Most Recent Articles on Heart First Leadership

7 Essentials to Lead Through Change

Posted by David Grossman on Wed, Jan 05, 2022

Since the start of the pandemic, organizations of all sizes navigated unprecedented challenges and changes along with their employees. Some were surprised at what they were able to accomplish during this critical time. In fact, we heard several examples of multi-year change programs that were accomplished in a matter of months after the pandemic upended everything.

So how did they deliver change at a pace they didn’t know was possible? The circumstances of COVID-19 were a big driver; ideas that may have seemed optional or not time-sensitive before the pandemic became necessary and urgent.

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Tags: Communicating Change, Heart First Leadership

The Top 10 Things Every Employee Wants From Their Boss

Posted by David Grossman on Wed, Dec 15, 2021

What do employees really want from their managers? The answer may seem like a mystery, as employees don’t always feel comfortable sharing their true thoughts with the boss. While the answer varies from person to person, our research and experience gained from decades of work in this area reveal some common themes, so we’re pulling back the curtain on a collective “wish list” every boss should know.

Here are some of the most common employee wishes and those that come up most often as unmet:

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Tags: Employee Engagement, Heart First Leadership

8 Ways to Foster a Positive Employee Experience in a Hybrid Workplace

Posted by David Grossman on Mon, Nov 22, 2021

As organizations plan for the post-COVID workplace, many are considering a hybrid approach with good reason: It’s what employees want. Of more than 30,000 workers surveyed in the Microsoft 2021 Work Trend Index, 73% wanted flexible remote work options to continue and 67% wanted more in-person time with their teams.

Perhaps to help their employees enjoy the best of both worlds, two-thirds of business decisionmakers are considering redesigning physical spaces to accommodate hybrid work environments. Yet while more collaboration space, better videoconference technology and “hotel” desk space may be useful when employees are on site, that’s only part of the picture. To be successful with a hybrid work environment long term, it’s important to be conscientious about the employee experience all day, every day.

Moving to Hybrid Spaces

Here are eight best practices to think about when moving to hybrid work:

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Tags: Heart First Leadership, Future of Work

A Lesson Learned from My Dad: The Power of Asking for Help

Posted by David Grossman on Thu, Nov 18, 2021

My dad and me.

Last week marked the 25th anniversary of my father’s death from pancreatic cancer. The picture is of my dad and me at my Bar Mitzvah.

He spent his last few days in a wonderful hospice – St. Mary’s Hospice in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dad was heavily sedated and not very lucid in his last few days, but I still talked to him as if he could hear me.

I believed he could hear me; upon reflection, I think that was one of the ways I was dealing with his imminent death.

I’ll always remember the day the Rabbi came to visit.

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Tags: Authenticity, Heart First Leadership

From the Great Resignation to Striketober, Employees are Demanding Change

Posted by Linda Kingman on Wed, Oct 27, 2021

We’ve all heard and read about the "Great Resignation" and employees leaving their jobs in record numbers recently. In a related development, October is now known as Striketober, with labor strikes happening at cereal makers (Kellogg’s), agricultural equipment manufacturers (John Deere) and healthcare providers (Kaiser Permanente). A strike of 60,000 behind-the-scenes film and TV workers was averted with moments to spare earlier this month. And Netflix employees just staged a walkout over concern about Dave Chappelle’s transphobic jokes and employees’ desire to see the company invest in more LGBTQ content.

While unions have failed to succeed in organizing workers at behemoths like Starbucks and Amazon, they may be picking up steam. And opinion polls indicate that the public is increasingly supportive of unions, with the latest Gallup numbers showing 65% approval.

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Tags: Heart First Leadership, The Great Resignation

Getting Difficult Questions from Your Employees? 3 Tips to Facilitate Dialogue and Understanding

Posted by David Grossman on Mon, Sep 27, 2021

Difficult questions. We all get them. Particularly in this challenging period, there’s no shortage of tough questions on people’s minds, with employees wondering whether and when they’ll go back to the office or about safety protocols and childcare once they’ve returned.

In my latest book, Heart First: Lasting Leader Lessons from a Year that Changed Everything, I devote an entire chapter to leader tips for answering tough questions. I often find that with just a little preparation, leaders can accomplish a lot just by educating employees and putting some of their concerns to rest.

Being prepared and practicing these three tried-and-true techniques can help you field with ease that challenging employee question (or reporter who’s looking for a compelling angle).

3 Tips to Facilitate Dialogue and Understanding

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Tags: Leadership Effectiveness & Planning, Heart First Leadership

Want to Retain Your Employees? Do This One Thing.

Posted by David Grossman on Wed, Sep 15, 2021

Employees are on the move. A recent US Pulse Survey from PwC found that 65% of employees are looking for a new job. What’s more, 88% of executives surveyed said they are seeing higher turnover than normal.

The top four reasons, in order, that employees say they’re looking:

  1. Wages/salaries
  2. Benefits
  3. Career advancement
  4. Flexibility
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Tags: Employee Engagement, Leadership Communication, Heart First Leadership

Managing Through Change? Employees Need to Know the Context

Posted by David Grossman on Mon, Aug 23, 2021

We all know that change is part of business and isn’t going away any time soon. Yet that reality can be hard on employees, who are constantly bombarded with so much information of all kinds that they can’t digest it. That’s why it’s so important to place any big change in context to help employees adjust.

By context, we mean the “why,” or the background and reasoning behind a change that needs to take place. For instance, the context could be industry or financial concerns that put pressure on the business. Most recently, the pandemic and racial unrest presented new and obvious challenges, prompting significant changes or adjustments to the overall strategy and approach for many businesses.

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Tags: Leadership Communication, Communicating Change, Heart First Leadership

2020 Changed Everything: 7 Leaders Share Advice for Building More Inclusive and Diverse Workplaces

Posted by David Grossman on Mon, Aug 09, 2021

As we all know, 2020 had a lasting impact on business in many ways, and not just because of the pandemic. For my new book, Heart First: Lasting Leader Lessons from a Year that Changed Everything, I interviewed more than 30 leaders from a variety of businesses about the key leadership lessons learned from the past year. Many of those leaders reflected on racial injustice in the workplace, and shared key things that surprised or enlightened them as they responded to diversity and inclusion concerns.

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Tags: Diversity & Inclusion, Heart First Leadership

My New Book Is Here. Heart First: Lasting Leader Lessons from a Year that Changed Everything

Posted by David Grossman on Mon, Aug 02, 2021

As I shared earlier this summer, I’ve been working on a book for the past year reflecting on some of the key lessons learned from an unforgettable time, for business and for society. With the pandemic and social unrest that we confronted over the past year, 2020 changed us in enduring ways. As we see from our remote and hybrid work, reduced travel, abundance of video meetings, and new awakenings on equity and inclusion in the workforce, it’s clear that the way we work and lead will never be quite the same.

My new book is called Heart First: Lasting Leader Lessons from a Year that Changed Everything, and I’m so excited to share it with all of you.

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Tags: Heart First Leadership