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The Importance of Employee Appreciation and Recognition

March 6 is Employee Appreciation Day. Like everything else, the pandemic has  dramatically increased the importance of employee appreciation and recognition. It probably started out as a token gesture; but now such acknowledgements are more important than ever because the nature of employment has changed. What it means to be a reliable employee and team player is no longer just about job function. It’s now about being essential to the survival of  the company. 

Employee appreciation and recognition says “You matter”!

The struggle for work-life balance has always been real, but now everybody knows it—even those at the top of the food chain! And that’s because everybody has been affected by the pandemic.

Maintaining your work performance in relative isolation under tremendous pressure? Focusing on the job while keeping an eye on your child’s distance learning progress? Juggling spousal, parental, and multiple other roles? Struggling to keep at bay your anxieties about contracting the most deadly disease any of us has ever faced in our lives?

Now’s the time for your executive suite to shout from the penthouse-rooftop: “Hey team! We appreciate you! We couldn’t do this without you! Thank you!” And they should continue to shout it out in emails, newsletters, social media, and chat boards until it echoes throughout the company corridors.

Employee appreciation and recognition: personalize it!

Virtual work duty can foster feelings of isolation and relative obscurity. Fortunately, an up close and personal expression of gratitude from a superior can have inestimable value in dispelling a remotely located employee’s notion that they’ve been forgotten.

Employee appreciation and recognition often works best when it’s personalized and passion-driven. So for some members of your team, the best way  to give them accolades that really matter may be to support their giving back to the community. For example, you could host a charitable team building event targeting a cause that they love!

Genuine acts of kindness have a longer shelf-life when they’re driven by genuine zeal for a noble cause. Our remote Rescue Buddies workshop is a prime example. After all,  what could be more life-affirming than helping traumatized children?

Rescue Buddies rescue!

Every year approximately 40,000 children are affected by house fires.  And nearly 100,000 kids are injured in car accidents. Even more heart-rending is the increase in domestic violence since the pandemic began. This spike was triggered  by the economic fallout from unemployment and prospective foreclosures and evictions, along with the stress from  “lockdown” confinement. Result: many abuse victims are trapped at home with their abusers!

Before COVID-19, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reported that   “1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.”  Incidents of abuse have skyrocketed since the pandemic and millions of children are being traumatized every day. In fact experts are calling this a “pandemic within a pandemic”.

Fire fighters, state troopers, health care providers, social service workers, and other first responders are witnessing this first hand. And hundreds of them  across America are grateful to have a stash of Rescue Buddies to give out.

Employee appreciation and recognition: paying it forward!

Rescue Buddies are stuffed animals—bears, birds, and other huggable beasties—that are assembled during our workshops for the express purpose of giving them to young victims of car crashes, house fires, and domestic abuse cases. 

They’re stored in the trunks of squad cars, ambulances, and other vehicles patiently waiting to be swept up into the arms of a frightened, disoriented child. The toys don’t talk, but they speak volumes: “You’re going to be okay.” “I’m here for you, just hold on tight.”  “We will get through this together!”

They’re stuffed with love, comfort, and security and you and your team can make them! How’s that for employee appreciation and recognition that  makes a real difference and leaves a tangible legacy of kindness?

 


DiSC is the Great Generational Equalizer

Conflict management in the workplace can be especially treacherous among different age groups. Fortunately, DiSC is the great generational equalizer!

A world, a part?

In the complex and confounding world of social media there is an ongoing feud between Millennials and Generation Zers about  wearing a part down the middle of your hair. Millennials do it. Generation Zers disdain it. 

Skinny jeans? Millennials wear. Generation Z swears they’re “old school.” Emojis? That’s how Millennials emote. Emojis lost their mojo with Generation Z. Of course, you do realize that  Millennials are between 25 and 40 years old; and Generation Zers are between 6 and 24. Let that sink in….slowly.

Yup. The yap in this generation gap gets louder as the gap gets wider.

Millennial furor vs. fervor 

Across the pond, the www.oxfordstudent.com describes them as snowflakes: “…easily offended, attention-seeking and lacking resilience. Often lumped together with the words ‘liberal’, ‘political correctness’, ‘safe space’, and ‘identity politics’; snowflakes are accused of living in a bubble of righteousness, and shutting down free speech when it comes into conflict with their own opinions…”

Ouch! I’ll bet this was written by a Generation Z journalist. Frankly, I think  Millennials are unique but they don’t melt that easily. If they did, they wouldn’t be able to cope with the chronic stress of school debt, fluctuating economy, higher rents, and the wave of disasters from climate change that they inherited from their parents—all of this in addition to the trauma of life during a pandemic!

