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It's hard to get a gauge on your culture when your company comprises mostly people pleasers.


When you are in a people business - you tend to hire people people. People who naturally want to help others can very well be people pleasers. How do you get people pleasers to tell you what they really think when they want to keep the peace? It is vital to a company's success to understand how their team members really feel about the company. If your team is afraid to speak up, you will not get honest feedback.

In this session you will learn why team members don't share openly and what you can do as a leader to promote an environment where your employees feel safe. If you would like to learn more please contact me or visit MariaPietroforte.com.

 

 

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The customer service paradigm is broken. Why you need to put your people first.


Too many leaders and companies preoccupied with the future results that their team members "feel like a number". Continuing down that path is inherently damaging to employee motivation and your bottom line.It is not too late to develop an employee-first company culture! Identifying and owning what is broken, clears the path to putting your people first.

Learn why internal customer service needs to be a priority and the consequences.

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Diversity and Inclusion is More Than an HR Initiative

  Over the past several months, there have been many articles, forums, discussions, focus groups, and webinars on the need for more diversity and inclusion in every aspect of our business. And while there have been many valuable points made and practices shared, there are three themes that have particularly stood out to me. 1. Diversity and Inclusion is not an HR initiative. I really appreciate hearing the clear stance that diversity, equity, and inclusion is NOT simply an HR initiative. I absolutely agree that it's not. It's a company value that can only be successful when it begins with executive leadership, whether that means the owner, CEO, president, or leadership team - it starts squarely with them. Based on a recent Swift Bunny Employee Engagement Study, out of the Top 10 things that matter most to employees, the 3 common topics that are shared between Corporate, Regional and On-Site employees are:   Senior management creates a positive work environment  I respect senior management  Senior management has communicated a clear vision for the company  How executive leadership talks to, talks about, includes, encourages, promotes, challenges, and values each employee is noticed and emulated. Diversity and inclusion begins with them. Human resources certainly manages many key aspects, but their work will never achieve real and enduring change without action from the top. 2. The Importance of a Diversity and Inclusion Employee Survey I've been very impressed and heartened at the number of multifamily companies who are considering or have already rolled out a Diversity......
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Anonymous vs. Confidential Surveys – What’s the Difference and Why it Matters

          I am a whole-hearted believer in the power of employee feedback to help companies understand their team members’ collective experience. It allows leaders to gain clarity on what’s working well and what is getting in the way of employee engagement and overall business performance. Employee feedback is only valuable, however, if employees feel comfortable and safe in providing their candid thoughts and experiences and believe their input will influence positive change. The most common ways of providing this level of assurance is to conduct anonymous or confidential surveys – and yes, there’s a difference! Anonymous Approach: Pros and Cons What Defines an Anonymous Survey? An anonymous survey does not include any identifying information, and therefore responses can not be tied back to any individual participant. Pros: These types of surveys are most often deployed by giving all potential respondents the same survey link, removing any administrative burden from the employer. An employer would simply send one mass email to all employees with one common link. Cons: Since the survey link is not tied to any particular employee record, a single employee could take the survey multiple times, skewing the response rate as well as the overall results. If trying to gather demographic factors, such as their position, department, or geographic location, there is a higher likelihood of error, whether from user error or a deliberate desire to mask their identity. In addition, research indicates that accuracy can slightly diminish on anonymous surveys. In an act referred......
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I Wasn't a Tesla Fan-Until I Was!

I Wasn't a Tesla Fan-Until I Was!
I recently put down a refundable deposit to purchase the Tesla Cybertruck. That in and of itself may not be earth shattering news. While the truck's style is pretty "unique," unofficially, more than 700,000 people have put down the $100 deposit to purchase the truck when it goes into production sometime in 2021 (or so.) So I'm in good company...and honestly, the truck I'd like probably won't be ready until 2023 or later, so I have enough time to figure out how to pay for it!   The surprising thing about it for me is that a few months ago, I didn't like Teslas at all! When they first came out I immediately lumped Teslas in with other electric vehicles and wondered, "Why would anyone want one?? They're overpriced. They have limited range. And gasoline engines are here to stay!" Mind you, I didn't do any actual research, I just made a snap decision and then built my beliefs about Teslas around that initial decision.   Towards the end of last year my in-laws purchased a Tesla and when I sat it in for the first time I remember thinking these things:   Meh I don't like it This is such a gimmick What's up with the "whoopee cushion" sound effect? AND-This might be the car of the future   Overall, I wasn't that impressed, mainly because I didn't want to be. I was pretty sure that I knew more than Elon Musk (whom I didn't like either, because he seemed......
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The Impact of COVID-19 on Multifamily Employees

