Employee engagement is an incredibly important topic in today’s business world as it should be. Companies that have high employee engagement are 40% more profitable and 78% more productive than companies that don’t. Time to learn how to improve employee engagement.

When it comes down to how to engage employees many studies and articles point towards managers. Some studies even show that 70% of engagement has to do with managers. While managers play a critical role in frontline employee engagement, senior leaders may play an even greater role.

Senior leadership is one of the greatest drivers to have an engaged workforce for organizations all over the world. While middle managers help drive the engagement of their direct reports, senior leaders are critical for driving it from the top down.

Here are 3 ways senior leaders can improve employee engagement.

1.   On boarding

Senior leadership can be involved in the onboarding process of new employees. Top leaders can share vision, missions, and values or the new employees in a short period of time. 

The impact of new employees engaging with senior leaders in the first week of their job is incredible. What this says to the new employees is that the company’s senior leaders care, are engaged, and believe in its mission and vision.

 2. Engaging with middle management

Senior leaders are typically the most engaged group in almost any organization but don’t drive the day to day engagement. The day to day engagement is driven by middle management.

Middle managers can struggle with engagement because they feel the pressure from two sides- those they report to and those who report to them. They need the support and encouragement of those above them to drive engagement.

Managers need for senior leaders to lay out clear expectations about what their role is in driving frontline engagement. Clarity is key when setting expectations as people will almost always follow clarity.

If senior leaders are highly engaged with the middle managers, the middle managers are more likely to be engaged with the employees that are direct reports to them. Engagement from the top drives engagement to the bottom.

3. Endorsing engagement driving activities

Senior leadership are the vision casters for the organizations they serve. Because of this, they should be endorsing engagement driving activities. Activities that produce high engagement include coaching, celebration, and clarity of mission, vision, and values. Read more about these three here.

Coaching refers to the development that leaders give to their direct reports. Senior leaders can strongly endorse and encourage for coaching and development to be happening throughout the entire organization.

Celebration of people’s hard work is one of the easiest and can be one of the least expensive ways to drive engagement. Rewarding and recognizing people for the hard work beyond pay has proven to be the greatest driver of employee engagement globally.

Clarity of vision, mission, and values is also a huge driver for employee engagement. Senior leaderships that are the megaphones for who the company is(values), what they do(mission), and where they’re going(vision) encourage managers do the same with her team. People will always follow clarity and when their vision, mission, and values are clear team members are more likely to engage with it.

While managers will always be important but top leadership will always be key to an engaged workforce. What is one or two things you can begin doing today to have a more engaged workforce.

(Stats taken from report from Aon’s article)

Five Incredible Benefits Coaching Can Bring To Your Organization

Coaching has taken the business world by storm, and what used to be an exclusive service for C-Suite executives is now being used readily throughout companies to develop their employees.

I remember an instance where I was brainstorming with the CEO of one of our clients about the benefits of coaching. During this time, the term EROI, an acronym for Employee Return on Investment, came to light. Out of that session, came five game-changing ways in which coaching can increase the return on your workforce investment

  1. Employee Retention

A growing concern in the marketplace is employee retention. Unlike days past, today, people are holding jobs for shorter periods of time than in previous generations. Instead of employees spending decades at a company, they are spending on average 4.2 years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

While there are many factors that influence this shift, companies with cultures of high engagement show 24% to 59% percent lower turnover. This represents astounding savings as that same study mentioned that the loss of an employee can cost up to 1.5 times their annual salary! On the low side, if a disengaged team would typically see 20 people leave in a year, an engaged team would only see 8-15 – ultimately adding up to a total savings of between 600k-1.4MM. 

The biggest factor in employee engagement is management, which to this day remains a typical position for coaching. The study offered coaching services as one of the recommendations to support management in increasing employee engagement.

Companies that have used coaching in the past say that employee engagement is always among the top benefits they’ve seen after the fact. The EROI is incredible here, as you’ll not only see an improved workplace culture, but you’ll also save a ton of money as well.