There are 56 million Millennials in the American workforce. Translation: they’re an “offer” no company can refuse. They’re redefining what work is, what it’s worth and how it’s done. Millennials are full of new ideas about what leadership is, what it’s worth, how it should be done, and how it could be done better—and that’s not necessarily a bad thing!

The good old days of employer dominance and employee submission until retirement doth they part is over. And that’s not necessarily bad either. I mean, be honest: how good was it really? 

These young people spent a lifetime observing their parents and all the stuff they endured on the job. And even though they reaped the benefits as kids, Millennials are not sure all that “stuff” is worth it now that they are all grown up themselves. 

Generation Z favor vs. frustration

In an article published by the Society for Human Resource Management, They “…consider themselves the hardest-working generation yet won’t tolerate being forced to work when they don’t want to, according to a new study. Moreover, although they consider themselves to be the consummate ‘digital generation,’ they say they prefer face-to-face interactions at work.”

There are 61 million Generation Zers out there who are ready to conquer the world! They’re not all in the workforce, yet, but they are already having an impact.

Actually, Generation Zers are no better or worse than Millennials. They’re just different. Their world views are different. For instance, What 9/11 is to Millennials, COVID-19  is for Generation Z. Let that sink in….slowly.

Now imagine being a Baby Booming CEO with a staff full of brilliant, tech savvy whiz kids from both camps! 

DiSC the great equalizer!

In order to manage such an assortment of mixed nuts, first you have to break open the shells, right?  But how? DiSC.

DiSC is a mental life-raft that identifies four personality types and teaches trainees how to stay afloat. Dominants. Influentials. Supportives. Conscientious. Each of us exhibits traits of all to a greater or lesser extent.

Learning how each employee thinksno matter their agemay determine how much you and your company tread water,  cruise along, or even pick up speed during a storm like the COVID pandemic.

And DiSC can be a unifier as well. For example, you will find that the one thing these two generations have in common is that they’re all about support versus control. Collaboration versus domination.  

Recognizing the idiosyncrasies of your various Dominants along with their points of commonality—their passions and core values—will open the way forward in developing collaborations between staffers. A  Millennial Influential may be an ideal match with a Conscientious Generation Z because of a mutual commitment to CSR projects.

According to an article in The Guardian, “There is a wealth of data bearing out their view that a business which involves and supports its staff is going to have a better relationship with its customers, and be more profitable.”

DiSC is a threshold over which everyone can step on an equal footing. And each individual can move forward with the full assurance that in spite of—and sometimes because of—their  age, cultural, social, or other differences they will be valued and supported.

DiSC is the great generational equalizer and that always translates to a healthier corporate culture and a bigger bottom line.


How DiSC Can Promote Mental Health

Do you feel as if you’re losing yourself? Unable to focus and move forward because of everything that’s going on? One way to find yourself again is through DiSC personality discovery. It doesn’t treat mental illness but DiSC can promote mental health.

COVID-19 and the psychological pandemic

You know how if enough bugs splat your windshield, you can’t see clearly? Each bug is small, but together they can wreak havoc. The pandemic has made our emotional and psychological windshields seem impenetrable. And sometimes windshield wipers just aren’t enough. 

Millions of people are not only suffering the physical effects and side effects of COVID 19, they’re also suffering emotionally and mentally.

Frank Snowden, a historian of pandemics at Yale said: “All pandemics ‘afflict societies through the specific vulnerabilities people have created by their relationships with the environment, other species, and each other….’ Each pandemic has its own properties, and this one—a bit like the bubonic plague—affects mental health… [and he sees] a second pandemic coming ‘in the train of the COVID-19 first pandemic … [a] psychological pandemic’.”

So what do you do when you can’t see your way forward? For some of us, the only recourse is to seek professional healthswiftly and unapologetically. Such an act of self-care is a step toward sanity and peace.

DiSC to the rescue

For others, a lens adjustment may bring things into sharper focus. DiSC personality discovery can promote mental health by clearing away the mental clutter and the gunk on your emotional windshield.

DiSC is shorthand for Dominant, Influential, Steadfast or Supportive, Conscientious. They’re four personality types that we all share in some measure. A deeper understanding of your own personality and those of your colleagues may make it easier to navigate through these uncertain times.

