What Your Millennial and Gen Z Employees Need From You Right Now

For the younger generations, Millennials and Gen Z, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be particularly profound. For some of them, too young to feel the full weight of other recent, life-changing events like 9-11 and the 2008 market and jobs crash, this pandemic is their first exposure to real hardship. And, the most profound hardship most of us for any generation have experienced; it’s taking away the in-person human connection that is our primary source for safety and belonging. For other generations, the effects of the last recession, 9/11, wars, swine flu, still haven’t faded away.

As the employer and future employer, to the next leaders of our world and your workforce, you must truly understand this younger generation’s experience. And what they need from you in the workplace or the marketplace. They currently account for 38% of the workforce and by the end of the decade, 58% of employees will be either a Millennial or a Gen Z. If you and your business want to continue to survive and thrive in the new world of work, it’s not an option to ignore the needs of the younger generations and the effects the pandemic is having on them. You must meet them where they are and give them what they want in order to build your high-performance team and extend their reach to connecting with your clients. These generations actually account for 3 trillion dollars worth of annual spending!

Really, what Millennials or Gen Z employees want from their employers is no different than what any of us want. They just tend to be more vocal about it and more insistent that they get the support they’re seeking. This is one reason I love working with young people – they are absolutely determined to make it a better world and they’re not shy about going after it.

To help your Millennial and Gen Zs learn to be resilient from all the change we’ve had over the past few months and thrive, focus on these simple things:

 

Help Them Feel Safe

This is a big one and we covered it in our last blog. People need to feel safe at work. Physically safe (make sure they know the steps you’re taking to protect them from the virus), but also emotionally and psychologically safe. They need to know the workplace is a safe place to speak up, to tell it like it is, and to call out toxic or damaging behaviors. The depth and spread of the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements have shown how much the younger generations value creating spaces of inclusivity, equality, and safety. As I tell all of my clients, listen and listen like a trampoline, meaning bounce back with even better questions.

 

Help Them Feel Like They Belong

We all want to feel like we’re part of something that matters and again, Millennials and Gen Zs are no different. They place a high value on finding workplaces that allow them to do work that is meaningful. And it’s up to you to make sure they can clearly see how their work has meaning and how it’s contributing to your overall organizational goals. If you need help, we’re here. We’ve helped hundreds of organizations and teams solve the crisis of disengagement by helping connect team members to their personal and professional purposes (their why) threaded to your corporate missions through our flagship online program, Strengths & Story.

 

Provide Access to Mentoring and Coaching Opportunities

Though COVID-19 has done away with a lot of our traditional ways of providing professional development through the method of sending our people off to workshops and conferences, the younger generations were craving something different even before the pandemic. In a recent blog, we discussed how today’s young workers want the freedom and flexibility to seek out their own mentors and coaches, to learn on demand and in the way that suits them, sometimes even informally. They also need to take ownership in their mentoring relationships. With our teams working remotely and feeling isolated, helping your young people access new mentoring and coaching opportunities and techniques is critical.

To help, we recently launched our online portal, Hooga, to provide a virtual and on-demand coaching options for your people to learn the principles of our Strengths & Story workshops. Reach out to us to find out how you can get access!

 

Show Them How to Build Resilience

With all the uncertainty and stress that’s invaded our lives recently, one of the most important things Millennial and Gen Z employees need from you is to learn how to build and cultivate their own resilience. Sometimes called “grit” but even deeper, a person’s resilience is simply a measure of their ability to bounce back quickly when things get tough. And things have never been tougher for our workers than the challenges of COVID-19.

We have a 3-step system you can use to help them build better resilience. Click here to check it out now.

 

Reskill Them on Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is key for success in the future world of work. And with so much stress, anxiety, and uncertainty, people need people. We need to feel connected to each other and that we have strong relationships, whether it’s with our bosses, coworkers, clients, or friends and family. Make sure your younger employees are equipped with the skills they need to up their game when it comes to their own Emotional Intelligence. Learn how to reskill them and coach them on Emotional Intelligence here.

 

Your Millennial and Gen Z employees need you to step up and help them in the wake of COVID-19. Start here with these five ideas. If you need help implementing any of the above strategies or would like a personalized recommendation for your team, reach out to us to learn how we can support you to success.

The Case for Creating Safety and Belonging in the Workplace Has Never Been Clearer

As we get used to a new normal and over the shock and grief of COVID-19, it’s never been more important to care about our workplace. Our employees and teams really need a sense of safety and belonging. Both in the psychological and in the physical sense, as COVID-19 leaves us with new rules and regulations.

Simply put, if people don’t feel safe at work and if they don’t feel like they belong, they won’t do their best work. It really is that simple. The key to creating a successful culture that helps your company thrive and deliver high performance is to make sure your employees are safe. That means addressing their fears and concerns over their physical and psychological safety in a post-COVID19 world. Here’s how:

 

Ask, “What Can I Do Differently to Serve You?”

To solve any problem in your workplace, start by asking great questions. Questions that encourage the other person to go deep and really mine for the crystals so you can help solve for the challenges. I love these ideas from Google’s Head of People Analytics – start this week by asking these questions of every person on your team:

1) What am I doing now that you want me to continue to do?

