The Power of EQ in Leadership

When I teach leadership classes I try to instill in my class that there are three important leadership traits that will help them stay on the leadership track.

  • Authenticity counts – forget about eloquence, focus on being real.
  • Visibility is a form of communication – get out there and be consistently seen.
  • Listening is a powerful tool – active listening is a skill that needs to be constantly honed.

I think a skill that can also be honed is emotional intelligence or EQ.  Emotional intelligence in a leader can help them read their people as well as they can read books. Ever had one of those leaders who couldn’t read the room and barreled on and made moral worse? If that leader had known the basic concept of EQ, would it make a difference to the team? I think it does.

In my experience leaders who have a sense of EQ stay cool under pressure. They don’t hide from their feelings but learn from them. They understand others better, and they communicate more effectively than the “clueless” ones. Sounds perfect, right? Don’t we all wish we could do those things. In the interest of honing and learning new skills, here are 5 components of EQ and a brief summary on how to use them as a leader.

  1. Self-awareness. This is the leader’s ability to recognize and understand their own moods and emotions and how their state of mind affects others on their team. Knowing your own frame of mind and communicating with your team (not over sharing, think of it as a public service announcement instead) can help misunderstandings.
  2. Self-regulation. This involves the leader being able to control their impulses and moods and think or pause before acting. Self-control in the sense of being optimistic (be like Ted Lasso!) vs. being pessimistic. Self-regulation is focusing on being forward thinking instead of reactionary. Process your feelings instead of taking them out on your team.
  3. Internal motivation. Know your WIIFM (What’s in it for Me?). Do you know your WIIFM? Why are you in this leadership role? Do you know your team’s individual WIIFMs? Understanding the difference between intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) motivations can help you, as a boss lead your people in a way that motivates them. There is not meant to be judgement in this exercise, just acknowledgement of what drives the individuals on your team.
  4. Empathy. Leaders need to be able to understand emotions and empathize when someone is struggling. I am not saying you need to fall for every sob story that comes your way. But acknowledging that a team member is frustrated and giving them an outlet to safely “vent” can help them move past their hurt, anger, or frustration and get back to being productive. Empathy helps us accept their feelings without judgement or more importantly, listen to them without the need to fix it. You are acknowledging their feelings without owning them.
  5. Social skills. The aspect of social skills in the EQ realm is the ability to properly manage your own and other’s emotions to connect, interact and work with others.  Think about that networking event you went to and you “got stuck” with someone who didn’t ask you one thing about your business or life and instead went on for a 20-minute monologue about how you can help them. There is no bonding there, just boredom!

As a leader many of us use EQ without realizing that is what we are doing. Keep it up! Remember to check in with your own emotions before taking them out on your team. Get to know your team and what drives them and give them goals and direction that coincide with their WIIFM.

You will find incorporating these EQ techniques can help your communication flow, enhance your ability to inspire and motivate your team, reduces stress for you and your team members, and allows you to be that authentic supportive leader that you are destined to be.

Want your team members to learn more about leadership? Reach out to me to learn about our training modules which will elevate yours, and your team leader’s, leadership skills.

Wow, December 2023. Who would have thought it would be here so quickly and yet still take so long to get here.

As we reflect on the year and send love to our friends, family, clients, and colleagues take a moment to send love to yourself.

Love what you have accomplished and release the feeling of guilt when you think of the things you didn’t get to this year.

Take a minute to really reflect on your year.

  • How have you changed?
  • How many bad habits did you leave behind?
  • How many new habits or hobbies did you begin?
  • What was your most challenging project / situation / person?
  • What was your biggest breakthrough?
  • What is your best memory?
  • Who was your favorite person? New friend? Rekindled friend?
  • What was the best thing you read or watched?
  • What song did you have on repeat?
  • Most awesome event you went to?
  • What was your word for 2023 and how did it appear in your life?