For example, as a leader, you have to wear many hats: commander-in-chief, vision caster, and sometimes even career coach. Now it’s one thing to gauge the temperature in the boardroom, but it’s quite another to do it virtually.  And with so many emotions and psyches to deal with, now you have many more layers of economic chaos, fiscal threats, and business matters to juggle! Surely something’s got to give, right? Well that’s where DiSC comes in.

DiSC can promote mental health at your company by helping your team members understand each other. And they’ll learn what they can and cannot expect from themselves and others regarding specific crises. 

For instance, a Steadfast employee may not provide the booming voice of encouragement that a cheerleading Dominant staffer can when the team really needs it. However that same Steadfast employee will no doubt prove to be an anchor and a voice of reason possible during the crisisjust more quietly.

DiSC promotes healthy team building

The pandemic is enforcing new rules of employee engagement. So the old elitist food chain must transform into a diverse and inclusive buffet if businesses are to survive. DiSC can help managers figure out who has what to offer for this new menu. And that’s the key: everyone has something to offer; you just have to learn how to recognize it.

The ability to see everyone’s value and turn it into an asset will: 

  1. Ease relational tensions—generational, racial, and otherwise
  2. Facilitate conflict management
  3. Transform team building into team bonding
  4. Boost the overall morale of the company
  5. Create a sense of emotional stability and professional security 
  6. Increase the level of confidence in the company and its leadership

DiSC personality discovery is just thatan adventurous discovery of your best attributes and a chance to learn how to become an even better you. And as you grow more tolerant and accepting of yourself, you’ll “discover” how to cope with and value the personalities around you.

Aoife O’Donovan, an associate professor of psychiatry at the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences in California said this: “… these times as creating the conditions for new opportunities. The challenges will be many; the fallout painful. But there is an opening for previously unthinkable change, not only to the structures of societies, but also in countless small ways — privately, personally. We have lived for months at close quarters with ourselves. We will deepen our appreciation of some of the simple things we have missed, and some of the pleasures that have helped us through, even if it is only the taste of a new season apple. And in some measure, we will know ourselves better.”

DiSC will help with that processgetting to know ourselves and each other with acceptance, inclusion, and support.


How to Pandemic-Proof Your Leadership Style

This lockdown is a great time to learn how to pandemic-proof your leadership style. That’s the good news. The challenge is that it all starts with you!

Through the digital looking glass

“The inmates are running the asylum!” That concept originated from the 1920 cult film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Unfortunately lots of managers feel that way today.

Back in the good ol’ days, when bosses reigned supreme and dinosaurs roamed freely, CEOs snapped their fingers and subordinates jumped! Nobody expected executives to make photocopies or  to even know how the infernal machines worked! 

Everyone—mostly females—was expected to know how he liked his coffee. He barked orders demanding higher productivity and greater efficiency and workers  snapped to it. Forty, 50, or 80-hour work weeks; strained marriages; ulcers—they delivered  no matter the cost. He barked. They jumped.  And all was right with the world [of the power brokers, at least].

“It Came From Outer Space”

In 2020 when an alien life form called COVID-19 crashed into our planet it turned everything and everyone upside down. In fact, it created what some might call the perfect storm for utter calamity. And the pandemic, the subsequent lockdown, and the increased dependency on digital technology, flipped the script on executives. 

Now those with the greatest technical proficiency in corporations around the globe have recalibrated leadership and compelled some CEOs to assume a whole new persona.

In a recent research report, MIT Sloan Management Review found that “Leaders’ emphasis on greater efficiency and productivity has provoked a backlash, particularly from a digitally savvy workforce. Digital talent now expects more from leadership than greater flexibility, better compensation, and/or productivity-supporting work environments. Our research suggests that digitally savvy workforces expect digital transformation to better reflect and respect their concerns and values, not just ensure superior business capabilities and opportunities.”

How to pandemic-proof your leadership style: resilience!

Ironically the key to stability in the marketplace is the ability to absorb instability easily. Shock absorbency and flexibility are the ballast that helps keep businesses afloat. And it’s vital that they be engrafted into your business model. Together they make up what’s now more commonly called “business resilience”.  

According to youmatter.world, “Business resilience is a business-wide term that comprises crisis management and business continuity and that represents the ability of organizations to rapidly adapt and respond to all types of risks – such as natural disasters, cyber-attacks, supply chain disruptions, among others.”

Today  business resilience means leading through change.  And that means executives must surrender to the process of being stripped of the elitism, the titular privilege, and the kind of social distancing that rank commands— and  even demands. 

