How to Successfully Manage Change
15 Jun

How to Successfully Manage Change

Two things are certain in life: death and taxes. Another to add is constant change in the workplace, which has now become the new normal.

 

It’s fair to say that, in one way or another, we are constantly supporting our clients to help their businesses and their people through times of significant change.

 

Change comes in many shapes and guises; whether it’s downsizing, finding new ways of working, shrinking budgetary demands or a desire for increased effectiveness. It seems that we only manage to bring ourselves over that sometimes illusive hill of the change curve before *SMACK* another comes to throw us off kilter.

change
The startling truth is that 70% of all change initiatives fail to achieve the targeted impact, often driven by a sub-standard approach by leadership and management, unsurprisingly resulting in overwhelmingly negative employee attitude.

 

Change isn’t going to stop, and we all have a personal responsibility for how we manage ourselves, support others and make any organisational change a success.

 

Managing Ourselves

  • Is your glass half full or half empty? If you fear or dislike change for whatever reasons, you may respond negatively to each and every change that comes along. This is unhealthy for both you and those around you (especially if you are a people manager with this outlook!).
  • Learn to view each change with an open mind. It’s human nature for any change to make us ask the WIIFM question (“what’s in it for me?”), but rather than focus on the potential negatives, look for the opportunities that exist for you, your people and / or the organisation as a whole.
  • Challenge, but do it constructively. There’s nothing more demotivating than the death-knell of the “We used to do it like that 15 years ago and it didn’t work then.” Sure, that may well be the case, but use this experience to suggest alternative approaches to refine the change rather than find reasons why it’s doomed to fail in the first place.

 

Supporting Others

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate! Even if you have nothing or very little to tell people – in reality, no news is rarely good news and if you do nothing, people will form their own conclusions based on the limited information they have.
  • Use a variety of methods. Whether it’s face-to-face, briefings, bulletins, newsletters, Intranet, team meetings…put the information out there in a number of ways so that people can find and digest what they need when they want and need to.
  • Honesty is the best policy. Even if you are unable to discuss certain things, say as much rather than avoiding people’s concerns and worries. Aim to win people over to make them champions of your change and allies, not foes.

 

Making Organisational Change a Success

  • Last but never least, follow a structure to plan, implement and evaluate the change. There are a myriad of options and whatever structure you choose should be tailored and regularly reviewed to ensure there is room for flexibility.

structure

Get in touch to find out how our approach to learning and development can help you to successfully manage change in your organisation or click here to join our private Facebook group for support with your personal and professional development.

Save

Save

Two Minute Tips VLOG: Communicating By Email
08 Jun

Two Minute Tips VLOG: Communicating By Email

rtt vlog
Chances are, communicating by email is a big part of your working life. Take two minutes to watch our VLOG for tips on how to best send and receive them!
 

 

Get in touch to find out how we can help your people to communicate more effectively (and not just by Email!).

Have You Asked Yourself These 5 Questions About YOUR Development?
13 Apr

Have You Asked Yourself These 5 Questions About YOUR Development?

employee training and development

We get so swamped in the day-to-day that our own personal development is often the first thing to fall by the wayside. It’s time to ask yourself some tough questions!

 

We all have hopes, dreams and ideas for the future; what we would like to be doing, things we would like to have or places we’d like to be, but how often do we actively develop ourselves towards these goals? Or stop to reflect just how near, far or realistic they are?

 

Ask yourself these questions. They’re written in no particular order and we’d love to hear your thoughts on your favourite or other questions that you ask yourself!

 

  1. How much time do you spend developing yourself?

It sounds brilliantly simple in practice: put aside a set amount of time each week / month for your employee training and development…and it is! However, how many of us actually do this? Then, if we do it, how easy it is to keep nudging it back in our calendar when something else needs to take priority! If you have found yourself in this situation, look at other options for self-development, such as great books to dip into when you can, opportunities to develop on-the-job or simply by asking those around you for feedback. How often do you spend some time half-aimlessly meandering the Internet to seek out new ideas? Or take time-out to reflect on how your week has been?

 

  1. Where do you want to get to?

What are you trying to achieve? This is a big question that too few of us seem to contemplate. Once you know what this is, you can then build your goals and targets against this. You can begin to measure your progress against these goals to see a demonstrable shift in your development and your achievements. Understand that we are each in control of our own development; no-one else is going to do it for you. Be empowered to get yourself to where you want to be rather than over-relying on others.

