27 Oct

3 Types of people working in your business

I’d like to introduce you to three types of people who are working in your business. They come to work every day, take up space, use office resources, drink the complimentary coffee and represent your brand to the outside world.

First up we have the engaged team member. These are team members you want to have in your business. They are the motivated, enthusiastic, driven individuals who make things happen for your business. They believe in your business purpose and their personal values align to your business values. You don’t mind these people taking up space or drinking the coffee.

How did these people land up in my business..? Did my recruitment strategy work or did it just happen? To keep them in your business and the poaching competition at bay, you need to be involved and engaged with these people.  What are you doing in your business to keep these people engaged, interested and driven? What’s your people plan?

The next type of team member is the unengaged team member. This individual could be called a “clock-watcher”. They arrive, do the bare minimum to get by and leave the minute the clock strikes home time. They do not go the extra mile and do not add additional value to your business. The difference between an engaged and unengaged team member, is all about their attitude and how their attitudes influence how they spend their working hours.

“What can I do to improve myself in order to reach the business goals” vs. “I’ve completed the tasks on my checklist, can I go home?”  I am sure you can differentiate between the two.

Even though these unengaged people are not disruptors and they get the basics done, they can be extremely corrosive to your business culture. These members are not going to make your business stand out in the crowd. What’s your  people plan with these team members?

Lastly, we have the disengaged team members. These are individuals you don’t want in your business.  They are incredibly verbal about what they don’t like in your business and are purposefully  “anti” any new initiative you bring into the business.  They aren’t shy to share their views with their colleagues or even your customers. They are toxic for your business. These people tend to linger in your business, if you let them. They are quite happy to come to work everyday with a dark cloud hanging over their heads and to share the misery and negativity with the rest of your team members. What’s your people plan with this group?

All of these people are representing your business. They are either adding value and creating memorable experiences with your customers, or they are destroying your business. Who would you like to have operating your business?

Want to engage an external coach to work with your team. Contact me nicole@tikumu.co.nz for assistance.

20 Oct

5 ways to improve mental health in the workplace

A couple of weeks ago I attended a Leadership seminar and one of the speakers was Jimi Hunt. Besides being responsible for constructing the worlds biggest water slide, sailing a lilo down the Waikato and simply enjoying doing random stuff, he is also an advocate of increasing mental health awareness.

What does mental health mean, why did it get my attention and why would it have such relevance within the business world? According to the World Health Organisation,  “Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

Looking at the world today, it is obsessed with physical health and wellness. Being fit, looking good and eating well. People have become far more open with admitting they are “unfit” or “eat badly” and on the receiving side people are more forgiving if they hear someone admit their unhealthy physical lifestyle status. This type of compassion and understanding displayed for physical health issues is not at the same level as that exhibited for mental health issues. Therefore, people don’t readily admit they are battling mentally, for fear of being told they are lazy, that they can’t handle the pressure or being alienated by their colleagues.  Therefore most people will rather remain silent, resign, become a disrupter or a disengaged employee, rather than admit to having mental health issues.

So think about your own mental health and then take a look at the people around you. How open and honest are you or the people that you work with about your own personal mental health and wellness?

What do your employee turnover figures and absenteeism statistics look like?

When your team members are at work how productive are they? Are they reaching their weekly and monthly targets and goals or do you have a case of presenteeism in your business? Your team are physically there, but not mentally focused and productive. Like a team of rowers without any oars. Completely useless.

To help with improving your team’s mental health, think about implementing the following into your business:

  1. One-on-one coaching initiatives
    • This allows for specific, measurable, realistic and attainable goals to be set and delivered at an agreed upon deadline.
    • The team member is then in control of their own goals and work flow
    • coaching provides a non-judgemental space for the team member to share their concerns and to then create and work through an action plan to improve their situation. By just allowing the team members to have a place to share, bounce off ideas and to “think” out loud will greatly assist in improving their mental health and well being.
  2. Creating  an “it’s okay to take a break” culture. Encourage your team to take their lunch breaks away from their work, to engage in mindfulness practises or any other relaxing and energy rejuvenating activity.
  3. Can you business allow for flexitime? In todays world this type of arrangement would positively assist the drive for attaining work/life balance.
  4. Improve communication within the workplace. Work off one strategic plan, one set of goals and one set of values. If everyone is singing off the same hymn sheet it dramatically lowers confusion amongst your team members, eliminates mixed messages and lowers frustration and anxiety levels.
  5. Understand that you have human beings in your business. They are not robots. Your team members have dreams, aspirations and feelings. Get to know them, learn to listen to them. Show your appreciation towards them and aim to build a strong corporate culture where mental health awareness is as important as the company athletics day.