2. Employee Development

The potential of your organization rests in the potential of your people. When your people grow, your potential grows.

One of the most common reasons we are hired to coach people is to help in their professional development. The desire for professional development also happens to be incredibly important to millennials. In a Gallup article titled,  “Millennials Want Jobs to Be Development Opportunities,” they wrote:[

“Millennials care deeply about their development when looking for jobs and — naturally — in their current roles. An impressive 87% of millennials rate “professional or career growth and development opportunities” as important to them in a job…”

If you want to ensure that your team of employees remains motivated to come to work, you have to keep investing in them!

  3. Employee Productivity

Productivity is going to increase once team leaders, and consequently their team members, have more clarity that allows them to understand their most important goals. This is a big deal, as 50% of employees and managers do not have a clear understanding of what their role entails. 

Coaches work with employees not only to clarify their goals, but to also decide what consistent actions are necessary to accomplish them. Moving employees from setting goals to executing is crucial to the overall success of the organization.

4. Employee Selection

Our company help with employee selection through the use of EEOC compliant assessments. They can help the team go through the process of understanding the required behavioral skills, internal drivers, and competencies needed to drive production. We do this through the process of completing a job benchmark for our clients.

The behavioral skills will show whether or not the person applying for the role has the natural tendencies and abilities to do the job – and even if they don’t have the natural tendencies, they can adapt their behaviors. The key here, is to realize that the more adaptation required, the potential for increased job stress still remains. 

The internal drivers may be the most important factor because this will help to show whether or not someone is a cultural fit with that specific workplace culture. Behaviors can be adapted, and skills can be learned, but an applicant who does not fit the culture raises a red flag. 

Measuring one’s competencies helps to ensure that the person is ready for the position immediately. As mentioned above, skills can be learned and developed. 

  5. Business-Owner Mindset

There is a big difference between an employee mindset and a business owner mindset. One goal in coaching is to help give the cleints a big picture mindset to help drive the company forward. Here are a few differences between an employee mindset and business owner mindset.

  1. An employee mindset focuses around working for the business, while a business owner works on the business.
  2. An employee spends resources to accomplish a task, while a business owner invests money on resources to fulfill a larger vision. 

Once the potential benefits that coaching can offer are realized, it becomes easier to see just why more companies are hiring coaching firms to work with their employees, establish positive company cultures, and drive operational efficiency all across the board. Your company may be the best in its industry, but it can be even better with coaching!

For more information on message or contact us.

I love the underlying concept of work-life balance, but I don’t love the practicality of it. The word “balance” implies an even distribution over the course of time. So if you work too much one week, you will have to spend more time with the family the next, and vice-versa. You never arrive at your goal because this is an uncertain finish line. Luckily, there is a better way.

For years I have coached and trained others to live a more intentional life, and I am also on the same journey.  I have found that most people have a desire to change but become incredibly frustrated with the results they’re getting. Even worse, they look at those who seem to have it all together and have limiting beliefs that they can’t do the same.  I know how they feel as I have been there as well.

One of the greatest trades you can make when it comes to productivity is trading balance for healthy rhythms. While balance is unclear, rhythms are defined through a series of habits.

Almost forty percent of your actions are simply your habits according to the best selling book The Power of Habits. So if you change your habits, you will change your life. In order to create healthy rhythms, you will need to follow these five steps.

1. Decide on your goals.

The first step in the process of creating health in your life and business is deciding your desired destination, or goals. You need to clearly define what is your most important goal for the main areas of your life. We have our clients fill out a life and business plan.

Your goal should be in the form of x to y by z. For instance, your work goal may be to bring up sales revenue from one million dollars in quarter one to one million two hundred thousand dollars by the end of quarter 2. You may have a personal goal of losing fifteen pounds in the next 60 days.

2. Define your habits.

Once you have clarity on what your most important goal is for an area of life, you need to add the specific habit(s) that will help you to achieve it. Keep in mind that there are some habits, called keystone habits,  that set off a chain reaction for others to happen.

