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.

HIRE AND RETAIN THE BEST

Job-Interview
Do you want to understand the success factors so that you can hire and retain the best employees? Many companies spend time and effort on identifying the correct skill sets when hiring. Then, after a candidate is finally hired the company will invest in training the new employee in the skills, processes, and procedures for doing the job. In addition, the new employee will look to increase his or her skills and understanding of the business. The employee attends training on the latest systems or learns the latest sales techniques. The employee gets training on the features and benefits of the products and services. Most of the time is spent on learning the nuts and bolts. Many businesses make the mistake of spending selection and training solely on skills and knowledge. Then what happens if the employee is fired or leaves the company? The hiring manager searches for candidates that have...
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EVERY ORGANIZATION HAS CULTURE – IS YOURS THE ONE YOU WANT

Company-Culture
Did you ever think that you as the leader create the culture of your company? Are you happy with the culture you have created? A culture has much to do with your organizational values. Are those value, however, just on paper or are they living values? Leadership and management are behaviors that are much more complex than mastering an individual job. For that reason and others as well the failure rate of managers is higher than for individual performers. Management consultant and author Ken Blanchard believes that leadership is responsible for creating positive work cultures, customer loyalty, and organizational change. Ken reinforces the values and beliefs that have been proven to create positive corporate cultures. You have it wrong if you consider yourself a leader because you have been placed in charge. On the other hand, a person with no direct reports can be a very effective leader. The reason that...
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DON’T MAKE YOUR GOAL AN EMPTY RESOLUTION

Create-Your-Dream
How many people are making New Year’s Resolutions? How many have an intention of achieving the Resolution? There are several important points to making a resolution you intend to keep. You need a vison or dream, you need an action plan, and, above all, you need a deadline! Let’s start the process of defining your vision. Do an inventory of your dreams and write them down. Can you visualize them and verbalize them? This is the first step in goal achievement. To create the motivation to achieve your goal you must have a burning desire to reach it and that would come from a big dream. If you have made goals in the past and have not achieved them one reason may be that you did not have a burning desire and, therefore, not driven to achieve them. New Year’s resolutions fall into this category many times. When you think about...
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HOW DOES YOUR COMMUNICATION FLOW?

Assistant-Buyer
Communication is always a two-way process. We should remember that we talk WITH people not TO people. Do you remember the line, “What we have here is a failure to communicate?”   This line is from the movie Cool Hand Luke and it has become a catchphrase. That is because it highlights one of our greatest frustrations--miscommunication. On the other hand, great communication has almost always been a trait of some of our greatest leaders. They had great accomplishments, but they were almost always great communicators. Communication is a two-way process to exchange ideas. We communicate to elicit some type of response. Some examples of a response could be more knowledge, a specific action, or some type of emotion. Depending on our communications media, the words we use might not have as powerful an impact as other factors. For example, in face-to-face conversations we communicate more information nonverbally through our body language...
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LEVERAGE YOUR STRENGTHS

Entrepreneur
We make the best decisions when rely on our strengths rather than try to shore up our weaknesses. Unfortunately, many of us do not know our strengths and how to use them. According to some psychologists 88% of the decisions we make rely on our natural talents and tendencies and that these are part of our subconscious. Our subconscious is an important, powerful, and much needed tool. The unconscious handles all basic physical functions like breathing, heart rate, immune system, etc. The subconscious mind holds the blueprint of our body as it is now and the blueprint of your perfect health. Because our subconscious mind’s main objective is focused on survival, it can cause us to make decisions based on limited knowledge or beliefs or sometimes even false knowledge. Understanding how we subconsciously use our talents to make decisions can dramatically improve our performance. In the early 1950’s Dr. Robert S....
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DELEGATION WITH CONFIDENCE IN ACCOUNTABILITY

Accountable-Team
You cannot complain that you must do everything yourself if you never delegate. You don’t delegate because you don’t feel confident about letting someone else do it. This is a catch 22! Or is it? As a business leader you need to be in control of your business BUT you don’t need to be a control freak. Taking that route leads to being overwhelmed. As a sole entrepreneur you, of course, need to control everything but once you decide to grow being a control freak will hold you back. Once you hire employees your job becomes managing results of others rather than doing everything yourself. If you don’t do that effectively you will spend all of your time driving the fire truck and putting out fires. You’ll worry about how to do every detail but you will lose sight of the big picture. Why is this problematic? If you hire a...
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TAKE CONTROL OVER WHAT HAPPENS IN YOUR BUSINESS AND LIFE

