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Posts Tagged ‘leadership training’

Five Solid Strategies to Retain Your Millennial Employees

August 31st, 2014
millenials_books

Lisa’s first book, “Millennials Incorporated“, provides countless ways to recruit, manage and retain Millennial employees!

I’ve written tons of blogs and articles on this topic, but it continues to be a challenge for many companies which is why they bring me in to conduct in-depth seminars about it. Based on that, I felt it wouldn’t hurt to write another post on “how to retain Millennials” (aka Gen Y) since it’s still a very hot topic in the workforce.

So, why DO companies – large and small – spend so much time worrying about how to retain Millennial employees?  It’s basically a matter of math.

According to the Employment Policy Foundation (EPF), our country is at the beginning of a labor shortage of approximately 35 million skilled and educated workers, which is estimated to continue over the next two decades. Plus, Baby Boomers are currently reaching retirement age at an estimated rate of 1 every 8 seconds.

Thus, startling stats like those have Leadership Teams scrambling to figure out how to effectively retain their “top” younger talent because the current, and future, success of their companies depends on it.

To give your company an edge, consider the following strategies that other smart organizations are implementing…

5 Solid Strategies to Retain Your Millennial Employees:

1. Communicate A lot: In a survey conducted by Yahoo! HotJobs and Robert Half International, over 60 percent of Millennials responded that they want to communicate with their managers at least once a day. Unfortunately, many members of “older” generations feel that communicating that often with employees is cumbersome but the Millennials require it or they will leave.

2. Provide Training & Development: According to a recent national survey, Millennials rated training and development as an employee benefit 3 times higher than they rated cash bonuses. And they not only want skill-based training; they want training on soft skills, too.

3. Rapid Advancement Alternatives: You don’t always have to give Millennials a raise or promotion to keep them happy; being creative with increased responsibility can work great! Millennials have fast minds and get bored quickly, but it’s your job as their employer to help eliminate the “boredom” factor. Find creative ways to give them more responsibility, such as letting them do one or more of the following:

  • Start, or write for, your org’s blog
  • Set-up, or participate in, your org’s Facebook Page or other social media networks
  • Contribute to, or start, your org’s e-newsletter
  • Research and set-up a new software solution or develop new processes that can improve how your company runs

4. Mentor Programs: This is key! Millennials have grown up with a lot of guidance from their parents, society and teachers. They truly value and seek handholding at work. So, please heed this advice! I’ve spoken with many Millennials who have quit jobs quickly because they were promised mentorship, but never received it.

5. Foster a Leadership Mindset: The sooner you can educate your Millennial team members on the attributes of being a respected leader, the sooner they’ll start acting like one. And by emphasizing that everything they say and do either strengthens or weakens their Personal Brand(s) can quickly provide them with a new perspective that can improve the behavior that may be frustrating you.

Finally, it’s important to remember that Millennials’ wants and needs aren’t much different from those of older generations; they just have a lower tolerance threshold than generations before them. A Boomer may put up with a job for five years even if he or she is bored or doesn’t feel valued, but a Millennial may only tolerate it for five months.

That said, what can your company being doing differently to ensure that you don’t lose your top Millennial talent to the competition? Savvy organizations are being pro-active with developing retention strategies versus being reactive. Is yours?

Three Reasons Why Employees Should Focus on Personal Branding

May 04th, 2014

Hi All,

Personal Branding has become a hot topic in the workforce these days. I know this firsthand based on how often I’m hired to conduct my Personal Branding Workshops and training sessions for employees at companies all over the country. And the popularity of this topic is what also prompted me to write my fourth book that JUST came out on Amazon: “Your Employee Brand is in Your Hands: How Any Employee Can Create and Promote Their Own Personal Leadership Brand for Massive Career Success!”

But, what is Personal Branding? Short answer: A strong Personal Brand allows all that’s strong and effective about your personal and professional style to become known (in a deliberate and managed way) to your colleagues up, down, and across the organization, thus enabling you to generate maximum value and unique “distinction” for yourself.

And, as with product or company branding, if you do not take control of developing, establishing, and managing your Personal Brand, and actually put some thought into it versus just letting it happen organically, other people will do it for you…and it may not always be accurate or personally favorable.

So how can it help you achieve the career success you desire? Here are three reasons why focusing on developing and managing a Personal Brand is critical to your career growth:

It Gives You Clarity

Personal Branding is all about increased self-awareness by: acknowledging your weaknesses (such as having a bad temper or being a poor communicator), making the necessary changes to improve yourself, and by also understanding your strengths. You have to know “who you are and who you aspire to be” in order to conduct yourself in any role effectively; be it entry-level or a senior leadership position. And the more clarity you have, the better your chances are for career advancement and managing employees more effectively!

