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Archive for the Employee Engagement Category

Minimum Wage and Mindless Futility

Minimum Wage and Mindless Futility

A fascinating demonstration because its meaning has been interpreted in so many ways.

This machine allows anyone to work for minimum wage for as long as they like. Turning the crank on the side releases one penny every 4.97 seconds, for a total of $7.25 per hour. This corresponds to minimum wage for a person in New York.

So does this machine highlight the need to increase the minimum wage? Or the futility of a minimum wage existence? Or something else about those willing to do mindless work?

You decide.

 

Stop Drowning in Mail: 4- Step System to Manage Mail Overload

email

 

BY ROBERT PAGLIARINI

You can simplify your life and even avoid information pornography, but if you’re like most people, your email inbox is still bursting at the seams, your voice mail is full, and you’re getting slammed with too much stuff.

To make matters worse, you get flooded with old-fashioned mail. It’s a cause of real stress and anxiety. Why? In the wise words of Newmanfrom Seinfeld: “Because the mail never stops. It just keeps coming and coming and coming, there’s never a let-up. It’s relentless. Every day it piles up more and more and more!” [Watch this clip on YouTube]

To avoid going Newman, er, I mean postal, you need an effective system to capture and process your mail quickly. The key to any system is to make sure it works when life is calm but also when you are crazed and have a hundred things going on at once.

If you follow these four steps, you will be able to control your mail once and for all. It might seem like a lot of work initially, but once you set this up, it will run smoothly and effortlessly.

Step 1 – Dump

You’ll need one big bin labeled “Unsorted Inbox.” Whenever you get the mail, you can dump it all into this bin, or if you have some time, you can skip directly to the “Sorting” step below.

Step 2 – Sort

If there are multiple people in your house that receive mail, you will still need an Unsorted Inbox bin, but you’ll also need a separate inbox tray for each person. For example, if you’re married and have two high school children, you would need one inbox bin and four trays-one for each family member. Each of the trays should be marked with a family member’s name (e.g., Robert’s Inbox, Mary’s Inbox).

If Junior grabs the mail as he’s heading out to football practice, he can throw everything into the Unsorted Inbox. Then when mom comes home and has a few extra minutes, she can take everything out of the Unsorted Inbox and sort it (i.e., go through each piece of mail and dispense it to the correct inbox.

Step 3 – Screen

Screening is the process of going through your inbox and separating the important mail from the not-so-important and putting it into the following three trays/folders/baskets:

– Magazines/Catalogs

– “Junk” Mail to Shred (junk mail that doesn’t need to be shredded can be tossed immediately during this step)

– Everything Else

If there are multiple people at your house, ideally each person would not only have their own inbox but they would also have their own three screening trays. I like the idea of making the inboxes portable so you can pick up your inbox and take it with you to the den, bedroom, office, etc. and Screen/Process on your own turf. Plus, you won’t have 100 bins/trays clogging up your kitchen.

Step 4 – Process

Once your mail has been screened, you then need to process it.  Processing your mail involves opening it and determining what the next action is:

Magazines/Catalogs – No rush to do anything here. You can let these pile up, and then when you have down time, you can go through them. If you’re heading to the doctor, dentist, or getting your oil changed, grab a handful of magazines/catalogs to take with you while you wait.

“Junk” Mail to Shred – The action here is to shred this stuff.  Keep a shredder nearby so you can quickly and easily get rid of this mail.

Everything Else – This is the meat of your mail. When you go through the Everything Else tray, you’ll probably throw some things away that may have looked important but was actually junk mail. But for most of the contents in the Everything Else tray, there will be some action to take such as pay a bill, read a letter, review a bank statement, etc.

You can either do whatever action is required right then, or you can put mail with like actions in the same folder. For example, you can create a “Pay Bills” folder and put all of your bills in it. Twice a month you can grab all the bills from this folder and pay them. Or you can have a “Statements Review” folder where you would put all of your bank and investment account statements you want to review at some later point.

The number of action folders is really up to you. Start with a few basics such as “Pay Bills” and “Statements Review.” If you discover there is another recurring action, you can then create a folder for it.

You can’t stop the mail (just ask Kramer), but you can certainly manage it. But what about all of the other documents and information in your life? I’m glad you asked. I’m working on a series that will help you take back control of your life and all the stuff in it. Because when you aren’t drowning in information and mail, you can spend more of your other 8 hours writing booksbecoming a better public speaker,investing in yourselflearning, and creating.

