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The good and the bad news for Connecticut business

 

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The good news for Connecticut businesses is, the recession is easing.  The bad news is, people who have stayed in their jobs throughout the bad economy due to economic fears of losing their incomes and not being able to support their families, and those that felt they were maltreated during the recession, are polishing up their resumes.  Some experts believe that up to 80% of American workers are thinking about or are actually seeking new jobs.  The negative impact to many companies may be considerable.  From what we have seen in the past six months, employers have begun to implement programs to retain some of their most talented and key employees, including executives, managers, future leader and those who work on the front lines.

As turnover is rapidly increasing, many employers are preparing for additional employee turnover in the coming year.  Once employers recognize that if key employee retention is a problem, even with an unemployment rate still hovering at 8%, the situation will intensify when more jobs become available in the marketplace as the economy continues to improve.  Astute employers will implement those actions necessary to retain their key talent.

According to a survey completed OI Partners in Hartford:

  • 90% of employers are concerned about turnover of high-potential employees
  • 72% are concerned about losing sales and service employees
  • 60% worry about middle-management turnover
  • 45% are concerned about losing their senior level executives

Workers with the highest rates of turnover include operations and production workers, sales and marketing personnel, accounting and finance staff and information services.

Companies need to implement training programs, business coaching, enhanced benefits, financial incentives and well thought out succession plans, sooner rather than later to retain their top talent.

For those companies that will be filling vacated positions, it will be even more imperative that they hire “the right people for the right jobs” so that new employees’ cultural fit and learning curves will be greatly enhanced.

Don't let your organization's workforce become your competitors' "catch of the day."  Be prepared, don’t let this inevitable scenario erode your bottom line.

 view-our-press-release

 

 

Gratitude FROM client and TOWARD client-Business Coaching to the next level.

 

We, as business coaches and mentors always need to remember that we often find ourselves having to be much more.  It is too easy to forget, especially when implementing a proven methodology and/or process, that in order to be a  great coach and mentor, we always need to make sure that the bi-product deliverales-CONFIDENCE-MOTIVATION-INSPIRARTION are always delivered...not just in every meeting, but in every minute of every meeting. 

A client just sent me this casual email that served as an awesome reminder to me:

Subject: Thanks

"Just wanted to thank you again not only for lunch yesterday, but for all the help and support you have given me up to this point."

"While I am grateful for The Birch Group's help as a whole, and the institutional support they offer in support of you...the real value is in your company/individual expertise, passion and guidance."

 "If you ever need a favor, professional or otherwise, please don't hesitate to ask."

"Now that I'm stabilized and nearly 'tooled and ready', I'm looking forward to working with you in a different capacity moving forward.  Thanks again."

JW [CLIENT]

 

The Five Essential Elements of WELLBEING and Worforce Development

 

The Five Essential Elements

According to a new book, Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, released by Tom Rath, a NY Times bestselling author and Jim Harter, there are five essential elements of life that transcend countries, faiths and cultures.  Rath and Harter completed a study of more than 150 countries whose combined populations account for over 98% of the world's population.

Their study discovered what many of us business and career coaches already know, that much of what we think will improve our wellbeing is either misguided or just plain wrong.  They write: "Contrary to what many believe, wellbeing isn't just about being seemingly happy, nor is it about being wealthy and successful.  And, it's certainly not limited to physical health and wellness.  In fact, focusing on any of these elements in isolation could drive us to feelings of frustration and even failure."

The Five Elements are:

  • Career Wellbeing: How you occupy your time/enjoying what you do each day
  • Social Wellbeing: The quality of relationships and love in your life
  • Financial Wellbeing:  Managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
  • Physical Wellbeing: Good health and enough energy to get things done on a daily basis
  • Community Wellbeing: Engagement and involvement in the community where you live

Acting on these elements will enable you to enjoy each day and get more out of your life, while boosting the wellbeing of friends, family members, colleagues and others in your community.

These elements are also important to your organization, as when they are in balance, your  employees will be more engaged, healthier and much more productive.  When the leaders in your organization embrace the importance of these key elements, they create a more engaging place to work, resulting in greater returns for the organization.  When leaders ignore or dismiss these elements, they risk eroding the confidence of those that follow them and can severely limit their organization's ability to grow.

Strong leaders understand that each workers wellbeing and those of their family is largely dependent on their ability to lead and manage effectively.  When managers and leaders invest in their employee's well being, they foster a culture of communications and trust, thus creating a more efficient and higher performing organization.