Improves Your Job Satisfaction

As you becomes clear on your Personal Brand, you become clearer on your personal and professional values. This normally leads to asking yourself things like: Am I in the right job or role? Do I even like what I do or should I make a career change? Does my Boss, or the Company, mesh with my Personal Brand values? Those are all valid questions. Knowing the answers benefits you because it improves the odds of being at a company or in a position where you’re “truly happy to be”…and that is key to job satisfaction.

Also, if you’re unemployed or actively job seeking, determining your Personal Brand will help you hone in on the companies, positions, and Boss’s that will best work for you. There are many job candidates who turn down employment offers because they know it’s not the right fit with their Personal Brand.

 Expands Your Notoriety

In addition to wanting more notoriety at work, many employees also want to stand out in their industry. They want to be asked to speak at industry tradeshows and conventions, and they want industry media to contact them for interviews. There’s nothing wrong with desiring this type of recognition; it’s actually a very smart career growth strategy.

If you strategically create and promote your Personal Brand as a Thought Leaders within your industry, this type of notoriety can be achieved. It does require you to be your own “Publicist”, and to stay current on trends so that you have unique insights to share, but it can be done. And it can quickly expand awareness for your Personal Brand outside of the office.

So take the time to focus on you! Be honest with yourself about your strengths, weaknesses, things you need to work on, and traits you ASPIRE to have. No one is going to do it for you…except YOU!

New Book for Employees on How to Create a Unique Personal Brand

April 22nd, 2014

employee-brand2Hi All!

I’m happy to announce the release of my fourth book, Your Employee Brand is in Your Hands: How Any Employee Can Create and Promote Their Own Personal Leadership Brand for Massive Career Success!”. It’s available on Amazon and getting 5-Star ratings!

Here is the Press Release that was deployed with all the info:

Leadership Expert, Lisa Orrell, Releases Highly Anticipated Book for Employees on How to Create a Unique Personal Brand at Work

Lisa Orrell, The Generations Relations and Leadership Expert, has published her fourth book, “Your Employee Brand is in Your Hands”. This timely book clearly explains how employees of all ages and experience levels can create and promote a unique Personal Brand to get more notoriety at work, stand out in their industry, and achieve greater career success in this increasingly competitive world.

Lisa Orrell is globally recognized as The Generations Relations & Leadership Expert. She’s an in demand Speaker, Thought Leader, Media Guest, and the Author of three top-selling business books: Millennials Incorporated; Millennials into Leadership; and Boomers into Business. And her new fourth book, “Your Employee Brand is in Your Hands: How Any Employee Can Create and Promote Their Own Personal Leadership Brand for Massive Career Success!” (Wyatt-Mackenzie Publishing) was just released to rave reviews plus 5-star ratings on Amazon.

“Most books on Personal Branding are written for self-employed people to help them grow their businesses. But creating and managing a unique Personal Brand as an ‘employee in the workforce’ is a critical component to success and something that highly successful Leaders and Executives focus on daily,” explains Orrell. “For several years, I’ve been conducting a very popular Personal Branding workshop for employees, as well as for college students. My new book is a direct result of that workshop, along with the constant inquiries I got from people asking if I could recommend a good book on this topic. But I struggled to recommend one because there are very few out there, so I wrote one.”

Adds Orrell, “I have one particular client, a very large global corporation, who has hired me to conduct my Personal Branding Workshop over 20 times. So, obviously, not only do their employees benefit from this topic and my training, their company does, too. The bottom line, for any company, is there’s no downside to having employees with heightened self-awareness and a willingness to improve themselves.”

Orrell isn’t the only expert who feels that defining a unique Personal Brand, and being your own “Publicist” at work, is key to one’s career success. Others agree and think that her new book is both timely and important.

Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of the niche job board, CollegeRecruiter.com, shares, “Most consumers prefer to buy brands that we know, like, and trust. In many cases, we’re also willing to pay more for those brands. Yet most of us don’t think of the fact that in our places of employment we have our own ‘personal brands’. Some of those brands are positive, some are neutral, and some are negative. So if you want the people making the decisions about your career and compensation to know, like, and trust you then you need a positive brand, and Lisa’s book will show you exactly how to make that happen.”

“Your Employee Brand is in Your Hands” is also gaining attention due to the aging Baby Boomer population in the workforce, along with the fact that Millennials are getting moved into leadership roles younger and faster than generations before them. In many of her Personal Branding Workshops Orrell says she sees employees ranging from their early 20’s to their late 60’s.