Stress-working-late
Have all the changes this year made you feel less in control? Some things are out of our control, but you must not lose control of what matters in your business and your life. Many Westchester County business owners have told me that they feel overwhelmed. The current pandemic is key but many also blame the rapid pace of business or the economic fact that business must do more with less. Technology, while automating things that used to take much more time has also created new pressure. Instant communication on handheld devices gives us the sense of urgency and feeling that we must always be working. Everything seems to go faster, leaving everyone feeling overworked, overloaded, and overwhelmed.   Some people may suggest that this is an issue of time management. The real issue is not time management but understanding your goals and your purpose. Here are some tips on surviving being...
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ARE YOU BUSY DOING THE RIGHT THINGS RIGHT?

Aligned-Team
Have you greeted certain people by asking them how they are doing? Then they respond, “very busy.” I had a recruiter who worked for me in HR and he was always running around but he was not recruiting! As a leader of yourself or others you must do the right things and you must do things right. Both behaviors are required to lead a team or manage a business. In Doing Things Right you establish detailed steps and timetables for achieving needed results, establish structure, monitor results, and execute specific plans. On the other hand, Doing the Right Things includes establishing direction, aligning people, and motivating and inspiring people. In short, management (Doing Things Right) is important but will not succeed without leadership (Doing the Right Things). In the case of an entrepreneurial leader this would be described as the difference between working IN your business and working ON your business....
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HOW ARE YOU GETTING BUY IN FOR CHANGE?

Change-Management
This year has forced some changes. Change can be good if you get in front of change and lead the change. There are basically three ways to react to change, be excited and look for the opportunity, just accept it and go with it, or resist. I would encourage you as business leader to look for the opportunity. Now the question remains, “How do I communicate the changes to my staff and how do I get their buy in?” Very quickly I would tell you to use the group that is excited about change to be your promoters and your trainers. For the neutral members you will need sell the benefits. Now for the resisters you will need to make them feel more comfortable to the extent that you can. Often senior executives genuinely believe they are communicating with employees when it comes to matters that affect them. Unfortunately, they often...
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SUSTAINABLE MEANS THE BUSINESS WILL SURVIVE

Decisions
Staying in business is a big topic right now. We can call this sustainability. Sustainability means different things to different companies as well as industries. Sustainability really started with the whole concept of being green, becoming more environmentally friendly, and paying more attention to conserving our planet’s resources. However, sustainability has become much more than that. Sustainability has become a viable business strategy which considers the economic considerations for business sustainability, governmental issues, and opinions from customers and stakeholders. Where did the term sustainability come from? The term sustainability emerged in the 1987 report by United Nation’s World Commission on Environment and Development. The report simply defined sustainability as follows: to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. No matter how a business defines sustainability or how they choose to implement the concepts, there is a commonality to sustainability that...
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USE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO HIRE AND RETAIN THE BEST EMPLOYEES

Coaching
Your Westchester County NY business had to cut staff earlier this year and now find that you need to add employees. Now it is to hire again. How will you find the most qualified? Would it be referral or advertise the opening. While a referral is normally a good source, that alone should not be the deciding factor. You will want a person who meets the qualifications, and you will want to know whether that person can achieve results. Jim Collin’s in his book “Good to Great” explains his research on how good companies become great companies. Collins surveyed companies and found that their greatness was not due to a special sauce or a great product but rather because of the people in the organization. It all starts with high quality, high performing employees. Collins refers to this as getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the...
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HOW CAN I STEP UP THE PERFORMANCE OF MY WESTCHESTER NY TEAM?

Accountable-Team
Westchester employers are working on plans for rebuilding business after the pandemic. This will require the best and most productive employees on their team. You then need to develop your employees so that they can produce better results. Your employees really want opportunities to grow and develop. There is so much out there written about performance reviews Most organizations do annual performance appraisals and most human resource professionals are charged with developing a performance appraisal system. This process alone is one of the most universally disliked systems. The reason is that most appraisal systems do not focus enough on two particularly important areas—Employee Development and Results. We should be focusing more on performance development rather than performance management. We start with expectations but before we measure expectations, we need to set expectations. It is not merely enough to tell an employee here is your job description and see me if you...
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BUILD THE RETAINED KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR TEAM

