C-Suite Network

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Growth Human Resources Personal Development

Low-Cost Ways to Boost Training Results

How much does it cost to breathe fresh life into an under-performing training program? Is it even worth trying, or do you need to discard what you have and start designing all over again from the beginning?

Many companies assume that it cannot be done without incurring enormous expenses. But that is often not the case. In fact, dramatic improvements can often be achieved by making simple changes. Here’s a case study that proves the point.

The Problem: People Weren’t Invested, Training Wasn’t Delivering

Back in 2014, a franchised national restaurant chain had a training program that wasn’t delivering results. Only 25% of franchisees were using the training. Employees disliked it. And even worse, training was doing little to increase customer satisfaction levels. So Tortal started to ask questions. Here are some of the comments we heard from trainees:

  • “Lessons are repetitive.”
  • “The training gives information, but doesn’t teach skills.”
  • “I can’t take time away from my job to complete the long lessons.”
  • “Modules don’t work well together; they’re just not well integrated.”
  • “The eLearning is taking too much time.”
  • “Lessons are not engaging.”

Tortal analyzed the training curriculum, and then we made some chances. We:

  • Reordered lessons to cover the most important skills and concepts first.
  • Eliminated and reduced repetitive and redundant portions of lessons, which reduced by as much as 25% the amount of time required to complete each module.
  • Made lessons more engaging by incorporating games, drag-and-drop exercises, and other interactive content.
  • Created quizzes for trainees to compete at the end of each module.
  • Enlivened lessons by using video layovers and two narrators instead of one.
  • Displayed the objective of each module clearly on all slides so that trainees knew what they are learning and why.
  • Installed a “Next Lesson” button on the last slide of each module to encourage trainees to move ahead on their own.
  • Made all training materials available in Spanish as well as English.

Results Achieved

Overall learner seat time was reduced by 25%-40% and more importantly, 67% of customers reported much higher satisfaction levels.

Improving training doesn’t necessarily mean discarding older training programs and starting from scratch. A range of small but wise changes can often boost ROI and turn under-performing training into great.

 

 

 

 

 

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Best Practices Entrepreneurship Marketing Personal Development Technology

The Top 10 Lessons We Learned Hosting Over 300 Virtual Events in One Year!

 

#1 It’s totally possible to create a close-knit community online!

Creating a digital community is easier now than ever before. We went from hosting 40 in-person conferences per year to 300+ digital events/year.

Crazy right? But it has been totally worth it.

Hosting consistent, recurring events meant our members would continually check in with each other, learn about each other, and be part of each other’s lives in ways that were never possible before.

We’ve had members join digital events while on vacation or even in the hospital!

Connecting with people has never been easier.

 

Virtual communities are a great way to engage your audience!

In March of 2020, C-Suite Network recognized the need for a weekly events to connect with one another, celebrate our successes, big or small, and discuss the unique challenges our businesses were going through.

That’s why we created an event series called C-Suite Celebrates to allow our community to celebrate their wins of the week either personally or professionally. Two years later, the event is still thriving with an amazing community of business leaders.

In fact, on May 6 we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of our digital networking Celebrates series.

If you’re interested in experiencing a digital networking event you can register for the event here.

Now on to number two!

 

#2 Be prepared to mute users and turn off videos!

Appoint someone to be on the ready to turn off anyone’s video and sound!

Here’s why… 

There’s always that one person who sounds like they are in a wind tunnel. Or the other one that thinks they are on mute and takes a personal call in front of the whole group (it happens)!

If you don’t have someone appointed to this role ahead of your event, you’ll just end up wasting a lot of precious time waiting for people to fumble themselves off mute.

 

 

#3 Make the events interactive -people want to interact not just sit there

The vast majority of the feedback we get from attendees is that they are craving to be part of the conversation. Not just listen to one.

Ask questions to the audience, acknowledge comments in the chat, offer break out rooms (Zoom has this feature).

Pick interesting or experienced speakers. Attention spans are small and there is a lot of noise competing for attention. An engaged audience always makes for a better event.

 

 

#4 There’s strength in numbers! The power of joint ventures

Don’t have a big list of people to invite? You don’t have to go at events alone. Find joint venture partners who are on a similar mission to compliment each others success.

For example, we partnered up with LeadHERship Global and others to add massive value to our joint communities not only by cross promoting each other, but joining forces to create more diverse events and subject matter expertise.

Joint ventures can be a great way to expand your influence and add value to audiences that otherwise may have not known about your brand.

 


 

 

#5 Engagement is the key performance indicator

Unlike in-person events where an attendee is immersed in your event experience, virtual events compete against at home or in-office distractions for your attendee’s attention.

That is why it’s even more important to focus on how you are engaging and interacting with your attendees.

Increasing your engagement during virtual events leads to stronger more meaningful connections and relationships between your attendees. Add surveys, polls and breakout rooms to allow people to dive deep on the topics that matter to them.

