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Last week I talked about giving your folks a great start in your organization. So what about the other side – when people leave? I know, I know … sometimes you just want to part ways and minimize the pain.

But the truth is that there are still implications even after they’re gone. Perhaps they’ll refer your next great customer or employee. They’ll probably be talking about their experience to friends and associates.

So it’s in your best interest to have a good breakup. People do move on, after all, and it doesn’t always mean you’re a bad person.

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How much do you actually design the experience for the new person on your team? I ask, because so much of that person’s attitude is going to be formed by what happens on that first day.

Imagine that you’re going into a store that you’ve never seen before. You heard some positive things, so decided to check it out on a whim.

You’ll know within the first two minutes whether this is going to be a place you’d like to come back to. The layout. How attractive the products are. Whether someone welcomes you. Even the smells and sounds.

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Our society is all about working hard, achieving, and getting results. As a result, the business environment can be quite cruel towards employees.

As the leader, you’re tempted to just let people work themselves into the ground – it’s their own decision, right?

But you’re the one who sets the culture for your organization. And you know it’s poor reasoning to let your people burn out. So what do you do?

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I’ve had several opportunities open up recently, all while I’m trying to make sure I don’t get over-obligated by signing up for too much. It’s a common problem for many of us these days – we’re all so busy and distracted.

But there’s a way through these kinds of decisions, based on my goals and my values. Some things align, and others don’t.

Of course I also look at the long term implications of what I say yes to. Some things are simple, and don’t require an ongoing obligation or a lot of effort. I can say yes if I have some time and it looks like it aligns.

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Sometimes it’s right to change your approach, even if you’ve done it the same way for ten years.We shouldn’t always assume that what used to work will still be the best.

It’s a challenge, of course. You could also be flip-flopping around trying new things every week, confusing the heck out of your employees and customers. So what’s the right balance?

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By now you’ve probably heard the term “quiet quitting.” It describes an employee who’s just putting in the time and doing the bare minimum.

It’s not a new concept, though. I’ve known many disengaged employees (or volunteers or partners) over the course of my career. So I’m not sure if the number has increased.

Or maybe we just created a term for it.

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In March 2020, the world started falling apart for everyone. We didn’t realize it immediately, but a week of shutdown turned into a month, then into a year and more. Most of us haven’t returned to the “normal” of 2019 and probably never will.

Sometimes you plan to change, and sometimes it’s thrust upon you with no warning.

I find it remarkable how well we’ve survived so far. Sure, we had tremendous inconvenience and quite a few businesses and organizations were forced to shut down. Industries were brought to a halt.

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It seems like we’re immersed in noise these days. Audible sounds, sure, but also advertising and media and news and arguments and ….

Here’s the question: Are you adding to it as a leader?

People aren’t productive in noisy environments, unless they’ve found ways to mentally shut it out. That’s why many wear earbuds, or have “focus time”, or crave time away from meetings.

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I was talking with someone today who doesn’t have more money they can give employees – they’re stretched financially. So the question becomes: How can we motivate our employees?

This is a very common trap that people fall into. But if you think about it, you know that money isn’t everything. It’s part of a complex mix of factors which can be different for each individual.

But before we get to that, it’s critical to first answer: Does each employee feel that they’re being paid a fair living wage? For many (most?) hourly workers, the answer can be no. In which case, getting to fair compensation must be your first priority. Without that, you’ll be battling employee turnover until your business ultimately fails.

So now let’s get to those who ARE being paid decently. What motivates them?

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