If you are a business owner, one of your habits could be to spend four hours a week working on the business instead of just in the business. Your keystone habit for your sales goal may be to contact ten loyal customers a week to see how they are doing and if they need any further assistance. Your habit to lose weight may be to write down your caloric intake every day and not to exceed so many calories.

Choose one or two habits that when done either on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, that will ensure that you will hit your goal.

3. Disrupt your schedule.

If the way you are currently spending your time is not giving you your desired results, then it’s time for a schedule change. You will most likely need to change your schedule to thrive in your key areas such as self-development, relationships, and business.

Some of your current fruitless activities will change and its place will be slotted for your new habits.

We look at the schedule a week at a time and call it our weekly rhythm. Inside your weekly rhythm is time to accomplish your habits and ultimately ensure reaching your goals.

4. Draw lines in the sand.

You can do anything, but you can’t do everything. In order to accomplish your goals, you are going to have to set some healthy boundaries in your life. There will be times when you say “no” to the good so you can say “yes” to the great.

Since you already have your time slots full of your new habits, you can say no to things since you have a prior commitment. This part will make or break your ability to grow your business or personal life.

5. Dig your heels in.

I would love to say that everything will magically fall into place once you start, but there will be resistance. That resistance will come from the fact you’re already predisposed to your current habits and life itself.

How long does it take to form a new habit? Though it varies, research shows it more likely to take two months or so. This is one of the benefits of our year-long leadership coaching program, the opportunity to solidify many new habits. Here is the good news–once something becomes a habit, it does not require much effort to keep it going.

Take some time and clarify your goals and follow the steps in order. Plan today for the business or life you want to live tomorrow.

Want Impact? Focus on these Two Elements of Life

 

Maybe you have heard the phrase, “if everything matters, then nothing matters.” The reality is, every area of our life does not have the same impact on outcomes. This is true for leaders as well.

When we look at the life of a leader, we tend to gauge success by external things. We look at the size of their company, how much income they have, what type of home they live in and other such elements of life that become the Mendoza line for what may be considered a great leader.

But we’ve also seen a number of leaders who appeared to have great “success,” — all the external things in place — but based on a poor decision now face a life that is crumbling around them.

Why?

Recently, I have come up with a term to consider how far a leader will go. I call it ” The Slingshot Effect”. The premise is that which is closest to you will determine how far your life and leadership will go. Let’s explore this.

 

1. Inner Life

What is going on the inside of you will eventually make its way to the outside of you.  If you are falling apart on the inside, the outside of your life will eventually do the same.

Our inner life is about connecting to things that are near to us and the parts of our life that are bigger and beyond us. This includes our faith, our motivators, and attitudes.

You have to take time out of your life to invest in your inner life. For me, investing time in prayer, meditating, reading the bible, and reflection is a game changer.

Taking the time in your schedule to do these will also help deter you from making poor decisions based on a bad condition of your soul and spirit. While it may seem to cost you valuable time, it’s really an investment that will pay off long term. Whatever you invest in this season, you will be able to pull from the next. The best investment you can make is investing in your inner life.

2. Inner Circle

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point, he shares a study conducted by Dr. Robin Dunbar. In the study, Dr. Dunbar created an equation to figure out the number of relationships primates can have, including humans. According to Dunbar, you can have 150 casual friends, 50 close friends, 15 friends you can confide in, and a support group of five.

The one that will have the biggest impact on your life is the closest five. Jim Rohn is known for saying you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. This means that those you are spending the most time with today, are shaping who you are becoming tomorrow.

If you don’t like who you are becoming, you may want to take a look at your short list for your inner circle. I want to challenge you to make sure that your inner circle is made up of people of these three shared attributes.

  •  Mutual values

Except for family, those in your inner circle should have values that align with yours. Our value system is the foundation of all that we say and do.

You can be friends with anyone you choose, but those closest to you should share values. It’s even more important than having similar interests. Having similar interests may make the relationship more interesting, but having the same values will make it more enduring.

