Simple Ways to Be a Thankful Leader

From Leader to Leader 850 x 445

Be a Thanks-Giver

"It seems that the end of each calendar year comes faster and goes by quicker year after year. As leaders, it sometimes feels impossible to fit it all in. From budgets to sales quotas to holiday parties – there is a lot that we cram in from November to December!

The Thanksgiving season is also an opportunity for leaders to pause and self-reflect on where they have come and where they are hoping to go. As you take this time, I encourage you to challenge yourself. Ask yourself if you are giving as much thanks to your employees as they need and do you have the right policies in place to help attract and retain the talent you need.

Challenge yourself to be a constant “thanks-giver” in every interaction you have. The majority of your team members are burned out, working extra hours, and overwhelmed by the constant negativity on the news and on social media.

While it is the world we live in today, I believe as leaders, we can be part of changing this for our people! Your organization can be a safe place. Your organization can be a place where the individual feels appreciated and valued. Your organization can be a change agent in making the world a better place, one person at a time. Our research proves that thankful leadership matters to people.

Grateful Leaders Matter to Top Performers

In the spring of 2021, ERC surveyed over 10,000 individuals identified as “top performers” by their organizations as a part of our NorthCoast 99 application process. The leaders of these 99 winning organizations are doing things right. Specifically, their organizations were given a ranking of 5+ out of the possible 6-point agreement scale on the following two statements:

  • This organization’s leadership is concerned about my well-being. 
  • I am recognized or praised when I do a good job. 

These two statements don’t cost anything. You don’t need to budget extra funds to accomplish this. You do need to decide though if you are the type of leader who wants to make this a priority and a constant. Once you do, you will likely see turnover reduce and morale improve. Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas for when to thank your people.

Ideas for When to Thank Your People:

  • They recommended a friend to your workplace. Even if the person isn’t hired, take time to appreciate the gesture as it shows that your current employee believes in your company.
  • If an idea is generated that saves the company and your employees either time or money, be sure this person is recognized for thinking holistically about the success of the organization.
  • Don’t save excellent performance comments for a quarterly or yearly conversation. Thank the individual in the moment for their great work.

In addition to the above, great leaders have great policies and practices in place. Below are just a few to help get you started.

Prioritize Policies & Implement Best Practices

  • An updated handbook that is shared and understood by all. (Stop pushing this project down the road. Make it a priority. For hundreds of reasons, including employee morale, this needs to be done.)
  • A written compensation philosophy that identifies your organization's pay and reward strategies and creates a framework for consistency. This will help you attract new people, increase retention, and boost morale and productivity.
  • Be sure your diversity, equity, and inclusion policies and philosophies are well understood by leadership and shared with all employees. This is a must. It is also a must that everyone at the company follows these policies and philosophies. 

I realize there may be some work to be done on these ideas. Understand though that once these have been discussed, written, shared and implemented, life will get easier. You should feel better about leading an organization that not only has a culture of thanking people for a job well done, but also has policies and procedures that ensure consistency for all.

On behalf of all of us at ERC, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving and hope it is filled with gratitude and continued success, and THANK YOU for your support of ERC!" 

- Kelly Keefe, President 

Supervisory Training: A Secret to Employee Engagement & Retention

From Leader to Leader 850 x 445

I recently participated in a young professionals (YP) networking event serving as an “experienced” professional that allowed the YP’s networking experience and the ability to ask career-related questions. Throughout the luncheon, I was asked over and over “what advice do you have for me?” Besides the obvious answers of “take risks, take on challenges, and be authentic,” I confidently shared that supervisory training played a critical role in getting me to where I am today.

The interesting thing about my training is that it truly fell into my lap. When I left the workforce to care for my newborn son, I quickly realized that I missed the professional world and wanted back in. Through a few strokes of luck, I restarted my career at ERC serving as a “host" for ERC’s Supervisory Training Series. My role was responsible for organizing and hosting ERC’s Supervisory Training multiple times a year. This also meant that I sat through supervisor training over and over and over again. I used to joke that I was the most trained non-supervisor in the world. 

With each class, I became more in touch with just how difficult a supervisor’s role is. I would have countless “a-ha” moments, those times when something clicks and brings light to the way those around you worked. It even helped me to better understand myself and how I interacted both in the professional and personal world. I learned that not only does a supervisor need to understand the goals, direction, and expectations from the top leadership, but they also need to communicate that to the frontline workers and make it engaging and challenging so that the entire company is in unison. They are the glue, the constant push and pull that keeps the organization moving forward.

