Category Archives: Management

Rediscovering the human touch for HR Professionals

Coming from last month’s theme “#GirlBoss: Power Women Leading in 21st Century Manila”, Kalibrr Communities set their sights on understanding the people behind Human Resources. This April’s Kalibrr Communities focused on the challenges that different HR professionals go through, hence the title “Human Rediscovered: Putting the Human Back in Human Resources.”

“Kalibrr Communities is not just another meet up. This is an avenue for dialogue among different professionals from different industries.” says Julius Paras, Kalibrr Vice President for Customer Engagement as he kicked off the event. He then challenged the audience to understand the different challenges that HR professionals face on a day to day basis.

The stage was graced by experts from different companies such as Alex Gentry, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Sprout Solutions, Mary Solina, Customer Success Manager of EngageSPARK, Jojo Gumino, Head of Learning Partnerships of STORM Learning, and Jaclyn Cayetano, Founder and Chief Brain of Zentellect Corp.

Alex Gentry painted a picture of the Human Resources Industry in the Philippines. Alex pointed out that innovation and technology is one of the main drivers in creating an effective HR team. HR departments should be considered as strategic partners, developing programs and processes to support the changing needs of the business.

Mary Solina gave a very interesting perspective on technology integration in HR. She pointed out there is resistance in adopting technology because of fear. However, she stressed that technology can never replace the personal human touch that HR professionals bring. Technology is meant to complement and improve HR processes.  

The last speaker, Jojo Gumino focused on employee engagement and empowerment. She highlighted how giving employees the power of choice can positively impact the way they work and how they will grow in the company.

Missed this event? Don’t worry, Kalibrr Communities happens every month, so be on the lookout and be updated on our Facebook page. See you in May!

To learn more about Kalibrr Communities or if you want to sponsor Kalibrr’s future events, you may email us at

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5 Strategies to Apply Before Your Employees Start Quitting

This article was originally published by Inc. Asean. View the original article here.

According to a recent study of 17,000 employees, 71 percent of employees are actively looking for new jobs. This means that a large percentage of your team is likely less focused on their job and heavily engaged in the pursuit of something better. This negatively impacts productivity and drives up employee turnover cost — two factors that damage the bottom-line.

Can you blame them?

If they can get a 10-20 percent pay increase by changing jobs it seems like a sensible thing to pursue. However, you can go on the offensive against this job-hopping headwind with a few simple actions, retain your top talent, and increase their productivity.

1. Create an open dialogue about team member pain points.

Every team has pain points. The only difference is if the leader is aware of what they truly are. Leaders who are are willing to dig beneath the surface to uncover the deeper problems on the team can do something about it. Those who turn a blind eye to the problems will continue to suffer the consequences including employee turnover.

Ask your team to maintain a list of the recurring obstacles they encounter during their workday. See if you if you can dig a little deeper into the problem; then brainstorm a solution as a team.

2.Actively communicate the bigger picture.

People like to be on a winning team, yet often team members are kept in the dark about how things are going as a whole. Highlight not only the in-team wins, but also share how the team is measuring up to the rest of the field.

Create a measurable way to track your team performance. Schedule a reminder to communicate it out to the team each week.

3.Share your vision and their role in it.

Share where you would like the team be 12-months from now. Go one step further and explain how much each team member’s role contributes to make that vision a reality. When they understand your vision and their role in it, they are more likely to stick around to make it happen.

Take time to share individually with team members 2-3 actions they can take to move the team towards its goal.

4. Ask for their commitment.

After you share your vision for the team, do not forget to ask for their commitment to that vision. Their commitment increases the likelihood of their continuing contribution. It is better to find out now, rather than later if your vision is not shared.

Create a periodic reminder to check in with your team to see if they are still engaged.

5. Talk up your future team opportunities.

Do not assume your team is aware of possible job opportunities or projects coming soon. Share potential ways they could grow within your team, and help maintain optimism about what’s next.

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5 Non-Traditional Employee Workshops to Try Before 2017 Ends

Employee workshops are a great way to bring your team together. They can help employees learn new skills, connect with co-workers, and strategize around business and goals.

Employee workshops are also valuable to promote team building and boost company culture. If you already have workshops planned with guest speakers and lunch-and-learn activities, make sure you plan a few out-of-the-box activities that give employees a chance to have fun, work together, and get out of the office.

Here are five non-traditional workshops you should try before this year ends.

Rock Climbing


Rock climbing is a fun activity that requires physical strength, mental focus, and teamwork. When you’re up on the rock wall, you place your full trust in your belay partner to get you back to the ground safely. Staff members can pair up and take turns climbing and belaying. Chances are some of your employees will enjoy rock climbing or have always wanted to try it. In a survey of 3,500 Americans, rock climbing ranked second among indoor activities people want to try.

Besides having fun, your employees will get a valuable lesson in teamwork, trust, and listening. While you may not be able to take all of your staff members rock climbing at once, this is a fantastic activity for individual teams.

 Meditation Workshop


With a never-ending workflow and tight deadlines, stress levels can escalate in the workplace. Your employees can’t perform well when they’re stressed out and increased stress can also lead to health problems.

Give your employees a valuable lesson in mindfulness with a meditation workshop. “As a leadership strategy, mindfulness helps people to be more effective by directing focus to the most pertinent task at hand,” according to Kimberly Schaufenbuel from Harvard Business Review.

“Deprogramming multitasking tendencies and intentionally focusing on full attention results in higher quality interactions and decisions.” Mindfulness isn’t just great for your leaders and CEOs, however, all of your employees can reap the health benefits of meditation.

There are a number of ways to bring mindfulness into the workplace. If you really want your employees to learn the techniques, find a meditation course or a teacher. If you want to go the DIY route or need ideas for ongoing meditation sessions, use guided meditations on YouTube or mobile apps like Headspace and Insight Timer.

Personality Test


Personality tests can be fun (if you pick the right ones) and very insightful. They’re especially useful in work settings where you can see how varying personality traits affect professional teams. Try the StrengthsFinder test to learn where your employees excel and how you can put staff members in situations which will help them succeed.

Personality tests are great for workshops because employees are reluctant to complete them on their own. Staff members can learn about their similarities and differences and understand themselves and their coworkers on a much deeper level.

Here are some personality tests you can try:

“Speed Dating” Happy Hour


 Team happy hours are easy to plan and a fun way for co-workers to spend time together outside of the office. While grabbing drinks and talking amongst yourselves is fine, you may want to do some pre-planning to make sure your happy hour is effective for team building. Try this “speed dating” game at your next team happy hour.

