May 19, 2020

How to celebrate employee appreciation day every day

Employee Satisfaction
Employee Appreciation Day
Workplace stress
Shane Watson
5 min
How to celebrate employee appreciation day every day

In honor of employee appreciation day, BRUSA has compiled a list of four simple tips from previous articles that can help improve (or maintain) employee satisfaction:

1. Promote a culture of collaboration and appreciation
The best leaders motivate, inspire and energize people by connecting the vision, values, purpose and business goals of the organization to individual values and needs. Promoting a culture of collaboration will allow employees to believe in the work they are producing, and showing appreciation will ensure the productivity and drive remain high.

These simple actions can provide massive results:

  • Engage, empower and enrich your employees: Invite employees to become part of your vision. Empower them to be a force of change and be enriched by your culture. Make your employees part of the solutions, by giving them a role and the responsibility for implementing solutions to major business issues.
  • Appreciate and reward your employees: Develop and deploy a schedule that regularly and meaningfully rewards employees to create a culture of appreciation. Assess and improve the way you reward people so that you are sensitive and responsive to the differences in age, education, maturity, and demographics.
  • Focus on the things that inspire your people:  Identify what inspires you and your employees. Do they need more education and training, more creative time and cross-training opportunities, wellness programs to promote less stress and better health, or even a sabbatical?  Develop and improve the key programs that your people need to stay engaged and loyal.

Read the rest of the article: Ten critical steps to achieving magnetic leadership

2. Work to reduce workplace stress
High stress levels often cause (or can worsen) a long list of health issues, including heart disease, obesity, depression and diabetes. In addition to increased health costs for stressed workers, employers are also dealing with the effects of stress that directly impact their profitability, including loss of productivity, absenteeism, turnover and disengagement.

Here are a few ways to combat workplace stress:

  • Introduce wellness plans: Exercise and a healthy lifestyle are extremely important when it comes to combating workplace related stress. Employee wellness schemes, such as paying for a portion of employees gym memberships or running group-wide healthy eating challenges are examples of how to help employees unwind and feel better about themselves.
  • Create social activity: Employees spend a lot of time with their co-workers so it is important they get along. The more people enjoy their time at work, the better the atmosphere will be – and a better office atmosphere leads to productivity and collaboration, which ultimately results in a less tense, less stressful environment. At least once a week set aside an hour to bring your team together in a non-work related capacity, whether it be a team lunch away from the office or a midday game of ping-pong (should a table be readily available). Social activity is good for reducing stress, boosting morale and team building.
  • Think about the habitat: Not every company can build its own workers village, complete with health food restaurants and indoor bike lanes a la Google however there is always room for improvement, particularly when it could boost job satisfaction and one’s overall mood. Think about budgeting for some brighter, more modern office furniture, consider changing the color of the walls (out with the sludge green and in with something fresher, cleaner and brighter), introduce some plants in the office, invest in some new pictures – anything to promote positivity.  

Read the rest of the article: 7 ways employers can reduce stress in the workplace

3. Be part of the team
The best business leaders set standards through actions. They are the first one to arrive at the office and the last one to leave.

Simple ways to show employees that “we are all in this together” include:

  • Taking on your fair share of the workload: It is no longer acceptable to sit behind an office door and dictate – managers need to prove their own ability and lead by example. By putting in as much time and effort (if not more) than the staff, a boss will not only gain respect but also offer inspiration for the team as a whole.
  • Listening to your staff: Asking questions and (genuinely!) seeking to understand the needs of one’s team can help employees feel respected and appreciated while promoting open discourse and healthy communication.

Read the rest of the article: Ten ways to lead by example

4. Allow for flexible schedules and telecommuting
Offering employees the option to telecommute, at least part time, can result in:

  • Cost savings for all: Your business will experience substantial savings in office occupancy expenses including utilities costs, leased office space, and additional costs associated with office supplies. Your staffers will save on fuel costs and general vehicle maintenance costs. In addition, they won't have to spend anything on work attire or lunch break grub either.
  • Fewer absences: Schedule flexibility decreases absences by allowing workers to take care of daily responsibilities on their own schedules. Additionally, telecommuting employees are less likely to call in sick because working from home while under the weather is much more convenient than doing so from the office.
  • Increase productivity: Flexible schedules in combination with the enthusiasm of a work-from-home atmosphere means your employees are likely to work more efficiently and more often.

Read the rest of the article: Why allowing your employees to telecommute is good for business

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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