Almost daily, we read that with our improving economy and full employment, there are more open jobs than there are people to fill them. Hence, the retention of your best performers becomes a key management concern and objective for 2019 and beyond.
One of the best ways I know to retain your talent is to continue to develop them, so they grow – and achieve personal satisfaction – as your company grows.
Now, some of you may be saying, “Well, we train our employees.” Stop thinking about training your team and make the mental shift to those activities that will “develop” them. To me, when people talk about training, they are often describing an event or meeting. On the other hand, when you focus on development, you are taking a more permanent and longer perspective to help “develop” and use the right behaviors versus a one-time event or class.
There needs to be three key components when you want to effectively develop your team to produce at a higher level on a more consistent basis.
This visual of a 3-legged stool will help you in understanding how these concepts work.
Here’s further information to help you understand the three components necessary to make your development activities successful:
In line with what I stated above, the good performer employee must be given the opportunity to learn or acquire the new skill or knowledge.
Next, they must be given the opportunity to apply the new skill or knowledge to their current role. Get them using the new skill as soon as possible. Discuss how you will want them to apply it even before they acquire it to help them focus on the goal you have set for them.
Finally, they must be given the opportunity to receive feedback – constructive and meaningful feedback – from you on how they are doing in applying that new skill or knowledge. Providing your team member with the right feedback will help them learn their new skill faster and give them more self-confidence.
I cannot think of a legitimate reason why you wouldn’t follow this approach. Unless of course, you prefer mediocrity and disengaged employees.
The best leaders always tend to make the best decisions in most cases. To be able to make the best decisions, you must have in your “toolkit” the ability to build consensus around a goal or issue and then properly communicate the actions to be taken, by who and by when.
Some of you approach decision making, consensus building and communication like a speeding freight train. How’s that working out for you? Make no mistake, there are those times when a direct approach is necessary. But it should not be the “norm”.
One of the most important lessons I write about in my new book – “The Go-To Person’s Guide to Success” – is that making the decision is actually the easy part. Getting everyone with different views to buy-in and comply is the real test of a leader. And that’s where consensus building and communication factor into the process.
From my experiences, I developed a 7-step process for communication that leads to consensus building within my team. If you follow it as designed, communication within your company will improve, as will the results you achieve. Continue reading →
In my new book, “The Go-To Person’s Guide to Success”, I discuss in detail the importance of a leader not being the only “go-to person” in their organization. I stress that one of a leader’s primary responsibilities is to develop other “go-to people” so the company and the team can continue to grow.
Often, when I write about these people-strategy issues, the common question I hear is, “How and where do I start?”
As I discuss in detail in the book, the starting point is with questions – specifically six of them – that you can use with your direct reports or any other level of management within your organization. Assess each one of your direct reports, individually, against each of these 6 questions: Continue reading →
In almost all of my client coaching relationships, the subject of the importance of a healthy sense of urgency comes up.
Creating a healthy sense of urgency doesn’t happen without a great deal of effort and commitment on the part of its leader to get the process started, and to have the courage to stick with it. Make no mistake, a sense of urgency culture starts with the leader.
To get started creating this sense of urgency culture within your company, consider the following: Continue reading →
We judge our leaders by the quality of the results they achieve. These results are achieved by the quality of the decisions they make. The quality of their decisions is directly related to the quality of the information they have available to them. Sometimes, they must make their decisions based on either incomplete or imperfect information. In these situations, they rely on their “gut” which is related to what they learned from their past experiences. Regardless, they need to have an effective way to get the information they need.
Here’s my point: the best leaders know how to ask the best questions to help them gather the right information they need to make the best decisions.
The important question for you is this: What questions are you asking – on a regular and consistent basis – to get the right information you need, when you need it to achieve the level of success you want?
To achieve success, you must be able to learn the right things from the past, build a plan and implement it in the present. To learn these “right things,” you must have the right questions to ask. It’s just that simple. Continue reading →
I have several clients who are each trying to hire the “right” person for key positions within their companies. Today’s tight labor market makes this important task that much more challenging.
I’m always amazed how everyone agrees that the quality of your team will determine the quality of your business. Yet many still approach the hiring and selection of employees as a burden or something you “have to do.” Or, even worse they just want to get it behind them and hire the first person they “think” is the right one.
Well, here’s a fact: Selecting – not just hiring – the right person is something you must do! And you had better be doing it right if you want to avoid mistakes, lost money and productivity and causing your customers to go elsewhere.
Let me share with you the advice that I give each of my clients which works.
To start with, here are 3 sure-fire ways to make certain that you can hire the wrong employees. Here’s the point (just in case you need to hear it): Do the opposite! Continue reading →
One thing that’s common to most business owners is that they have a team. It’s one of the most important aspects of a successful business. How do you develop a team that’s prepared to align your business for success? Chris shares his tips on setting the proper expectations, a useful tool in the training, development and education of your team.
The success of any company is directly related to the quality of their team. As such, it stands to reason that you should be investing time and money in the training of your team to deliver the product and service – and experience – that you desire and, more importantly, that your customer desires.
Now, when I talk about training I’m also including that the team member is “proficient” in the task for which they were given the training. Far too many of you consider just showing a person how to perform a task is all the training they need. Without measuring their proficiency, you’re just wasting time and money. And, in my opinion, proficiency includes that they know not only the “what, when and how” but why they do it, who they do it for and where it all fits into the total picture of your business. Continue reading →
One of the keys to having a productive team is to create a work culture that possesses a clear vision; one built on strong values and demonstrates that you, the leader, genuinely care. Let’s talk about the “caring” part. To show your team that you care for them demands that you focus on “what makes them tick” as people, both individually and collectively. After all, they are people who are on your team.
Peter Drucker is universally known as the “father of management theory.” After his death in 2005, Businessweek magazine called his work “a blueprint for every thinking leader.”
Over the last 6 months, I have spent a significant amount of time re-acquainting myself with his work. I had first read many of his works while I was growing in my career at USLIFE.
From this recent review, I learned or re-learned many things. However, two of his statements were very interesting to me. They were:
“Executives spend more time on managing people and making people decisions than on anything else – and they should. No other decisions are so long lasting in their consequences and so difficult to unmake.”
“Of all the decisions an executive makes, none are as important as the decisions about people because they determine the performance capacity of the organization. Therefore, one should better make sure that these decisions are made well.”