Our 9 new learning workshops ‘bring learning to the heart of a business’ for 2020 challenges

We have created 9 new learning workshops to provide the right knowledge, attitudes, skills and habits that businesses need to survive and thrive in 2020.

The workshops are not only professionally designed to address the main challenges and concerns which businesses are currently facing, but they are also now available via a simple on-line booking process – a unique proposition in this sector, but one which recognises the importance of convenience for businesses who are already time-poor.

With themes such as ‘High Performing Teams’ ‘Communicating & Influencing’ and ‘Time Management’, these invaluable learning opportunities are hitting the big topics head-on and providing businesses with an armoury of skills to tackle their biggest frustrations and the biggest risks to their future.

Mental health and well-being also feature strongly in our new workshops; since this is something which affects 1 in 4 of us, the ability to ‘up-skill’ and develop ways to deal with pressure, time-management and relationships will be high on many agendas in 2020.

Introducing us to this new series of much-anticipated workshops, our M.D. Amanda Riddle, told us:

“We believe in bringing learning to the heart of your business and everything we do is focused around employees becoming the best they can be, as well as adding value to your business. I’m very excited to be launching these high impact learning workshops, which are the product of many years’ experience of recognising what really makes the difference. Especially at a time when employees more than ever before want to improve their personal skills and employers are truly investing in their people, as there is an unimaginable amount of pressure placed upon them. Brexit uncertainty is just one more thing which employers and their teams need to face, and face together. The greatest asset in any business is your people and recognising this during challenging times – and resisting the temptation to cut budgets on training, when finances are squeezed – is essential to survival and growth.”

And, referring to the accessibility of the workshops, made possible by our new, streamlined website she added:

“Wow what a great opportunity to offer our clients an e-commerce website which I hope they love as much as we do, it’s easy to access our services and book learning. We’ve taken away the time-consuming steps which can sometimes be the barrier to getting this kind of support and hopefully our clients will find it user-friendly.”

Take up for the 9 very timely learning workshops is expected to be high, so we will no doubt succeed in our objective of “Bringing learning to the heart of our client’s business”.

How can I get more work done in less time?

It’s a common problem that everyone faces – feeling that you have a hundred tasks to do and not enough time to get them done. By making some simple changes to the way you and your team works, you can all pull together and achieve your goals, without burning out in the process.

Here are some of our top tips for improving your time and self-management.

Prioritise your workload

A long list of tasks can be overwhelming. Break it down and look at the most important tasks first. These could be time-critical tasks that need completing quickly or tasks with tight deadlines – focus on those instead of tasks that you could complete later.

In a fast-paced world, you’re often asked to complete tasks ASAP. Don’t be afraid to ask for a more specific deadline – that’ll help you fit it in around your other priorities.

Don’t be afraid of asking for help

You and your colleagues are all in the same boat. If you’re finding that you’re becoming swamped by the pressures of others, delegating tasks out to the people around you can ease that burden.

Of course, that’s often easier said than done, but by distributing your workload evenly around the team, you can concentrate on the more pressing tasks and be reassured that the rest of your to-do list is in safe hands. You might even get some new ideas from your colleagues which will help you in the future.

Knowledge is power

Talking of learning from others, there are plenty of resources available to help you maximise your time and productivity. This could be a famous figure who you aspire to be, which can act as inspiration, or sharing best practices from the other members of the office.

Take a look at online videos about time management or consider reading up on the methods successful business owners used to grow their companies and manage their workloads.

To get you started, ‘Eat the Frog’ by Brian Tracy is one of our recommended reads if you’re looking for some great tips on time management.

The importance of looking ahead

Though it’s practically impossible to predict the future, careful planning helps you prepare for what might happen. For example, ask yourself what time you will have a certain task completed by and at what time will you need to ask for help.

Planning ahead is also essential for when colleagues are away on holiday or ill. Again, this can be where delegation also plays a role – make sure everyone in the office is aware and fully prepped for the absence and put together a plan of action for clearing those tasks.

Eliminate distractions

In any given hour, how much of that are you actually working? If you’re spending more time responding to emails or chatting, then you should look at addressing those.

We’re not saying your office should be completely silent like a library – discussions are healthy and can lead to fresh ideas – but it may be an idea to implement specific times of the day for complete focus and catch up on things like football or Game of Thrones afterwards.