Airs of superiority may stink in the nostrils of some employees who decry the hierarchical treachery of the corporate ladder. Younger, socially conscious employees want to be valued for their contributions to the company as professionals and as fellow-human beings. Social distance as a COVID-protocol is one thing; but they are rejecting social distance as a declaration of personal superiority.

So business resilience means dumping  overboard all information and technological silos. All hands on deck means just that—rank and title notwithstanding. People in the same sinking ship need to act like it and work together or they’ll all sink—rank and title notwithstanding.

How to pandemic-proof your leadership style: DiSC

In his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John Maxwell said, “When leaders match people to roles in the organization, it’s not enough for them to weigh what people have done in the past. They must also consider what people could do if the environment allowed them to flourish.”

Dear leaders! So much to change all at once! So unfair and yet so necessary! Leaders, we all know you’re neither villains or superheroes. You’re people and should be regarded as such. And you must risk the vulnerability of recognizing yourselves as such— neither villains or superheroes—people. 

Becoming more self-aware is the first step you’ll need to take in order to embrace the new demands on you as your leadership role morphs over and over. And DiSC personality profile training can facilitate that first step. Dominant. Influential. Steadfast. Conscientious. You’re one or more of these personality types and the better you understand them, the more tolerant you’ll become—of yourself, in particular.

Insights into your own behavior will help you understand and accept your colleagues and subordinates. It will provide the clarity you need in order to adjust your perspective on your company, your staff, and yourself as a leader.

Take a deep breath, embrace your ever-changing duties in this daring new world, and enjoy the adventure with a little help from your friends.


DiSC and Charitable Giving

If DiSC is foundational to team building,  then charitable giving is the mortar that holds the team together. DiSC personality profile training and charitable giving—they’re the solid ground upon which teams are built in a virtual world. 

Through the looking-glass

Remember those distorted mirrors at the fair? Baby Boomers used to call them “funhouse mirrors” even though they were scarier than they were fun. Over time, virtual meetings can begin to feel the same way. They can create a very real—sometimes surreal—difference in the way people interact, react, communicate, and work together. That’s primarily because they aren’t together! 

New rules of re-engagement

Vocal tone, eye contact, facial tics, and hand gestures. Online, some body language may get lost in translation. So  relatability is challenged because we humans were made for face-to-face interaction—even if we don’t particularly like the face we’re interacting with.

And now orbiting cyberspace, there are lists of ‘best practices’ on how to put your best foot forward every time you open your mouth during remote meetings. Both ironic and humorous!

The ‘best virtual body language’  is supposed to make you look more in command, more competent, and more relatable. Training in public speaking and developing executive presence skills are usually for on-site meetings. Technology has changed the dynamics of both and the learning curve can be steep.

Maybe that’s because so much seems to be at stake. The current state of our economy is a product of the pandemic and lots of workers are concerned about keeping their jobs.  So any edge at all could be a favorable one—if it doesn’t cut them first. Adapting to a remote workplace along with homeschooling  kids has been stressful enough. Having to add one more brick to the load on their shoulders could be crushing.

Perhaps these so-called best body language practices might actually work  if  everyone had a better grasp on their individual behavioral practices. DiSC personality profile training can heighten both your level of self-awareness and understanding of how you tick naturally. It can also give you a grasp on how to make gradual changes that will improve your executive presence, your communications skills, and your leadership abilities. 

DiSC stands for Dominant, Influential, Supportive or Steadfast, and Conscientious. These 4 basic personality types in various combinations define our makeup. Learning more about them can show us how to build healthy working relationships with one another. 

DiSC and charitable giving

Once you get a better handle on the real you and how you are perceived by others, you’ll need to practice some of those self-awareness techniques. That’s where charitable giving comes in.

Magnovo’s charitable team building workshops involve friendly competitions between small groups to amass donations for local families. These activities are designed to kick start the team building skills taught during the training phase of the workshop; and when  the training is based on DiSC, that’s when the magic happens! 

Dominants more readily acquiesce to the leadership of Conscientious colleagues because they understand them. Influentials relate to Supportives more as people than competitors on the corporate ladder. “The food chain” and the “pecking order” are terms that provoke division and aggression—devouring the competition by pecking at them a little at a time. DiSC educates, enlightens, and inspires through understanding and unity.

Legacy building: DiSC and charitable giving

During each workshop, skills like communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution are filtered through the insights provided by DiSC personality profile training. And the difference in relationship development and team bonding is  always astounding.

Charitable giving can strengthen professional relationships and create corporate legacies in communities. Gifts of school supplies, wagons, bikes, wheelchairs, sports gear, stuffed animals, non-perishable foodstuffs, and military care packages. At Magnovo, that’s what corporate social responsibility is all about.

