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Investing in your Employees is the Smartest Business Decision You Can Make!

Guess how many employees are not happy at work?

Well, according to the State of the Global Workplace Study conducted by Gallup Inc. in 2019 that number is 85%.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out if employees aren’t happy at work they’re not engaging at their full potential.

If they’re not working at their full potential then productivity suffers and so does your bottom line.

That’s exactly what the report showed that worldwide employee engagement was only 15%. What if your organization could double that number? You may not believe your companies number is 15% but I  bet it’s lower than you think.

On the bright side employee engagement and happiness in the workplace is fixable!

Gallup analytics found one of the best survey questions that separate enthusiastic, high-performing workers from low-performing, miserable ones is “There is someone at work who encourages my development.”

So if you want to maximize workplace productivity then developing your teams and leaders makes sense.

In many of my conversations with executives, I am told: “we do invest in our people.” In my experience, I believe there’s confusion surrounding what type of investment makes a difference to your employees.

Work-related training, providing them snacks, lunches and the latest mobile devices doesn’t address their personal development and growth. They are nice to have benefits but in the long run, they don’t address their engagement in their jobs on a daily basis.

At Impact and Performance, we provide the type of personal development that your employees want while positively impacting your bottom line. 

We start at the beginning and teach them the skills that will improve their results.  We focus on health and wellness, emotional management, mindset, behavior, nonverbal communication skills, the human judging process, how to impress, how to persuade, how to come across as confident, knowledgeable and credible, how we self-sabotage, biases, the mind-body connection, kindness, empathy, how to improve confidence, charisma, presence and much more. 

It is also very easy to measure the results of our programs.  Improving your sales, culture, employee engagement, reducing churn are just a few.

All material shared is based on science and proven research.

If you are interested in more information please fill out the request on my website for a 15 minute free consultation, or call me at 416-294-2510 and I will return your call within 24 hours.

Be realistic and stay focused and motivated!

This time of year most of us are setting goals. The new year and especially a new decade has us assessing where we are and where we want to be. What’s the gap, do we need to change course, realign, tweak, etc. 

One common personal goal is to eat healthily and lose weight.  It’s a great objective since your image is a projection of how you feel.  If losing weight makes you feel better then go for it.  If you feel better you put more care into your personal appearance, you’ll have a more positive mindset and make better decisions.  Your energy and influence also improve which will help you be successful in many areas of your life.

Businesses whether big or small set goals for the new calendar year too. Planning product and service launches, new marketing strategies, brand awareness campaigns,  hiring,  team training and possibly downsizing are just some of the strategies considered.

So why do many businesses fail to achieve their desired results?  Why can’t you lose weight? You know the saying that Rome wasn’t built in a day should provide you the answer.  We start out so motivated but we lose faith quickly.  You can’t turn a business around in a few weeks or months and you can’t drop lots of weight in a few weeks either. Obviously, it depends on how much you want to lose.    

Our world of instant gratification is not helping. If we want something we can order it and it will be at our door the same or the next day.  If we seek information we can search the web for answers.  Instant food, instant delivery, instant information we want everything immediately.   

We are also losing our ability to focus and our attention span is now estimated to be seven seconds.  Our devices keep us constantly connected and we are becoming addicted to social media, multitasking and being busy. So with all this going on its easy to understand why we find it difficult to achieve our goals.

A little patience and focus on what you want to accomplish will go a long way.  To keep motivated think back to your last win.  Regardless of how far back you have to go, it’s enough to provide you a rush of feel-good hormones.  Do this as often as you have to in order to keep yourself on track. Celebrating small wins will also keep you motivated.  Remember baby steps and slow and steady wins the race.  Be patient and realistic.

 To learn, more please read my book “Image is Everything” available on Amazon.ca.

Stand out as a Leader

Okay, so you’re a leader you have the title but are you a true leader?  Do you have the presence of a leader? Do your employees follow you because of your position or because they believe in you and what you represent?

