Improve Your Management Skills in 2019

Improve Your Management Skills in 2019

How busy are you today?It’s funny how we can convince ourselves we are being productive, just because we are “busy”. Our entire culture promotes busyness, its good to be busy – right? Running from meeting to meeting, responding to an ever-increasing list of emails, telling anyone who will listen how busy you are….But being busy is not the same as being productive. In fact, in order to be productive, sometimes we need to be the opposite to busy. Sometimes the best management skill is to do nothing! There is plenty of research that tells us taking regular breaks when working helps productivity, along with good exercise and a healthy diet. But what I am talking about is literally doing nothing, or as the Dutch call it, Niksen.So, what is Niksen? After all, we are always doing something, even when we’re asleep. Well, the best way to describe Niksen is like a car whose engine is running but isn’t going anywhere. More practically it is taking the time to consciously do things like sit completely still and stare out a window.Now there are some who would call that lazy or idle, but you only have to do a little research to see how many studies there are showing that feeling exhausted during the workday dramatically reduces both performance and productivity. We all need time to let your mind switch off and re-charge, but most of us never give ourselves that time! That’s because we’re not used to doing nothing, being busy is the norm. Our smart phones and other devices make it even harder for us to completely switch off....
Leadership Training From a Billionaire Business Mogul

Leadership Training From a Billionaire Business Mogul

A friend of mine recently reminded me of a great quote that really gets to the core of how to make your team more productive.I’m sure you will have heard this quote banded around before but read it again with your thoughts focused on improving productivity in your workplace.The quote is from British business legend Sir Richard Branson…. For me, this quote gets to the heart of how to solve the productivity puzzle in this country, and around the world. “Train people well enough so they can leave.” That doesn’t just mean teach them how to do the job. It means give them the skills and teach them the behaviours to be able to succeed in any type of business, in any type of industry.If you can train everyone in your team how to become a really effective communicator, how to engage with your team in a positive way and the importance of giving honest feedback regularly. If you can train them to have the self-awareness and emotional intelligence to understand how other people are feeling and how to manage their feelings with honesty and respect, then you have trained people who are equipped to deal with so much more than just “doing a job”. One of the key factors behind falling productivity is employee turnover. That’s why its so important to; “Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”  Companies who have high attrition rates will continue to suffer until they understand they need to do more than just provide a job for their staff. Employment is at a record high in this country, it’s a buyers’ market...
People Management Skills You Need

People Management Skills You Need

I’m going to introduce a word that you may not have heard before. But trust me. It’s going to become more and more familiar to a lot of employers and employees in the future. And it’s going to be a big part of what people need in their people management skills tool kit.The word is presenteeism – and it’s on the rise! Presenteeism was originally used as a word to describe employees who come to work when they are physically or mentally unwell, instead of staying at home and recuperating. This usually happened because they were worried about job security or not being paid and felt they had to be in work, even when they were ill.More recently, this term has been expanded to describe employees who are completely disengaged in their job. They turn up to work every day but are not really “present” in their work.  A survey carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) found that a massive 72% of organisations had experienced presenteeism in the last year. They went on to suggest that presenteeism is one of the biggest threats to UK productivity and a key issue for companies that want to look after the well-being of their staff.We all know that we are less productive when we are not feeling 100%. We also know that being dis-engaged in your job can lead to more mistakes, as well as a significant drop in morale. All these things together can cause a huge, detrimental impact on the overall performance of a business. In fact, Presenteeism can actually be more expensive for a business...
Essential Time Management Skills to Boost Productivity

Essential Time Management Skills to Boost Productivity

It’s crazy how many responses we’ve had back from our last newsletter! Literally hundreds of replies from readers telling me their stories about their experiences of having to work longer hours to make up the productivity shortfall in their business, and the negative effect of this type of time management has had on them!  And its true! The research is out there! A seven-year study from the American Journal of Epidemiology revealed that those working more than 55 hours per week performed worse in both verbal reasoning and vocabulary tests than those working 40 hours a week.This study suggests that those consistently working longer hours are more likely to experience greater cognitive decline over time. So, whilst it may seem reasonable to assume that those who work long hours are more productive, the research points to a different conclusion – working longer hours is detrimental to a person’s long-term productivity. This is now known as the “productivity cliff”. In 2014 Stanford University researchers found that employee output dropped dramatically after 55 hours, so much so that they claimed that employees working 70 hours a week produced nothing extra in productivity during the extra 15 hours they worked. And it’s not just the individual who suffers! There is also a wider effect on the team or the business where the practise of working longer hours is encouraged. This is closely tied to higher rates of absenteeism and higher employee turnover. This puts more pressure on the wider team which heightens the risk of them suffering from burnout. And on and on it goes! So, the misconception that working longer hours...
Importance of Communication Skills in the Workplace

Importance of Communication Skills in the Workplace

There has been a massive online reaction to recent claims made by Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire and co-founder of the online shopping giant Alibaba, that a 996 working week was the best way to deal with the productivity crisis. The 996 system promotes a 9am to 9pm working day, 6 days a week, and is already used extensively in many companies in China and Japan.Jack Ma argues that working longer hours not only improves productivity, but also can provide personal benefits and improve career progression. But is working for longer and working harder really the answer to the productivity puzzle in the UK? Research from the Mental Health Foundation shows that 1 in 7 people in the UK experience mental health problems in the workplace, and that approximately 13% of all sickness absence days can be attributed to mental health conditions.The reality is that working longer hours does the opposite to promoting productivity in the workplace, it stifles it and can have a real negative effect on an employees mental and physical wellbeing. Employees working longer hours are not only more likely to suffer from exhaustion, poor sleep quality and increased stress, but they are also more likely to suffer from long term health problems like depression and heart disease.So, if working longer hours is not the answer to increasing productivity, what is?We believe the quickest way to improve your team’s productivity, is to first improve their capabilities. Sounds simple doesn’t it? But its obvious! A more engaged, more capable team will undoubtedly be more productive. If you want to lead your team on a journey to better...
Leadership Training – Inspire Greatness in Your Team

Leadership Training – Inspire Greatness in Your Team

More and more employers are starting to realize the painful truth – the productivity crisis that has swept the country is here to stay, unless they rip up the old Leadership Training rule book and start fresh.The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently published more findings on the “productivity puzzle” which has been a problem for so many years. It said labour productivity was lower over the past decade than at any time in the 20th century. Although the causes are not clear, there is an undeniable link to the credit crunch of 2009. That huge economic shock has created a permanent, long-term change to how our economy develops. Despite more and more people being employed, many of them are going into more and more unproductive jobs. This is called the car wash problem. 20 years ago, car washes were already fully automated, but now they consist of 5 men and a bucket – less productive, not more.But one thing’s for sure – this productivity crisis cannot be solved without some serious investment. And I’m not just talking about new technologies and digital advances.I’m talking about investment in people. Training them to deal with the complexities of doing business in the 21st century. To get people to perform well you need to know how to communicate correctly and you can’t do this without specialist training. Leadership DevelopmentA recognized process for teaching managers how to coach their teams needs to be at the heart of this investment. Unless your managers can change the behaviours of the most unproductive people in their teams, then businesses will continue to sleepwalk towards further...