When you take the time to reflect, truly reflect, you gain an overall picture of your self-improvement and accomplishments. It helps you plan your next year with strategic intentions. It helps you celebrate the wonderful person you are!

In this holiday season, take time to celebrate you and the person you are.

Happy Holidays and Let’s ROCK 2024!

November — Thanksgiving, Turkey, cooler weather, changing leaves (ok, maybe not in Phoenix!).

Ok, maybe the leaves aren’t as vibrant here in Phoenix but that doesn’t change the fact that November is often the season to say Thank you. Who else has a tradition of everyone saying what they are grateful for around the family Thanksgiving dinner table? It’s a beautiful tradition and one I incorporate into my daily life. I try to be grateful for the beautiful things in my life daily and not just once a year. The reason I say try is because gratitude isn’t always a seamless or easy practice. Sometimes I have to stretch my imagination to find something. When I do that, no matter how simple my gratitude my world still becomes a bit sunnier.

People often talk about being grateful and keeping a gratitude journal. Some people don’t see the point of it. Some people swear by the practice of writing down your gratitudes daily. I am one of the latter. I encourage everyone to try it. Try it for November and see what happens. What do you have to lose?!

My advice is to remember to be grateful for the little things. Because they aren’t little – they have the power to change the tone of your entire day. Ever want to get out of a grumpy funk? Write down at least 3 things you are grateful for. And by write I mean keep a journal, text them to a friend, write them in your phone. Where you write them doesn’t matter – just write them down.

Here are mine from this morning:

  • Someone holding the door for me as I struggle with my 4 heavy bags
  • My neighbor smiling and saying “Good Morning”
  • The way my puppy is happy to see me every day
  • The way my friend and I smile about a private joke
  • My amazing clients, friends, associates, colleagues, and family

If you don’t already practice daily gratitudes I highly recommend you use November to start. What a perfect season to begin this new habit. It’s easy to begin. Just think of 3 – 5 things you are grateful for each day. Is your heat working? Is your bed comfy? Is your water hot? They don’t have to be complex items – it isn’t about the items you are grateful for, it is about that feeling of gratitude. And savoring that feeling.

In this spirit, let me say THANK YOU to my clients, my friends, my associates, my colleagues, and my family. You are all the best and I appreciate each and every one of you.

Thank you and Happy Season of Gratitude!

The new I9 form has been the talk of the town for a couple months now. It was announced on July 21st that the new form should be used as of August 1, 2023.

So why am I just now bringing it up? Because the grace period ends on October 31st and employers are required use this new form beginning November 1st.

There are several changes to the form, and they aren’t complicated. Just new. The new form was designed to be more streamlined than the old one. And technology-wise it was designed to be downloaded easier for completion on tablets or mobile devices. 

Your new employees are required to complete it on their first day of employment. You, as the employer, have 3 days to review their documentation and complete the verification sections. Best news is the form’s instructions went down to 8 pages (vs. 15 pages). I mean we ALL read those every single time, right?

The biggest change is the checkbox allowing employers enrolled in E-Verify to indicate they virtually examined identity and employment authorization documents (vs. reviewing the documents in person).

If you Google the new I9 form you can get your very own copy, or follow this link:

We are here to help you navigate the changes. If you want more information, don’t hesitate to reach out. I am also including a SHRM article that is a fantastic help if you want further information.

The performance review systems of the past will not survive—nor should they. They were built for a workplace that no longer exists. Performance reviews must evolve with the changing workplace.

Younger generations of empowered employees and the continuing proliferation of remote work are transforming the workplace. Much work today, especially knowledge work like the practice of law, is more flexible and less location dependent. Further, younger employees are more likely to seek work that is rewarding and leadership that is interactive, and they are less willing to accept the one-way command-and-control structures of the past.

One relic of this old worldview is the yearly performance review, with its emphasis on checklists and performance scores. Nobody likes traditional performance reviews. They are top-down, time-consuming, production-halting, anxiety-provoking, and sometimes adversarial, and generally look to record the past rather than develop future performance. Since these old-style reviews typically happen once a year, they are a blunt instrument at best, ineffective for course correcting in today’s fast-paced workplace.

