Posts Tagged ‘recogniton’

Put Your Mistakes Under the Microscope to Improve Your Work

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015
Bruce Clarke, President and CEO

Bruce Clarke, President and CEO

The following post is by Bruce Clarke, CAI’s CEO and President. The article originally appeared in Bruce’s News and Observer column, The View from HR.

We spend too little time celebrating our workplace mistakes. They deserve dissection, truth and reflection. Too often they receive denial, excuses and burial.

There is so much focus today on finding your strengths. Consider the common parenting advice to use only reinforcement in redirecting child behavior. There is even a movement to replace “weaknesses” in the time-tested business SWOT (strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats) analysis because the word is too harsh!

This over-emphasis on positive is having a negative effect!

Mistakes are the mothers’ milk of change and growth. All the praise in the world (while it feels nice and has good effects) will not create needed change. Mistakes have the power to mold our thinking and our skills in ways that triumphs never will.

If you define mistakes broadly, and not just as small errors and omissions, they include bad habits and unproductive traits. Until you decide to understand and own your mistakes, the path to improvement remains hidden. Robert Frost wrote of the road less traveled. A truthful and open review of mistakes (big and small) is the less traveled, and shortest, road to real improvement.

Open discussion

Celebration of mistakes means applying the same passion to weaknesses as you bring to successes. Think of a person at work who takes their mistakes to the team or manager, and has responded well to criticism. Did your opinion of them go up or down? Did their impact at work improve or decrease?

Owning your mistakes and using them to grow makes good things happen.

Learning from mistakes is the most basic benefit of owning your mistakes. Only skeletons come from buried problems.

Trust develops between you and others if you are just as willing to discuss your problems as your strengths. Imagine what could be accomplished if everyone behaved this way!

Open discussion of mistakes and needed changes helps you work harder to improve. Think of it like telling your friends you stopped smoking.

Ownership of all behaviors, good and not-so-good, is the best way to demonstrate to others the treatment you expect in return.

Early recognition

Skilled managers know how to help employees make the most of mistakes while preserving a motivation to grow. Less-experienced managers need proactive help from the mistake-maker to maximize improvements. Every manager should be pleased and impressed if you bring your mistakes to them in the right spirit and with a plan of action.

Owning mistakes may include early recognition of a skills gap or a troublesome personality trait. Both can be improved if addressed early. Allowing a reputation for poor aptitude or attitude to harden can make success at any workplace difficult. This is an important discussion to have right now with your manager to get on a corrective path.

So many of us hide our mistakes that there is little danger of overdoing all this openness. Employees who acknowledge problems and work toward solutions get the best work opportunities. It starts with owning all your mistakes, big and small.

For additional guidance, please give our Advice and Resolution Team a call at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Employees Will Seek Consistent Feedback in the New Year

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

employee feedbackGeneration Y is not the only workforce population that relies on frequent feedback to improve their workplace performance.  Each of your workers will benefit from a meeting discussing their current performance and how they’ll fare in future.

Telling your employees how their performance measures up is advantageous to your organization and their career. Maybe you don’t understand what motivates your office manager or that your graphic designer needs an assistant to better manage his workload. Consistently offering staffers feedback and asking them how you can help will explain some of the questions you haven’t thought to ask.

Here are five ways to offer feedback to your workers and improve their job performance:

Notice Their Routine

Be aware of how your employees conduct themselves at your organization. As their manager, you’re responsible for making sure they deliver the results that you hired them to achieve. Your direct reports represent you and your department, so protect your reputation by playing an active role in their development.

Listen to Their Concerns

Part of being a manager or a leader is addressing the concerns of your employees. The only way you’ll find out their concerns is if you ask them questions and listen. Holding individual, weekly or monthly meetings with your team members is a great way to uncover their motivators and the personal goals they’d like to reach.

Offer Encouragement

Listening is just the start of establishing a positive manager/direct report relationship. Once you know what your employees are hoping to achieve, inform them that you’re on their side. Make yourself available to your employees if they need help. Walk them through frustrating situations, and don’t let them quit, even when obstacles become overwhelming.

State the Truth

Be direct with your employees because it will help them and your business in the long run. Sugar coating issues will only prolong the problems at hand. Take action to make your staff members aware that you have concerns about some aspects of their job performance. Work with them to find solutions instead of wasting time.

Recognize Their Work

Anytime your employees execute great work performances, you should take time to recognize them. Whether they prepared well for a presentation, assisted a colleague who was home sick or doubled their sales numbers, rewarding them for their hard work lets them know that you appreciate their contributions. Showing employees that they are integral team members will boost their morale and level of engagement.

For additional information on delivering constant feedback, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: RDECOM