How many of your employees are looking to jump ship right now?

The wave of people looking for another job is rising again with reports suggesting that half of employees will be looking for new jobs right now.

So what can you do to retain your team?

With employee engagement figures staying shockingly low, as a business leader, something must change if we are to create, build and maintain a team of loyal, brand ambassadors who are not only fulfilling their potential but pulling the business to continue and accelerate the growth of the business.

Because losing staff isn’t just an inconvenience. It is costly, time consuming and bad for the company reputation if you have high staff turnover. Who wants to work for an organisation where everyone is jumping ship?

But we know that the pressures of the working day can often prove too intense to spend too much time constantly focusing on employee engagement, which is why we have come up with this easy to remember anagram to incorporate into your everyday activity which should boost your employee engagement and improve your business growth simultaneously! All you need to do is think: TEAM!

T – Time

Plan your tasks so that you have scheduled times when you interact, support and encourage your team. This will mean that you don’t miss vital opportunities to keep in touch with your team and provide crucial support when it is most needed.

E – Effective

With people you cannot be efficient, you have to be effective. Take away the ‘tick in the box’ tasks – people know they are just part of a system!

A – Attention

When you interact with your team, pay attention to their style characteristics, body language and when they work the best. By picking up on individual characteristics you will be able to adapt your communication to best suit theirs and therefore get better results from them.

M – Motivation

Do you know what is driving the individual members of your team? By knowing this you will be able to formulate emotional connections with your team and their work which will produce self-motivated, top quality results because they will actually care about it! 


 

Why conflict is crucial in your business

Healthy conflict, that is.

In your workplace there will be a wide range of personalities and as such a wide range of ways in how your team process information, solve problems and interpret data.

Therefore, conflict in the workplace is inevitable. Not only is it inevitable but it should be welcomed.

If it is not welcomed there are a couple of things that could – and probably will – happen:

  • Pressure will build causing a negative eruption of emotion which could / will cause hostility, resentment and tension within the workplace.
  • People will leave due to being unable to have their frustrations acknowledged, aired and considered. Both instances are undesirable within a business and will do nothing except stunt business growth, considerably lower employee engagement and create an unwelcoming environment for the wider team and, potentially, your customers.

In order to create an environment where healthy conflict is welcomed it must be embedded into the culture of the organisation alongside the values that underpin it. Employees need to be critically aware that although they are encouraged to express their different perspectives and alternative solutions based on what they believe to be the right thing to do they must do so in a way that is followed by everyone, regardless of personality type or seniority within the business.

Firstly values need to revolve around respect of others. Then a culture of support, acknowledgement and trust has to follow. These need to clearly demonstrated from every member of the business including, and most importantly, from the senior team. If these values are felt within the entire team rather than just being corporate jargon in a welcome pack it will be clear from any employees perspective of what is and what is not acceptable.

However, as much as we believe conflict is therefore essential for the growth of the business and the happiness and retention of employees we do also believe boundaries have to be in place but with the clear example set by the senior team and the embedded culture of strong values healthy conflict should be a simple and welcomed process.


 

How much of the £340 billion a year caused by disengagement are you losing?

We know that disengagement in the workplace causes all sorts of problems including lack of productivity, high absenteeism and low levels of loyalty but do you know how much these problems are costing you?

A survey done by The Hay Group claims disengagement costs the UK £340 billion every year. Their survey goes on to claim that just a 28% rise in employee productivity would ‘increase worth by £212 billion.’

When people are engaged in their work, their role feels very different. Engagement provokes higher levels of productivity, 21% greater profitability and 41% less absenteeism. But for this to occur it is essential that managers who do not carry an innate skill of people management need investment in ongoing and supported training.

Can you afford not to make the investment?


 

Are your management team up for the job?

Why did you appoint your managers?

Gallup conducted a survey with line managers, asking why they thought they were promoted to position of manager and over half attributed their success to their skill and knowledge within their role.

But just because they are good at their job doesn’t necessarily mean they are good with people and with engagement figures so poor and drivers of engagement tending to stem from their direct environment, it is more imperative than ever that managers have to have people skills as well as technical skills.

So train your managers to have good people skills! But we all know it isn’t as easy as that…

Firstly, do your managers even believe that employee engagement matters? During our Management and Training Courses we have had delegates ask the question as to whether they should make any effort to provoke engagement as employees are ‘getting a wage’ and should therefore ‘just do the job.’ Research shows us that money, albeit a short term motivator, does not affect engagement therefore the argument of ‘they are getting paid’ does not come into the engagement tug of war. So if your manager (s) does have this attitude it is up to you as leader of the business to demonstrate the impact engagement has on the team and the business. Like we say in the training, make it personal! Show them how much better (and easier!) their working lives could become by improving the engagement within their team demonstrating impact on productivity levels, energy levels and general mood!

