Seven tips for boosting performance and engagement

Communication, focus and reality checks key to organizational success in 2007

The new year brings new resolutions. For organizations resolving to increase performance and employee engagement, Alex Somos, co-founder of the Ontario-based HR consulting firm Juice Inc, has the following seven tips.

1. The quality of an organization is directly related to the quality of its internal conversations. Ultimately, conversations are the “operating system” within an organization, said Somos. “Recruitment runs off hiring conversations, performance runs off training conversations and revenue runs off sales conversations,” he notes. “The more time an organization invests into this ‘operating system,’ the greater return they will see.”

2. Corporate will resolves business issues. Corporate will is the resolve from an organization at the top to see results through to the end. Once employees understand an organization’s measurable objectives (such as productivity or safety), leaders can establish the processes and systems that support, model, measure and reward desired outcomes.

3. Recognize and address the symptoms of “corporate ADD.” Disorganization, distraction and a lack of focus all lead to difficulty in delivering results. Once these symptoms are recognized, organizations can begin to focus more on the results they are trying to achieve.

4. The “feelings economy” generates significant, bottom-line results. Humans feel first and think second, said Somos. The ability for managers and leaders to understand how what they say and do makes their employees feel can create unprecedented results.

5. Meetings should have a “pull" focus, rather than a “push” mentality. An organization is rarely successful when it tries to push its agenda onto employees, said Somos. Instead, Pulling out another person’s point of view provides the opportunity to frame a message in a way that is genuinely accepted.

6. Energy gets things done — it’s the best source of employee productivity. In a 30-day period, an employee’s knowledge and experience only grows incrementally, but it’s their personal energy level that causes large spikes in productivity. Tapping into that energy is the key to achieving engaged employees and higher performance.

7. Understanding the “bigger reality” creates context and multiplies results. “CEOs rarely hear the candid truth, and if they do, it is sanitized and couched, without the real message getting through," said Somos. Encouraging reality will help create clarity, speed up processes, eliminate misunderstanding and yield unexpected results.

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