Create Bigger Impact by Aligning Your Interests with Your Work

My first interaction with Horizon Point was in 2017 as a participant in Mary Ila’s Facilitating Career Development (FCD) Training. At the time, I was the Program Champion for the Department of Management at Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business, and my primary focus was professional and career development for undergraduate students. I completed the FCD course, became a Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) and a Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP), and have since used the experience and knowledge to provide career development coaching and instruction for over 500 students and professionals.  After joining Horizon Point in 2019, I’ve seen

3 Ways to Lead with Grace

We recently selected our next Book of the Year, and while I won’t give away the surprise just yet, I will say that we’re laser focused on grace. We’ve talked a lot this year about Graceful Accountability – the practice of giving grace and expecting high performance – and this week I’d like to share 3 simple ways that we can all lead with grace in our workplaces, in our homes, and in our communities.  1. Practice the GREET model. Originally intended for healthcare providers learning the delicacies of bedside manner, we train on the GREET model across industries to

Bring Me a Rock

My husband has a great analogy for ineffective communication that goes like this:  It’s like when they say, “Bring me a rock”. You go outside, grab the first rock you see, and take it to them. They say “No, we need a different rock.” You go back outside, grab a different rock, take it back, and they say “No, not that rock. It needs to be gray.” And so on and so forth until you eventually figure out that they wanted a big, round, gray rock from the bottom of the Mississippi River. How were you supposed to know that?

Are You (or Someone You Know) a Jerk at Work?

coworkers

We’re fortunate to work with hundreds of different people across industries and state lines, and we learn something new with each project and grow personally from every relationship. We also hear many, many stories about bad managers and toxic coworkers. Back in 2019, Lorrie addressed the question, Are Your Top Employees Also Your Most Toxic?.  When I’m facilitating leadership or communication training, I often get the feedback, “I think I can try these strategies and behaviors with most of my coworkers, but what do I do with someone who is just a jerk?”. If we have the opportunity for more

Feed Your Future With Feedback & Feedforward

Next week, I’m talking about Feedback and Feedforward at the Tennessee SHRM Conference. While preparing for this session, I’m reflecting on my own feedback and feedforward skills. Am I following my own advice in giving meaningful feedback and practicing feedforward? If I do receive input from others, am I following up and actually implementing any change? Are you?  Just this morning, I received (unsolicited) feedback from my husband that I have not been practicing what I preach in work-life balance. I enjoy my work, paid and volunteer, so much that I have found myself with a plate that isn’t just

How to Develop Inclusive Training

When was the last time someone asked you how you prefer to learn? Has someone ever asked if you need assistive technology?  As a trainer and facilitator, I definitely miss the mark sometimes on inclusive training. It’s hard. There’s no way around it; it’s not easy to design or deliver training in a language, structure, platform, etc. that works well for every learner. It’s hard, but it’s so important to try.  There is robust research out there about learning styles, learner variability, and inclusive curriculum design. Let’s look at this excerpt from research about Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a

Benefits Benchmarks: North Central Alabama

A few weeks ago, I asked the question “Are Employees Utilizing Those New Perks?” and highlighted benchmarking as a critical activity for evaluating workplace benefits. Now, we have the published results from the 2022 North Central Alabama Wage & Benefit Survey! First up, Average Benefit-Cost Per Employee (Annual) increased 25% over 2021. Employers reported an average of $16,608 spent annually per employee in benefits, compared to $12,459 one year ago. Some hot categories for increased benefits spending are Child Care Support, Adoption Support, Pet Insurance, and Elder Care Support. These types of benefits are increasingly attractive, and the Huntsville/Madison County

Crafting a Thoughtful Performance Management System

I recently asked a room full of managers representing dozens of organizations if they actually liked their own company’s performance management system. What do you think they said?  Some of us may think of Performance Management as a rubber stamp on an annual review. We often don’t think of it as a living, breathing, system. Others of us may think of Performance Management as monitoring what we’re doing wrong. We may not think of it as monitoring and developing what we’re doing right.  When an organization thoughtfully designs, implements, and continuously improves a performance management system, it should look like

Are Employees Utilizing Those New Perks?

Organizations have been extra creative lately with new benefit offerings and retention strategies. Is it working? Are employees utilizing those new perks and sticking around? Yes and no. SHRM explored the issue nationally, and our team has some local insight from the 2021 and 2022 North Central Alabama Wage & Benefit Survey.  Aon reported in April that enrollment in voluntary benefits increased 41% from the previous year. Most of the increases were tied to medical benefits, as to be expected, but some may be surprising:  The fastest-growing voluntary benefits employees enrolled in amid the COVID-19 pandemic include supplemental health insurance

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work…Unless the Team is Dysfunctional

This week, I had the great pleasure of facilitating in-person training with a group of junior managers who are working diligently to improve team and unit dynamics among their direct reports. They quickly identified the teams they lead that are functional vs. dysfunctional, and we had some deep discussion about why some teams work and some don’t.  Patrick Lencioni is a subject matter expert on organizational health and team dynamics, and his model of the “5 Dysfunctions of a Team” is embedded in most training about how and why teams work or don’t. The foundation for the model is Trust,