“There is no evidence that these programs increase either motivation or performance.” states John Boyce, Vice President of Human Resources at Amsoil Inc. He recently instituted a new performance management system and says, “Our Performance Management (PM) program is the cornerstone of our retention strategy.”

By reimagining the traditional PM conversation and moving to a strength-based program, Boyce believes that everyone benefits. “Shifting the emphasis from manager to employee makes the PM conversation a powerful positive experience that builds trust and strengthens the relationship between the manager and employee.”

Toward a New Style of Performance Management

One of the biggest raps on the old model of annual performance reviews is that it brings work to a standstill, stirring competition and killing team cohesion and productivity. Employees stop working to fill out forms and stress about the meeting, while their managers lock themselves in their offices and struggle to remember who did what the previous 12 months and write the equivalent of term papers for each one. The process hits an even narrower funnel when the managers send their evaluations up the chain for approval.

This traditional performance review is inefficient and ineffective, akin to using a kitchen knife for scalpel work. Indeed, the traditional performance review is receiving a lot of criticism these days. In a recent SHRM article, a WTW survey reported that 72% of employers agreed that supporting the development and productivity of their employees is a primary objective, but only 31% said their performance management program was meeting that objective.

That’s great, some of you are thinking. No more performance reviews!

Not so fast. Rethinking performance reviews doesn’t mean getting rid of them altogether. Providing employees necessary feedback is still an essential managerial responsibility. Many leaders and businesses depend on performance reviews to reprioritize duties, clarify accountability, and deal with ongoing issues. Metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs), and benchmark goals are still the best ways to measure employee performance. We don’t need to change what we do—we need to change how we do it.

A new approach to performance management is required to lead employees effectively—an approach that is more frequent, less top-down, and more interactive. Many firms are adopting monthly check-ins regarding quarterly goals, addressing issues immediately as they arise, and closing out the year with a scaled-back but still formal annual review. These changes have increased productivity, team morale, and performance. Interacting with staff throughout the year cultivates employee success and engagement and attracts more motivated workers. Recruiting firms are finding that evolved performance management programs are a strong recruiting tool for younger workers.

New Strategies in Performance Review

What changes in the performance review process are most effective for today’s businesses? Here are six you can try.

  1. Talk, Talk, and Talk Some More

Don’t limit talks with your staff to once or twice a year. Schedule frequent conversations to discuss performance. And don’t be afraid of spontaneous drop-ins as well, not to catch out the employee, but to establish and maintain a collaborative relationship. Not only should the conversations be more frequent, they should also be more engaging and reciprocal. You want your employees invested in their own growth and performance.

These conversations don’t need to be marathons. Keep them short, focused, and simple. Set monthly or quarterly goals and priorities as a place to begin and use one-to-one guides to direct and document the conversations, during which you can discuss growth, customer feedback, and recognition.

Once the meetings are on the calendar, don’t reschedule unless there’s an emergency. When you reschedule or postpone, you imply the meetings aren’t a priority, and the employee will follow your lead.

  • Set Clear Expectations

Set clear performance goals and expectations at the beginning of the year so employees understand their responsibilities. This practice lends objectivity to the review process by introducing measurable targets. It also keeps the conversations focused on the future and gives employees goals to work towards. Having these conversations early in the year allows the leader to explain how the employee’s duties fit into the firm’s overall strategy.

Business in the 21st century is nothing if not fast paced. Markets change quickly and firms must adapt just as quickly. Last month’s job requirements may no longer apply. Remember to be flexible with your expectations, adapt your goals or metrics when needed, and explain these changes with full transparency.

