4 Smoothie Recipes to Bust Out of Blender Boredom/wps/portal/quasep/root/Resources/Resources/!ut/p/z0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIjo8zizR0dXT0cDQx9DVzDDAwCTZ39nUy8zA0NPA30C7IdFQElVr_-/
Posted Date: Aug 03, 2022
Effective Date: Aug 3, 2022
Whether you’re rushing off to work or looking to refuel after the gym, smoothies can be a healthy, grab-and-go option. Well-made smoothies are a delicious way to help get the fruits (and veggies!) you know you need, complete with an extra boost of vitamins and minerals to give you energy to conquer your day.
But it can be difficult to find the right flavour combination (and too easy to turn your smoothie into a high-calorie, high-sugar dessert). And even if you are the most tried and true fan of smoothies, you can find yourself a bit bored of the same old smoothie, with the same few fruits, day after day.
We’re here to help bust you of out blender boredom with unexpected ingredients like mint, ginger, cinnamon, and more that add new, delicious, and healthy flavours to your smoothie list. Grab your blender and try these four Aramark chef-created smoothie recipes to make at home!
1. It’s Easy Going Green
This is sure to be your new go-to drink. In addition to the power-packed kale and spinach, it has almond milk, zingy ginger, and earthy and colorful turmeric, which is gaining popularity for its anti-inflammatory properties. Ground turmeric can be found in the spice aisle of most grocery stores.
2. Berries and Spice and Everything Nice
You don’t often see cranberries in smoothie recipes, but we think that’s about to change! Here, vitamin C- and fibre-packed cranberries get added to sweet strawberries and blended with ginger and cinnamon for a little spiciness.
3. It’s Peanut Butter Berry Time
We took the classic combo of bananas and peanut butter to the next level. This smoothie has it all – fresh fruit, extra protein, and it’s dairy-free. The chia seeds add fibre and healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
4. Tropical Fruit Meets Cool Mint
This tangy smoothie is perfect for a hot day. The fresh mint adds a cooling taste, while the pineapple and apple sweeten it up. The vanilla yogurt adds creaminess.
When it comes to smoothies, don’t be afraid to mix things up! Get creative and play around with different ingredients to find the perfect recipe that fits you.
Allergen Awareness: Risks, Causes, and Avoidance/wps/portal/quasep/root/Resources/Resources/!ut/p/z0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIjo8zizR0dXT0cDQx9DVzDDAwCTZ39nUy8zA0NPA30C7IdFQElVr_-/
Posted Date: Jul 20, 2022
Effective Date: Jul 20, 2022
With businesses continuing to recover, risk mitigation needs to enter our radar once again. While incidents of allergy issues are not even in our top ten at the moment, we need to ensure we arm our team with training and education to help reduce risks.
As a food service provider, we still have an obligation to ensure that products are prepared and served safe with all proper precautions and systems to mitigate risk. In addition, you have an obligation to ensure your staff are trained and knowledgeable on how to respond to customer inquiries and questions about allergies.
What Is an Allergy?
An allergen is a substance that causes the allergic reaction (for example peanuts) which causes the body to respond negatively to substances that are normally harmless (for example: runny eyes, hives). When someone who ingests or comes in contact with a food item (or substance) they are allergic to, the body’s immune system reacts negatively, and in some cases, the reaction can be fatal. We must remember this is a marked difference between people that suffer from food allergies versus a food intolerance.
What Is a Food Intolerance?
Food Intolerance is a person’s inability or difficulty to digest a particular substance. For example, celiac disease is caused by the gluten found in wheat & wheat products, and a lactose intolerance is caused by the milk protein found in dairy products. While some of the symptoms for an intolerance may be similar to an allergy, the body reacts differently, and the risk is much lower (in most cases).
Which Foods Are Most Commonly Considered an Allergen?
It is important to note that any food can cause an allergic reaction, however 80% of food allergies involve dairy wheat, soy, eggs, peanuts, nuts, fish or seafood. Note: Peanut allergies are the leading cause of anaphylaxis.
How Do Allergens Get Into Our Food?
There are two common ways that allergens get into our food. They are either an ingredient, or there has been cross contamination. In Canada, virtually all packaged products now contain allergy declarations if one of the most common allergens is contained in a product. As long as we are purchasing/selling products in the original packaging as designed for resale, the risk is greatly reduced. Ensuring packages are sealed and not broken prior to displaying will provide a comfort level that your offering is safe and secure. While quite minimal in the vending and micro market business, there is still a potential for cross-contamination to occur which can increase the risk.
However, with the return to in person dining, our business is all about raw ingredients and assembling of products and offerings to make the most enjoyable meal and experience possible. This brings risk with both the ingredients and products we purchase and use, and also how we handle the product through point of receiving up to final service.
Reducing Risk with Proper Purchasing Practices and back-of-the-house Activities
Allergens can appear as a clear ingredient (i.e. peanuts in a satay sauce), or an ingredient of an ingredient (i.e. wheat used as starch in a sauce). The good news is that all top allergens must now be clearly labelled in Canada so using foodservice products procured from professional distributors ensures you are providing a safe experience.
Here are some common ways to reduce risk associated with allergens in your establishment:
- Purchase ingredients from consistent suppliers and distributors
- Use consistent brands (if you are using a private label product the manufacturer and ingredients can change at any time so you must be extra diligent in reading labels each time)
- Teach your staff to read labels
- Ensure you have standardized recipes, and all staff are trained to follow them
- Follow proven sanitation practices in your kitchen- clean and sanitize all equipment and utensils that come in contact with food regularly; wash and sanitize all dishes and cutlery after each use; wash hands regularly while handling all foods; and clearly label leftovers and prepared products
- Reduce risk through cross contamination.
What Is Cross Contamination and How Can We Avoid It?
The transfer of substances from one item of food to another by means of a food or a non-food medium such as equipment, utensils or human hands.
Cross contamination occurs from cooking utensils, food preparation surfaces, service utensils or cutlery, from food to food, and from human hands. Proper sanitation and good preparation practices will ensure you can reduce the risk of cross contamination.
Allergy Awareness at the Front of the House
Teaching and educating your front-of-the-house serving and host staff is just as important as the controls you put at the back of the house!
Here are a few things to ensure you have in place to handle customers with allergies:
- Hold a pre-shift or opening huddle with the serving staff to review any new menu items or features to review any allergens-anytime you add a new item to your offering your staff needs to know how it is prepared and the key ingredients
- Remind front of staff to follow proper cleaning and sanitizing practices (so cross-contamination between guests is minimized)
- Teach and remind your staff how to handle questions -is the floor manager, manager, or chef responsible to answer questions? Someone needs to be accountable!
- If guests ask about ingredients, first have your servers ask if they have a food allergy- often you can get more information immediately if this is simply something they avoid or it is a risk
- If you are uncertain about the accuracy of an ingredient or recipe, make sure we are honest with the customer, don’t guess but find out!
Taking the time to train and educate staff on allergy risks in your business will help to ensure your customers’ trust and show that you are delivering more than just food …you are also delivering peace of mind.
Need assistance in training your staff on allergen awareness to better support them in answering client questions? Let QUASEP help you! Contact your QUASEP Account Manager to find out how to access our staff education services specifically for allergy training. Our QUASEP Education program on Food Allergies and Awareness (2 parts) provides easy training programs online for all your staff at your fingertips. In addition, Hubert has an Allergan Cooking kit to help you provide that extra level of service for those clients with restrictive allergies. Check out the link on QUASEP for more information.
