Management – How to Improve Accountability in Your Company



If business and tepid growth have affected your outlook, take a look at your human resources and consider a couple of questions.

How is your company’s overall productivity? How do you feel about the individual performances of your employees?

If you wince at either of these questions, it’s likely you have reasons to be concerned.

Consider some possible indicators:

– Overall work quality is deteriorating.

– Projects or tasks aren’t being completed on time, nor not at all.

– Teamwork and morale are subpar as it is with poor communication.

– There are many excuses as employees fail to take responsibility or to make corrections.

If it’s any consolation, this is typical. Companies in every sector have these issues – from healthcare providers to law firms.

But you have to be realistic. As a manager, you’re part of the problem for allowing such issues to develop and fester.

There are no easy fixes, but it’s absolutely possible to solve.

Here are the right strategies:

1. Hold yourself accountable

Again, no one can fix these issues but you. Sure, you can bring in an outside participant to coach you and your staff but ultimately you’re the common denominator and problem-solver.

So be a role model. Whatever you expect of your staff, set an example. It’s recommended that you learn the right leadership strategies to earn employee respect.

Never ask anyone to do something you aren’t willing to do. Be transparent as possible, be rigorously honest, and keep your commitments.

2. Pay closer attention to your human capital

Walk the floor. Ask employees questions about their weekend. Listen.

Employees appreciate engagement. They like knowing you care. So regularly engage your employees for business success.

Particularly from productive employees, solicit their ideas for organizational improvement.

Know what they expect from you:

  • Honesty
  • Fairness
  • Trust
  • Respect
  • Dependability
  • Collaboration
  • Genuineness
  • Appreciation
  • Responsiveness

3. Set benchmarks

Set clear objectives. Develop and implement objective metrics for you and your employees.

To realize your business vision, use best practices for setting goals.

Get each employee to commit to improvement to upholding your goals.

Then, test and measure … test and measure … and test and measure. Explain tactics to employees – what they must do to implement and tactics and to meet goals.

4. Be diligent

Make sure you are careful to avoid errors in evaluations. Naturally, you want to praise good performance and discourage bad.

What are the best ways? Make certain you avoid errors in evaluations.

Start monitoring – have a good antenna. Get busy when the symptoms that lead to poor performance start raising their ugly heads.

Insist on accountability.

Install quality controls, insist deadlines are met and your employees are responsible. Their behavior must align with their personal and the organization’s goals.

5. Disallow excuses

True, there might be good reasons for issues. However, as in any situation or dysfunction, each party is partly to blame.

One person might be just five percent at-fault. Whether it’s failing to fully anticipate obstacles or failing to communicate about faulty equipment, no one person is perfect.

Assertiveness and proactivity are keys to success. Each person must learn to pursue excellence, execute and correct the five percent.

6. Know your job

Your job is not to be the best friend for each of your employees. Your job is to coach, be a mentor and to be the leader.

This includes delegation. Effective employee delegation is a fundamental driver of organizational growth. Managers who are effective in delegation show leadership.

7. Show courage 

Don’t allow mental retirements.

Not everything you do will be appreciated even if it’s the right thing to do. That’s especially true if you’ve allowed dysfunction and suddenly make improvements.

Much has been written about preferred skills for managers.

We always talk in mundane terms for the need of managers to convey a vision, achieve goals and to foster growth and well-being for a work-life balance.

Seldom do we talk about the C-Word, which is a critical characteristic of effective managers.

Don’t worry, be happy – even when the going gets tough.

If you act and feel positive, eventually every employee will come around or leave.

If employees quit after you launch such a program for improvement, you’ll be better off recruiting positive employees who have emotional intelligence.

8. Give recognition

Praise employees when appropriate. When an employee deserves praise, give it. Don’t forget to let their coworkers know about it.

After all, non-financial incentives motivate most employees.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related management tips:

Management — 5 Frequent Causes of Cost Overruns and Failures — Extensive research shows how and why corporate projects result in cost overruns and failures. The academic study is entitled, ‘Yes Men’ Are Killing Corporate Projects. The research reported rampant misreporting of project statuses at all levels of the companies. The errant information is prompted from cultural predispositions to career aspirations.

Optimize Talent Management with 5 Coaching Culture Tips — When managers become coaches, you get a higher-performing workforce. You will have replaced mediocrity with strong performance. Here’s how to develop a coaching culture.

10 Management Attributes for Effective Communication — Communication skills are critical for managers. People with enhanced abilities in communication typically have successful relationships at work and home. Good communicators typically have 10 attributes.

5 Quick Management Tips to Motivate Your Employees — A major quandary for managers is to bring out the best in their employees. Every manager wants to do it, but it’s not always easy. What’s the reason? Usually, it’s because employees are disengaged – disconnected from their managers and companies. Here’s how to fix it.

Management: How to Help Employees to Grow Professionally — Managers owe it to the organization to help their employees grow professionally, and will benefit from higher employee performance and low turnover.

“Accountability breeds response-ability.”

-Stephen Covey


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Management: 5 Most Common Reasons to Fire Employees



Imagine a hypothetical scenario for a moment the boss, Jane, is frantically trying to optimize revenue.

But an employee named Sue goes to Jane with a troubling story about another employee named Mary. Ironically, Mary is the best-selling employee.

Sue alleges that the Mary is not only under-performing in customer service, she is turning off customers by treating them badly.

Jane panics. It makes her so angry that she approaches Mary with the allegation and reproaches her.

id-10089464Mary is dumbfounded. She becomes upset and denies the allegation. An argument ensues and Jane fires Mary.

Naturally, as a boss you’re more savvy than Jane. You know not to get sucked into this quagmire.