2) What am I NOT doing frequently enough that you’d like to see more of?

3) What can I do to make you more effective?

Asking great questions demonstrates to the other person that you care about them, that you’re willing to listen, and you’ve got their back. When people know you care, they’ll trust you. Trust goes a long way toward creating a true culture of safety and belonging. In this new world you actually may want to share your procedures for physical safety and further check to see if they do feel physically safe and social distanced.

 

Ask, “What Makes Work Meaningful?”

We all want to do work that is meaningful, that makes a different for someone else or the world. With all this time at home, worrying about what’s going to happen to our families, our friends, our jobs, it’s got a lot of people thinking about what’s really important in life and questioning if they’re living in alignment with those principles.

Make sure you’re helping everyone on your team connect their work to their meaning and purpose. Help them see why they’re doing something and how it’s contributing to larger team or organizational goals. When people can see that they are part of something and helping to meaningfully create progress, they will feel that they belong. Again, COVID-19 is a game changer. Is there something you can do to help your employees or clients create meaning while protecting them at this time?

 

Seek to Reskill on Emotional Intelligence and Behaviors to Create Safety and Belonging

In previous articles we’ve discussed the importance of cultivating Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in our changing workplace. As we reenter the world and workforce with differing fears, anxieties, and stresses, demonstrating EQ has never been more important. Self + Others = Success. EQ helps us get there.

Reskill your team on the basics of EQ and make sure they understand how to really listen in a meaningful way, how to ask great questions, how to have empathy for the other person, and how to tap into their own strengths and story to connect. Also, make sure that you understand the real challenges of the current times and be sensitive to how they are feeling. Seek to address how their colleagues and clients may be feeling as well.

Check out our toolbox here for free resources you can use to help your people level up and let us know if we can help you apply them to our current day scenarios.

 

If you make a conscious choice to intentionally create a culture of safety and belonging, your team and company will thrive. We’ve seen it happen over and over again with our clients – and we’re sure these simple hacks will make the difference for you, too.

Need some support? Reach out to us – our Strength & Story system guarantees you will create a culture of safety and belonging and see real results with your team and business in 100 days or less. Contact us to find out more about how we can help you grow and thrive.

Where’s the Free Food and Ping-Pong Table? What New Hacks Will Solve the Innovation Vacuum in the Work-From-Home Economy?

The work-from-home revolution has been unleashed. While it’s true that the workplace and worker of the future were both already changing prior to our current global pandemic, this lockdown has cemented a new era.

Big headlines from some of the largest tech companies in the world are just the beginning of this new era. What will it do to our workplaces?

Jack Dorsey, the CEO of both Twitter and Square was the first to announce their “work-from-home forever” policy change. Other companies soon followed suit and last week we had the announcement from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that the tech giant’s employees may also continue working from home indefinitely.

So what does this mean for cities that currently enjoy prestige as tech hotspots like San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Austin, and others? And more importantly, what does this mean for companies who have invested years and hundreds of thousands of dollars creating campuses stocked with free food, gyms, ping-pong tables, and more in an effort to attract the best and brightest employees in the industry?

That is the question that has been on my mind the last few weeks as I work with my own clients, including executives from some of the largest companies in America. It’s been well documented that perks like free food do more than attract rock star employees. A 2015 study from Cornell University found that when crews of firefighters eat together, they perform better on the job than crews who eat alone. This didn’t escape the leader in free food and organized socialization, Google, or the thousands of other companies that have followed their lead. For tech companies, offering free food has the same effect. Science dictates that it brings people together and fosters friendships, ideas, and innovation.

Prior to CVOID-19, the ubiquitous new age “dining hall” that could be found at many tech companies created a natural space for innovation. Where people gather and come together, there is always the potential for the creation and spread of new ideas. And it’s these new, innovative ideas tech companies relied on to stay one step ahead of the competition. Summarily, food and eating together creates safety and belonging , which creates trust, which creates innovation.

Here’s one thing I know: the work-from-home revolution and less human-to-human gatherings will create a safety and belonging gap which will lead to an innovation vacuum in your company unless you take steps to prevent it. Even now, your employees likely are not sharing meals together. They’re logging off of Zoom or Slack to go eat alone in their own kitchens. Ideas are not being exchanged and innovation is stalled.

So if you want to continue to spur innovation inside your company, as I know you do, use these ideas to foster safety, belonging, and innovation in the workplace:

 

Bring People Together

One of the most important steps to fostering innovation during the work-from-home revolution is to be intentional about replacing the cafeteria. You must find a replacement for your company’s dining hall, happy hour, or mixers that fits our new normal of social distancing and working remote. Rather than getting off of Zoom or Slack for lunch, encourage people to stay on and eat together as they would at the physical office. Schedule virtual happy hours. Randomly assign or encourage small groups to form and meet weekly over video chat to check in with each other and talk. As regulations allow, have people meet outside of work in small groups to walk or go for a hike. In fact, creating small bonded teams of 6-8 works for the Navy Seals. They create a brotherhood of safety and belonging, which yields the highest performance. Our millennial/Gen Z networking groups at launchbox, encourage participants to form a “tripod,” a small group of three people that meet for lunch and check in with each other between monthly meetings. No matter what you choose to do, you must be intentional about encouraging the human-to-human connection.