About the Author:
Brian Emmerton is a Registered Dietitian and the Vice President and General Manager of QUASEP, a leading supply chain solutions provider for hospitality and non-commercial clients in Canada.
Make the Most of Summer’s Finest Fruits and Vegetables/wps/portal/quasep/root/Resources/Resources/!ut/p/z0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIjo8zizR0dXT0cDQx9DVzDDAwCTZ39nUy8zA0NPA30C7IdFQElVr_-/
Posted Date: Jul 07, 2022
Effective Date: Jul 7, 2022
The summer season comes with many joys. But one stands out from the rest: gardens and farmer’s markets bursting with crisp vegetables and juicy fruits in their prime. From sweet corn, green beans, and summertime squash to stone fruits, heirloom tomatoes, blackberries, and more, the abundance of fresh produce this season makes it easier to eat our way to better health and all the nutrients will help you feel energized and ready to take on the day.
Here’s the scoop on how to choose, store and use your colourful summer’s bounty:
Nothing says summer quite like sweet corn. Sweet corn straight from the cob is high in fibre, packed with antioxidants and is downright delicious. Sweet corn will stay fresh for about five days if stored properly in the refrigerator, and it can be grilled, boiled, or even microwaved. Aramark Chef Scott Zahren loves sweet corn tossed with a small amount of light mayonnaise, lime juice, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper for a quick and easy version of Elotes or Mexican Street Corn. We’re a fan of adding it to our lunch grain bowls, too!
Crunchy cucumbers can help us hydrate and stay, as the saying goes, cool as a cucumber. Plus, cucumbers couldn’t be easier to eat! They are best eaten raw and can be enjoyed with or without the peel, making prep a breeze. For a simple, no-fuss dish Aramark Chef Scott Zahren recommends a fresh cucumber salad made with cucumbers, onion, fresh dill, a dash of sugar, salt, and pepper and a splash of cider vinegar. In the mood for something creamy? Take on Tzatziki, he says. This yogurt-based sauce, traditionally used in Greek-style meals like Gyros, utilizes fresh cucumber, onion, and garlic. You can even sub in Greek yogurt for regular for some added protein.
Peaches have more than 20 micro and macronutrients, including fibre, vitamins, A, C, E, and potassium. They also contain the antioxidant beta-carotene. While they are delicious with no preparation, sometimes peaches bruise. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to use up those not so pretty ones. Try Aramark Chef Bill Allen’s Fired Up Peaches, a zesty hot sauce that you can use to add a bit of bang to your burger. To make it, put peeled peaches and tomatoes, chilis, salt, sugar, and a little water in a saucepan, bring it to a boil and reduce. Cook it until the peaches are soft, and then cool the mixture for a bit and puree. Store it in the refrigerator or enjoy immediately! Other peach options include drying slices for a nutritious, chewy snack or grilling with cinnamon or nutmeg for a tasty, healthy dessert.
Tomatoes have plenty of nutrients, including vitamins A and C and the antioxidant lycopene. And, with so many varieties to choose from, it’s easy to include tomatoes in lots of dishes. Just remember to store your tomatoes stem end up on the counter to prevent bruising and to keep them tasty. The cold temperature in the fridge weakens the flavour and prevents tomatoes from fully ripening. Aramark Chef Scott Zahren is a fan of using tomatoes in Israeli Salad. He combines Israeli couscous, fresh tomato, cucumber, herbs, and a vinaigrette dressing. The wonderful thing about this dish is that it’s so versatile! Try parsley, mint, or chives for the herbs. For additional nutrients throw in bell peppers and spinach. You can even swap out the couscous for another grain, like quinoa.
Don’t know how to select a watermelon? Look for a firm, symmetrical melon that doesn’t have bruises, cuts, or dents. Lift the watermelon and select one that is heavy for its size with a creamy yellow spot on the underside from where it sat on the ground. Watermelon is tasty and easy to enjoy sliced, but there are plenty of other ways to eat it, too. While we love a good watermelon feta or cotija salad, we’re also big fans of Aramark Chef Bill Allen’s savory Watermelon Prosciutto Salad. Mix cubed watermelon, arugula or other greens, a small amount of thinly sliced prosciutto and parmesan cheese, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar for his Italy-inspired dish. Another option is to make watermelon ice cubes. Watermelon is 92% water, so you can cut it into cubes and freeze it on wax paper. Then, use the cubes for added colour and flavour in lemonade and iced tea!
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that’s right for your customers.
Keep Calm and Keep Disinfecting!/wps/portal/quasep/root/Resources/Resources/!ut/p/z0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIjo8zizR0dXT0cDQx9DVzDDAwCTZ39nUy8zA0NPA30C7IdFQElVr_-/
Posted Date: Mar 16, 2022
Effective Date: Mar 16, 2022
Make your visitors feel safe when it counts the most.
After two years of trying to keep COVID-19 under control, pandemic fatigue is becoming a real problem. News of another variant makes the return to normal life seem that much further off, which can make it difficult to stay motivated to keep up with the seemingly constant changes. Louise Taillon, Sani Marc’s Director of Training, has been helping clients clean for both health and appearance for more than 30 years. In ‘Your questions in good hands’, Louise answers some important questions about how to stay the course in the fight against COVID-19.
What do new COVID-19 variants mean for building owners?
As new variants emerge you have to keep being vigilant in your efforts to maintain a clean and healthy environment. Even before COVID-19, disinfecting has always been essential for breaking the chain of infection and preventing the spread of germs that make people sick. This includes influenza, noroviruses and E. coli, all of which can be transmitted by hands and high touch surfaces. According to a 2020 report published by Deloitte, 62% of hospitality customers consider cleaning surfaces between interactions as essential to customer safety. 73% of property management employees want to see cleaning taking place throughout the day in order to feel safe, and 83% of retail customers say their perception of a store’s hygiene practices greatly influences their decision to shop there. During this time when people are fearful of entering facilities and interacting with others in close quarters, businesses must adopt new methods of cleaning.
Why is the added vigilance important?
It reassures clients, building users and employees that your building is safe, and it goes a long way towards building consumer confidence. Pandemic fatigue is real, but people still want to feel safe and they welcome any efforts made to protect them from contracting the virus.
What can be done to keep staff and visitors motivated to fight COVID-19?
Let your staff know that by taking extra care in disinfecting and allowing themselves to be seen doing so, they are becoming part of a much bigger solution. Their efforts will not only reflect well on them as employees, they are helping to protect themselves as well as their families, and they are contributing to the clients’ reasons to believe in the company and its values. On a more practical level, encourage good hand hygiene by providing disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer and keeping restrooms well stocked with hand soap. Use infographic posters to demonstrate proper handwashing technique. Taking steps like these shows that your organization makes customer and staff health and safety a top priority.
What should we disinfect first?
Disinfect what matters. 80% of germs are spread by hands and viruses can live on hands for five minutes. Identify hand touch points (high touch points) and create a schedule to disinfect them several times during a day. There’s no need to disinfect all surfaces several times a day; only surfaces that are touched by multiple people.
When is the best time to disinfect?
Disinfect touch points during the day when building users are present. This helps to create a sense of security, that the building is safe. Clients and visitors who see this are more likely to return.