You know not to congratulate Sue for being a tattletale and not to take punitive action against Mary.

Instead, you would have walked the floor at least twice a day to observe your employees working with customers.

You would also have recalled Mary’s superior performance.

You would also have explained to Sue that she should focus on her own customer service skills and not be monitoring other employees unless there’s illegal activity or someone’s safety is at-risk.

As a manager, your job is sometimes made more difficult than necessary because of unproductive workers.

With difficult employees, you have two obvious problems – the impacts on your organization and the behavior of the individual. So you should use tactics to enjoy your job managing difficult employees.

You also need to accurately appraise employee performances by avoiding 12 errors in evaluations.

After sufficient counseling and evaluations and employees aren’t able to improve, a good manager doesn’t allow the persons to overstay their welcome.

For a business to perform well, here are the five typical reasons to terminate workers:

1. Lack of productivity

In an uncertain marketplace, it’s not unusual for productivity to slow down. There can be many reasons why an employee is not at fault.

However, if it’s shown you have workers whose productivity is poor, fail to improve, show signs they don’t want to improve or they take up too much of your attention, it’s time for you to act.

That even goes for employees with a good work ethic and who are amiable and reliably on time, if they fail to develop their skills to help you make a dollar. You must make a change.

2. Toxic behavior

Some employees should not be allowed to stay if they’re morale busters.

For instance, perhaps they bully others, frequently argue with you or coworkers, spread rumors, fail to carry out company policies or complain about job requirements, you need to sever the employer-employee relationship.

Aimless complaining is a symptom of problems in teamwork, morale, negativity and/or productivity. You should be getting good employee ideas, not whining.

“Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.”

-Laurence J. Peter

3. Cannot cope with change

You must have a workforce that understands change is unavoidable. Employees must be OK with change and be flexible to change or improve with the times.

When you have normally dependable workers but who can’t cope, you must nevertheless replace them.

4. No call or no show

When employees suffer a personal tragedy like the loss of a loved one, sometimes the last thing they remember to do is to call into work. Empathy is recommended.

But it’s a red flag if they have another tragedy and fail to call.

To avert losing time and money, your company must have good policies regarding absences.

If employees fail to call again, chances are they’re undesirable workers in other respects. If so, it’s time to let them go.

For healthy profits, it’s also good strategy to embark on a program solve employee absenteeism.

5. Customer and supplier complaints

When a customer or vendor feels taken for granted, 70 percent of the time they will fire your company.

Worse, your word-of-mouth advertising will suffer. Unhappy people will usually complain to numerous others.

For your customers, especially, their complaints about your company will become a crusade in their daily conversations or on social media.

You can’t afford employees who aren’t service-minded for your customers and vendors.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related resource links:

Workplace Bullying – Tips for Victims and Bosses — Workplace issues include bullying. It’s a widespread problem for employers and employees, alike. Here are valuable tips for both employers and workplace victims.

Legal HR Issues? Best Practices in Workplace Investigations — As an employer, one of your biggest nightmares can be issues involving your employees. There can be many reasons to conduct an investigation. “Action expresses priorities,” said Mohandas Gandhi. So you should act quickly.

Critical HR Recruiting Strategies for Business Profit — By developing strategic recruiting plans, human resources professionals will make significant contributions to the bottom-line profit goals of their employers. So, it’s imperative to innovate in your recruiting processes and market your strategies to senior management and hiring managers.

How to Rock Your Human Resources with Employee Referrals — Admittedly, there’s a myriad of ways to recruit great employees. But no recruitment option surpasses a well-executed, strategic employee-referral program.

Probation Meetings – HR Tactics for New Employee Success — Hiring employees is expensive. So it’s important to use tactics that will help insure success of new workers. That calls for probation meetings. Here are five proven tactics.

Risk Management in Hiring: Pre-Employment Screening Tips — Here are two questions about hiring: 1) what’s the biggest mistake companies make in hiring employees; and 2) what’s the biggest legal obstacle employers face in hiring? Here’s what to do about background screening.

“Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.”

-Laurence J. Peter


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 





Photo courtesy imagerymajestic at www.freedigitalphotos.net


How to Rock Your Human Resources with Employee Referrals



Admittedly, there’s a myriad of ways to recruit great employees. But no recruitment option surpasses a well-executed, strategic employee-referral program.

If you pay a headhunter for management talent, it will cost your company thousands of dollars. If you’re hiring workers from temporary help firms, the firms’ “liquidation fees” will cost you several hundred dollars.

In paying referral fees, you’d be much better off paying your valued employees who are also brand advocates.

Employees whom are referred by your current talented workers make for great hires at comparatively little expense and will enhance your culture.

stockimages male femaleA good employee-referral program provides five advantages:

1. Referred candidates are, in a sense, pre-screened. To stay profitable, your company must have a stellar culture with all stars.

Many companies have learned that referrals are great sources for recruiting the best qualified employees to fit in their culture.

Your employees who refer their friends and relatives have already been vetted. They’re proven great complements to your staff.

If they’re confident in sticking their necks out to make recommendations for the right applicants, you can be confident, too.

That’s because your current employees pre-orient their referrals about your organization. Undoubtedly, they make certain their referred candidates have a pragmatic view – the pros and cons about working at your company.

2. Birds of a feather flock together. Your talented employees refer people similar to them. As an added bonus, the referred candidates will work hard to make sure they don’t embarrass the people who referred them.

3. Referred candidates give you a competitive edge in recruiting. Just as in sales, word-of-mouth advertising is a tremendous asset in recruiting.

If talented persons aren’t job-hunting, they hidden untapped talent. If your competitors don’t know about these persons, you’ve got a built-in competitive edge.