  • Give each employee a number (you can assign them or ask them to draw numbers from a bag or hat).
  • Before sitting down at the restaurant or bar, instruct the odd numbers to sit on one side of the table and the even numbers to fill in the seats across from them.
  • Like in speed dating, give each pair five minutes to talk. You can have a list of icebreakers or ask them to focus on something related to your company.
  • After five minutes, the odd numbers switch and continue to the next person at the table.

This game is a fantastic way to encourage mingling among staff members. Employees may have a chance to talk to someone they rarely interact with and will have the opportunity to learn something new about a co-worker. After the activity, ask participants to share something fun or interesting they learned about a coworker.

Bootcamp Challenge, Race or Fundraiser


Successful teams are able to work together and you can hone this skill with an out-of-the-office activity like a race, fun run or fundraiser. Sign up as a company or break up into smaller teams based on employees or departments. Offer rewards or incentives for the teams with the most participants or the team that raises the most money.

Races are great to encourage some friendly competition while also promoting teamwork. Your staff will have a blast on race day and will have pictures and stories to share when you get back to the office.

While in-office, learning workshops are important, make sure you plan some fun, non-traditional activities as well. Your staff members will look forward to these events and they will learn to appreciate their coworkers in a new light.

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The Leadership Qualities to Look for When Hiring a Manager

Managers have the power to make or break their organizations. Great leaders or managers have the potential to encourage their employees to reach their full potential and achieve organizational goals. Others, however, are not as great with the role and may come out ineffective or incompetent.

According to a recent article by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), nearly every industry across the country is suffering from a leadership crisis, and hiring managers are doing very little to improve the situation.

“People rarely get appointed to senior positions based on their talent for leadership. They reach their job level as a result of internal politics. But if the wrong people are in charge, it can be disastrous for the employees and the organization,” Robert Hogan, president of a personality test provider Hogan Assessment Systems, told SIOP.

Wall Street Journal, also mentioned that nearly half of employees who leave jobs do so because of their managers or the company’s management. Since you don’t want to lose your best employees, it’s critical that you do everything you can to ensure you fill managerial positions with the right people in the first place.

As you go about your search for a new manager, keep in mind that great ones usually possess these 10 leadership qualities.

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How to Be an Effective Mentor at the Workplace

Socrates, the founder of Western Philosophy mentored Plato. Plato mentored Aristotle; Aristotle mentored Alexander the Great, and in the ancient Greek era, Alexander the Great conquered a part of the world.

Mentoring is basically training others. Anyone can be a mentor as long as he or she is ready and willing to impart important knowledge to someone so long as their ready and willing to learn and grow. For someone who’s only starting out in their careers, there’s always uncharted territory ahead, and guidance from someone who’s been there can make the difference in their next steps.

On the other hand, mentoring can also be beneficial to you as the mentor. For starters, the most effective mentors also improve their own leadership skills. As you assist your mentee, you have the chance to reflect on and articulate your own expertise and experience–something you probably don’t take time to do otherwise.

So, what does it take to become an effective mentor? Here are a few we’ve listed down:

Develop and manage the mentoring relationship.

This involves assessing your own readiness and interest and selecting someone to mentor. It’s not ideal to train someone who’s not ready for what you are about to impart. So choose someone you think is ready, who you think is capable of thriving in his or her career with your guidance.

Over time, it means working to build trust, set goals and keep the mentoring relationship on track.

Guide and counsel.

You may serve as a confidant and personal advisor to your mentee, especially as the relationship grows deeper over time. You may help him understand conflict or explore ways to deal with problems, for example. You also can advise them about behavior that is a poor fit with the organizational culture.


Just while observing you mentees pick up many things: ethics, values and standards; style, beliefs, and attitudes; methods and procedures. They are likely to follow your lead, adapt your approach to their own style, and build confidence through their affiliation with you. As a mentor, you need to be keenly aware of your own behavior as well.

Motivate and inspire.

Mentors support, validate and encourage their mentees. When you help your mentees link their own goals, values, and emotions to the larger organizational agenda, they become more engaged in their work and in their own development.

Remember that each mentoring situation is different and that you will need to shift your focus depending on each person. If you’re mentoring an up-and-coming project manager, you will need to focus on the near-term challenges and prepare her for the next step.

Mentoring is a shared responsibility, and you and your mentee will need to work together for it to be successful. And at the end of it all, when your mentee is ready to spread its wings and go out into their next step, you will feel a sense of fulfillment knowing that you had something to do with their success. One day of mentoring can change one life forever. Be that mentor.

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9 Steps on How To Handle Underperforming Employees

Often times, managers and supervisors have a few responsibilities that are less than enjoyable—performance evaluations. In another world, we all hope that all of our employees’ evaluation results come out positive, that they were able to grow as an individual, and have made great contributions to the organization. However, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies, there will always be instances where one or two poorly performing employees exist. This is where you’re job as a manager or supervisor becomes a little challenging.

The challenge for managers is what to do with under performers. Again and again, some organizations don’t reach their peak efficiency because they retain people who clearly are not doing their jobs. It’s easiest to ignore them and in fact that’s what usually happens. But ignoring the problem is not bliss; it’s a formula to hinder your company’s success.

It’s not always easy, especially when you’re not really keen on confrontations. But don’t worry, it’ll get easy with practice, and following these nine steps we’ve listed on how you handle a low performer.

To sum it all up, you need to keep in mind these 3C’s:


Before you address the issue of under performance, you need to find out what’s going on in the employee’s life. If there are personal problems going on, and the employee has a history of good performance, find a way to work around the issue. They can still be saved.


Often times, employees under perform because they lack the necessary tools and or training. And it’s your job to provide on-the-job coaching. Talk about the issues so that the employee understands where he’s falling short. Let him devise solutions for improvement. Talk about those solutions and agree on a timetable for improvement.


If in the case that there has been no improvement despite all your efforts, then you must come to the conclusion that they are not the right fit for the job. (Note: don’t pawn an under performer off on another department; that’ll simply kick the issue over to another boss.)

The first two parts are easy, but firing an individual is definitely not. So tread carefully and work with HR on the situation, making sure you don’t hit any grounds on employee labor codes. While it’s never easy confronting individuals about poor performance, tolerating it is a failure of leadership.

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5 Obvious Signs That You Are an Inspired Leader

Successful leaders of today are expected to provide their employees with a sense of meaning in their work as well as provide an engaging workplace. Yet, according to a recent Gallup poll, 70 percent of U.S. employees are “not engaged” at work. How is this possible?