Remember, an employee's effectiveness and level of engagement is typically a direct reflection of their relationship with their immediate supervisor.  When employees were questioned as to "whether or not their leadership cared about them as a person", the findings indicate that those that agreed to this statement :

  • are more likely to be top performers
  • produce higher quality work
  • are less likely to be sick
  • are less likely to change jobs
  • are less likely to get injured on the job

The most progressive leaders not only understand that they are in the business of boosting their employee's wellbeing, but they also use this knowledge as a competitive advantage to recruit and retain top employees.  Attracting top talent is easier if they can show a prospective employee how working for the organization  will translate into better relationships, more financial security, improved physical health, and more involvement in the community.  Just as the most successful organizations have worked systematically to optimize their levels of employee engagement, they are now paying much closer attention to employee wellbeing as a way to gain emotional, financial and competitive advantage.

Behaviors and Motivators Statistical Study

 

 

John BirchCPBACPVABehaviors and Motivators Statistical Study
Hartford High School’s Academy of Engineering and Green Technology
January 2012

OVERALL:            Starting during the fall of 2010 and running through February 2011, The Birch Group, LLC and Target Training International, LTD, donated a combined DISC and Workplace Motivators on-line assessment, including associated DISC Team building training, to all of the students enrolled in Hartford High School’s Academy of Engineering and Green Technology.  The value of this donation was approximately $78,000.00.  The Birch Group worked with Hartford High School to create a process where students could go on-line and complete their own individual assessments.  The Birch Group then printed the assessments, organized by grade and presented them to the students in a series of seminars held at Hartford High School.   It should be noted that this is the first time that an entire student body was offered this program/opportunity.  In total, 263 out of a possible 368 (71%) students elected to participate in this program/opportunity.

Participants vs. Entire 2010-11 Student Body

Grade

Participants

Total Students

Percentage

10

112

130

86%

11

72

130

55%

12

79

108

73%

Total:

263

368

71%


BEHAVIORS:       Initial analysis indicates that the behavioral profiles are significantly different from national averages compiled over years of substantial data capture and analysis.  The following tables exhibit behavioral styles by grade and the total student population that participated.

The following table explains the four basic behavior Styles:

D I S C  TENDENCIES

“D” – Dominant

To Dominate

“I” – Influencer

To Influence

“S” – Steady Relater

To Serve

“C” – Cautious/ Concise

To Comply with Standards

 

DISC Behavioral Profile Breakdown for Student Participants (December – 2011)

Behaviors

Dominant

Influencer

Steady Relator

Cautious/Concise

Total

Natural

Adapted

Natural

Adapted

Natural

Adapted

Natural

Adapted

Natural

Adapted

Grade Ten (10)

43

30

20

38

23

23

26

21

112

112

% of Total

38%

27%

18%

34%

21%

21%

23%

19%

100%

100%

Grade Eleven (11)

19

18

17

25

19

16

17

13

72

72

% of Total

26%

25%

24%

35%

26%

22%

24%

18%

100%

100%

Grade Twelve (12)

26

19

18

24

20

15

15

21

79

79

% of Total

33%

24%

23%

30%

25%

19%

19%

27%

100%

100%

National Average

19%

N/A

32%

N/A

35%

N/A

14%

N/A

N/A

Variance

14%

N/A

-9%

N/A

-10%

N/A

5%

N/A

                               


The most notable variance amongst behavior styles compared to national norms was among the high Dominant, “D,” behavior style, which registered 14 points higher than national averages, indicating that 33% of the Academy of Engineering and Green Technology’s study participants are bold, aggressive, results oriented and are high risk takers.  These individuals strive to be leaders as the primary psychological need of the high “D’s” are to control and dominate.  The importance of this finding, as it relates to an educational setting, is that the high “D’s” are restless, impatient and find it difficult to pay attention for long periods of time, especially if they perceive the subject matter to be boring.   However, if the high “D” student becomes interested in the subject matter and the proper learning environment is created for them, they can become hyper-focused and will work diligently to achieve the objectives that they have set for themselves.  The “D’s” have strong egos and are extremely averse to losing.  They love to win, often at their own detriment.  The good news is that police, fire departments, corporate boardrooms and entrepreneurial enterprises are heavily populated with “D” behavior styles.

