An organization is a group of people that work together for a common purpose. That’s really it. That’s all it is. So how does the work get done? How are decisions made, and by whom? How do they know they’re right?
To maximize efficiency, engagement, and effectiveness, everyone should be empowered to make decisions – everyone needs to know how their decisions align with and affect the organization as a whole.
An essential responsibility of organizational leaders is the communication of mission, vision, and goals. People need to be reminded and reassured of what their organization’s purpose is – not as a deterrent to innovative thinking, but to make them feel confident in their decision making and assured of their meaningful contributions. Purpose is a guardrail, not a fence.
It’s important to remember, though, that organizations need to be guided, ultimately, by ideas – not people. This is what mission refers to – a timeless explanation of the identity of a team, group or organization. An organization’s mission, very basically, is its reason for existence.
In order to facilitate consistent decision making with an engaged team, the desired future needs to look the same to everyone. This is called vision. An organization comes together for their mission, and continues on toward their vision.
Goals are the details. With mission and vision, you know who you are, where you’re going, and why. Goals are the when, what, and how.
Do Your Best is a soft-skills training program and set of experiential learning activities that illustrates how statements of mission, vision, and goals can directly alter employees’ actions when they are told to adhere to them while carrying out tasks. These statements, especially when presented in writing, not only provide direction and limitation, they motivate and define success.
Do Your Best demonstrates the fundamental nature of organizational direction, and the need for a set of ideas and concepts to guide employee action (rather than a person to please). The name “Do Your Best“ is an example of an ineffective statement of direction. Participants will engage in hands-on exercises (building walls with acrylic blocks) that involve ineffective direction, and see how such statements can lead to counterproductive behaviors and failure.
Bolster your organization’s direction-setting and decision-making abilities with Do Your Best – a serious lesson conveyed through a fun and memorable experience.
The high percentage of women in the workforce, and ever-increasing presence of women in leadership roles, makes gender issues in the workplace no less real. Women face many obstacles on the path to a successful career. It’s important to note, though, that in addition to actual cultural issues in an organization, some obstacles come from women’s own perceptions of themselves and their place in an organization.
Both types of obstacles can be overcome with soft-skills development, but differentiating between external and internal obstacles is a very fundamental step towards self-awareness and growth. Once this awareness is established, women can begin looking within to build self-confidence, assertiveness, and resilience – so that they can begin effectively building and maintaining productive relationships with others.
The narrative of gender in the workplace needs to be deconstructed. You are not “a woman,” you’re YOU. And you should strive to be the best you can be – both in individual performance, and in your interpersonal relationships. By presenting your best self to others, you contribute to the dissolution of gender-based stereotypes and discrimination.
You can learn and develop effective behaviors that don’t change who you are or what values you hold, and that don’t make you “act like a man.” It’s not about compromise, but self-awareness, cultural awareness, and education for everyone.
When faced with circumstances in which gender bias presents a challenge, the best solution is a solid set of soft skills. Building individual relationships that are healthy, effective, and efficient is the start to a strong organizational culture that cares for and embraces all of its members.
Women and Leadership, a new title in the Reproducible Training Library, is an instructor-led soft-skills training program that explores all the challenges women face as they emerge as leaders, and prepares them to select effective behaviors that contribute meaningfully to the success of their organization and to their career.
As part of the Reproducible Training Library, Women and Leadership is fully customizable, and can be used to train as many participants in as many sessions as needed. Your affordable, effective, and personalized soft-skills training solution, the Reproducible Training Library will make your employees, your teams, and your organization more efficient, more healthy, and more prepared than they’ve ever been to succeed.
Does listening still matter in a world where most communication happens online and asynchronously? The answer is a resounding yes! Surveys of customers and employees alike continue to link increased loyalty, engagement, and satisfaction with “feeling heard.” And leaders, managers, and professionals who are perceived as good listeners tend to enjoy higher approval ratings and better performance reviews. But just how do you prove you’re listening in a digital workplace? And how do you make the time and maintain the focus to listen in an environment that is more cluttered with distractions than ever?