To that point Orrell explains, “Most Boomers buy my new book or attend my workshops to determine how to stay ‘relevant’ and redefine themselves at work. Whereas many Millennial employees want to learn how to: stand out at work; gain notoriety in their industry; and learn how be taken seriously so they can move up the ladder into management and leadership roles. They are very serious about being successful in those positions, yet a lot of Millennials don’t feel their employers have prepared them to succeed in those roles.”

Orrell’s observations are reflected in extensive research conducted by Deloitte which was, among many places, featured in a FORBES article published on September 12, 2013. The article was written by Josh Bersin and entitled, “Millennials Will Soon Rule the World: But How Will They Lead?”

Due to the major generational shifts occurring in the workforce, “business as usual” is becoming obsolete. Orrell sees this firsthand and knows this is not only a very challenging time for employees, but for Employers, too. As a result, companies regularly contact her to speak and consult on these issues. And many other Throught Leaders agree the situation is only going to get more serious over the next two decades.

Thus, in addition to her Personal Branding expertise, Orrell is consistently booked to conduct presentations on topics such as: Understanding generational dynamics at work; improving communication across the generations; educating Leadership Teams on workforce trends; improving the recruitment, management and retention of Millennial (aka: Gen Y) Talent; and educating Millennial employees, and college students, on how to be young, effective, respected leaders in the workforce.

A small sample of Orrell’s stellar client list includes: Wells Fargo, Johnson & Johnson, eBay, Chicos, State University of New York, USC, Intuit, Pepsi, Applied Materials, Paul Mitchell Schools, PayPal, Blue Cross/BlueShield, and Monster.com. Orrell is also hired to speak for a wide variety of Professional Associations that cater to members in HR, Leadership, Management, Training, and Diversity roles.

“Your Employee Brand is in Your Hands” is currently available in paperback for $15.95 on Amazon and through other major online book retailers. A Kindle version will be available by May 1st, 2014.

For media interviews, speaking inquiries, or book information, please contact Lisa Orrell at 408-340-8789 or Lisa@TheOrrellGroup.com or visit her website: TheOrrellGroup.com. To receive a 25% discount on bulk book orders of 10 or more, please contact Lisa Orrell directly.

Book Info:

Title: Your Employee Brand is in Your Hands: How Any Employee Can Create and Promote Their Own Personal Leadership Brand for Massive Career Success!

Publisher: Intelligent Women Publishing (an imprint of Wyatt-Mackenzie Publishing, Inc.)

Pages: 150-Pages, soft cover 8.5 x 5.5

Retail Cost: $15.95

ISBN: 978-193928808

5 Steps to Managing Difficult Employees

March 23rd, 2014

Hi All!

In all the seminars and workshops training I conduct for Managers and Leadership Teams, I find that a majority of them struggle with managing difficult employees. And, regardless of their experience level, or age (Boomers, Gen X or Gen Y), I see two common ways many of them handle challenging employees: poorly or not at all…neither of which are effective!

But in a leadership role where you’re responsible for managing others, how you manage a difficult employee is critical. Why? Because undoubtedly you are forced to spend a disproportionate amount of resources, time, and energy on them, and this can cause frustrations and tempers to arise, productivity to decrease, morale to go down, retention of good talent to plummet, and your other team members (and possibly, customers) to become disgruntled.

What Can You Do? A Simple 5-Step Process:

1. Do Not Ignore the Problem

A small problem has the potential to turn big, so pay attention to red flags when you first see them. If you notice that an employee is exhibiting bad behavior, it’s time to take immediate action. The longer you wait, the worse it will get! Sticking your head in the sand will normally not make the issue magically disappear…and you’ll be faced with employees, and possibly your boss, wondering why you’re not taking charge of the situation.

2. Identify the Cause

Understanding the real motivation for their behavior unlocks your power to take the right steps to address the underlying cause. You have to find out WHY they are being difficult. Do they dislike their job? Are they having personal problems outside of work? Are they having issues with a co-worker you may not be aware of, such as a bully who is making them miserable? You cannot begin to determine solutions and a course of action if you don’t know “why” their poor behavior is occurring.

3. Provide a Comfortable Environment

Talk to your employee in a comfortable, non-threatening, environment that can enable them to disclose the reason for their behavior. Don’t forget to tell them that you’re there to help them, make their work life better, and help them be successful. Remember, your main goal behind this process is to uncover valuable information, so your communication should not be confrontational. Prepare your feedback ahead of time, ask questions, let the conversation flow, stay engaged, and listen closely. And once you’ve gathered the insights from your employee, you can then begin to determine a plan to resolve the issue(s).

