I like this quote from Jeanne Liedtka, design thinking guru: “talk is the technology of leadership.” It is one of those quotes that came to me at a perfect time, and often I find myself reflecting on its meaning as it relates to leadership coaching practices.
As the host university for IMEC, Bradley University has a unique relationship with us and with the Illinois manufacturing community. In order to take a deeper dive into how Bradley and manufacturing go hand-in-hand, we sat down virtually with one of our newest board members, Erin Kastberg, who also happens to the be Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel at Bradley University.
People are an organization’s most valuable, variable, and rewarding resource for managers in any business. Developing this resource in a positive workplace environment to create a culture of excellence is not magic, but... when it clicks, it is magical, and the rewards can be majestic. OUR people, OUR Team.
I remember my mom would make sure I had a quarter in my pocket in case I had to make an emergency call while out with friends. The quarter obviously for the payphone. Do you remember using the payphone? How about when watching your first music video? MTV was a big thing back in the early 80s. Some of us can remember those firsts in our culture yet for some of our colleagues, that transition from “how it was” to “how it is” did not happen. It just always was.
One of IMEC’s newest board members Marcia Ayala sat down with us (virtually) to tell us a little bit more about herself. Ayala is the President of Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc., a textile processing operation right here in Illinois that has been around since the 1880s.
The days of traditional and organic relationship building stopped abruptly in 2020, and the effects are still lingering in 2021. In person meetings were canceled, and virtual meetings took place. Casual run-ins with coworkers at the water cooler stopped, and the way we meet new customers has been altered dramatically.
I grew up in the best place ever. My neighborhood was diverse, just like my family. We are Mexican, Puerto Rican, Black, and all American. I had no idea that I was different or that I was a minority. I believed that what we practiced in our home was the same as every other American.
Like many of you, we see hope on the horizon with vaccines, schools moving back to in-person learning, restaurants beginning to see a path to success, and all the other “return to normal” practices! We can all envision getting back to the “blueprint” for 2021 – or should we?
Now that you’ve taken time to investigate the idea on implementing stay interviews to help retain your workforce, to the next step is to explore the types of skills you will need as an interviewer. Being a successful leader includes holding meaningful conversations - a skill that requires effort and practice. Instead, there are a handful of proven skills that transform the ordinary into extraordinary.
2020 tested companies’ agility and adaptability to the unforeseen. The fortunate companies that were able to keep their doors open, have been learning day by day what is needed to survive and thrive in the future.
One essential piece continues to be pertinent – employees. Employees are the ones who are continuing to generate revenue, produce quality goods, and satisfy customers. Being reminded of this, it is critical to retain those skilled workers during these possible trying times. So, ask yourself, how can you truly make each individual employee a priority? – Through conducting stay interviews.