Secondly, do your managers know how to engage? This is why continual investment in professional development is so crucial. People are complicated and everyone is different so what could engage one person could completely disengage another even though they are on the same team doing the same job! Plus there are the daily demands of the working day so it is very easy to stick with old habits and just get the jobs done and leave everything else down the priority list. If your managers are amiable characters, they are much more likely to prioritise the engagement of their team – but if your managers are pragmatists or analysts? This could be a much bigger feat for them.

It is important as leader to be realistic and support your management team by allowing them the time to develop their skills so that they are not only good at their job they are good with their team too.


Ego and the President

 

It’s only been a few days into his presidency but already Mr Trump is showing no sign of dropping his most faithful sidekick: Ego.

You can tell Ego has moved into the White House with Trump and Melania by how the first full day in office was used…not to start putting any change or policy into action but spent berating the media over their coverage of his inauguration. Those ‘dishonest’ journalists were apparently at it again by underrating the size of the crowd that gathered on the National Mall as he took the oath of office even though Trump adamantly declares the crowds ‘went all the way back to the Washington monument’ despite the photos and videos that claimed otherwise.

And Ego didn’t stop there. Ego couldn’t resist commenting about the worldwide marches taking place regarding women’s rights although a follow up comment did appear approximately 90 minutes later in a clear attempt to soften the earlier comment.

Is this a sign that even though it doesn’t look like Ego is going anywhere there is at least someone in the White House who is there to soften the blow when Ego strikes? Is this common practice or necessity in the new White House?

Do you need this in your office? A balance to your Ego? Or at least a balance to your personality?

We are interested to see how Ego gets on in the Oval Office.


 
 
 

Practice makes engagement.

 

Employee engagement is such an everyday HR buzz phrase these days that it has almost lost its meaning which could mean that nothing gets done about it anymore – or we don’t know what to do about it anymore!

So we have been following the engagement specialists at Gallup to see what they say can be done to make engagement a reality in your work place because they claim that by addressing engagement needs every day out perform bottom teams by an average of 20% and 10% in customer engagement.

3 steps you can take as a manager to improve engagement in your teams are:

  • Clarify expectations: What is the purpose of the team and what does the team want to be known for? What changes need to be made to meet these expectations and to fulfil your purpose?
  • Recognise and use strengths: By acknowledging and utilising competencies naturally provokes self-motivation and satisfaction.
  • Clear the way for success: Do your team have everything they need to succeed? As a manager you need to be able to clear any hurdles so this can happen. If they don’t have want they need to succeed it will immediately dampen enthusiasm and satisfaction and inevitably hinder results.

This will come naturally to some managers but for others, being naturally in tune with others needs isn’t second nature. Therefore by practicing such steps every day will eventually become second nature and ultimately increase engagement and team results.

 

 

 

Day One in The Trump White House.

 

The fun / fright is about to begin. Donald J Trump is soon to be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, whether you like it or not.

We had a blog all ready to go about how Trump has to change in order to be a successful president but then we thought… does he??

No one can argue that what he has achieved, both professionally and getting to the White House in the first place, is pretty remarkable so there is a debate that says – why should he change? What he is doing is working! He’s a billionaire president after all!

So as a management training company who preaches that an essential skill of a leader is to adapt your behaviour in order to achieve your desired outcome, rather than waffling on about what we think Trump should do in order to be a successful president (and what it teaches us about how we should / could lead) we are simply going to sit back and watch and let him speak for himself.

Because the reality is, we have no idea if he is going to be a successful president! But one thing is definitely for sure, it is going to be the most interesting show he has put on so far! 


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How this Monday can be any colour you choose it to be.

 

It’s Blue Monday! Or so they tell us… ‘They’ probably being clever marketing people working for recruitment companies, travel agencies or retailers.

Today is no different than any other day but just because we are fed this, our subconscious picks up on it and suddenly we feel down in the dumps because it is ‘officially’ the most depressing day of the year.

We have the capacity to choose how we feel and should absolutely not let anyone else dictate how we should be feeling! However, if you are finding it a little but trick try simply googling how to choose happiness reveals endless articles about the simple choices we can make to increase our own happiness.

Choices such as:

  • Linger on small, positive moments.
  • Practice gratitude.
  • Try!

Simply trying to be happier is proven by psychologists to increase happiness because you are putting the decision to be happier into practice.

Don’t be fooled by those recruitment companies selling you a ‘grass is greener’ dream. You have the choice as to whether you are ‘Blue’ today or not. But of course, if you are feeling a bit low you can always watch the funny videos of animals on youtube that we are going to be putting on twitter (@metstrategy) for the rest of the day… just in case you are a bit blue this Monday.

