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HR Connection blog

Coaching From Afar

on Sep 23, 2020 9:55:00 AM By | Valerie Grubb | 0 Comments | Management Coaching
Coaching tops the list of skills that many executives look for in their frontline managers, and for good reason: effective coaching can dramatically increase employee engagement and intrinsic motivation. Considering that only about one-third of U.S. workers are engaged and managers have a huge influence on employee engagement (they "account for at least 70 percent of the variance" in those metrics!), it's clear that managers need to ramp up their coaching skills.   What is Effective Coaching? As a developmental and inquiry-oriented tool focused on future behavior, coaching helps employees move ahead by releasing their potential (even if they don't know they have it in them!). Good coaching can yield benefits for employees, for their managers, and for their organizations. It enables employees to take on more responsibility and become more accomplished, for example. Other potential benefits include greater employee retention and higher quality work. To be an effective coach who helps employees develop greater intrinsic motivation, a manager should use the following strategies: Support employees - and challenge them, too. Listen. Ask challenging questions, but don't hand out answers. Provide a new lens. Offer a wider range of options. Emphasize ownership and accountability. How Does Coaching Change When Everyone Is Working From Home?  Coaching is defined by interpersonal interactions. The continually evolving nature of the coaching relationship is further complicated today by the fact that managers and employees are no longer working together onsite. During these times of widespread work-from-home arrangements, managers have to be even more intentional in their efforts to motivate and engage employees. Coaching from afar is possible during these challenging times. It just requires a slight shift in approach, intentionality, and mindset. First, keep in mind that good coaching is good coaching. That holds true whether a manager and an employee are seated on opposite sides of the same desk or are looking at each other in a virtual meeting. Regardless of the setting, the foundations of effective coaching remain the same: intentionality and consistency. Even when everyone has the best of intentions to communicate regularly, "out of sight, out of mind" can still rear its ugly head. And even when everyone is in the office, it's easy for managers to focus on the tasks on their own plates and not spend enough time checking in on - and developing - their direct reports. When everyone's in a shared physical workplace, at least there's the possibility of having ad-hoc meetings ("Hey, glad I caught you! Let's go grab a quick coffee and chat!"). But those aren't even an option when everyone is geographically scattered. That's why when everyone is working remotely and not seeing each other regularly in the office, it's more critical than ever to schedule - and follow through on - weekly check-ins. At the start of each week, managers need to block out time on their calendars for employee coaching, then treat that time as sacred (because frequent rescheduling sends a "you're not a priority" message to employees). Because they need to be fully present (and free of distractions) to provide good coaching, managers should be sure to choose times when they can truly focus their energies on being the coaches they wish they had had. These meetings aren't just for making sure that projects are on schedule. Even though the concept of an "office" has changed recently, that doesn't mean that employees, companies, and managers have stopped pursuing growth opportunities and working toward goals. Coaching is still essential. In fact, it may even be more essential than ever now, as employees increasingly look to their leaders for guidance during these uncertain times.
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Is Your Organization Fit for the Future?

on Sep 9, 2020 10:00:00 AM By | Ron Thomas | 0 Comments | Management Growth Mindset
We have all heard the talk of mindsets, whether it is fixed or growth. However, as you have probably read, it always centered around the individual. It is described as a belief that your qualities are carved in stone and lead to a host of thoughts and actions. At the same time, a belief that your qualities can be cultivated and lead to a host of different thoughts and actions, taking you down an entirely different road. Each mindset takes you to a different path or level of development.
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Six Ways Front End Work Assures Productive Success

on Sep 2, 2020 9:30:00 AM By | Laura Stack | 0 Comments | Productivity Management Time Management Planning
While a journey of a thousand miles really does begin with a single step (whether you’re hiking, driving, or flying), what you do before taking that step is crucial. There are always at least a few things you’ll need to prepare before you head out. For example: you wouldn’t go camping without packing a tent, sleeping bags, food, and a lighter, would you? So why go off half-cocked on a work project?
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How to Develop and Hire Leaders That People Want to Follow

on Aug 5, 2020 10:00:00 AM By | Whitney Johnson | 0 Comments | Leadership Management Professionalism
Some people are born leaders–naturally charismatic and able to attract and motivate followers to high achievement–seemingly without effort. But most are made.
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Making Midyear Check-ins More Meaningful