4. Develop a Solution

When handling difficult employees, it is important for Managers to identify the problem and suggest a solution; not demonize them. Your goal should be to develop a plan which not only reflects your agenda, but also incorporates their perspective. If you need time to come up with a plan after you have your “fact gathering session” with them, take it. However, if you feel comfortable and prepared to discuss solutions right away, do so. Either way, make their input part of the plan to work together so that you get their (enthusiastic) buy-in. Just because you think your plan of action for them is great, doesn’t mean it can actually work. The objectives and goals that you establish have to be ones they can accomplish, and ones that they are very clear on.

5. Monitor and Provide On-going Effective Feedback

Once your plan has been mutually agreed upon, actively monitor their progress and provide them with regular, specific, effective feedback. Many Managers express their grievances and expect the employee to drastically change their behavior without any on-going guidance. That type of management style FAILS most of the time. Just like dieting, people tend to be way more successful when they have on-going guidance, feedback, encouragement, and support.

In closing…

As a Manager, if you do not take the appropriate steps to handling difficult employees, you are doing a huge disservice to yourself, your career, your company, as well as to your other employees who are working hard towards the success of the department and organization. You need to improve the retention of your top employees; not frustrate them to the point of leaving.

Can all difficult employees be “turned around”? Of course not! But by helping them determine why they are having issues at work can also help you both determine if this job, or company, simply isn’t the right fit for them. If that IS the case, typically there’s nothing you can do to shift their behavior. They need to move on to a job where they’ll be happier…and that’s a win/win outcome for both of you!

Communication is at the Core of Effective Leadership

March 04th, 2014

Hi All,

One of the main points I heavily emphasize in my Personal Branding workshops for employees and Managers, regardless of what generation they’re from or level they’re at in their career, is this: It isn’t possible to become a great leader without being an effective communicator. In fact, effective communication is a key component of success in the professional world, whether it is at the organizational, intra-group, inter-group, or interpersonal level.

And when I say “leader”, I’m referring to ANY level you’re at or role you’re in now. Millennials (aka: Gen Y), Gen X, and Boomers need to be in a “leadership mindset” at work and conduct themselves accordingly!

The best quality of an effective leader is the strategic way they communicate with other employees, translating key business goals into terms that help the latter identify ‘what’s in it for me, thus motivating them to align their actions toward the success of their organization. It’s part of a leader’s job responsibility to communicate effectively what the employees want and need to know.

Effective communication also includes a greater sense of contextual and situational awareness…which many people aren’t good at, and is why I believe companies need to provide more training on communication! That said, let’s look at some tips…

Communication Secrets of Effective Leaders

Great Listeners

Great communicators believe in two-way communication. They understand that simply broadcasting their message won’t have the same effect as engaging in a meaningful conversation. They are good listeners while being astute in observations, possessing the ability to adapt their responses to the environment and situation without missing a beat.

Great Contributors

Effective communicators are adept at transferring ideas and spreading their vision. Their words inspire action and align expectations, focusing more on contributing than receiving. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it pays off in the longer run. In fact, a leader that focuses more on leave-behind than the take-aways is more likely to learn deeper than they ever would by concentrating only on their agenda.

Clear Communicators

One of the best qualities of an effective leader is that they communicate with clarity, focusing on being simple and concise. Who would appreciate or understand your point of view if you remain complicated and confusing? After all, who has time to spare for trying to understand your complex language? Great leaders understand the value of clarity and brevity and know how to hit the point and cut to the chase. In order to be an effective leader, it is crucial to learn the importance of weeding out the superfluous in order to make yourself heard.

Focus on Inter-Personal Relationships

Great leaders reject the classic business theory that suggests them to stay at an arm’s length. They have a firm belief that only those prefer to stay away from others who want to remain in the dark.  No great leader wishes to receive highly sanitized versions of the reality. They believe in developing meaningful relationships with employees in order to know what’s actually on their minds. A deeper understanding of each other is necessary for organizational success, and a good leader understands this well. Don’t let your ego be the roadblock to your relationship with other employees in the organization. Be candid and empathetic toward others to turn doubt into trust and earn greater respect.

Preparedness and Contingency Planning

The best leaders are always prepared for any kind of situation. They have a contingency plan in mind for any message that seems to evoke anger or criticism. In order to be a successful leader, it is important to learn how to justify your message with reason, business logic, and knowledge in order to make a lasting impact on the listeners. Remember, communication isn’t about you, your beliefs, your opinions, or your circumstances. In fact, it’s more about understanding others concerns, and fulfilling their needs. This will help you show your empathetic side and add value to their world.

In closing, DON”T be the type of leader that you wouldn’t want to work for. And you can prevent that by working on HOW you communicate with people, both verbally and visually!

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