People need to feel their work matters. In order for this message to be communicated with authenticity, the leader must come from a place of emotional resonance. You have to truly believe in your employees and genuinely appreciate the contributions they make every day.

With a mindful attitude and a set of clearly defined principals, you have the power to shape your destiny as a leader at any juncture. Are you the type of leader people want to follow? Do you understand what sets extraordinary leaders apart from all the others? Inspired leadership necessitates casting away personal and psychological barriers and recognizing, cultivating, and maintaining that connection. If you unveil and remove the barriers you have placed over your heart, your paradigm for the way you see, approach and work with others will shift.

Yes, I said heart.

We all have unique goals and ideals, and to access them, you need to slow down and take a look within — and listen to your heart. You’ll find that by doing so, you become more connected with who you are and with those around you. Put your heart into your interactions with coworkers and employees, rather than looking for outward recognition as a leader. The focus is to serve the people that you are leading, not the other way around. Once you begin to incorporate Heart-Centered leadership practices, the most powerful shifts can occur in your relationships, and business outcomes.

Here are five signs of a heart-centered leader. One who leads by inspiration and encouragement, not by fear and control.

1. You maintain people’s self-esteem

Leadership requires first connecting to, then inspiring, people. When you regularly express gratitude and treat employees with respect — you lead your people by example and set them up for alignment with others. This also engenders trust. The bonds of trust can only be forged when you consistently show your team that they are valued, listened to and involved.

2. You replace blame with responsibility

This means taking the perspective of those who are doing the day-to-day work. Letting go of blaming others can begin with asking yourself some questions, such as: “What part do I play in this situation? How do my actions contribute to these problems?” Taking this further ask, “Did I exercise poor judgment? Did I do or say anything that may have adversely affected someone?”

3. You don’t assume, or judge — you come to understand

It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you have the willingness to assume that people have positive intentions. Strive to be more open-minded. Ask better questions. Being consistent in making every attempt to understand the behavior of your colleagues, customers, friends, and family — rather than automatically assuming you know what happened or what they are thinking — will yield substantial, long-term rewards.

4. You know your impact

An inspired, heart-centered leader is always cognizant of how words and actions may be interpreted. When you have the integrity and foresight to understand that everything you do and say has an impact — you’ll begin to consciously direct your energy and intentions. If you can master this, the perilous outcomes brought about by short-range thinking and impulsiveness comes to a halt.

5. You practice self-care

The biggest challenge you may have as a leader is the pressure to perform at an accelerated pace, and at higher levels, for the business to be profitable. This means experiencing a great deal of stress to achieve goals and objectives. Longer working hours, 24/7 access and fewer resources can create a mountain of pressure and stress — and because the pressure is on you to perform, you may put yourself last. However, remember there is a reason that when flying you are asked to “place your oxygen mask on yourself before helping others.” If you are not strong, mentally and physically, then it is unlikely you will be able to take care of your business and your employees. When you are healthy, focused and calm, your positive behavior can’t help but enhance employee productivity and engagement.

This article was originally written, Susan Steinbrecher, the CEO of Steinbrecher and Associates, a leadership training and executive coaching firm. She is the co-author of Heart-Centered Leadership: Lead Well, Live Well and author of KENSHO: A Modern Awakening. @SteinbrecherInc

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5 Strategies to Help Millennial Employees Become Leaders

How would you train a millennial employee to be a leader? originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. Answer by Jae Alexis Lee, Teacher, Mentor and Corporate Manager:

I’ve been training millennials to be leaders for a long time and I’ll let you know a few secrets that are key to turning a millennial into an effective leader:

1. Understand what drives them.

Source: Youth Village

No, I don’t mean get hip to twitter or whatever’s trending at the moment, I mean really understand their motivations. I talk to lots of millennials about their car payments, their rent anxiety, their concerns about job security and their future marketability as employees and leaders. You can’t treat someone as a cliche just because they’re a member of a generation, you have to get down to what’s actually driving the person you want to mentor.

2. Work with them to build a vision.

Source: Sylvia Browder

This is important. Once you understand what’s driving them, it’s time to talk about how to get there and how the things they’re going to be doing for you will make that happen. I’m invested in them and their growth. Of course I’m going to benefit from that, but I want them to understand the long haul and the long haul is that they’re going to be more marketable after a few years with me than they were when they started.

3. Demonstrate trust.

Source: Business Insider

For new leaders, this is vital and it’s vital that you do it from day one. You trust them before you’ve seen proof that they’re capable. You trust them because if they can’t be trusted they shouldn’t have been hired. Whatever the project is, whatever the scope of their responsibility is, you need to demonstrate to them that you trust them with an appropriate level of autonomy. No micromanaging, no excessively invasive oversight, and no treating them like furniture that’s “shadowing” for extended periods of time. Get them engaged, give them decision making capability and let them make some decisions.

4. Build trust.


New leaders make mistakes. Lots of them. That’s normal. New leaders should feel like they can approach their mentors with problems, and you have to create an environment where they bring you problems early rather than hiding them.

Help them clean up the mess if they make one but don’t clean it up for them. Hold them accountable absolutely but don’t cut their legs out from under them when they make mistakes because they will make mistakes.

5. Embody the kind of leadership you expect them to execute.

Source: Spring.St

This is one of the most important things for you to do as a mentor. Young leaders are seeking a mentor to model themselves on and their leadership will be a reflection of your leadership. If there’s a disconnect between what you expect of them and what you deliver as a leader, then you’re going to lose a great deal of your credibility as a mentor and instead be seen as yet another corporate cog spouting buzzwords without genuine belief in them.

Don’t get distracted by the stereotypes, drill down into the individuals you’re mentoring and learn what makes them tick as individuals and you’ll have the keys to making them successful leaders.

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This Management Hack Will Definitely Eliminate Employee Burnout

This article was originally published on Inc. Southeast Asia. Read more here.

Every company wants engaged employees. Numerous studies show that such employees consistently outperform their less motivated peers, creating better products, more revenue and more profit.

However, there’s a dark side to having employees who consistently go the extra mile: burnout. As Tony Schwartz recently pointed out in the New York Times:

“Last week, Fortune Magazine released its list of the top 100 companies to work for, compiled by the Great Place to Work Institute. I’m familiar with many of the companies on the list. I’m not aware of a single one that isn’t struggling with the issue of employees who feel exhausted and pushed to their limits.”

In other words, people who love their jobs end up working so hard that they start to hate their jobs, at which point their personal productivity plummets.