But they’ll consider you as an employer if they’re encouraged to do so by your employees whom they respect and like.

4. Referred employees enhance your retention efforts. They’re more likely to be loyal and stay with you. This is important because you save on recruiting and hiring expenses. They’ll help you to be more profitable.

5. They’ll be assets for their culture. Morale and teamwork are enhanced. A new employee who has been recruited via word-of-mouth by a friend, will get accustomed to your workplace environment more easily.

People like to work with people they like. They’re more likely to socialize with each other after work.

This increases your odds for a fun, relaxed workplace environment. Concurrently, your communication with employees who refer candidates improves even further as they become brand advocates.

Prerequisites for success

Establishing a successful referral program means you have to take certain precautions:

1. Your job descriptions must be well-thought our and specific. Not only is a poorly worded job description a waste for your company, it’ll be a negative in the minds of your brand advocates and referred candidates.

2. To consider referred candidates, your brand advocates must be talented high performers who work at your company. There are exceptions to the rule, but there’s little sense in hiring someone who has quit.

3. Establish a new-hire tenure qualification. Before rewarding your brand advocates for recommending candidates, the referred candidates must work for you for a period of at least six months.

4. Communicate all job openings and your referral program with your team. In this way, your brand advocates will be on the lookout for talented candidates.

Make certain your referral program completely transparent.

Another benefit to such communication, you might notice that one of your current workers is promotable to the position.

5. Give careful thought to what you pay in a referral fee. While it’s true higher referral fees will encourage your brand advocates to work at referring candidates. But be careful, especially concerning management candidates.

Don’t run the risk of encouraging employees to refer just any run-of-the-mill candidates merely to collect some extra money.

It’s highly unlikely that it’ll productive to pay referral fees to workers for recommending candidates to fill management roles. Again, birds of a feather flock together.

6. Make it convenient for brand advocates and their referred candidates. Simplify the referral process and make your branding easy to see for the candidates.

Your online application process should be simple, and anticipate and provide answers to questions to which candidates are likely to ask.

7. Be especially diligent about communicating with referred people. Certainly you don’t want to indiscriminately favor referred candidates.

But you whether you hire them or not, you should be very careful to be prompt, respectful and polite in dealing with them.

Keep your employee in the loop, as well, by informing them about their referrals getting consideration and interviews.

If you don’t hire the referred candidates, merely explain to your brand advocate the situation didn’t work out without divulging too much personal information.

In other words, be cognizant of the impressions you create on the candidate and your brand advocate.

Finally, an important caveat:

To be sure of success, you must guard against the dangers of cliques or nepotism. Unless you have a uniquely talented employee who makes referrals, don’t hire applicants from that same person to fill all your staffing needs.

From the Coach’s Corner, related HR strategies:

Write Better Job Descriptions to Attract Best Talent – 16 Tips — To inspire the best candidates to apply for your opening, there are at least 16 strategies to incorporate in your job description.

HR Trends in Talent Management Using Technology — Despite all the talk about the use of technology in talent management, the majority of human resources departments are behind the curve. Why? A study shows 72 percent of HR departments reveal they’re not using such tools.

Hiring? 4 Pointers on Negotiating Wages with Job Applicants — Some employers have had difficulty in successfully extending job offers to applicants, especially Millennial professionals. It’s not uncommon to interview applicants who aren’t shy in negotiations with their inflated egos and salary expectations. Of course, that wasn’t the case in the Great Recession.

“Human resources are like natural resources; they’re often buried deep. You have to go looking for them; they’re not just lying around on the surface.”

-Ken Robinson


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Photo courtesy of stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

2015 Year-in-Review: Seattle Business Consultant Articles



Human resources, leadership characteristics of top CEOs, and public-relations crisis management top the list of 2015’s most-popular articles on this Seattle business consultant Web site.

The three articles constitute a surprising trend – considering that The Biz Coach has more than 1,000 articles for readers to consider.

In five months of 2015, an audit shows readers were most interested in learning how to use their human resources department to boost business performance.

For twenty-five percent of the year, the No. 2 most-popular topic was the “10 Characteristics of a Successful CEO.” In third-place, readers preferred an analysis of the “BP Crisis Management, PR Misfires — a Case Study.” For one month, the leading topic was “HR Trends in Talent Management Using Technology.”

Another trend month after month – one article repeatedly came in second place. Readers wanted to learn how it’s possible for a run-of-the-mill manager to become a leader in management (Key Differences between Leaders and Managers.)

The leaders by month:

Joey TamerJanuary10 Characteristics of a Successful CEO, a 10-part series on CEO leadership by Joey Tamer, www.JoeyTamer.com.

Ms. Tamer is a consultant to experienced consultants in all fields to maximize their practices.

She has also been a strategic consultant to entrepreneurs in technology and digital media.

Her Op Ed explains in detail what she describes as the 10 most-salient characteristics of successful CEOs.

They are:

  1. Domain expertise (technology or other)
  2. Leadership & personal power
  3. Financial savvy
  4. Ability to pitch and close
  5. Honor
  6. Realism
  7. Perseverance
  8. Patience
  9. Perspective on the larger scheme of things
  10. Courage to move forward, or stop, and to know when to do either one

(She is a dear friend and colleague and she is also widely quoted in numerous biz coach articles.)

February10 Characteristics of a Successful CEO

March10 Characteristics of a Successful CEO

April BP Crisis Management, PR Misfires — a Case Study, crisis management and public relations strategies in the wake of the BP-Gulf oil crisis.