What is the most important thing to remember when disinfecting?
Respect the contact time or dwell time of the product you are using and make sure your surfaces stay wet with the disinfecting solution for the amount of time indicated on the label. For information about products, tools and turnkey solutions you need to help with COVID-19, visit https://www.sanimarc.com/disinfectant-product/.
Five Tips to Protect Your Property During Winter Months/wps/portal/quasep/root/Resources/Resources/!ut/p/z0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIjo8zizR0dXT0cDQx9DVzDDAwCTZ39nUy8zA0NPA30C7IdFQElVr_-/
Posted Date: Mar 02, 2022
Effective Date: Mar 2, 2022
One of the smartest things you can do as a business owner or property manager is to implement a winter disaster preparedness plan which will allow for you to be prepared for issues that might arise. The colder months not only bring plummeting temperatures but also ice, heavy winds, freezing rain, blizzards and snow that can wreak havoc on your business and your bottom line if you aren't prepared.
Winter storms can create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and can knock out heat, power, and communication services. Know your area's risk for winter storms and pay attention to weather reports and warnings of freezing weather and winter storms. Sign up for your community's warning system or visit The Emergency Alert System (EAS) for emergency alerts, so you can stay on top of any potential threats related to winter weather conditions.
With the potential threats that the colder months can bring, businesses need to take every step possible to winterize commercial facilities including:
1. Avoiding Frozen Pipes and Plumbing Issues: Take steps to avoid frozen pipes by checking exposed exterior pipes for signs of cracks and openings that can lead to water leakage and freezing. Seal any cracks that are identified. Keep interior temperatures at a minimum of 55 degrees at all times during the colder months.
2. Checking and Inspecting Building Insulation: Have an expert come in to check your HVAC systems to see if interior or exterior insulation needs to be replaced. Routinely replace all building air filters. Old or inadequate insulation and filters can lead to higher energy costs.
3. Inspecting Roof Space and Clearing Debris: Clear your building's roof space of leaves and debris that can cause blockage of gutters. Doing this will allow melting snow to properly drain away from the building. Clearing debris can prevent ice dams and heavy snow from buildup on your roof which will prevent excessive loads on the roof and can cause unwanted structural damage.
4. Routinely Checking Property During Cold Periods: Check your commercial spaces regularly, at least once per week during the coldest months and winter storms, to identify a potential issue before it becomes a problem.
5. Partnering with a Restoration Professional: Develop a partnership with a professional restoration company that offers emergency planning services, so you are prepared if the worst happens despite all of the preparation. A trusted restoration company can help you create an emergency response plan in the event of winter weather related emergencies.
About FIRST ONSITE
FIRST ONSITE is Canada’s leader in disaster restoration for commercial properties focused on prevention, preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery. Locally-based and backed by extensive national resources, they can be first to arrive and first to make a difference when (or before) you need it most. Their unmatched speed, scope, and scale combined with and excellent team of professionals committed to excellence, service, and doing the right thing, ensures they can help your business whenever their services are needed...no matter what!
When Confronted by Complainers - Reframe!/wps/portal/quasep/root/Resources/Resources/!ut/p/z0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIjo8zizR0dXT0cDQx9DVzDDAwCTZ39nUy8zA0NPA30C7IdFQElVr_-/
Posted Date: Feb 02, 2022
Effective Date: Feb 2, 2022
Complain, complain, complain! What’s with the constant complaining!!!
Hey, we know you have one, or two, or maybe even a whole posse of complainers. Unfortunately, when left unchecked, a few complainers can gain momentum, and have a damaging effect on those around them.
So, let’s stop complaining about all the complaining. If we take a few minutes to understand why people complain, we can then “reframe” the complaining – and achieve new, and hopefully, more positive outcomes.
Understanding Why People Complain
To deal effectively with complainers and their negativity (both new complainers and chronic complainers), it helps to step back and look at what may have triggered the negativity, or why these people are so invested in being negative, for so much of the time.
There is no one reason why people complain. As with all human behaviour, there are many possibilities. Here are a few common examples:
Scenario 1: The “Done-Wrong-By” Response - The person who feels they have been misunderstood, mistreated, or just plain missed! The infractions (both real and perceived) may be based on something you have done, or that your predecessor was responsible for, or were done by a previous employer, or may even be based on life circumstances beyond the workplace (such as the “mom always liked you best” cause for complaining!)
Scenario 2: I Need to Feel Important - Rather than gain recognition as a result of making positive contributions in the workplace, some may derive a sense of importance or significance through complaining. When constant complaining results in action, or reaction, the person feels (and may be seen as) important, which of course serves to reinforce the complaining behaviour.
Scenario 3: You Made a Mistake! - Yes, sometimes people complain because you really have done something wrong, or that they disagree with your decisions or actions, and they let you and everyone else know about it. Guess what - it happens! As a human being, you do make mistakes. In such cases, it becomes an issue not because the complainer is complaining, but rather how they bring forth the concern.
Regardless of the scenario, whether this is a rare occurrence, a periodic response, or constant behaviour, before responding we must remind ourselves of the universal truth of all such human behaviour:
People do what they do because of what they get when they do it!
People complain because it works for them, or because it has worked for them enough in the past that they have decided to make it a part of their response process. Without beating up on ourselves too much as parents, aunts, uncles, etc., we all know how challenging it can be to NOT give in to the complaining child (we are using that term graciously here!) who makes a fuss over something they want in the mall. The point is, we have all learned that complaining can be productive!
Complaining behaviour in the workplace becomes a challenge based on
• when it is done (constantly, or at inappropriate times),
• why it is done (for self-gain without consideration for others, or not for improving things), and
• how it is done (such as loud and aggressive, or a personal attack on others).
So, whether the person is complaining to improve things, to gain recognition, to get back at someone, or to be left alone, if handled poorly, it can be very destructive to the culture of the organization.
Responding to Complaining
Because every situation is different, and every person brings their own unique way of responding, there is no “one-way” response to complainers. However, there is one common approach when dealing with complainers that heightens your chances of breaking the negative cycle of constant complaints, and that is by reframing the discourse.
Reframing involves changing the frame, or view, through which the other person is approaching a situation. When you prompt them to look at the issue differently, the situation can take on a different meaning, thereby changing the way the person is thinking about and responding to the situation.
If you change the way you look at things, The things you look at change!
What this means in practical terms is that since people do what they do because of what they get when they do it, by reframing our response to the complainer, responding with something they don’t expect, they are confronted by an outcome that is “not normal.” When we reframe from a positive perspective, it forces the complainer to think and respond differently, and gives you the opportunity to help them and you embark on a more constructive path of discourse.
Just as the complainer has learned to complain, most of us have developed our own response habits as well. Reframing requires practice, and at times, a thick skin – to avoid falling into the usual pattern of back and forth defending, and even counter-attacking, in response to complaining.
We have coined a few names for different reframing approaches, to help you quickly focus on a direction, when you are trying to formulate a reframed counter response to the complainer.
I’m So, So Thankful
When you receive a legitimate complaint (remember, you do make mistakes on occasion!), don’t just accept it, but show your gratitude! Be thankful. Rejoice! Share that you value the person’s willingness to share the concern, and appreciate the opportunity this provides you to make things right. If the situation applies, ask the person for their opinion as to how they think the issue could be resolved. By reframing the situation, you have subtly turned the complaining process around, and made it a positive, collaborative problem-solving opportunity for both of you – which reinforces a positive approach to making improvements.