I’ve personally seen this happen to numerous people, especially in startups and large high tech firms; heck, I’ve ridden that one hump rollercoaster a few times myself.

Some companies deal with this phenomenon simply by accepting it. They push employees until they burn out and then discard and replace them.

Hiring and training new people, though, can be expensive. What if there were a way to keep employees motivated without burning them out.

Turns out that this “silver bullet” may actually exist and, what’s more, it’s relatively cheap to implement.

According to research that to be presented this week at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, the main source of employee burnout is the expectation that emails will be answered after hours. The study notes that:

“an ‘always on’ culture with high expectations to monitor and respond to emails during non-work time may prevent employees from ever fully disengaging from work, leading to chronic stress and emotional exhaustion.”

What’s fascinating about this finding is that the burnout results not from the volume of work or the extra hours of work but from the “mere expectation that workers will respond to email in their off-hours.”

For example, suppose an employee is putting in 10 hour days 7 days a week. While that’s obviously a heavy workload, it needn’t result in burnout as long as that employee is allowed to completely disconnect for the 14 hours he or she isn’t actually working.

The Girlfriend Experience GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY Conversely, employees working an average of 8 hour days 5 days a week will be prone to burnout if they know that a boss, customer or client might email at any time of day or night with the expectation that the employee will respond.

In order to keep your motivated employees from burning out, all you need to is make it perfectly clear that work emails need only be answered during work hours.

Yes, that will involve a little discipline on the part of management and employee alike, but the potential benefits are enormous.

Indeed, over the past few years, I’ve been running into an increasing number of people who simple do not answer emails sent during off hours. Despite (because?) they’re not plugged in, they seem to get more accomplished than the folk who are available 24/7. And they don’t seem to burn out.

And that’s seriously good news for everyone.

This article was originally written by Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for, is an author and professional speaker whose award-winning blog, Sales Source, appears daily on

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This Is How You Inspire Your Team to Bring Their A-Game Every Day

As a manager, it’s one of your responsibilities is to lead your team to greatness. This can get a little exhausting at times, especially when difficult circumstances arise. But remember that becoming a great leader doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a day-by-day process.

There will be moments which can wear down even your most audacious employees, times where they’ll feel unmotivated and unproductive. When these moments do come, here are helpful ways you, as the boss, can do to keep your team motivated to consistently perform like champions every day.

1. Start with the man (or woman) in the mirror

The energy of your team will, of course, start from you. If you’re not excited and inspired, your employees won’t be either. Your mindset is your most important asset, so you have to continually work on it as part of your self-care regimen. Focus on creating solutions, achieving goals, and share your enthusiasm with your employees.

2. Cheer, don’t just coach

Great leaders bring out greatness in their team because they see what is possible and transfer that belief to their people. Empower your employees by letting them know you believe in what they do. Often your belief in them will directly affect their confidence in themselves.

3. Practice empathy

An old-school management practice is to give negative reinforcement to drive results. This has been proven to be ineffective, and it also creates an unhealthy work environment for everyone. By leading your team with support and empathy, you will build a stronger relationship and increased rapport with your team. Your employees will step up to the plate and deliver at the next level.

4. Don’t micromanage

Leave employees alone. That might sound counterintuitive, but backing off is a great way of motivating your team. Top performers want space to be their best, all the while feeling a real sense of trust from above.

5. Keep your doors open

Demonstrate your eagerness to support your team by having a regular one-on-one time to discuss how they are. When impromptu requests come up, regardless of how the day has gone or the deadlines looming, view it as an opportunity to empower your team members through feedback and support. These conversations could be anything from work or personal life related. Just make sure you don’t disclose any personal things about your discussion. Keep it between you two.

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6 Bad Management Habits You Need to Stop Doing to Be Successful

This article was originally published on Inc. Southeast Asia. Read more here.

Every now and then, I’m reminded of timeless leadership lessons that countless books and research studies have told us over several decades about what good leaders do and don’t do.

Just when I think we’ve turned the corner, I observe yet another downfall from either a client in a management role or a leader in the public-eye being called to the carpet in the media. Usually, the mistakes are costly, and all of them could’ve been avoided.

But eventually, the buck needs to stop somewhere. Why not now? Here are 6 habits that you, the leader, can zap into oblivion once and for all.

1. Stop gossiping

Think this toxic behavior doesn’t damage the work environment? Some negative consequences of leaders who gossip include:

  • Gradual decline of trust and morale.
  • Work productivity goes down because people are emotionally caught up in the manager’s drama, thus wasting precious company time.
  • Anxiety and tension are high as rumors circulate and people walk on eggshells without knowing what is and isn’t fact.
  • Divisiveness as people take sides.
  • Unexpected turnover and loss of good talent who left due to the toxic work environment.

2. Stop judging others

Leaders that judge others like a sport shouldn’t expect their employees to come to them for advice or problem-solving. What a judgmental attitude will do is alienate people and create a toxic environment. If this is you, your best plan of action is to stop jumping to conclusions before hearing all the facts, and start listening intently to improve your communication skills. Do this and your workers will slowly gravitate toward you as you make it safe for them to do so.

3. Stop hiding behind a mask

People want their managers to be real with them. Display authenticity, be transparent, exercise good self-awareness (understanding yourself and others), and be open to input from others, even those below you. This is not eating humble pie. It’s showing up in all your courage and leadership strength by have emotional honesty running through your veins.

4. Stop with the “it’s all about me” attitude

The type of leaders that operate from hubris are only thinking about themselves and their own needs. They typically don’t care about the things that matter to their colleagues or subordinates, and will probably get defensive when being confronted. Don’t expect an apology when you’re wronged. If this narcissistic behavior persists, address it soon through the proper channels to see how he or she responds.

5. Stop ignoring your people (and start recognizing them)

If you think praising employees has no strategic value, you underestimate the power that comes from recognizing them, especially your high performers. In fact, The Gallup Organization has surveyed more than 4 million employees worldwide on this topic. They found that people who receive regular recognition and praise…

  • increase their individual productivity.
  • increase engagement among their colleagues.
  • are more likely to stay with their organization.
  • receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers.
  • have better safety records and fewer accidents on the job.

6. Stop leading from a position of power or ego

Hubris is the cause of much conflict. In fact, know-it-all managers who think they have the best ideas and information, and use it to wield power or control over people, typically destroy morale. The general feeling of employees in one survey I conducted points to managers who aren’t able to “own” being wrong or handle being wrong properly.

Your Turn

OK, these can be challenging hills to climb for some in management roles. The first step is to always acknowledge that this is a current reality. Perhaps initiating honest conversations with trusted peers who see the damage being done from the periphery should be your first move before a 360-degree feedback process or employee opinion survey takes place.