 

  1. How do you best learn?

We see so many people shoe-horned into other people’s way of thinking or learning, rather than simply tuning in to how we each like to learn in different ways. For some, reading a textbook at bedtime will work wonders, sure, but it’s not for everyone. Similarly, many people are fired up by academic study whereas others will find this an extreme challenge. Try to integrate your preferred ways of learning into your approach: whether that’s getting stuck in, reflecting on your approach or searching for valid arguments and counter-arguments to back up your thinking.

 

  1. What’s really important to you?

Our personal values are the characteristics and qualities that form the rules we live by. When we consider our own development, we often forget about our values, leading to many people feeling the need to develop in a way that goes against the grain for them. It’s important to identify your values so that you can make good decisions, otherwise you will lack the drive and motivation to really develop at all.

 

  1. What can you do today that will scare you?

We loved these ‘12 Uncomfortable Things…’ that we recently shared on social media, and it’s true: how often do we truly push our comfort zone to the point of discomfort or fear? As long as we aren’t pushing ourselves to breaking point, this is where the great stuff (i.e. learning) happens!

12993552_872281136216727_3613185183293736261_n

What will you do today to take back control of your development and your future?

Find out more about our employee training and development and get in touch to discuss how we can help to support (not own!) your development.

Flexible Working: The Way We Work is Changing!
30 Sep

Flexible Working: The Way We Work is Changing!

With 1 in 3 of the UK workforce quoting flexible working as their top employer attribute, businesses must respond accordingly to attract the best talent.

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 11.40.26

Forget the debates of the past like the issues of working in open-plan offices; we are now turning our attention to a whole new set of concerns. With more people working from home, how do we deal with the problems of noise, distraction, indoor-air quality, and lack of mobility when often ‘work’ is no longer an actual place?

Once the likely domain of ‘creatives’ and freelancers, the new home ‘office’ requires organisations to increasingly depend on an individual’s ability to effectively communicate with their virtual team from a distance.

The concept of a static ‘job description’ is also fading fast. The workers of the future are already thinking about income security, not necessarily job security. Many people are building varied portfolios of work, rather than relying on a single income. This can work in favour of both the business and the employee.

If an employee is thinking “What skills do I need?” instead of “What role will I have for the next 10 years?” then they are constantly motivated to improve themselves and their skill set in order to try to stay at the top of their game.

Businesses benefit by being able to identify the skills they need for the project at hand and having the means to assemble the best talent possible to achieve the best results. Their workers are very open to developing and improving, and more realistic about what would once have been considered ‘outside’ people being used for collaboration.

The future is likely to involve lots of one person companies, where the work is taken to the worker, rather than the worker to the work, with everything operating very differently when we no longer need to commute. The changing way we work will impact all aspects of business, including staff development and IT costs.

The Sharing Economy (a socio-economic ecosystem built around the sharing of human and physical resources) is one to watch. Its concept is one of shared creation, production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services by different people and organisations.

Watch this space…!

Right Trax Training are a learning & development consultancy who are passionate about helping businesses to develop their people to be better at what they do. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you to navigate through the changing landscape of today’s workplace!


*Figures from Jobsite survey

Do You Put the “PRO” in Procrastinate?
09 Sep

Do You Put the “PRO” in Procrastinate?

Charles Dickens wrote that “Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him”. Here we look at how to increase your personal effectiveness by doing just that.

Last week, we asked ‘how effective are you really?‘ Do you always feel on top of your workload or do you get overwhelmed with the amount you have to do and never seem able to find more time?

Well the truth is, there is no more time – there are only 24 hours in any one-day – it’s how you use them that counts!

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 11.12.59
In the famous words of Benjamin Franklin “You may delay, but time will not”. The longer you can spend without procrastinating, the greater your chances are of breaking this potentially destructive habit for good.

So, how do resolve this painful and stressful issue?

A key thing to avoid are the ‘Time Stealers’…those pesky little things (or people!), that sneak up behind you and steal half an hour of your day. You know the ones, looking at someone’s holiday photos, catching up on your Facebook or spending an hour tidying up emails instead of doing what you know you really should be!

A quick and easy solution is to start to identify who or what are your time stealers. Start making a note of every interruption, whether self-imposed or imposed by others, and then review these to identify themes. From here, you can start to work out how to stop them from happening.

Procrastinators often find it difficult to get support; it’s all too easy to presume that the aversion to getting the job done is due to laziness, a lack of willpower or low ambition. Consider this though: through procrastinating, we often identify what is important to us personally. After all, it’s easy / enjoyable / challenging (delete as applicable), to work through something when we truly value the task at hand. So if you find your mind and attention wandering, ask yourself why and then identify what you can change or influence.

Download our handy guide for tips on how to limit your procrastination, to keep you focused and motivated to increase your personal effectiveness!