Dumb as a Post
The complainer has started a rant, saying that everyone in the department is upset about the new policy, and that it only makes things worse. Rather than defend the change, play dumb, and ask questions. With sincerity, ask “Really? Tell me more about why it will make things worse, I really need to know.” By asking about the complainer’s position, you are accepting the person’s concern as legitimate, and then you are able to elicit more details as to what they see as the limitations in the change. This might lead to greater insights for you, and it will alert you to any misperceptions that this person (and probably others) might have. You are now in a position to thank the complainer for bringing this to your attention. Your reframing has disarmed them because of your openness, and they are more likely to be receptive to listening to any explanation you might want to share.
Oh really?...Thank you!
This is the same approach as the previous one, but viewed from the perspective of a complaint about you. When the complainer tells you that you have really screwed up, and everyone is talking about you, be surprised and thankful. “I had no idea that you might see my actions that way! Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I will certainly make a point of explaining myself better with others. Thank you again!” If the person was truly trying to be helpful, you have shown your appreciation of their feedback. If they were just trying to take a shot at you to get a reaction, your reframing has totally disarmed them by turning them into a helpful colleague (in spite of their intentions).
Mining For Nuggets
When the person is on a full-blown complaining rant, going through a wide range of items, listen carefully to every point, looking for something you can agree with. Then ignore all the other stuff, and say something like, “You mentioned (the one “nugget” you do agree with), and I agree, this is a concern to me too. What do you think would help us deal with it more effectively?” Responding to complainers is similar to handling conflicts – finding something we can agree on builds trust and helps us connect with others, which increases the chances of working together in a more collaborative way. Always be on the lookout for common ground between you and the other person.
What an Opportunity!
Turn the complaint into an opportunity. In fact, if this person is coming to you to complain about an issue, then you must accept that there are likely others who share the concern. So, if you embrace the complainant’s issue as a chance to improve, you have reframed the negative into a positive. “Wow, if we can fix this, what an opportunity to show how great we really are! Thank you for helping us live our Mission, and move closer to our Vision!”
So Glad You Care – You Need a Promotion!
When the complainer raises the issue, try, “This is really an important issue. I appreciate your level of concern, and you have so much insight. You have so much to offer, and could really help us overcome this challenge. How about it?” Perhaps try focusing on past positive experiences where you have been able to work things through, to win them over to the idea of working with you. Encourage them to think about what will be the benefit to them when the current negative situation has been overcome.
There are times when you really don’t have the time to deal with the complaint, or the complainer has caught you off-guard with a touchy issue, and you are concerned that you might resort to an ugly back-and-forth with them. Give yourself permission to take a time-out – with a defined time to re-connect. “Thank you for bringing this to me. I have a call I have to make right now, so when can we meet so you can tell me about this concern without interruptions?” This is a respectful, non-avoiding response, and ensures that you have time to collect your thoughts and compose yourself should it be a contentious issue.
One Small Step For Mankind…
Chronic complainers tend to be tenacious about issues, repeatedly bringing up old issues, or jumping from issue to issue without trying to resolve anything. Complaining for the sake of complaining, and repeatedly going over the same issue won't do either of you any good. If the complainer is in the “jumping” mode, keep quiet, start writing each item down so they can see what you are recording. When they run out of steam, say, “Is that everything? OK, let’s look at this list, and determine your priorities. What do you see as the most pressing issue?” You have respected their need to unload, and have demonstrated you are willing to systematically address the concerns.
Time To Move On
Sometimes you are not the right person to deal with the concern. If the issue is out of your hands as a manager, say something like, “Given your concern is about ______ , who should you be talking to about it?” If they don’t know, tell them. If they do know, say, “I agree. So, when are you going to talk to ________ ?” – and seek a commitment from them that they are going to talk to the person responsible for the concern.
If these approaches all start to sound the same, it is because they are! The intent is to provide short, memorable trigger words that describe the response type, as a way for you to quickly reframe your approach and thinking.
Regardless of the starting point, the approaches focus on considering complaining as an opportunity to help the person and you overcome a challenging situation (or behaviour), rather than as problem behaviour unto itself. If you are always on the lookout for common ground between you and the other person, it reframes the dynamic for the complainer, and increases your chances of moving towards constructive exchanges.
About the Author
Ron Martyn is the Co-Owner of Silver Meridian. For over 20 years, Silver Meridian has focused on helping long term care managers hone their leadership skills, by empowering and energizing people, and becoming recognized as Inspired Leaders. (English only). The Silver Meridian approach to leadership practices are readily transferred to other sectors. Go to Silver Meridian (https://silvermeridian.com/training-focus/) to see the extensive listing of leadership options and solutions to your leadership challenges.
5 Tips to Keep Your Performance Resolutions/wps/portal/quasep/root/Resources/Resources/!ut/p/z0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIjo8zizR0dXT0cDQx9DVzDDAwCTZ39nUy8zA0NPA30C7IdFQElVr_-/
Posted Date: Jan 31, 2022
Effective Date: Jan 31, 2022
For many, a New Year marks the start of a new fitness routine. But with our busy lives, competing priorities and other factors that can get in the way, those fitness routines can quickly fizzle out before January is over. We rounded up our top 5 tips for sticking to those performance resolutions. Although we’re focusing on New Year’s resolutions, these tips can be leveraged any time you’re embarking on a new fitness journey.
1. Choose an exercise that you enjoy
When embarking on a new exercise routine, the biggest secret to success is taking part in exercise that you like to do! It may seem obvious but participating in an enjoyable form of exercise leaves you significantly more likely to continue with it, and even look forward to it. The last thing you want is to sign up for something that feels like a chore.
2. Create a plan
Before you start with your new routine, structure yourself a plan that is both realistic and convenient. Scheduling time in your day that is dedicated to exercise makes you more likely to stick to it. Whether exercising on your own at home, with others, or at the gym, scheduling time will mean you’re more likely to do it.
Going from newbie to marathon runner is extremely daunting and unrealistic, so set a goal that is safe, manageable, and achievable for your best chance of success.
3. Hold yourself accountable
Exercising with a friend or family member can help to keep you accountable to your plans. Being able to encourage each other can keep the determination. Better yet, it doubles up as social time! If exercising alone, finding a community (in person or online) of those who enjoy similar activities can help to give a motivational boost. Depending on your activity and your own goals, tracking your progress (whether that’s weight lifted, run distance or time, or points scored) can also help. You’ll physically see the improvements over time, increasing your desire to continue.
4. Take it easy
Think of your resolution as a lifelong commitment to your health rather than a short-term habit. You are much more likely to be successful and maintain your routine if you take it easy at the beginning and build around your current fitness abilities. Just because someone else trains six days a week doesn’t mean that’s optimal – start slow, keep it light and enjoyable, then work your way up.
5. Be realistic
New Year’s resolutions are notoriously impractical and unachievable. Setting goals and targets can help to give you something to work towards, but make sure they suit you, your abilities, and your lifestyle.
