GREAT FAMILY VACATIONS MAKE
STRONGER EMPLOYEES AND STRONGER FAMILIES
When we were kids, most of us had great fun taking
vacations with our families.
Many of those memories last a lifetime. In my case,
with nine brothers and sisters, vacations were difficult for my folks to
plan because of both the size of our family and the challenges associated
with a 16 year age range. Their solution often enough was to arrange for us to enjoy vacations in
groups, but one way or another they saw to it that we had opportunities to
shake up “life as usual” once in a while.
I was lucky enough to have two very memorable
vacations as a youngster. One was unique and special partly because I was
the only one who got to go. To this day I don’t know why I was chosen but I
do know it wasn’t as a reward for good conduct. In this vacation my
grandmother, who worked as a waitress at Marshall Field’s in Chicago and
was called “NaNa” by all of us, took me to St. Augustine and Daytona Beach,
We took a Greyhound bus both ways. With the added
perspective time provides, I marvel at NaNa’s tenacity and long suffering.
Nonetheless, everything for me was exciting and new, surprising, and
sometimes even shocking.
I will never forget my shock and surprise upon
encountering bus stations with separate restaurants, bathrooms and drinking
fountains for “whites and coloreds.” I believe this experience, combined
with my parents’ teachings, is what instilled in me a passion for racial
tolerance and acceptance.
Other events from that trip have formed sweet and
lasting memories. From the time passed at beautiful Daytona Beach to the
several day stay at the home of NaNa’s friend, Dobina Jalbert, it was all
new, exciting and memorable. Although I know that Mr. Jalbert, inventor of
the Jalbert Wing or Parafoil, explained his invention to me
in some detail, I remember being much more interested in the monkeys he
kept on his acreage in Boca Raton.
The other trip I remember was with my parents, my
three oldest siblings, and our friend, Bob Schiller. We left the younger kids at home with a nanny and took off
in a metal “Woody” station wagon, so filled with luggage in back that two
of us had to travel lying on top of the suitcases. Once we figured out how
to pad this bed, it became the most sought after location during our
During this wonderful two week, 5,000-mile trip we
drove across the plains to Denver, then up into the mountains through Rocky
Mountain National Park where we had a snow ball fight on the 4th
of July. From there we drove to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and to Flagstaff,
Arizona to visit friends of my folks. Bottom line, we had an unforgettable
Why do I write about personal vacations in an article
for a business newsletter targeted primarily at people in the world of
The answer in part is
that my father was an executive in just such a company. In fact, while he
was with the company, it grew from $400 million in sales to over $20
billion and, as I recall, was listed as a Fortune Top 20 by the time he
retired. And he took the time, with my mom’s help, and often insistence,
to see that we had memorable vacations which strengthened us individually
and as a family.
My parents’ commitment
to vacation time has recently been verified by research by Ramon
Zabriskie, a family leisure researcher at Brigham Young University, who
found that sharing leisure time improves family cohesion and adaptability. Cohesion refers to the
level of emotional closeness in a family, while adaptability refers to a family’s ability
to handle everyday and unexpected stresses and strains*.
As executive coaches, we know from the experience of
working with our clients that strong family life also pays off in the
workplace. We strongly urge our readers to take advantage of vacation time
to strengthen their families and thus their successes at work.
Additionally, as leaders, we strongly urge you to see that those whom
you lead and manage take their vacations … for the sake of themselves,
their families, and their work!
McNeill, Master Certified Coach, has been the CEO of The McNeill Group
since its founding in 1996. He resides with his wife and near two of his
grandchildren in Lantana (Dallas Area), TX.
With the upturn in the
economy, more companies are planning on hiring additional employees. Many
will be college aged students, young and fresh out of school. Most are
eager and ready to jump into the workforce. Even more are grateful to have
secured a job while the economy takes its time recovering. As an employer,
what are your techniques when it comes to training and managing a new team
of employees, especially the younger generation?
Characteristics of the Younger Working Generation
Before you can begin effectively managing your new
employees, you must come to an understanding of what makes them tick and
what motivates them to work to their fullest potential. You may be
wondering why this is an important step in management. The answer is
simple. If you properly manage your employees, especially across
generations, they will work harder and produce a better result which in the
long run nets you a better profit.