 

Ask Your People What They Need From You

One of our favorite workplace hacks to create and build strong teams and companies is to simply ask your people what they need from you. Are they feeling Zoom Fatigue with too many meetings already? Are they isolated and feeling distant from their team? Are they experiencing challenges at home that are interfering with work? Regular check-ins with your people will help you solve problems, build strong employee loyalty, and ultimately create the space people need to innovate. Unhappy, stressed, scared people do not create game-changing breakthroughs. Happy, confident, supported people do.

 

Foster Resilience

If you haven’t checked out our blog on mastering the 3 components of resilience, read that next. Our 3 C’s of Confidence, Commitment, and Clarity will help your people create resilience. As I said above, unhappy employees do not innovate. Help your people meet the challenges of the work-from-home revolution by teaching them the skills to build and maintain resilience. It will change the way they show up for work, their team, and your clients.

 

The work-from-home revolution has arrived and it’s now our normal. We do the work with business owners, executives and workplaces to help them find, build, and share their Strengths and Story to build high performance cultures through safety and belonging. What could be better? Click here to book a free session with us today!

What’s Holding You Back? For Many of Us, It’s Zoom Fatigue

Recently, I had a coaching call with someone I’ve had the pleasure of coaching over the last year. They’ve already made tremendous improvements since I first met them by using our system and tools. But with all the uncertainty that’s going on right now, I discovered they had gotten back into a place where they felt stuck and they didn’t know how to coach themselves out of being stuck. Often our thoughts are the biggest thing that holds us back from action.

A lot of us are feeling big time Zoom Fatigue these days. Harvard Business Review and Forbes have both shared articles on this topic in the last month. Going from video call to video call with no time in between to do our work, recharge, or even to just stop and think. And that’s really holding us back from being our best selves, from showing up with confidence and clarity to create impact for other people.

I know we all just want to get better, and in this time of social distancing, virtual work, and isolation, everything is compounded and we are more fatigued then ever and in a funk. So, you’ve got to ask yourself, “What’s standing in my way and keeping me from moving forward?” And, “Whose permission am I seeking to get unstuck and change my thoughts into action within this uncertainty?”

Changing your life and getting out of your own way come down to just factor: you. You are the only person you can control. You get to choose how you show up, how you behave, and ultimately what happens to you. As I always say, what happens to you is because of you. This is because we have the capability to question our own thoughts and motivations, which affects mindset. And mindset can eradicate fatigue.

So if you are struggling with Zoom Fatigue, use our tips to own your role in that and then make the changes that are going to best serve you and help you create impact.

Get Your Mind Clear

With everything that’s going on, we’re probably feeling a lot more anxious, confused, and tense than normal. While it’s ok to feel that way for a short time, we need to not get stuck. Your mind must be clear in order for you to show up to every Zoom meeting or call with confidence and clarity. To get your thoughts under control, start a meditation practice. Use an app like Waking Up With Sam Harris, Calm or Headspace to start your day with a guided meditation.

Change Your Thoughts

We all know mindset is key. But right now, we need to make sure we’re approaching every day with a positive mindset. If you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts about your own performance or that of your team, it’s time to ask questions about that talk track in your head. Are those thoughts true? Usually they’re not. Actively use questioning to accept the real thoughts, fear, anger, etc. as reality and then move on to set yourself free to get into action. Try saying the positive aspect of the reality aloud and repeating each positive phrase for extra emphasis. You might even laugh which is a step in the right direction.

Own Your Calendar

One of the easiest things we can do to fight Zoom Fatigue is to take back control of our thoughts about our calendar. Don’t let other people dictate your day for you. Don’t let other people drag you into back-to-back meetings. Be firm and schedule 45 or 50-minute meetings instead of 60 minutes. This will give you 10-15 minutes at the top of each hour to take a breath, do a quick meditation, prepare for your next meeting, or even take a walk around the block to clear your head. You will approach the uncertainty with clarity of thought!

Assign a Communication “Czar or Czarina” for Your Meeting

If you’re like most of my clients, as soon as you get off a call you all immediately send follow up emails with your notes, lobbying your position about what was discussed and what the next steps will be based on the outcome of the discussion. But, there’s a better way. Meeting notes recorded on the spot creates immediate consensus and avoids time wasted relitigating positions. Appoint a communication “czar or czarina” to capture all the salient details of the meeting, agree on the points BEFORE the call is over, and then have that person quickly send a copy of their notes to all attendees. Wow, think of how much time and energy you’ll save!

Be Intentional About Making Time to Recharge

For many of us, exercise was built around routine and accountability. Now that gyms and fitness studios are closed, we’re finding it difficult to keep these habits in our schedule. And now, it matters now more than ever and we have the bonus of more flexibility to get it done. So do it. Be intentional about making time to recharge. You can’t serve others and show up well if you’re not taking time for yourself. Make sure you’re scheduling in time each day to do a workout, walk, or even just stretch. Something that forces you to move your body and work up a sweat. I actually do sets of push-ups, pull-ups or sit-ups between my calls. By the end of the day I have belted out hundreds of each.