BP Oil can’t turn off the lawsuit spigot. After paying $28 million as the result of its massive 2010 oil spill — the biggest offshore spill in U.S. history — it must pay an uncapped billions of dollars more in oil-spill compensation.

BP fought the 2013 court ruling, which was made as an interpretation of the original settlement reached from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Ironically, BP agreed to the original settlement, which didn’t include a specific amount of damages.

BP has agreed to pay $4.5 billion in criminal damages to the U.S. government. Earlier, for $7.8 billion, BP settled with individuals and businesses in the wake of the 2010 oil spill – the biggest offshore spill in U.S. history. You might recall 11 people died in that disaster.

May15 HR Strategies to Improve Your Business Performance, a checklist of 15 strategies for human resources to improve business performance.

Studies show many employees are dissatisfied in their workplaces. Employee dissatisfaction, of course, will adversely affect a company’s performance.

A lack of employee engagement means:

— Higher costly turnover

— Less focus on customer service

— Less productivity

— Weak profits

The dissatisfaction is global and the trend is likely to continue unless businesses improve their approach.

June15 HR Strategies to Improve Your Business Performance, a checklist of 15 strategies for human resources to improve business performance.

JulyHR Trends in Talent Management Using Technology, despite all the talk about the use of technology in talent management, the majority of human resources departments is behind the curve.

Employee recruitment, engagement and retention can all be enhanced by evolving technology.

However, 72 percent of HR departments reveal they’re not using such tools. That’s according to 1,000 respondents in a 2015 study.

August 15 HR Strategies to Improve Your Business Performance, a checklist of 15 strategies for human resources to improve business performance.

SeptemberBP Crisis Management, PR Misfires — a Case Study, crisis management and public relations strategies in the wake of the BP-Gulf oil crisis.

October15 HR Strategies to Improve Your Business Performance, a checklist of 15 strategies for human resources to improve business performance.

November15 HR Strategies to Improve Your Business Performance, a checklist of 15 strategies for human resources to improve business performance.

December15 HR Strategies to Improve Your Business Performance, a checklist of 15 strategies for human resources to improve business performance.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are reports on top articles in previous years:

2014 Year-in-Review: The Most Popular Biz Coaching Articles — A large number of readers was interested in career development in 2014, according to an audit of nearly 900 articles published on The Biz Coach. Primarily, there were two articles that ranked as either No. 1 or No. 2 for seven months of the year. Readers were clearly focused on leadership and management. Countless thousands preferred these two articles: “Key Differences between Leaders and Managers” and “Leadership – 10 Characteristics of a Successful CEO.”

2013 Year-in-Review: Most-Popular Biz Coaching Topics — Judging by reader preferences in 2013, businesses were on tight budgets because the most-popular topic featured five free tools to run and market a business. It was No. 1 for five months.

2012 Year-in-Review: The Most-Popular Biz Coach Topics — The first eye-opener: Human resources articles dominated eight out of 12 months. The second eye-opener: Some topics were winners in consecutive months. One topic, dealing with HR and technology, was No. 1 three months in a row.

2011 Year-In-Review: Top Biz Coach Topics — Here are this portal’s most-read biz coaching articles in 2011: In January, the most popular article was Human Resources – Slow Motion Gets You There Faster. It featured an analogy with a famous American composer, pianist, and actor: Hoagy Carmichael. Mr. Carmichael is credited with coining the phrase, “Slow motion gets you there faster.”

“Let the tech firms and consulting firms build your skills, but be sure to ask yourself, ‘Am I maximizing my impact? Am I living up to my values?’”

-Wendy Kopp


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Productivity – 7 Steps to Build Performance Indicators



For performance-measurement in human-resource administration, it’s actually fairly easy to develop performance indicators.

The key, though, is to design measurement systems the right way.

In planning, it’s important to drive engagement, productivity and quality.

franky242 MEETINGHere are seven steps:

1. Develop an outlook for achievement

Mindset is important. Don’t focus on shortcomings of your employees. Focus on their improvement by leveraging their strengths.

Each indicator has to designed in such a way so that it’s positively interpreted. By focusing on baby steps for progress, your employees will improve in their performance.

Be sure not to micromanage them. Employees will act timidly and tentatively if they feel you’re looking over their shoulder.

You want employees to anticipate each indicator as an opportunity for noteworthy personal and organizational growth.

2. Marshal your key players for each project

Select and gather a small team of employees, including the current folks in the jobs that you need to measure.

Again, you’ll need to spin it positively, as a winning venture. Choose one person as the catalyst to manage the process so that it’s efficient.

Make sure to solicit ideas from each person. Everyone needs to know they’ll be heard. Communicate each course of action externally; outside your crew.

3. Research the subject matter

For a full awareness of what needs to be accomplished, consult each participant in the project to be measured.

In doing so, you’ll want to achieve three goals:

— Understand what is being accomplished now.

— Know what the objectives are.

— Determine how suggested improvements will work for the welfare of your organization. This is most salient of these three steps. It helps you determine how to fine-tune the process in your course of action.

Otherwise, why go through this development process, if you don’t take precautions to insure measurement success?

Each indicator has to designed in such a way so that it’s positively interpreted.

4. Choose what you want measured

Pick a few salient outputs of each function to be gauged. As you’re just starting out, don’t make the process too complex for your team members to assimilate.

At a later date, you can select the less-complex outcomes for measurement. This might be a marathon, so be patient until you complete the process for all measurements.

5. Define what you want to measure

Be careful and diligent in developing measurements. Anticipate how your units will be measured and when you’ve accomplished your tasks, how they’ll be documented and what to do about any unanswered issues.

You’ll need documentation for referencing later.