Give people a way to engage!

#6 Encourage people to interact and turn their cameras on

We have found that it’s considered rude to attend a networking event on mute with your camera off. You appear to not be engaged, which is a bad look for your brand.

You wouldn’t walk around a live event with blinders and a muzzle, would you? If so, why make the trip at all?

Remind people to turn their cameras on or call on people for feedback to make sure everyone gets a chance to be heard. Otherwise they may not come back or feel like a welcomed member of the group.

 

 

 

#7 It’s okay to let people see your personal side

It’s OK if your kids or pets show up on camera. (as long as they’re not being in appropriate).

We’ve seen the more personal side of brands and colleagues and most of us have gotten used to the small interruptions. In fact, they’re often welcomed.

So don’t shoo your six-year-old daughter from wandering into the conversation. Embrace her interest in what’s being discussed.

After all, she’s a future leader and it’s never too soon to get her connected and networking!

 

 

#8 Have a plan b if a falls through (life happens)

Be prepared for the event to NOT go according to plan. Life happens after all.

Have a plan b in case the speaker doesn’t show or they have technical issues and a backup on your side too.

Make sure your host has a topic they can deliver on in case your guest falls through or has technical difficulties.

 

 

#9 Come prepared with ice-breaker questions

Let’s face it, networking events can be a little awkward and scary to others (especially if you’re new to a group). That’s where we have found icebreakers to come in handy.

We found it empowering to ask questions like;

“Share your favorite picture on your phone right now and explain why it is.”

It helps to break the ice in a business setting and bring the conversion down to earth in a personal way before diving into the deep end on business issues.

Need help thinking of ice-breaker questions? There are hundreds of ideas, like these 62 event ice-breaker questions from eventmanagerblog.com.

Ice-breakers adds to the fun factor and sometimes even the corny sounding games get people interacting with it and each other. That’s what creates a memorable experience.

Having a prize wheel doesn’t hurt either!

 

 

#10 Cross train your team on technical tasks!

The most stressful part of hosting digital events is when you don’t know what you are doing from a technical level.

Have your team cross trained on hosting, running slides, monitoring registrations, creating breakout rooms (Yes, Zoom lets you do breakout rooms).

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how prepared you are, something comes up and its better that your team is empowered to step into different functions. Everyone should have basic understanding for the entire event process.

 

 

Categories
Culture Growth Health and Wellness Human Resources Leadership

Dear Katherine: My toddler won’t stop bugging his older brother!

 

How to Create Boundaries Between Siblings


Hello, Conscious Parent! Welcome to “Dear Katherine,” a monthly Q&A with real-life parents/caregivers. If you’d like to submit a question of your own, email me at
katherine@consciousparentingrevolution.com.

Dear Katherine,

I’m a mother of two sweet boys, a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old.

Recently, my husband and I have noticed more fighting in our household. We were quick to attribute it to our older son, but after talking to him, we discovered it was actually the other way around. My toddler keeps pressing his older brother’s buttons and won’t leave him alone! What should I do? How do I explain space and boundaries to two kids under 7?

– Trying to Create Space

Dear Trying to Create Space,

I couldn’t help but smile at your letter. We often attribute sibling misbehavior to the older child, failing to consider all the mischief younger ones are capable of!

The truth about your toddler is that he’s not yet at the developmental stage where he can fully understand social interaction. Because he doesn’t have a fully formed frontal cortex, it’s still quite difficult for him to distinguish which behaviors are upsetting.

That explains why jumping all over his older brother or pulling his hair is so much fun!

Still, it’s never too early to teach your children to respect each other’s boundaries. Here are some tips you might find helpful:

Create a “space bubble.” Sit your two boys down and explain that it’s normal for them to want time to themselves. Ask them to identify these moments (e.g. “I like to be alone when I’m building my LEGO set or taking a bath”) and reassure them that alone time is perfectly okay.

Then, make a game out of creating a “space bubble.” Whenever each of them wants time alone, they can announce “I’m going to the space bubble” or wear something silly on their head to signify what they’re doing. If your toddler isn’t having it, tell him he can spend time with Mommy or Daddy while his brother’s in the space bubble.

Teach them to respect each other’s belongings. It’s common for young siblings to fight over toys and other belongings, but you can help them become better at sharing. Teach your boys to ask permission when they want to play with each other’s toys, books, or crayons. When your toddler suddenly grabs his brother’s coloring book, explain that he can either wait his turn or ask to borrow it. Encourage sharing on both sides.

Also realize not sharing is OKAY. There are things all of us worry about getting broken or soiled or damaged. We protect ourselves from loss and disappointment when we know what not to share. Honoring those boundaries is part of being respectful, too.