Top 6 Air Purification Qualities To Consider/wps/portal/quasep/root/Resources/Resources/!ut/p/z0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIjo8zizR0dXT0cDQx9DVzDDAwCTZ39nUy8zA0NPA30C7IdFQElVr_-/
Posted Date: Jan 19, 2022
Effective Date: Jan 19, 2022
The average person spends 90% of their time indoors, which makes clean air crucial to the safety, health, and wellness of your employees and customers. To provide the reassurance that people need to feel safe indoors, air must be continually treated to remove pathogens and other contaminants.
Portable, free-standing air purifiers provide a flexible, cost effective way to help protect the health of people in your spaces. Here are 6 key features that deserve your attention when selecting a purifier that’s right for your business.
1. Medical-grade filtration and sanitation technology
Consider devices that offer real-time protection from airborne pathogens and contaminants, such as those that use high-efficiency particulate air filters
(HEPA) or UV-C technology to deactivate pathogens.
Sanitation technology should deactivate or remove:
• Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
• Bacteria, viruses, and other germs
• Fungi and mold
2. Expertly serviced solutions
Air purifiers serviced by trained experts ensure that harmful pathogens aren’t spread through your environment with proper filter cleaning, replacement, and disposal.
Poor filter maintenance can cause:
• Skin and throat irritation
• Dry eyes and fatigue
• Headaches and even Legionnaires’ disease
3. High-performance clear air delivery rate (CADR)
The CADR is a performance metric measuring how fast a machine cleans the air of a particular size of room. The efficiency of a unit will depend on location’s size.
4. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) displays
IAQ monitors with clear, real-time displays show staff and customers that the business considers their safety and well-being a priority, continuously monitoring their indoor air.
DID YOU KNOW? A serviced air purifier rental contract can cost as little as a cup of cappuccino per day? Leasing air filtration systems makes fiscal sense, and offers added benefits at a fraction of the cost of purchasing. Get peace of mind with ongoing maintenance, cleaning, filter replacement, and disinfection.
6. Sound and Decibels
To avoid noise disruptions, it’s important to identify air purification units that produce under 49 decibels.
By comparison, a household refrigerator registers at 55 decibels.
Ambius is the global leader in smarter, healthier spaces, with over 50 years’ experience in 17 countries around the world. Ambius helps organizations create smarter, healthier spaces so that they’re better for your staﬀ, customers, and visitors. Their solutions are specifically designed by experts to help mitigate risk of liability, reduce sick days, save money and increase productivity while oﬀering reassurance and peace of mind to staﬀ and customers that their health, well-being, and safety are protected.
Turning Performance Reviews from Dreadful to Delightful/wps/portal/quasep/root/Resources/Resources/!ut/p/z0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIjo8zizR0dXT0cDQx9DVzDDAwCTZ39nUy8zA0NPA30C7IdFQElVr_-/
Posted Date: Dec 15, 2021
Effective Date: Dec 15, 2021
The dreaded performance review.
Employees fear what they are going to hear;
Managers dread what needs to be said!
The fact that you are even reading this message at all, is amazing! So, since you are here, let us reward you with a welcome to a new world of performance reviews – a world of joy and happiness for all who are prepared to go down this path!
Okay, so maybe a little over the top, but at the very least, we know we can make this review process a positive experience for most people, and manageable for the rest.
So why is this process such a chore for everyone? When we ask leaders “How many of your people are doing what they are supposed to be doing?” we invariably hear numbers such as 80%, 90% or even 95% of their people are doing a good job. It doesn’t seem right, that if we are satisfied with what the majority of our people are doing, there is such dread and anguish over the process among both managers and employees.
We hear managers typically complain about such things as the:
1. Time it takes to prepare an employee review;
2. Struggle to fully cover all that needs to be said;
3. Angst of delivering messages of sub-standard performance to challenging people.
On the other hand, employee comments include, the:
1. Feedback is too negative;
2. Manager doesn’t appreciate what I do;
3. Process is a waste of time, as nothing really changes.
There are two primary elements in the performance appraisal process, and by incorporating a few simple steps in each, the review process can be turned into one of delight for most leaders and those they lead. For a few, it may not be the highlight of their day, but we can at least minimize the pain and maximize the potential for gain.
Key Element #1 – The Format of the Program
When performance reviews are scheduled annually, the stakes are high. Meeting for reviews four times per year instead means you can focus on more immediate results, and review progress based on more recent feedback. In other words, the expectations for change are lessened, resulting in more palatable bite-sized chinks, which in turn, reduces the pressure of seeing major results.
If at all possible, select a location where you will both feel comfortable – and that is clearly NOT in your office. For example, meeting in a conference room, or if the weather is good, even going outside, provides more neutral and less threatening environments.
Provide the person with the same performance review questions/ format you will be using, and let them know you are looking forward to hearing how they are doing.
Yes, we said 4 times per year…but for 15-20 minutes per meeting! Keep them short and to the point. This means prep time for both of you is reduced, and the process will result in more succinct and actionable outcomes.
Key Element #2 – The Focus of the Meeting
Clarify the Steps:
Start the session by quickly outlining the steps, and finish by saying, “Is that OK?” Then, follow the steps - and here they are.
Invite and encourage the other person to share how they see themselves. Listen. Don’t interrupt, and only speak to seek clarification if there is anything you don’t understand.
Let Me Share:
After you have listened to them, share your perceptions, and relate your comments to what they have communicated. This shows you have heard and valued their input.
Your Primary Focus:
This is the BIG one! There are two foci in performance reviews that have become “normal,” and are typically ineffective, or at best, result in marginal improvements –
1. Sandwiching the message (positive reinforcement, then criticism, and finally positive reinforcement). This rarely works, in that people are typically not inspired to improve, but rather focus only on the criticism - which is seen as demoralizing (Don’t they think I do anything right around here?”)
2. Focusing improvement primarily on the “challenging” performance area! (Yes, you read that correctly – this is seldom as effective as you hope it will be).
The primary focus of the performance review should be on what the person is doing well – not on their limitations. People do well at what they enjoy doing. They will never be stars at the parts of the job they don’t like - so don’t expect such outcomes. By focusing on the person’s strengths, you are demonstrating that you recognize what they are doing well, and that you value their contributions. When you build people up, they feel appreciated, and are more likely to excel (and soar with their strengths).
When people are allowed to soar with their strengths, they become more committed to excelling, and in the process, they don’t want to let others down. The result is they get even better at what they like to do, and raise their level of performance to an acceptable level in the other parts of their jobs. Why? Because when they know they are valued they are more likely to be committed to their overall performance.
If you are stuck with a rating system (e.g…on a scale of…) don’t let the static number speak for itself. Combine this with what you hear in response to your questions.
The following are some great questions for the interview, which are designed to stimulate this focus on the positive (all of which should be included on the performance review form you have shared with the person in advance). Consider using a two-phased process for these meetings: a first meeting format, and a modified format for subsequent meetings.
1. What do you see as your personal strengths in your role as a __________ , or in terms of your personal attributes? (allows the person to reflect and share attributes that may have been hidden or underutilized).
2. What could we do to provide you more opportunities to utilize your strengths and interests? (demonstrates your commitment to help this person “soar with their strengths.”)
3. What do you see as the most challenging aspects of your job – the things you enjoy the least?
4. Okay, let’s “park” these challenges. I trust that you will pay attention to working at them.
For this next review period, let’s focus on your strengths, the things you like to do most, and develop a plan based on these. What are some actions or steps you would like to take, building on them?