6. Make certain the system can be coordinated

Ascertain the methods needed to denote your data so they can be reported. Don’t take shortcuts in determining the steps for your process and how much time will be needed to invest in it.

Be diligent in corresponding your data for your reporting, the time to accomplish it, and the useful significance of your reports.

Accumulate your data on a regular basis.

7. Market your plan

Your employees need to know the importance of your plan. Thoroughly engage them. Explain the who, what, when, where and how of the process. That entails in-person discussions and written strategies.

Change often frightens people who aren’t accustomed to the process. The more then know, the better their response. You want them to fully appreciate the opportunity for growth and to take part.

From the Coach’s Corner, more related insights:

Profit Drivers – How and Why to Partner with Your Employees — If you want maximum profit, consider partnering with your employees. Here’s expert advice from leading financial consultant Roni Fischer.

With Employees’ Help, 3 Strategies to Succeed with Your Strategic Plan — Have you developed your strategy? It’s important to proceed without engaging in self doubt. But you’re concerned about involving your employees? There are three closely related basics in working with your employees to get the job done.

To Realize Your Business Vision, 8 Best Practices for Setting Goals — Whatever your situation, to realize your vision, focusing on the right details is a skill conducive for strategically setting goals. Here are eight best practices.

Competitive Intelligence Author Shares Her Insights — Even before the Great Recession, businesses had headaches in reducing risks. What’s a tool to reduce risk and make profits? Competitive intelligence.

Finance Checklist for Strategic Planning, Growth — Strategic planning in finance for growth means avoiding trendy fads. Instead, it requires an ongoing down-to-earth approach in order to create value. Here are seven steps.

“There is at least one point in the history of any company when you have to change dramatically to rise to the next level of performance. Miss that moment – and you start to decline.”

-Andy Grove


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry





Photo courtesy of franky242 at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Are You Guilty of Micromanaging? Here’s How to Stop



Micromanagement is a ramification of ignoring best practices in management. People who micromanage lose maximum efficiency, productivity and teamwork – in other words, optimal profitability.

There’s a difference between leading a staff effectively and authoritarian behavior. The latter is one of the common traits of bad bosses.

Perhaps you’ve been the victim of micromanagement while growing up or on the job. Good, then you know the consequences.

To jog your memory:

You’ve suffered from a decrease in morale. It’s hurt your confidence and self esteem. You’re de-motivated. Your creativity is lost. But your parent or boss was clueless.

So if you’re a manager, do you really want to risk the effects of micromanaging your employees? Of course, you don’t.

If you think you’re guilty of micromanaging employees, you probably are.

Here are six ways to stop micromanaging:

1. Start learning the best principles of employee delegation

Delegation is a fundamental driver of organizational growth. This is one of the hardest facets to learn for many managers. So start thinking about implementing a new delegation approach.

Managers who are effective in delegation show leadership. Save yourself time and develop your staff for the welfare of your organization by implementing best practices in employee delegation.

2. Become aware of the consequences of micromanagement

Micromanagement causes serious damage to your workplace environment. It eliminates trust with your workers and damages their self confidence.

Instead, you should be working toward building individual autonomy, independent thought and professional growth.

3. Assess the strengths of each of your workers

Talk with under-performing employees. Analyze the duties of the person’s responsibilities and skill sets. Perhaps there isn’t a match.

Micromanaging won’t solve such issues. If you believe the person’s duties and talents aren’t compatible, then come up with a solution.

It’s hard, time-consuming work, but managers owe it to the organization to help employees to grow professionally. The organization benefits from higher employee performance and lower turnover. Strong employee retention obviously saves the employer a lot of time and money.

4. Develop communication

Communication skills are critical for managers. However, you probably have inadequate communication with your team members. Perhaps they don’t understand your expectations about their roles.

People with enhanced abilities in communication typically have successful relationships at work and home. Study the management attributes for effective communication.

Good communication must start with new hires and continue throughout their tenure with your company.

5. Implement methods for feedback

Know that each employee has preferences for feedback. As much as possible, treat each person as unique. Some employees benefit from daily discussions. But to others daily feedback constitutes micromanagement.

6. Focus on continuous learning

You realistically can’t hold employees accountable unless they’re given the right tools. That includes training and proper equipment.

Finally, know that you probably learned micromanagement from a former boss or your current one. If you feel your boss micromanages you, delicately deal with it.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more management tips:

Why Executives Emphasize Communication Training for Employees — Among human resources training priorities, employee communication is often now more important than skills, say many executives. Two-thirds of executives responding to a survey say communication skills are most needed by certain employees.

Trust Gap between Managers and Workers — How to Drive Engagement — While it’s true there are companies that are aware that good morale among employees propels profits, many businesses are missing opportunities for growth. It’s not because of marketing. It has to do with internal issues. Why? There’s still a wide gap between what managers and workers think about trust.

13 Management Tips to Solve Employee Absenteeism — Absenteeism causes migraines for a lot of bosses. Obviously, your company will make healthier profits, if you don’t have an absenteeism problem.

3 Crucial Tactics Are Needed to Maintain Your Culture — As your company grows, you can expect growing pains and threats to your culture. Whether you create it or not, your business culture happens. There are at least three steps needed to fashion your culture the way you want.

10 Steps to Manage Conflict for High Performance — For progress, a business needs human interaction for ideas and innovation. Sometimes, argument, debate and conflict prove to be productive catalysts for high performance. But such catalysts can be obstacles to success, too. Here are the simplest ways to manage conflict.

“People and organizations don’t grow much without delegation and completed staff work because they are confined to the capacities of the boss and reflect both personal strengths and weaknesses.”