The opportunity to better understand colleagues and help local families at the same time. At Magnovo, that’s what DiSC and charitable giving are all about. 


New Year’s Resolution: Disc Personality Profile Training

New Year.  New norms. New clients. New customers. New quotas. New bosses. New coworkers. New Year’s resolution: DiSC personality profile training. It’ll make all the other new stuff go down a lot easier.

New reality

Imagine having to live, work, and play at least 6 feet away from friends, colleagues, and even family indefinitely? Unimaginable?  A social distance of 6 feet can feel like miles of separation and “indefinitely” can sound like “forever!”

Remoteness at home or in the office is the new norm. New protocols for entering buildings, conference rooms, bathrooms, fitness areas, cafeterias, and elevators. Door handles, fingerprint scanners—suddenly the whole place is like a minefield!

The rules of engagement will change at water coolers and break rooms. And what about new office hygiene? Clearing your desk is one thing, but cleaning it—as in disinfecting it—is quite another. 

Newly installed kiosks for frequent temperature checks and hand washing stations. Making sure that workers understand that the procedures are mandated by the laws of your state versus your CEO.

New habits aren’t easy to remember under duress, but they will become part of our muscle-memory over time. Perhaps we can program our wearable tech to alert us when we’re too close to each other—like some of our computerized cars do now.

Flexibility in work assignments. Deadlines when workers need to work remotely and sick leave policies. Mental health breaks. A new world that is both brave and grave is upon us.

How DiSC can help you cope with COVID-19 in 2021

Orientation and re-training

  1. When the surreal becomes real it’s harder for some of us to adjust than for others. Understanding each other and ourselves may make it a lot easier to cope and to support each other. 
  2. The first quarter of a new year is a great time to reassess skills gaps in your workforce and reassign or retrain. Incorporate DiSC personality profile training into orientation sessions about new rules, regs, and behavioral policies. It’ll personalize the whole process and smooth the way for each transition. 
  3. DiSC provides comprehensive knowledge about how each worker ticks which will make adjusting to each new procedure easier—more intuitive—for you and everyone else.
  4. Insights from DiSC training can help you bring out the best in each employee. Results: increased productivity, reduced stress, and enriched client and customer service experiences. 

Self-awareness: DiSC and you!

  1. As a leader, the best way to make DiSC work for you is for you to work your own profile. That is, dare to be honest with yourself about who you are and the way you are. Then risk being honest with your staff.
  2. Transparency sounds noble but it’s difficult to achieve, so don’t push yourself too hard. Just open up as much as you can and then be intentional about recognizing its impact on your team. 
  3. People process information differently. They filter and follow it differently. DiSC will prompt you how to communicate to your individual team members, one by one and understand what they’re getting or not getting—one by one.  

 Don’t treat feedback like pushback

  1. Ask for it and then accept it, while considering the source—their temperament and their professional agenda.
  2. Learn and accept each team member as a unique personality, then watch how seamlessly the group bonds as a team.
  3. If you’re bold enough to announce an open door policy, be bold enough to do it. Open your door and your mind. You’ll be amazed at all the things you can learn personally and professionally.

New Year’s Resolution: Disc personality profile training for your whole staff. The first step toward a fresh start. This may be one of the most important resolutions you’ll ever make if you stick to it. Happy 2021.


How DiSC Helps Team Building

The pandemic sure has made us aware of our deep need for each other. Maybe that’s why working remotely has made some of us feel isolated and disconnected. And when we finally do connect, it feels awkward; a bit like learning how to dance the 2-step again. Who leads? Who follows?  Hard to bond again. A key to how DiSC helps team bonding is that you get to know and accept each other. As you really are. Emotionally mask-free.  

Hiding in plain sight

Even under the most ideal circumstances, connecting with other people as the real you, is risky. Long before the onslaught of COVID-19, most of us wore masks with our body language. And body language isn’t limited to the body. 

Houses, cars, jewelry, wardrobes, smiles, handshakes. College degrees and pedigrees. We’ve worn these masks proudly and wielded them like weapons to gain access to the ladder of success. COVID-19 stripped away a lot of this protective armor and now here we are. Exposed. Raw. Real. Imagine putting that on your resume!

Reality check: how DiSC helps team bonding 

There’s a common belief that a crisis brings out the very best and the very worst in people. Even if you turn out to be a real hero in the face of uncertainty, being introduced to the real you can be down right traumatic.  DiSC personality profile training can help you cope with what you discover about yourself and accept what you see in others.

