Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Archive for December, 2011

Happy New Year!

Some of you may still be in “fried” mode after the holiday rush, celebrations, and obligations. Hopefully, you also enjoyed celebrating with family and/or friends. Next week starts a new year and an opportunity to take a new look at your hopes and goals, and plans and strategies. Every success to you as you review the past year, and plan for the new in 2012!

I’ll be back again and writing in a couple of weeks. Until then, my thanks for reading, warm regards, and wishes for a smooth transition to 2012.

Do exhausted employees reflect a lack of leadership strategy?

The following brief article was published in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, on November 29th. Thought I’d share it with you. What’s your experience with current trends relating to employee well-being?
Prioritize to Relieve Stressed Workers
by Donna Rawady

Overtired employees may be an understandable sign of the times. Yet prolonged exhaustion among employees could reflect a lack of strategy and/or a dysfunctional organizational culture that may threaten sustainable success.

When organizations downsized to meet economic challenges in recent years, many were left with a streamlined structure. As businesses experience a minimal or robust increase in sales, they may be finding themselves less than equipped to meet demands.

Other factors also increase stress on a workforce. Globalization generates new and threatening competitive challenges, and working across many time zones requires late hours and middle-of-the-night meetings. Telecommunications in the new millennium allows (and often requires) 24-hour accessibility.

As long as everyone understands the clear short-term and long-term vision, and sound business strategies are in place, most loyal employees will do whatever it takes — temporarily — to bridge the organization into better times. That is successful only as a short-term strategy. Long-term, it can lead to a decrease in morale.

Values that leaders strive to integrate into their organizations are contradicted when longer hours leave little time for family, community or spiritual activities that offer life balance.

I offer three simple strategies to these complex challenges. Stop, assess and re-prioritize your current initiatives. Establish your most immediate goals, and set future targets for remaining initiatives. Set and communicate a course that’s manageable.

It is tempting to dismiss these recommendations based on short-term productivity challenges. Yet these strategies will increase odds for sustainable profitability. Reintroduce and demonstrate the values that help people thrive. Thriving employees build thriving businesses.