-Stephen Covey


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 





Photo courtesy stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Diversity: Political Correctness or the Right Thing for Your Business?



Whenever you hire a new employee, you surely want a return on your investment. You’ve invested a lot of resources – in time, energy and money – in your recruitment and hiring process.

But in affirmative action plans you face obstacles — primarily, from your culture.

Hypothetically, if you don’t have a diverse staff and you hire a highly qualified minority, you also want that person to succeed.

Unfortunately, you might face an unfortunate prospect. That would be failure of the new hire to succeed as an employee. This happens more than you think.

ID-10066199 AmbroWhy? Some of your workers might not accept the new person.

They’ll contend you hired the person for political correctness reasons. It won’t matter how qualified the person is.

The employee will sense the hostility from co-workers.

As a result, the person’s performance suffers. The new hire might even quit.

Such a supposition is supported by an academic study of more than 6,000 employees.

Results of the study were published in the Academy of Management Journal.

The research was conducted by business professors Lisa M. Leslie at New York University; David M. Mayer at the University of Michigan; and David A. Kravitz at George Mason University.

Like many academic studies, the study has a complex title, “The Stigma of Affirmative Action: A Stereotyping Based Theory and Meta-Analytic Test of the Consequences for Performance.”

Authors concluded that co-workers view the new person as less proficient and amiable. Further, co-workers believe the minority person will get special treatment – favoritism in responsibilities, salaries and promotions.

“Affirmative action plans (AAPs) are designed to facilitate workplace success for members of the groups they target (e.g., women, ethnic minorities), yet may have the ironic effect of stigmatizing AAP targets and, in turn, decreasing their performance outcomes,” the authors explained.

My sense is such organizations have cultural issues.

It’s not uncommon. As it is in the typical organization, 40 percent of men and women don’t want to work on projects with the opposite gender (an HR study revealed challenges for management in teamwork, culture and diversity).

Solutions

1. Companies that have employees, who jump to conclusions about new hires, have some work to do about the negative workplace attitudes. A cultural change is in order (scroll down to the Coach’s Corner for more information about fixing culture).

2. This also means you have to use marketing techniques to upgrade your processes in human resources: Image-building steps to attract the best workers; fine-tune your screening; conducting behavioral interviews; and hiring the right talent. You’ll increase your chances for the strongest results.

3. Internally, focus on communication for every new hire. Explain the company’s objectives and needs. Announce an opening that would be dedicated to meeting the organization’s objectives.

4, If you hire a minority or anyone else, you need to point out the person’s qualities. That includes the person’s expertise, experience and education. Explain how the person is expected to benefit the company.

Remember that workplace diversity and cross-cultural communication are necessary for good business in the 21st century.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related strategies in human resources:

A Top Marketing Goal: Enhance Your Internal Communication — Businesses have two communication sources that are expenses that conversely are sources of profit – the external marketplace – and internal, their human capital. But all your money poured into marketing doesn’t accomplish much unless you devote equal resources to employee programs and communication.

10 Management Attributes for Effective Communication — Communication skills are critical for managers. People with enhanced abilities in communication typically have successful relationships at work and home. Good communicators typically have 10 attributes.

10 Steps to Manage Conflict for High Performance – For progress, a business needs human interaction for ideas and innovation. Sometimes, argument, debate and conflict prove to be productive catalysts for high performance. But such catalysts can be obstacles to success, too. Here are the simplest ways to manage conflict.

6 Steps to Implement a Cultural Change for Profits — If your company is lacking in teamwork, morale is poor and profits are weak, chances are you need to change your organization’s culture. Be forewarned, changing a culture is a monumental chore because it will take strategic planning and super powers of persuasion.

6 Tips to Turn Your HR Department into a Profit Center — At least 50 percent of a company’s profits are contingent on employee problems. If you have challenges in one department, odds are you have HR issues in other departments. In fact, human capital is the No. 1 reason why CEOs lose sleep. Many businesses often need an objective source of information and expertise from critical thinkers. It’s true you can turn your human resources department into a profit center.

“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”

– Jim Collins


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of Ambro at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Why Executives Emphasize Communication Training for Employees



Among human resources training priorities, employee communication is often now more important than skills, say many executives.

Two-thirds of executives responding to a survey say communication skills are most needed by certain employees.

That’s according to a 2014 study by AMA Enterprise, a division of the American Management Association.

business man-170645_1280“It appears that many companies are stepping up training and development for individuals, employees who aren’t necessarily considered high potentials or the equivalent, but who are essential to meeting business objectives,” said Jennifer Jones, Director at AMA Enterprise, which provides organizations with assessment, measurement, and tailored training solutions.

“These are the key people who get things done but may not be part of a team or have any direct management authority. They were sometimes overlooked in recent years, but that may be changing,” she explained.

“Being able to frame ideas and share them with colleagues in both writing and speaking is so fundamental that these are most often a starting point in professional growth and development,” Ms. Jones added.

“Being able to frame ideas and share them with colleagues in both writing and speaking is so fundamental that these are most often a starting point in professional growth and development,” Ms. Jones added.

Here’s the breakdown of responses to this question:

If your organization makes an effort to develop individual contributors, which of the following kinds of content are included in such programs?

Communication skills – 66 percent

Skills/competences specific to individual’s role – 60 percent

Leadership development – 52 percent

Project management – 49 percent

Interpersonal skills – 48 percent

Collaboration – 43 percent

Decision making – 40 percent

Critical thinking – 38 percent

Cultural sensitivity/diversity – 32 percent

Creativity/innovative thinking – 32 percent

Ethics – 30 percent

Business/financial acumen – 30 percent

Emotional intelligence – 25 percent

Global perspective – 14 percent

“Being able to frame ideas and share them with colleagues in both writing and speaking is so fundamental that these are most often a starting point in professional growth and development,” Ms. Jones added.