on Jul 29, 2020 8:30:00 AM By | Kevin Eikenberry | 0 Comments | Management Accountability
If you are coaching others in the workplace, you probably have some sort of performance management process. While these typically culminate in the annual meeting, many suggest or require at least a midyear check-in too. Even if your process doesn’t suggest that, I believe you benefit everyone by having midyear check-ins. The question is, how to have them, or how to get the most from them?
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How to Encourage a Culture of Open Communication

on Jul 15, 2020 10:00:00 AM By | Greg Smith | 0 Comments | communication Employee Engagement Management Accessibility
Positive employee sentiment has a significant influence on the productivity of your business. The first step to achieving this is to hire the right people for the job. The next step is to cultivate a culture that your employees never want to leave–meaning a culture where your employees’ thoughts and opinions are valued.
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Leaders vs. Managers: What Is In Your Toolkit?

on May 27, 2020 10:15:00 AM By | Ron Thomas | 0 Comments | Leadership Management
Which one are you? Maybe you are a hybrid or a little of both with other ingredients added in for flavor.
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How HR Can Support Companies in Times of Crisis

on May 22, 2020 8:45:00 AM By | Jessica Miller-Merrell | 0 Comments | Management HR Department Coronavirus
When economic downturns, natural disasters, company reorganizations, and other challenges arise, companies depend on HR leaders to set policies, initiate support, and assist employees. During the COVID-19 pandemic, HR departments have been actively involved in their companies’ decisions (such as slowing businesses, canceling conferences, and implementing new work arrangements) to slow the spread of the disease and to adjust to statewide and local social-distancing directives. By maintaining several key focus points, HR staff can more effectively lead their companies through this crisis.
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Employer's Guide for Returning to the Workplace

on May 20, 2020 9:30:00 AM By | Davidson French and Lymari Martinez Cromwell | 0 Comments | Management Coronavirus Requirements
As the U.S. economy reopens in the coming weeks and months, employers are faced with the challenge of bringing employees back to work to a workplace that is drastically different from the one that existed just weeks ago. While states and cities will have unique requirements and conditions with which employers must comply, they intend to rely on, in large part, the constantly evolving guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Consequently, it will continue to be crucial for employers to comply with the most recent guidance from the CDC, OSHA, public health agencies, and the EEOC as they bring employees back to work and re-open businesses.
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How Managers Can Strengthen Team Connections During Times of Change

on Apr 29, 2020 9:45:00 AM By | Karina Schultheis | 0 Comments | Employee Engagement Management Trust Team Building
We're living in a time of unprecedented change, but even under more "normal" circumstances, transformation and uncertainty are foundational to business (and life). Whether navigating challenging circumstances like the COVID-19 pandemic or positive ones like unprecedented periods of growth, managers have the ability to proactively strengthen team connections during times of change. Here are some tips to help keep your team engaged, even amid the most turbulent situations. 1. Be open and honest In some situations, leaders may be limited in what they can share, but you should always aim to provide your team with whatever information you can in a timely and professional manner. When things are changing quickly, access to information is comforting and helps to maintain a small sense of control. Fostering open discussions with your team about what's going on, what it might mean for them, and when you expect to have more information will help build trust and strengthen team connections. (Fun fact: Research suggests trust is the single most important thing in an employer-employee relationship.) This also gives you an opportunity to address your team's fears and concerns and build the understanding that "we are all in this together"which is a powerful motivator and cohesion builder. 2. Set clear expectations and responsibilities If anything is changing on your team (structure, responsibilities, strategy, etc.) it's crucial that you address these changes as soon as possible and clearly define roles and expectations. Be sure to include insight and input from your team so that you're setting realistic deadlines and goals. It's also a good idea to be extra-accessible during times of change, so you're available to answer any questions or clarify new projects as they come up. 3. Keep your team involved Remember: You hired your people for a reason. Trust is a two-way street, and in order to be an effective leader you must demonstrate your trust in your team's abilities. Great leaders also know that listening is just as important as communicating and this is particularly true during times of uncertainty and additional stress. When your people feel trusted and relied upon, they are likely to feel motivated and connected. Your ability to make good decisions as a leader also relies upon insight from your team, so ensure you're listening closely to their feedback. 4. Acknowledge your people When your people have been working hard in the face of change, don't forget to show your genuine appreciation. Saying "thank you" in a meaningful way can look like a spot bonus, an afternoon off, a handwritten note or heartfelt email. The key is to genuinely acknowledge their contributions. Your people are your business. Make sure they know that their hard work is being seen and is making a difference.
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