Connect! It has positive affect. – FOR ZSA LEGAL RECRUITMENT

Fostering connection on remote and hybrid teams requires continuous finesse. It’s not a one and done.

Team members, priorities, projects, and working dynamics constantly change and evolve. As such, ensuring ongoing connection with your remote and hybrid team(s) must be equally adaptive. It’s a hybrid world! And with that, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite eight (8) workplace activities that promote company culture and connection that can be easily deployed online.

Check them out, share them with your team members, and consider which tools and techniques you can apply right away!

Bring Your Humanity to Work Day – FOR TRAINING INDUSTRY

The sudden shift to hybrid and remote work that began in 2020, in many cases, resulted in a decrease in the human element of the workplace. Now that managing work and learning in a dispersed work environment is here to stay, creating, or perhaps more appropriately “recreating,” a human-centric workplace may require consistent action and full team commitment.

As with most things, it’s easier said than done. But it all starts with . . . read more.

Digital demands are growing—your virtual toolbox should too! – FOR ZSA LEGAL RECRUITMENT

Virtual is viable, but digital is demanding.

Digital demands can be difficult, and they’re not diminishing anytime soon; if anything, they’re growing. With the ongoing development of these demands, you’ve got to ensure that you, your team(s), and your company remain afloat. Staying on top of virtual tools and techniques is your life raft. That means remaining up-to-date and familiar with digital developments, and ensuring your employees do too!

Lead by example, model modern practices, and consider implementing regular opportunities for the development of digital literacy in your office or organization. Clearly communicated and agreed-upon structures are a great place to start.

These structures include . . . read more.

6 Power Skills You Need To Be An Effective Leader

(This blog was originally written for and published by Live Assets.)

Over the last couple years, many of us hit ‘pause’, but now it’s time to hit ‘power’.

Power up and learn to be an effective leader by mastering these six power skills: communication, accountability, structures, interactive feedback, emotional intelligence, and cohesion.

First off, let’s start by establishing what effective leadership is, and what it looks like.

Effective leadership is based on how the leader perceives their behaviors compared to how their team members perceive their behaviors. The ability of a leader to influence and effectively lead their team(s) is directly related to whether the team members perceive the leader’s behaviors to be helpful or not.

Now that we established what effective leadership looks like, we can hit full speed ahead on the six power skills you need to be an effective leader.

1. Communication – Effective communication is the lifeblood of a team. Teams that communicate effectively reduce misunderstandings and costly errors, minimize work delays, and enhance overall productivity.

If your team has difficulty communicating about everyday tasks, imagine the extent to which that is amplified when navigating complex projects.

Investing in training and tools to foster open and clear, effective communication is essential. Implementing communication models and techniques ensure everyone within the organization has the opportunity to participate and influence—positively supporting projects and company growth.

What does ineffective communication look like? Common instances Of Ineffective Communication include:

  • Individuals interrupting or talking over others in meetings
  • Individuals remaining silent when decision-making is required
  • Team meetings that are not balanced forums for discussion

2. Accountability – Holding one another accountable drives innovation, trust, and productivity.

Set your team up for success by encouraging a culture of accountability tailored to your organization’s specific structure and goals. Make a collective commitment to be accountable. This will support company goals, ultimately creating a sustainable system in which team members help and support one another.

3. Structures – Unifying and streamlining work processes and related behavioral norms builds the foundation for efficient and successful teams.

This may include developing expectations and processes for meetings, email norms, and decision-making best practices. Efficient techniques that address common problems within the structures of a team set everyone up for success.

4. Interactive Feedback – A feedback-oriented workplace culture provides essential information for decision making and performance improvement by reflecting on the past and anticipating future results. It helps to ensure everyone is aligned and promotes team alignment while simultaneously decreasing personal and company blind spots. A win-win!

Effectively giving and receiving two-way feedback, feedforward, and following up later creates a supportive and psychologically safe work environment that’s less focused on individual tasks and more focused on overall team contributions and well-being.

5. Emotional Intelligence – Awareness and management of one’s emotions while navigating the emotions of others reduces assumptions and increases psychological safety and connection.

Management of workplace behaviors is a critical skill, yet rarely discussed. Effectively conveying ideas and demonstrating empathy for the behaviors of others while remaining respectful, productive, and engaged is key.

