople

 1. Success is in the structure
Mentoring can be stifled by too much structure.  Many people who engaged in mentoring would not apply the label to their activities.  Some would be embarrassed and inhibited by so naming the relationship.  Very informal one-off instances of advice or short-term mentoring can afford to be totally unstructured.  However it can be lack of structure with no agreed objectives, ground rules or parameters that leads to problems in mentoring. Where a mentoring relationship is recognised and acknowledged as such, a verbal agreement as to the purpose of the relationship is the minimum structure required.  Written agreements can also be valuable.

2. Responsibility of the mentee

Your role as mentor requires you to guide, offer suggestions for improvement, uncover strategies that maybe of use to the mentee and provide them with a sounding board to help them navigate to a successful outcome.  Your role here is not to take over and own the process or become possessive of the outcome.  Ultimately the mentee is responsible for the outcome which you help them facilitate on the side lines.

 3. The 4 phases to mentoring
1. Start up- People seek mentors when they are typically unable to make sense of an experience on their own, they seek mentors to guide them in these situations, to interpret their experiences for them.
2. Development- This is where you will see and hear your mentee being more independent.  This is usually the longest phase in mentoring and offers you the greatest chance to assist in enhancing their skills and knowledge.
3. Separation – This phase begins when the mentee starts to separate from you.  You can expect that they will want to do things by themselves to prove themselves and establish their own identity.  They will be looking to stand-alone. It is usually the most rewarding stage for both the mentor and mentee.
4. Common Ground – Here you will be looking to see that the mentee feels completely at ease without your guidance.  Better yet the mentoring relationship turns into a workplace friendship based on mutual respect and admiration.

 4. The mentees manager
Some specialists in mentoring recommend that the boss should not be the mentor to a subordinate.  However, some boss /subordinate mentoring works extremely well, either in the in the formal or informal sense. This works best when the culture of organisation endorses such behaviour or where the boss regards the staff development as a high performance goal in alignment with their own goals and those of the organisation. If you are not your mentees boss remember your job is to help the mentee develop and grow not to pick holes in how they are being managed.

5. Practice confidentiality
Where the mentor/ mentee relationship commonly falls apart or is severely tested is when there is a breach of confidentiality. Trust is paramount to the success of the relationship and only you can decide how much confidential matter you offer.  At times ethical issues arise in which you may consider breaking confidentiality e.g. organisational security.  At this point it is often best to refer to your organisation policies if a breach occurs.  Legally, the law of land prevails and cases of stealing or harassment, among others, must be reported.

Let Happening People help you and your people develop your mentoring skills by attending our Mentoring  Training Program.  To find out more call us on 1800 68 67 69 or visit our website www.happeningpeople.com

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TOP 5: How to Engage Your Customers Through Outstanding Customer Service Practices

Engaging your customer has never been so important to an organisation then right now! Here’s what you need to know RIGHT NOW to better engage your customers!

The buzz in customer engagement is social media and online engagement marketing. The rise of social media has indeed changed the way we engage with our customers, we too are now focused on forming more meaningful and long term relationships with our customers online.  Whilst social media plays an important part of the overall engagement strategy some more traditional concepts are being forgotten.

One of the simplest and more traditional strategies to employ to engage your customer and keep them coming back is through offering quality customer service.  In some markets where the product or service is relatively the same (think banking and insurance) organisations that focus on engaging their customer by offering outstanding service are the winners!

Your Top 5 on How to Engage Your Customers Through Outstanding Customer Service Practices awaits!

1. Service Strategy
How the organisation sets itself up to deliver effective service is the strategy. Take for example MCDonalds and other fast food outlets.  McDonalds is known for its exceptional service compared to other fast food outlets.  Mc Donalds invest heavily in process automation and ensuring the way they set up their business assists they deliver a high quality of service around the globe. In your organisation look at:

  1. Structure of technology – ease of use, location convenience, telephony, website interface.
  2. Structure of people – divisional, functional, matrix and reporting lines of these.
  3. Resourcing – budgets allocated to effective service, ratio of people to customers.
  4. Culture  – Top level commitment, leadership role modelling effective behaviours, service language being common, symbolism, rituals in service, team approach and buy-in to service, internal politics being goal oriented towards service, standard service way, the things are done, employee satisfaction, .
  5. Environment – conducive to service delivery from layout to lighting.
  6. Customer satisfaction – how customer service is communicated and feedback is received to achieve customer satisfaction.

2. Communication
It has to be said with the engagement of email, mobiles, text, Skype, social media platforms and the demise of the ‘business lunch’ has our ability to talk to our customers faded away along with our communication skills?  You have a golden opportunity to engage with your customer simply by demonstrating outstanding communication skills. Your goal as a business leader is to embody these communication skills and impart them to your staff so that when a customer makes contact with a real live person in your organisation, or your telephone answering service – they still feel like they are cared about, that their needs are genuinely important and that you are interested in finding the right solution for them.

3. Customer Service Training
To maximise engagement your customers need to hear a common voice, energy and tone when they communicate with your company.  The message needs to be clear and communicated throughout all the areas of your business. This can be difficult to achieve on your own but customer service training programs are an excellent way of assisting you in delivering the same message throughout your organisation. Look for programs that can be tailored to your organisation and one that focuses on a solid customer service model. For example a model we use during our Customer Service Training Programs at Happening People is the Customer Contact Steps Model.  The model helps guide participants through the stages of customer service and include:

  1.  Planning (looking at attitude, appropriate responses and identifying customer behavioural styles)
  2. Initiating (establishing records, building a personalised relationship  and being attentive)
  3. Interacting (active listening, clarifying expectations and using appropriate hand over techniques)
  4.  Responding to Concerns (address concerns appropriately)
  5. Gaining Shared Commitment (check level of customer satisfaction)
  6. Follow Through (meeting commitments made, value ads and informing on progress made).

4. Knowledge is power
Most employees want to deliver quality service to their customers; it gives them a sense of pride and satisfaction.  For an employee to do their best work they need knowledge of what to do and how to do it.  This knowledge includes:

  1. People – who works where, what they do and how they are relevant to customers
  2. Product – all deliverables which the organisation can provide to meet a customers need
  3. Technical – details of company processes, company policy, technology availability and use and computer processing.
  4. Customer Knowledge – relationships with ‘who is who in the zoo.’

5. Personal Attitude
Attitude is so important to delivering outstanding customer service.  We know from childhood that a poor attitude affects performance, relationships and our ability to get ahead.  One of the best ways to ensure your team or organisation demonstrate the right kind of attitude is to ensure your HR Team your recruitment policies, induction programs and learning programs are aligned to the attitudes and behaviours you want displayed.

Happening People are known for their results giving Customer Service Training Programs.  Each program is tailored to your organisation to ensure that one clear message is communicated to drive your business to success.  To find out more click on the links above or call Happening People on 1800 68 67 69 or go to www.happeningpeople.com

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