April 2020 Blog

Blog – Empowering Your Employees to Build You Strong!

In my last article I discussed employers infrequently using the terms “we” as in team versus “us and them,” as in leaders vs. employees (Individual Contributors).

And, while I absolutely still believe that to be so, I do understand that there are times where leaders and individual contributors can use a different subset of tools to help build strong cultures in the workplace!

For example, for employees at all levels of the company (leaders and individual contributors) speaking up effectively when issues arise is a MUST in helping build and maintain strong cultures.  As noted in my book The Top Five Things to Consider when Filing an Employee Relations Complaint, when issues arise there are a minimal of five things one should consider:

  1. What’s really going on in my situation?
  2. Does this rise to a policy violation or illegal activity?
  3. How will filing a complaint affect me and my future career?
  4. What’s in it for me?
  5. Is this something I can resolve before making this a formal complaint?

Asking yourself these questions can help you sort out what the issue(s) may really be about and how to address them effectively.

Another critical tool that may help leaders address employee relations issues effectively to help build strong workplace cultures is Effective Communication; and Active Listening is one of many important criteria of effective communication:

Effective Active Listening Behaviors

  • Eye Contact
  • Paraphrasing for understanding
  • Be Open
  • Ask Questions
  • Empathize
  • Avoid defensiveness
  • Avoid engaging in arguing back and forth

Adopting these skills along with some others can certainly Empower Employees to help build strong workplace cultures, providing space for the Ultimate Employee Experience!!

Patrice Miller

DreamGoals Coaching LLC, Performance Management and Conflict Resolution Coach.

Order Your Copy here
Get your FREE 3-day video series HERE

Blog – November 2019

Empowering Your Employees to Build You Strong!!

Do you really want to build a strong SPEAK UP culture for your employees??  If you seriously do, READ ON — I can help!!

There are a couple of questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you supporting your employees in being comfortable with Speaking Up?
  • Are you providing your employees tool and resources other than your company’s compliance hotline, HR and/or EAP to help them Speak Up effectively?

Interestingly, I was talking to an attorney recently, and she asked me the title of my book, and I told her The Top Five Things to Consider Before Filing an Employee Relation complaint and How to File an Effective Complaint.

Her response was “oh that’s for the employees,” after I said it is for both leaders and employees, she then stated something similar to “do you really think employers want their employees to speak up?”  I had to pause for a moment – and thought “okay, I get it, but had hoped that employers had begun to seriously want to support and empower their employees to speak up to make their workplace a better place!”

This isn’t the first time, I had similar reactions to the title of this book from people before even reading the book; as if it was a tool for employees to use against their employer!!  I found that once someone read it, the response was overwhelmingly that was a good and helpful book!  I then thought I should have titled the book differently because it didn’t seem to reflect the helpful content for employees at all levels in companies.  

Somewhat baffled, even though I should not have been too baffled, being that I worked for large companies for many years in EEO and Employee Relations; nonetheless, I asked myself why would an employer not want to genuinely help their employees Speak Up within the workplace, and why is the initial reaction from leaders and individual contributors  — it’s an Us Against Them, similar to Labor Unions and Management.

I know I typically swim upstream, and in this case, I guess I still am.  It is my hope that we can reshape this reaction and workplace cultures of us against them to we as in team, in the workplace. 

If you are seriously wanting to build a strong SPEAK UP culture, don’t forget your leaders and individual contributors are teams; they are in this thing together, and to provide all of your employees with the tools and resources to ensure they can speak up effectively without having to file a formal or an official complaint. 

If you’re interested in checking out my book please click here

Patrice Miller, Author, MS, SHRM-CP, PHR-CA

DreamGoals Coaching – The Ultimate Employee Experience!!

Blog 1

Empowering Your Employees to Build You Strong!!

Based on my past 20+ years of experience in Human Resources and additional studies it is important now, more than ever, to build and maintain employee engagement and healthy workplaces or cultures.

With the “Me Too” movement, harassment (including sexual harassment) and discrimination claims on the rise, leaders as well as individual contributors need to be aware and informed of what these behaviors look like and how to address them.

Just as important, unresolved employee conflicts are wreaking havoc in some workplaces!  Employees at all levels in your organization should be equipped and empowered to identify and address workplace issues such as bullying and incivilities, which tend to be raised under a harassment claim.  The following link provides assessments for you to measure where you might be on the scale of potentially committing workplace bullying or workplace incivilities (assessments).  When recognizing these behaviors early on it’s easier to call it out and then put a STOP TO IT!!

It’s also good to have an idea on how to manage conflicts.  Some simple well-known tips that come from Stephen Covey’s 7 habits of highly effective people can help!   Be Proactive, Begin With The End in Mind, Put First Things First, Think Win Win, Seek First To Understand, Synergy, Sharpen The Saw.

Finally, it is always a must to know how to speak up about issues effectively!!  Which, you can find some good tips in the book I authored The Top Five Things to Consider Before Filing an Employee Relations complaint and How to File Effective Complaint.  (click here)

I’m confident once you start applying these tools you will see a difference.

P.S. I also have an online course on Empowering your Employees to Build You strong, that will build your culture to the Ultimate Employee Experience! For detailed information (click here)