5. Great plan! Let’s confirm our next meeting – how does ________ work for you?
1. What have you done since our last meeting that you are proud of? (The question links this meeting to the last one – a demonstration of continuity, and give you an opportunity to share what you value based on what they have accomplished.)
2. How are you feeling about your challenge areas? Follow this with a comment such as, “Okay, I will leave those with you, and know that you will work on improving in those areas.”
3. What could we do to provide you more opportunities to build on your successes, and utilize your strengths? (demonstrates your commitment to help this person “soar with their strengths.”)
4. Great plan! Let’s confirm our next meeting – how does ________ work for you?
But What About the “Challenging” People?
Right now you are probably thinking,” This may be great for the great, but what about those who “grate” me, and everyone else?”
The reality is that this process can work for everyone. With those challenging folks, the tone and mood may very well be tempered and cool to start. It is essential that you stay true to the process of finding value in the person, even if you have to dig a little deeper, and recognize strengths that may not be as strong as others, but are this person’s strengths.
Our experience in working with such people is that they do have strengths, but they are often hidden behind a wall of defiance. All too often this defiance is the result of perceived (and sometimes legitimate) wrongs that they feel have been inflicted by the system or someone in the organization. After years of such defiance, your acknowledgement of the value of this person may very well be a welcome gust of fresh air for this person. Don’t give up – you are there to grow your people, not get them!
A performance appraisal meeting is an ideal opportunity to “A-PRAISE-ALL,” and by focusing on strengths, people are more likely to soar!
So, whether you find the performance review process grueling, or even okay, making a conscious effort to turn it into an opportunity for joy and celebration can elevate this function into a highlight for most people in the organization – including you, the leader, and for those you are helping to grow.
About the Author
Ron Martyn is the Co-Owner of Silver Meridian. For over 20 years, Silver Meridian has helped LTC managers hone their leadership skills, by empowering and energizing people, and becoming recognized as Inspired Leaders in the provision of care (English only). Go to Silver Meridian (https://silvermeridian.com) for more details. For information on the new Winter intake for the, Online DOC/ADOC Leadership Certificate Program (Accredited), click the following link: https://silvermeridian.com/employee_focus/the-doc-adoc-leadership-certificate-program/
Best Practices to Help Improve Short-Term Challenges from Supply Chain Delays/wps/portal/quasep/root/Resources/Resources/!ut/p/z0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIjo8zizR0dXT0cDQx9DVzDDAwCTZ39nUy8zA0NPA30C7IdFQElVr_-/
Posted Date: Dec 01, 2021
Effective Date: Dec 1, 2021
Many operators may be experiencing delivery issues with Broadline Distributors due to continued labour shortages, now exacerbated by the COVID-19 Delta variant. There is little that employers can do about unpredictable absenteeism or to create workarounds when it happens. Unfortunately, as a result, some distributor deliveries continue to miss regular delivery windows or are being pushed to the following day.
In addition to labour shortages, manufacturer product shortages continue to be a challenge. Fill rates into distribution are at historically low levels, which creates the need to substitute, or if there are outages, creates the need to buy from other distributors.
While you face these unprecedented challenges, here are some recommended best practices to help improve the short-term situation for both your business and your trusted distributors:
1. If you are a member of QUASEP, login to the portal regularly (quasep.ca > Program Updates & Alerts section) for Supply Chain updates, information on product shortages and availability and price fluctuations.
Not yet a member of QUASEP? Click on Contact Us > Interested in becoming a Member to get with the program!
2. Communicate your forecasted demand, especially for busy upcoming weeks and holidays, to your distributor account representatives or hospitality suppliers as early as possible so they can assist in planning. Discuss lead times required on key items that may impact your menu offering or client demands.
3. Order early, ideally before 10 am on the day prior to your scheduled delivery day. Placing orders early will reduce the likelihood of service delays. Be prepared for the possibility that your distributor may implement other measures to help ensure the highest possible level of service. This may include earlier cut-off times or other restrictions, like requesting smaller orders than usual or changing delivery days.
4. Manage inventory within your location. Avoid having critical items delivered for next day events; instead, try to order 3-4 days ahead of time. If possible, keep 2-4 days of additional inventory on your shelves in anticipation of any service disruptions.
5. Balance your orders: A light order (50 cases) on Tuesday and a heavy order (150 cases) on Friday create load challenges. Try to keep your order volume consistent.
6. Consider changing your delivery day or time to a window that will result in higher on-time service (consult with your distributor representative on options, including key/night drops) and do your best to refrain from off-day deliveries to ensure higher service levels.
7. Consider placing multiple (2-3) orders instead of one large monthly housekeeping and chemical ‘replenishment’ order to reduce one-time large deliveries that strain operations.
8. Know your delivery schedule – order for deliveries to be made on your routed day. Off-day deliveries present a challenge by interrupting the planned scheduled route. If your order is delayed, your master food distributor will notify you as soon as possible and will attempt to re-route the delivery for the next day.
9. For the upcoming holidays, make sure to place your large orders early in the week prior to the start of any planned events.
Make sure to continuously watch for communications on from your broadline distributors as well as updates on QUASEP.ca to stay ahead of potential delays and disruptions. We are closely monitoring distributor fill rates in an effort to help mitigate any potential impact to your operations.
Stealth Health: Improving Your Product Offerings…One Secret at A Time!/wps/portal/quasep/root/Resources/Resources/!ut/p/z0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIjo8zizR0dXT0cDQx9DVzDDAwCTZ39nUy8zA0NPA30C7IdFQElVr_-/
Posted Date: Nov 17, 2021
Effective Date: Nov 17, 2021
It may be hard to believe, but, Canadian manufacturers have been making changes to their products for the last 10 years with the goal of improving the health and well-being of Canadians…and not saying a word about it!
The concept is called “stealth health.” It was coined by a scientist at Yale University (Dr. David Katz) who had the idea of creating healthier habits for daily living. Stealth health can be defined as: making changes to ingredients or recipes to improve the nutritional attributes of a food or product without promoting or advertising the added benefits.
Stealth health can take many forms, such as:
• Improving nutrient density (e.g. adding healthy multi-grain flours and oats).
• Including ingredients with added health benefits (e.g. the explosion of cranberries and almonds in many snack bars).
• Reducing or eliminating unhealthy ingredients (e.g. lower in sodium or reduced fat snacks).
• Cleaning up the ingredient deck so that consumers know what is in the product and can name every ingredient without researching it.
With all this potential good news, why would manufacturers not want to promote the added health benefits? It is for the simple reason to protect the brand and the perception of the customer. Consumers may not want their favourite brands to change, so the last thing manufacturers want to do is alienate existing customers by forcing health claims or the perception that a product will not taste as good anymore. The formula changes to recipes must be carefully executed and often can happen gradually over time. Let’s reflect on one of the best executions of stealth health: the Oreo® cookie’s evolution to a healthier option.
In the early 2000’s a lot of attention was being paid to the risks of Trans fats and the high level of hydrogenated oils used particularly in the baking and snack industry. At the time, Nabisco made an announcement they would work towards removing these unhealthy oils from all of their products, and they went to work. By 2006 their famous Oreo® cookie contained no Trans fats, however there was an absence of a large marketing campaign to highlight this; the packaging ingredients were updated but you never saw a “no Trans fat” tag on the package, and customers never tasted the difference. Extensive product development and work went into formulation changes to ensure customers wouldn’t see any noticeable difference in the Oreo® cookie. The result…higher sales! Legacy customers stayed with the product, and consumers paying attention to Trans fats could see from the ingredient deck that the cookie did not contain any; therefore, incremental sales were achieved.