Team-Working-on-A-Project
Would you agree that the retention of knowledge is essential to your organization’s growth and success? Working a at peak performance levels is dependent on the application of knowledge which requires people to retain ever more information. At the same time financial constraints makes it very important that learning and development be done effectively. The delivery of learning and development programs must create measurable results One of the problems I have noticed in many organizations is the issue that they lack a clear objective for the outcomes from the training they are providing. I recently had a credit union call me. They had found me online and saw that I was doing leadership development sessions. They asked if I could do the same thing at their premises. I asked about their business objectives for the training. In other words, what business outcome did they want to reach? They did not have...
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TELL WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE NOT HOW TO DO IT

Team-Empowerment
George S. Patton said, “Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” As a manager or leader how to you communicate what needs to be done? Do you delegate with confidence or are you a micro manager? Once you hire employees your job becomes managing results of others rather than doing everything yourself. If you don’t do that effectively you will spend all of your time driving the fire truck and putting out fires. You’ll worry about how to do every detail, but you will lose sight of the big picture. This is problematic because if you hire a new employee but continue to try to do everything without delegating, you are defeating the whole purpose of hiring help. For example, the new employee may ask a question or offer take on a project. “Don't worry “, you say,...
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CREATE A GOOD BALANCE BETWEEN MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP

Successful-Business-Team
Both management and leadership are necessary. Management is a matter of job title that is given by your organization or by yourself if you are the owner of the company. On the other hand, leadership is recognition by those whom you lead. Expressed in different terms a manager has the authority and a leader has the power. The leader’s power is earned through empathy for the team, clear direction, trust, and other factors. Some leaders are born but most of us believe that they are made. Leadership is developed and, furthermore, there is not just one set of leadership traits. In fact, there are examples of two highly effective leaders with highly contradictory traits. The leadership in the US Armed forces, for example, inspires and demands that each person does his or her best. A military leader does not have to possess the traits and style of George S. Patten to...
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TIME FOR CHANGES IN YOUR ANNUAL GOALS REVIEW

Change-Management
This is the time of year we work with organizations reviewing their current results and setting goals for the upcoming year. We normally ask leaders to do an environmental of what has changed. Obviously, we already know many things have changed this year. What you did to get to where you are today will not get you where you want to go tomorrow.   If you want to continue hold onto your customers and market share you must adapt to changing times. And if you want to move forward you need to anticipate and get ahead of change. Why do people resist change? Why do people continue to do the same things although they are no longer getting the results they once achieved? Understanding the reasons people resist change can help overcome the obstacles to change and create real progress. So here are four reasons why people resist change. The first is...
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THESE TIMES CALL FOR NEW MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES

Virtual-Team-Leader
We have seen some advantages to the online technology we have used in the last six months. I am finding that a greater number of people prefer doing more things online. We are seeing a steady growth of teams who work and collaborate virtually.  People work from home and a working team can be spread out geographically. A team could consist of employees with a manager leader or it could be a group of associates who are independent contractors. They could even all volunteers in a volunteer organization. Regardless of the composition of the team, the things needed to create traditional high performing teams also apply to virtual teams. It needs to have a visionary and motivating leader combined with engaged and dedicated team members. These team members need to have a strong motivation for achievement of their goals. Moreover, the team’s goal AND the members’ individual goals must be aligned....
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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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GOAL ACHIEVEMENT NOT GOAL SETTING

Goal
Setting goals is one of the most important keys to achieving success. Studies have shown that the most successful people are the ones who have specific, written goals.   When you set goals that is only the first step toward the actual achievement of your goals.  Nothing happens until the goal are achieved. Setting a goal is not like a New Year's resolution, in other words, it is not just a wish. Just wishing and hoping for something isn't going to make it happen. Setting a goal is having a target to shoot for and a plan to get there. When planning your goals, choose which categories you would like for your goals.  Establish the time frame. They could be lifetime goals, 10 year, 5 year, 1 year, 6 month, 3 month, 1 month, or weekly goals. Also, you can have ongoing goals, such as exercising 3 to 5 times a week....
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WHAT MAKES YOUR BUSINESS SUSTAINABLE?

Family-Business-Succession
Sustainability!  That word has different meanings depending on your focus. If someone were to ask you if you have a sustainable business would you know how to answer? There is no clear answer to this question. Sustainability means different things to different companies as well as industries. Sustainability really started with the whole concept of being green, becoming more environmentally friendly, and paying more attention to conserving our planet’s resources. However, sustainability has become much more than that. Sustainability has become a viable business strategy which considers the economic considerations for business sustainability, governmental issues, and opinions from customers and stakeholders.  Sustainability also answers this question. “What will happen with your business when you are on vacation or sick?  Or when you retire can you sell this business?” No matter how a business defines sustainability or how they choose to implement the concepts, there is a commonality to sustainability that runs...
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