Heather Parker, Owner of Parker Law, a woman-owned firm specializing in estate planning and business law, hosts a quarterly strategic retreat with her staff to establish procedure improvements and quarterly goals and to set personal and professional development goals for each staff member, which become part of the measurements used in her performance reviews. “These retreats are essential to our understanding of where we want the firm to advance over the next three months. No one is excluded from the process, and everyone has an equal voice.”

  • Simplify the Process

There is no need for your review process to be complicated or cumbersome, especially with more frequent conversations.

Older methods of the annual review process had long forms, extensive questions, and idiosyncratic ratings systems. They often took the leader days to complete and deliver, thus slowing the firm’s production. Missy Hirst, COO of Altitude Community Law, has created a simple questionnaire using Survey Monkey. The self-evaluation, as well as the questionnaire for the supervisor and peers, have approximately four (proprietary) questions. “The answers are anonymous, and the questions are thought-provoking and open ended,” Hirst says, “but they don’t require long-winded answers.”

Simplifying the process for the review, including more frequent conversations with your staff, addressing performance issues immediately, and involving your employees in the process, fosters a culture of transparency and accountability.

  • Use Self-Evaluations and Solicit Feedback

Self-evaluations are a great way to have your employees think about what they want for the year and a good starting point for learning what skills and resources are important to their success.

At her quarterly strategic retreats, Parker has each employee complete a self-evaluation for their last three months. “The self-evaluations are a way to treat your employees like the adults they are by giving them a voice in their own success or failure. We have found completing these self-evaluations on a consistent basis helps them focus on the bigger picture.”

Hirst involves the entire firm in performance reviews. Her short review questionnaire is sent to the employee, their immediate supervisor, everyone in the employee’s department, and everyone in the firm. Responses from the employee’s department are mandatory, but for the others they are optional. She has found that this process of inclusion has fostered an atmosphere of accountability. Adding input from employees’ colleagues or from other managers grants a fuller picture of the employees’ capabilities and contributions.

This 360-approach is not a lecture. It allows the employee to have an open, two-way conversation with their immediate supervisor. It also empowers the employee to have candid conversations with their leader about what resources and training they need to be successful. Hirst observes that the inclusion of other departments “adds value to the process and enhances the culture of mutual respect regardless of position within the firm.”

  • Create Forward Focus to End Recency Bias

Recency bias—building a review on an employee’s most recent performance while ignoring earlier efforts—is a sure-fire way to undermine your review process. Parker avoids recency bias by creating a “full open-door policy.” “We don’t wait for an annual review to address issues. We address anything, positive and negative, right away.” Hirst mentions that her review questionnaire has broad questions, so the focus is not on a single project.

Both Hirst and Parker establish their employee goals at the beginning of the year, which acts as a baseline and allows the employees and their leaders to map out a path for professional development that aligns with the firm’s strategies. Monthly, quarterly, and annual conversations are more impactful and effective when focused on the employee’s future actions rather than past mistakes. Performance reviews have the power to demotivate employees and destroy company morale if they are not forward focused. Focusing on the future instead of the past keeps employees engaged and goal driven, especially when backed with frequent and consistent conversations about those goals.

Before Hirst changed the firm’s performance reviews, she noticed that their legacy and high-producing employees were unengaged in the process. “Performance reviews are less impactful for great employees if they don’t have items to work on. Instead of focusing on what they did wrong, we focus on the future. Now we use the review process to encourage, retain, and stimulate our legacy and great employees’ performance.”

  • Divorce Merit Increases from the Review Process

When merit increases are tied to the annual review, employees focus on nothing but the bonus. Everything else is “Wah, Wah, Wah.” This inhibits employees’ growth and limits their ability to focus forward.

Hirst and Parker have untethered merit increases from their performance reviews. Hirst, for example, budgets for the firm in the third quarter, announces raises in the fourth quarter, and puts them into effect January 1st. “This change puts everyone on the same playing field and allows the employees to focus on performance and not money” for the rest of the year.

Parker bases merit increases on firm rather than individual performance and discusses such increases throughout the year. She doesn’t discuss money during the annual review, which eliminates drama and highlights performance and goal-setting.

