KAZ Coaching

Promoting Managers to Leaders

June 21, 2017
by Kathy Zwern
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I’d Rather Work for the Gov’t Than a Start-Up… – 2017-06-21

…Or so the 2017 survey says.  To assist organizations in branding themselves to candidates, Universum Global conducted a survey of 18,000 international students and professionals classified as young as Generation Z and as old as Generation X.   While spanning the globe, many of the results offer powerful insight into what is motivating these professionals in the workplace.

Here are three results that leaders can assimilate to better manage their employees: Continue Reading →

June 15, 2017
by Kathy Zwern
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I Can’t Believe She Did That! – 2017-Jun-15

Employee driving your crazy?  Usually an employee who is causing the manager stress is also creating a challenging work experience for the rest of the employees in the department.  Managers can be at loss how to address an employee who is causing such disruption.  Those who make the effort to address the issues find that the resolution improves employee morale and reduces personal tension and stress.

Here are eight steps to address the situation: Continue Reading →

June 7, 2017
by Kathy Zwern
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He Treated Me Like a Dog – 2017-06-07

“He treated me like a dog” I overheard in the gym the other day.  Seems a manager took away the employee’s water bottle because she was taking frequent bathroom breaks.  He then explained that when he didn’t want his dog to wake him in the middle of the night, he took away the water bowl.

Setting aside the possible illegality of his actions, clearly this manager was not acting like a leader and the employee was feeling demoralized and on the verge of quitting her position.  So how do you survive working with managers like this one?  Learn to manage up.

Continue Reading →

May 31, 2017
by Kathy Zwern
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Personal Development – It’s Good for You – 2017-05-31

Are you happy with your life? 

Many people would say they have settled into the life they are living but have dreams or visions of something else.  For some, anything could be better than their current position while for others, the vision is very clear but they have no idea how to achieve their desires.

Working towards our personal goals or striving to simply be better at living are worth the investment.  There are four major reasons to invest in personal development: increase in self-worth or pride in achievement, better relationships with other and the community, development of a personal legacy and heightened empowerment or seeing an impact in the community.

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May 24, 2017
by Kathy Zwern
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4 Ways to Supercharge Innovation – 2017-05-24

We live in an era of innovation.  Every day we are dazzled with new uses for technology, medical advances and new discoveries in science.  Each of these developments required a person or team to think about a problem with a fresh perspective.  Innovation does not occur without creativity and a supportive culture.

Here are four ways that organizations can enhance their culture to support innovation: Continue Reading →

May 17, 2017
by Kathy Zwern
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5 Trends That Challenge Managers – 2017-05-17

Where do you work?

Most of us can recall a time in our lives when answering this question was easy – at any time you worked for one organization in one location.  As we enter the new iteration of work, this becomes a multiple answer response.  Workers may have multiple work locations and more frequently, multiple “employers” through either contract work or entrepreneurship.

Today, it is rare to find an individual who plans on remaining at the same company from college graduation to retirement.  Many of the young professionals entering the workforce have a pragmatic view that they will change companies with some regularity and they may also change careers. Now the child who grew up saying one week they wanted to be a fireman and the next week a dentist can live out both desires within a lifespan.  A plethora of educational options that are both easily accessible and relatively affordable make changing careers much easier than in generations past.

With the increasingly flexible workforce comes a need to manage the workers differently.  No longer can managers expect to retain an employee for years, or even decades, nor assume what the employee can offer today in skills will be needed tomorrow.

Here are five additional trends that managers may find challenging in the future:

Continue Reading →

May 10, 2017
by Kathy Zwern
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Gen Z – Not Your Typical Millennial – 2017-05-10

Generational cohorts are flexibly defined by marketing groups and government census bureaus but already it seems those born in the mid-1990’s to mid-2010’s differ from the traditional Millennials (1980 to 2000).  It is possible that as late-Millennials come into maturity, the latest birth date will be pushed back into the mid-nineties as the differences between Millennials and the Generation Z groups becomes more apparent.

Briefly, “Generation Z” is the name most attributed to the generational group that follows Millennials.  For perspective, these are the individuals who were toddlers the year Yahoo! was founded.  Generation Z members have only known a world in which Yahoo! and Google have dominated the WWW.  Many cannot recall a time before Facebook.   Studies show that Generation Z accounts for 25% of the US population and most have parents that fall under the Generation X classification while most Millennials have late-Baby Boomers as parents.  Each parenting group has left a different imprint on the younger generations which impacts their behaviors in the workplace.

Now is the time to begin to prepare for Generation Z employees as college students graduating this June will behave more like Generation Z members and less like the preceding Millennials. Managers may find it helpful to understand the key differences between the two groups and adjust for the changes ahead.

