Of course you strive for your company’s success. You want your business to be great. Your company won’t succeed if it is just average. What happens if you hire average employees? You get average results, an uninspiring culture, and an average company.
Be your best and hire the best.
Hiring great employees will fuel your corporate culture with positive results, and ultimately affect the bottom line. Think about this for your next hire. Invest in the greatest people for your company.
It is never a good idea to be complacent in the workplace. If you want to remain employed at your current company, nurture the current position you are in. As well, give yourself opportunities to go beyond what is expected of you.
Last week, we shared some tips on how to approach the job market. The following are some tips if you are currently employed and want to remain there:
What you do everyday makes a big difference. Your positive outlook and pitch in attitude will give you great mileage. Your positive vibes can become contagious to others.
Look at problems as opportunities. Look at market slowdown as a chance to regroup and re-strategize. There is time now to make improvements.
Show up early and stay late when you can. Not to bank overtime, but to show your employer how much your company means to you. Your exemplary initiatives will be noticed.
If you have metrics or targets – go above and beyond.
Now may not be the time to ask for a raise. It will come in good time. Wait for it.
Be fiscally responsible. Consider what you and your coworkers can go without. Lead some office initiatives on recycling and other ways to save on resources. This will not only help improve the office bottom line but will be good for the environment.
Managers have the difficult task of letting team members know when they are not performing up to standards. Even though we know that we must do what it best for the company, it does not make it any easier when it comes time to speaking to the employee.
Usually the team member will have some sort of idea that things are not going as well as they should. Possibly they have been told a few times about mistakes they are making or maybe even a warning. They look down and dejected during the day at their desk.
In a recent discussion with another manager who was getting ready to let a staff member go, she brought up the doubts that she was having about this employees’ impending termination. She wondered if she had done all that she could to make the employee perform better. She also wondered if she was being fair.
As we talked I had her write down all of the issues that her employee was having with their job. We then went through each one so that she could refresh her mind about all of the training and retraining she had given this employee. She even had documentation of discussions with the employee regarding many of the issues they were having, and the employee signed them.
At the end of our conversation she was sure that she was making the right decision for the company by letting this employee go. She was also sure that she had done everything in her power to give this employee the opportunity to learn, perform their job tasks, and be a good team member.
Even though she felt bad for the employee, she knew that keeping her would only make things worse for both the business and the employee.
In situations like this it is good to be able to talk them through with someone you trust so that you know you are making the correct decision. It may not make it easier to let them go, but you will be able to do it because you are sure it is the right thing to do.
It never feels good to be part of a losing team. You lose momentum. You let the negative vibes take over, and motivation goes out the window.
Working alongside good team players makes for a better environment. Positivity breeds positivity. I get so inspired by my talented coworkers who are succeeding in their respective roles, and are shining at work.
Companies can not survive unless they have the results of a successful, hardworking team. So, what happens when the team isn’t winning?
It’s never too late to come from behind and score big when it counts. Sometimes you have to change the lineup and shake things up a bit. Otherwise, the team can easily disengage and check out. Dig down and realize what the key motivating factors are for your team, and for the company.
Once there has been a specific culture shift to get the team moving in the right direction is when the team will become motivated again, become deeply engaged and automatically experience fun.
We all know that bullying occurs in schools amongst children and teenagers, but we often forget that bullying also takes place in offices all over.
Bullying can take many forms in the workplace. Some include being falsely accused of mistakes, being constantly criticized, use of double standards, yelled at, criticized for appearance, deriding comments, etc.
A recent study found that 35 percent of workers reported they have felt bullied on the job and 17 percent decided to quit their jobs to escape the situation.
Many incidents of aggressive or unreasonable behavior against a co-worker go unreported, but when they do, over half the time the HR department has done nothing to take action.
‘Team building doesn’t build teams. Build them a strategy.’- Keith McFarland
Following the wisdom of Keith McFarland for our strategy session we began our 90 day reset yesterday. We keyed in on the successes of the last 90 days and fine tuned our next 90. As part of our team’s commitment to excellence we tied an extended session on team development to our 90 day reset strategy. Lead by ViRTUS, our focus this session was on the Communication Model. Diversity of personality types and working styles made this process a most enjoyable learning experience. With our new found awareness about ourselves and each other, we left with our missions, both collective and individual, clearly in place.
A couple of themes stand out from this tremendously valuable session:
1. Breakthrough performance is hard. It really is. But no one ever said that getting to the top of your game isn’t. Our McNak team has dedicated themselves to charting a course set on taking our company to levels higher than we’ve ever believed we could before. And pushing ourselves to new levels we really are having a tremendous amount of fun. We’ve got a great recipe and a team to do it!