Find better ways to connect. What do toddlers crave most? Attention. If your 3-year-old keeps poking his brother in the rib or making faces at him, he probably just wants to connect with him. Show your little one that there are better ways to get someone’s attention, like touching them (gently!) on the arm, calling their name, or asking them if they want to play.

Take the opportunity to discuss that people can only truly say yes to you when they know it is okay to say no to you, too. This rule applies to humans of any age and may provide an opportunity for a conversation about handling disappointment.

Model effective communication. Your 3-year-old may still stumble over his words, but everyone else in the family should model effective communication to set a good example. Prompt your toddler to name how he feels (e.g. “Are you crying because you’re hungry/sad/angry/tired?”) and ask for what he wants (e.g. “I want to borrow your bike or build a LEGO set with you.”)

The phrase “would you be willing” is especially powerful because it conveys that what is being asked is actually a request and not a demand (e.g., “Would you be willing to share your LEGOs with me? Would you be willing to let me ride your bike”) Good communication allows for empathy and understanding.

Trying to Create Space, raising two kids at different developmental stages certainly isn’t easy.

But it’s never too early to start teaching the importance of respect, personal space, boundaries, and communication!

Love and Blessings,

Katherine

Categories
Best Practices Growth Management Personal Development

10 Ways to Host Hybrid Meetings Like a Pro

Nothing costs your influence quite like an ineffective meeting. The introduction our new hybrid workplace challenges what we’ve ever known about meeting facilitation. Many struggle enough hosting in-person meetings, only to find virtual meetings more difficult. Technical mishaps, over-filled calendars and unproductive conversations result in immediate frustration for our listeners. Hybrid meetings add an extra layer of risk as meeting facilitators juggle both in-person and online listeners. Grow your influence by facilitating hybrid meetings like a pro. In 10 simple steps, attendees will trust your meetings are a productive and valuable use of their time.

  1. Don’t over invite.

The larger the meeting, the greater the chance mistakes will occur. Hybrid meetings are challenging enough to facilitate. By over-inviting attendees, your listeners will struggle to hear everyone speaking or even participate themselves.

  1. Prepare ahead of time.

You never want someone leaving your meeting feeling it was a waste of their time. Take time to prepare your message, no matter the audience. Write down what you need to cover, and in what order. This will keep your thoughts, and the conversation on track.

  1. Provide an agenda.

No one appreciates long-running meetings. An agenda will prevent discussions from going down the wrong path, eating valuable time.

  1. Keep meetings short.

Everything competes for your listener’s attention, challenging your ability to be heard above the noise. Short meetings encourage listeners to pay close attention while reinforcing the need to keep the conversation on track.

  1. Open Zoom early.

Virtual attendees miss the opportunity to make small talk with other meeting attendees, often leaving them feeling like second-class citizens. By opening the Zoom bridge early, you give virtual attendees a chance to engage with others, reinforcing their valued presence.

  1. Establish ground rules.

Explain to attendees how you will facilitate the meeting and take questions in both settings. Invite virtual attendees to utilize the online chat platform, then assign an in-person attendee to monitor the questions posted.

  1. Leverage technology.

If you are presenting in person, attempt to project the virtual meeting so in-person attendees are reminded of their presence and participation. If a projection screen is not available, set up multiple computers around the table allowing all attendees to connect and engage with each other. 

  1. Control the conversation.

We’ve all been in meetings where one or two attendees attempt to dominate the conversation. It’s up to you to guide the conversation, ensuring everyone has an opportunity to speak. Interject when interruptions occur. Let the offender know you’ll come back around to their thought as soon as the speaker can finish what they were sharing.

  1. Check in. 

It is easy for in-person meeting facilitators to forget their virtual attendees. Every few moments, check-in to ensure they can clearly hear and see. Call on them by name, inviting them to contribute to the conversation. This will help everyone feel better connected.

  1. End strongly.

Nothing feels as cold and abrupt as attending a virtual call that immediately ends. Allow yourself a few minutes to wrap up your meeting, inviting others to provide final thoughts or questions. Recap the discussion to reinforce what your meeting accomplished.

 

Each hybrid meeting facilitation provides you the opportunity to grow your influence and build trust among attendees.

Next time you host a hybrid meeting, implement these 10 tips to ensure your listeners time is well spent.

 

Should parents always present a united front?

 

 

Categories
Growth Leadership Personal Development

Made a Mistake? Here’s How to Begin Fixing It

Whether it was intentional or unintentional, sometimes we simply screw up. 

Own It: 

There’s nothing more frustrating than when someone refuses to take responsibility for their behaviors and actions-especially when those behaviors and actions caused harm. While we’re often so willing to overlook and forgive an error in judgment or a transgression, we tend to hang onto it more tightly when the person who caused the harm refuses to own it.

So, instead of blaming, making excuses, getting defensive, ignoring it or assuming the other person doesn’t need an explanation or apology, take responsibility for the part you played (whether it was intentional or unintentional) and own it. Now, in a case of betrayal or shattered trust, it’ll take more than that but you’re off to a good start.)