Schedule Free Time to Think

When was the last time you took an hour just to stare off into space and think? In our fast-paced world, we’re increasingly driven by deadlines and the need to use up every second of the workday being hyper-productive. Taking time to sit and be alone with our own thoughts feels indulgent. It is absolutely critical to free your thoughts to grow and create innovation. It solves your challenges, both in the workplace and in your life. If you never get the space to just “think”, you will always be stuck in reaction mode. You need to create thinking space in order to start being proactive, rather than reactive. Google and many other amazing companies actually have policies of “20% time” to do or think about things that are meaningful. And, while many question whether that really exists or works, what we know for sure is that it does create a culture of wanting to be known for thinking time and innovation.

 

Need help stepping into confidence and clarity to own your story and create impact? Get a complimentary coaching session that will help you quickly get your life and business back on track. Just click here to claim yours!

Mastering the 3 Components of Resilience

We are all are experiencing trauma right now, at all ages in all generations. But as we struggle, at least we are all together. No one is unscathed by the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic. We must all pivot our businesses and ourselves, and lead our teams through the trauma. We’re lonely, grieving, depressed, sad, in shock, uncertain, anxious – in short, we are overwhelmed, exhausted, and scared. And we wonder constantly how and if we’re going to make it through.

I’m here to tell you that you ARE going to get through this. It won’t be easy, it’s going to hurt, and you’re going to be challenged more than you’ve ever been challenged in your life. But you will make it through so long as you cultivate this one crucial skill: resilience. 

Also sometimes called “grit,” resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.” It’s a measure of how well you can bend, flex, and bounce back when you get knocked down. It’s a measure of your ability to triumph in adversity. And it’s all about shaping your mindset though training. We need this trait right now.

But fear not because science shows us that resilience is something you can cultivate and teach to others. So for your teams, families, clients, and the world let’s start with identifying and mastering the three components of resilience:

1. Confidence

When we talk about confidence in relation to resilience, we’re really talking about the unwavering belief that you can influence outcomes in your life. That you DO have control, even when things feel completely out of your control. Of course, you can’t control everything. You can’t control when the current pandemic will end, when we’ll get to go back to life as normal, or even whether you get sick or not. But you can control yourself, your emotions, your decisions, and how you show up when things get touch.

To master the confidence component, focus on this simple list daily:

-Check-In: Check in with yourself about how you’re doing. Be honest about what you’re feeling, then set aside the beliefs that don’t serve you.

-Breathe: When things get tough, we get tense. When we’re tense, we often forget to breathe. But our brain needs plenty of oxygen to do what it does best: think clearly and find the opportunities. Make sure you’re taking deep breaths throughout the day. You might even pick up a practice of meditation.

-Mindset: What you think, you become. If you’re thinking negative, unhelpful thoughts about yourself, your team, your business, or the current crisis, get rid of that talk track. Replace destructive thoughts with things that are positive and empowering. Be mindful of your power to be present.

-Accountability: Hold yourself accountable to shaping your mindset every single day. Do not let yourself slip into bad habits or ways of being. You get to choose how you show up every day, so choose to be a leader.

-Hardiness:  Understand that some of us are innately more positive; however, learn what you can about yourself to be strong. Move through your negative feelings and practice the act of reframing your own power. Use whatever you can to thrive. No judgment! Face the reality, seek tools, and push through it.

2. Commitment

When things get tough, it’s easy to take the easy way out. To shrink back from whatever is causing our stress and look for the path of least resistance. But when things get tough, we need to recommit ourselves to our lives, to our relationships, and to our work. Resilience by its very definition means that we are staging a comeback. That we got kicked in the teeth, we’re down, but we’re not out.

To master the commitment component, you need to first start with your belief system. What you believe in and what provides you with purpose, interest and meaning. The belief that your work and effort have real meaningful impact. This is best when it also serves others because as humans we want to contribute. Use these tips to help:

-Context: In the midst of crisis, it’s easy to lose the context of our work. But we can’t lose sight of to how we fit into the bigger picture. Whether as a member of a team or the CEO of a business, we must connect ourselves into the larger context to find engagement and meaning, which are the next two items on our list.

-Engagement: With everything that’s going on and the constant stream of news updates, it’s hard to stay engaged with our work. But if we want to increase resilience, we must be able to filter out distractions and stay engaged. Set limits for yourself when it comes to looking at the news and social media so you don’t go too far down the rabbit hole.

-Meaning: To increase our commitment to ourselves and our own future success, we must find what we do meaningful. We need to connect back to our why (per Simon Sinek) in order to find our way through the chaos. Why does what we do matter? What is the benefit to people or society or industry? Who do we help?

-Authentic: Adversity can bring out the worst in us or worse, cause us to put on a mask and show up inauthentically. But that’s not what our people or our customers need from us. They need us to be real with them, to be honest and vulnerable so that we can build greater connection. People need people. Be the person that people need.