 

 

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Tell your team to 'Grow up!'

 Joe Biden said the next president of the United States, Donald Trump, needs to 'grow up' - which of course grabbed all the headlines. But he also said he needed to do something else:

'You've got to do something. Show us what you've got.'

So what he is saying to President Elect Trump, rather than just it being a childish jibe is:

The time for talk is officially over.

And it is that time of year where it is the same for us in business too. It is time to stop talking about what we would like to achieve and start putting our words into action! And that doesn't just mean you as the manager... Biden also advised Trump that he needs to 'put confidence' into his team - and so should you. By utilising fundamental coaching skills such as support and encouragement you could provoke your team to make incremental improvements in, not only their performance, but their self-belief that they can achieve their own goals within the business.

So we invite you 'to do something'. Something that will greatly impact your influence as manager, your team's own professional development and therefore the overall growth of the business. Put your talk into action by using the right coaching skills and allow your team to show you what they've got.


blog 3

Want to learn how to create real change in 2017?

 

'Mind The Gap' is most commonly used to stimulate awareness of the risk of a fall on the Underground which would result in physical harm yet we think it should be used in the office as well! 'Mind The Gap' should be used to alert team leaders that they need to be aware to stimulate minds to remove the risk of a fall into mediocrity, resulting in...well...the business suffering mediocre results!

There are always opportunities at work to create positive stimulus to get the very  best out of your team, especially as we start a new year. Now is actually the perfect time to either agree new goals for the year or to review existing ones.

Although be aware - do not be tempted to set goals for your team. If you set them, whose goals are they? Instead, stimulate the 'mind' by asking for their ideas on how they can contribute to achieving the goals of the business. Then, and this is really important!, agree on short term goals that you are both confident can be achieved. Then be prepared to support and encourage them to achieve the goals THEY have set!

Repeat the exercise monthly each time making incremental improvements and develop self-belief within your team that will propel you towards your goals!

Happy New Year!


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Are your perceptions holding you back?

 

A story struck us when I saw it on twitter today. Young children – particularly girls – learning how to code.

At first, I thought two things:

  • Children learning to code? That’s a bit advanced isn’t it?
  • I wouldn’t have thought girls would have been interested in that.

But then of course, the hand of reality slapped me, and I quickly reversed my thought and they turned to:

  • What a great skill to be introduced to at such a young age!
  • Why wouldn’t girls be interested in coding? There needs to be more girls in the tech industry!

What happened here was my perception of what coding is about and who (in this case gender) would be most inclined to find this particular topic of interest. Which of course is ridiculous. But how often does that happen? When we see a story online or when something happens to us in our own lives…

For the New Year why not take the time to look at things twice before dismissing them. Once as you usually would but then again – from a different perspective.

 


blog 6

The art of formulating feedback

'What's the number one thing you look for in someone who can scale within a company?'

'Someone who takes feedback well. Because someone who can take feedback well are people who can learn and grow quickly.'

We couldn't agree more. But what impacts this reaction is how the feedback is delivered.

The art of providing feedback is one that managers must master if they are to create a high performing team who can respond to stimulus such as feedback quickly with as little negative emotion as possible so the gap period between the stimulus and reaction is minimal.

If managers can perfect the skill of sandwiching feedback between what the employee is doing right or excelling in, that person is much more likely to respond well rather than feeling despondent and therefore staying in the 'gap' period. Of course, the buffering positive feedback mustn't be too cushioning so that the more negative feedback isn't lost.

This is why providing feedback is an art and why it is so important managers not only get it right for the growth of the business but for the professional growth of the employee.


blog 5

Up for a fight with this guy?!

Why? Because he's about to try and steal your hard earned money.

How? By riding into your office on a white horse claiming: ‘I’m here to slay the beast of career misery!’ The age old promise that the grass is indeed greener elsewhere…

And according to statistics he has a wide target market with over half of the working population seeking new employment in the New Year which is no surprise really considering employee engagement figures show 57% of the UK workforce are actively disengaged in their jobs!

But the real sword in the back? Once our knight has stolen your employee who you have already invested in you now need to go and spend more money (maybe even to the knight!!) to recruit someone else!

So it's time to don the armour and march to the battlefield to face the recruitment knights by developing your managers and make your grass greener instead of the recruitment ‘knights’ watering somebody else's!


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Andy Murray, what a transformation!

Andy Murray…….Wow what a transformation from grumpy wannabee to inspirational Wimbledon champion and No1 Tennis player in the World! A great example of the ‘Self Determination Theory’ in action. He obviously has the competence/talent but so do thousands of other budding tennis players. Andy must have been able to relate to a clear vision of his goals from an early age and this combination of talent and vision is what creates freewill and freewill fuels the determination that makes the difference between champions or also rans?