Join author and organizational development specialist Laurie Ribble Libove for an hour-long webinar where she’ll discuss practical techniques for listening to your customers, colleagues, employees, and bosses whether they’re talking, blogging, posting, or Yelping.
Great customer service isn’t just present on the front lines of business – it’s an organizational value.
Of course, every job function is different, and not all of them include direct interaction with customers; but great customer service isn’t really about what to say and how to say it – it’s about developing attitudes and dispositions that lead to patterns of effective behavior and individual successes. And those, in turn, add up to organizational success.
While it is the sum of individual efforts that defines an organization with great customer service, the expectation of greatness needs to be present on an organizational level. There need to be standards and measures in place to manage individual and group performance, and to communicate a clear set of expectations. Customer service may be a client’s only experience with your organization’s brand, and should be just as high a priority as production or a sales goal.
There are many ways to establish and reinforce these expectations, including recognition, performance reviews, coaching, and formal training. These processes, though, are best prefaced with self-assessment. A self-assessment of service skills helps employees see that their own ideas of great service may not be all-encompassing – and they might be measured to a standard that they were not originally anticipating.
Becoming a Customer Service Star is a soft-skills training program that sets out a comprehensive model of customer service skills in five dimensions:
- Feeling Positively Toward Customers
- Encouraging Customer Feedback
- Responding to Customer Problems
- Developing Repeat Relationships
- Seeking to Exceed Customer Expectations
Showing not only that these dimensions are all part of great customer service, but how an individual weighs each in their own concept of success (by their level of proficiency with each), Becoming a Customer Service Star encourages accountability for and engagement with the customer experience.
Applicable to employees in any position, Becoming a Customer Service Star will not only improve your customer’s experience, but relationships within your organization.
We have so much to be thankful for this year, including you – our readers and customers of HRDQ.
We know that not everyone has been so fortunate as we have, and our thoughts especially turn to the people affected by the recent typhoon in the Philippines, the devastating tornadoes in Illinois, and, not far from our location in Pennsylvania, the many families and businesses continuing the long process of rebuilding their lives after Hurricane Sandy.
The Red Cross has been a helpful resource through all of these disasters, and HRDQ has chosen to send a donation in support of their disaster relief efforts. You, too, can help your local area relief, or to further-reaching places like the Philippines by visiting www.RedCross.org/donate
We wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!
The HRDQ offices will be closed from Wednesday, November 27 at 12:00pm until Monday, December 2nd at 9:00 am.
The global market is a buyer’s market. The immediate availability of products and services makes efficiency a high priority. Wise, timely, and measurable efforts maintain a business’s cutting edge and allow for growth. So, where should resources be invested?
There are many processes, programs, and policies that are undeniably necessary in businesses, though they have no material end. Attributing profit to these practices is more complicated than determining the value of the creation or sale of a product or service. But, it can be done.
The hardest part is effectively communicating the measured benefits of these practices. They already exist, but they need to be quantified and recorded as deliverables for all stakeholders to understand. The most effective way of producing these deliverables is through built-in quality measures that are followed through with the ROI Methodology.
ROI isn’t just measured, it’s created. Training that generates results comes from planning that’s focused on results.
By basing training and human-resource development activities on measurable objectives, and building in milestones and standards, you’re deciding that not only is a return in value possible, it’s measurable and expected.
Once you begin framing your human resources development activities as investments with projected outcomes, it becomes easier to communicate their value and return – to legitimize and solidify their place as business investments.
So, we’ve covered all that in six short paragraphs, but it’s no small task to build the ROI Methodology into your human-resource development plans.
Don’t worry, though!
Developed by Jack and Patti Phillips, The Bottomline on ROI is a suite of soft-skills training materials that takes you through the ROI Methodology, step by step, in a process rich with examples, case studies, and elegant solutions for delivering results in your organization.