PD Strategies Blog

PD Strategies Blog

Performance and Development Strategies Blog is the informational place to get timely and purposeful articles on the issues that concern you most.

ACCOUNTABLE EMPLOYEES ARE MORE LIKELY TO STAY

Assistant-Buyer
Employees who are accountable are already invested in their jobs and the organization. How does that happen. First of all, as Jim Collins says, you need to get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. It is very important in the first few months to establish rapport and engage them in an onboarding process and to establish standards and expectations. Establish expectations from the start. Help orient your new employee by helping him or her to understand the big picture for your organization. Share the organization’s vision, values, and mission along with the organizational goals. You will have more success if you are as transparent as possible. In order to have employee “buy in” the employee needs to first know what he or she is buying. Make sure that your expectations are clear and concise. If you don’t...
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WHAT ARE YOUR DRIVING FORCES?

Employee-Engagement
Another way of asking about your driving forces is asking you what motivates you. Motivation comes from within and that means that you cannot motivate another person, but it certainly would be good to know what motivates that person. Knowing that you can create a spark to ignite their inner fire. That inner fire will drive motivation. That inner fire or passion is your WHY and this comes from the driving forces that motivate you. If you do not have the WHY then the HOW will not matter. Knowing what motivates you is a key to achievement and knowing how to find motivation in others is a key to leadership. Dwight Eisenhower said that leadership is getting others to do what you want because THEY want to do it. Reach down and find that motivation and bring it to the surface. What is your passion? Do you know. You could take...
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WHAT IS WORKPLACE STRESS DOING TO YOUR BUSINESS?

Stressed-Home-Worker
What do you think the stress level is at your workplace? Every workplace has stress. Management should be concerned about the level of stress in the workplace. Some people have personal stress the carries into the work life. This could be any number of things such as home problems, health, financial worries, and the like. It is wise for management to have outside help available rather then getting involved with employees’ private issues. A good EAP (Employee Assistance Program) can be obtained through an outside provider. However, this conversation is about workplace stress brought on in the workplace. Being challenged at work can escalate into having a highly demanding job. Often a result of poorly designed jobs, stress resulting from excessive demand happens when workloads become overwhelming, or skills or talents don't match the position. That being said, here are 7 workplace factors that might be causing stress with your team....
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GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED IN THE WORKPLACE

GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED IN THE WORKPLACE
Can you really get employees from different generations work together? Yes you can bridge the workplace generation gap.  As I work with client organizations I constantly hear voices of frustration. It could involve a catering manager who says “The kids today don’t want to work. I can’t get any good help.” It might be a manager of a team of professionals complaining about the unwillingness of the younger members to work endless hours. Or it can be frustration from an employee who feels he or she can’t compete with the new workers and the new technology. Really, this is nothing new. In fact it goes back to ancient Greece when Aristotle said, “The young people would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning.” Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. They were associated with many of the social...
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IF THEY DON’T FOLLOW YOU ARE NOT LEADING

IF THEY DON’T FOLLOW YOU ARE NOT LEADING
The reason that a group of employees is not achieving desired outcomes is usually traced back to the leadership. That’s right. If all of the students fail the exam might the fault be with the teaching? Like students you and your staff may not be on the same page. While that is personally frustrating how much money is that costing you? You can change that. Here’s how. Become a focused leader who empowers engaged employees who in turn create loyal customers leading to growth and success. Let’s start with the focused leader. You may have the title of manager but that does not mean you are seen as the leader. As managers we can influence the process through which people recognize our leadership by creating an environment where people will join “the team” because they see the purpose of what they are supposed to do and understand the vision, the “big...
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DO THEY HAVE SKIN IN THE GAME?

Take-Ownership-1200x800
Do you want your team to have skin in the game and take ownership? If you want that then make sure you are not being a control freak. Rather than giving them detailed instructions tell them what needs to be done and make them accountable for the results. If you are frustrated with the results of your team, here are two questions that you need to ask yourself. First, have you provided them with the tools to succeed? Second, have you clearly communicated the objectives and desired results?   You may have you given plenty of detailed directions without explaining reasons and objectives. That will destroy their incentive. Instead of giving assignments with specific instructions try something different. Here are two different approaches to giving an employee an assignment. Let’s say that you have a project the needs to be completed. You could give your team member a complete set of instructions...
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YOUR EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION IS A LEADING INDICATOR

Aligned-Team
Retention of key employees is important to your company. What was your retention rate last year? Whatever it was, if you want it to improve this year you will need to have a strong Employee Value Proposition. An Employee Value Proposition explains why a highly qualified employee would want to work for your company and why that highly qualified person would want to stay. This Employee Value Proposition would be tied to your strategic plan and include your vision, your values, and, your mission. The values should include such things as social responsibility, ethical conduct, and reputation. Strong employee engagement produces successful business outcomes including a loyal customer base. And this leads to increasing sales and profits. The reverse is also true. Employees who are not engaged have no passion for their work, are frequently absent, make mistakes, and cost the organization its customers. Understanding what engages employees involves connecting with...
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BALANCING EMPOWERMENT WITH CONTROL

