A Leader’s Attitude is Contagious: Are You Infecting Your Team?

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Let’s face it, being a business owner is TOUGH.

Sure, you have great days and the flexibility of being your own boss is actual #lifegoals. But, then you have those other days. Those dark days where you’re “not feeling it” and would rather hit pause on life, make some popcorn and binge watch Friends…again. Having bad days are fine as a solo entrepreneur – you’re not hurting anyone, but yourself. However, as your team grows, you’ll need to learn to dust that popcorn spice off your shirt.

Having a negative attitude in business is like having a cold. It sucks your energy, increases your apathy and keeps you from reaching your best performance. But, more devastating, a bad attitude is extremely contagious to your employees – especially when it comes from top management.

And the virus doesn’t die there.

If your negative attitude is impacting your employees, it will likely be felt by clients who may be quick to retaliate. Either with that ever so devastating 1-star review on Google or by taking their business elsewhere.

However, the great thing about your attitude is that you can control it. Every day you get to choose whether you are going to bring a positive or negative attitude to the office. And, there is a great deal to be said about positive workspaces. One study found that happy employees are 20% more productive. When it comes to your sales team, happiness has an even bigger part to play, resulting in increased sales by up to 30%.

Are you guilty of not controlling those nasty employer emotions? Here are some tips for keeping those bad feelings under control.

Be Your Own Entertainment. Think funny thoughts. Having the ability to laugh at yourself when things go wrong (and even when they’re fine) can help you maintain a positive outlook.

Start your day off with some good tunes. Music affects your brain and attitude in surprising ways. Go ahead, make a fool of yourself and belt out your favourite 90s pop songs on the way to the office.

Drop Some Positive One-Liners. Don’t underestimate the power of a compliment. If you’re having those negative feelings, find ways to show gratitude to employees:

“Thank you”
“You did a great job on this”
“Wow! You’re crazy talented, I like how you approached this …”

Always be telling your employees when they are doing a good job.

Compliments tell employees they are worthy of being noticed. Be genuine, and the more specific your compliments, the better received they will be. This is also an excellent way to overshadow negative talk, i.e. compliments tell employees what you want them to do more of, instead of what they should do less of.

Make Your Future Shine Bright. Have a clear mental picture of the future. From time to time, you will be challenged with a personal or family problem that will have an impact on your attitude at work. Don’t let them. Be goal oriented and focus on achieving positive results at work.

Set SMART goals that are transparent to your team. Everyone gets overwhelmed at the start of a project, but the secret to alleviating the pressure is by setting goals that are designed to provide structure and guidance. When we stay within this framework, we stay focused on the prize and have no time for negative talk or bad days.

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Relevant
T – Time-bound

Are you contagious? Let Valoro help rejuvenate your office space.

Keep Swimming: Are You Ready For a Crisis?

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You’re on the way to work and feeling PUMPED (with a capital P). You smashed your morning workout, got the kids to school on time and the traffic is, well, moving.

You arrive at work and ready to keep the good vibes going. You open your office door and everything is chaos… Wait, what?

Your employees are frantic, clients are calling and you’re too scared to refresh your mailbox. You have just been hit with a crisis.

Crises are inevitable. In fact, a PWC survey revealed that 65% of CEOs admitted to experiencing at least one crisis in the past three years. As if it couldn’t get worse, a staggering 51% of companies admit to not having a crisis management playbook.

See the problem here?

No one hopes or expects a crisis to happen. But, ignorance of the fact that it could won’t prevent a crisis from raising its ugly head. Preparation is essential, and the faster you retaliate the sooner you can move on and forget it ever happened.

So, where do you begin?

Here are the 5 key steps required to creating a crisis action plan for your business.

1 Take Stock of Your Risks

Every business has them, so assess your risks. Identify any potential crises that could disrupt your business function and/or processes.

Work together with your employees to list all relevant threats and vulnerabilities that could impact your company.

These often include:

  • promotional gaffes,
  • product recall,
  • data contravention, etc.

2 Business Impact Analysis

A business impact analysis (BIA) is a systematic process to determine and evaluate the potential effects of an interruption to critical business operations, as a result of a disaster, accident or emergency. It’s an essential practice in ensuring your company is considering every angle of a threat.

Working through a BIA can reveal the following:

  • Customer dissatisfaction/attribution
  • Damaged public reputation
  • Lost or delayed sales/income, etc

3 Determine Effective Contingencies

Having established your potential risks, you are now in a much better position to identify which actions can help your company respond effectively to each scenario.

Plot the steps required to resolve a given crisis, what resources are required, and how your employees will plug in to help.