The COVID-19 pandemic brought schools, commerce, commuting, travel, and more to a halt, and it changed A LOT of how we operate apartment communities - nearly overnight! And yet, while many things changed for most of the U.S., multifamily employees had the challenge of figuring out how to continue to provide service and support for residents who were now home 24/7 for months on end. In our Swift Bunny COVID-19 Employee Impact Study, we explored how multifamily employees were feeling and faring during so much change. Here are some of the highlights we found: Employees feel well-informed More than 85% of multifamily employees agree they feel well-informed, and nearly as many feel they are getting the information they need that is relevant to their jobs.  WARNING! Many executives, upon hearing this great feedback, shared they were considering pulling back on the volume and frequency of communication. The theme we heard from employees loud and clear was that they still need and want that level of communication. As different cities and states consider re-opening, re-closing, or limiting amenities, services, events, and more, there is still a lot of information to share. Keep talking! Employees are listening.  Companies are taking care of their residents Employees overwhelmingly agreed that they were confident in the support provided to residents. While there were - and are - logistical challenges, such as office closures and emergency work orders only, employees felt companies were providing information and creative options to keep residents comfortable in their homes. New ......
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How to Bring Healing and Unity into Your Office

How to Bring Healing and Unity into Your Office
Friends, my heart grieves for all that is going on in our nation today. I thought long and hard about what to write in this post. I don't want to add to the anger; the pain; the chaos; the confusion; the hurt that many people are feeling right now.   Yet, I do want to help bridge some gaps; bring some understanding; and give you some things that you can do to bring some healing into your world.    The fact is we cannot change everything in the entire world-but that shouldn't stop us from endeavoring to bring positive change into our world. And as we change our personal world one person at a time, we can trigger the kind of change that will make our entire world a better place, for more people, more often.    Where can you start?    In my “Relationology-The Secrets of Winning With People” program and in my leadership programs I mention this quote by author John Eldredge,   “The greatest impact you will make in your life is in the quality of relationship you offer to people.”   Oh, how I want you to receive this my friends! When all is stripped away, the one thing that will matter the most to you is the relationships you’ve had in your life. Yes, your skills and what you DO are important! But it’s who you are and what you offer to people that makes a world-changing difference,    You want to make a positive impact right now i......
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Your Employees are Struggling. Throw Them a Lifeline

For the past six weeks, more than 2,900 employees have responded to the Swift Bunny COVID-19 Employee Check-In Survey. Recently, their responses have begun to take on a desperate tone. For many, what started out as, “we can do this!” has devolved into “I’m not sure how much longer I can do this.” Here are some painfully candid comments team members have shared: “I’m thankful that I still have a job and that I’m still needed at the office. But I’m stressed. I’m tired. I go home and I’m useless until it’s time to go to bed. Then, I don’t sleep because I think of everything that I still need to get done.” “With all of the residents home every hour of every day, the amount of complaints has been mind-boggling. I go home every day now completely and utterly exhausted and worn out.” “Too many directives and deadlines given on short notice. We are expected to work around the clock answering emails and texts at all hours. The virus is stressful enough. Leadership has made it ten times worse.”  “I’m worried about my maintenance team. I don’t know how they are still standing at the end of the day.” “STRESSED is the understatement of the year. We are all carrying this stress differently. I wish that our managers would be more understanding that no matter what job you have, you can be just as stressed as the boss.” Multifamily leaders, your associates are drowning in stress and worry. It’s time to throw your team members a lifeline before ......
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Leadership by Transparency

        We hear you loud and clear, multifamily employees: you want your leaders to be loud and clear! Over the past 6 weeks, more than 2,600 rental housing employees have responded to the Swift Bunny Covid-19 Employee Check-In Survey.  In that span of time, we've seen a significant increase in employees expressing that they Agree or Strongly Agree that their company is providing important and transparent information that is relevant to their job. What started out in early April as an industry average of 4.27 out of 5 has grown to 4.47 out of 5! Increasingly, we see employee comments such as these: "I think our company has done a great job communicating policies and keeping its residents and employees safe." "I feel that upper management has been very supported throughout all if this.  The emails have been uplifting.  We are feeling well-informed." The topics of "transparent communication" and "leadership visibility" have been tracking incredibly closely over the course of the survey, which is a message that executives need to hear. This tells us that employees not only crave information that is relevant to their day-to-day responsibilities and the state of the company, but they crave hearing it from the top. This is a lighthouse moment that we're seeing more and more successful leaders embrace. However, while we're seeing a positive trajectory on transparent communication and leadership visibility, we're seeing the need for a different kind of information and support at every level of the organization. Increasingly, ......
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Bring Some Normal Back Into Your Life and Office

Bring Some Normal Back Into Your Life and Office
I have some confessions to make, friends. I watched a commercial the other night that ended with, "We're all in this together." I rolled my eyes. I saw an ad for coffee (I think) that began with, "In these unprecedented times..." I rolled my eyes again. If I hear that phrase one more time...ugh.  As I drove through the Costco parking lot today I watched a driver almost hit several cars and people, I think because she couldn't see above her mask and through the "bulletproof" plastic shield. Glad that her mask and shield are keeping her "safe." Sure wish there was something that would keep us safe from her. LOL! I organized a virtual prayer meeting for the men in my local church last week~and while it was so good to see everyone, I'm tired of having no real in-person connection and only being able to connect virtually. You know what other phrase I'm tired of hearing?? "New normal." It seems every politician and leader has uttered this phrase millions of times in the past few months-and while I totally understand what they're saying, I'm tired of it too! I don't know about you but I just want some semblance of my old normal back! Bringing Some Normalcy Back If I'm feeling this way, there is a good chance you (and/or the people you lead) want the same thing too. We were not meant to be in crisis mode all the time! It isn't sustainable for you or your people (if you......
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