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Hosted by Chris Dyer, the CEO of PeopleG2 – TalentTalk Radio features engaging conversation with CEOs, thought leaders and HR executives.  TalentTalk connects professionals who care about talent-related issues and having the cultural mindset to embrace the needed diversity of the workplace.

Today’s guests are Emily Morgan, Founder and President of Delegate Solutions and Matt Manners, Founder of the Employee Engagement Awards. To hear the entire show, click here.

On the show today, two entrepreneurs talk about increasing workplace efficiency through better time management and employee engagement.

Emily Morgan efficiency

Emily Morgan is the President and Founder of Delegate Solutions, a strategic support firm working with small and mid-sized companies to help them strategically leverage their time. Entrepreneurs often get caught up with day-to-day tasks and lose sight of the bigger picture. Morgan’s firm helps them leverage their time in the most efficient way so that they can adopt a broader view. All the solutions are provided remotely so Morgan’s clients don’t have to manage the external team or carry any kind of overhead.

Delegating Tasks to Achieve Efficiency

According to Morgan, among the most common challenge that leaders seek solutions for is scheduling meetings. Morgan’s team takes care of these aspects so that the leaders don’t have to waste time on it. They also help leaders with preparing for meetings, researching, travel planning, managing emails and automating processes. These are some of the ways in which Delegate Solutions supports its clients and helps them achieve efficiency.

“As the leader of a business, your time is best spent on large picture initiatives. Unfortunately, there’s so much day-to-day operational stuff that needs to be done to keep the business running. It stays on your plate when you don’t have anyone to delegate these tasks to. You need a resource to free up your time. That’s where we come in,” explains Morgan.

Virtual Workplace

Morgan’s firm works on a virtual model. She strongly believes that in a remote workplace accountability is very important to ensure work gets done. The team should know what’s expected of them, how their work is going to be monitored and the milestones they have to hit. Communication is also a critical success factor in a virtual workplace, enabled by technology for consistent and constant dialgoue. To facilitate regular communication, Morgan’s firm uses Slack, a group messaging app, and Zoom, which is a video conferencing tool. Otherwise, it is very easy to feel disconnected if the communication isn’t taking place. Morgan also believes that measuring success is necessary in a remote workplace. She uses a time tracking system to constantly monitor the progress her employees are making at any given time. Morgan is also working to implement ROWE (Results Only Work Environment), a system that focuses on measuring results employees generate and the key milestones they achieve instead of evaluating them on a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. work model.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Being an English major with no business training, Morgan has evolved into an entrepreneur over the last nine years. Knowing that the work she does helps entrepreneurs and executives become better leaders and be more effective helps Morgan achieve a deep connection with her business. It energizes her and it ties into her own identity. Morgan’s firm employs only part-time employees who work on a flexible schedule who enjoy a professionally rewarding career. For Morgan, this is both fulfilling and motivating.

What Are You Reading?

Morgan is currently reading “Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business” by Gino Wickman. It is a strategy book that guides entrepreneurs in gaining control over their businesses through Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). She’s also reading Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm– a compilation of best practices adapted from some of the best-run firms in the world — by Verne Harnish.

How Can People Connect With You?

Connect with Morgan via her company’s website www.delegatesolutions.com as well as the company’s Facebook page.

Matt Manners efficiency

London-based employee engagement expert Matt Manners is the Founder of the Employee Engagement Awards. Prior to launching the awards a couple years ago, he ran a boutique employee engagement consultancy.

The Employee Engagement Awards were born from the realization that there was little or no recognition for this new and highly important discipline of engagement within companies. While several awards recognize achievements of HR and internal communications professionals, the people who battle hard to increase engagement internally within companies weren’t being acknowledged or celebrated. Thus Manners developed these awards with the intention of encouraging companies to pay more attention to employee engagement and to recognize the work of the ones that are doing it well. He launched them in the UK in 2014 before bringing the program to the U.S. last year. This year, the award festivities are taking place in Chicago along with a conference that shares employee engagement best practices.

Employee Engagement across the Globe

Having organized the awards in the UK, U.S. and Australia, Manners has seen employee engagement practices and ideologies all over the world. He believes that employee engagement is in the early adoptive stage across the globe. People have started recognizing that they need to do more than just annual surveys at the end of the year. Numerous studies prove the link between truly caring for employees and businesses experiencing increased sales and profits – resulting in growing traction for the practice of engagement around the world.

The only difference Manners sees is the stage at which companies are in on their journey of engagement. “It begins with acknowledging that there is a problem. There are companies that are having trouble even getting to that acknowledgement phase. And then there are others who realize it’s very important to invest time and money in engagement and are doing some really wonderful work,” explains Manners.

Employee Engagement – Getting it Right

Manners believes that an employee recognition program would be a good place to start for companies that have never thought about employee engagement before. Another critical ingredient is for companies to give employees a sense of purpose. During his consultancy days, Manners found that the number one factor employees wanted from their jobs wasn’t increase in pay or benefits. In fact, what they wanted was a change in the way they were listened to and communicated to on a regular basis. “They would say, ‘we are working 10 hours a day, please tell us what you want out of us before we start and please listen to what we have to say. We’re invested in the business and would like to see it improve as well. We have good ideas so give us a platform to put them forth,’” recalls Manners. “Listening and communicating instead of telling and ignoring is one of the key areas to get right first.”

Engaging Different Generations

According to Manners, millennials have come from an education system where they were constantly given feedback. With the change in the exam structure, they were constantly given pats on the back or feedback on how they were doing. However, for boomers and Gen Xers, the norm was to work through the end of the year and then take exams. Thus, annual reviews generally work for them. There wasn’t a need for constant feedback because they weren’t used to it anyway. Yet, there has been a generational shift in how people work and develop. Each generation needs to be engaged based on their individual priorities –  making employee engagement a challenging task.

What Are You Reading?

Manners is currently reading “Brian O’Driscoll: The Biography: The Story of Ireland’s Greatest Rugby Hero by Marcus Stead. He finds it very inspiring to read about the lives of successful people and how they achieved greatness. The other book he is reading is The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History by Boris Johnson. Having been a history student in college, Manners loves this genre.

How Can People Connect With You?

Connect with Matt and find out more about his awards on www.ee-awards.com.

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