  • Mutual Direction

If you are leading others, you need to make sure that your closest friends are people who are going in a similar direction as you. If you want to be a person of strong faith, lead a family well, and/or have a good work ethic, you don’t want to be spending the most time with those whose lives are going the opposite direction as yours.

You want people who will encourage and challenge you to reach your God-given potential in the areas that you deem to be most important.

  •  Mutual Trust

Relationships are built on trust. If you can’t trust people in the present you can’t trust them with your future.

Apart from similar values, the most important characteristic I was looking for in a wife was that she was trustworthy. The same is true for friendships.

Someone being trustworthy is simply a fruit of a person who lives a life of integrity.

I challenge you to take some time and reflect on your inner life and circle. Here are some questions for reflection.

  • Do I like what is going on in my inner life? Do I like who I am becoming?
  • Do I have mutual values, direction, and trust with my inner circle?

If you want to go far in leadership, you have to monitor what you allow closest to you. That which is closest to you will determine how far your life and leadership goes.

What is one area you could improve in in your inner life or circle?

Like many people, I am a recovering people pleaser. Typically it’s easier for me to just say yes to people’s request, but it is not always healthy.

I remember the first time I had to say no to a good friend of mine, it was a little tough. There was something they wanted me to help them with, I just didn’t have the time in that season. It was clear to me that saying yes would be a mistake for me, regardless of how much I wanted to be helpful.

There is a time when it is very clear you should say no, but there are other times when it is not so clear. Here are a few guidelines to help you decide whether or not to say yes to a request.

1. When saying yes pulls you away from your goals.

I wish I would have followed Dave Ramsey’s money advice earlier in life, but I am still glad I embraced it before thirty. One of our financial goals was to make it possible for my wife Christa to stay home with our kids. We had to be disciplined with our finances over the course of five years.

In light of our desired goal of Christa staying home with our children, we had to say no to a lot of things in that time. We had to say no to things we could pay cash for. We still drove reliable cars and had family vacations, but they were very budget conscious.

2. When saying yes pulls you away from your values.

I know that this one may be different from person to person, but if saying yes pulls you away from your core convictions, you have to say no. There is nothing worth the price of your integrity.

As a person of faith, this one is incredibly important to me. I have a desire to honor God in my actions and words.

3. When saying yes pulls you away from the best yes.

Many of the things we commit to having an opportunity cost. When you say yes to one thing, you are consequently saying no to something else.

Maybe you have decided that Sunday morning is a day for worship and rest. If you commit to something that takes you away from that, you could be pulled away from a better yes.

Some of you may not currently know what your better yes is. For this reason, I encourage you to create a life plan. It will lay out exactly what is important to you and the direction you want areas of your life to go.

While saying no is not always easy, it sometimes allows you to say yes to what is most important.

The informed team player will help you to be a more valuable leader and organization. Why then does the vast majority have difficulty articulating what their companies most Important goal is?

There are not many things more deflating from an employee than to realize they have been working on the wrong thing for a period of time. However, the reality is this happens all the time.

In this second post on being a team player, the goal is to empower those leading teams to help their teams be the best they can be.

In Chris McChesney’s book, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, he mentions that 85 percent of employees surveyed were not able to recall what the companies most important goal were. That is eight out of ten people working hard, but potentially on the wrong thing.

While there may be many variables that lead to this, there is a way to help combat this, by the team member staying informed. When you know what is most important in a company, this helps determine what you put your energy and focus.

1. Expectations.

Team members need their leader to help provide clarity for them. One of the greatest ways to provide this is to give them clear expectations.

Expectations, simply put, is what you expect to get from them; the work they were hired to do.

Gallup has found that half of the employees they have worked with do not know what is expected of them, so giving them clear expectations will put you in front of the pack.

2. Vision.

You can give your team members vision in three different areas:

  • A vision for the organization- Where the company is going.
  • A vision for the team or department- Where the team is going.
  • A vision for the individual team member- Where you see them going in the company.

Vision helps paint a picture of a preferred future and therefore encourages the team to work hard.