 

How to Stop Procrastinating from Right Trax Training

 

At Right Trax Training, we specialise in developing your business through your key asset; your people. Get in touch to find out how we can help you and your people to stop procrastinating!


*Figures from http://www.salary.com/2014-wasting-time-at-work/

Stress Management – Don’t Ignore It
26 Aug

Stress Management – Don’t Ignore It

Most of us will experience some workplace stress at some point. This is normal; but a disproportionate amount of stress – or an over exaggerated reaction to it – can interfere with productivity, and have a truly detrimental effect on our welfare and the business.

There are some ‘simple-to-execute’ methods that can help to support stress management, (both in yourself and others). It’s not always necessary to make huge changes, but better to concentrate the focus on training ourselves to be masters of our own stress.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 15.07.34
Time management – prioritise and organise

This really can help us to regain control over the situation. Having a sense of self-control in demanding circumstances will often be infectious. Realistically, you’re unlikely to be the only one who is stressed in your organisation!

  • Create a balanced schedule: review responsibilities and tasks. We all have deadlines, and can be at work later than we should be, but it’s true that ‘all work and no play’ is a recipe for disaster if it’s for too long a period of time. Try to find a balance between work and social activities. We all need some ‘downtime’.
  • Avoid over-committing: A back-to-back schedule soon takes its toll. Don’t underestimate how long things will take. When you have a lot on your plate, decide what is a ‘should’ and what is a ‘must’. If you have something particularly unpleasant on your ‘must’ list, then deal with it as soon as you can. Move tasks that aren’t immediately essential to the bottom of your list; and think about eliminating some of them entirely. Very liberating!
  • Break projects into small segments: A feeling of being overwhelmed can be greatly relieved by making a step-by-step plan that allows us to focus on taking one manageable step at a time, rather than facing it all at once.
  • Give yourself time: Leave earlier than usual for work, or appointments. Avoid stressing from frantically rushing everywhere, or running late.
  • Schedule in – and take – regular breaks: Go for a walk, make a drink, or just push back your chair and try to clear your mind. Stepping away from your work space to briefly relax and recharge increases your ability be more productive.
  • Delegate and ask for help: If there are tasks that other people in your business can take care of; let them! Free yourself from the desire to control everything. You’re part of a team, and by letting go of the reigns just a bit you may be making a colleague’s work more fulfilling in the process.
  • Compromise, and reap the benefits: If you, or colleagues, are suffering with stress – be kind to each other and seek out or offer help where you can. If you can all bend a little then hopefully you will find a happy middle ground that reduces the stress levels for everyone.

 

Develop your emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the knack of using our own – and others’ – emotions in positive and constructive ways. More businesses are realising that when it comes to satisfaction and success at work, emotional intelligence matters just as much as intellectual ability.

The ability to communicate with others in ways that draws people to you enables us to overcome differences, repair wounded feelings, and effectively defuse tension and relieve stress.

Build your own emotional intelligence by:

  • Recognising your own ‘fight-or-flight’ stress response. If the stress ‘alarm bells’ trigger then it’s time for a break.
  • Paying attention to how you feel, and factor this into your decision making at work. Ignoring our emotions may mean we don’t fully understand our own motivations and needs
  • Learning to recognise – and effectively use – ‘nonverbal cues’ and body language. Often what we say is less important than how we say it. Be aware of your own and others’ levels of eye contact, facial expression, tone of voice, posture, and hand gestures. Body language can influence people’s sense of interest, trust, and desire. Equally, it can generate confusion, distrust, or stress.
  • Resolving conflict in a healthy, constructive way. The trust between people in the workplace can be fragile in times of stress and tension. It’s also important to stay focused in the present by disregarding old hurts and resentments – let it go!
  • Talking about it. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone we can trust will help to reduce stress. A supportive and empathetic colleague or friend can be a great help.

Right Trax Training are a learning & development consultancy who are passionate about helping businesses to develop their people to be better at what they do.

 

Get in touch today to find out how we can help your people to build their resilience to workplace stress or click here to join our private Facebook group for support with your personal and professional development.

Save

Save

Is It Time You Had a Social Media Blackout?
11 Aug

Is It Time You Had a Social Media Blackout?

Stop for a second and consider just how much technology, including the far reaching tentacles of social media, helps us on a day to day basis.  We can stay in touch, navigate to our destinations and schedule our TV programmes to record, all at the press of a button.  There is no doubt that the benefits can be huge.

 

Now stop and ask yourself this: how would it feel ‘switching off’ and taking a break from it all?  Your answer may vary somewhere from hugely scary to one of complete relief.