This may have been a tough article to swallow, but take the higher road: Ask yourself the obvious look-in-mirror question, “Which of these can I commit to stop doing, so my whole team benefits from some new habits?”

This article was originally written by Marcel Schwantes, principal and founder of Leadership From the Core, a leading provider of servant-leadership training and coaching designed to create healthy, engaged and profitable work cultures.

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How To Help Your Employees Be Inspired and Fall in Love With Their Jobs, Again

Love—that warm feeling you have when you’ve found someone you feel comfortable with. And wouldn’t it be great if your employees felt like this about working for you?

Now, before we alarm HR about this love thing I’m talking about, let’s be clear that this isn’t romantic love. This is about helping your employees stay inspired and connected about their work. Because at one point, we’ve probably seen quite a a few uninspired people in the office—that colleague who shows up at 8:50am instead of 8:30am. The one who takes cigarette or coffee breaks every hour. Or the one who’s always calling in sick.

Keeping employees inspired isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary if employers want their people to produce their best work and stay satisfied in their positions. Here are five ways to help your employees inspired and in love with their jobs:

1. Have an inspiring work environment

Source: Google Ireland

Creating a work environment that will inspire and motivate employees will definitely help them be more productive and work hard. Even with their work being demanding and stressful, if you incorporate an environment that will balance or counter that, you’ll find that their mood will positively change.

Try jumping on the open-office bandwagon to encourage collaboration in the workplace — but make sure employees still have a place to go when they need to focus.

2. Bring in the industry leaders

Source: Geekwire

How would you feel when the person you look up to gives you work and life advice so inspiring that after your conversation you felt like getting your life together and establish your path to success? There’s no better way to inspire the uninspired employee than by bringing in industry leaders for speaking engagements.

Speaking lunches, for example, provide a voluntary opportunity for employees to take part in informal training. This means delivering more training to employees at minimal additional cost. Not only do programs like this help develop and inspire employees, but it deters uninspired employees from taking overly extended lunch hours. It’s a win-win.

3. Be transparent

Source: Paul Axtell

Don’t hesitate to be honest with employees about how the company — or the individual — is doing. Show your employees how their efforts are affecting the company by letting them in with the monetary results. This is a huge motivational tool. Be open with them and disclose financial statements that show assets, capital and investments.

By doing this, you will give them a clear understanding of how their hard work contributes to the company’s overall success.

4. Show a little PDA

Source: Undercover Recruiter

I’m talking about a different kind of public display of affection. I’m talking about recognizing your employees’ great work in public. Everyone loves to be recognized for their efforts. Providing praise in front of everyone in the office lets your employees know that you want others to know they did a great job, too. This can be powerful stuff in terms of driving loyalty and performance.

You need not go into great heights and give awards and incentives (although that would be awesome, too!), a simple informal praise and recognition is just as meaningful.

5. Communicate and listen

Source: Willis Towers Watson Wire

You’ve heard the saying that employees also want to be heard. But what that actually means is that employees want their leaders to more than simply hear what they’re saying — employees want managers who listen to them and sincerely try to understand what they want to say.

How do you keep employees inspired at work? Share your tips and tricks in the comment section below.

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8 Inexpensive Company Perks Your Employees Will Definitely Love

This article was originally published on Inc Southeast Asia. Read more here.

There’s proof that positive work cultures with employee investment lead to more productive employees. Small investments in employees can have huge returns later on down the road. Engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity, and even just a 10% increase in employee investment can increase your revenue by as much as $2,400 per employee, per year.

There are dozens of employee perks you can offer to keep employees engaged and motivated.

1. Allow Remote Work

Unless you absolutely must have your employees working in the office, punching the clock, and reporting for duty, then one perk you could offer is allowing them to work remotely. Allowing for remote work tells employees you trust them, and it gives them the freedom to work at their own pace from wherever they feel most comfortable.

It costs you virtually nothing and makes life easier for employees, especially those with young children and scheduling issues.

Perks employees love

Source: Canadian Business

2. Compensate Community Outreach

Employees of all ages want to be active in their local communities – some through outreach and community service programs, others through their church or programs. A great, affordable way to give back to employees is by helping them make time for those activities and even compensating them for that time.

Southwest Airlines has a program similar to this, with their employees working to support Ronald McDonald House Charities.

3. Simple Concierge Services

Employees lead busy lives outside of the workplace, and anything you can do to make their lives a little easier is going to be appreciated. It costs very little to lighten their loads by making concierge services available to employees. This can include anything from picking up dry cleaning to getting car washes, grabbing grocery items, paying a bill, or dropping off paperwork. The less your employees stress about their personal lives, the more they can focus on their work.

“We’ll have a large company and they’ll say ‘We want to give back to our employees – they’re working 60-80 hours per week; what can you do for us?'” says Dustyn Shroff, COO of One Concierge in Boca Raton, Florida. “We’re providing services to employees that don’t have time to fulfill them…Basically whatever an individual doesn’t have time to do themselves, we do it.”

Taking a little bit of the load off their shoulders might be just what your employees need to focus and help you achieve consistent and sustainable growth.

4. Employee Discounts

If your company sells products, then give your employees a larger discount than they might expect. Many companies provide a standard 10-15% discount. Give them 50% or more. You could even go so far as to provide employees with free product, and/or extend a large discount to their families and friends.

You may be discounting more frequently this way, but it will also bring new business and happier employees.

5. Open a Tab for Employees

Perks employees want

Source: Business Insider

If you want a perk your employees will love, and it entails bonding time for more meaningful workplace connections, then open a tab at the local watering hole or restaurant. Set a policy so that if three or more employees are together, then drinks are on the tab. You can set whatever limitations you like on frequency, but it’s best to leave it open for when your team members want to get together. This promotes socialization among team members and can foster a more casual environment in which your employees are more open with each other.

6. Hire Recommendation Incentives

Some companies offer sizable bonuses in the hundreds and even thousands of dollars for recommending a new hire who works out and stays with the company past a certain point. It’s a great way to source talent. If you currently don’t have the ability to offer large cash rewards, then consider other incentives like extra paid time off, vacation days, or a handful of “I don’t feel like coming to work today” coupons. It will save you quite a bit of money, and it’s a win-win because employees love having extra paid time off.

“When a growing company like ours looks for top talent who fit within our dynamic culture, it’s important to use our most valued asset to help recruit: our employees,” says Kate Pope, manager of talent acquisition at Achievers. “Job boards, sourcing tools, and job fairs can be a huge expense. We would much rather invest our dollars back into our employees by rewarding them for helping us find A-Players.”