4 Plan For Each Contingency

After identifying any potential crisis, flesh out your plans. Certain plans may require discussions with suppliers or contractors, to ensure that you have their cooperation.

As you work your way through the plans, make sure you keep in mind any relevant regulatory requirements, and determine how you will continue to meet them – even in the midst of a crisis.

5 Brief in Your Employees

A crisis happens fast and can cause stress and panic among your staff. Consider effective ways to quickly and effectively distribute a crisis plan to all relevant parties.

Consider training your team on your crisis management process. The more familiar you and your employees are with your responses, the quicker you will be to retaliate against a crisis.

Simply having a crisis playbook doesn’t mean you can pump the brakes. Quite the opposite. Revisit your crisis action plan regularly. Keep it up to date as new employees and technologies are introduced into your company.

Ditch Change Ignorance: A Guide to Keeping Up With Transformation

Let me paint a picture for you.

A few months ago, your company finished a cost-reduction transformation to streamline your operations. You’re feeling pretty impressed with yourself so you naturally give yourself a pat on the back.

Before you have even had a chance to let the dust settle, a disruption in your industry changes everything,requiring you to implement a new model altogether. Shock, horror, and it’s back to the drawing board.

Enter, “always-on” transformation.

There is no place for complacency today. Most industries are facing disruption and market turbulence – thanks to globalisation, innovation, regulation changes, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!

To keep up with our ever-evolving landscape, companies need to consider many types of transformation. It is not a small tweak in some aspect of the business, but a massive change aimed at achieving and improving performance and value.

You don’t want to just survive – you want to thrive! So, how do you adopt this always-on transformation approach? Here are 5 ways to beat change ignorance and streamline your business for smooth transitions for the future.

1 Embrace Change Management

Companies need to stop seeing their initiatives as a temporary, once-off occurrence. Rather, build change-management skills into your core competencies within the leadership positions in your business.

Ways to ingrain change management into your business:

  • Make transformation-focused positions attractive to employees
  • Establish change processes to help you plan and role out initiatives
  • Practice by doing, i.e. make the development of internal change-management capabilities an imperative role of each initiative

2 Always Be Reading & Always Be Learning

Make learning an integral part of your business model. Training and development have a huge impact on your employees, directly relating to their productivity. When your employees find the new knowledge on an aspect of your industry, see whether it is worth implementing to improve your performance.

Encourage employees to challenge conventional thinking. Keep them curious, so that they can discover creative ways to improve business processes.

Ways to implement an always-learning mindset in your business:

  • Block off time in your weekly schedule for employees to read or study further
  • Challenge your employees to think of unconventional ways to solve problems
  • Encourage employees to collaborate and share ideas on a regular basis
  • Open offices are often an excellent way for collaboration to happen

3 Get Rid Of Excessive Bureaucracy

To keep up with the curve, you need to be agile, stealthy and ready for disruption.

For your company to accommodate change in a changing landscape, you need to be able to respond to market shifts and enable your employees to adapt the way they work.   

Build an agile office by making changes in the following ways:

  • Remove organisational layers by simplifying your policies
  • Celebrate employees who adapt to new roles and changes
  • Develop programs to help your employees understand different roles
  • Challenge your employees to think outside of their immediate roles

4 It’s a Marathon, not a Sprint

Transformations are tiring and may require employees to go beyond their conventional workload. Fatigue is a real issue and is why many companies slip back into old habits.

Make sure you are pacing yourself. Set deadlines, but be realistic. Make sure your employees are not working themselves to the bone and make time for recovery.

Keep employee energy levels up by doing the following:

  • Communicate openly with your employees about the transformation.
  • Sensing resistance? Address it.
  • Make sure you are hiring the right people i.e. those who thrive in a changing environment
  • Match tasks with the right people and see it as contributing to personal growth
  • Always make time for recovery and give credit where credit is due

5 Purpose Driven Transformation

Expecting employees to get excited about taking on more work is not going to amount to anything unless results are linked to their gain. If your transformation is solely focused on making top management richer, morale will be lower than ever.

Openly communicate why changes need to be made, and how it benefits your employees. This makes them feel like they’re part of the bigger picture. Plus, when employees start believing in the company’s purpose, they are intrinsically motivated to go above and beyond.

Practical steps that can be taken, to ensure a clear purpose in your transformation efforts, include:

  • Capture the reason why you are encouraging always-on transformation
  • Incentivise employees by linking company growth with employee growth
  • Engage with your employees on a deeper level, e.g. events to engage them, so that they understand the purpose of the transformation and how they can contribute

 

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