Use Their Language: 

Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts explains how there are different ways to communicate love and the secret to a love that lasts is found in communicating in the way your partner wants and needs to hear it. So, when trying to fix a major screw up, the same idea applies.

It’s not about communicating your awareness, understanding or apology in a way that works for you but in the way that’ll resonate with the person you hurt. Do they need a kind gesture or a sincere apology? Convey your message in a way that works for them.

Remorse, Empathy, and Restitution: 

According to the dictionary, remorse is deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed. Empathy is the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions. Restitution is an act of restoring or a condition of being restored. When it comes to fixing a major screw up, these three conditions work beautifully together and lay the foundation for forgiveness. Now, sometimes an action can’t be fixed but is there something you can do to show your willingness to right the wrong? Here’s what these three together may sound like: “I’m so terribly sorry (remorse).

I understand why you’d be upset. I get it and I’d be upset and hurt if you did that to me (empathy). What can I do to make it up to you?” (restitution).

Learn From It: 

Our actions emerge from our current level of awareness. When we’re coming from a place of fear and lack, our actions will represent that. When we’re in a place of love and abundance, our actions will represent that too.

A major screw up is most likely coming from a place of fear and lack. If it’s coming from love and abundance, it was most definitely unintentional. In either case, learn from it to make sure you don’t do it again. Did you act without thinking? Fail to consider the consequences or the other person’s needs? Did an inflated ego or pride cause you to say or do something you now regret? Maybe learning from it and implementing a simple rule like: “Would I like that done to me?” If the answer is yes, do it and if the answer is no, don’t.

Self-Forgiveness and Paying it Forward:

Once you’ve taken responsibility for your actions and behavior, communicated in a way the person you hurt will understand, were remorseful, empathetic, offered restitution and learned from it, there are still a few more things you can do. Forgiveness takes time along with consistent effort to repair the damage done so have patience.

The bigger the screw up the longer it can take because the person you hurt may be reeling from the shock, pain or anguish you caused and has to find new footing as they readjust to what they’ve just experienced by your actions. This process is now about them as they learn what role they may have played, what changes they need to make to feel valued, safe and secure again. While they’re working through it, healing, changing and growing as a result of what they’ve just been through, now is also the time to work on self-forgiveness. Sure, you may feel guilt and shame for the pain you caused but that doesn’t help anyone.

Forgiving yourself allows you to use what you’ve learned to grow, become a more awakened and enlightened version of yourself, and use your new awareness to not only ensure it won’t happen again, but to help others by what you now see so clearly.

Paying it forward by preventing someone else from experiencing that pain doesn’t mean you didn’t cause the harm, but may just be what’s needed to prevent someone else from causing or being the recipient of a painful experience. Paying it forward also contributes to the greater good and that’s what life is all about.

Dr. Debi
Founder and CEO, The PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute

Categories
Culture Growth Health and Wellness Human Resources Leadership

Should parents always present a united front?

 

Did you ever catch that children’s program, Bananas in Pajamas?

The main characters are two bananas, B1 and B2, who are identical in every way. They walk the same, talk the same, and very often think the same! B1 and B2 are always aligned, and they live in the kind of harmonious home that could ONLY exist on a kid’s TV show.

The Banana family is unknowingly helping to perpetuate the myth of the united front. I’ve worked with thousands of parents in the last 20 years, and most of them believe that parents should be in total agreement when it comes to making decisions about their kids. Like identical twin bananas, they strive to feel, think, and react the same way to their children.

Child: Can I go to a friend’s house this weekend?
Parents: (In unison) Yes!

Child: Can I eat this block of chocolate for dinner?
Parents: (United) No!

Child: Can you teach me to square dance?
Parents: (At the same time) Maybe later.

You get my point.

The problem is that the united front isn’t real! You and your parenting partner are two distinct human beings. You each have your own history, upbringing, and unique set of experiences. You’re probably unconsciously passing down behaviors and beliefs you learned as a child, long before you met your partner or became a parent. Your opinions may be influenced by deeply held beliefs about age, gender, propriety, and other factors. You might feel the way you do because of what you ate for breakfast.

In short, it’s I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E to agree with your partner on every single issue or question around raising your kids. Trying to present a united front is not only exhausting, it’s inauthentic.

At the same time, you don’t want to get into a pattern where your child runs from one parent to the other, only respecting the answer they want to hear. What’s a conscious parent to do?