-Story: Recommitting to our work and ourselves comes from doing the deep work to understand who we are, articulate our story, and own it to demonstrate the value we have to give to others and the world.

3. Creativity

The third and final component of resilience you need to master is creativity – even in the face of challenge. We lose our creativity when we get stressed, when we get overwhelmed, when we get tired. But creativity is one of the foundational components of resilience for good reason. Creativity helps us be flexible, create new opportunities, and discover new pathways through the changing landscape. We need some of that now.

To master creativity, you must consistently demonstrate these things on a daily basis:

-Welcome Challenges: The name of this one says it all. Welcome Challenges. Instead of seeing hardship and challenge as something negative, we must welcome it gratefully into our lives as a catalyst to become better.

-Frame as Exciting: We must see all hardships as something exciting, as an opportunity to continue to live our purpose, and achieve even greater success.

-Growth Mindset: In Carol Dweck’s seminal book, Mindset, she teaches about the concepts of growth vs. fixed mindset in depth. But having a growth mindset simply means you believe you have the capacity to learn, grow, and change.

-Reinvention: Mastering creativity comes from our ability to reinvent our careers, our businesses, and ourselves. To adapt, survive, and thrive no matter what challenges we face. This is the way we learn to bounce back better than before.

I’ll say it again: resilience is something you can cultivate and teach to others. But it requires a focus on these 3 things: confidence, commitment, and creativity. As you begin to master the three components of resilience, focus on getting better every day. Better, not best. If you make small improvements consistently, you will develop greater resilience.

Need help understand the three components or any of their sub principles? Check out our keynote on the Path to Create Resilience for the Worker of the Future.  Want to learn how to better cultivate resilience in yourself and/or teach it to your team? Reach to us – we’re offering complimentary coaching right now during the pandemic to help you get through this. All you have to do is book your call with us.

Back to Basics With These Two Steps That Are the Key to Foundational Resilience!

We believe the formula for human success through RESILIENCE is the exact same formula we’ve been coaching our clients on over the last five years. And it’s the same formula we’re still going to be coaching on after the curve has flattened and we’re all back to work:

SELF + OTHERS = RESULTS

SELF

Success starts with you. Take control of you!  You’ve got to figure out who you are, what you stand for, and then how to articulate your value to others. That creates real resilience by simply knowing with immense CLARITY who you are and want to be and how you show up and impact the world.  That simple.  Once you’re solid and are CONFIDENT with owning your foundation you’re ready to be tough and spring back or recover from anything. That’s resilience!

So understanding you (SELF) allows you to move on to the second part of our success formula.

OTHERS

Figuring out yourself is the basis for cultivating better relationships with others through connection. Relationships are what make us happy and help us live longer.  And, as humans we need connection!  COVID-19 shows us that now more than ever.   Relationships are built and created on connection and meaning, which is why the CLARITY and CONFIDENCE in knowing who you are and the real deal value (IMPACT) you have to offer is most important – it’s the not-so secret tool to finding ways to connect with other people.  Understanding what impact and meaning you are and want to pursue is the fuel.  What is purposeful to you? 

Connecting with others is the secret to impact and life.  As Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” We all want everything so we can make the world and ourselves better. Both at work and at home, which we now see is the same thing.  YEAH!

Therefore, the most critical skills we can build are mastering SELF + OTHERS.   Such mastery will lead you to results, and you get the opportunity to define those results for yourself:  

  • Is it more resilience?
  • More meaning?
  • More relationships?
  • More money?
  • Better work/life balance? 
  • A promotion?
  • More confidence? 
  • More ideas?
  • More impact?

Whatever result you’re after, you’ll get there by first working on yourself, then your relationships with others.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be creating bite-sized learnings to SHARE our success formula and offering new ways for you to develop the skills you need to get results as we beat the *&%$2! out of this global pandemic. We’re planning to offer our signature Mindset exercises, tips and tools and our Foundational Strengths & Story workshop as a virtual course to help you master SELF & OTHERS with CLARITY, CONFIDENCE AND IMPACT.

So if you’re:

  • Starting a new career
  • Figuring out your purpose and impact
  • Looking for a way to expand your business or opportunity
  • Trying to build engagement and resilience for your employees
  • Want get clear on your value and connect with others better
  • Or want more confidence

 Reach out to us if you’re interested in joining the wait list.

Also, if you’re looking for personalized coaching and attention to help you up your game and get the results you’re after, give us a call at (858) 314-9867 – right now we’re offering complimentary coaching sessions because we want to help you succeed and thrive.  You just need to step up and request a free session!

3 Steps to Effectively Lead Your Remote Team Through Crisis

Our employees are overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed out. And that was before the Covid-19 crisis! Now they have a whole new mess of problems to deal with: worrying about the virus, fear about what will happen to the economy, working remotely for the first time, trying to manage their kids at home, struggling to adapt to new technology, increased conflict with their partner from being cooped up inside…it’s A LOT. Meanwhile, we’re trying to get them to be as productive as possible and G.S.D (Get Shit Done).