2. Communication is paramount. When teams are going through fast growth, the strength of a team is strongly based on how communication is delivered by all team members. Active and precision listening, as well as setting context and intentions were a few of the gems for ensuring clarity and understanding in a dynamic workspace. Thank you ViRTUS, we couldn’t have done this without you!
3. It feels good to laugh. Maybe this is a McNak thing. We’ve made a pact that every hour of our work day should experience laughter! It’s all part of the plan. (One of our metrics) We’ll keep up with this exercise!
When asked about the reasons for leaving previous employers, a stunning majority of successful high potential candidates come up with an answer that is linked to the lack of a positive corporate culture that values and drives high performance. Surprisingly, money is rarely the main reason why we don’t feel content with our work. More than anything else, it is a question of whether we feel that we are truly a part of our organization and are being valued for the work we are so passionate about. Those of us who are not only successful but also happy with our jobs have a feeling that is more powerful than anything else in the relationship between corporations and employees: We identify ourselves with our work, our team, and our company. Not only is the mere existence of a good organizational culture key to attracting and retaining high performing employees. It also determines just how efficient and profitable each employee will be in their role. The level to which employees are engaged in a positive, high performance culture is a powerful indicator of a company’s overall profitability.
Strong corporate cultures are not built in a day. They are the results of constant, committed organizational activities which function both bottom-up as well as top-down. They can only work when everyone in the organization is on the same page and headed into the same direction. Profitability is an expression for economic efficiency and requires organizational efficiency, which ultimately means individual efficiency. This is common sense for anyone who is in a position that has revenue creation as its core purpose. However, when looking at all functional layers in an organization, not everyone is as focused on the bottom line as the company’s leadership team. The disconnect takes place wherever employees are in roles that do not directly impact the performance of the business. The challenge is to create a high performance culture where each employee, regardless of their actual role, is aware of their individual contribution to overall growth.
In order to create a high performance culture, performance management needs to be incorporated at all staff levels. Whether looking at administrative functions or sales roles – the journey starts with identifying high, yet attainable goals. Economically successful companies are also successful in creating a culture that supports innovative activities through empowerment and recognition. While profit is the fuel for a company on its road to success, recognition is what drives most employees. One key element when setting up a performance management structure is to be unmistakably clear on exactly how each employee’s performance will be measured. This lays out a solid game plan that will allow monitoring the progress. Motivation and ongoing employee engagement will help along the way. Recognition doesn’t have to be monetary; the options can range from tangible rewards to out-of-office activities that involve the whole team.
Clearly defined performance measures ensure that each individual understands their contribution to the entire organization’s success. Positive motivation and active engagement are key to a culture that celebrates success and produces high performance. The current economy provides an excellent opportunity for companies to take a fair look at their corporate culture and realign measures and recognition systems. A culture where employees are passionate about performing at their very best every day ultimately results in higher economic profitability.
Dennis Wolff presented some timely advice today on the Bill Good Show on CKNW 980. Here’s the expanded version for those of you who missed the interview. You can also find this current post in this week’s edition of the BIV (page 20), or click here to read it online.
Throughout Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, a significant number of companies are experiencing a hiring slow-down, if not a complete hiring freeze. This is the time to re-assess how to handle your most valuable asset – your human capital. It is your ability to retain and attract the best talent which might easily become the single most decisive factor in determining how well you will weather this economic crisis. Here are a few ideas on how to get a head start:
Retain your top talent: The good news is, top talent becomes hesitant to move in tough economic times. But don’t take your employee’s loyalty for granted. Smart employees will ensure they have an exit strategy, and will likely take precautions to find something more stable and rewarding. But not only do you want to retain your top people, you also want to reassure your staff that your company is stable, and set up to succeed in this market.
Think carefully when you have to dismiss: Tough times can call for unpopular measures and dismissing part of your workforce might become inevitable for the survival of your business. Make sure to focus on assessing performance records as opposed to strictly looking at job costing. The average cost to replace an employee can range anywhere between 30% and 150% of the employee’s annual salary. What might look like an instant quick fix can become very costly on a long-term basis.
Go and shop for new talent: Use your competition’s mistakes to your advantage: A lot of them might not be able to retain their most talented people. This is a great time to shop for new talent. Hiring during economic turmoil will also increase your employees’ confidence while setting you up to be way ahead of your competition once the economic circumstances become more favourable again.
Empower your staff: Economic challenges come with their own set of rules, and smart businesses recognize that this is a time to gain market share. In order to get ahead of your competition, you need to make sure that you have your whole team pulling in the same direction. Implementing a “war room” culture to actively tackle your competition and empowering your staff to come up with innovative ideas will drive your business and uncover new opportunities.