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TNS’s Mike Schroeder Speaks at Qualtrics Summit 2015

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FEBRUARY 18, 2015 – Mike Schroeder, CEO of TNS Employee Insights, is in Utah this week, not only to enjoy the scenery, but he was invited by Qualtrics to speak there again this year. The title of his presentation is, “Employee Engagement: From Insights to Action Plans.”

Mike will discuss how to move from insights to actionable improvements in employee engagement. How do you coach your managers about what they need to do with employee engagement survey results? What do they do to move the needle in the future?

See Qualtric’s Facebook page for more details and see where we are listed on their website!

If you want to know more about the presentation, please feel free to contact me.

https://success.qualtrics.com/ondemand-employee-engagement-what-is-it-how-to-improve-it.html?ref=social

https://www.facebook.com/Qualtrics

Change is Good

change1952

I’m all for progress, but I don’t want to change. Isn’t that a silly statement? Of course it is. It’s duplicitous.  You can’t have one without the other. One must change in order to progress. Yet, there are many of us who unknowingly insinuate this all the time, whether it’s part of one’s personality, or the outlook by top administrators of a company.

As human beings, we know we are creatures of habit, and as they also say, “Old habits die hard.” It’s true. It’s also true that the older one gets, the more reluctant one is to change. Boy, I feel as though I’m having a déjà vu as I write this, but we may say we are all for progress, but we are doing things that insinuate otherwise. There’s the ambiguity!

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How to Steer Clear of Toxic Environments

toxicToxicity can happen anywhere at any given workplace no matter how small or large, or what industry. Where there is human interaction, there is potential for disappointment that can add up to unhappy employees. Unhappy employees tend to want to spread their misery to others, even if unknowingly doing so. The disengagement of such employees is off the charts. What becomes toxic is the spread of that unhappiness and others’ reaction to it.

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Leadership Tips to Live By

An Interview with Dave Herda Sr.

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During a college course on leadership in the workplace, one of our assignments was to interview a prominent leader of any organization. At the time, I worked for Ameritech when Dick Notebaert was CEO. I tried to get in touch with him, but to my disappointment (and his) he would be in Europe on vacation for several weeks.

There are leaders all around us. They don’t have to be the president of a large corporation, or have a big title. What they do need is the experience of being a good leader in which their reputation attests time and again that they are worthy of recognition and greatness. Therefore, I chose to interview David Herda, superintendent of the Northern Illinois Gas Company.

Below are 8 interview questions on leadership that I asked Mr. Herda.

1. What is your philosophy on leadership?

“To lead by example. You can’t ask subordinates to do something that you wouldn’t do.”

“You can’t compromise your scruples or morals.”

“You must encourage your subordinates and support them.”

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When You First Realize You Have History

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

For the first few years of being fresh in the workforce, you are gathering all kinds of experience. Not only are you acquiring actual work experience while garnering a paycheck, you’re learning how to organize your time and how to deal with coworkers and clients. Meanwhile, you’ll be judged, sized-up, and oftentimes criticized (gently or harshly), not only by your manager, but by your coworkers as well.

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Become a Master at What You Do in Order to Find Your Passion

moneyWith so many careers to choose from how do you select just the right one that will drive you to be successful and fulfilled?

In my early college days, I already knew that I wanted to be in the commercial arts. In fact, I knew early on that I was going to be a creative in some capacity. In order to make steady income, many of us artists went the commercial route. Yes, this was B.C. (before computers)

After being employed and learning the trade while attending college classes, I learned that an art director could make up to at least $65k/year back in the early 1980s. So, I tried to achieve that goal but for some reason, while my work was good, the opportunity never presented itself to me for a variety of reasons, and so I settled for lower wages as just another staff artist.

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Employee Engagement Survey Used as Best Communication Tool

86089312_4When you think about conducting an employee survey, consider the benefits of it being one of the best and most significant communication tools you can use at your company.