 

I recently delivered a training session focusing on moving outside of our comfort zones and which I knew was going to require quite a bit of focus from the participants.  We’re all used to the usual mobile telephone shout-out at the beginning of such sessions – normally followed with varying degrees of compliance with more and more people wishing to use their devices as an alternative to pen and paper.  For this session, I decided to ask participants not only to turn their phones off, but to put them out of arms reach, and the results were interesting.  When we dissected the different feelings in the room, some were mildly to extremely relaxed from the break I had offered them however the majority of people in the room felt anxious.  One person went as far as to say it felt like their “third hand had been cut off!”  Just this one simple exercise of removing ourselves from the ever-present mini tablet in our pockets or handbags got us thinking, and we began to consider the impact technology was having in our day to day lives.

 

I wonder if your responses would be similar to my own personal light bulb moments:

  • Using your phone for the majority of interactions other than simply talking to people face to face…phonecalls (of course they’re still good for those from time to time!), texts and emails, messaging Apps, social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Hootsuite, YouTube…the list goes on).
  • Sacrificing precious holiday time simply keeping up-to-date with what you’re missing from the beach or putting in hours of catch-up time to bring yourself back up to speed when you get back home.
  • Your phone being the last and first thing you look at before going to sleep – just by using mine as my alarm clock qualifies this however once I picked it up to set the alarm or switch it off meant that first or last check of what was going on in the big wide world!
  • When you have finally put the phone down to rest for the night, it’s on the bedside table where it can buzz and light up at will, demanding our attention even as we drift off to the land of nod.
  • Checking in with social media and news sites multiple times an hour, let alone a day…and having a direct impact on your mood and outlook thereafter; not always for the worst but not always for the better.

 

…and that’s just scratching the surface.  Games on your phone anyone? My favourite is Yahtzee With Buddies.

 

So I decided to impose a one week embargo…not on all things technology – baby steps!  I decided to start out with social media (that is where I felt I wasted much of my time unnecessarily and which impacted my state of mind the most).

 

And do you know what – it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be!  In fact, the break was great and freed me up to focus my energy and attention elsewhere.  I was surprised by how many phone calls and texts I received that week, asking if I was alright or if I had been kicked out of the Facebook club for misbehaving!  I realised that the world would continue turning if I didn’t check in to see the latest news disaster, the cutest dog photos or what my friends were going to see at the cinema.

 

Yes, I have returned to the fold, but with one significant change: I limit the amount of time I spend being ‘social’ with my gadgets and I’m certainly no longer concerned about what I miss or don’t see.  I think if it’s important enough for me to know someone will tell me anyway.

 

So I challenge you to at least consider: is it about time you took a break too?

What’s on Your Bucket List?
21 May

What’s on Your Bucket List?

We spend so much of our lives with noses to the grindstone, it’s worthwhile stopping to take stock and ask the big question: 

what do we want from life?

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What has been your biggest achievement in the last 6 months?
  2. What impression have you left on the world so far?
  3. What is going to be your biggest achievement in the next 6 months?

How many of us will approach the end of our lives and wish “if only I had put in just a few more hours at the office…”?  Not many, as suggested by a list of the top five regrets of the dying, which includes amongst the top ones ‘I wish I hadn’t worked so hard’.

A bucket list is our wish list for the things we want to do and achieve before we pop our clogs (i.e. kick the bucket!).  The beauty of the list is that it’s totally individual to each and every one of us.  The to-do items can be as simple or as extreme as you want them to be.

So what’s the point?  Well, if we don’t take time to fulfil our life’s ambitions (or at least some of them), we may well get to the end of our allocated time realising we spent it by being swept along in many meaningless or fruitless exploits.  Having a bucket list that you can check in on every now and again reminds you of the important things.

There is a lot of crossover between the good disciplines we follow in the workplace and how we can manage completion of our bucket list.  It’s all about setting goals and measuring progress against them (and they don’t all have to meet the good old SMART criteria either!).

Ideas for your bucket list:

  1. Make enough money to be comfortable
  2. Travel more
  3. Have a child
  4. Start a business
  5. Swim with dolphins
  6. Buy a bigger house
  7. Work abroad
  8. Write a book
  9. Spend more time with family and friends
  10. Learn how to abseil

What matters is that the ideas are your own.  Do it today and enjoy where the experience takes you!

Do you have a bucket list?  What’s on yours?  Tell us in the comments below!

At Right Trax Training we can help your managers and teams to be better at what they do. Get in touch to find out how.

Sign-up for our news and updates...
Regular support for your personal and professional development!
* indicates required
Sign-up Now!
Don't worry, we hate spam too and will never pass on your information.