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Master Mindset Memo: Developing People in Organizations

Updated: Sep 13, 2019

Photo by Margarida C. Silva


Exponential Impact

If you teach just one supervisor how to effectively have tough conversations, about emotional intelligence, how to understand the experience of their employees, and how to utilize team dynamics, think about the powerful impact on that department. Teach all of your supervisors this and the results are exponential.

Teach one trainer to focus on the trainee’s experience, and watch the time needed to train employees drastically dip from fifteen hours to five hours. Teach the trainer how to set up a coaching and mentor partnership with that trainee, and have that impact last. These are all things that may TAKE A LITTLE MORE TIME UPFRONT TO REDUCE COSTS IN THE END, and it just so happens that when done the right way, we spend less time training and the cost savings are immediate.

Making an Impact

Think about a training that you had was impactful. You're probably not thinking about your safety training or a required training online. Many of us have never even experienced an impactful training. That’s not good for anyone.

Training also comes in the form of consulting and coaching. Not all learning occurs in the training room and not all training room activities can be as impactful as any one-on-one or group setting in a natural environment or with an in-tact team.

If we get away from thinking of training of as just training, and begin to think about it more as having a positive impact and as CONDITIONING others to act in ways that correspond with and actually enhance the organization's core values, mission, and even personal values and meaningful experiences. This is when we can have true impact.

Really, could you imagine growing up and only utilizing things you learned in the classroom? The socio-cultural norms, interactions, and even facts that we learn rarely come from training or from school, they come from other people when they share information and decide that they want to have an impact on others.

That's how it is in an organization, as in any other culture. A company culture is like a community culture. We share information, we have a positive impact on each other. We pull together at truly intense times that require the ORGANIZATIONAL INTELLIGENCE of more than one person.

What Training IS, and What Training is Not

Training is not just checking a box. Say this often. It’s important. Many organizations even have training to help employees better appreciate one another. Each person feels appreciated in a different way and cookie-cutter programs just don't cut it for this. It’s vital to train people in ways that are meaningful to them. These are ways that allow the employee to immediately go home or step back into the workplace and use what they learned with their family or coworkers in an environment where it is emotionally meaningful.

Sure, training that focuses on ethics and safety and such that are often required are important and we must check a box for those. It's when we move away from employees feeling like they have to complete training in order to check a box that it really starts to matter and make an impact on their behavior.

It matters when they learn and practice concepts that actually help them and reduces stress in their day-to-day jobs and at home. That's what impactful training is, which translates into training time and financial resources producing ROI. IT’S AN ENHANCEMENT OF COMPANY CULTURE AND INDIVIDUAL.

The Domino Effect of Appreciation

According to Drs. Gary Chapman and Paul White who coauthored the book: The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, 79% of employees who quit their jobs cite lack of appreciation as a main reason for their leaving. Think about how this finding transcends various industries, families, and even marriages. They also found that 65% of North Americans report that they received no recognition or appreciation in their workplace in the past year.

In the workplace, appreciation lasts much longer than when a 'teambuilding', photo on the wall, or training is over. No matter what the training is about, appreciation will stick because it's meaningful and touches them emotionally. Later on when they think they might want to steal, come in to work late, or even quit, it's going to pop in to their head and turn their thoughts into a better choice of behavior.

If an individual takes 5-10 minutes to understand another’s PASSIONS, AMBITIONS, and TALENTS (PATS), a giant step has been taken in being able to fully appreciate that person and how there can be mutual benefit. There is an apparent domino effect here. If you hone in on the goal of leading your organization and focusing on one specific thing, which is wanting your employees to spring out of bed and be excited to go to work every morning, that is a very powerful thing.

Culture, Social Norms, Reinforcement, Meaningful Connections

Just like in schools, all learning doesn't occur in the classroom. Learning occurs during study breaks, all social interactions, eating, communication with parents, field trips, and even recess. This is when the mind is given the opportunity to MAKE SENSE of the learning in the classroom and also PROVIDE THE OPPORTUNITY for individuals to make MEANINGFUL and even EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONS with what was LEARNED.

