A few weeks ago, I did a survey to learn more about the challenges that are disabling professionals from feeling engaged at work. The analysis showed that the most disengaged participants had not received a promotion in at least 5 years.
I have been very fortunate to have secured a few promotions throughout my career and I wanted to share some perspectives from those experiences. Here are 11 #ReengineerHacks that you can use to craft your next promotion.
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Earlier today, I decided to take the kids to the bookstore for a different experience other than just play time. We spent a couple of hours reading books, playing with the train set, and just enjoying the atmosphere. While we were there, I noticed another dad and his young daughter doing the same but they were more focused more on the reading part. I didn’t think anything of it so the kids and I continued having fun.
We eventually purchased a few books and then went to lunch. A few hours later mom came back from running errands and I decided to go back to the bookstore to catch up on some work. Guess who I saw leaving the bookstore? The same dad and his daughter…several hours later! Here I am thinking that I did something special with going to the bookstore with the kids instead of the local indoor playground, while this dad spent almost the entire day at the bookstore.
Now my kids are only 3 years old and 10 months old, so 6+ hours at a bookstore is not ideal, but I learned a valuable lesson, life is about perspective. While I was going to provide exposure and to have a little fun, his purpose was more intentional, education. I’m not saying that I’ll keep an infant and toddler locked up in a bookstore all Sunday afternoon, but when they get of age, I want to be just as intentional with their development.
The results are in! Thank you to everyone that contributed to our Employee Engagement survey as we try to develop Re.engineer content that aligns to the needs of our community. We received a lot of good data and I’ll do my best to summarize it all. There is one element that was very clear…Leadership Drives Employee Engagement! Take a look at what we found.
The Survey: We used the below visual to showcase some of the critical elements of high Employee Engagement. Each respondent was asked questions pertaining to Compensation, Promotions, Mentorship, Challenging Projects/Activities, Involvement, Recognition, Feeling Valued, Career Vision, Empowerment and Trust.
Get it right the first time, is a foundational message to new or up and coming business owners and professionals. Performance (productivity, efficiency and quality) is a design attribute and it is established by how well, or how poorly, your business plan or design process is executed. Once your business plan or design is set, then higher levels of performance cannot be obtained WITHOUT ADDITIONAL CAPITAL EXPENDITURE.
Like John Wooden said, "If you don't have time [or money] to do it right, when will you have time [or money] to do it over"?
I recently had a Facebook chat with friend & colleague, Tarik Singleton, and he brought up some excellent points about Electrical Reliability from design to maintainability. He's also a Southern University alumnus (Go Jags) with a passion for doing things right the first time. Check out Tarik's points below!
When you do not have a proper PPA (Potential Problem Analysis) on the design then your project execution will suffer. It becomes chaotic and that is when the finger pointing starts. There should be a 60% and a 90% review on all DBA's (Design Basis Analysis) before executing the strategy. This is done in the Engineering phase and it's critical especially from a Reliability and Greenfield perspective! Engineering is always cheaper than implementation or construction....
Enrollment in Teacher-Preparation Programs Is Declining Fast. Here's What the Data Shows by Madeline Will
Across the country, enrollment in teacher-preparation programs has dropped by
a third from 2010 to 2018, a new report finds.
As showed above, enrollment in teacher preparation programs across the US is declining which was highlighted in a recent blog post by Madeline Will, contributing author of Education Week. Oklahoma has seen a 90% decrease over the last 8 years. These overall decreases by states can be due to low pay. In contrast, alternative certification programs, primarily online programs, have seen an increase in enrollment although many stakeholders are questioning the methods in which these online programs train and evaluate their participants. These enrolled participants are able to enter classrooms with no training or evaluation, just admittance into an approved program. Although the article does not go into great detail about other specifics such as testing demands to enter traditional programs or resources/ideas to combat these issues, it is a great piece to help bring light (and start a conversation ) about the issues traditional education programs face regarding recruitment and retention and how these issues affect the production of teachers.
The re.engineer question is:
How can we address the performance challenges with respect to the recruitment and retention of educators?