If you’re anything like the clients we’ve been talking to over the last few weeks, you’re struggling just to keep your own head above water let alone be the kind of leader your remote team needs right now. While there’s no manual or precedent for dealing with a large-scale global epidemic in this modern age, we’ve been coaching our clients on how to pivot and adapt their businesses while leading their teams to success. No matter what industry you’re in or what catastrophe you’re facing, there are only three things you need to focus on as a leader to effectively manage your workforce and cultivate high performance.

1) Decrease Fear

Your people are scared. They are facing the unknown just like you.

As their leader your most important job is to decrease their fear. Even if the future looks bleak, your people want to know you have a plan to take care of them and see them safely through this storm. They want to know they can count on you, that you’ve got their back, and you’re here for them. 

One of the most effective ways to decrease fear is to ask your people what they want from you. Start by listening and leaning in. It may be different for every person, but you owe it to them to take the time to ask great questions, be an even better listener, and find a way to meet them where they are. Then authentically contextualize your mission and vision in a way that employees can relate to and find meaningful. And communicate, communicate, communicate. Take a look at our 4 C’s of Connection in Virtual Work – scroll down to get a free copy of our Remote Management Toolbox.

2) Increase Safety

Along with decreasing fear, you need to increase every team member’s sense of safety. When you start by turning your workplace upside down and listening to your people, you’ll have a good sense of where to begin.  Understand that people need people and that we are interconnected beings. The biggest challenge is the lack of community and perceived empathy.

But even more importantly, you’ll have taken a big step toward decreasing their sense of isolation. If your team is working remotely for the first time, they’ll quickly start to feel alone and adrift in the world. It’s up to you to make sure your team is connecting to you and with each other on a regular basis. Have at least two real connections per week that asks how they are doing.  And make sure to use video – verbal communication is only 7% of total communication!  Additionally, appoint a communication czar to make sure it works well with your team.

Start now. Implement daily or weekly video calls. Create a Slack channel where people can check in with each other during the day. And spend time demonstrating you care by coaching your team members through their specific challenges. Let them help each other and create a buddy system. 

3) Solve the Emotional Component

In times of turmoil, it’s normal for emotions to run high. As a leader, you need to make sure you’re helping your team process their emotions in a way that is healthy and productive. Make sure you’re regularly addressing these five areas on your check-ins with your remote team:

1) Self-Care: Discuss the importance of self-care and share strategies for individual success.  Routines, schedules, and how to deal with kids at home and connections.

2) Learn: Make sure your team has the tools and resources to support their learning and development with new skills for the virtual workplace and great communication tips.

3) Growth: If there is down time, encourage personal and professional growth along with real creativity.  What are some great ideas they can come up with for themselves to add big value for a future which will be super different and better than what we’ve experienced?

4) Mindset: Share practical ways each person can work on reframing their thoughts and help them through any mindset blocks. Remember, we need connection and help.

5) Connect: Illustrate the importance of connecting person-to-person and encourage team members to communicate over phone or video instead of email and text.

If you focus on just these three things and follow our hacks and tools, I guarantee you will see dramatic improvement in the performance and productivity of your remote team. While we are all being challenged to work differently, there is NO reason your team cannot continue to execute at a high level.

Need help implementing these strategies? Looking for personalized help for your organization? Reach out to us – the first session is always complimentary! We can deliver virtual keynotes, online workshops, and remote high-performance coaching to help your team continue to succeed and thrive. 

We also recently hosted a webinar on this same topic – click here to watch the replay. It will only be available for a limited time so don’t wait to watch!

Download our Remote Management Toolbox including Our 4 C's of Connection to help you lead your team to success!



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Two Predictions Shaping the Work(er) of the Future: Reality Hits Sooner

Last year we made some predictions for the future workplace. We predicted (i) technology is going to continue to evolve and drive change, and certainly (ii) people will matter more than ever. Our new Coronavirus reality further demonstrates the importance of both these points.  So as we enter this next decade, we’re gratified to see that new interviews and evolving research continues to support our predictions for the future workplace.

 The Wall Street Journal recently published an article called, “The Workplace of 2050.” It featured interviews with five experts at the top of their game making bold predictions for the future. All five talked about the way evolving technologies will reshape their industries – and the important role humans will play in the future of work.  

David Baszucki, CEO and co-founder of Roblox Corp, talked about the gaming industry as a whole. Alongside tremendous technological innovation, he envisions teams getting larger and transitioning to remote work with employees spread out around the world. While not mentioned directly in his interview, we know that communication between humans will be critical. As teams stop reporting to the same central office and start logging onto Slack from their couch, being able to articulate your story, demonstrate your value, and build relationships will become key factors for success in this industry.   

In the medical field, the need for technological expansion is particularly great. Dr. Esther Choo, ER doctor and Associate Professor at the Oregon Health and Science University, expects we’ll see “a lot more options for communicating with patients, monitoring them, connecting them to needed care…and streamlining things.” She also expects increased integration among the many electronic health systems doctors and patients are currently using. Although these innovations will certainly help healthcare providers improve job performance, what’s really driving this shift is a desire for better communication between patients and doctors in order to create meaningful change.