7. Give Rewards Points Away

Companies often accumulate a ton of points and miles with all the purchases put on the company’s credit cards. A great perk that costs you virtually nothing is to turn those rewards over to employees as incentives for project completions and on-the-job performance. In tight financial times, employees appreciate the extra compensation with points, gift cards, and travel packages.

8. Buy Movie Tickets

This is another great way to reward employees and get them to go out together as part of a team. Buy movie tickets in bulk and give them away to your teams as an added perk, with extras that allow them to bring family on some occasions. It’ll keep everyone happy, and bulk quantities of tickets are usually offered at cheaper prices than retail.

This article was written by Sujan Patel, the co-founder of Content Marketer and, which provide tools to help marketers scale their content marketing and social-media efforts. He’s helped companies like Mint, Intuit, Salesforce, and others land more customers, make more money, and grow their business. @sujanpatel

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4 Ways to Motivate Your Employees After the Holidays

Waking up at 6AM on the day after a long holiday is one of the worst feelings in the world, and most of us would agree to this. You may find your employees feeling the same (did they get diarrhea right after New Year?). The post-holiday dip is a common phenomenon in all workplaces, and it usually takes people a few days to get over the holiday blues and get back to their pace.

As a manager, it’s part of your job to get things going by jumpstarting your employees’ motivation and start the year with record-breaking productivity. Here’s how to do it:

1. Get some team time

The reason behind post-holiday blues is the thought that all the fun has passed, and what lies in the future is nothing but the dutiful suffering. To get pass this, let your employees realize that the office is also a place of fun and social interaction.

Take baby steps here. Don’t just let your team sit behind their computers and ask them to start working, instead, have a catch-up with them over coffee or snacks and talk about how their holidays were and the plans coming up ahead.

2. Mention the good points of getting back to work

If you set your mind into it, you can find plenty of positive things about getting back to work. Having a team meeting is one; another is mentioning and making an impact on a certain project, or possible future plans.

So mention the points where you feel like it’s going to excite you and your team to get back into full productivity mode. A little enthusiasm will go a long way!

3. Remind them of the greater purpose

When your employees left for holidays they left their work stresses behind as well. When they come back, these stresses will be the first coming into their minds. So what they need to hear after a long break is how their work is part of a greater purpose. Ask your employees to think about what they want to reach in the coming weeks, months, and year. Setting their own goals will make them feel that their work is less like a task and more like a quest.

4. Set the right example and take the lead

Motivation is infectious. If you put yourself on the frontline and show the world that you’re hustling hard, for sure your employees will take notice and follow your lead.

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Why Company Culture Is Important For Every Business

Written by Karl Loo, CEO & Co-founder of ServisHero. Originally published on Medium.

Had you asked me 3 years ago when I was working on other entrepreneurial projects, what the most important thing about running a business is, I wouldn’t have said culture. I was wrong.

However, having worked for about a decade, I can now tell you that culture is everything. It is the thing that drives a team towards a common goal, it is what motivates people to work hard, and it is the fuel that fires innovation. You can’t arbitrarily define a culture for a business. It has to develop from the hearts (and minds) of the founders, and the way to have (at least) some control over that development is to have strict frameworks for hiring; and policies in place to ensure culture is protected.

On hiring

If you want to have a fun culture, make sure you hire fun people. If you want to have a performance driven culture, make sure you hire over-achievers. If you want an innovation culture, make sure you make sure your team is as diverse as possible.


Source: ServisHero

As a high-growth company, it is extremely challenging to be exceptionally selective as the organization demands more resource. But I caution all entrepreneurs, make sure you have a cultural guardian — if not the CEO, make sure it’s another co-founder. Ideally, culture guardianship should be driven by the founders. At ServisHero, every full-time candidate must meet with either Paul, Jason or Myself (after undergoing at least 2 interviews with other senior members of our team)—we are the cultural guardians for the organization. We know to have longevity as a technology company we need to ensure everyone that joins us is aligned with our spirit of innovation, inclusiveness and achievement.

On policies to protect culture



As we scale, we know it will become ever more difficult to maintain our culture, but we have started laying down the frameworks and processes to maintain our unique culture. We do this a couple of ways:

1. Regular meetings

Each team has regular meetings (daily or weekly) and changing the times of these meetings requires some act of god!

2. ServisHero Swarm

This is an invention by Paul, and something that has helped us maintain momentum in the organization. ServisHero Swarm is our weekly regional meeting — everyone dials in via video conference to: a) receive thanks; b) get strategic updates; c) be introduced to new team-members; d) get briefed on targets and performance.

This weekly update is our way, as founders, to foster a culture of radical transparency. We know that for our team to be aligned with our vision, they need to know what is happening in our heads. The meetings are not long, and in fact there is a timekeeper to ensure no one speaks for longer than the allocated time.

3. Accessibility

There are no offices at SerivsHero — no one, including myself sits in a room where we may be seen to be inaccessible. If we are to transmit our values, we must be accessible and approachable.

4. Socialization

Every Friday, Courtney calls for requests for our Friday music playlist requests over slack. From 6pm, we let loose and we socialize. There is no better way to cement a culture than to get everyone to mingle and exchange their thoughts. This is just one of many ways where we foster socialization.

5. Accountability

Today, co-founders hold themselves accountable to maintain the culture. In the future, we will need managers to help keep us accountable. Intra-company, every employee has an unwritten rule with each other to uphold our values. In addition to an unspoken rule, every employment offer letter comes with an Appendix of our core values — to accept our offer means acceptance of our core values. We’ve had this Appendix since day 1.


Paul (CTO), Myself (CEO) and Jason (CFO). Source: ServisHero

I hope entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs take note that it’s not just financial performance metrics that drive the success of an organization. Nor is it about the rate of growth of your company. It’s about the people, it’s about culture. A big shout-out to my co-founder, Paul for reminding me constantly that culture is everything.

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How to Manage the Risk Of Good Employees Quitting

“I’ve decided to accept the job offer in another company.”


That’s probably how you’d react if you find out that one of your key employees are actively looking for other opportunities, or worse yet, have already accepted a job in another company. In this competitive market, losing a key employee can cripple your business. What can we say? Life happens.

Companies really have no hold on when their employees want to go into another direction. You could be the most sought after employer this side of Manila, but if you can’t provide what your employees want, chances are, they’ll be out of the door in an instant (well, not really).