I also learned that in many cases supervisors didn’t ask to be promoted, they were just really good at making their “widgets” and so leadership promoted them unannounced. I realized that in many cases these supervisors were concerned about how they were to manage someone they were just peers with the day before. And I learned that almost everything you need to know to be a good supervisor was never taught in high school or college.    

The world of a supervisor can be overwhelming, often thankless, and yet critical to the success of any organization. In today’s market, finding ways to retain and engage your employees is key to success. I know that finding the time to train anyone seems impossible, but experiencing what I experienced, I would offer that making this investment sooner than later will prove to pay dividends.

Want to equip your managers with supervisory skills? Enroll them in our Supervisory Series: Fundamentals  or Advanced courses now.

- Kelly Keefe, President 

Leading by "Eggs-ample:" ERC Makes Workplaces Great

IMG_4363-1ERC is serious about making workplaces great. We created and cultivate an "F" workplace culture: Family-First, Fun, Flexible, Fitness-Minded, Footprint-Light, and Financially Supportive to employees. This week, ERC's Fun Committee organized the 1st Annual Easter Egg Hunt for all staff in the office. This fun activity was organized because ERC understands a positive employee experience is crucial to the health of the organization.

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The Ultimate Guide to Training in 2015

hr training topics The Ultimate Guide to Training in 2015

If your organization is like most, a guiding question for your 2015 planning will likely be some version of this question: “What kinds of training & development programs should we choose that will help ensure we are able to attract and retain talented employees, as well as prevent regrettable attrition, within our organization in 2015 and beyond?” What follows is a snapshot of some of the most popular training topics for 2014 and into 2015, along with a brief explanation of how they can each be leveraged to the benefit of the organization.

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The Cost of Employee Turnover

With the economy and the employment situation slowing pulling out of recession in 2013, employers across the country are faced with a different kind of economic challenge, that of employee retention.

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A Toolkit for Retaining Great Employees

Are you giving your best employees good reasons to stay at your organization? Retaining employees comes down to giving great employees a good reason to stay at your workplace over and over again, especially when they have another opportunity on the table.

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Training: Building Your Talent and the Economy

Organizations in Northeast Ohio have long understood the importance of offering training and development opportunities to their employees. Whether training is being used as a strategy for attracting and retaining top talent to overall workforce development, ERC/Smart Business Workplace Practices Survey consistently reports that between 80 and 90 percent of organizations provide their employees with financial assistance to upgrade their skills. This percentage is even higher among NorthCoast 99 winners with 96% of these top workplaces offering workshops, trainings, conferences, etc to their top performers.

Training as an Attraction & Retention Strategy

Offering training and development opportunities was cited as is the top strategy, after direct monetary incentives, used to attract and retain top talent from a sample of 102 Northeast Ohio organizations participating in the 2012 ERC Talent Management Practices Survey. This commitment to building a skilled employee base is further demonstrated through the financial commitment made by these organizations. For example, 82% of respondents report offering financial assistance to employees who wish to pursue job-related training, 79% contribute financially towards conferences and 72% put money towards costs associated with professional societies/organizations on behalf of employees.

Training as a Factor for Economic Recovery

In addition to being beneficial for individual employers and their employees, training is also singled out as a key component for economic recovery. In an issue from November, 2012 of Fortune magazine, Nina Easton takes this one step further. She suggests that not only is training key for a recovery, but also warns that without significant investments in training from corporate America, the “job crisis” plaguing the U.S. economy for the past few years is likely to worsen. In today’s global market, she continues, U.S. employers hold the fate of their own recovery in their own hands. According to Easton, if we don’t invest in building the skills of employees here at home the so called “skills-gap” will continue to grow- a trend which she argues could be used by U.S. employers, “as an excuse to go on a shopping spree overseas for talent.”

While the survey data above demonstrates that many Northeast Ohio employers already recognize the importance of a well trained workforce, if Easton and other experts like her are correct, the influence that these organizations can have on the business climate may run even deeper than they realize- right to the heart of the economic recovery.

Additional Resources

Technical Training
Give your people the knowledge and skills to become a more efficient and productive employee. ERC offers a wide variety of technical training courses that are important to the success of your business. Click here for more info.

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