Headphones can also help here – you can block out distractions from others and showing them that you’re ‘in the zone’ so to speak.

Training for your team

Here at Outlook Partnerships, we’re here to help your teams be the most productive they can be. We hope that we’ve given you some starting points about time and self-management here, though there’s bound to be others you can use in your own business.

Our Time & Self Management workshop will help you identify areas you and your team can improve when it comes to managing your time and learning how to voice your concerns if you need help. It will also enable your colleagues to take control of their work and consistently achieve the best possible results.

Find out more about our workshop by calling 0116 2374 588 or email amanda@outlookpartnerships.co.uk.

How to Improve Productivity in Your Employees

Managing a team of employees is one of the greatest challenges you’ll face as a business owner. Getting the most out of them is just as important.

Unmotivated employees or team members not working to their full potential has a direct impact on your business and it can be frustrating when this leads to negative business results. Here are some suggestions for maximising productivity in your employees.

Focus on Training & Development

Not providing your employees with the right training for the job can have significant implications. Budgets are always tight but having a set amount aside for personal development will lead to great results in the long-run.

Training can also give your employees new skills that they never knew they possessed, as well as helping them hone their existing ones. This means that they can give you their absolute best in the office or even potentially become managers later down the line, ensuring you retain that talent.

Offer Employee Incentives

Everyone loves a treat or reward to celebrate success and your employees are no different. When considering employee incentives, it’s important to consider personal tastes and preferences – after all, everyone is different.

There’s no limit to what you can offer as incentives. These can simply be sharing the success with the management team or customers on social media, through to a meal out at the end of the month or even bonuses and early finishes. All of which are effective ways of enhancing morale and offering encouragement.

Break down & distribute tasks across the team

It’s understandable that you want to keep control of your business and activities, but constantly checking every detail adds to your own workload and impacts on efficiency.

Distributing tasks out evenly to your team not only helps take the pressure off you but encourages trust and helps them to personally develop their own skills, rather than leaving the bulk of the work to any one person. Remember that age-old saying, “there’s no I in team”.

Teamwork & collaborative working

Talking of teamwork, employees often try to take on tasks themselves. When you do work effectively with others you do get things done quicker and still to a higher standard.

By encouraging teamwork and collaboration, your employees can gain a greater understanding of the task and as a result, complete the task efficiently by supporting one another. Collaborative working also helps enhance trust within your workforce and helps them build their confidence for later projects.

A positive culture is a winning culture

Having employees who enjoy their work and being in a positive environment is a key part of getting the most from their output. By creating a positive culture where everyone feels equally supported, you can then create a stronger team.

Implementing a company culture where everyone feels valued, respected, and able to discuss issues openly leads to employees who work harder because they want to, and because they’re able to tap into your ethos – hard work which translates into results.

One task at a time

Research shows that multitasking directly impacts on efficiency and productivity. It’s hard for employees to give their all to one task when they’re distracted by another on their second computer screen.

This is where planning and delegation once again come into their own. By working with your employees to understand what tasks they have on their lists, you can help them to break tasks down one by one and prevent them from being overwhelmed by their workload.

Take Action

There are many other ways you can enhance productivity in your workplace, but we hope that these ones have at least got you thinking about the steps you might want to take.

At Outlook Partnerships, we’re here to help you develop your business and employees. Our Motivation and Engaging workshop enables you to get an understanding of why employees might not be working to the best of their abilities and what you can do to support them. The workshop also shows you what you can do to encourage employees and give them the right motivation.

 

Take a look at our workshops or get in touch with us for more details.

Emotional Intelligence is not just a throwaway term, it’s a workplace ‘must have’

Emotional Intelligence is a topic within which we could fully immerse ourselves (and probably blow our minds). At Outlook Partnerships we are not only concerned about harnessing the power of Emotional Intelligence within the workplace, but how this can benefit the organisations with whom we work with.

To truly understand the potential power that EI presents, let’s cover some very basic facts…

What is the significance of EI?

Pre 1990, the most valued characteristic of employees was IQ and it was the basis upon which senior positions, partnerships and seats at the board were awarded. This system of merit did not always work out well for the corporations who applied it. Let’s face it, we have all had a boss at some point who was very clever but did not have the first idea about management or motivation. Emotional Intelligence is so much more than knowledge; it introduces the idea that personality is of more significance when it comes to success.