Know anybody with a Dominant personality? Know an uber-Influencer? How about Supportive or Conscientious types? Actually we all know people like this. In fact, each of us is a unique combination of the 4 basic personality types which make up the acronym DiSC 

A clever physiological psychologist  named William Moulton Marston developed the DiSC concept back in the dark ages—1928. And in the 1940s an industrial psychologist and behavioral pioneer named  Walter Clark began to craft personality profiling based on the DiSC model.

Over the last 4 decades some 50 million people have benefited from this amazing tool. From ExxonMobil to General Electric to Walmart—most Fortune 500 companies use DiSC to screen applicants and identify candidates for prospective promotions.

Inclusion: how DiSC helps team bonding 

But DiSC isn’t some kind of weed-whacker. It is not a weapon designed for rejection and exclusion.  DiSC makes it easier for everyone to feel included and accepted by revealing those idiosyncrasies we all have and teaching people how to deal with them. And the pandemic has made this especially important for millions of remote workers around the country. 

Recently, Forbes Magazine reported that a survey by TELUS International, revealed a vast majority of workers (80%) would consider quitting their current position for a job that focused more on employees’ mental health….4 out of 5 workers find it hard to “shut off” in the evenings and… half of the respondents cite that their sleep patterns have been interrupted due to COVID-19, and 45% say they feel less healthy mentally while working from home.

And McKinsey.com reported …an interesting study where more than 40 percent of folks surveyed described a decline in mental health during the COVID-19 crisis. Even more shocking, nearly 40 percent of respondents said no one had called to ask, “How are you doing?” No supervisor. No one. And the folks who hadn’t been checked on had a 38 percent higher likelihood of reporting that they weren’t doing well. Checking in on people is so important. It’s amazing, the extent to which it makes a difference—and also the extent to which it’s not being done.

Emotional outreach: how DiSC helps team bonding 

As challenging as these times are for small business owners and corporate executives, they all must be alert to the needs of their employees right now. As the level of emotional vulnerability rises among virtual workers, the need to reach out and reassure them is more crucial than ever.

And employers need to make their employees feel safe—not stigmatized—if they need to seek professional help from psychotherapists, psychologists, or emotional support groups. The last thing they should have to contend with is being even more isolated and alienated because they need emotional and psychiatric support!

And DiSC personality profile training can become a guidepost for both supervisors and  peers to reach out to fragile workers in a safe, non-threatening way. DiSC provides eye-opening insights into the emotional makeup and character.

If your emotional IQ is low, you may not be as sensitive or empathetic as your staff member needs you to be. DiSC can boost your IQ and teach you how to tread lightly with vulnerable workers without your feeling trod upon yourself. The worker is the focus but the goal is to help them get the job done the way you need it done. DiSC strengthens team bonds, boosts morale, and increases profit margins.

 


Employee Engagement and Charity

Corporate America is rapidly being transformed by new rules of employee engagement and charity is the key. Benevolent leadership is the new  gold standard and the ROI is astonishing.

Even before COVID-19, American companies—both large and small—recognized the benefits of corporate social responsibility and adjusted their business policies accordingly.

 Wringing out the old

The head honcho. The big cheese. The kingpin.The traditional corporate hierarchy enforced a level of rulership that bordered on despotism. The company owner also owned the employees, who owed their allegiance to the boss. If this sounds like a gross exaggeration, just ask your parents or grandparents. 

Workers enjoyed job security as long as they were content with the status quo. They were guaranteed a seat in the boat as long as they didn’t rock the boat. But today,  thanks to a monumental generational shift, this “ship-of-state” is  sinking like the Titanic.

In with the new generational style

Baby Boomers are retiring. Millennials are now accused of being “old school,” and the GenZers are called the “young whippersnappers.” This clash of generational and cultural values has turned the old management style on its head. 

Young captains of industry are as committed to corporate social responsibility as they are to corporate profits. And they’re less territorial than their predecessors, too. Millennials and GenZers see as much value in stewardship—taking good care of other people’s things—as they do in ownership. 

That’s because these whiz kids [aka upstarts] recognize that stewardship is more about serving the community than it is about being rich enough to have servants themselves. And they put their energy where their convictions are. Volunteerism and community service are literally lifestyles for millions of young executives and managers-in-training. 

Seeking common ground

To turn adversaries into allies, you need one of two things: a common enemy or a common goal—either will inspire passion and unity. Baby Boomers, Millennials, and GenZers have one common goal: giving. They all welcome opportunities to give back. For some managerial types, philanthropy is simply good publicity. But increasingly, even the most profit-driven executives see that the return-on-investment or ROI is worth the effort. And Magnovo’s charitable team building events make that effort fun!