Be honest. If you disagree with your partner on certain issues when it comes to your kids, be transparent with them about your feelings. Ignoring your differences will cause more trouble later on. Discuss your own childhoods and how your experiences have shaped you to react differently.
Show your support. You can have a different opinion than your partner without undermining them. For example, “I’d love to play music right now, but Daddy needs to work” is a better explanation for your child than “Your Dad says we can’t play music right now. He’s no fun.”
Forget good cop, bad cop. No one’s “good” or “bad” for feeling one way or another. Learn to honor your individuality in front of your children while respecting your partner’s feelings (and your child’s). It will teach them to do the same.

I hope you’re ready to lay the myth of the united front to rest!

If you’d like to join a community of parents who don’t always agree but still support one another, check out the Conscious Parenting Revolution Facebook group! [eut_single_image image_type=”image-link” image_mode=”medium” image=”32379″ link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fc-suitenetwork.com%2Fexecutive-membership|||”]

Categories
Entrepreneurship Management Personal Development

Water for the Weary – Why Every Business Needs Support from a Consultant

A few years ago, I overheard some of my colleagues discussing their weekend plans to volunteer at a marathon.  As I listened to the discussion I became intrigued because I was unfamiliar with this type of volunteerism and on the surface I didn’t understand why it was needed.  As the conversation developed my colleagues shared the challenges of long distance running; there was a consensus that support throughout the race—not just at the beginning and end– would make each runner more likely to complete the journey.

Having never participated in a marathon, I sought to understand.  I was compelled to ask the one question that came to my mind after hearing them deliberate, which was “Why do you need support throughout the race?”  The group looked at each other as if they were trying to decide who should take the question.  After a long awkward silence, I further developed the question.  “I mean, isn’t it your race to run?  I thought you spend months preparing for it…  Shouldn’t your adrenaline carry you through?”  My naivety was rooted in my disdain for long distance running.

I played football for more than 15 years and it seemed like every time the team did something wrong our coaches made us run long distances as punishment.   These folks were volunteering to run for hours without getting any admiration from most of their peers or the potential to make millions of dollars as a professional.  Finally, the strongest runner in the group looked at me and said, “We all need a cup of water on our journey.  It is helpful to know that someone understands what we are going through and can point us in the right direction when we are getting weary.”  I completely understood this concept, as it is the basis for my view of why only 2 out of every 10 businesses last more than 10 years.

Business owners and executives often become so busy fighting the fires of daily operations that they rarely spend time working on their business.  They get caught up in the whirlwind of right now instead of spending the necessary time looking at what is most important.  These decisions are often the catalyst for what causes the beginning of the end.  When is the last time you worked on a strategic plan or took the time to write out an updated plan for your business?

Leaders who have worked in large companies and experienced the impact consultants and coaches can deliver to their organization are often challenged to find the resources to cover the costs to engage many of those same coaches when they transfer to smaller companies or become entrepreneurs because they have other competing priorities.  For the group of owners who have never had a positive consulting or coaching experience, they often have a hard time understanding the value proposition because they may not understand how to use coaching services, or they aren’t aware of how these services can improve business. [eut_single_image image_type=”image-link” image_mode=”medium” image=”32357″ link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fc-suitenetwork.com%2Fexecutive-membership|||”] We find this to be most common for enterprises that generate revenues between $750,000 and $5MM annually.  This is where organizations begin to have formal policies and decision making is distributed to more than the top one or two people within the organization.  Because of these dynamics, we see this as a time where development of strong leadership and a focus on having a healthy culture are essential to the ongoing growth and success of the company.  While many owners believe they can handle these issues, the reality is very few are equipped to operate the business daily and handle the strategic functions concurrently. Consultants and coaches can offer invaluable support to them and other top leaders of an organization as they run through the woods and the stretches of roads where no one else is standing with signs or cheering.  This specially skilled group of people point you in the right direction when you are at a crossroads and unsure of which direction to go, or to offer you a cup of water to replenish some of the nutrients you lost since you left the starting blocks.

Unfortunately, most business owners ignore these opportunities for support thinking they can run the marathon on their own.  This choice often results in them condemning their organizations to stagnation, regression or failure.  The costs of the external support may be far more attractive than the loss of business, dollars, and efficiency often experienced when handled completely internally.

If you have ever found yourself stuck in a rut, you likely did not notice that your behaviors or thinking possibly stagnated your productivity.  You repeated past successful behaviors and awaited a positive outcome, only to be disappointed.  You may wonder how you got there, and how to make an effective change. Remember the struggles you faced in making that change; you implemented new behaviors and processes and performed them daily with little to no immediate evidence that your efforts were successful.  During this period, you constantly sought feedback as proof that others noticed. In business, top leaders rarely have that luxury because they feel isolated by their staff and clients during change. This doesn’t negate the need it only amplifies the importance of having someone to help keep you on track to your new future state.  The question I have for you is who is there to offer you a cup of water when you are weary?

Myers Development Group, LLC assists companies with their business needs.  Our organization is committed to delivering results and not just being busy with activities.  Our team offers business strategy and organizational development to small businesses who are looking for that competitive advantage.