Once the classroom session ends, individuals go back out into the real world where they practice social norms. In your training room, the VALUES and CULTURE of the organization must be CRITICALLY ANALYZED, DISCUSSED, and REINFORCED. This provides a greater understanding from all the employees in the room. Slicing and dicing and even debating, provokes the necessary focus, and the need for participants to use EXAMPLES, SCENARIOS, and PLAY DEVIL’S ADVOCATE, to ensure others are understanding DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES.

This reinforcement carries through when individuals leave the training room. They may see others not acting in accordance with the values and social norms learned and discussed in training (and we all know this happens A LOT). When this happens, a gap is created in which the individual will likely try to make sense and reinforce in his or her own way.

Keeping Employees Happy, Because we Genuinely Want Them to be Happy

So wouldn't it be the same thing as keeping a spouse happy in order to keep the kids happy or have a happy home? In reality, you genuinely want them to be happy and that's what this really means when translating to keeping employees happy. We want them to be fulfilled not just so they will keep customers, clients and patients happy, but that is one positive effect.

Number one is the feeling of appreciation. When you provide someone with training, they feel appreciated. Notice the word ‘provide’. Especially when it's not directly related to skills they need on the job, but rather when it's things like HOW TO HAVE A TOUGH CONVERSATION or giving them a book club to help them BETTER UNDERSTAND themselves or their spouse or coworker as an introverted or extroverted person. You might think these things aren’t related to the job, but (one hundred exclamation points) they are.

No time for that? No sweat. It doesn't take dollars and doesn’t even have to be a formal program. Reading this, you’re getting the master mindset of what it takes.

Development and self-growth happen WHERE IT IS MOST MEANINGFUL to someone, and then it trickles elsewhere and becomes applied to every aspect of the employee’s life. This is when the company reaps the benefit of investing employees, and making the right type of investment.

Competence and Confidence

Think about how good you were when you first started your first job, or when you first started in the job field you're in now. You got better and better once you get the hang of everything and felt confident and competent in your work. Eventually you were confident and competent enough to train others. We can give people the tools they need so that they understand the job that they're doing. Whether it's using a complex software or giving a manager the tools needed, right down to the first words that she might say to employee when starting a tough conversation about attendance or about the way a customer interaction was handled.

When you give them the competence, they can do it. But when you give them the confidence they actually do it. Can you imagine how many SUPERVISORS PASS OVER HAVING TOUGH CONVERSATIONS with employees because they're the ones who are deathly afraid of confrontation and don't know where to start? Think of how many issues every single day go unresolved because of this.

For example, staying on tough conversations, coach, train, group discussion, whatever it takes, give employees the chance to PROVIDE THEIR OWN SCENARIOS and WORK TOGETHER on EACH OTHER’S SCENARIOS. They can learn how to have a tough conversation with someone in a way that makes that individual go from having a usual defensive mode and turn instead to being in helpful mode. They see how they can actually be helpful to the situation by CHANGING BEHAVIOR. They finally see how they can do far greater good then they would've ever thought before the conversation began.

Assessment-Based Training

More and more coaching sessions and training are being tied into assessment results, whether it's temperament, personality, or preferred productivity style. When we use valid and reliable assessments, we’re able to see more and more how our individual differences become our diversity characteristics. Understanding these diversity characteristics helps us and others make sense of the impact we have on others.

We can then grow even closer in our work relationships and be more effective and efficient. This can begin simply with understanding where each other’s intent lies and how personality, temperaments, productivity styles, and even appreciation languages, partially or even fully determine the input and outcomes of interactions with coworkers.

Even if you don’t have the capacity to utilize psychological assessments in the workplace, you can still have an impact. We (the human species) is on internal quest to discover who we are, navigate the mind, and understand why we do things we do and the impact we have on others. Include in your discussions something personally about them.

Anything but the Norm

Also, think about organizational development as your internal face of the organization and contact point. These are the tentacles that transfer culture, knowledge, skills, and builds relationships. Developing others is the fabric…the carpet. It must be kept relevant, new, welcoming, and highly revered. Developing others is also the glue. It bonds people, bonds departments, and bonds the relationship between supervisor and employee. Drastically change perspective and get better results. You have the master mindset now.

Would you like to incorporate practices based on this mindset into your employee boarding process as leverage for employee retention? Grab your free TurnBoot Snapset™ guide: 6 Unique Onboarding Elements for Small Companies with High Employee Turnover and Limited Resources.

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