Employee engagement and charity

Mission-Military-Care-ChildIs yours a military town? How many of your neighbors are deployed overseas? Our virtual Mission: Military Care Charitable Team Building Workshop provides care packages that some soldiers regard as “essential.” That’s because they’re often the only source of comfort and hygiene items. Novels, magazines, puzzle books, and even comic books. 

Non-perishable snacks like cookies, candy, nuts, chips, and dried fruit. Travel-size lotions, chapstick, and sunscreen. Toothbrushes and toothpaste, razors, deodorant, and other toiletries. Stationery and pens. Shipped overseas, these simple gifts will  make home feel closer for these courageous servicemen and women.

And stateside, there may be hundreds of veterans in your community with limited mobility. You could help them see the city sights and enjoy life more fully by providing something as simple as a wheelchair. We’re ready to work with you to make that happen through our virtual Wheelcharity Team Building Workshop

Thousands of disabled veterans are homebound because they can’t get around. Going to the corner market, cruising at a safe distance through the park—these are simple things that most of us take for granted. With your help, these disabled patriots can, too.

These are just two of the many charitable team building events Magnovo provides to make meeting your corporate social responsibility fun and fulfilling. Each virtual session is educational and enlightening.  As a result, you’ll learn and then practice new leadership techniques, and collaborative and communications skills. This will strengthen relationships among employees and make project teams stronger.

From the oldest to the youngest, giving back through charitable team building is what being a corporate professional is all about today. Employee engagement and charity: part of the modern business model.

 


Food Insecurity and Charitable Giving

Food insecurity and charitable giving. In our bountiful, first-world country, food deserts abound and millions starve. Appalling! Fortunately, through charitable giving you and your company can help give them their just desserts. Sweet!

Exactly what is “food insecurity?”

According to hungerandhealth.feedingamerica.org, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.” 

Their report also explains that “it is important to know that though hunger and food insecurity are closely related, they are distinct concepts. Hunger refers to a personal, physical sensation of discomfort, while food insecurity refers to a lack of available financial resources for food at the household level.”

And what is a “food desert?”

Most of us probably wouldn’t know one if we saw it because we don’t know what to look for. This phrase was first coined in 1995 by the Scottish Nutrition Task Force and sadly it is increasing in familiarity.

 According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) a food desert  “…refers to a geographic area that lacks sufficient access to grocery stores, especially in low-income communities…….Food deserts exist in every American state, in all types of communities. It estimated that roughly 23 million people lived in 6 529 food-desert communities.”

The USDA says they are particularly prevalent in densely populated urban areas, as well at the opposite end of the spectrum, sparsely populated rural areas. In both cases there is a higher level of poverty and the most easily accessible nutrition is fast food.

Hunger and COVID-19

Initially for millions of students, no school also meant no food. Mercifully the USDA stepped up. They report: “To slow the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), many schools have closed unexpectedly. To ensure that children who rely on free or reduced-price meals at school are able to get the nutrition they need, USDA is working with states to continue providing meals to students.  Usually, the rules require that children gather and eat their meals on site. However, due to the exceptional circumstances of this public health emergency and the need for social distancing, USDA was able to make temporary changes so that meals may be taken home, and parents or guardians may pick meals for their children if the state allows.”

How hunger affects the brain

Chronic hunger results in emotional, social, and cognitive developmental delays.

When you’re hungry you can’t learn because you can’t concentrate. You can’t study carefully or productively. Reading, language, and problem-solving skills don’t develop. Just ask any hungry child.

When you’re hungry you don’t get enough vitamins. Chronic hunger can result in poor eyesight, a lower IQ, and permanent brain damage. 

According to fillingtummies.comEach year, as a result of vitamin A deficiency, more than 2 million children experience severe eyesight issues and some are permanently blinded….In the first two years of life, 70% of the brain develops. If a child experiences significant malnourishment, hunger and stress during that time frame, it’s likely their brain will be permanently damaged.”

In addition to the damage hunger can do to the brain, for parents with hungry children, it also has an emotional and psychological impact.

Again, Feeding America reports: “The American Academy of Pediatrics revealed that mothers with school-aged children who face severe hunger are 56.2% more likely to have PTSD and 53.1% more likely to have severe depression. The inability to feed your loved ones can have traumatic effects on a person’s mental health.”