Organizational Development

  • Leadership Development
  • Executive Coaching and Career Coaching
  • Process improvement initiatives
  • Cultural Assessment and Alignment

Business Strategy

  • Support writing proposals, and participate in client presentation
  • Support existing client relationship management, create new client lists and initiate contact
  • Cultivate relationships with strategic partners
  • Perform gap assessments between client needs and internal resources
  • Review existing contracts and facilitate creation of additional tasks orders being awarded
  • Support strategic planning sessions with market research and analysis
  • Lead strategic internal projects for office managers and executives

Categories
Growth Management Personal Development

Employee Retention and The Emotional Connection

The virtual and hybrid workplaces are eroding the emotional connection people feel for their teams and companies.

The Double-Edged Sword

There are certainly upsides that come with the evolving workplace.  Some people prefer the flexibility of the virtual workplace.  It saves time, money and the wear and tear that come with commuting.  Effective and efficient platforms like Zoom, Teams, and other allow collaboration across time zones and geographies.

The big downside is the loss of personal connection with colleagues that can enhance communications, collaboration, and the enjoyment of the job.  I believe the greatest downside is the loss of emotional connection to the company.  With little to no emotional connection to the company, it is now much easier for employees to leave the company for another job.  It is now simply a transactional decision.  Welcome to the Great Resignation.

Two Strategies for Creating an Emotional Connection

Purpose.  I read recently that Facebook is experiencing increasing turnover.  Employees who once saw this as an opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology, are now seeing Facebook as just an advertising machine with no noble purpose or values.  Studies show that today’s workforce want to work for companies that have a purpose that they resonate with – something deeper than just the bottom line. The connection becomes even deeper when people feel like their job has a purpose that they resonate with.  They see a linkage to their job and the company’s purpose.   Or it may be more personal. A manager with a client company recently told me that he saw his purpose as a manager is to help people be successful and have rewarding careers.  That purpose provides a deeper meaning to this manager beyond the day-to-day activities. The leadership lesson here is to be clear about the larger purpose with your own role, and help your people find the deeper meaning within their roles.

Fully Engage People.

For at least two decades Gallup and other survey companies annually report that 65-70% of employees across all industries are NOT fully engaged. The are direct linkages to lower levels of performance and retention.  The trend to the virtual and hybrid workplaces may risk more at risk of lowering engagement. I believe the antidote is engaging the whole person – hearts, minds, skills, and abilities.

  • Engaging the heart. The heart is where emotions live.  Joy.  Fulfillment.  And their opposites.  A common desire in every workplace is the feeling of being valued.  Respected.  That our contributions are appreciated, and that they matter. Leaders can engage the heart in many ways.  Expressing heartfelt appreciation to people for their contributions.  Recognizing going the extra mile.  Communicating with people and teams why their work matters.  Celebrating achievement.  Telling success stories that engage the heart.  The ultimate test is simply this:  Do people under your watch feel valued, respected and that their work matters?
  • Engaging the mind. This is where knowledge and experience lives. It is the source of our creativity, ideas and problem-solving skills.  Leaders that engage the minds of people value that potential.  John Maxwell, best selling author of over a dozen leadership books, proclaims, “Good leaders ask great questions.”  Great questions can tap into the minds of people to bring out their full potential.  Not surprisingly, the more people feel like their knowledge and ideas are valued, the more they are willing to offer them.
  • Providing development. Research about today’s workforce reveals that they want to work for companies that will provide development.  It is a win-win-win.  When we invest in people, they feel valued.  Their skills grow.  The company benefits from the expanded skill-set.  Companies don’t have to have corporate universities as much as a mindset that developing people is part of every leaders role.

Chris’ story.

I used to work with a colleague named Chris.  Chris was smart, committed and had a great sense of humor.  Chris was an excellent teammate and contributor and was fully engaged. After a change of leadership, I left the company we worked for, while Chris remained.  This new leadership was all about the bottom line and the stock price.  They gave lip service to valuing people.  The culture suffered.  The bottom line and stock price went into steep decline.  One day I called Chris and asked, “How are you hanging in there?”  Chris’ answer was revealing.  “I keep my head down and mouth shut.”  A once highly-engaged person was now focused on meeting expectations, and nothing more.  Chris explained that it was simply too risky in this new environment to point out problems and offer solutions. Chris’ emotional connection to the company was gone.  The good news is “people-first” leadership is back in place and Chris’ emotional connection to the company has been reestablished and is once again engaged and committed.

Conclusion.

The workplace is filled with people like Chris.  As leaders, our ability to engage the hearts, minds, skills and abilities of people can create an emotional connection to the company, and  result in high levels of engagement, performance and retention.  As with Chris, the emotional connection is not static.  It is dynamic, and as leaders, we have to keep engaging the hearts, minds, skills and abilities of our people and connecting them to a purpose they resonate with.  Otherwise, people may stay and check out as Chris did, or be part of the Great Resignation.  Like most everything else in business, the emotional connection (and engagement) rises and falls with leadership.