Whilst world dominance may be beyond most of us individuals and businesses can use the ‘SDT’ to achieve their goals and to stand out from the competition. Like Andy the support of great Coaches is needed to unlock true potential and drive winning performance.

Are your Coaches/Managers up to the task?

 


The similarity between Donald Trump and Nelson Mandela

Both have reached the highest position in their country by creating a ‘movement’.

‘Mr Mandela envisioned a South Africa in which all its citizens had equal rights and where every adult would have the right to vote for the government of his or her choice.’ NelsonMandela.org

‘Prioritize the jobs, wages and security of the American people. Establish new immigration controls to boost wages and to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first...’ Donaldjtrump.com

How?

Despite their totally different personalities they both made an emotional connection to people who felt disconnected. Both convinced their supporters / followers that together they could create a real change.

Trump had to be inspired by what has been happening here in the UK as ‘Brexiteers’ won their vote to leave the EU as he quickly forged a relationship with Nigel Farage on how he and other Brexit leaders connected to the UK population who felt disconnected about issues within the country.

So it seems a pattern is occurring when unforeseen change happens: A connection of the disconnected.

Is there is disconnection in your organisation? According to Gallup, 57% of the UK workforce are actively disengaged…

So the challenge is, for our UK business leaders and managers, is to emotionally connect to a disconnected team how you believe you can create real and meaningful change.


Do we need to scrap the word ‘manager’?

What implications does the word ‘manager’ create for you?

Organiser?

In charge?

The one to give instruction?

The one who provides order / solutions?

Control?

What implications does it give to your team?

The one in charge?

The boss?

The one who tells us what to do?

‘One of them’?

What do these implications mean?

We believe these implications are the reason as to why the engagement figures tend to be so low. A ‘manager’ implies some sort of control over other people and what research tells is that, for people to behave from an intrinsically motivated point they cannot be controlled. They must act with an option.

Also, what happens – as the case in most businesses – when time pressure is intense and decisions need to be made? The manager provides the solution and the teams act on it. But it is this act that takes away the fundamental element of a self-determined report attempting to pursue their own goals...

But what is the solution? The quick pace of business requires someone to say what happens and when but yet, to get the most from our team and to encourage true engagement, we must provide them with the choice to act.

Does the solution come in changing the perception of ‘manager’?

Does the term ‘manager’ need to change to ‘supporter’?

What implications do you think of with the word ‘supporter’?

An aid?

An encourager?

Security?

What would the implications be for your team?

Approachable?

Help?

There for them?

Someone for their best interest?

We see a major difference in the impact the change of this role has, not only in terms of the perception of the person in the role but how the team then sees and considers this person not as ‘one of them’ but ‘there for us.’

To find out more about how you / your managers can become ‘supporters’ get in touch today...


‘Bore out’: Just part of the job?

Unfortunately we can’t all be formula 1 drivers, pop stars or any other job that makes your heart race and your adrenaline flow! Some of us have to do the more… every day stuff. The stuff that keeps things running smoothly.

But as necessary as these jobs are, not all of them are the most exciting jobs in the world. A lot of them, if truth be told, can be quite – boring.

Not many would wake up in a morning desperate to start with that back log of paper work or to put that head set on to sort out peoples electricity suppliers.

But could they?

Could – through personal engagement – people actually look forward, even get excited about, coming to work to do the everyday jobs that ‘someone has to do?’

Because, when we think about what being ‘bored is’, it is a lack of stimulus. A feeling of not being challenged or satisfied or…engaged.

So what is the pivotal element that changes a ‘boring’ job into a ‘not boring job’?

Is it, simply, emotion?

To make something emotional means that it provides purpose and once something has purpose does it then become something we can engage with which then brings about the feelings or satisfaction, challenge and even enjoyment?

Or is the biggest question – does it even matter? Does it matter if your staff are bored?

There are theories that suggest boredom can be a good thing! That boredom can be the catalyst of creative thinking and new ideas in an attempt to eradicate the boredom being experienced.

But then again… think about when you are bored for prolonged periods of time. How does it make you feel? Sluggish? Slow? Unproductive? Uncreative? Depressed?? Not exactly the best mental states for high performance work...

So rather than just taking ‘boredom’ as an unavoidable element of a job and leaving your team to just ‘deal with it’ is it in your best interest as manager or leader to make sure boredom isn’t sapping your team of vital mental abilities that will not only build your business but get the best out of your team?

But how do we bring emotion and purpose to ‘boring’ jobs? We make it personal.

Find out how to make your business personal today by arranging a free consultation...