Some manufacturers have chosen to go all out to promote the perceived added health benefits, for example potato chips are being marketed as cholesterol free (surprise, they always were!) were not because of improved formulations, the interest in consumers for healthier snacks drove interest in promoting the product as a possible healthier snack item.
What does this mean for you? Providing choice and balance in your product offerings. Pay attention to the top sellers while also ensuring that at least 10% of what you offer caters to the health-conscious customer group who want to indulge without feeling guilty about it.
Looking for other Stealth Health products for your vending, office coffee, or micro-market operation? Let QUASEP help you to find the perfect mix of products for your customer base. Take advantage of member pricing on hundreds of essential items and assistance from a dedicated locally-based Account Manager, in addition to a wealth of easy-to-use tools and helpful resources to help you run your business more efficiently and effectively.
About the Author:
Brian Emmerton is a Registered Dietitian and the Vice President and General Manager of QUASEP, a leading supply chain solutions provider for non-commercial clients and hospitality organizations across Canada. Brian has been working in foodservice and consumer affairs for over 30 years to help clients source food and nutrition options that deliver experiences that enrich and nourish lives.
A No-Cost, All Encompassing Approach to Motivating Your People/wps/portal/quasep/root/Resources/Resources/!ut/p/z0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIjo8zizR0dXT0cDQx9DVzDDAwCTZ39nUy8zA0NPA30C7IdFQElVr_-/
Posted Date: Nov 03, 2021
Effective Date: Nov 3, 2021
In the face of the pandemic, thousands of employees in the restaurant and hospitality industry have demonstrated an unprecedented level of care and commitment to their customers, guests and to each other. This shared common enemy served as a powerful focal point for people at all levels in organizations to come together to fight, at times to grieve, and in the end, to celebrate shared wins.
For the most part, employee motivation was not an issue. The severity of the pandemic (the potential loss of life and livelihood) provided all the motivation people needed to stay focused, to get the job done right, and well.
For leaders, two important lessons must be gleaned from this experience:
1) Your people CARE!
2) Your people HAVE motivation!
Moving Into The Post-Covid-19 Period
So now what? As the severity of the pandemic is reduced, what is happening to the motivation levels of your staff? With the neutralizing or corralling of the common enemy, you may experience a drop in staff morale to pre-pandemic levels, or even see them plummet further. Exhaustion, and dealing with ongoing controls and expanded work demands, may undermine peoples’ motivation to push on through to the end, as the wait for the “good old days” seems indeterminable. Motivation may become a challenge for many people.
For leaders looking to shepherd their workplaces into a post-pandemic period of positivity, it is more imperative than ever to focus on employee motivation. Good leaders know that their success is measured by how well their people do their jobs, and when motivation wanes, everyone suffers.
The good news is that even after all you have gone through, you can create a culture in your work comprised of highly motivated employees - without spending all of your fiscal resources. In fact, all of the strategies shared here are no-cost approaches to promoting highly motivated staff.
This article focuses first on the two major myths regarding human motivation, and then examines a three-step process to accelerating employee motivation.
Debunking the Two BIG Motivation Myths
And the first big motivation myth is…$$$$. Just as the Beatles declared years ago (Can’t Buy Me Love), money will not buy motivation. Paying people more money does not result in more motivated employees demonstrating improved productivity or heightened morale.
In some jurisdictions we have seen attempts to positively impact the workplace by paying a pandemic bonus to front line staff. Not only did this demoralize all other employees who were going above and beyond and received nothing extra, it did not address the core issue – the lack of staff to deal with added care responsibilities.
While these front line staff may have felt somewhat vindicated with the added bonus, based on Silver Meridian informal research with leaders and employees, front line staff would have appreciated more “hands on deck” to help with the work, rather than a bonus to do the impossible. And of course, since everyone was working to capacity before the bonus, increasing wages did not relieve the pressure or result in the provision of more and better service.
There is one caveat to the money and motivation issue. If people are underpaid (i.e., they are paid less than others in comparable positions of responsibility and scope), then the lack of reimbursement is usually a de-motivator, impacting productivity and morale in a negative manner (such as the non-payment of a pandemic bonus to people other than front line staff!).
And for the second big myth… it is your job as a leader to motivate your people.
Balderdash! Not true! Absolute rubbish! A complete misrepresentation of your role as a leader! In fact, you have the responsibility of motivating only one person… YOU! That’s it!
Now do you feel a little more relieved? One less task on your plate!
And who is responsible for motivating your people? They are! The reality is that human motivation comes from within. Your people are just like you – they do what they do because there is something in it for them, something that they want that inspires them to be motivated. We know the expression “You can lead the horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” – unless he wants to drink. What would prompt him to drink? If he is thirsty, then he drinks.
The role of leaders is to respond to the “thirst” that resides in every person – the thirst or desire to have something, do something, be something - anything that inspires them to be motivated. People are motivated to change when they see a benefit for them. This leads to the universal truth.
Three-step Process to Fostering Employee Motivation
So now that we have these two myths out of the way, we can focus on how leaders can INSPIRE others, and thereby increase the likelihood that they will be motivated to change.
We call this approach Inspired Leadership, recognizing that truly great leaders know that to elicit change in others, they must find ways to inspire them to want to change. And by change, we are referring to any action or response that represents something different than what is currently happening. So, whether you are looking for someone to do something different as a result of a change in a procedure, changing the way an individual deals with others (or with you, the leader), or any other form of change, the key is to inspire the other(s) to want to change because they see a benefit for them.
So here are the three steps to fostering employee motivation:
1) Step One: Look Inside You
2) Step Two: Monitor What You Do
3) Step Thee: Respond to What They Do
The first two steps are about what you need to reflect on within yourself, in order to become a leader who inspires others to be motivated. The third step focuses on specific actions you can take with others – actions that connect how you project yourself, to what people see as benefits that inspire them to be motivated.
Step One: Look Inside You
During stressful and uncertain times such as we are experiencing, and continue to experience, it’s normal to feel anxious, frustrated, overwhelmed, and even scared. Chances are, most people around you have been experiencing similar emotional responses. Ignoring such feelings can result in seemingly unrelated sporadic outbursts (one of those “where did that come from?” reactions), and at the very least, subtle telling signs of frustration or fear (involuntary physical responses, such as sighs, eye rolling and look-aways).
When experiencing such stress, it’s easy to infect each other with anxiety and fear. As a leader, it is imperative that you not only confront such feelings, but take the lead, and consciously commit to countering them with more positive responses within yourself.
The first step to countering such feelings, so you will act in ways that inspire others, is to look inside yourself, and search for what is most important to you. By focusing on your positive hopes and aspirations, it allows you to reframe your thoughts and perceptions of what is going on around you.
Here are some fundamental questions to reflect on in this personal internal journey (we will explain the numbers shortly!):
• What do I most value? (3)
• What inspires me, gets me excited; what do I want to do more of? (2)
• What turns me off? (3)
• How do I want to be seen as a leader? (1)
• Where do I want to be in my life within the next 3-5 years? (2)
Your responses to such questions will point you to what inspires and motivates you.