3. Time.

Your team members will need your time to stay informed.  A combination of one-on-ones and team meetings will go a long way.

What is important here is that you have a consistent time together where you will cast vision, give feedback, receive feedback, give updates on performance, and keep team members accountable to most important goals.

Keeping on top of these three keys will help your team members stay informed about what is going on in the company.

I would love to hear what are some other keys that can help your team stay informed.

In sports, the players typically recognized are the stars; the players that have the best stats at the end of the year. Well, what about the rest of the team?

Growing up, I loved to watch the NBA. Michael Jordan was my favorite player and was the most popular player of his era. Yet, Jordan was not alone. The Bulls had a dynasty that rested on Jordan’s shoulders, but there were other team members that made consistent Championships a possibility. I believe the same is true in other organizations. For a team to win, it has to have more than just stars, they need ideal team players.

In this series of posts, I will lay out some keys to look for in an ideal team player.

  1. Invest.
  • In your team

A team player is someone who recognizes, believes in, and leverages the strength of the team and its members. They are not blinded by pride and believe the statement that we are better together is true.

Paraphrasing my favorite leader, Jesus, he tells to live a life of serving others, this includes those you work with. A true team player.

A true team player leverages their influence and strengths to help the team individually and collectively.  One of the key ways they do this is uniquely caring for and encourage their fellow team members.

They care for team members whenever others are going through a difficult time personally or professionally. They point out when other team members are doing a good job and encourage them to keep it up. As Andy Stanley is known for saying, “if your leadership is not about you, it will go way beyond you.”

  • In yourself

Not only should you invest in your team, you should invest in yourself to help you become the optimal team member.

This could include hiring a coach to help you stay sharp and hit your personal and professional goals. Or you may need to acquire or sharpen a skill by investing in training or in courses which is a great way to do that. Don’t rely on the organization for all of your development. Even beyond coaching and training, simply reading development books and listening to a podcast is a great way for you to improve yourself which will ultimately lead to you being a better team player.

After reading through this post, I want to encourage you to reflect on whether or not you are investing in your team and yourself. If not, pick something you can do in each area to get you on the road to becoming a great team player.

Like most people, you want to make sure you are choosing the right path when making big decisions. The bigger the decision the more that is involved. This can cause fear as you do not want to cause damage by making the wrong decision.

Throughout life, you will have to make quite a few big decisions; where to go to college, whom to marry, and even whether or not to accept that job offer in another city.

Most recently, my wife and I have wrestled with her not working full-time so she could devote more of her time to our children. Many people have wrestled with this decision before, and I think this is a decision the couple has to make.  For us, I knew that was Christa’s dream to be a stay at home mom.

With this desire came many other questions. When is the right time? How will this affect the future? How will this change our finances? When, if ever, will we pull the trigger?

Craig Groeschel once said, “The decisions we make today, determine the stories we tell tomorrow.”

I wonder if we could rephrase it as, “the big decisions we make today determine the big stories that we tell tomorrow.”

[bctt tweet=”The decisions we make today determine the stories we tell tomorrow. Craig Groeschel” username=”justinsetzer”]

With all the thoughts, questions, doubts, and concerns that can come with making big decisions, there are things that can help make the process less overwhelming.

1. Information.

  • Adequate information

Growing up my pastor told me you needed two things when making a decision; adequate information was one of them.

When making a decision, you need to consider the different types of cost involved: opportunity cost, monetary cost, time cost, and consequential cost.

  • Accurate information

The other thing my pastor growing up told that I needed when making a decision was accurate information. It goes without saying that we have a plethora of information in this day and age, but not all of it is truly accurate.

Do your needed due diligence before making a big decision and make sure that the information you have is correct.

2. Clarity.

You need to be clear on what you want in life, especially if you want to make big decision-making more fruitful. If you are looking for something to help you have better clarity in your life, I encourage you to create a life plan.

The questions to ask is what decision will lead me to my desired outcome.

3. Wisdom.

As a person of faith, I always want to try to have God’s wisdom when I making a large decision. Take a look at what Jesus’s brother James said, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” This is my starting point when it comes to wisdom.”