Continue Reading →

May 3, 2017
by Kathy Zwern
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Why Humility? – 2017-May-03

“I thought it would be easier…”.  Whatever your political alignment, you can admit it took humility for President Trump to announce to the world that his job is harder than he imagined.

Humility is a difficult value to understand and practice consistently.  Perhaps, as in the example above, we can recognize humility when expressed but are unable to articulate in a theoretical way the basis of humility.  In order to talk about humility, one needs a clear definition which Bradley P. Owens so succinctly provides in his research study titled “Expressed Humility in Organizations: Implications for Performance, Teams, and Leadership”.

“[Expressed humility is] an interpersonal characteristic that emerges in social contexts that connotes (a) a manifested willingness to view oneself accurately, (b) a displayed appreciation of others’ strengths and contributions, and (c) teachability.” Organization Science Vol. 24, No. 5, September–October 2013, pp. 1517–1538

With this definition, manager and employees can begin to discuss the importance of humility in the workplace.

Why study, understand and embrace humility? Continue Reading →

April 26, 2017
by Kathy Zwern
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Are You in Integrity at Work? – 2017-Apr-26

Open just about any management book or lengthy article on leadership and you are bound to find a reference to “being in integrity” as a prized trait of leaders.  Many managers can tell you they intrinsically know when they are in integrity, but what are their employees identifying as evidence of this value?  How does “Integrity”, a nebulous value, show up in the workplace?

Integrity is the basis of trust within the workplace.  When employees trust their leaders, they are more willing to take on challenges and work with both management and team members to overcome difficult situations.  By acting with integrity, managers positively affect employee retention and overall performance.

Employee morale and engagement improves through trust, consistency and honesty.  This level of contentment at work has been show to increase employee pride, production and productivity.  Integrity is a value worth exploring and investing time to strengthen.

The list of 15 characteristics* of integrity that follows is a helpful tool for managers to revisit and validate against their own office conduct.  The table is broken up into subsets of behaviors, some reflecting parallel values while others focus on communication, actions and managing systems within the work place.

As you review the list, how are you demonstrating integrity in the work place?  Which integrity-boosting actions you could develop or promote further within your organization?  What one or two behaviors would you identify as part of your department’s culture?

Values

  1. Demonstrate consistent behavior; be reliable.
  2. Keep all promises if possible.  If not possible, let the person know as soon as you can.
  3. Focus on performance.
  4. Commit to your employees for the long-term.

Communication

  1. Insist on honesty in all communications.
  2. Be transparent; communicate frequently with everyone.
  3. Maintain an open-door policy.
  4. Close the loop; let people know when their requests have been fulfilled.

Actions 

  1. Practice time management; show other people they are important by showing up on time.
  2. Deliver bad news; offer a solution or gather a team to resolve.
  3. Disclose and tolerate failures and mistakes; use them as opportunities for growth and development.

Manage Systems

  1. Fix processes rather than blame people.
  2. Keep policies congruent with actions.
  3. Introduce changes to culture slowly.
  4. Make channels work for your team instead of working around them.
*Based on the work of Dr. Ralph James, the author of The Integrity Chain

~Kathy Zwern~

KAZ Coaching
Promoting Managers to Leaders



About the Author

Kathy Zwern is a coach, writer and speaker. She is passionate about leadership, gender equality and generation appreciation.  Kathy loves empowering managers to become leaders.  Her standard of success is improving the work environment for all people and enabling organizations to reach their full potential.
For more info, check out her LinkedIn profile or follow her @kathy_zwern.

Disclaimer
The materials available in this newsletter are for informational purposes only and not for providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any issue or problem. The opinions expressed at or through this newsletter are the opinions of the individual author and do not constitute legal advice.

April 19, 2017
by Kathy Zwern
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10 Ways to Rock Your Star Millennials – 2017-Apr-19

Managers are discovering that Millennials can be great employees and the best require more management than perhaps the average.  Managing the great employee can be a satisfying and rewarding experience while also being challenging; great Millennial employees need more frequent and sophisticated feedback.  Like keeping a small ship on course, the manager serves as a motivator and guide to help these young professionals get the most out of their careers.

Managers can support their highly effective Millennial employees by focusing on Values, Betterment and Environment.  Within these 3 categories, there are 10 ways that managers can get the most of out of their best Millennial employees.

While each of these categories will benefit all employees, the high-potential Millennial is more likely to stay with a company that provides these attributes in the work environment.

Values:

  1. Be Real. Emulate the values you want to promote in your department. Millennials stay with an organization because the values within the department are in alignment with their own values.  They look to the manager to see which values are adhered to vs those espoused.

“People leave managers, not companies.” Marcus Buckingham

Continue Reading →