How could we describe EI?

Emotional Intelligence is all about how you manage yourself and your relationships. It’s about Self Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness and Relationship Management. There are a number of ‘learned competencies’ within EI which would make up a ‘wish list’ for forward thinking businesses out there. Skills such as ability to achieve, adaptability, emotional balance, aptitude for teamwork and the provision of leadership. Suffice to say that there are no characteristics within the EI skill lists which we wouldn’t, as HR Managers or Training Managers, welcome with very open arms.

Our 3 top tips to improve your emotional intelligence:

1. Build on your emotional vocabulary – Learn how to pay attention to the emotions of others and to emphasise, put yourself into someone else’s place, talk to them in a way that shows you understand their situation and how they feel.

2. Know yourself – The backbone of Emotional Intelligence is Self-Awareness, having a deep understanding of yourself, allows you to understand how you come across to others. To do this, take time to reflect on your thoughts, your emotions, what triggers you and your values. Make a conscious effort to do this at least once a day.

3. Seek feedback – An integral part of increasing your Emotional Intelligence is being able to take on-board feedback from others, even if this isn’t positive. Instead of getting frustrated or defensive, people with high Emotional Intelligence listen carefully to the critique, take the time to understand where this has come from, how this could be affecting others and how they can constructively improve or resolve this. The next time you receive critique from another colleague or a manager, follow these steps and you will notice the difference, not only in your own attitude but that of others around you.

Harnessing the power at the heart of your business

The potential to be gained by embedding key competencies within your individual employees and teams (and through every level of your organisation) is huge.

At Outlook Partnerships our mission is to bring learning to the heart of your business. We deliver results to businesses by developing their talent and creating exceptional leaders. Understanding the true value, power and impact of Emotional Intelligence is key to this – without our in-depth understanding of the subject, and the science behind the learning, we wouldn’t be able to achieve such positive results and create significant impact.

We have three learning workshops, that work hand in hand to provide your teams with the skills to reach their full emotional intelligence potential. These workshops are:

· Self-Leadership – The foundation to improving your Emotional Intelligence through managing your own outlook and reactions to situations.

· Motivating & Engaging Relationships – Learning how to create emotional relationships by understanding what motivates others.

· High Performing Teams – The backbone of any high performing team is consideration and awareness of other’s emotions. A team that responds to conflict or disagreements with a considered approach, instead of reacting on heightened emotions, is a team that will succeed.

If you would like to find out more, or to book onto any of these three workshops, please feel free to contact the team today.

Motivating & Engaging Relationships

Motivation and engagement are difficult issues to address, and if they aren’t tackled correctly, they can have a detrimental effect on your business. Maybe recently you have noticed an increase in staff turnover, absence through sickness, disciplinaries and customer complaints… If so, it could be because your staff aren’t feeling motivated or engaged within their role.

Less obvious signs might include a lack of respect or conflict amongst colleagues, managers or internal departments. Demotivation can lead to a lack of commitment to achieve results or deliver great service. In turn, this will see employees merely fulfilling their day to day duties, rather than going above and beyond what is expected of them.

We have put together some advice to help you spot the signs of demotivation, enabling the prevention of issues before they escalate.

Understanding the Cause

Focusing on how different individuals are motivated can benefit your team and business. It’s not necessarily what a business does that causes these issues, but how they make their employees feel during their time at work. By listening to what your employees want and need from you will help you to overcome these hurdles.

Feeling undervalued is often the root of the problem, but there could be many contributing factors to feeling this way. Having no career vision, not being valued, not being involved in business decisions that affect them, a lack of communication, a lack in development or career opportunities, feeling insecure and the biggest factor is the way they are managed by their direct leaders. In fact, belief in one’s leader is often cited as a major motivational factor in the workplace. Studies suggest that 70% of engagement comes from how employees feel about their direct manager, whereas only 30% of their motivation comes directly from their work.

Addressing these Signs

Understand what is important to your employees, build rapport and gain respect will enable you to address issues easier. To help meet the needs and expectations of your employees, you can ask for feedback on what is working well within the business and if there’s anything that needs to change to enable improvements. Not only will this create a happier environment, but it is also a great tool for adapting your management style, meeting individual requirements, inclusion and working effectively as one team.