Want to engage an external coach to work with your team. Contact me nicole@tikumu.co.nz for assistance.

13 Oct

Toxic teams result in toxic customer engagement

There are certain stores and restaurants that I really enjoy going to, and there are others that I avoid like the plague. And no, its not about how expensive they are, it’s simply because of the attitude of the staff who work in them. Good attitudes, I’m a loyal patron. Rubbish attitudes, I take my business elsewhere.

This morning I was face to face with a cashier and was greeted with a “Hello, how are you doing today?” I answered with the standard “I am great, thank you”  and I then proceeded to open up Pandora’s box by returning the greeting. This is where I hold my breath and wait. Would the nasties erupt from the box? Would I have to be subjected to the wretchedness of this women’s life? Thank goodness, not this time! As a customer I could clearly see from her happy response that this young lady was being genuine (please note that I only shop at the cool attitude stores). Together with her cheery disposition  I was also presented with a lovely smile and great eye contact. She then proceeded to greet her colleague who was walking past us, not missing a beat mind you whilst scanning my goods.

Just from that 2 minute engagement this morning the impression I was given was that this lady enjoyed her job and got on with her colleagues.

Businesses lose money every year, due to customers like me. We won’t patronise your business if your staff are miserable, rude or disengaged. Why should we put ourselves through that misery when there are so many other fantastic businesses out there who look after their customers. It doesn’t matter how many deals or specials you advertise, if your staff suck and the experience is painful, I will not cross over to the dark side and do business with you.

So how do you get your staff to engage positively with your customers? The biggest secret and this may sound cliched, but its true is, if you look after your staff they will genuinely look after your customers. Simple.

Many businesses believe they are in competition with other businesses selling similar products and services, and therefore the business focus becomes external and so often placed on being better than the competition. The thing is, is that your competition could actually be inside your business. You could be competing for customers against your own staff. Disengaged and disgruntled staff, without even knowing it.

By creating a great place to work, building a strong and positive corporate culture your staff will want to come to work and they will come with smiles on their faces and interact positively with your customers.

With “creating a great place to work”, I am not talking about going out and physically building lavish staff recreation rooms and offices. I am talking about creating the right environment, where your team has a safe non-judgemental space in which to work, be acknowledged, be listened to and made to feel truly valued by you.

If you want to have an engaged workforce, try bringing in an external coach to work with your team. Contact me nicole@tikumu.co.nz for assistance.

06 Oct

Good Conflict vs. Bad Conflict

I once worked with someone that enjoyed conflict. He enjoyed vigorous discussion and debate and got genuinely energised from conflict situations. He always said that it was boring for everyone to agree on business issues all of the time. He would say that it “dampened his creative juices”. Thinking back now I’m glad he enjoyed conflict, as we used to bump heads quite often.
You may be thinking “who in their right mind would actively seek out conflict?“ Most people try and avoid conflict like the plague and their aim is to keep the peace at all costs. What set him apart from those conflict-avoiders and probably his greatest strength in a conflict situation, was his mindset.
He was never too precious about his own opinions to the extent that he held onto them at all costs, causing him to be blinded to alternative views. He never placed his own views above other people’s. What he did place first, was the business and what was best for the business.
The minute your views become more important than the business, when you become caught up in your own opinion, is the minute you lose your impartiality.
Having the right mindset towards conflict changes the business stage. You become more welcoming towards listening to alternative viewpoints and new ideas. Your business doesn’t become over-shadowed by your ego. You don’t have to try and justify yourself all the time to save face.
Recalling some of the conflict situations with my ex-colleague, the one thing that stood out for me was how I felt after a discussion with him. I never felt annoyed or angry. I felt heard. I felt like I wasn’t just being humoured or ignored. I felt I had added value.
Yes, there is such a thing as good conflict. Take a leaf out of my ex-colleague’s book. Make your business and it’s goals the most important entity in the room and put your ego second. Be bold enough to accept somebody else’s ideas as better than yours and celebrate that the only thing that comes from good conflict is stronger, better and more successful businesses.
 Need some assistance? Contact me nicole@tikumu.co.nz for professional business coaching.