Employee engagement surveys are not used strictly for collecting feedback. Pre-survey communications; advertising that the survey is coming, should relay survey goals, anonymity and post-survey findings. These communications should come from the organizations top leadership.

  • The first message should be that the organization’s leadership is genuinely interested in what employees have to say.
  • Each question on a survey should be examined thoughtfully to ensure they are consistent with the company goals.
  • Show where there are areas of strengths and weaknesses and communicate to employees how the company intends to change them.
  • On the survey, remember to ask about employee benefits. This may be the only time you can elicit feedback about them.
  • Employees should be able to share their thoughts without retribution when they voice their opinions – whether on an employee survey or in person. Does your company have a culture of trust? If employees do not trust the organization, they may not answer survey questions honestly if they fear retribution.
    Some employees think that online surveys are much less anonymous than paper, because they think their IP addresses will link survey responses to individuals. They must be assured by management that the data and feedback collected will never be singled out or individuals identified. TNS ensures that privacy and anonymity is lock-tight when using our online survey technology.

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Manager’s Bad Advice Could Lead to Dismissal

managerHere’s one for the books. I know someone who works for a major food chain here in the Midwest. I’ll call her Jane to protect her identity. Jane is just reaching her one year anniversary as a part time florist. A few times she has had to clarify certain procedures and protocols with her boss. Naturally.

Due to Jane’s boss not being able to extend her more working hours as a part-timer, she asked her boss if she could arrange her schedule should she be called to work at another occasional part time job – given enough notice. The boss told Jane that if that opportunity landed on a day she was scheduled to work, she should just call in sick that day. Jane took offense to the advice of lying and calling in sick because she has a good work ethic. Not only did Jane’s immediate boss tell her to call in sick but so did the store manager who has years of experience with this particular food chain.

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Can One be Overly Engaged at Work?

sucking-up-to-boss3What is just the right amount of engagement or is there just no such thing? Either one is engaged or not. There are no shades of gray. However, I wonder how others may view this thought.

I don’t ever want to be that person who is always “sucking up” to the boss, and yet, there are some who might misinterpret a good working relationship between a boss and a subordinate. I don’t think you should ever have to make excuses or explain to anyone why you have that good working relationship unless it’s just to say that you have good karma, while still being very much engaged.

“Sucking up” to the boss also doesn’t mean you’re engaged. In fact, in many cases it can mean the opposite because a person’s motives for buddying up to their boss could mean they want a promotion, more money, or special favors. Who knows? Brown-nosing does not equate to employee engagement. Brown-nosing or “sucking up” is all about the person doing it. They have the “me syndrome.” It may seem like they are engaged, but their motives are very deceptive.

An employee who is truly engaged, does great work and is recognized with a pat on the back by their boss, deserves accolades – not favors. Anyone witnessing the pat on the back may just be envious, while at the same time, happy for that person who deserves the merit. Envy of someone’s situation is not jealousy. Jealously harbors resentment. Envying someone for doing a good job with recognition should only inspire others to achieve success at work.

I believe that the notion of someone being “overly” engaged is only in the mind of the observer. Either one is engaged or one is not. Anyone who believes that any of their coworkers are overly engaged is perhaps mistaking them for being enthusiastic or passionate about their work.

 

Managing Managers’ Feelings

Business HandshakeIt’s probably happened to all of us at one time or another, when we have a manager that just doesn’t like us for some reason. Who knows why? You try your best to figure it out with coworkers and friends, and still you get a weird vibe. What’s this all about?

Well, managers are human too and so are personality clashes. That’s a very human trait and sometimes you don’t even know why you clash with someone. But underneath it all, there is a reason and you have to do some brainstorming to get to the bottom of it. But how?

After just writing about a jealous boss, maybe there’s a social case where it’s not jealousy but a genuine personality clash. Personality clashes can be as intricate as personalities themselves. You don’t have to have the same kind of personality to have a clash. You could be two polar opposites whereby you’re not liked for you’re A-type, bombastic personality, while your manager is B-type, quiet and reserved.

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