One hypothesis regarding this statistical abnormality is that inner-city students begin developing “D” behavior styles at a young age to cope with the hardships and violence that they are faced with daily.  Further research at other inner-city high schools may shed additional light on the development of the high “D’s.”  Although other city schools have been approached to continue this study, most principals are reluctant due to the time demands of trying to get their students on par with suburban schools.

The Influencers “I’s” represent 21% of the study participants compared to the national norm of 32%, possibly reflecting the high “I’s” not enrolling in an engineering program as it requires a significant amount of study and effort with relatively less time for socializing.

Another interesting variance relates to the number of Steady Relaters, “S,” 24% of study participants, relative to the national norm.  The “S” typically represents 35% of Americans and characterizes the backbone of American business and industry.  They are usually quiet, unassuming, born listeners and true team players, calling very little attention to themselves.  In short, those introverts can be a “teacher’s dream,” but often get lost in the typical classroom setting, particularly if the teacher is trying to get the more boisterous “D’s” to behave and/or focus.  The stereotypical engineer and technician are often an “S” behavioral style.  Teachers typically have either an “I” (Influencer) or “S” behavior style.  It appears that this phenomenon is the flip side to the large number of “D’s” at the Academy of Engineering and Green Technology, meaning that the high “S” behavior style may not be conducive to success in the harsh realities of an inner-city environment.

The Cautious/Concise (“C”) behaviors represent 22% of the study participants which is 8% higher than the 14% national norm.  An explanation could be that the engineering curriculum is perceived as being more difficult than other programs offered at Hartford High School, thus a larger number of the more serious students may be attracted to an engineering related program, a reverse form the high “I’s.”

Regarding adaptive “mask” styles, high “D” students in all grades appear to be heavily adapting to fit the culture at Hartford Academy of Engineering and Green Technology, largely moving towards the high “I” category in order to get along and get attention from school mates and teachers.  This movement has the potential to place additional stress on the students.  There is also some movement regarding adaptation amongst the students towards the high “C” behavioral style, more than likely as the result of the need towards increased study time and the need for considerably more preciseness and perfection in an engineering related program.

Values Motivators:

Individualistic: A passion to achieve position and to use that position to influence others.

Theoretical: A passion to discover systematize and ana­lyze; a search for knowledge.

Utilitarian: A passion to gain return on investment of time, resources and money.

Social: A passion to eliminate hate and conflict in the world and to assist others.

Traditional: A passion to pursue the higher meaning in life through a defined system of living.

Aesthetic: A passion to add balance and harmony in one’s own life and protect our natural resources.


Overall, the highest percentages of study participants showed Theoretical (30%) as their highest value/motivator, followed by Social (21%) and Individualistic (20%).  The lowest values/motivators were Aesthetic (1%) and Traditional (4%).  The study indicated that the highest second value/motivator point was Theoretical, at 21% then followed closely by Social and Individualistic both at 19%.

However it is apparent that each class is unique in what motivates them to perform.  The current senior class (Grade 11) is weighed heavily towards the Theoretical, with the other motivators dispersed somewhat.  The current Grade 11 students (Grade 10) have a higher cluster towards the Individualistic and the Theoretical motivators.  The high percentage of Theoretical, key to continued higher learning, could very well indicate that the current Grade 11 students could have a much higher degree of success in pursuing a college degree and finishing their programs.


The following charts display the values/motivators by grade:

 

Grade 10 (now Grade 11) has a much higher potential that the other grades relative to their individualism and their theoretical (thirst for knowledge) For both males and females that have Individualistic in their top three (3) values, we see a higher percentage of Juniors and Seniors with Individualistic influencing their purpose and direction in life. Aesthetics decrease from grade 10 to grade 12, most drastically in females moving from 56.5% to 27.8% in their senior year, possibly because as they prepare to graduate from high school, other values become more important in order for them to achieve success.

 

FEMALES

Grade/Motivator

Aesthetic

Individualistic

Grade 10

56.5%

37.0%

Grade 11

41.9%

45.2%

Grade 12

27.8%

61.1%

MALES

Grade/Motivator

Aesthetic

Individualistic

Grade 10

38.3%

64.1%

Grade 11

34.8%

50.0%

Grade 12

31.0%

71.8%


ENTREPRENEURS:                 Analysis indicates that the student body at Harford High School has 56 (21.3%) student participants that exhibit those behaviors “D” along with Individualistic and Utilitarian values/motivators in either the first or second positions, the strongest profiles for serial entrepreneurs.  Of the high “D” participants:

Future Entrepreneurs (High “D”)

Grade

Individualistic – 1st

Utilitarian – 1st

Utilitarian – 2nd

Individualistic – 2nd

Grade 10

10

6

3

5

Grade 11

5

4

4

2

Grade 12

2

6

5

6

Totals:

17

14

12

13

Grade

Both Individualistic and Utilitarian Combined

Grade 10

3

Grade 11

2

Grade 12

4

Total:

7

           


According to prior work done by Bill and Ron Bonnstetter, these findings may indicate that in Engineering and Technical curricula, these students may become bored easily.  Hartford High School may want to initiate a program similar to the Junior Achievement Program to prepare those students at an early age to pursue studies and careers geared towards entrepreneurialism.

This study should be continued in other inner-city schools.  However there are several obstacles that are difficult to overcome in getting inner-city schools to participate, including:

  • Time is of the essence in bringing standardized test scores on par with suburban high schools.
  • In an amphitheater setting, students become restless.  Therefore, DISC training for students does not work well with more than 50 students, demanding that for 300 students, the facilitator would need to run at least six (6) sessions.
  • Getting “drop-out” data is difficult, as there is considerable relocating in the inner-cities, meaning that student may say that they are going to other schools, but in all actuality are dropping-out.  Therefore, many schools have little or no “drop-out” data, and what they do have is extremely unreliable.

Conclusion:           Students that have participated in this study should be made acutely aware of the importance of the gift that was given to them.  Armed with information about themselves and others, they are now in a position to be able to adapt to various situations and people, understand the needs of other people, communicate with and interact more effectively with others and realize how people perceive them when they are just being themselves.  Teachers can play a large role in reinforcing the fact that behavioral modifications are a key element in goal attainment.

Previous studies show that the large majority of teachers have either a high “I” or high “S” or a combination of the two, strongly influenced by the high Theoretical motivators.  We have also found that many teachers teach to “what they are,” and are often attracted to students that are most like them behaviorally.

Schools by definition are designed to the high “S” and “C” behavioral styles, meaning that those with “S” and “C” behavior styles have the opportunity to flourish, particularly in engineering or STEM related learning environment.  We need to be able to recognize those with “D” and “I” behavior styles and make an effort to find a place for them in the classroom  and on learning related teams, if not, we are doing a disservice to over 54% of the population.  The educational system must understand that these students are talkative, daydream, are bored easily and have relatively short attention spans.  A strictly lecture driven classroom will not be the ideal environment for these students to thrive.

Significant data collection and analysis of both behaviors and motivators has been conducted by TTI and the Kean Foundation regarding college level engineering students.  Although testing needs to continue in other inner-city schools in order to establish a national base-line, if we can establish a correlation between high school and college students, we will be able to predict which students will most likely drop out of high school, which students are most likely to pursue a degree in engineering/STEM and which students are most likely to switch majors within the first two years of college.  To validate our initial findings at the high school level, school administrators will need to ensure that data regarding drop-outs are maintained and shared.

It is widely recognized that if the United States economy is going to thrive in the 21st Century, engineers and technologists will play a significant role.  Efforts must be enhanced to ensure that students of all behavioral and motivator styles become interested in pursuing educations and careers in the STEM disciplines, as each style has inherent talents or “gifts” that they bring to the table.

VALUES / MOTIVATORS BREAKDOWN

 

 

GRADE TWELVE (12)

 

Total

"D"

"I"

"S"

"C"

Totals

 

First

Second

First

Second

First

Second

First

Second

First

Second

 

Individualistic

3

12%

6

23%

6

33%

6

33%

3

15%

10

50%

2

20%

1

19%

14

23

 

Utilitarian

2

8%

8

31%

3

17%

4

22%

8

40%

3

15%

3

15%

0

16%

16

15

 

Traditional

2

8%

2

8%

2

11%

0

0%

0

0%

2

10%

0

4%

1

11%

4

5

 

Theoretical

4

15%

4

15%

1

6%

4

22%

2

10%

3

15%

6

30%

5

21%

13

16

 

Social

9

35%

4

15%

4

22%

4

22%

6

30%

2

10%

3

21%

4

19%

22

14

 

Aesthetic

6

23%

2

8%

2

11%

0

0%

1

5%

0

0%

1

1%

4

14%

10

6

 

Totals:

26

100%

26

100%

18

100%

18

100%

20

100%

20

100%

15

100%

15

100%

79

79

 