Things You Should Do at the Start of Every Work Day

to-do-list

From www.forbes.com

The first hour of the work day is the best time to assess priorities and to focus on what you absolutely need to accomplish, Kerr says.  View blog post

What Do Employees REALLY Think of Corporate Training?

training

Are your employees telling you what they really think of your corporate training initiatives? Probably not.

Because you’re not asking the right questions, and they aren’t comfortable telling you the “hard truth.”

How do you determine the success of a corporate training initiative? Most organizations survey participants shortly after a course is completed. And training leaders typically listen for the “buzz” or ask participants for their perspectives immediately following a workshop. But that initial positive feedback may not truly represent the effectiveness of the training. Read more

The ‘S’ Supportive Profile

DISC-Model-SBy Dan Rust for Frontline Learning

At the extreme, this type of individual tends to perceive the environment as a safe and supportive place over which he or she has little or no control.This drives a tendency towards being a good listener, reliable and dependable, a loyal team player. But not someone who will take bold action or make a decision. This person will prefer to support the decisions of others.

General Characteristics: Good listener; Team player. Possessive. Steady; Predictable. Understanding; Friendly.

Value to Team: Reliable and dependable. Loyal team worker. Compliant towards authority. Good listener, patient and empathetic. Good at reconciling conflicts.

Possible Weaknesses: Resists change. Takes a long time to adjust to change. Holds a grudge; sensitive to criticism. Difficulty establishing priorities.

Greatest Fear: Loss of security.

Motivated By: Recognition for loyalty and dependability. Safety and security. No sudden changes in procedure or lifestyle. Activities that can be started and finished.

Ideal Environment: Practical procedures and systems. Stability and predictability. Tasks that can be completed at one time. Few conflicts and arguments. A team atmosphere.

Remember a High S May Want: Security in situations, sincere appreciation, repeated work patterns, time to adjust to change, limited territory of responsibility.

Click here for more details regarding the DISC behavioral style model

Click above image for a summary of the complete DISC behavioral style model

DO: Create a favorable environment:Personable and agreeable. Express a genuine interest in them as a person. Provide them with clarification for tasks and answers to “how” questions. Be patient in drawing out their goals. Present ideas or departures from current practices in a non-threatening manner; give them time to adjust. Clearly define goals, procedures and their role in the overall plan. Assure them of personal follow-up support. Explain how their actions will minimize the risks involved and enhance current procedures.

DON’T: Be pushy, overly aggressive, or demanding. Be too confrontational.

While analyzing information, a High S may: Be openly agreeable but inwardly unyielding. Internalize their concerns and doubts. Hesitate to share feedback during presentation. Slow down the action. Provide valuable support for team goals.

S’s possess these positive characteristics in teams: Instinctive relaters. Participative managers – accomplish goals through personal relationships. Make others feel like they belong. Show sincerity. Can see an easier way of doing things. Focused and intuitive about people and relationships. Full of common sense. Buy into team goals. Dependable. Identify strongly with the team. Strive to build relationships. Provide stability. Consider elements of a total project. Realistic and practical. Even-tempered. Provide specialized skills. Show patience with others. Loyal.

Personal Growth Areas for S’s: Be more open to change. Be more direct in your interactions. Focus on overall goals of the team rather than specific procedures. Deal with confrontation constructively. Develop more flexibility. Increase pace to accomplish goals. Show more initiative. Work at expressing thoughts, opinions, and feelings.

This person’s tendencies include:

  • Performing an accepted work pattern
  • Sitting or staying in one place
  • Demonstrating patience
  • Developing specialized skills
  • Concentrating on the task
  • Showing loyalty
  • Being a good listener
  • Calming excited people

This person desires an environment which includes:

  • Status quo unless given reasons for change
  • Minimal work infringement on home life
  • Limited territory
  • Sincere appreciation
  • Identification with a group
  • Traditional procedures

This person needs others who:

  • React quickly to unexpected change
  • Stretch toward the challenges of an accepted task
  • Become involved in more than one thing
  • Apply pressure on others
  • Work in an unpredictable environment
  • Delegate to others
  • Are flexible in work procedures
  • Can contribute to the work

To be more effective, this person needs:

  • Conditioning prior to change
  • Validation of self-worth
  • Information on how one’s efforts contribute to the total effort
  • Work associates of equal competence
  • Guidelines for accomplishing the task
  • Encouragement of creativity
  • Confidence in the ability of others

 

Click on any of the boxes below for more details on each of the primary behavioral tendencies: Dominant (D), Interactive (I), Supportive (S), and Compliant (C).

