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Effective meeting facilitation is a process of guiding participants through a meeting to achieve stated objectives. An effective facilitator:
  • Thinks through and manages the meeting objectives, processes, and group dynamics of participants
  • Creates buy-ins from the group
  • Encourages all members of a group to participate, draws out ideas and knowledge from different members
  • Enables participants to offer their best ideas and make decisions with commitment and enthusiasm
Here are 10 keys to successful facilitation and competencies you should look for when you hire a professional facilitator: 1. Understand your audience. Find out more about your audience before facilitating a meeting or workshop. Try to understand their concerns and interests in the topic by sending them a proposed agenda or a short pre-meeting questionnaire. Doing so will help participants feel more included and create a more positive atmosphere for the meeting. In addition, a benefit to understanding your audience will enable you to discover more useful discussions than the one you had planned.

Image by Fellowship of the Rich via FlickrThis is an article I wrote two years ago, it’s still relevant today! Times are tough these days. But there are a few things you can do to engage your employees and prepare your company for future growth when the economy recovers. A key factor in maintaining or improving your employee engagement is through effective employee communication. Our employee research shows that employees want to feel valued by their company. Employees want to be involved in their work and want to understand their company's direction, mission, and vision. In addition, employees want to have the necessary information to do their work, such as operational processes and product information, in a timely manner. For example, customer care employees need to know the launch of a new product before their customers learn about it from promotion materials. You can increase employee engagement at your organization through these action steps:

Image by atconc via Flickr A recent "Technisource survey" found that IT Employee Confidence Index has dropped from 56.2 to 47.3 in the third quarter of 2011. Only 13% of IT workers believe the economy is getting stronger. But, 32% of IT employees are still likely to look for a new job while in their current position, and their confidence in their ability to find a new job has not declined. What does this mean to your company? Are you seeing disengaged IT workers in your organization?

Image by _Hdock_via Flickr I am in the process of revamping my website, so I’m transferring some of the articles I wrote to this blog. These are oldies but goodies! I wrote this one three years ago when many companies were laying off workers. It is as applicable then as it is now, with updated data from the Conference Board. The latest Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) for August 2011 is 100.8, down from July's revised figure of 101. The August figure is up 4.1 percent from a year ago,but still lags behind the August 2008 index of 109.3. Recent news such as that of Bank of America and BAE Systems indicate that many companies may plan to layoff workers in this weak economy.