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Connecting in the Virtual Workplace: B.R.I.D.G.E. the Gap

Now the need for connected and engaged workforces has never been greater, thanks to COVID-19! Remote and separate work is killing us. Our 5-year focus has been connecting the generations in the workplace. We developed a winning workplace formula to connect the Millennials, Gen Zs, and every generation. B.R.I.D.G.E. the Gap.

Companies of all sizes and shapes around the world are now forced to confront heightened culture issues inside the workplace.  The need for a system to help them B.R.I.D.G.E. the gap around generation, gender, race, religion, whatever, is daunting. Our workplace connection system is guaranteed to work when companies authentically believe and deploy it.

FACT: The most important life/work skill is relationship building. The ability to build relationships is your connection currency. B.R.I.D.G.E. is a 6-step framework that solves today’s most challenging workplace issues. Learn more about how to B.R.I.D.G.E. the Generation and Diversity Gap below and if you’d like help implementing, reach out to us.

B.R.I.D.G.E. the Gap in Your Workplace

 

B: Bust Myths

No matter what specific challenge you’re facing in your workplace, it starts by checking your assumptions at the door. We all buy in to myths, biases and beliefs about the people we work with that may or may not be true. But make a commitment right here, right now, to stop placing people in a box. Instead, lean in and really listen. Understand and welcome that diversity, it creates better business results – just check out this study from Deloitte. If you connect to yourself by busting myths you are free to inquire and listen to your own strengths.  Once you understand yourself, you’re ready to engage with others to find the strengths in them. Busting myths starts with understanding and identifying what people are really bringing to the table – not the baggage or labels you’ve assigned to them.  That is what leaders that transform the workplace do.

R: Real Deal

Authenticity and trust are two of the most important ingredients for creating strong relationships and real leadership. And, now that we’re all working remote and dealing with the uncertainty, anxiety, and frustration of life during a pandemic, it’s become more important than ever that your workplace colleagues know you’re there for them. Be interested and interesting.  Care and put in the effort to be vulnerable.  It pays in connection currency.  Stop making excuses and blaming others (colleagues, friends, etc.) and start becoming genuinely interested in your team, their ideas, solutions, and strategies. Challenge yourself to learn as much as you can about everyone: What makes them tick? What motivates them? What inspires them?  What are their goals? Simply ask great questions and then go deeper to form rock-solid relationships.  My 19-year-old son told me this week that the greatest gift I gave him was the ability to understand, practice, and shape question asking. He said with that he could enter any room of 200 and find something in common with every person and build relationships.  Now I want to test that skill.  Anyone have a room of 200 during COVID?

I: I Own It

Let’s face it: it’s easier to blame others and make it someone else’s problem when you don’t have to hang out with them in the break room or stare at their cubicle all day. But real leaders step up and own their side of the street. When things go wrong, take responsibility. And when things go right, own that too. You must have personal accountability in everything you do if you want others to own their stuff, grow, change, and show up differently.  You want to change the world change yourself because what happens to you is because of you.

D: Deliver Value

If you’re familiar with my views, you know I’m always talking about delivering value to others. Without that, you’re dead to me and everyone else. Value is a big freakin’ deal! I believe if you show up, serve, and focus on how to consistently give values to others, your life and your results will change tremendously. So how do you personally connect, mentor, lead, motivate, engage, and add value to those around you? Where are you crushing it and where could you do better? And has it changed since the pandemic began? When will you recapture some of the magic you had before you went remote? And, how?

G: Goals in Mind

In the virtual workplace, it’s more important than ever that people have a clear sense of what a company’s goals are and what the vision is for the future. A shared vision and shared goals allow people to get into alignment with each other, regardless of their differences or past experiences. If you’re a leader, it’s up to you to create that vision and then lead with transparency and purpose. If you’re a team member, check in with yourself and ask great questions like: How does what I do help achieve the company’s goals? Why am I important to the company? Most importantly, given the radical changes we’ve gone through, what goals in mind do you have for workforce development?  Now more than ever, adapting to change in economies is not just about cost-cutting and risk assessment, it’s about finding and training the right leaders that will persevere in the new uncertainty. DO you have a system for that goal? If so, it better relate to connecting people.

E: Empower Success

Our signature program, Strengths & Story, centers on helping individuals discover and articulate their own strengths to others. Why do we focus on highlighting strengths rather than correcting weaknesses? Because we want to empower people and help them discover what is already special about them. Everyone has their own innate superpowers so help your team recognize and cultivate their gifts. Then, celebrate them when they succeed!

 

As we went through the B.R.I.D.G.E. acronym, I hope you noticed that even though we’re using B.R.I.D.G.E. as a means to close the gap between self and others, we kept the focus on the self – specifically, on you! That’s no accident. The only person we can control in all situations in ourselves. So creating change and getting the results we want starts with us doing the work from the inside out. If you need help stepping up and becoming the leader you want to be, we offer personalized, on-demand coaching. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you and your team!

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!