Best way to do this is to take a risk management approach to this HR issue.

Get factual

You can avoid the risk of losing your employees by influencing their decisions through a specific employment agreement or contract. This may make them think twice about leaving too soon or too fast, just as long as you have the right and legal terms for it (ie. contract expiration date, etc.)

However, unless prevented under a specific contract term, an employee leaving voluntarily is possible. Just always keep in mind though that people need to do what’s best for them.

Controlling the Loss

Don’t go angry because you felt like you were betrayed. Instead, focus on what’s best for your business and control the loss through prevention and reduction strategies. Keeping your best employees happy and engaged is the best risk prevention.

The right compensation is one trick, which means it needs to be at market for average employees and at least a step above for the great ones.

Another way you can prevent adverse effect on your company is by asking them to communicate honestly, and offer mentorship if they are entering another opportunity in which you are familiar with. In this manner, you’ll earn respect for those who remain because they’ll see that it is not the end of the world or the relationships developed will still continue if they choose to leave.

Improve the employee experience

A great employee experience is always the best way to prevent your employees from leaving. And this is not only limited to having company outings and team buildings, giving recognitions, etc. You can go as personal as having a “check-in” with your employees and ask them what they would like their career path to be, and then help them get there. It’s never too late to find out what you’re employees’ goals are. Intervene if it is in the best interest of your company.

And maybe on a quarterly basis, ask for honest feedback as to how you can improve as a company. If they do decide to leave, ask them a set of questions prior to leaving so you’ll find out which part you should need to improve.

Questions like: What are you not getting here that you can get there? Or what would you have changed? And perhaps asking what the other company is offering that you can’t. 

Try to learn where they want to go in life and confirm that their decision will get them to the end result. That’s a risk you should be willing to take.

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How to Make Up a Successful On-boarding Program

This article first appeared on Inc-South East Asia. Visit their page for more business and leadership resources. 

For homicide detectives, the first 48 hours post-crime are the most crucial for gathering evidence. In sketch comedy, the premise for the scene is set within the first three lines of dialogue. When the line between success and failure is drawn early, processes need to be in place to ensure that everyone hits the ground running.

The same could be said any time you hire a new employee. So why do so many companies struggle with onboarding?

Integrating a new employee into the fold, especially at a growing company, can be more difficult than a business may anticipate. After all, early stage companies likely don’t have a full-fledged HR department to handle the process. Or, in the rush to put the newbie to work as soon as possible, a half-day of document signing is all the welcoming a company is willing to provide.

No matter how impressive a candidate is during the interview process, it can take between eight and twelve months for a new hire to become fully ingrained in a company’s culture and work style. That’s if they make it that far — 31% quit within the first six months, with many citing a bad first impression as a major contributor.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to onboarding. We give our new employees time to get their feet wet, not forcing a deep dive right off the bat. We also subscribe to the idea that people work is more important than paperwork.

An HR professional’s study revealed that 76% of new hires say socialization in a new work environment is most valuable to a smooth transition. We take that to heart with our approach.

The first 48 hours: Meet the Head Honchos

Google CEO Sundar Pichai meets with game developer of Flappy Bird in a sidewalk cafe in Vietnam. Source:

During first two days of orientation, our newest employees meet with the most senior members of the organization – right away. Establishing a rapport with the leaders of the company and getting the opportunity to hear their stories both professional and personal breaks down power-related barriers and demonstrates that all opinions are valued within the company.

We encourage our meetings to happen in very informal environments, at Starbucks, in the company courtyard, or over lunch. We also encourage our team to talk about their family and personal lives. As much as we are setting a tone for work, we’re also setting a tone for relationships. In the end, everyone wants to feel valued as an individual.

Day Three: Work buddies

Source: Buzzfeed

Didn’t you always feel better in elementary school when the teacher assigned you a buddy for those walks to the cafeteria and playground? It’s the same concept in an environment that’s unfamiliar to exactly one person. New hires want peers who act as mentors at the beginning of their tenure. Someone to show them the ropes, where the snack drawer is, the best spots for post-work happy hour. Again, people over paper.

That’s why, at our company, each member of our team sits down with a new employee for thirty minutes within the first two days of employment. Again, the conversations don’t even have to touch on work. We think of it as a form of speed dating without any judgments.

Two Weeks Later: The First Check-in


We don’t believe in the 90-day review. With the rate at which employees resign early into their stints, we can’t wait that long to see how things are going. Our process is simple: we sit the new hire down with a leader and a peer (in separate meetings) to see how they’re getting along. We also invite feedback on our process so we know how to streamline it even more for the next hire.

At this moment, we also start setting both qualitative and quantitative goals for the employee. Qualitatively, our key focus is employee understanding and cultural fit. Quantitatively, we agree on formal 90-day goals with each new hire.

Our onboarding process is not complicated. But it is structured, and that goes a long way towards keeping employees happy in the long-term. The same HR study showed employees onboarded with a proper program are nearly 70% more likely to stay with that company for three years. Investing in an onboarding process is worth not having to constantly hire new personnel.

But note: this is just one company’s idea of onboarding. You might find success with a more drawn out program, or your new hires might respond to having their feet held to the fire on day one. The key is to be consistent, structured, and to never take onboarding for granted.


Written by Jeff Pruitt, chairman and CEO of Tallwave as well as co-founder and CEO of integrated digital marketing agency Ethology. Previously, Jeffrey served as president of iCrossing. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has sat on the advisory councils of Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft.

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Short Team Building Activities You Could Do In the Office

Team building activities are a great way to get your team to connect and work better together. Not only that, team activities also improve communication, morale, motivates, increases productivity, it helps employees get to know each other better, and learn about one’s strengths and weaknesses.

“Teamwork makes the dream work.”

And trying out the right kind of exercise for your team can be challenging. So here are a few short team building activities you could try with your team. Try it in the office or outside, we’re pretty sure they’ll enjoy these.

Lost on a Deserted Island

Image result for gif island

Time required: 30 minutes

Ever wonder what things you need to survive if you were stuck on a deserted island?

This activity would require each individual to describe the one thing he/she will need after they are shipwrecked on an island. The thing doesn’t have to be necessary for survival. They can be as creative as they want. After having they’ve chosen their item, the group then converges and using those items, come up with a strategy that will help them survive until rescue comes.

This activity encourages creative problem-solving and collaboration.

React and Act

Time Required: 20 minutes

This is like charades, except it focuses more on your facial expressions.

The actor in the scene has to role-play a certain scenario. For example, winning the lottery or being attacked by a bear. The group then has to guess what the scenario is. This is a great game to sharpen your team’s communication strategies.

