Blog list ...

Environment: how to motivate staff to increase productivity

So, I’m sitting in a café in Manly. Many of you know that Sydney Australia is one of the most desirable places to, live and work in the world. Manly is probably one of the most desirable places to live and work in Sydney. And the cafe isn't bad either.

I have to be here because the law says I have to visit my daughter at least once a year. At least that’s my excuse. So how does this link with the topic of motivation and productivity at work? Well, I guess I have noticed after a week of being here that happiness is pretty rife around these parts, even the shop keepers, builders, police folk, lorry drivers. Everyone seems to be smiling.

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A way to develop great networking skills

"Pulling a good network together takes effort, sincerity and time." (Alan Collins).

..... "But it's easier than you think" (Mark Miller).

The task of buidling a great network can be somewhat daunting. "Who do I contact? What reasons can I give?, What do I say?" It can all feel rather clumsy and perhaps even a bit mercenary.

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Delivering great personal development reviews

This is the time of year where you can't look anywhere without seeing Christmas themed isles full of enticing goodies! I recall seeing the first lot of Christmas treats back in late August - now that IS planning well for Christmas!

It got me thinking about how well in advance we plan for our own Personal Development Review conversations (PDR's or appraisals).  At this time of year, as business leaders, we encourage employee development plans which can help keep your talent pipeline full, whilst also providing your company with a valuable retention strategy. Reflecting and refining your internal development strategy for your employees will ensure they start the new year with a clear pathway that shows them how to increase their knowledge with a more expanded skill set, enabling your business to be a step ahead of your competitors.

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We can all deliver fantastic negotiations

"If you can train yourself to keep your mouth shut most of the time, it's easy to be a great listener, and a great negotiator." (Ed Brodow).

Most of the time I think we respond to what people say they want without identifying what they really want. And that’s because we are usually not that good at listening.

"Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" by Yuval Noah Harari has been a bestseller for some time, and is an amazing mind journey about how we became the humans we are today. A client told me I should read it as he couldn't put it down. I obeyed, and was very glad that I did. 

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Integrating Millennials: how can we make it work?

“The difficult people who we encounter can be our greatest teachers."  (Eileen Anglin).

There is no doubt that the Millennial generation bring challenges to the established generation. They are different, and differences inevitably produce difficulties and challenges.

In a previous blog I briefly covered one difference which could be a major gain to our organisations. In this blog I'll offer some thoughts on a major difference which could demand attention, effort, and support from our organisations.

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The challenge of integrating Millennials

“Millennials don't want to be managed, they like to be led, coached and mentored. This generation is on fire and ready to go."  (Farshad Asl).

Our organisations often undergo change we don’t even plan for, for example political and economic swings can take us by surprise.  One of the biggest ongoing changes we face is the composition of the workforce; the Millennials generation is even larger than the “baby boom” generation according to some. The question is, does it matter?

According to a report from PWC (“Millennials at Work: Reshaping the Workplace”), Millennials already form 25% of the workforce in the U.S. and account for over half of the population in India. By 2020, Millennials will form 50% of the global workforce. As well as changing the cultural tone of the organisations they work with, they are critical as a generation because they will be the economic support for an increasingly larger older generation as life expectancy increases. Integrating Millennials effectively is becoming a crucial aim for many organisations.

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Laughter ... how to motivate staff to increase productivity

“There is little success where there is little laughter."  (Andrew Carnegie).

Whether we are having fun at work can of course be directly measured by the amount of laughter. Appropriate laughter of course, but nevertheless laughter. And just writing about laughter reminds me of the last time I laughed to a degree of utter helplessness. One of those moments in life one never forgets. It was back in the USA earlier this year.

 You may not be aware (I certainly wasn’t) but in the middle of Florida there is some rather nice forest areas. Not swamp and alligators, but trees and squirrels. So, a friend John and I ended up there in an RV one evening. We sat as the sun went down, quietly talking and (I assure you) not drinking alcohol. And I saw a sight I have never seen before.

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Work & fun: how to motivate staff to increase productivity

When did it all get so serious in the workplace?


"People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing"  (Dale Carnegie)

Given that we spend so much time at work, the last thing we want to be doing is constantly watching the clock to count down the minutes until we can leave! A recent national survey touting the importance of fun in the workplace of more than 500 HR managers, found the majority 'strongly supported' promoting fun in the office, noting that a positive environment benefits not only individual employees, but the organization as a whole. 

"I don't think of work as work and play as play. It's all about living!"  (Richard Branson)

Fun doesn't have to be  frivolous, it can actually be quite creative.

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Having fun ... how to motivate staff to increase productivity

“Where people aren't having any fun, they seldom produce good work".  (David Ogilvy).

I had no idea who David Ogilvy was, but after doing the Google thing apparently he has the accolade of 'father of advertising'. He had some great ideas on this topic of fun ... "The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible."

Ogilvy died in 1999 at 'Chateau de Touffou' in France. Not a bad place to die (see pic below). But then again I thought Touffou was a soy bean product.  At least in that mistaken thought I was following Ogilvy's advice to think "as funny as possible," maybe there was hope for me yet.

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