Staying Motivated & Engaged

Employees can remain focused and motivated when treated with respect. By communicating and consulting with employees frequently, it will make them feel like they are adding value to the business. By receiving recognition for their contributions, employees will feel much happier with the desire to succeed. It’s important to remember that no individual is the same – take the time to talk to your employees and see what their future goals and ambitions are. You can then tailor a plan to suit them. A great way of implementing this is through monthly reviews or informal one-to-one chats and coaching sessions.

Need help?

Here at Outlook Partnerships we are experts in recognising how a lack of motivation and engagement can affect your business. P.E.O.P.L.E are our values and we believe in bringing learning to the heart of your business so people can become the best they can be. We have used the Strength Deployment Inventory® tool now for over 20 years, we believe that this is an amazing relationship tool to increase emotional intelligence and understanding of others. Our Motivating & Engaging Relationships Workshop is aimed at helping any employee to develop self-awareness of their own motivational values, their individual strengths and potential blindsides, as well as the ability to adapt their style. In turn, maintaining rapport, reducing conflict, communicating effectively and keeping staff engaged to increase productivity and bottom-line results.

Amanda has recently been interviewed on the topic of Motivation & Engagement in the workplace and the article has just been published. You can read this article here to find out more. If you would like to ask Amanda any further questions or to book a Training Review Meeting, to discuss how we can help you to improve your results then get in touch – we’re always happy to help!

Managing change in the workplace

Change can come in all shapes and forms and often leads to uncertainty, whether it be political, financial, or job security. The ambiguity that surrounds change can easily get out of hand and spread amongst your team members, in turn creating an unproductive and distracted team. As their employer, you will be the first person your team looks to for guidance, support and security during these times. To support your management of change and its difficulties we have highlighted some key topics below: –

Don’t leave people guessing

Change within a workplace can often create hearsay, equating to individual concerns. It is important as a leader to be extremely mindful of the observations made by the team, to understand how these can be neutralised and controlled. Honest and frequent communication is imperative, providing insight and clarity in uncertain circumstances. Empowering your employees’ and providing support whilst going through this time of change, strengthens your presence and respect amongst the team.

Let them know they’re not alone

As a leader it is important to deliver the compassion which employees need during times of change. A confident and transparent manager is able to portray care and concern whilst providing direction. The uncertainty that change brings can cause an emotional journey resulting in loss of sleep or increased stress. Employees will often compare themselves to others during these times, which can increase anxiety. Evaluating these mindsets will help you relate, and even share your own experiences with the team to show them they are not alone.

What can you do to help?

Try and put yourself in your employees’ shoes, you need to understand how they feel and get to the bottom of their concerns. A strong understanding of the attributes disrupting performance, and their attitudes will help provide insight to learn more about your employees. By adapting your leadership style, you are able to help employees stay on track. Organising 121 conversations can provide an opportunity for your employees to open up in a secure and safe environment. This will make your employees feel valued, forming a basis of trust.

Controlled change

Even small adjustments to a daily routine can help to reduce stress and support performance. By controlling the areas which can be controlled, enable you to help keep employees motivated and on track. You can offer support to accommodate flexibility, assistance with prioritisation of work and advise improvements to overcome distractions. Through focussing on understanding your team and the improvements you can make; you are able to maintain positive attitudes and keep your team grounded.

Look after yourself and others

Change in the workplace can cause a lot of stress amongst your team. The proven cures and productivity enhancers consist of three factors: sleep, nutrition and exercise. You should be encouraging your team members to look after themselves, this could be as simple as heading out on their lunch break, or spending lunch away from their desk. Although it isn’t your place to dictate what people do outside of work or in their lunch break, it is positive for you to give advice and it can really show them you care for their wellbeing.

Need help?

For more about managing change in the workplace then get in touch! Our Managing Change Workshop is designed for businesses who are going through a change and who need their change leaders to provide a clear direction, communicate effectively, motivate and engage with your employees, monitor progress and ensure that change is embedded. Our workshop will encourage your team to be focused, to feel calm, motivated and excited for change, instead of feeling anxious or worried. Click here to contact us.