Dr. Mark Hinderliter works with clients to develop people strategies that align with their business strategy.  His experience as a Senior Vice President for a billion-dollar global enterprise along with a PhD in Organization and Management are a unique fusion of real-world experience and academic credentials.  His superpower is leadership development.

Mark is a United States Army Veteran.  He is the creator of the leadership program Diamond Quality Leadership, Leadership Skills for Today’s Workforce, and the host of the bi-weekly LinkedIn Live event called, “The Great Retention.”

You can follow Mark on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/markhinderliter/

 

Categories
Best Practices Marketing Personal Development

What’s In A Name?

 

The Story Behind The Brand Name

Shakespeare famously said before, “Do not judge a book by its cover.” Or in this context, we shouldn’t judge an establishment by its name. Unfortunately, this doesn’t hold much water when you’re running a business. In business, your name matters—a lot.

You see, a business name is more than just that. It signifies something more powerful. It represents what your business is all about, what it stands for. In the same vein, a name can have an instant effect on how your customers perceive you because every word, every sound, and every letter impacts the way we think and feel.

Coming up with the appropriate brand name is one of the most crucial things you have to think about when engaged in business. It can mean all the difference between a brand that instantly hits off or falls completely flat.

Yet, when you’re just starting, choosing a name is probably the second-to-the-last thing on your mind. Of course, there are lots of other things that come first, right? You still have to polish (or revise) your business plan, create your products, and research your audience. However, trust us when we say that creating a company name is useful. It could either make or break your brand.

Think of this process as similar to laying the foundations of a building. Discovering how to create a brand name can help you set the foundation for your company.

How to come up with a name that matters

The key to creating a brand name that sticks in the minds of your customers or is simply “catchy” and helps towards establishing brand recognition and awareness are the following:

It must be evocative

Simply describing your product or service could make your name too generic. Everyone else is doing that. Instead, try to come up with something that has a story behind it. Of course, the story has to be related to your business.

Stories have a powerful effect on our brain. When you’re given a really interesting story, your palms start to sweat, you’ll blink faster, and your heart might flutter or skip. Your facial expressions shift, and the muscles above your eyebrows will react to the words — another sign that you’re engaged.

Now, imagine feeling this when thinking about a brand. Take Apple, for example. Apple is a fruit, but it has come to be associated with cutting-edge technology, quality, and user-friendly designs over the years.

Make it Timeless

A name should be neutral enough to transcend time. Your name shouldn’t be something that restricts your brand.

It has to be timeless and one of the most effective ways to make sure that your name is “timeless” is to ensure that you create something that resonates with the emotions of your target audience, rather than limiting yourself to a basic descriptive term.

For instance, Nintendo didn’t just call themselves “The Gameboy Company.” Nintendo went with an evocative name with room for growth.

Consider the “looks” of the brand

Imagery is by far one of the most powerful poetic devices to use when creating a brand name with meaning. You leave a lasting impact if your brand can produce an image in your customer’s minds.

Some of the best phrases in literature earned their popularity because they evoke images in the reader’s mind. Think about how you can use the imagery in your name to convey an idea of your brand. GoPro, for example, leaves a lasting image of adventure and freedom on its customer’s minds.

Bottomline

Coming up with a brand name may be a daunting task, but that’s what the team is for. One way to make the process a bit easier is to think about what your company is all about and then come up with a brand that resonates with that. Everything else will eventually fall into place.

Pro tip from MarketAtomy.com: Come up with a name that you can easily trademark and find a domain for. After all, our goal here is to increase brand awareness and recognition. Making it easily recognizable online is one essential step.

Enter Our Naming Contest

Participate in MarketAtomy’s “What’s In A Name”  Contest. Submit the name of your business and a short introduction, video, or in writing, describing the story behind the name. The winning submission will be selected on May 10th, 2022. The winning submission will receive $100 and be featured on an Episode of the Charged-Up Studio Podcast. All submissions must be received by 12 AM EST May 5th (Cinco de Mayo) to qualify. Submissions should be sent to info@marketatomy.com.

Danna Olivo is a Growth Strategist, Author, and Public Speaker. As CEO of MarketAtomy LLC, her passion is working with first-stage business owners to ensure that they are prepared and equipped to launch and grow a successful small business. She understands the intricacies involved early on in business formation and as such the challenges that come with it. A graduate of the University of Central Florida’s College of Business, Danna brings more than 40 years of experience strategically working with small and medium businesses, helping them reach their growth goals. danna.olivo@marketatomy.com

 

Categories
Growth Management Personal Development

Employee Retention and The Emotional Connection

The virtual and hybrid workplaces are eroding the emotional connection people feel for their teams and companies.