Performance Reviews as Leadership Tool

Current statistics, surveys, and interviews indicate that millennials and members of Generation Z crave feedback and are focused on career development. The old-time once-a-year model is not going to keep them engaged. A revamped yearlong interactive performance review motivates employees, boosts employee engagement, and inspires them to meet the firm’s goals. It also prioritizes employee opportunities and clarifies accountability while helping leaders learn how to give feedback calmly and helpfully. As John Boyce states “People like to know their relationship to organizational goals and how these impact their future with the company and our revamped PM program facilitates that.”

The new generations of employees crave feedback from employers who are invested in their professional development. The yearlong performance review is not only a good model for evaluating employee performance, it is also a valuable tool for recruiting candidates who want to know where they stand, how to improve, and how to excel in rewarding and engaging careers.

*This article was originally written for the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) magazine.*

We all know that accountability in the workplace is one of the driving characteristics of high-performing teams and offices. If accountability isn’t part of your company’s culture, you will struggle with employee performance and engagement. Plus, if employees can always escape accountability by making excuses, you will have a stagnant culture and workforce.

Accountability isn’t a new concept; however, it is often misconstrued. It is not forcing your employees to work harder, or it isn’t writing performance improvement plans, or write ups, and it isn’t about yelling at your staff for everything they do wrong. It is about trust. It is about holding people responsible for their job duties, and it is about working together.

To begin, a leader needs to define what accountability looks like for their offices and teams. I think accountability is being answerable and taking responsibility for your actions and your decisions as well as delivering on your commitments.

Here are 4 ways to encourage accountability in your teams:

  • Accountability begins at the top. Everyone must be held to the same standards. With rank does NOT come privilege. One of the corporations I worked at the leaders had different rules. They could do what they wanted when they wanted regardless of the business hours. They could yell at employees and be unprofessional. They could wear things that weren’t allowable to the rest of us. You know what this did? Made us resent the leadership team in addition to not trusting anything they said or did.  If you, as the leader, want people to be on time for meetings – you need to be on time. If you want them to behave in a certain way – you need to as well. Leaders set the example. Set a good one.
  • Create daily accountability goals and standards. Remember when you got a gold star for doing daily things like brushing your teeth? Do you write things on a list just so you can cross it off? That is, you holding yourself accountable. Pass it forward. Production goals can be set, and behavior goals can be modeled. Remember to say thank you and give kudos to your staff when they do what you ask them to do. Yes, it does feel in the beginning as though you are saying thank you for them doing their job. Instead think of it as rewarding the behavior you want to continue to see.
  • Be outcome and solution focused. One of my favorite lines to use as a leader is “I don’t care who is to blame, how are we going to fix it?” Stop the blame game in its tracks by not allowing it to continue. In the end does it really matter who’s fault it is if the client is the one getting the short end of the stick? Find solutions, don’t create martyrs.
  • Are your expectations clear and concise? Do they make sense to everyone? Does your staff know what is expected of them. Make sure you repeat your expectations often, even if you think they know it. And if something changes don’t expect them to just know that. Tell them! Encourage them to know what they should be doing and how they should meet the end expected outcome.

The bottom line is in order to hold your employees, or your peers accountable, you need model the accountability yourself.

If your office is struggling with accountability, look to yourself and your leadership team first. Then give me a call and let’s find a solution.

Most people I have met, managed, and worked with want to be appreciated. They want to be appreciated for their hard work, for hitting a production goal, or for contributing to the company’s success, for showing up on time, and for being a decent person.  Even the person who says they don’t want the trophy, or the public recognition, wants to know their hard work is being noticed, and is appreciated.

The fast-paced day to day life many small business owners and HR Directors keep doesn’t always allow time for recognition. We get caught up in the hustle, the chaos, or the myth that you don’t need to reward people for “doing their job.”

