Archive for the ‘Employee Engagement’ Category

Happiness Coaching Seeps into the Workplace

February 7, 2010

There’s an article in the Wall Street Journal that has been picked up by many other papers, including Globe and Mail  careers called “Happiness coaching seeps into the workplace”. It’s worth a read.

The article talks about how the positive psychology movement is making its way into the workplace culture. It identifies positive habits such as: expressing gratitude (say ‘thank you’ please:), being more present, recognizing success in effort and process vs. only outcome — and much, much more. 

I must say as a coach who specializes in ‘engagement’ – this article is very validating. Truthfully, I’ve always thought of myself as a ‘fulfillment coach’ — albeit I work on many different leadership (and life) coaching agendas, it always starts with one’s inner game and what makes them tick (core values, strengths, etc.). My marketing materials refer more to this as ‘engagement’ — a more acceptable term  in corporate circles. But these past few years, the word ‘happiness’ is gaining credibility and seen as an important facet to success, individually and organizationally. Some nations have even declared a Happiness Index as being integral to the country’s prosperity and success.

How’s your MOJO?  Turns out, Marshall Goldsmith (renouned exec coach) has just launched a book called “Mojo” which is described as emphasizing the ‘positive spirit toward what we are doing now starting from the inside.”

I’ve been referring to Mojo for years (ask my clients!). This  reference to “Mojo” is not of the Austin Powers variety – but more related to one’s mood, emotional state, sense of connectedness, etc. 

Inner Game focus:  The article talks about the new inner game focus — but it’s not new. Perhaps more ‘newly noticed’. This term was coined by Timothy Galway and is a very common approach used by anyone professionally trained in coaching (including yours truly). That said, when an article from the WSJ says it’s the latest greatest — well who am I to argue? I say bring it on….or rather, bring ‘more of it on’.

WEBINAR: Beat the Workplace Blahs: Last year, I presented a webinar that focused very much on all these inner game, positive psych strategies. I called it:  Beat the Workplace Blahs . You can still listen to it – you just have to quickly register online.  It’s full of tips and thoughts that are referred to in the WSJ article.

Hope you enjoy.

Till then, here’s to your TGIM worklife from the inside-out!

Eileen

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Soup’s On! …for Employee Engagement

February 4, 2010

Who doesn’t like a good bowl of steaming, home-made soup? Especially during the cold winter months – soup can really warm up the soul.

(My own home-made beet borscht!)

Well  – turns out soup can also warm up the ‘soul’ of a company according to internationally acclaimed Diamond + Schmitt Architects. Featured in the Toronto Star, this company has “soup day” every Thursday in the third floor kitchen of their office. But this isn’t soup to order: each week a different employee dons the chef’s hat and is responsible for brewing up the batch – from scratch.

Selected as one of Canada’s best-managed companies, Diamond refers to this initiative “a culinary project on workplace convergence.” And according to Jack Diamond, head of the firm, “..activities like this create a sense of community at a time of day the staff might otherwise be stepping out to a cafe or stressfully hunched over their desk with a sandwich.”

 Now that’s a recipe for collegiality and inspiration!

Is there something about builders? They seem to get it. Another builder who gets it is Tribute Communities – they earned an International Coach Federation Prism award for their Engagement at Work initiative. Disclaimer: I was involved in coaching and leading that project. 

Soup is one (great!) idea. There are so many more. One of my clients in the financial services industry was out last week with her co-workers building a house with Habitat.

So how about you? What are your experiences with activities that are meant to rally the troupes and build more ‘community’ at work? What’s working? What’s missing that may offer an opportunity to address?

I was interviewed for an article on this topic that was published in the Canadian HR Reporter. You can read it here.

In the meantime, to soup and other strategies to foster that TGIM work-life!

Eileen

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In the News: Bring Thanks to a Thankless Culture

July 22, 2009

See today’s Globe and Mail Careers for my latest “Mentor Minute” column in a response to a reader question on how to survive in a thankless work culture.

See article here: Bring Thanks to a Thankless Work Culture – Globe and Mail July 09

To a TGIM work life!