“Communication is actually an umbrella term for such core skills as listening, thinking clearly, interpreting organizational concepts, being alert to non-verbal signals as well as dealing with any stress or emotional issues in working with co-workers or supervisors,” she explained.

“Indeed, understood correctly communications helps a person understand a situation, resolve differences and build trust,” she said. “It’s essential for a productive workplace to encourage creativity and collaboration in order to solve problems or achieve business objectives.”

Ms. Jones contends for companies seeking to avoid a perception of elitism, an important goal is to build an environment of collaboration and team work.

(Note: I’m a former member of the American Management Association, a global leader of comprehensive talent development. AMA Enterprise, a specialized division of AMA dedicated to building corporate and government training solutions, transforms enterprise-wide talent to fuel a culture of innovation, high performance, and optimal business results.)

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related communication tips:

10 Management Attributes for Effective Communication – Communication skills are critical for managers. People with enhanced abilities in communication typically have successful relationships at work and home. Good communicators typically have 10 attributes.

Make More Friends at the Office with 6 Etiquette Tips – In many companies, good etiquette is nonexistent and office co-workers fail to make friends of one another. Lack of trust and turmoil is seemingly evident everywhere. You don’t have to like everyone, but it’s best to be respectful, and assertive versus aggressive. That makes for good office relationships.

Acting, Speaking Coach: How to Improve Communication with Others – Do you know when you marginalize others? If you’re having communication problems with someone important in your career or life, chances are one or both of you will profit from tips in honest communication. This is also true if you want to get a job. Savvy employers know poor communication skills hamper efficiency and productivity.

Communication – You Can Train Yourself to Stop Stressing – It’s OK to be nervous before giving a speech or when you’re entering an important round of negotiations. Feeling pressure is one thing but allowing it to morph into stress and tension is another. When you allow this to happen, in a sense, you’re giving away your personal power, which inhibits your performance.

Workplace Communication – Is the ‘Queen Bee Syndrome’ a Myth or Reality? – Regrettably, women’s same-sex conflicts in the workplace have long been maligned in books as inherently more problematic than men’s. Hence, the negative stereotypes – the “queen bee syndrome” or worse, “cat fights.”

A Top Marketing Goal: Enhance Your Internal Communication – Businesses have two communication sources that are expenses that conversely are sources of profit – the external marketplace – and internal, their human capital. But all your money poured into marketing doesn’t accomplish much unless you devote equal resources to employee programs and communication.

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.”

-Peter Drucker


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.






A Top Marketing Goal: Enhance Your Internal Communication



Businesses have two communication sources that are expenses that conversely are sources of profit – the external marketplace – and internal, their human capital.

But all your money poured into marketing doesn’t accomplish much unless you devote equal resources to employee programs and communication.

Moreover, only 27 percent of CEOs according to a global study feel very prepared in handling their companies’ human capital. That means 73 percent are unprepared to deal with their employees.

woman blond-509960_1280Ironically, your human capital is an important asset – from making good products – to servicing your customers.

Thanks to the Internet, this is the era in which marketing has shifted to personalization. It’s not just a trend.

Internal communications

Why not launch an effective internal communications program tailored for your employees?

Employees must be fully apprised of your brand, vision and strategies.

If employees learn these concepts, they’ll be adequately delivered to your customers for a higher return on your marketing investment.

You’ll benefit from a healthy company culture and higher sales. Yes, you can power your brand with employee empowerment.

This isn’t just about mass e-mails or newsletters. By themselves, heavy reliance on mundane e-mails and newsletters isn’t an authentic approach. They’re distant and impersonal. (More on this later including an interesting infographic.)

Solutions

But if staff and management share ideas thanks to an open-door policy, such strategies lead to better employee engagement and serves as inspiration to workers.

Events combining departments of employees with shared experiences, such as team lunches, help them to better relate to one another.

In our litigious society, we do have to be careful how we communicate.

Don’t ignore the truth about contentious issues, such as rumors about pending layoffs. Understand the fine line between transparency and discretion. If you don’t know the answers, be sensitive to employees’ concerns, ask for patience and vow to provide answers as soon as you’re able.

Keep your commitments. Don’t procrastinate. Communicate. Encourage your key employees to become internal communicators or employee ambassadors.

Team-focuses phrases

Use positive team-focused phrasing. The use of “we” is more engaging than using the pronoun, “you.” In 98 percent of all internal communications, you have opportunities to use positive – not intimidating language – particularly with the words, “please” and “thank you.”

Polish your antenna for understanding human nature. You should be aware of potential issues long before they become crises, which is possible with effective internal communications.

That includes external news. If you have a pending tsunami from the marketplace, such as a souring economy that will affect your company, don’t let the news media be your employees’ sole source of information. Again, communicate.

“Internal Communications has become a huge part of how a business operates and will be increasingly so in the future,” predicts Danielle Gibbons of Newsweaver, an internal communications company.

“For example, smarter employee engagement leads to stronger business results increasing company profitability by up to 30 percent and customer satisfaction by up to 40 percent,” she adds.

Amen.

From the Coach’s Corner, here’s related information:

Tips for Productive Meetings to Improve Performance — Here’s a checklist to engage your employees in energetic, inspiring staff meetings that will increase profits.

Four Tips to Motivate Employees When You’re Facing Adversity — Effective bosses have antennas to alert them over looming challenges. If they don’t have such an antenna, it’s important for them to develop one for multiple credibility reasons. Even the bosses of small companies can suffer from image problems externally and internally. Either one or both will adversely affect profits.