6. Cohesion – Team cohesion is directly tied to project outcomes, client satisfaction, team engagement, and collaboration. Dedicating time and energy to this dependent relationship will result in increased productivity and success.

The key elements of a cohesive team are: (1) trust, (2) the level of support one gets from their team, and (3) openness to different opinions. Effectively and efficiently inspiring, guiding, and maintaining momentum allows team members to collectively reach their full potential.

Being an effective leader is just as much about you as it is about your team.

Psychological Safety: A Win-win for Employee Wellness and Performance – FOR TRAINING INDUSTRY

Psychological safety serves a dual purpose: It supports both workplace wellness and employee performance. Given that wellness and performance are interdependent, psychological safety is crucial to building a successful, human-centered workplace.

Psychological safety is the shared belief that it’s safe to take interpersonal risks as a group. It is the ability to take risks, speak up, work creatively and feel comfortable being one’s authentic self without fear of reprisal. This sense of comfortability and safety stems from these five key factors . . . read more.

Leadership in Economic Turbulent Times – FOR PENDER & HOWE

The importance of economic stability is at an all-time high considering the turbulent times we have experienced over the last two years. Dealing with so many unforeseen circumstances has led to budget cuts, lean teams, remote work, and more.

When looking for ways to manage costs, managers and executives are often trained to ignore money already spent, instead focusing on future spending. When it comes to tracking the cost and value of meetings, for example, managers commonly dismiss the cost of people’s time as a “sunk cost” because they’ve already committed to paying salaries.

Companies spend an enormous amount of money paying people to sit in meetings, but they fail to consider how efficient or effective those meetings really are. Furthermore, most people are not trained to participate in, or run, effective meetings.

A staggering 70% of employees report they don’t have mastery of the skills needed to do their jobs. (Harvard Business Review)

Also frequently overlooked, the cost of lost productivity is a key culprit of financial drain for leaders, managers, and their company . . . read more

Leading a Multi-Generational Workforce – FOR CHEMISTRY CONSULTING GROUP

The generation you grew up in can influence your behaviors. In the workplace, you might even notice fundamental generational differences regarding expectations, culture, performance, and engagement. Smart leaders will learn to work with these differences rather than against them.

Simply start by recognizing and understanding the generations and consider generation-specific values and blind spots (from Management Library):

  • Generation Z (1997-2015) is motivated by security, may be more competitive, desires independence, will multi-task, is more entrepreneurial, wants to communicate face-to-face, is truly digital-native, and wants to be catered to.
  • Millennials (1981-1996) value collaborative workplaces, are achievement-oriented, highly creative, positive, diverse, fun, flexible and continuously provide feedback.
  • Generation X (1965-1980) values workplaces that are positive, fun, efficient, fast-paced, flexible, informal, and have access to leadership and information.
  • Baby Boomers (1946-1964) value workplaces that have flat hierarchies, democratic cultures, humane values, equal opportunities, and warm and friendly environments.
  • Traditionalists/Silent Generation (1928-1945) value workplaces that are conservative, hierarchical, and have a clear chain of command and top-down management.

. . . read more

6 Ways to Support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – FOR ZSA LEGAL RECRUITMENT

Everybody is talking about it—diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. Let’s start with the definitions:

  1. Diversity is the presence of differences within a given setting.
  2. Equity is the process of ensuring that processes and programs are impartial, fair, and provide equal possible outcomes for every individual.
  3. Inclusion is the practice of ensuring that people feel a sense of belonging in the workplace.

Consider your team:

  • Are all voices represented in meetings?
  • Are all perspectives equally valued?
  • Are all opinions considered and well represented in decision-making processes?
  • Do all employees feel safe sharing viewpoints and experiences?

. . . read more

6 Things You Need to Build a Successful Cross-Functional Team – FOR CHEMISTRY CONSULTING GROUP

Building and leading cross-functional teams, especially in this new hybrid world, can be daunting. But, leaders and managers who embrace the challenge will be rewarded with increased productivity and satisfaction – for themselves and their teams.

If you’ve ever been a part of a cross-functional team you probably already know some of the difficulties that can arise. It can be challenging to prioritize, motivate, make decisions, and manage performance when collaborating with people across different departments.

All successful teams, at their core, have these six skills in common . . . read more.