Eileen

Go Ahead and Laugh…

June 19, 2009

When was the last time you had a big belly laugh? You know the kind that gets you practically crying and aching in your belly, cheeks, etc. Ahhh, those are fun.

laugh

(from Flickr – by Yanming)

Well, if you haven’t had one in a while, no worries, there’s help! No I’m not about to tell a joke – instead, I want to share a link to a fabulous person who can make you laugh.

A friend of mine – Wendy Woods of Watershed Training Solutions — is  a Laughter Yoga specialist (amongst other training talents). She is so good, she was recently profiled on Entertainment Tonightyou can see the video on her site.

If your team, company or any group of people can use a chuckle, give her a call.  Get her to come in on a Monday morning….now that will bolster the TGIM spirit!! 🙂

Give it a try. It’s good for you!

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It’s Mental Health Week. How Are You Feeling?

May 5, 2009

It’s Mental Health Week in Canada. How are you feeling?

A survey released yesterday confirmed what most of us already know. The recession is taking a toll on our emotional wellbeing.

No wonder. People are either overworked (the survivors) — or have no work at all (unemployed). The stress is hitting folks on all levels: Emotional, financial and physical.

overwhelmed

The Desjardins Financial Security National Health Survey sponsored by Desjardin and the Mental Health Association revealed that as a result of the strain, absenteeism and disability are on the rise. Presenteism too — that’s when folks show up but aren’t really engaged and giving it their best…in some cases they barely even give it anything at all. 

Bad for people. Bad for business.

Michelle Nowski from Desjardin Financial Security says: “By investing in their workers, companies are investing in themselves. A mentally healthy workplace typically has fewer disability claims, lower absenteeism and better productivity,” said Nowski. “It really becomes a partnership between employees and employers because employees also have a responsibility to manage their health and stress levels.”

Well said. I agree the accountability is on both sides. Employer and employee — each have enormous stake in keeping their employees hearty, resilient and well.

There are many ways to help employees and employers deal better with the uncertainty and challenging times: communicate often and meaningfully; allow for some flexibility (i.e. perhaps some telecommuting, etc); foster team spirit and a sense of community at work; show acknowledgement and appreciation for the hard work people are putting in — and generally find ways to be supportive to colleagues, direct reports and anyone you are connected with in your work and life.

Another powerful strategy  is to develop coaching skills in leaders (see last post). Having a coaching culture at work with leaders as ambassadors of a positive culture with an appreciative approach to work and developing people -not just pushing projects – can go a long way in good and tough times.  I do a lot of work in this area.

AND…Never before has fluency in emotional intelligence (EQ) been more important. Empathy, Optimism, flexibility, perspective, resilience, independence and teamwork…..equally important for employee and employer….for the leader…and the worker bee.

EQ fluency (for individuals and organizational cultures) and coaching skills for leaders:  These are the areas that I focus on in my coaching practice at Big Cheese Coaching. Yes, a resounding self-promotion (but hey, personal marketing is ‘it’ in today’s economy).

If you are wondering how you can shore up your own EQ or help those you work with cope better with stress and pressure associated with work and life — get in touch! As well, there are and will continue to be resources here with tips and strategies. So stay in touch…

To a TGIM work-life (in all economies)

Eileen

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Workshops: Coaching Skills for Leaders

April 30, 2009

You don’t have to be a full-fledged certified coach to bring coaching skills to the workplace. An increasing number of (smart) organizations recognize this and are training their leaders to develop more coaching competencies that complement their roster of leadership and management skills. A coaching culture inspires better performance, engagement and results!

To that end, I am busy again this spring presenting a series of related workshops to organizatons and conferences. Here’s what I’m up to:

1) ProjectWorld and Business Analyst World (May 12): Coaching Leaders at Work – Fad or Phenomena.

Description: A one-hour primer on coaching for folks working in (or aspiring to) the field of project management. Coaching has become one of the most popular organizational interventions today. What defines coaching? What issues are appropriate for coaches to address  Who can benefit? Who is qualified to coach? What is it to have a coaching culture at work? Read more here.

2) ProjectWorld and Business Analyst World (May 13-14): Coaching Skills for Leaders.

Description: This is a 2-day workshop, that will orient participants to the distinct nature of the coaching philosophy and approach and introduce a variety of skills from the repertoire of the professional coach’s toolbox. Because managing projects is not enough, leaders must inspire their people; develop, support and engage them to actualize their potential to meet employee, team and organizational goals…. Read more here.