“Like a human being, a company has to have an internal communication mechanism, a ‘nervous system,’ to coordinate its actions.”

-Bill Gates


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 




6 Tips to Turn Your HR Department into a Profit Center



At least 50 percent of a company’s profits are contingent on internal situations — and problems with employees.

If you have challenges in one department, odds are you have HR issues in other departments.

Mergers & AcquisitionsIn fact, human capital is the No. 1 reason why CEOs lose sleep.

However, you can turn your human resources department into a profit center.

Many businesses often need an objective source of information and expertise from critical thinkers.

It’s vital to have a resource — someone who is up-to-date on contemporary issues.

Even if you already have an HR department, there are good reasons to bringing in human-resource expert.

You need an expert with fresh eyes to foresee and solve challenges.

That means experts who know how to evaluate situations – big and small – to deliver solutions that benefit you long term.

There are many HR needs:

— Cultural change

— Employee attitudinal surveys

— HR audits

— Wage and compensation studies

— Employee handbooks

— A sounding board for bosses; a critical thinker with whom to talk and to discuss challenges and ideas

— Executive coaching for you or your managers

— Mentoring for employees

— Training programs, especially soft skills, for teamwork and customer service and sales

But you’ll want to hire expertise, but save time and money – not customized programs – a skilled HR consulting firm that has seen such challenges before and has proprietary methods to help you become more profitable. So you’ll need a critical thinker.

Look for the following:

1. Master strategist

You’ll need a consultant with a rich background and extensive experience to help you with your big-picture and how it’s affected by specific challenges. That necessitates someone who stays current in best practices, and who will provide the best service, and who will share concepts with you and your employees for your organization’s long-term benefit – not just for the short-term.

For instance, let’s say there are workplace policies that need to be updated. But you want your policies to be accepted and followed by your employees. Employees are often uncomfortable with change even if it’s necessary for a business turnaround. High morale among employees propels profits. An expert consultant will provide tips to market your HR-policy changes to employees.

2. Time savings

It costs organizations money to delay improvements. It’s in your best interests to implement the right strategies and metrics for business profits. So hire someone who can generate results in a timely fashion to save you valuable time and money.

3. Cost vis-à-vis investment 

If you have any kind of human resources concerns, such as developing non-financial incentives to motivate employees, hire a consultant who can advise you on staff and operational costs and implement strategies.

The time you spend on human resources is usually better spent dealing with your marketplace challenges. Make sure it’s someone who will deliver results – so it’s an investment in your future – not just an expense.

4. Adaptability

In this dynamic marketplace, you can always count on change. Proverbially speaking, employees are where the tire meets the road. Savvy consultants know how their clients can profit from human capital to motivate employees to offer profitable ideas.

Such knowledge is a powerful weapon for high performance in a competitive marketplace. Furthermore, there’s a correlation among excellent sales, happy customers, and high employee morale.

Often, change is rapid. You need a consultant who will anticipate a looming tsunami – someone who is flexible with changing conditions that obstruct your profits – to help you realize your vision for success.

5. Legal considerations

Perhaps you need to prevent problems, have a need for internal investigations, to prevent unnecessary employee complaints, mediate employee concerns or to avoid Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discrimination suits.

Worse, you might need to learn how to respond to EEOC complaints.

Often, there’s a simple strategy to prevent legal issues. When companies implement outstanding employee-engagement programs, they’re more successful.

6. Objectivity

Some challenges are difficult to solve and require an outside participant, especially in sensitive matters. Employees sometimes fear consultants. However, an experienced consultant handles situations adroitly and soon employees are very accepting. That’s especially true when the employees begin to see and enjoy positive developments.

In conclusion, to get your money’s worth from a consultant, you might be surprised to learn you have to use best practices in your role as the client. For strong results, it’s not just a matter of hiring a consultant, forgetting about it and expecting work to get done.

You’ll get top results after retaining a consultant if you’re at the top of your game as a client. Make sure you get your money’s worth from a consultant.

From the Coach’s Corner, here related HR tips:

How CEOs Benefit from Executive Coaching for Leadership — Almost two-thirds of CEOs don’t receive executive coaching or leadership development counsel even though they admit it’d be a good idea to ask for it, according to a study. My sense is that many of the surveyed CEOs are uncomfortable with exploring their self-awareness, a prerequisite for true leadership. Until CEOs better understand their personal capacities, they won’t be able to fully understand, manage and inspire their personnel.

10 Steps to Manage Conflict for High Performance — For progress, a business needs human interaction for ideas and innovation. Sometimes, argument, debate and conflict prove to be productive catalysts for high performance. But such catalysts can be obstacles to success, too. Here are the simplest ways to manage conflict.

13 Management Tips to Solve Employee Absenteeism — Absenteeism causes migraines for a lot of bosses. Obviously, your company will make healthier profits, if you don’t have an absenteeism problem. Check your attendance records. You’ll see Monday is the most-abused day of the week and January is the worst month for absenteeism.

Management/HR – How to Increase Profits via Employee Turnover — As cost centers, human resources have opportunities to shine whenever they act as profit centers. And employee turnover presents opportunities for companies to make money. 

Hiring? 4 Pointers on Negotiating Wages with Job Applicants — Some employers have had difficulty in successfully extending job offers to applicants, especially Millennial professionals. It’s not uncommon to interview applicants who aren’t shy in negotiations with their inflated egos and salary expectations. Of course, that wasn’t the case in the Great Recession.

“Management by objectives works if you first think through your objectives. Ninety percent of the time you haven’t.”

-Peter Drucker


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.