Appreciated employees are more productive

The Power of Appreciation

by Mike Robbins

When people feel valued or cared for they were 43% more productive and only 23% more productive if only recognized for their work. The lesson is to focus on who people are not what they do. (Appreciation does not mean like, agree with, or let’s be best friends and go hang out – it means recognize the value of.)
Here are the 3 things we need to do to cultivate appreciation:

  1. Need to look for it
  2. Create practices and a commitment to actually do it: schedule it
  3. Receive compliments more graciously

Some people need positive feedback to feel affirmed

We all need feedback to learn what we need to improve on. Some of us need feedback in a positive fashion to give us an extra boost.

On most of the teams I have been on we have been so focused on getting the work done that we have not focused on the small wins. Maybe we should. Maybe we should focus on the small wins and give those members of the team that need it, a little boost.

Beautiful tiles from plastic

A fantastic way to reuse plastic containers. Tiles are created that can be used for your bathroom or kitchen backsplash.

https://avc.com/2019/03/funding-friday-renewable-plastic-tiles/

Feedback is required for team agility

Giving and receiving feedback is not easy but it is necessary. Feedback is the way individuals and teams learn and improve. But how should feedback be done.

I was looking around for some inspiration and I found this article written on giving feedback to your colleagues.

How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Colleagues

Some thoughts they have is:

  1. Get a Buy-In – get the person to agree before providing feedback
  2. be specific on where you want to offer feedback. For example, you could say, “Can I share some thoughts about the sales presentation you’re working on?”
  3. Offer a specific amount of time
  4. Don’t ask to talk immediately
  5. come prepared to your meeting by preparing specific examples and actively planning to refrain from making assumptions
  6. After you produce data or a tangible example, give your impact statement. Why does this fact matter, and who on the team is affected by it?
  7. ask a question and open the floor to the person who is receiving feedback.

This list has some very good suggestions. However, this approach and examples given seem to create a very awkward social experience.

Taking something I learned from ToastMasters training and sessions.

  1. Feedback has to be part of the every day process – it is a habit that can be embedded after every meeting, presentation, demo, etc.
  2. Feedback should be given in the sandwich method… The person delivering the feedback starts with something positive… Then they provide the constructive actionable criticism… Then they end with another positive piece of feedback

This removes the awkward social aspect of giving feedback. In addition, by forcing the person providing feedback to think of two things that are positive, it makes him consider the critique in a more holistic perspective. It also helps the receiver consume the […]

Your organizational structure defines your project deliveries

The structure of your organization limits or enables your ability to deliver and meet your customer needs. If you are siloed across the organization and the products are built within the silos then that is what your customer encounters. The customer will feel the walls and boundaries as they interact with your company.

This stilted experience is not a good experience. Break down the silos, organize around your customer and deliver what they need.

Your organizational structure defines your project deliveries

The structure of your organization limits or enables your ability to deliver and meet your customer needs. If you are siloed across the organization and the products are built within the silos then that is what your customer encounters. The customer will feel the walls and boundaries as they interact with your company.

This stilted experience is not a good experience. Break down the silos, organize around your customer and deliver what they need.

Design for less plastic going to the transfer station

I have no good solutions for plastic. We have a lot of plastic. There is a little reuse of the containers but not enough to matter. I have yet to see a good version of something useful.

I once saw the ability to cut bottles into long strings of plastic but it was too labor intensive. Cool idea if I could stick the bottle in a machine and get string.

Maybe it could be chopped into tiny bits and could be used like mulch in planters to keep the moisture in and the weeds down.

I am not sure though. Do you have any ideas?

Design for less at the transfer station (aka the dump)

I have been fascinated by the idea of how to have a minimum impact outside of my property. I am far from net zero but I have been exploring basic things I can do.

My transfer station splits things into: garbage, paper, card board, 1-2 plastics, 3-7 plastics, metal, and glass. There are others but those are the standard visits.

The station is $110 a year. The garbage is $10 a bag and I hate going. In addition, I refuse to pay for the truck to come to my house. So I have been playing with the trash and recycling for years to make a simple system that impacts my family little but reduces what gets to the transfer station.

First thing is, we have flower gardens all around the house so I created compost piles. The compost is all the yard refuse and the food waste from the house. So in the house the garbage is split into two: 1) dry non-compostable garbage in the trash compactor and 2) compostable food waste, napkins and packaging.

Using a trash compactor with no food waste allows us to compact garbage for a family of four from three to four weeks before requiring removal. The food waste is collected in a twelve gallon container with lid under the sink. It’s collected over two to three weeks before removal. If these were combined in a garbage bin they may last two to three days at most. Then it would also require weekly visits to the transfer station.

This method worked well for a long time. Everything else was put into recycling bins in a bench in the kitchen. So every three to four weeks I would make a visit to the station.

Now […]

Human error in plane crash was the designers’

25 years ago I studied about the designs of planes that made the state of the plane opaque to pilots. The user interface was so bad that the pilots fought with the autopilot and the plane would flip over.

Here we are 25 years later and I am reading articles where people are blaming pilots for human error.

The errors were design errors. The company knew it. They decided to solve the problem by training or selling the solution. That is the human error.

We know how to do better

When we ask people to estimate their performance …

Ignorance breeds confidence in all of us. Research was done on many college students. It was found that the more ignorant you were on a topic the less ability you have in comparing your abilities with others. So much so that typically people who score in the bottom 25% will say that they believe that they are around 60-75% or around the majority.

An interesting effect also happens in reverse with people who do score well (>90), they believe that more people are like them and say that they are around 80%. They are more critical of their abilities and display less confidence when comparing themselves.

It appears that when we ask people about their performance, where ever they are on the spectrum they try to place themselves around the mean.

Remember this the next time you are interviewing someone.
Do not ask about how someone thinks they perform you will always tend to the mean … but it not true for good or poor performers.

If you prefer ignorance listen to:

In defense of ignorance – This American Life