In reality, the leader is not always the most educated, smartest or the most experienced. Leadership is found in the intangibles, the things you can’t quantify.  They are passionate, consistent, professional and dependable. Leaders motivate, encourage and bring out the best in their teams. They can achieve great things because they know how to connect with people. They know there is something more important than their knowledge, track record or resume.

Effective leaders are seen and accepted because their interior skills and their exterior image are in perfect alignment. They manage their image or in other words how others perceive them. They know their behaviour, emotions and decision making are a result of their internal state which they monitor with great care.

If you want to be a leader in big business or you want to be the leader of your book club one thing is for sure.  You must look like a leader long before you actually become one. 

Leadership is inclusive. Anyone that wants to be a leader can be one it just takes practice. It all starts with a positive mindset along with the ability to recognize your emotions and manage them appropriately.

A positive internal state is reflected in your body language and voice tone.  If you have the right mindset your body and voice will reflect your positivity.  It works the other way too negative thinking, negative body language and voice tone.  Remember the body and mind are connected. 

To learn more, read my book “Image is Everything” – Science-based strategies for success that they don’t teach you in school available on Amazon.ca.

Be Aware- Always be Assessing and Adapting

We are exposed to various stimuli throughout the day.  What we sense, hear, see and smell we take in and interpret it in our own way.  Two people can take in the same stimuli and interpret it in totally different ways.  Because of how we think, our past experiences, biases, what we’ve learned and what we’ve been told defines how we organize the stimuli and make sense of it.

How we interpret our environment is significant because it influences our resulting behavior.  We interpret, we react and respond according to our thinking.  We also make decisions according to what we think.  Understanding how we interpret our environment exposes us to the fact that there is a big opportunity for error in our judgment.  Just because we think something doesn’t mean its true.  It’s true to us but we may be 100% wrong.

How we interpret our environment is one way we think inaccurately and another way is due to the Halo Effect.

Halo Effect- The halo effect is a psychology term that describes giving positive attributes to a person based on a first impression, whether or not they deserve those positive attributes.

The Halo Effect is real and something we engage in all the time. For example- When we meet someone and our first impression is positive we can transition this positive impression to some of their other attributes.   If we like them we assume they have the skills we need at our organization and hire them.  In hindsight, they may not, in fact, be a good fit.

How you think is powerful and it directly influences your decision making, behavior, results and happiness.  Just be aware that your interpretation of the world or how you see things and people may be incorrect.  The best way to manage this is to keep an open mind, be aware and be willing to adapt and change your thinking. 

Image is Everything!

Image – It’s an Inside Job!

Image is one of those words that is misunderstood.  It’s not just the meaning of the word that is misconstrued but also how it impacts all areas of our lives.

In simple terms, your image is how other people perceive you.  It’s what they sense, see or hear when they meet you.  Your image is projected on the phone, face to face,  video, pictures and in digital or written form. It’s not about a fancy suit, a trendy sense of style or a great smile.  Your appearance contributes to your image but it’s only one part. Many think their appearance or how they look makes up their image and so that’s where they focus their effort and attention.  This is a big mistake because there is so much more to consider when designing your image or personal brand than how you look.

You cannot mask the way you think and feel by dressing up or dressing to impress. Overcompensating on your appearance doesn’t hide bad attitudes, negative thinking or poor health.  Your appearance is a reflection of how you feel on the inside.  It is a reflection of your mental state. Your image is not created by how you look that is internalized resulting in how you think and feel  It’s actually the other way around and why I call Image an inside job.

If you are not getting enough sleep, your stressed out and not eating properly it becomes difficult to manage your emotions and maintain a  positive attitude.  Your decision making and behaviors also align with how you think and feel. Paying extra attention to your wardrobe or grooming cannot compensate or hide your internal state.  Your exterior is a reflection of how you are feeling on the inside. When in the company of others they can sense how you are feeling whether it’s on a conscious or subconscious level.  Remember what they sense from you will determine how they perceive you and how they react and respond to you.