You should also seek wisdom from your spouse, family, trusted counselors, mentors, and books.

From our life plan, Christa and I knew that one of our desired outcomes was for her to be able to devote her time to our children.

I would love to know what other ways you use to you make big decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love conversations with people who care about me and are willing to ask the tough questions. These people care enough about you to see the good in you but desire to pull out the great.

I just had one of those conversations the other day with someone. They were trying to challenge me to be the very best version of myself; the one God created me to be.

During the conversation, we talked about quite a few topics and then something that was said stood out to me. In essence, they asked me what one thing in my life, if changed, would have the biggest impact.

This got me thinking about different areas of my life and what one thing for specific areas of life, if changed, would make a significant difference.

1. What one thing in your marriage/relationships?

Is there one thing in your marriage, if you improved, that would make a huge difference? The one thing could be not being on your computer or phone when you are home. Maybe it is getting better at recognizing the small things other people do for you and pointing them out.

Could it be the romance is waning, and you need to start having date nights again?

2. What one thing in your health?

I grew up in a house that had dozens of cartons of ice cream in the freezer, you heard it right, DOZENS. While we don’t keep that many, we eat ice cream almost every night. So maybe this is my one thing that would make the biggest difference in my health.

For you, it could be meal planning, joining a gym, or taking your bike out a few days a week.

3. What one thing in your finances?

Finances and food have one thing in common; everyone knows what to do, but few do what they know. Like food, our spending is driven by behavior, not knowledge.

So what is your one thing that if you started to do, would make the biggest difference in your finances? Is it starting to make a budget, opening an IRA, or cutting some excess expenses out of your budget?

If you are looking for a step-by-step guide to financial freedom, check out this post.

Don’t get bogged down with changing everything, that you end up changing nothing. There are a few essential changes that if you make them will give you tremendous results.

Once you decide what needs to be changed, find something and someone to keep you accountable. First, have personal accountability by creating a life plan, and secondly, find a trusted friend to hold you to your commitments. If you are looking for even greater accountability in your personal and professional life, consider using the services of a coach.

I would love to hear your feedback on this post. If you love the post, spread the love to your friends on social media.

When many people fail, it seems to knock the wind out of them. While none of us like to fail, we can grow from it.

Being a twin, I always had a friend growing up. We would share birthdays, ride bikes down to the nearest video store, and play together.

I remember our sixteenth birthday; my brother, Jason, and I were excited to take our driving license test and get some freedom from our parents.

So there we were on our way to the DMV, and I was driving my brothers 1989 white Ford Taurus. My brother drove my stepdad’s 1993 two-tone F-150. Everything was looking up until I made a pretty bad mistake. On the way to the DMV, I crashed my brother’s car into my step dad’s truck. Happy Birthday to us.

That was a tough day for my brother and I. Both of us failed our test, and I felt like I let everyone down. While I did not give up on driving, I did learn from that experience that there can be silver linings in failure.

1. You can learn in failure.

We all learn things along the way, and it goes the same with failure. When doing something that does not work we can learn from it.

Instead of putting ourselves down for failure, we can ask ourselves what we can do better the next time.

2. You can increase self-awareness in failure.

Sometimes you may feel like you are on top of the world and God’s gift to mankind. Then with a simple mistake, you realize that you are also a work in progress just like everyone else.

Self-awareness is huge in family and work life. There are things about ourselves we may only be able to find out through trial and error.

3. You can grow in perseverance in failure.

When you fail, it is not the time to give up trying new things. If Thomas Edison would have given up his first attempt to create a working light bulb, it would be a dark world.

You will not succeed at everything you attempt to do, but that is not a reason to not try new things. Without perseverance, you may never find out the things you were created to do.

Maybe there is something that you have given up on recently. Alternatively, you have decided to play it safe in life because of a fear of failure. While I am not advocating for reckless behavior, I will leave you with this quote:

“A ship is always safe at the shore, but that is not what it is built for.”