DISC-Model-CDISC-Model-SDISC-Model-IDISC-Model-D

Many Frontline Learning products incorporate the DISC behavioral mode, promoting a greater understanding of interpersonal influences and tendencies to enhance sales productivity, customer service effectiveness and general personal competency. The following Frontline Learning products incorporate some form of the DISC behavioral profile:

  • Professional Selling SkillMap™
  • Customer Service SkillMap™
  • Emotional Effectiveness SkillMap™
  • REAL Selling™
  • REAL Coaching™
  • REAL Marketing™

The ‘D’ Drive/Dominance Profile

DISC-Model-DBy Dan Rust for Frontline Learning

At the extreme, this type of individual tends to perceive the environment as an “unsafe” place over which he or she has a high degree of control.This drives a tendency towards bold action and decision-making, but also the potential for being overstepping boundaries, taking on too many tasks and bulldozing others.

General Characteristics: Direct. Decisive. High Ego Strength. Problem Solver. Risk Taker. Self Starter.

Value to Team: Bottom-line organizer. Places value on time. Challenges the status quo. Innovative.

Possible Weaknesses: Oversteps authority. Argumentative attitude. Dislikes routine. Attempts too much at once.

Greatest Fear: Being taken advantage of.

Motivated By: New challenges. Power and authority to take risks and make decisions. Freedom from routine and mundane tasks. Changing environments in which to work and play.

Ideal Environment: Innovative focus on future. Non-routine challenging tasks and activities. Projects that produce tangible results. Freedom from controls, supervision, and details. Personal evaluation based on results, not methods.

DISC-Model-1

Click above image for a summary of the complete DISC behavioral style model

Remember a “High D” May Want: Authority, varied activities, prestige, freedom, assignments promoting growth, “bottom line” approach, and opportunity for advancement.

DON’T: Ramble. Repeat yourself. Focus on problems. Be too sociable. Make generalizations. Make statements without support.

While analyzing information, a High D may: Ignore potential risks. Not weigh the pros and cons. Not consider others’ opinions. Offer innovative and progressive systems and ideas.

D’s possess these positive characteristics in teams: Autocratic managers – great in crisis. Self-reliant. Innovative in getting results. Maintain focus on goals. Specific and direct. Overcome obstacles. Provide direction and leadership. Push group toward decisions. Willing to speak out. Generally optimistic. Welcome challenges without fear. Accept risks. See the big picture. Can handle multiple projects. Function well with heavy work loads.

Personal Growth Areas for D’s: Strive to be an “active” listener. Be attentive to other team members’ ideas until everyone reaches a consensus. Be less controlling and domineering. Develop a greater appreciation for the opinions, feelings, and desires of others. Put more energy into personal relationships. Show your support for other team members. Take time to explain the “whys” of your statements and proposals. Be friendlier and more approachable.

This person’s tendencies include:

  • Getting immediate results
  • Causing action
  • Accepting challenges
  • Making quick decisions
  • Questioning the status quo
  • Taking authority
  • Causing trouble
  • Solving problems

This person desires an environment which includes:

  • Power and authority
  • Prestige and challenge
  • Opportunity for individual accomplishment
  • Wide scope of operations
  • Direct answers
  • Opportunity for advancement
  • Freedom from controls and supervision
  • Many new and varied activities

This person needs others who:

  • Weigh pros and cons
  • Calculate risks
  • Use caution
  • Structure a more predictable environment
  • Research facts
  • Deliberate before deciding
  • Recognize the needs of others

To be more effective, this person needs:

  • Understanding they need people
  • Techniques based on practical experience
  • An occasional shock
  • Identification with a group
  • To verbalize the reasons for conclusions
  • An awareness of existing sanctions
  • To pace self and relax more

 

Click on any of the boxes below for more details on each of the primary behavioral tendencies: Dominant (D), Interactive (I), Supportive (S), and Compliant (C).

DISC-Model-CDISC-Model-SDISC-Model-IDISC-Model-D

Many Frontline Learning products incorporate the DISC behavioral mode, promoting a greater understanding of interpersonal influences and tendencies to enhance sales productivity, customer service effectiveness and general personal competency. The following Frontline Learning products incorporate some form of the DISC behavioral profile:

  • Professional Selling SkillMap™
  • Customer Service SkillMap™
  • Emotional Effectiveness SkillMap™
  • REAL Selling™
  • REAL Coaching™
  • REAL Marketing™

Understanding Behavioral Styles

DISC-5By Dan Rust for Frontline Learning

Four-factor “DISC” behavioral models are ubiquitous in the world of corporate training and development today. A simple Google search produces over a hundred different DISC-style behavioral profiles, assessments and surveys, all based upon the same fundamental research.

