Finding Balance

balance

Do you have those days where you’d like to stay under the covers and just not face the office? We all do. The key is finding that balance where those days are few and far between. The same goes for those people we manage.

Are your employees giving their best self on “most” days? If not, you need to figure out what is out of balance. Are they overwhelmed? Are they bored? Either is just as big a problem as the other.

You need to help find focus. Sometimes when we dump more and more ideas and projects into the mix, it becomes hard to make any of them a success. Some people need help in narrowing down what is important. Having defined tasks is a comfort and it allows them to concentrate on achieving a specific goal. Others thrive on a challenge.

Are you constantly saying yes to everything? Sometimes you need to say no. Not taking on additional projects when you are already under stress is ok. You have to be gentle with you. Saying no leads to better yes’s down the road.

Finally, we all need an attitude adjustment at times. What happens when we let someone else effect our attitude? It normally only takes seconds for that to happen. You’ve got to remember that you get to choose how you respond.

When you take time to choose your team wisely and choose your focus, you’re setting yourself up for success. Balance comes from spending more minutes with people who make you feel better and less with those who don’t.

Measuring Success With Analytics

analytics

There are so many free tools available for communicators that provide them with specific measures of success. But you need to choose the right tool for you.

Tools are available if you want to measure what your company cares about – like page content or responsiveness. You can measure the open rate of your newsletter. You can measure whether a call to action actually resulted in an action.

Most of the tools are very easy to understand. Don’t try to measure 20 things at one time. I recommend you choose 3 things to measure to begin with. And be prepared to measure consistently over a period of time. You’ve got to build trends to get a good picture of what is happening.

Let’s start with Google Analytics.

You can use this to see who visited your pages. You can see how they got to you (did they come from Facebook, Pinterest, or your newsletter). You can see what information they value the most. You can see what all caught their attention after they were on your pages. You can also see how long they stayed on your pages.

Next you have Social Analytics.

Facebook Insights allows you to track how your network is growing. You can see if there are particular types of posts that perform better than others. You can see how long visitors view your videos. Tracking reaches allows you to see how your message travels. Most importantly, you can tell from the likes and shares if you have an engaged audience. You can also track other businesses similar to yours and see how they are performing – this allows you to see what their customers are responding to and adjust accordingly.

Twitter analytics works basically the same way. There are 3 top reports to watch- tweet impression, mentions, and those linking to you. Like Facebook, you can also track which posts get the most traction and you can see who is sharing your content.

Finally, you have email analytics. This is especially easy to track if you use a mail provider like Mail Chimp. You can see if your subscription rate is growing. You can see if certain subject lines get more opens or if certain times are better to send. You can track layouts and see if different ones lead to more opens. There’s also a function that allows you to track whether a reader took action (clicked links, filled out forms, etc..) as well.

Generational dynamics are changing the workplace

 

generations

Chain of command. A hierarchy. Organization charts. Are all of these terms a thing of the past in the workplace? According to Seth Mattison with Future Sight Labs, the new generation of workers see the office in a very different way.

If you’ve been in the workplace for over 15 years, you probably follow a set of unwritten rules. Keep your head down. The higher ups set the direction. You are rewarded for following. If you work hard and keep your mouth shut, you’ll be rewarded. You view the workplace as a world of scarcity – there’s limited spots to move up, so you keep everything to yourself and don’t tell anyone else what you know. That gives you security and power.

You also feel the worlds don’t mix. Separate parking for the higher ups. You don’t co-mingle at break. You never go above anyone head.

Mattison says the next generation of workers see this very differently. It’s more of a network. It’s all interconnected – a web of people and talent. This group came of age where everything is connected. It’s constantly changing.

So how did this change occur? It started at home. There is no head of the household anymore. The parent child relationship has become one of friend versus authority figure. The child often feels like they know more about topics than the parent. Think of all the children who are now the “chief technical officer” in their home. The authority figure has been replaced by a peer. They aren’t taught to respect their elders, nor do they look for them for guidance and learning. YouTube has replaced the dad who shows the son how to change a tire or oil. They have learned they can teach themselves.

This whole philosophy is carrying over into the workplace. It is reshaping the view of the authority figure or boss.

The free flow of information is a requirement now. This generation values access and visibility. Truth and transparency have become the traits they desire in the corporate structure. There’s also the sense that authenticity is paramount. What is said has to match what they feel. You have to show them the “why” we do what we do.

Don’t be surprised is this group questions every sacred cow your organization holds dear. There is no untouchable process, person or idea. The boss can no longer sit behind the desk in isolation.

There’s a battle waging, Mattison said. There is a great divide in how both set of workers function in today’s workplace. It’s going to take some open discussion to find a way for both mindsets to function effectively moving forward. The old unwritten rules are going to have to change. Open communication from all levels is a must. It’s no longer going to be “pay your dues and earn your seat at the table.”  The new generation of workers have already picked their seat and are waiting on you to bring a fresh set of ideas to the game.