Accountable-Team
I was just engaged by a CEO to coach two people: a manager and one of her employees. She (the manager) has problem with the employee’s accountability. He (the employee) does not like being micromanaged. Both people have valid points. There is a delicate balance between control and empowerment Here is a problem that comes up all too often. Control and accountability need to be supported but we also need to empower our teams. If you do it right, you will have both. But it is tough to let go. After all, when you started your business, you needed to do everything, or it would not get done. Sometimes you had time management issues, but you must work through them. Now your business grows, and you simply can't get it all done. Time to hire someone. Now you are at the pinnacle of a growing business. At this point you are...
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HOW ARE YOU VIEWED BY STAFF AND CUSTOMERS? CAN YOU HANDLE THE TRUTH?

Message-from-Leader
How are your employees viewing your Westchester County NY business? Do you know or is it wishful thinking? And what about your customers? Maybe you have no complaints and you figure no news is good news.  Many times, when you see something every day you stop noticing. For example, when you started your business you were focused on how you were going to get customers and what resources you would need to deliver the products and services to those customers. That might have been 2 years ago, 5 years ago or even 10 or more years ago. Earlier this year you might have said, “I’m ok now because I have my routine set and it works without me thinking about it.” Now in this turmoil you may not be so sure. Are you ready to learn more weather it is good or bad? Can you handle the truth? Here are two...
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WHY WOULD A QUALIFIED EMPLOYEE WANT A JOB AT YOUR COMPANY

WHY WOULD A QUALIFIED EMPLOYEE WANT A JOB AT YOUR COMPANY
Today’s workforce is looking for much more than just a paycheck. They want to know that they are making valuable contributions. They also care very much about the values that an organization lives as opposed to what the organization says. Living the values starts at the top but it is modeled by all members of the leadership team including the first line supervisors. After you have hired the best people your challenge as a leader is to keep them engaged and producing results. And keep in mind that people want to feel that their work is producing meaningful results. Employees who are engaged will help create loyal customers who will rave about them and your company. That will happen because your engaged employees have exceeded customer expectations. But remember too that you will need cohesive and effective teams, not people in individual silos. While it is true that everyone has different...
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WHAT IT TAKES TO RETAIN AND ENGAGE YOUR EMPLOYEES

Aligned-Team
What does it take to hire good employees? How do I get these people to stay? I hear these questions many times. There is an answer. It is not necessarily simple, and it depends on many factors. There are no stereotypes regarding employees or candidates for a job. But it is important to understand motivations and engagement drivers of people. Why is employee engagement so important to success? If you have disengaged employees, they are just waiting around to see what happens. On the other hand, engaged workers have bought into what the organization is about and are trying to make a difference. Therefore, they're usually the most productive workers. Strong employee engagement produces successful business outcomes including a loyal customer base. And this leads to increasing sales and profits. The reverse is also true. Employees who are not engaged have no passion for their work, are frequently absent, make mistakes,...
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COMMUNICATING STANDARDS AND DEVELOPING ACCOUNTABILITY

Job-Interview
The best way to create top performance in your staff is knowing what great performance for your organization looks like. Before you begin talking about standards you need to know and clearly communicate your organizational values and goals. It all starts there! I have made this statement many times… only work with people who share your values. Specific values may be called out in performance goals such as a restaurant server acting in a way that creates a great guest experience. Values are very important and so are behaviors. Behaviors involve how an employee should act and react and values play a big part in this. Of equal importance are the required deliverables. These are the results. Now how do we communicate this? Let’s start with clear standards and goals and then do regular measurements. Many managers dread the words “Performance Appraisal.” Unfortunately, that attitude creates failed opportunities. A performance appraisal...
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YOU WILL NEVER KNOW IF YOU DON’T ASK

YOU WILL NEVER KNOW IF YOU DON’T ASK
Your most important task in your business is to attract and retain customers. Second most important task is to attract and retain great employees. You need a great product or service and a great value proposition to have loyal customers. The same is true for your employees. You must have a great employee value proposition. You are never going to learn the truth about your value proposition if you don’t ask. There are some organizations that never ask their customers or staff how the company is doing. Fear of hearing bad news will not make the bad news go away. However, it appears that many companies are just not comfortable asking the ultimate question, “How are we doing?” The reason that we know that companies are not interested in knowing how they are doing can be found in a Gallup survey. According to Gallup around 30% of employees are engaged at...
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HOW MUCH CONTROL IS TOO MUCH

HOW MUCH CONTROL IS TOO MUCH
Any smart business owner knows that a business must have adequate controls. Sometimes, however, being in control is preventing your business from growing. There is a delicate balance between control and empowerment. Here is a problem that comes up all too often. A business owner or agency owner spends most of his or her time working IN the business and virtually no time working ON the business. Why is this problematic? When you start your business, you need to do everything, or it does not get done. Sometimes you have time management issues, but you must work through them. Your business grows, and you simply can't get it all done. Time to hire someone. Now you are at the pinnacle of a growing business. At this point you are now not only the owner but also a manager and the leader. When you hire a new employee is it very important...
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WHAT IS YOUR EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION?