I want you to consider recognizing your employee’s dedication if you want them to continue to work hard for your company. I can’t tell you how many times in my corporate career I heard people gripe about working their tails off and how no one seemed to notice. This gripe quickly turned to resentment against the corporation and the hard work stopped. It is not difficult to  end that toxic attitude before it begins. Recognizing your people doesn’t take as long as you would think. And it isn’t as difficult as you’ve worked it up to be either.

Things to consider about recognition:

  1. Create a program or a strategy with parameters, rules, and guidelines for every award and reward. One of the fastest ways to damage your employee’s morale is for someone to think the recognition is subjective. You like “them” better than “me” so that is why they are now your favorite. Having a strategy can eliminate that perception.
  2. What is worthy of a reward? Rewarding specific behavior can encourage and motivate your employees to continue to act / behave / produce the way they have been. It also sets the “winners” up to be role models for other employees.
  3. Recognition programs are a great tool to help your company engage and retain your employees. Align the awards /rewards / praise with your company’s vision and goals. This will encourage your people to be part of the company’s success.
  4. Tenure strategies. Recognize the employees who have dedicated years of their lives to your company. Acknowledge them and their tenure and let them know how much you appreciate their commitment.
  5. Empower your direct managers. Typically, HR is responsible for administering the recognition program but empower your managers, who work side by side with their teams, to nominate, suggest, and drive the rewards.  
  6. It doesn’t always have to be about the cash in pocket reward. There are other options such as small gifts, gift cards, stickers, paid time off, and the list goes on and on. One of my most successful reward prizes was the UGLIEST trophy ever. It was awarded to the highest producing team and my teams fought over that UGLY thing. I didn’t get it; this thing was hideous. But they all wanted to showcase it proudly in their space. Not sure where to start? Ask your staff what is important to them. They may give you ideas you never would have thought of.
  7. Remember not everyone in the office loves public recognition. Some people may be very shy or feel awkward when you thrust them center stage. Part of your strategy should be to ask everyone at their next one to one how they feel about recognition and public praise.

Whether you have a quarterly staff meeting where you hand out trophies, or monthly production award meetings, or weekly huddles where everyone gets a sticker – create a program that fits into your business structure, acknowledges the habits and behaviors you want them to continue to do, and makes them feel appreciated.

Want some ideas? Reach out to me or follow me on LinkedIn for ideas. 

Like many of my friends and clients, I am a corporate refuge. I spent years in the corporate world, and in that realm, the HR team was the core of the business. It served as the first touchpoint candidates encountered when applying for a job, it was the heartbeat for recruiting, and we dealt with the day-to-day drama of working in a large corporation.  

Most small businesses don’t need someone in-house full time. They don’t need a backbone for their organizational needs, or someone to define their company culture, or someone to invest in the long-term success of their employees. Why? Because the owner serves the purpose for all those avenues. The owner has a vision and does things every single day to create the business of their dreams. In a utopia that is. Most small business owners I speak with feel frazzled, are puzzled over their money leaks, and don’t have enough time in the day.

Most small business owners only reach out to find HR assistance when something goes wrong. That’s not all we HR professionals do. That is only the tip of the iceberg.

Why Small Businesses Need HR

  1. Bring outside HR into your business at any time. You don’t need to have employees. Once business owners begin to value their time, want help with focus, growth, or direction, it is time to bring in an outside perspective. This will allow you to focus on what you love and not the minutia of day-to-day business functions.
  2. Looking to hire someone or are you still nervous about bringing someone on? HR can help you decide when to hire your next employee, what position you (actually) need, and then help you decide who the best candidate is.
  3. Have a couple employees? Just hired a new one? HR can help you process employee paperwork and create company policies, job descriptions, and performance review processes.
  4. Someone show up in an outfit that is NOT office appropriate? HR can help you define your employee expectations. What do you want your employees to accomplish? How do you want them to dress? What are their production goals? Do they have phone scripts? What should they be doing all day long?
  5. Not sure how to plan, organize, or elevate your business? An HR consultant has years of experience in project management, workforce strategies, and how to get a grip on the “paperwork” that never seems to go away.