From this reflection point, take a few minutes to relate your responses to the following:
your workplace’ (1) Mission; (2) Vision; and (3) Values. Using the numbers (1, 2, & 3), match your responses to the corresponding Mission, Vision or Value number. While your personal Mission, Vision and Values may not be identical to that of your workplace, you are looking for congruence. As long as they are not in opposition to each other, then you know you are personally working in the right place.
Taking this deep dive into your own personal points of inspiration, to see what motivates you, is essential. Before you can take Step Two in this motivational process, you really do have to examine what is most important to you.
Step Two: Monitor What You Do
While Step One helped you focus on what inspires you, Step Two is about paying attention to these personal points of inspiration!
We are reminded of the story (attributed to the Cherokee) of the talk between an elder and a young child. The Cherokee elder told his grandson about the battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between the two ‘wolves’ that live inside us all. One is Unhappiness. It is fear, worry, anger, jealousy, sorrow, self-pity, resentment, and inferiority. The other is Happiness. It is joy, love, hope, serenity, kindness, generosity, truth, and compassion.” When the child asked, “Which one wins?”, the elder responded, “The one you feed”.
While staying in this more positive state of “happiness” is a challenge during such times of high demand and stress, we can take steps to protect ourselves from these emotional contagions by feeding the positive wolf within.
For example, monitor and reduce how often you engage in venues where fear feeds on itself, such as social media, cable news, and frenzied conversations with friends and coworkers. Verify resources, distinguishing between people who are speculating, and those who have sound information.
Also, take care of your mental health. Commit to exercising, practicing mindfulness and meditation, volunteering, and seeking out positive, high-quality connections with others — even if they’re virtual. Simple wellness practices like these will help you build resilience and positivity, which will influence how others perceive you.
Step Three: Respond to What They Do
Now that you are clearly focused on what inspires you, and are committed to feeding your inner happy, positive wolf, your actions and interactions with others will be more inspiring to those you work with and lead every day.
Keep in mind that the following strategies and approaches are not sequential and are often successfully employed through a “blend” of interactions.
Lead with Optimism: Even in dire circumstances, you can still lead with optimism, helping your team stay resilient amidst uncertainty. First, be a role model. Lip service alone won’t work. Also, keep in mind that a positive outlook is easier to adopt as a group, so help employees foster a sense of connection with each other.
This can be as simple as:
- Celebrating when a team or department hits a milestone
- Starting meetings with each person saying one thing they’re grateful for
- Review progress – Flip chart and post accomplishments from Day 1 to now
- Create an “Appreciation Wall” for everyone to post messages of encouragement
- Share and celebrate good news stories – both internal and external
As a leader, you have an opportunity to set the conditions for a collective positive outlook on your team. Take advantage of it.
MBWTA – Managing By Walking and Talking Around: Ideally, make it your mission to get out of your office and connect with people at least twice, every day. Even at the best of times it can be a challenge to get out from underneath the pile of tasks you face. But just as you abhor task-oriented care of your customers, you too need to re-frame your focus on the bigger picture of what is most important, and connect with people. Otherwise, you performing as a task-oriented manager – not a leader.
A side bonus – You are more likely to sense when something is “off” when you are circulating, and by dealing with issues in the moment, when they are minor concerns, you save time and aggravation of having to deal with it later when it comes through your door as a major issue.
Catch People…Doing Things Right (CPDTR): Yes, we know you do this now, but do you do it well, and enough? We often ask people in training sessions to put up their hand if they are tired of being told they are doing a good job. The reality is everyone loves to be recognized as a valued, respected member of the team, and acknowledging what is valued inspires people to do it even more. The practice of praising more is one of the most impactful behaviours a leader can have to positively inspire others.
Here are four simple suggestions that make for better, more impactful, praisings:
- Praise specific behaviours – focus on what the person did or said - avoid generalizations.
- Link the praise to your work or company’s values.
- Praise immediately – don’t wait for their PA session!
- Praise “routine” actions – it is about doing the small, caring things for your customers that are meaningful to them.
Ask Questions - Listen More – Talk Less: People feel inspired and motivated when they feel valued and respected for their contributions. Asking people how they are doing, or asking for suggestions, are only effective if you listen and show an interest in what they say. By asking questions, you are encouraging people to become a part of the solution, and contributing to the solution is an empowering, inspiring place for most people to be!
Boost Morale with a Thank You: Closely aligned to CPDTR, don’t underestimate the power of symbolic awards, such as private thank-you note. To maximize their effect, it’s essential to customize these rewards to each unique context. Ask yourself: Are you the best messenger, or would this expression of gratitude be more impactful coming from someone else? When is the best time to offer the message? And should it be communicated privately or publicly? Whatever you decide, your message can be short and sweet — as long as it’s thoughtful. When employees feel that it’s sincere, a symbolic gesture of recognition can go a long way.
Enter Into THEIR Homes: Take your expressions of gratitude and praise to an even higher level by sending them home – to the employee’s home. Sending a personalized note of acknowledgement, or a birthday card with a personal message, to where the employee lives is a powerful way for you to share your praise, and for the person to be seen as special by the people that mean the most to them. Handwriting the message (and the outside name and address), is the finishing touch to the personalization of your message!
Our Company Vison: An ideal Company Vision is not about what your Company is, but what is a realistic goal of how your Company aspires to be seen in the future. By reinforcing this Vision, by bringing it to life in your daily practice, it can serve as an inspirational rallying cry for everyone. When you incorporate your Company’s Vision into your discussion every day, you hear yourself saying things like “How will this help move us forward with our Vision to being recognized as…?”, or “Wow, that brings us one step closer to realizing our Vision of…”.
Such acknowledgements reinforce where the Company is headed, and represents an opportunity to inspire people, as they realize they are helping as you move forward together.
Help Your Team Make It Over the Finish Line: Pandemic fatigue. Mental fog. Work/life blur. Whatever you want to call it, you and your people may be going through some version of it right now.
As a leader, it is imperative that you help focus everyone on what’s important over the long term, not just what is urgent right now. That short-sightedness can set the team up for failure when the crisis is over. This ties into the focus on the Company’s Vision, noted above. The Vision helps people see beyond the immediate obstacles, and towards a longer term goal.
Make room for foolishness: While dealing with essential work responsibilities must be done, occasionally making time for fun and levity is also important. Declaring a time for some spontaneous fun and laughter, such as a “Foolish Four” minutes of making faces at each other, or sharing your most embarrassing teenager moment, can help to alleviate the strains of the day. It is helpful to declare the time (duration) up front, to encourage people to not get carried away for too long of a period. Try to make the activity a “leveler” - something that everyone can do, regardless of education or position. And perhaps most important, make sure you, the leader, take part in the foolishness!
Good leaders recognize that their role is to inspire others, such that they are motivated to excel. Motivating others to change is not something you can buy or demand as a leader. Rather, it is about what you as a leader believe, what you project, and what you do to inspire others, such that they want to change.
This is not about spending money to motivate people.
This is about being an Inspiring Leader.
About the Author
Ron Martyn is the Co-Owner of Silver Meridian. For over 20 years, Silver Meridian has helped Long Term Care managers hone their leadership skills, by empowering and energizing people, and becoming recognized as Inspired Leaders (English only). The Silver Meridian approach to leadership practices are readily transferred to other sectors. Go to Silver Meridian (https://silvermeridian.com/training-focus/) to see extensive listing of leadership options and solutions to your leadership challenges.
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