WHAT IS YOUR EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION?
Have you noticed that it is getting harder find good people and that when you do they do not stay long? What value do they find in working for you? That is known as your Employee Value Proposition. An Employee Value Proposition explains why a highly qualified employee would want to work for your company and why that highly qualified person would want to stay. This Employee Value Proposition would be tied to your strategic plan and include your vision, your values, and, your mission. The values should include such things as social responsibility, ethical conduct, and reputation. Strong employee engagement produces successful business outcomes including a loyal customer base. And this leads to increasing sales and profits. The reverse is also true. Employees who are not engaged have no passion for their work, are frequently absent, make mistakes, and cost the organization its customers. Understanding what engages employees involves connecting...
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HAVING A DIVERSE AND HARASSMENT FREE WORKPLACE IS GOOD FOR YOUR ROI

HAVING A DIVERSE AND HARASSMENT FREE WORKPLACE IS GOOD FOR YOUR ROI
We have heard much about sexual harassment in the workplace lately. While this is a practice that is illegal is also destroys a well aligned diverse workplace. Diverse teams led by good leaders are highly productive teams. Creating a dynamic workforce involves valuing and respecting every individual. Diversity and Inclusion is really all about engaging employees and customers for more success. It involves valuing all cultures, all races, genders. And it also involves respecting all ideas—that is—diversity of thought. Why do you and your company want to embrace diversity? Most would answer that they would do it because it is right. But there is an ROI. You will get more business and more customers. Gaining loyal customers and engaged employees is built on trust. Here is how diversity helped one company. The company has restaurants in a metropolitan area located in suburbs as well as downtown cities. The company found that...
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HIRE THOSE WHO ARE A CULTURE FIT

HIRE THOSE WHO ARE A CULTURE FIT
Some studies have shown that a positive corporate culture is essential for having an engaged team. Even more important, culture combined with team engagement has proven to improve outcomes including financial performance. Culture influences every area of the organization. It affects the public and customer perception, but it also affects the way people do their jobs and their connection to the mission and values of the organization. In short, an organization’s culture is seen in actions and behaviors which model the values it lives by. Your hiring process must support your culture. One organization states is this way in one of their cultural pillars. “We very carefully guard who gets to be an associate in our organization.” This organization looks at values, attitudes, and behaviors in making staff selections in addition to those skills needed to perform the job. Unfortunately, we find that managers tend to make hiring decisions by looking...
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DO YOU HAVE AN EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION?

DO YOU HAVE AN EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION?
Do you have a problem retaining your high performing employees? Today’s workforce expects to do meaningful work and be associated with an organization that shares their values. This is the employee value proposition which means, “Why would a high potential employee want to work at your company?” Many companies do not understand why their turnover is so high. Some think that it is all about money and benefits. But unless you pay below standard it is not about money. Sure, an employee will tell you that he or she left for a better opportunity. You might, therefore, assume that it had to do with money but don’t be fooled. There is much more going on than just money. You cannot treat employees as commodities assuming they will come to work just because they are getting paid.   Some vendors of perks may even tell you that if you offer special perks then...
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ENGAGE EACH MEMBER’S NATURAL STRENGTHS AND WATCH PERFORMANCE SOAR

ENGAGE EACH MEMBER’S NATURAL STRENGTHS AND WATCH PERFORMANCE SOAR
Developing a high performing team starts with communicating clear vision and values and seeing that each member shares the values and is one the same page.    Once aligned a leader inspires those on the team to be the very best they can be.  You start, of course, by getting the right people in the right jobs.  Help your team use their strengths to push their performance to new levels.  Unfortunately, many of us spend time trying to correct weaknesses.  This is best illustrated with a story a parent can understand: A child comes home from school with his or her report card and it shows, for example, an A in math, B’s in history and science, and a C in English.  What is the parent’s response?  In most cases the parent talks to the child about raising the grade in English.  But what if the child might have a real talent...
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DO YOUR CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEES SEE YOUR COMPANY LIKE YOU DO?

DO YOUR CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEES SEE YOUR COMPANY LIKE YOU DO?
Successful business leaders see their companies through the eyes of their employees and their customers. To successfully see as others do you must be able to listen and understand. More important than that you need to continually listen and measure and measure your results. This is not necessarily as easy as it sounds. Many times, when you see something every day you stop noticing. This might give a false sense of security. Everything is working and if it’s not broken don’t fix it. But things might have changed in the last five years or even two years. Has the customer value proposition or the employee value proposition with your company changed? How would you know? Here are two questions you should be asking yourself. Has a new team member joined and pointed out things you didn’t see? Have you had any suggestions or complaints by customers? Sometimes a person with a...
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