Training the trainer and why it’s important

When it comes to training staff members, we often look to the most knowledgeable or senior member of staff to impart their knowledge to others. In house, on the job training can be cost effective, however if trainers do not have the necessary skills to deliver their knowledge to others, then training will be unsuccessful. For this reason, Train the Trainer workshops are becoming increasingly popular.

Don’t play the blame game

It’s easy to pass blame onto the trainer when results are not delivered. Yet how can an effective training session be expected, if the trainer doesn’t have the right support or skill set behind them to deliver? The assumption that everyone can deliver effective training just because they are knowledgeable in a certain area of expertise, is a common misconception. It is easy to forget these trainers will have no formal qualifications in delivering effective sessions, which can lead to human error and confusion. This as a result puts increasing pressure and stress on the trainer to ensure they get it right.

What it takes to be a successful trainer

If you want to become a successful trainer, or want an employee to become one, it is important to understand the fundamentals of being an effective trainer.

A professional trainer will plan and conduct your training session effectively, they will provide an inclusive training course, so all learners will thrive at their own pace. If someone is being trained at work, it’s important to encourage engagement. At the beginning of training session expectations need to be communicated, in terms of how the training will be delivered, what is expected from them, so it doesn’t affect anyone’s learning. During these learning sessions, a trainer should assess trainee’s regularly to ensure that they are learning and developing and aren’t sat confused. It is a good principle at the end of a session to gather feedback, review what has worked well and areas for improvements to ensure results are continued to be achieved.

What’s included on our train the trainer programme?

Our Train the Trainer Programme will deliver the People 1st Licensed Group Training Certificate which is internationally recognised to develop quality in-house trainers. A highly participative and informal programme, which encourages discussions, exercises and group work inwhich everyone can practise their new skills. The two formal assessments included will provide valuable feedback, to ensure trainers are confident in delivering their own sessions in line with People 1ststandards. The course is ideal to improve trainer’s ability in designing and delivering professional training by providing a structured to enable them to convey an inclusive learner led training session.

Final thoughts…

Remember, the ability to train properly can affect your business, which will determine your teams’ level of success. Our ‘Train the Trainer’ programme will create training courses aligned to your business strategy. If you want further support or information on this course then get in touch!

Increase productivity, reduce staff turnover & prepare employees for change with these 3 steps!

Struggling to motivate your teams? Spending too much time reducing employee conflicts? Or perhaps your workplace is going through a period of change and it’s making staff retention a difficult task…

As a learning specialist, the successful growth and improvement of the teams you’re responsible for is paramount to your success. So we’ve been looking at the different ways in which businesses can prepare their teams for the future; whether that’s helping them to cope with change and uncertainty, or increasing their motivation.

Ensure your teams are suitably prepared for the future with these 3 steps…

STEP ONE: Increase engagement & motivation among your team

Struggling with a lack of productivity in your teams? Unmotivated employees or team members not working to their full potential has a direct impact on your business, because their productivity will decrease. It can be frustrating when this happens as it can lead to negative business results.

On the flipside, happy employees who feel valued are a real asset to any organisation. There are a number of ways you can effectively engage employees to be passionate about their work and the future goals of the business:

· Offer employee incentives– from sharing an employee’s success with the whole workforce, to bonus schemes; rewarding employees for work well done is an effective way to boost their motivation.

· Encourage teamwork & collaborative working – working with others can build trust among colleagues and build an employee’s confidence.

· Focus on training & development– this will show employees that the business is invested in their future; whilst upskilling them to prepare for their future role within the business.

We’ve explained this further (and provided even more tips!) in our blog post ‘How to improve productivity in your employees’.

STEP TWO: Manage change carefully

Change in an organisation can bring many headaches and frustrations such as a high turnover of staff. There can be a number of issues which create change within a workplace. Whether it’s changes in management and feeling there’s a shift in dynamics, or a feeling of uncertainty in the economy due to Brexit; it’s vital to ensure employees know how to handle change.

What can you do to help your employees manage change? Firstly, you need to have a plan. Start by identifying what changes are due to take place and clearly articulate which areas and more importantly, who will be affected.

You can then focus on what support employees might need in times of change. The best way to ensure they know how to handle change is to train them on:

· Recognising change

· Adapting to change

· Coping with the emotional journey change can bring

· Maintaining good communication levels throughout change

By making sure your employees can confidently handle change, they will be ready for whatever is in store for the future of the business.