 Other CEOs and founders echo Baszucki and Choo, predicting an increasingly prominent role for technology in industries ranging from restaurants to talent acquisition. But for all this focus on technological innovation, Free the Work founder Alma Har’el sums up it up best: “At the end of the day, the heart of the work is really about connecting on a human level, and that’s never going to change.” No matter how an industry is disrupted or what new technologies they choose to deploy, at the heart of all this change is us: people. We still matter.

To help you create success and shift to a culture of high performance, we introduced our 3-hack system. Many of our clients have already reported tremendous success after implementing it in their organizations. How will you keep the future workplace human? What choices will you make to make your employees matter? How will you empower and lead your people to high performance? Reach out to us for a free consultation. Through our dynamic keynote speeches, game-changing workshops, and bold coaching, we will inspire your people to up their game and help you create a high-performance culture.

5 Tips to Help You “Do the Work” to Be More Successful in the Multigenerational Workplace in 2020

WOW! The new decade is here! And boy is there pressure to make resolutions and improve. Our tips are simple and they endure, not relative to the new year or decade but just plain and simple tips that if you “Do the Work,” you win! So, in order to help you crush performance and be more successful at work this year, we’ve compiled our simple 5 best tips that you can put into practice today. Our tips are real, actionable, and highly impactful – try them for yourself and see!

Tip #1: Relax and Smile

Most people want to like you and want you to succeed! They’re actually rooting for you.  So, it should be simple to make a connection.  Right?  Well, wrong.  The root to connection is simply smiling and being open, however, most of us (technical term here) suck at that. Myself included.  And, if you’re stern, preoccupied, or just not present you tend not to smile. Not smiling makes you seem cold and unfriendly which means people are not going to be able to connect with you. However, a super simple easy way to connect is just to smile.  Try it. I talk about this with executives and Millennials alike. Smiling more is so simple, yet tough to implement,  

If we really want to be a productive worker of the future we need to create connection through trust. Smiling communicates to someone that you’re positive, approachable, and possibly someone they can trust (and we know how important trust is). So if smiling doesn’t come naturally, make sure you practice! That means you should smile so much that your face hurts. Even though we know smiling creates more serotonin and improves our mood we still believe we’ll look dumb or awkward.  Just try this simple tool for a few days and coach yourself to smile.  You will notice the difference and that difference will help you immediately relax in the workplace or in a client meeting. That relaxation will in turn allow your intent and impact to naturally shine through.

Tip #2: Positivity – Yes And

People love people who are positive. And while us humans generally are predisposed to thinking negatively, it’s all about your mindset which you can shift. You have to choose to be positive, think positive, and create positive experiences for those around you. As a matter of fact, science shows it takes 4x the positive statements to counteract the negative ones! According to a recent article from the Wall Street Journal, “a negative event or emotion usually has at least three times the impact of a comparable positive one.” So, this year, make a point to intentionally practice positivity! While that’s a very general statement, one tip we have is to read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and live by them.

Tip #3: Better Not Best

Best can be seen as an artificial barrier, mostly because best is arbitrary and always a moving target. Therefore, doing and being your best isn’t realistic because it’s based on the events surrounding it. An author we met through Heroic Public Speaking showed us that the alternative, “better” is something we can achieve everyday. We can be just a bit better than we were yesterday or last week. We can always strive to improve our performance incrementally. If our mindset is growth-based like Carol Dweck teaches in her book Growth Mindset, we can always be focused on trying harder and measuring ourselves to a higher standard each time. Better every day and in every moment will move the needle much further for you on a daily basis.

Tip #4: WIFTHEM – Audience

As humans we’re built in survival mode, which is mostly self-focused.  That results in every person shaping all inputs as: “how will this affect me?” People only care about themselves. And while you might want to argue about the nuances and certain relationships in the workplace, it’s fundamentally true. We are wired for SELF-preservation. Which means we’re constantly looking out for ourselves, no matter how altruistic we might want to be. Everyone is me focused or lives by the WIFM method – what’s in it for me?  Our twist is to focus on the audience and make it about them. We know that in order to succeed we need to understand and provide empathy to the other person so we put WIFM on its head to create instant connection.  Voila. WIFThem – what’s in it for them?

So, whether you’re providing a service, doing a sales call, trying to get a promotion, or persuading your partner or friend to do something, make sure you’re showing the person you’re sitting across from what’s in it for them! It’s not about you, it’s about them and what you can do to help them get what they want. If you know WIFThem and practice it, the world will be yours.  For more tips on how to do that using our communication tools, click here to download our free worksheet with our GPS conversation strategy.

Tip #5: Story – Currency

Your story, your identity, who you are and what you’re here to do, is your connection currency.  It’s what will bind you to others instantly.  But we suck at it. Personally and professionally we don’t have the skills to connect instantaneously.  From the executive boardroom to our next generation workers, we are horrible about sharing our stories. And it is so critical.  Critical to combine our personal why with our corporate purpose and value so we can transact great business.  Whether a Millennial, Gen Z or a Boomer, knowing your story and articulating it in a way that serves others is the only way to connect and build relationships. It’s what you trade with others to build stronger and better relationships, which is the #1 most important skill in the world!  Learn how to tell your story with a free copy of our book – click here to get it!