The Double-Edged Sword

There are certainly upsides that come with the evolving workplace.  Some people prefer the flexibility of the virtual workplace.  It saves time, money and the wear and tear that come with commuting.  Effective and efficient platforms like Zoom, Teams, and other allow collaboration across time zones and geographies.

The big downside is the loss of personal connection with colleagues that can enhance communications, collaboration, and the enjoyment of the job.  I believe the greatest downside is the loss of emotional connection to the company.  With little to no emotional connection to the company, it is now much easier for employees to leave the company for another job.  It is now simply a transactional decision.  Welcome to the Great Resignation.

Two Strategies for Creating an Emotional Connection

Purpose.  I read recently that Facebook is experiencing increasing turnover.  Employees who once saw this as an opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology, are now seeing Facebook as just an advertising machine with no noble purpose or values.  Studies show that today’s workforce want to work for companies that have a purpose that they resonate with – something deeper than just the bottom line. The connection becomes even deeper when people feel like their job has a purpose that they resonate with.  They see a linkage to their job and the company’s purpose.   Or it may be more personal. A manager with a client company recently told me that he saw his purpose as a manager is to help people be successful and have rewarding careers.  That purpose provides a deeper meaning to this manager beyond the day-to-day activities. The leadership lesson here is to be clear about the larger purpose with your own role, and help your people find the deeper meaning within their roles.

Fully Engage People.

For at least two decades Gallup and other survey companies annually report that 65-70% of employees across all industries are NOT fully engaged. The are direct linkages to lower levels of performance and retention.  The trend to the virtual and hybrid workplaces may risk more at risk of lowering engagement. I believe the antidote is engaging the whole person – hearts, minds, skills, and abilities.

  • Engaging the heart. The heart is where emotions live.  Joy.  Fulfillment.  And their opposites.  A common desire in every workplace is the feeling of being valued.  Respected.  That our contributions are appreciated, and that they matter. Leaders can engage the heart in many ways.  Expressing heartfelt appreciation to people for their contributions.  Recognizing going the extra mile.  Communicating with people and teams why their work matters.  Celebrating achievement.  Telling success stories that engage the heart.  The ultimate test is simply this:  Do people under your watch feel valued, respected and that their work matters?
  • Engaging the mind. This is where knowledge and experience lives. It is the source of our creativity, ideas and problem-solving skills.  Leaders that engage the minds of people value that potential.  John Maxwell, best selling author of over a dozen leadership books, proclaims, “Good leaders ask great questions.”  Great questions can tap into the minds of people to bring out their full potential.  Not surprisingly, the more people feel like their knowledge and ideas are valued, the more they are willing to offer them.
  • Providing development. Research about today’s workforce reveals that they want to work for companies that will provide development.  It is a win-win-win.  When we invest in people, they feel valued.  Their skills grow.  The company benefits from the expanded skill-set.  Companies don’t have to have corporate universities as much as a mindset that developing people is part of every leaders role.

Chris’ story.

I used to work with a colleague named Chris.  Chris was smart, committed and had a great sense of humor.  Chris was an excellent teammate and contributor and was fully engaged. After a change of leadership, I left the company we worked for, while Chris remained.  This new leadership was all about the bottom line and the stock price.  They gave lip service to valuing people.  The culture suffered.  The bottom line and stock price went into steep decline.  One day I called Chris and asked, “How are you hanging in there?”  Chris’ answer was revealing.  “I keep my head down and mouth shut.”  A once highly-engaged person was now focused on meeting expectations, and nothing more.  Chris explained that it was simply too risky in this new environment to point out problems and offer solutions. Chris’ emotional connection to the company was gone.  The good news is “people-first” leadership is back in place and Chris’ emotional connection to the company has been reestablished and is once again engaged and committed.

Conclusion.

The workplace is filled with people like Chris.  As leaders, our ability to engage the hearts, minds, skills and abilities of people can create an emotional connection to the company, and  result in high levels of engagement, performance and retention.  As with Chris, the emotional connection is not static.  It is dynamic, and as leaders, we have to keep engaging the hearts, minds, skills and abilities of our people and connecting them to a purpose they resonate with.  Otherwise, people may stay and check out as Chris did, or be part of the Great Resignation.  Like most everything else in business, the emotional connection (and engagement) rises and falls with leadership.

Dr. Mark Hinderliter works with clients to develop people strategies that align with their business strategy.  His experience as a Senior Vice President for a billion-dollar global enterprise along with a PhD in Organization and Management are a unique fusion of real-world experience and academic credentials.  His superpower is leadership development.

Mark is a United States Army Veteran.  He is the creator of the leadership program Diamond Quality Leadership, Leadership Skills for Today’s Workforce, and the host of the bi-weekly LinkedIn Live event called, “The Great Retention.”

You can follow Mark on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/markhinderliter/