The best way to make sense of all these options is to start with a baseline understanding of the underlying model for these assessments, and that is the goal of this article. I’m not a psychologist or a psychometrics expert, but I have leveraged a broad range of DISC-style assessments over the past 20 years. When I explain the DISC behavioral model to others in a practical, straightforward manner, it helps them make better decision regarding which specific assessment to use, and how to leverage it most effectively in their corporate training program.

So let’s start at the beginning. The search for understanding regarding our distinct personalities and the nature of human interaction is as old as humanity itself. The age-old question is, “Why do people do what they do?” The Greek philosopher, Hippocrates (400 BC), believed in four distinct personality styles; choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic, and melancholy. Although Hypocrites’ theory has no medical validity, it was the first substantial method for categorizing types of behavior.

Hippocrates’ theory was expanded upon at the turn of the 20th century by a number of behavioral scientists. Carl Gustav Jung (1921), a Swiss psychologist, was one of the most influential modern behavioral theorist. In 1921 he published “Psychological Types” which described four psychological functions: thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition. Jung also classified these four types further by calling them either “introverted” or “extroverted.”

The DISC Behavioral ModelDISC-Model-safety

The development of the DISC behavioral profile as we know it was primarily due to the work of the American psychologist, Dr. William Moulton Marston. He was an expert in behavioral understanding. In 1926 he published “The Emotions of Normal People” in which he outlined the essence of the modern DISC behavioral model. Until that time, this type of work was confined to criminally insane and mentally ill people.

Marston observed (in “normal” people) a behavioral continuum with two extremes. Based upon his observations he grouped people along two axis:

  1. Either antagonistic or favorable view of the environment.
  2. Either active or passive tendencies within their environment.

In other words, when people instinctively perceive their environment (at home, at work, etc.) do they feel “safe?” Do they perceive others within their environment as supportive or antagonistic, or somewhere in between? This is about instinctive perception, not objective reality. Some of us can walk into a room of strangers and immediately feel comfortable. Some of us can sit at a dinner table with a supportive family and feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Of course most of us fall somewhere between the two extremes.

DISC-Model-control

The other axis Marston focused on was the degree to which individuals are instinctively active or passive in their environment. Do they perceive themselves to have a high degree of control (active) or to have little or no control (passive) over their environment? Marston observed that this behavioral element was independent of perceived “safety.” Some individuals who perceive  an unsafe environment are instinctively passive, they view themselves as having little or no control over their environment. Others who also perceive an unsafe environment tend to be more active or assertive, because they perceive themselves to have a high level of control over their environment.

DISC-Model-3

An important point to reinforce is that Marston observed that these instinctive perceptions tended to remain consistent for an individual no matter what the objective reality of the environment might be. So an individual who tends to perceive the world as a safe, friendly place – where he or she has little or no control over the environment – will tend to have this same instinctive perception even when the environment is un-supportive, and even when he or she is given full control over the environment.

DISC-Model-4

By viewing individuals through the prism of these two behavioral continua, the four DISC-model quadrants are created and the four behavioral styles were formed: Dominance (D), Inducement (I), Steadiness (S), and Compliance (C).

DISC-Model-1

 Since Marston, many individuals have contributed to the maturation of the DISC behavioral model. It became a common tool for the US military’s recruiting process before the second World War. Today companies frequently use it to choose the most appropriate candidate for their employment, sifting out countless other applicants.

 

Click on any of the boxes below for more details on each of the primary behavioral tendencies: Dominant (D), Interactive (I), Supportive (S), and Compliant (C).

DISC-Model-CDISC-Model-SDISC-Model-IDISC-Model-D

Many Frontline Learning products incorporate the DISC behavioral mode, promoting a greater understanding of interpersonal influences and tendencies to enhance sales productivity, customer service effectiveness and general personal competency. The following Frontline Learning products incorporate some form of the DISC behavioral profile:

  • Professional Selling SkillMap™
  • Customer Service SkillMap™
  • Emotional Effectiveness SkillMap™
  • REAL Selling™
  • REAL Coaching™
  • REAL Marketing™

 

12 Strategies for High-Impact Corporate Training

CorpTraining-1CorpTraining-2

For more than 20 years we have been developing and delivering corporate training programs, in a broad range of complex and competitive industries. We continually refined and improved our process, always looking for opportunities to improve both learner satisfaction and business impact.

Here, in no particular order, are the 12 key principles and practices that guide our development process today. Read more