STEP THREE: Build & develop successful teams

Is your precious time being eaten up by reducing conflicts between employees? When employees don’t work together to form a cohesive team, it can cause disruption to not only employees, but to your working day.

By following steps one and two, you’re already halfway to building and developing successful teams, that will be prepared for the future of the business. But what can you do to ensure everyone in the business is aligned to work together and create a high performing team?

The answer: Train employees to work as an effective team!

We provide a workshop that equips employees with the tools and techniques required to build and develop successful teams. From learning how to reduce conflict and work together to achieve the goals of the business, discover more here.

Final thoughts…

If you’d like further support with preparing your teams for the future, we provide three learning workshops that can support your teams with each of the above steps.

· Motivating & Engaging

· Managing Change in the Workplace

· Building & Developing Successful Teams

Starting from just £225 per person, these workshops have been proven to achieve results for your business. Our expert trainers will deliver the workshops in a venue of your choice, for up to 12 employees.

Register your interest or book your workshop today!

5 Ways to Communicate Effectively in the Workplace

Communication is key in any workplace and most individuals complain that there is never enough communication. Good communication is what separates a great influencer from a poor one. If your audience fully understands what you’re communicating then it will eliminate potential downfalls and misunderstandings thus creating a happy, healthy and peaceful work environment.

But how do you know if you’re communicating effectively? Well, below we have highlighted some key points to get you on the right track…

1. Have a Two-Way Conversation

An email might seem less scary to send, but there’s always the chance of it being missed or the message getting lost in translation. Remember that people might read your email in a different tone, so what you think might be a joke can sometimes be misread. By having a two-way conversation either face to face or just by picking up the phone you will be able to convey the subject matter clearly and with ease. In our workshop we will examine the different communication channels that work best for you and others.

2. Encourage Discussions As an effective communicator you need to ensure that your audience is comfortable with communicating openly. Their opinions matter and when people are asked to give feedback, they feel valued. Open meetings and one on ones can improve confidence for people to speak up, get involved and contribute. This is something we cover in our ‘Communicating & Influencing with Impact’ workshop as we look at how to build effective rapport and how to develop a coaching structure for effective communication.

3. Positive Body Language It’s important to be aware of your own body language at work. You should communicate with a positive physical presence, such as maintaining eye contact, confident stance, being open and have a good balance between asking questions and listening attentively. If you want to increase your own self-confidence when communicating or learn how to motivate, engage and influence others, then our workshop can teach you all the do’s and don’ts.

4. Keep it Simple with Powerful Visuals There’s nothing worse than communication full of jargon, that loses your audience’s attention. You need to be aware of what you’re wanting to achieve and the background of your audience. If you want to leave a lasting memory then powerful visuals can play a role, a picture paints a thousand words. They don’t have to be complicated and often keeping things simple can be more powerful. A lot of people respond better to visual information, so keep this in mind when communicating to groups of people.

5. Points of Action

Great communication isn’t just the exchange of information. Great communication is the ability to influence others to think, feel or behave differently. End your communication with clarity of what you would like to happen next, consider how everyone in your audience can make a difference and be clear about expected timeframes of when things need to be done by. Following up on agreed actions are also important, so everyone knows you will deliver what is promised and there will be a discussion on anything that hasn’t been achieved. We can help you to identify your primary and secondary objectives, your points of action and how to influence with impact through our workshop.

Final thoughts…

Your ability to communicate determines your level of success. If you aren’t effective at communicating or influencing others, then our ‘Communicating & Influencing with Impact’ workshop is a must for you and you will learn some powerful tools and techniques to reach your goals and ensure success.

Effective communication will make your job so much easier, it’s a skill everyone should have. If you want to learn more about our workshops, then get in touch here.

Introducing our ‘Top 10’ Learning Workshops

Designed by industry experts with decades of training experience, our Learning Workshops provide long-term results for your employees, and for your business. Why not take a browse of our ‘Top 10’…

Building & Developing Successful Teams

Communicating & Influencing With Impact

Managing Change In The Workplace

Minimising Conflict

Time & Self Management

Performance Management

 

Motivating & Engaging

Presenting With Confidence

Self Confidence & Assertiveness

Train The Trainer Certification

Let us bring learning to the heart of your business. Get in touch with a member of our expert team to find out more.