Although you may think you don’t need HR in your small business; the truth of it is you probably do. You may not be ready for someone in house, but an outside HR person can be beneficial to you in more than the “people drama” way. HR consulting, and someone outside your company will offer you a fresh perspective. This outside expert can help elevate a small business to the next level. 

Want help in evaluating whether or not your company needs an HR expert? Reach out to me and let’s have a conversation. We are here to help!

In today’s competitive, diverse, and fragmented workplace, conflict happens.
Different people, with different work styles, personal and professional needs, are bound to clash about what to do and how to get it done. 
There’s no need to fear conflict, resolved effectively, conflict and its resolution can lead to personal and professional growth, and a more resilient workplace. 
Before you go into any difficult conversation, regardless of the cause, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is the purpose of this conversation?  
  2. What do you hope to accomplish?
  3. What would be the ideal outcome?
  4. What assumptions are you making about this person’s intentions?
  5. What “buttons” of yours are being pushed? What about the employee’s “buttons?”
  6. Are either of you more emotional than the situation warrants?

The bottom line is you need to prepare. Yes, sometimes these conversations happen “on the fly” but you can still take 30 seconds to figure out at least one of the above questions.

Once you have a clear understanding of what you are looking to accomplish, and once you remove the emotion from the situation, you are able to look at the situation through the eyes of a leader and work towards a solution.

And above all, don’t ignore the situation. That is never healthy!
Want to prepare for a difficult conversation? Need a fresh perspective? Give me a call and let’s figure out the next steps!

If there is one thing the last few years taught us, it is how to be flexible. Now when someone has to reschedule it isn’t a big deal – we accommodate and make the adjustments. For us introverts, sometimes it is a blessing, sometimes it is putting off the inevitable. Either way we, dare I say, Pivot? If we are this flexible now with our calendars, why are so many people still resistant to change?

I think it is fair to say, there are many different types of personalities, working styles, and generations in today’s work force. Some employees thrive in a chaotic work environment that changes daily. Others are more productive with a continuous or repetitive environment. If someone tells me they work in a “fast-paced” environment, I often assess if that “fast-pace” is because the work environment is chaotic and unorganized, or if the work itself is pressure filled. The bottom line is “fast paced” should be translated into “change is the only constant.”

To be fair, that “fast pace” is often a natural change as businesses grow and change. Business needs can (and should) change. The office and its employees need to implement changes to accommodate this business growth. It is ideal if your employees are flexible and encourage the necessary growth and change – instead of fighting it.

Changes can be as simple as a change in procedures, or changes can be a shift that has a profound impact on the structure of the business and workplace. As your business changes and evolves, how can you go about encouraging flexibility and shift a process, procedure, or guideline internally without creating havoc?

Here are some quick tips for leaders to remember when making changes in the workplace.

  1. State your vision. Be clear and articulate about what vision you have for the change. What does success look like in this (new) situation?
  2. Be willing to explain the “why.” Employees will be more receptive to changes if they understand the bigger picture and why this change needs to be implemented.
  3. Lead your employees. Lead them into the change, don’t demand it. Be flexible as they adjust to this change.
  4. Ask for collaboration. Employees are more flexible with change when they feel they have a say and helped create this pivot.
  5. Lead by example. Model the behavior you want to see. If you have changed your policy to 100% in the office, then YOU as the leader need to be 100% in the office.
  6. Proceed in small steps. It is a reality that some people have difficulty with changes. Take small steps. Give your employees time to adjust and help them through the process.

Looking to make some adjustments to your business? Have you created a management strategy for the change? Do you have a goal that you are reaching for? Creating a strong office environment during the changes can help ensure employee retention and a more team-oriented workplace.

Want to work through your change management strategies? Give me a call and let’s figure out the next steps!