If someone puts you in a box, then burn the box. In order to the start fire, you'll need 3 elements; oxygen, fuel, and heat. Similarly to fire, Re.engineer started with 3 basic catalysts:
THE OXYGEN - I’ve always enjoyed reading technical papers and actual real world case studies but despite my search for more content, nothing I’ve read outmatches the stories I’ve heard from professionals on the “shop floor” or from small business owners or from the folks with an endless amount of experience. You see, those stories are not documented in White Papers or PowerPoint presentations so we wanted to develop a platform for both types of professionals; continue celebrating those that receive exposure but also recognize those that traditionally do not have an outlet to share their success stories.
THE FUEL- A close colleague of mine passed away earlier this year and before she died, we talked about “challenging the status quo” and “thinking outside of the box” on an opportunity within our organization. We said 2019/2020 would be the time period to make our mark in the company and to drive tremendous value. Unfortunately she will not be here to see the evolution of our ideas but her legacy will live through the work we started. The inspiration of Re.engineer came from the realization that we are only here for a moment and if you are blessed with a passion or an idea or a calling, then now is as good a time as any to start.
THE HEAT - As I connect with young professionals, I've found that many of them do not have strong relationships with mentors, however there are no shortages of senior professions that are willing to provide some of their career perspectives and case studies. They say, "Collaboration is the new innovation", so imagine going to a forum where you could post, research, or leverage case studies and white papers on any professional topic; maintenance productivity, secondary education reform, construction management, or continuous improvement in supply chain. Re.engineer would be an attempt to address this knowledge gap across the generations of professionals.
These are the catalysts that sparked the Re.engineer movement and even though it’s only a passion hobby of ours, we intend to take it worldwide. There will always be a market for collaboration, positive energy, and the celebration of innovative ideas to create value, and Re.engineer will be there to provide the platform that serves the professional community!
Those that know me on a deep, personal level, know that I get very excited about my work and about creating value. I haven’t always been this way and I’ve had to learn how to seek out uncomfortable situations in order to grow and gain confidence in my work. Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of finally meeting Ms. Ebony Offord, Lease Accountant at Dow Inc. Now I initially saw Ms. Offord on a Dow webcast as she facilitated Dow’s Global African Affinity Network 20th Anniversary Celebration as we celebrated 20 years of enriching the contributions of our workforce, building a strong talent pipeline and promoting advocacy & inclusion for all employees at Dow.
Ms. Offord recently shared her thoughts on “Public Speaking” and many of us work every day to improve on our ability to communicate across large audiences. Here is her testimony:
I’ve been doing some research on FEAR and what more appropriate day to share my thoughts than on Halloween. What I’ve read and heard is contrary to what I’ve experienced as a father. The research tell us that our fear comes naturally as a part of our mental construct. Fear comes from our ability to survive. Fear keeps us focused on the people, places or things that challenges our existence on earth and if we control those elements then we control our destiny.
I once had a professor, Dr. Shaban, that at some point during every class, asked his students, "So you want to be an Engineer"? He would then look at us with this piercing stare as if he could see our future and every obstacle that we would encounter in our careers. We use to make jokes at this rhetorical question, but it did not take me long to understand why he asked us this. Fast forward to my first engineering job post graduation....
I had to go deep into the archives for this story but in my first engineering job at an air conditioning plant I had a situation in where several "Pilot" units were failing the quality control test. The superintendent came down from the management office upstairs and requested that I adjust the parameters to get the units to pass the test. Even though I was a young engineer, the engineering ethics I learned from Dr. Shaban would not allow me not be dishonest in changing my calculated specifications. He said he’d give me 15 mins “to get my damn run test machines working”. I wasn’t upset at the time because I was more focused on the problem and not his ignorance. I also knew the criticality of the situation because the units that were failing were new pilot units and if we didn't get the test parameters correct, then that could cause warranty issues later on in the life cycle of the product.
My family recently had breakfast at Cracker Barrel and I couldn’t help but notice that the front entrance of the restaurant is setup in an old country style front porch. This made me think about all of the time that I spent with family members from the country that are no longer with us.