3) Customized Workshops: I am also customizing workshops and programs on this theme coaching skills for leaders and creating a coaching culture. I am currently working with a local college helping deans, academic professionals, business and administrators hone their coaching skills in light of their broader organizational goals.

Want to hear more about how this might fit into your work-life and organization? If so, please get in touch!

Till then, here’s to a TGIM work-life!

Eileen

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If You Attended The Feb 19th CICA Webinar

February 19, 2009

More than 1200 people logged in today to my CICA Webinar on “Beat the Work Life Blahs”. I was in good company! Thank you everyone who showed up.  If you missed it and/or would like to listen in again, the session was taped and you can listen to it here once they post it. At the moment that link is still the registration page but I’ve been told it will soon transition to the archive page where you can listen in.

I mentioned that I have archives of past CICA articles I’ve written  in “Ask the Coach” (CICA’s Career Vision Newsletter). If interested – you can click here to see them at a glance

As well, here’s a post I wrote after I did another CICA Webinar that you may find helpful. It is simply a list of some of the popular posts/articles that I have on this blog that relate to this topic supporting your quest for a TGIM work-life and tips on how to beat the blahs. You can see those here if you like.

Finally, there were some great questions posed at the end of the Webinar (thanks to the wonderful and inquisitive participants). We didn’t get to answer all of them sent so if you do have questions – please send them over! See Coaches Corner on how to get them to me. I’ll either address them right here in this blog and/or in my CICA “Ask a Coach” column. I would be happy to keep your name anonymous if you wish.

So to all – thank you for your interest and to a TGIM work-life!

Eileen

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Webinar: 900+ registered for my “Beat the Work-life Blahs”

February 13, 2009

Further to my post on February 3rd, I just found out that more than 900 people have registered for my Webinar: Beat the Work-life Blahs, hosted by CICA on February 19th at 12:30 est.

Wow. That’s a lot of people. This year the ‘blahs’ have kicked in with a lot more ‘kick’ wouldn’t you say?

Some words of encouragement: only 5 weeks till spring which usually lightens the spirits a bit. But if you can’t wait (and why should you!?) — then check out the webinar.  I’ll offer a lot more tips/strategies to put some spring in your step well ahead of spring:)

If you can’t make it, I think there may be a recording that I may be able to post afterwards. I will look into that.

In the meantime, to a TGIM work-life and for those of us in Ontario – happy family day (for Monday)!

Eileen

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In the News: Job Trends….

February 5, 2009

I was profiled in an article on coaching in the Workology/Job Trends section of Metro News.

“Tough times call for drastic measures- or at least a fresh perspective. Which may be exactly why the phenomenon of work/life coaching continues to grow as the world economy shrinks. Different from a counsellor, a coach works with individuals to develop their strengths and realize their potential in the workplace…..”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

And additional articles in the “In the News” section.

To a TGIM Work-life!

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Do You Have a Happiness Plan?

February 3, 2009

A what?! That’s right: A Happiness Plan….

February is here and for many, that sometimes brings the “February Blahs”. I have to confess, for me and for many others I know, February arrived a bit early. It came in November. The headlines, the economy, the cold….

Brrrghh.

But I try to walk my talk and being stuck in a rut is no fun. So I dug into my coaching toolbox and pulled out all the strategies I know and developed my own personalized “Happiness Plan”. It’s been working! My ‘mojo’ is alive and well. In my ‘plan’ I’ve intentionally set out to do more of the things that energize and engage me more…and have paid attention and incorporated ways to better navigate the stuff that brings me down. A lot of inner game work (EQ) for sure —  but also a whole lot of verrrry simple strategies easy to incorporate.

Speaking of Happiness….I’ll be doing that in an upcoming Webinar called: “Beat the Work Life Blahs” on Feb 19th at 12:30 EST.  It is sponsored by CICA (Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants).

Read more (and/or register) here!

I’ll be offering tips on how to develop more resilience and optimism in light of the challenges many of us are facing in the current economy.

Come back and visit again as I will share some of the ideas presented right here in this blog.

Till then….here’s to your TGIM work-life!

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