Back-to-Back Drawing

Time Required: 15 minutes

This is another great activity for improving communication. Divide your group into pairs, and have them sit back to back. One person in the pair should receive a bunch of pictures of different shapes, and the other person of the pair will have a pencil and pad of paper. Then, the action begins.

Everyone holding a picture has to give verbal instructions to their partners on how to draw the shapes, of course, without actually telling which shape it is. They must make out as many shapes under one minute. When finished, each pair should compare their original shape to the drawing. The pair with the most number of shapes completed, and the nearest to the original shape wins. Let the pairs then discuss how they worked together, and where they could’ve improved in their communication.

Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower

Time required: 30 minutes

This one requires more materials than usual, but we swear that it’s gonna be a lot of fun.

You’ll need 20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti, 1 roll of masking tape, 1 yard of string, and 1 marshmallow for every team.

Using these supplies, challenge each team to build the tallest tower. But there’s a catch, the marshmallow has to be at the very top of the spaghetti tower, and the whole structure must be able to stand on its own for at least 5 seconds.

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How to Keep Your Employees After Their 13th Month Pay

It’s that time of the year again. Companies are starting to tie up ends for 2016 and your employees are fidgeting in their seats to get their Christmas bonuses and bolt. It isn’t unusual for a noticeable number employees to stay with their respective companies just until the year ends. Come January and you find yourself slightly less staffed than before the holidays.

While 13th month pay is probably what’s making your employees hold on until just December, like work perks and benefits, it is a bonus (albeit a mandatory one) that motivates your employees to do their job. In this case, to hold off their resignations. Offering the right extras or making certain moves early in the year will help your retention rate at the turn of the year.


Create an operations calendar that runs through the holidays


Everyone, even the management team, is excited about Christmas and sometimes we want to finish all the work so you can really unplug during your break. However, it’s precisely that unplugging that gives employees a reason to unplug for good. If you plan your operations to continue through the holidays (project timelines, meeting schedules, etc.), your employees will see a much less clear exit option because there are deliverables waiting at the new year. You can still have your holiday days off but make it clear that the books will need picking up again immediately after the break.

Highlight work-life balance throughout the year


If your employees are at a constant state of home and work equilibrium from January to November, the holidays in December will not seem like a huge break that they can use to sneak away. Creating a conducive environment by not just allowing your employees to recharge but supporting that recharge will make the holidays feel like a bonus break and not a big sigh of relief from all the work.

When employee energy levels are up, work productivity increases and that does not have to be a result of putting in extra hours to get the job done.

Incentivize, incentivize, incentivize.


Some companies don’t have the resources to make use of monetary incentives but here’s a pro tip: they don’t have to be. If a company’s HR or management team studies their employee base close enough, you should have data or insight as to what makes them tick. If you have a bunch of sports fans, have a January gimmick to watch the season together complete with sponsored tailgate snacks. If you have foodies in the office, turn January Fridays into “Try This New Restaurant” Fridays and make the foodies look forward to that.

Even beyond January incentives, it’s important to make your employees stay throughout the year and not just past December so by all means, incentivize the rest of the calendar with small efforts you can afford.

Ask them what will make them stay.

Two businesspeople sitting indoors with coffee laptop and folder

Understanding what makes your employees tick is an indispensable resource. Way before the Christmas fever kicks in, have a one on one with each of your employees and straight out ask them what they would stay for. If you do it close to December, it will be clear that you’re scrambling but done early enough, it will be a collection of employee feedback like any other company appraisal. With this information, you have exactly what you need to come up with a game plan to avoid at least some of your December resignations.

The holidays is both a tough and looked forward to time for companies. Everyone wants a break but let’s make sure that that break ends and you still have a team to come back to in January!

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This Is How Your Management Style is Driving Good People Away

This article first appeared on Inc-South East Asia. Visit their page for more business and leadership resources. 

The founder of a young distribution business—”Jim”—wanted to introduce me to his new sales manager, an executive of 20 years’ experience. Jim was unhappy with this guy’s poor recruiting, flat sales and botched pricing negotiations.

When I met with the sales manager, I learned that Jim constantly complains. “Not about the business, but about old stuff, like what we should have done yesterday. Or a deal we should have gotten.” I thought the sales manager was fine, so the issue must have been with the CEO.

This leader spent a lot of time critiquing employees’ style, complaining about past results, getting personal.

He seemed to enjoy putting one or another individual—and that individual alone—on the spot for a few weeks at a time.

The Lighthouse

Torturing one team member at a time is what I call “lighthouse management.”

That’s where CEO attention is dark… dark…dark…then it’s BLINDINGLY light.

This style needs that cycle of light and darkness. Why? Well, because the manager doesn’t have the energy to stay on top of all the people at once. The manager will get a few weeks’ worth of unfavorable impressions of an individual, then provide a period of “corrections.” Then he goes off to “fix” the next individual.

What is the effect of this? Well, the executive team was demoralized, of course. Turnover was high.


But more importantly, the company stopped thriving because Jim was blaming people, and not processes. Since the evaluations were based on his own experience, everybody stayed at one level of competence—his.

So sales did not provide professional reports, but they did reflect the founder’s desire for flashy salesmanship.

Accounting provided details on expenses—Jim loved to complain about expenses—but little in the way of trend analysis, capital budgeting or thinking about margins.

So it went. And all the managers were periodically exhausted by the CEO’s attention.

The 6 Week Solution

This CEO, like many, had a raw emotional need to control. This is okay in moderation–but he was going overboard.

So I asked him to recognize that need, and to put it on hold for a period of six weeks.

Source: Xerox

Then we agreed on a cycle of management meetings that would give everyone the chance to be heard and to provide an update on important deliverables:

  • A daily huddle, for what’s going on. We called it the stand-up meeting. Got together for long enough to just touch base and make sure everyone was heard.
  • A weekly staff meeting, that included an agenda and minutes of what was going to be done, who was going to do it, and by when. Here we started to also introduce some of the periodic reporting–the trends and variance reports that the business needed so badly .
  • And a first-ever strategy session at the end of the six weeks. We dealt with key issues, such as identifying the company’s core products and core customers .

Good communication, via effective meetings, is the first step to effective process management. Jim reduced his controlling management style. He developed confidence in the team’s ability to identify issues and execute. That left little need to turn on the bright lighthouse light.


This article was written by Walter Simson. He helps middle market companies—often in traditional industries—restore profitability and growth.  He also coaches on strategy, effectiveness and professional growth. @waltersimson

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