And as if that wasn’t bad enough,  chronic hunger makes you more susceptible to raging diseases like the novel coronavirus.

Food insecurity and charitable giving

No doubt you’re feeling a ravenous hunger to help some of these poor starving people! Right? Well, you and your colleagues can become the cavalry that charges in and saves the day for many neighbors in your hometown!

Magnovo has a number of virtual charity workshops we’ll tailor to suit your tastes—pun intended. Your team can Donate a Dinner by dividing into small groups and competing for each item to be donated. The competition is not only friendly, it actually fosters closer bonds between coworkers who are working remotely. 

Our virtual Puttin Pantry charity workshop combines the skills of miniature golf with team building exercises. At the end, the winners amass loads of canned fruits, veggies, non-perishables, bottled water, and juices to donate.

If  you’d like to combine the two, our Charity Giving Stations will fit the bill perfectly. Your local food bank or other social service organization will undoubtedly thank you profusely for your donation and accommodate any special requests about how it is to be distributed.

With the holidays coming up, this would be a perfect way to bring cheer to some hungry families. Filling their bellies will surely warm your hearts and ours. Glad tidings to all!


Literacy: Why Reading is Still Fundamental

Our ability to navigate through daily life is dependent upon reading the written word. This is why reading is still fundamental—it’s literally a lifeline.

“If you can read this it means you’re too *#% close!” I used to love this bumper sticker because it was snarky but clever. It never occurred to me that many drivers sharing the roadways with me, can’t read it no matter how close they get!

Reading is fundamental

RIF is the largest non-profit organization devoted to children’s literacy. It was started in 1966 by Margaret McNamera, wife of United States Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. She launched it because she was alarmed to discover how many children didn’t have ready access to books.

I shared her alarm when I read the following in The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell: “…a third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives, and 42 percent of college graduates similarly never read a book after college.1 And publisher David Godine claims that only 32 percent of the U.S. population has ever been in a bookstore.”

It is estimated that 32 million adult Americans cannot read. Approximately 20 percent of high schools graduate students without their knowing how to read at the high school level. And then many of them head off to college. 

According to the World Literacy Foundation, “Illiteracy, the inability to read or write, costs the global economy an estimated $1.19 trillion annually….”

Take a moment and Let. That. Sink. In.

Reading is our roadmap 

Almost everything we do requires some level of reading proficiency.

Voting ballots. Prescription warnings. Ikea assembly instructions.  Traffic signs. “No swimming” posts. Drivers manuals. Danger signs. Menus. Recipes. Food recall alerts. Movie marquees. Greeting cards. Twitter.  Emails.  Texts. Textbooks. Comic books. Blogs. Newspapers. Breaking news alerts. Magazines. Love letters. Business contracts. Foreign movie subtitles. Billboards. Basketball scores. NFL draft lists. Serena Williams’ Instagrams of  love about her baby girl.

Imagine navigating through this world without being able to read your own drivers license! Or using landmarks as guideposts because you can’t read maps or street signs.  Imagine faking your way through a job application. Imagine what you’d miss if you couldn’t “read “the world around you!

A sign of the times 

Illiteracy marginalizes millions of people, leaving them on the fringes of mainstream society without basic life skills, technological literacy and computer access, or other survival tools. It has been directly linked to unemployment, poverty, chronic health issues, poor dietary habits, welfare dependency, social isolation, and crime.

In partnership with Book Bundlers, Magnovo’s Leveraging Literacy initiative is helping to change the world one book at a time and your company can help. How?  By building a team among your staffers to give free books to kids, teens, and adults in your city. You’ll open a whole new world of discovery, adventure, and opportunity to them.

Through our virtual Mission: Kids Care Charity Workshop, you can transform the lives of your younger neighbors by supplying grade-specific books to supplement their classroom reading. Notebooks. Paper. Pens. Highlighters. Art supplies. Calculators. Rulers. Flash drives.

These and other school supplies often strain the budgets of low income families. And  many families are suddenly dealing with layoffs, remote learning arrangements, and other major life changes. So they could definitely use the help. Your team’s support could make a tremendous difference in their quality of life and the quality of their children’s education.

If you can read, you are rich!

Increased potential for secondary and collegiate academic success. Dramatically increased employability. Relief from poverty. Reduced participation in criminal activity. Markedly improved health. Informed consumerism. More intentional eating habits. Better self care. Positive self-esteem. Active and enlightened political participation. 

These are just a few of the benefits of reading proficiency. And your generosity can open the door to this exciting new lifestyle for families and their kids in your hometown.


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