engaged leader

Are You an Engaged Leader?

Jen Roberts Engagement, Leadership

This  post will be short and sweet. Why? Because if you’re like most people, your attention span is pretty short (so I included a video). After all, you have a lot going on! We all have our own unique way of viewing the world. Everything you experience passes through this filter, and your perceptions shape how you think and feel about, and behave in response to situations. We tend to attract into our lives what we focus on and pay attention to. You’ve probably heard of the self-fulfilling prophecy: If you expect something to happen and focus your energy on it, you’re more likely to get the experience you expected (whether positive or negative).  We also have a tendency to selectively look for data that supports our belief systems–this is called a confirmation bias. That’s the reason that we choose to pay the most attention to the things we care about and are …

Culture of Recognition

5 Ways to Build a Culture of Recognition (Without Salary Hikes)

Jen Roberts Engagement, Leadership

I have two elementary-aged children who are great students and also play sports. At their age, recognition is a given.  Parents, teachers, and coaches recognize their accomplishments like getting good grades on a test or report card or scoring a goal at the game. Why? To build their self esteem, boost their confidence, and to simply celebrate. Something shifts, however, as we become adults and enter “the real world” and suddenly all that praise comes to a screeching halt.  Do adults not need recognition anymore because they earn a paycheck?  Does your job ever seem like a thankless endeavor? Your employees may feel the same way.  Oftentimes, leaders feel that “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” In other words, as long as everything is going well, there’s no need to point anything out to employees. It’s when problems arise that employees hear about it and the challenges begin. It can certainly …

employees

5 Clues Your Employees Aren’t Buying In

Jen Roberts Engagement, Leadership

We all have things we’re “supposed” to do. Sometimes we want to do them, sometimes we don’t. This is just a fact of life. In the workplace, we label these as tasks or objectives. The basic premise is the same, however. Employees are either engaged and bought-in to completing these tasks to the best of their ability or they’re not. Have you really ever stopped to think about what holds people back from being completely engaged in a task or activity? When it comes to engagement and buy-in, there are four main approaches to work: 1) Resistant to engaging The employee won’t take positive action. Maybe they don’t feel like it’s worth it, or they’ve tried before and failed. The chance of success is low. 2) Engaged, but through effort or force The employee is enthusiastic about the activity, but they feel unprepared somehow to effectively complete the work. Success …

Inspiring Leader

Are You an Inspiring Leader?

Jen Roberts Communication, Engagement, Leadership

Inspiring. It’s a word most people think of as an important leadership quality. But what does being an inspiring leader really mean? Oftentimes when leaders imagine inspiring, they think of standing up in front of their team during a challenge and having the ability to motivate the masses; saying just the right words to make a powerful impact and move people into positive action. This is about them. On the flip side, what would happen if leaders shifted their awareness to inspiring for the benefit of others? My son came home from school with a handmade bookmark that captured several statements about “Luke’s Super Star Qualities” written by his classmates (not all of whom were close friends). I was so moved to read some of the things that were written. Among them were… “Luke is helpful!” “Luke is strong.” “Luke is a great writer.” “Luke makes people laugh a lot.” …

employee development

Raising the Bar: An Investment in Talent and Employee Development

Jen Roberts Engagement, Leadership, Productivity, Retention

There’s an age-old dilemma that stymies many leaders: How to decide if investing in employee development is worth it. I recently saw a thought-provoking quote concerning employee development. It went like this: CFO asks CEO, “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?” CEO replies, “What happens if we don’t and they stay?” This is an interesting perspective and one that’s probably important to consider when it comes to ensuring that your organization’s talent pipeline is fully prepared to move into key leadership roles to sustain your company’s success. Yet in many organizations employee training and development and leadership coaching are seen as “nice to have” but not necessarily essential. In fact, according to a survey from executive team consultancy Gap International, only 43% of executives planned to invest in leadership training and development. In the spirit of debate, let’s assume the CFO’s point is valid. …

Kill Engagement

[VIDEO] 5 Leadership Behaviors That Kill Engagement on Your Team

Jen Roberts Engagement, Leadership

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com. As a leader, what do you expect from your direct reports? Most leaders want employees who take the initiative, get involved, make decisions and generate ideas. In fact, because your team is likely made up of educated, competent, seasoned employees (some of whom you may have hand selected), it’s natural to expect that they would need little direction to take the proverbial ball and run with it. You have a vested interest in their success because, when your team performs well, everyone wins. Likewise, employees of all generations share a desire to work autonomously toward the communicated vision. No one wants to feel as if they’re operating under someone else’s thumb, especially team members who are smart, ambitious and motivated. If autonomy is an essential ingredient for promoting employee engagement and motivation, and given that both leaders and employees desire empowered environments, what keeps leaders from encouraging …

communicate

7 Reasons Technology Might Be Hurting The Way You Communicate With Your Team

Jen Roberts Communication, Leadership

How do you typically communicate with your team members? Most leaders use technology as their go-to communication method, which is understandable given the global nature of business. But how effective is communication when technology replaces the human interaction? Many of the subtle nuances of direct communication are lost in translation when leaders rely too heavily on electronic methods of communication such as email, text messaging, and Skype. Just because a message is sent does not ensure receipt or an accurate interpretation of its meaning. And this lack of connection can affect everything from employee engagement to your bottom line. “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” ~George Bernard Shaw Click the link below to read my newest Forbes Coaches Council publication that addresses how technology may be hurting your ability to communicate as effectively as you’d like: Seven Reasons Technology Might Be Hurting …