If you want to come across in a positive way pay attention to “the inside. ” Take care of yourself physically and mentally and you will have the energy and inclination to take care of the outside which is your appearance, body language and voice tone. This way you will feel good, look good and project your best so you can be your best!

Remember “ Image is Everything”.  

Company Culture and your Business Image

Your business can’t project a positive image if your culture is in chaos.  Just like sales, your business image is a direct reflection of your culture.  It’s impossible to separate your culture from your image.  If you are not being perceived by your markets in a positive way then soliciting feedback from your teams may be a good place to start to try to figure out why?  It could be your people and not your products and services that are causing the problem.

It’s difficult to separate how your customers feel and how your employees feel.  One directly impacts the other. If your employees are not happy then neither will your clients and business partners.  Are you familiar with the term emotional contagion?

“Emotional contagion is the phenomenon of having one person’s emotions and related behaviours directly trigger similar emotions and behaviours in other people. Emotions can be shared across individuals in many different ways both implicitly or explicitly.” 

It’s hard enough to manage a profitable business so the last thing you need is something like your internal culture to sabotage your efforts especially since it’s fixable. It can be as simple as asking employees for their feedback.  Learning how they feel about the company and their role within the organization can be very enlightening.  You may not be able to provide them everything they want but making the effort to accommodate them and for them to feel valued and listened to is a good start.  Implementing small changes may be enough to turn attitudes and feelings around.

With improvements to your culture will come improvements to your business image.  If these changes aren’t significant enough and you still have an organizational image problem then there is something else at play that is negatively impacting your customers. If that’s the case then it time to solicit feedback from your customers. 

Remember, Image is Everything!

Think More – Burn Calories?

When we want to lose a few pounds we usually increase our physical activity.  We may kick up our current routine or put ourselves on a new plan to take off the added weight.  It could be walking, cycling or the gym whatever is less painful and hopefully enjoyable. Along with the increase in physical activity we try to make healthier food choices. This makes logical sense and both will improve our physical and mental health.

When we think of burning calories we typically don’t think about our brain.  But our brain- unlike any other body party- runs exclusively on sugar or glucose, and strenuous cognitive activities require more glucose than simple ones.

So this brings up the obvious question. Do we burn more calories trying to solve a complex puzzle than we would sitting and watching T.V.? The answer to this question is yes. Ewan McNay’s study as published in Time states.

“You will, in fact, burn more energy during an intense cognitive test than you would be vegging out watching Oprah. But in the context of the average person’s overall energy expenditure, the difference in calorie burn from one mental task to another is a tiny amount.”

So burning more calories while using our cognitive or thinking brain sounded pretty good but unfortunately the increase in calorie burn is minimal. 

The brain is actually a big energy burner in the grand scheme of things. It has the constant job of sustaining our alertness, monitoring the environment for our safety while managing many other mental activities.

The Brain takes up about 20% or 300 calories of a resting body’s 1300 calories a day. So our brain requires a lot of fuel daily just for managing our safety and other mental activities. If we do engage in strenuous mental activities the incremental change is only 20 to 50 calories.

Although thinking more won’t make us thinner or allow us to eat more it still makes sense to use our brainpower.

Reading, thinking and planning are still great activities required to live a healthy balanced life. 

Remember “Image is Everything”.

Why Investing in your employees is critical

Studies show only 32% of employees are engaged at work.

While this is much lower than you’d expect or hope, there are ways to increase your odds.

One of the best ways to improve employee engagement is to invest in their personal development.  If you’re a small business or a large corporation investing in your employees makes sense for many reasons.

As stated in an article by Forbes,

“Employee engagement is the level of commitment, passion and loyalty a worker has toward their work and company. The more engaged an employee is, the more work they’ll put forth.”

We need our employees to work yet we can’t force workplace engagement. It has to be ingrained into your business and resonate with each employee.  If employee engagement increases so do your productivity and margins. 