Over the next few weeks we will deliver real coaching stories so you can see these tips in action. Stay tuned!

Want more tips like these? Need help implementing these in your own life so you can be successful at work? Schedule your free coaching call today to ensure this year is the best one yet! Click here to book your call.

The Workplace of the Future is NOW – Do You Have a Plan to Solve Employee Disengagement and Anxiety?

Our clients tell us they can’t keep up because the world is changing so rapidly. The word “change” actually seems insufficient to describe the rapid transformation affecting all our businesses. And yet we’re more connected than ever.  One misstatement, misstep, miscalculation of impact and a disgruntled person’s tweet can go viral at a moment’s notice. We’ve never felt more vulnerable to the opinions of others and it’s affecting our businesses.

Not a stretch for any of us or our businesses, just look at what happened to Peloton recently. When its holiday commercial failed to strike the right note with its customers, the company’s stock dropped more than 10% after a storm of criticism helped its infamous commercial go viral for all the wrong reasons.

But it’s not just our customers that are challenging. Our employees live in this world and they are challenged by the change too. They’re also confused. Hence, most businesses are facing a two-headed crisis with their employees: (1) disengagement and (2) anxiety. Just when we need our teams to pull together, crush performance, and be stronger than ever, actually the opposite is happening. Our employees are instead disconnected from each other or with their bosses. Rampant anxiety is hurting their individual performance. And high turnover is costing us serious money.

At launchbox, we’re all about finding solutions to help you solve disengagement and anxiety to ignite your team and company’s performance.  We’ve developed a 3-hack strategy you can use to ensure your company is meeting the demands of the changing workplace. Follow along as we show you how we’re helping three clients solve their own unique organizational problems:

Asking Questions to Solve for Disengagement

One of the clients we work with had a modern challenge that needed solving: many of their employees worked in the field at customer sites while others remained behind at the company’s main office. Not surprisingly, they were struggling to keep their remote employees engaged.

When they came to us for help, we coached them to start by conducting an assessment of all their employees to help them figure out what the specific problems were. Turns out the employees that spent a lot of time in the field were having trouble remaining connected to their peers, the company’s mission, their contribution, and ultimately their own career path.

With this information in hand, we were able to help the leadership design and implement specific engagement strategies through coaching individuals and the team to create increased engagement. The solution? Double down on understanding the employees needs and then solve them at the individual and group level.  Model behavior, downstream techniques, and stand for the employee. The result? Greater engagement and increased retention across the entire company.

Helping Employees Find Meaningful Work

Another of our clients, a respected financial advisory firm, sent one of their talented young employees to get coached by us. This young man was struggling to find real meaning, purpose and contribution in his work. The company’s mission of protecting their clients’ assets and growing wealth just wasn’t cutting it for him. He was looking for something deeper, more meaningful, something to feel he was a part of and that would allow him to make a difference.

In working with us, he learned about himself, his own why, and the impact he wanted to have. It was critically important for him to have belief around his impact and tangibly see the results of his work (in the form of seeing his clients’ wealth grow) in order to feel connected to what he was doing. We talked about how he could better communicate that to his bosses in order to get some help to create bigger results for all of his accounts.  He was predisposed as many millennials are to create impact.  We tied his ambition and work to philanthropy that was created by the growth of wealth. Once he became aware of this meaning, he could articulate it as his value and extend it to his clients.

Can you guess what happened next? He got the help he needed from his supervisors to recast his own meaning and impact in order to contribute to the team. This in turn helped his clients AND his company’s bottom-line.

He also discovered how to live his own values and find greater purpose and contribution by seeing the positive things his clients were able to do for both their families and for others as a result of their increased wealth. How’s that for a win?

Reskilling Emotional Intelligence

Management at one high-end health club came to us because they were frustrated with the performance of their younger employees. They felt that many of them didn’t display the warmth and friendliness they wanted to see in such customer-centric positions.

After instituting hacks 1 and 2 above, we dug deeper to create a system of skills to help employees connect more readily to the company’s mission. We helped the employer bridge the generation gap by showing them how to reskill their young employees on the basics of customer service, making it about teaching, learning and growing. We encouraged them to train and coach young employees on connection. This gave their young people skills they could see they would use forever. It also made them feel that they had power over their own future, that they were creating their own path to success. Finally, we encouraged management to illustrate how their role was absolutely vital to the entire customer experience and that how they showed up as individuals made the ultimate difference.

The culture at the health club became one that was focused on others and giving value. As a result their young people began to flourish. They learned new skills and changed the way they communicated with clients and their peers. And ultimately, they took ownership of their own self-development and growth in order to provide the best possible experience for the customers they saw every day.

As we enter the next decade, one thing is for sure: the workplace will continue to rapidly evolve even faster. In order to keep up and achieve even greater success in the years to come, make sure you’re solving problems for both your customers and your employees. If your company could use a little support in igniting growth like these three clients, book a free call with one of our coaches today!