GRADE ELEVEN (11)

Total

"D"

"I"

"S"

"C"

Totals

First

Second

First

Second

First

Second

First

Second

First

Second

Individualistic

0

0%

2

11%

3

18%

2

12%

3

16%

2

11%

2

20%

4

19%

8

10

Utilitarian

5

26%

7

37%

1

6%

1

6%

2

11%

7

37%

3

15%

3

16%

11

18

Traditional

2

11%

3

16%

0

0%

3

18%

2

11%

2

11%

0

4%

0

11%

4

8

Theoretical

4

21%

3

16%

9

53%

3

18%

6

32%

2

11%

8

30%

5

21%

27

13

Social

4

21%

2

11%

1

6%

6

35%

3

16%

2

11%

2

21%

5

19%

10

15

Aesthetic

4

21%

2

11%

3

18%

2

12%

3

16%

4

21%

2

1%

0

14%

12

8

Totals:

19

100%

19

100%

17

100%

17

100%

19

100%

19

100%

17

100%

17

100%

72

72

GRADE TEN (10)

 

Total

"D"

"I"

"S"

"C"

Totals

 

First

Second

First

Second

First

Second

First

Second

First

Second

 

Individualistic

10

23%

4

9%

2

10%

2

10%

4

17%

5

22%

7

20%

3

19%

23

14

 

Utilitarian

6

14%

4

9%

1

5%

4

20%

3

13%

3

13%

2

15%

3

16%

12

14

 

Traditional

1

2%

4

9%

0

0%

3

15%

1

4%

3

13%

0

4%

3

11%

2

13

 

Theoretical

10

23%

10

23%

12

60%

6

30%

5

22%

4

17%

11

30%

7

21%

38

27

 

Social

11

26%

10

23%

4

20%

1

5%

6

26%

4

17%

5

21%

5

19%

26

20

 

Aesthetic

5

12%

11

26%

1

5%

4

20%

4

17%

4

17%

1

1%

5

14%

11

24

 

Totals:

43

100%

43

100%

20

100%

20

100%

23

100%

23

100%

26

100%

26

100%

112

112

 

                                         

 

MOTIVATORS “Lack of advancement negates professional development”-NOW I HAVE HEARD EVERYTHING

 

http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2011/june/061011employee_turnover.html


University of Iowa study finds employee training might actually increase turnover-

--“Lack of advancement opportunities negates benefits of professional development programs.”

Please follow the hyperlink to an article referring to a study from June 2011 at the University of Iowa.  Just when you thought you heard everything…  Although it is true that if an employee does not see any career advancement opportunities in the organization, and the market place for new employees changes dramatically from the buyer’s market it is today, then employees will start picking their heads up and testing the marketplace.  However in this marketplace, not many are looking to be the new person on the bottom rung in an organization. 

When the economy shifts, any training, development and learning that employees received will be remembered and appreciated and should create new opportunities in the existing organization which ideally lines up with the newly acquired skills and better developed employees.  
 

First of all, let us not forget that it was not employees who started the unbelievable lack of loyalty to their employers, it was the other was around.  Call it right sizing, off-shoring, outsourcing, laying off…whatever you want.  To me it is a lack of company loyalty and employees paying for bad business decisions made by employers.  One of the fantastic changes that is coming out of this development, the genx ers and a lousy economy is that diversity, learning and development are really becoming important components of our compensations plans.  This is fantastic. 


To say that people would leave because they have no career opportunities is not a stretch at all, as a matter of fact, it is so obvious I am not sure why we call it a “finding in a study”.  Aren’t the professional development programs designed to, among other things, provide new opportunities for growth within companies and organizations.


Furthermore, please let’s not forget that I can find studies that I would actually call “studies” that prove GenY ers are more motivated by learning and professional development that from Salary.  They still will need opportunity for growth of course.  That takes care of itself.  The motivated GenX ers, while they are seeking work and life balance, will develop and market their growing value propositions to the existing companies.  Employees who did not grow and develop and take advantage of company offerings will lose opportunity and attrition out.  Wallah-growth opportunities for fully developed genx ers who are familiar with and comfortable with their changing and growing value proposition.  Who benefits?  The company, the employees, the customers, the vendors and the shareholders.  Who loses? The companies that do not pay for learning and development and the employees too lazy to take advantage of these offerings.


It has been proven that professional development costs usually return something like 500% ROI.  I guess that is only if you do NOT work at University of Iowa.

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