One reason to invest in their skill development is because your employees represent your brand or image. Your employees that directly interact with your customers represent the company brand and either support your image or negatively impact it. 

Have you heard of the halo effect?  It’s what a customer thinks or feels about your employee is transitioned onto what you sell. 

Good Employees- Good feelings- good products and services = Sales!

In study after study it shows training is one of the best ways to increase your employees’ engagement. If the training serves them as well as the organization it’s a win-win.  The employee feels you care about their development and success and the organization benefits from improved skills and engagement.

Helping your employees improve their skills and talents will benefit your organization on many levels.

Soft Skills should be called LIFE SKILLS

There is nothing soft about soft skills.  They are the most powerful skills you can master.

Soft skills can be learned but they’re difficult to measure and they usually aren’t found on a resume. They include traits like good listener, polite or good communicator.

Hard skills are also teachable but they can be measured. Things such as writing, math, etc. are hard skills and are typically taught in school.  They appear on job postings as required skills. You either have them or you don’t.

We tend to forget about our soft skills and focus on stacking our resume with diplomas, certifications and degrees. The challenge is that hard skills look great on a resume and can get you an interview but it’s your soft skills that will get you the job.

David Deming has conducted many studies on the differences between soft and hard skills and one such study found the following:

  • 15% of technical skills (another name for hard skills) will get you a job, help you keep your job, and advance you in a job.
  • 85% of job success is connected to your personal or soft skills

Harvard University, Carnegie Foundation and the Stanford Foundation have also conducted many studies on these skills.

They found that the jobs in the future paying the big bucks will require good soft skills and the jobs requiring these same soft skills are increasing in numbers.

They don’t say why they are increasing but my guess is that mobile devices and technology are challenging our soft skills. The importance of our manners, face to face conversations and social skills are not being learned and practiced like before. Why talk to someone when you can text them? Isn’t this what most of us do now?

Why focus your time, attention and money on only 15% of your job or career success?  It doesn’t make sense to disregard 85% of what matters to your future and career. Prepare yourself with the skills you need and differentiate yourself from the crowd.

That’s why I refer to soft skills as life skills. 

They not only improve your chances of getting and keeping a job but they are also required to run a successful business, lead a team and much more.

Remember “Image is Everything”.

Educators can be Game Changers!

Can you recall a positive memory of a teacher? Many of us enjoyed the support that a special teacher provided us. They may have have been responsible for changing the course of our lives.

Teachers can influence us in both good and bad ways but we tend to blame them for more than we should. It’s easy to hold them responsible for our poor self-image but the truth is our self-image is set by the time we’re five years old.

What is self- image?

Self-image is the personal view, or mental picture, that we have of our selves. It’s our “internal dictionary” that describes the characteristics that we believe we have. It’s a framework we establish when we’re young and live our lives according to these beliefs about ourselves. It’s what we believe to be true about us.

So if we settle on who we believe we are by the age of five then its really our parents, family members, daycare providers and other authoritarian figures that spent time with us as children that contributed to our self-image. You may have heard the expression that children are sponges and as it turns out they are. They take in what others say and absorb it as truth. They don’t have a filter to screen what is true and what isn’t. They can’t decipher between reality and opinion so as adults it’s our responsibility to control what we say. I know this isn’t easy but it’s necessary for the health and future wellness of our youth.

If it’s not teachers that create the framework of our lives or self-image then you must be wondering why I call them “game-changers.” The reason I say this is because teachers have the opportunity to explain to their students what their self-image is and how it directs their lives. I know these conversations don’t typically happen in our schools but wouldn’t it be great if they did? We are what we believe ourselves to be unless we actively challenge our concepts of self and make changes in our beliefs for the better. This is not my opinion but it has been proven to be true and it’s human nature.

I realize teachers don’t want or need the responsibility of correcting parental mistakes. I am suggesting they have the platform and opportunity to change their students’ lives for the better simply by encouraging their students to self assess their beliefs, to challenge them and correct them if required.

Remember… Image is Everything.