* Eager to Learn
* Crave Affirmation of a Job Well Done
* Better Motivated by Acknowledgment
* Motivated by Educational Opportunities
* Encouraged by incentives
Characteristics of a Productive Manager for the Younger
Maximize the knowledge of long term employees
In addition to motivation, a productive manager has the
ability to teach an employee to mirror their thinking and learn from their
long term employment & experience. By incorporating
rotation programs, mentoring programs or mini workshops into
management strategies yields time effective payoffs.
* Gain Pleasure from Teaching
* Diagram their Rationale
* Offer Sound/Full Explanations
* Teach from experience & knowledge
* Utilize mentoring programs to maximize the
knowledge of long term employees
It’s important to incorporate a new employee into the
workings of your company from the beginning. Essentially, the employee
should be thrown into their work immediately with guidance from a mentor.
(After a good orientation program) Give them an important decision to make
right away. This will make them feel important. Never hold their hand if
they are not sure what to do, instead encourage them to figure things out
on their own. This is a great way to motivate them to put their best effort
forward. It also trains them to think steadily and instills problem solving
skills. If presenting the opportunity of decision making or problem solving
is too high a risk for a particular employee, it’s best to place them in
another position where they will be more effective. Always offer feedback
immediately as this has proven to be a substantial motivating factor.
Motivation Goes Well Beyond the First Day
* Public Praise: During a meeting with your new
staff, highlight who has performed at the highest level. Explain how and
why the employee’s performance deserves your praise. Along with issuing
praise, a thank you should be presented.
* Ask Quality Questions in Quantity: Asking
frequent questions that are meaningful and require an honest answer helps
to stimulate junior employees to think about matters on their own. As the
manager, respecting the answers you receive further motivates and empowers
your junior staff.
* Encourage Interaction among Junior and Senior
Employees: This management tactic is an effective way to bring employees
together as a team in addition to being motivating. This move encourages
future collaborations and team efforts. It also aids junior employees who
are shy about intermingling.
* Promote Responsibility with Short-Term Projects:
Set weekly goals. Each junior employee should know what is expected of them
from Monday to Friday. This managerial tactic boosts productivity by
encouraging junior employees and motivating them to accomplish a project
within the time span you have determined.
* Rewards: Offer the incentive of
long-term rewards. This is perhaps one of the most effective motivation
strategies for aspiring junior employees. Allow room for them to grow and
be forthcoming about the opportunities available in your company. A diligent
junior employee with aspirations of ascending the hierarchy ladder is more
productive when promotions are in sight. Establish the point that only
those performing at an efficient level within your company will be
considered for a higher position.
for us by our associate Gary Sorrell, Sorrell
Associates, LLC. Copyright protected worldwide. All rights reserved.
Take a vacation with us!
McNeill Group would like to invite our clients, prospective clients,
and others with an interest to help plan an exciting and unique family
vacation with us at Doc Warner’s Alaskan Fishing Camp during the
summer of 2012.
see what makes this vacation so unique and exciting, please check out www.docwarners.com.
We’d love for all of our friends and clients to consider going together
first 20 responses/inquiries will receive a complimentary copy of the
book Bushido Business: The Fine Art of the Modern Professional, co-authored
by The McNeill Group COO Bill Bennett.
to request more information and become part of the conversation.
Bell Curve Retirement: Maximizing
the Knowledge of Long-Term Employees
As retirement ages are pushed out, learn
how to best leverage your long-term employees. Join us as we explore the
topic with our strategic partner, Target Training International.
June 16th at 1:00 pm Pacific
Understanding Your Organization's
Do you know what your customers are
saying about you? What about your employees? Learn how to manage your
organization’s brands and make them work for you. Presented by Target
July 21st at 1:00 pm Pacific
The McNeill Group consistently provides clients with
tangible results by achieving and exceeding measurable goals. Having been
in business for over 15 years, we know that our success is wholly dependent
upon the success of our clients.
"Determine never to be idle. No
person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses
any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing."
~ Thomas Jefferson
"Even if you fall on your face,
you're still moving forward."
~ Victor Kiam
"Business, more than any other
occupation, is a continual dealing with the future; it is a continual
calculation, an instinctive exercise in foresight."
~ Henry R. Luce
"Far and away the best prize that
life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."
~ Theodore Roosevelt