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.

THE GREAT RESIGNATION MIGHT BECOME THE GREAT LAYOFF

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Time to do a goals and business plan review for 2023. There are headwinds coming. Check where you are now. Do you have the right people in the right jobs doing the right things for the right reasons? First, make certain you know the core competencies needed in the job. Depending on the role this could be anywhere from accountability for others to attention to detail or from conflict management to futuristic thinking. Many businesses have not done a good job of selection and they will have a difficult metrics and results-based measurements of skills, performance, and interpersonal skills when they find that they must pare back. High performing employees will result in helping your organization meet its goals and will promote your brand to your customers. Do what you can to retain your high performers? Then make sure you do stay interviews now. The high performers are a step ahead...
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BECOME AN ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADER IN 2023

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What would you like to happen in your business in 2023? Whatever it is don’t expect it to happen by doing the same things you did in 2022. One of the biggest challenges is not starting as a solo entrepreneur but growing the business and adding people. Michael Gerber, in his book “The E Myth Revisited”, discusses the reasons why some people fail. Some businesses may survive due to external dynamics and timing, but they will become stagnant, and the owner will feel like a hamster on a wheel. This is because there is a lack of entrepreneurial leadership. Let’s take an example. How many restaurants were not able to withstand the challenges of the pandemic? A great cook or chef feels that because he or she understands how to create a great meal he or she would run a great restaurant. Soon after opening, the owner is usually consumed with...
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are you a results oriented leader?

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Are you a leader who gets things done? Or are you talking the talk but not walking the walk? You may be practicing all the right management and leadership styles, but real beef is in the RESULTS. If you start by defining the results needed or the goals you wish to accomplish you can then grow the people and processes to ensure those results! This commonsense leadership style is called the Result-Based Model of Leadership. Here is an example of how you can align your entire team to your goals. It begins with setting goals through your organization's strategic plan that is focused on your vision. Here is where you can define the desired results from your team members. It continues by aligning the people and the processes to ensure its realization. The goal is to have all your operations linked to the plan. Then virtually everything that happens in a...
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WHAT MOTIVATES YOU? MAKE IT A GOAL

Goal
Everyone is always talking about setting a goal and writing it down. We hear that all the time. So why isn’t everyone that espouses this doing great? In fact, why do very few New Year’s resolutions go unfulfilled? “WHY” is indeed the operating question. I ask people I coach this question all the time, “Why do want to do this?” Frankly, if you do not have the WHY the HOW will not matter. Motivation and goal achievement are interrelated. Notice that I did not say goal setting but rather achievement. You can’t motivate yourself or motivate others. You need instead to reach down and find that motivation and bring it to the surface. What is your passion? If you are not sure, why not start by doing a dream inventory. List every dream you have. How many did you list? Keep going until you have 50. Which ones are most important?...
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QUIET QUITTING - WHY IS IT HAPPENING?

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What is quiet quitting? The simple answer is that your employee has checked out be he or she hasn’t told you yet. The root cause may be your Employee Value Proposition. The employee value proposition answers the question, why would a talented person want to join your organization? And why would they stay? This Employee Value Proposition would be tied to your strategic plan and include your vision, your values, and your mission. The values should include such things as social responsibility, ethical conduct, and reputation. Strong employee engagement produces successful business outcomes including a loyal customer base. And this leads to increasing sales and profits. The reverse is also true. Employees who are not engaged have no passion for their work, are frequently absent, make mistakes, and cost the organization its customers. Understanding what engages employees involves connecting with them. The Employee Value Proposition EVP matters. Although people work for...
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BUT IS THE NEW HIRE INCLINED TO LIKE THE WORK?

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When you don’t really understand critical factors that create employee performance you can make many costly mistakes in hiring and training. Skills are one factor the inclination to like the job is important. This is what Gallup calls trait engagement and in layman’s terms this might be called a question of skill or will. 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...
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HIRE SHARED VALUES

Core-Values-Culture
When you hire consider shared values before you consider experience. You can train and develop people to make up for experience, but you can’t train core values. A person who does not share the core values of your organization should not be hired.  Most experienced managers will attest to the fact that most of the terminations occur not because of skills but because of attitude and values. In Westchester County New York I have worked with many industries ranging from real estate, construction, retail, service and hospitality, nonprofit, and manufacturing. I have made the same observation in all these industries. Those running the business believe that their industry is different from others, so unique that the primary requirement is industry background. Because of that mindset I have seen many bad candidates hired and many qualified candidates screened out. The hiring manager is using the assumption that previous experience in the industry...
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BE PROUD BECAUSE YOU OWN IT

Aligned-Team
Did you know that, according to Gallup, people want to feel that they are doing meaningful work? Another way to this is people want to be proud and take ownership of what they do or what they create. Don’t tell them how to do it. Just tell them what needs to be accomplished—the goal. They will be energized and surprise you with the results. If you are frustrated with the results of your team, here are two questions that you need to ask yourself. First, have you provided them with the tools to succeed? Second, have you clearly communicated the objectives and desired results?   You may have given plenty of detailed directions without explaining reasons and objectives. The first thing you need to do is let go and empower your team. Instead of giving assignments with specific instructions try something different. Here are two different approaches assigning a project. You could...
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OVER ENGAGEMENT CAN LEAD TO BURNOUT

Stress-working-late
Employee engagement and our own in engagement in our work is a very good thing. But over engagement is not. You need a work / life balance. Do you or your staff feel overworked or overwhelmed? And is this of your own making? Many blame the rapid pace of business or the economic fact that business must do more with less. Technology has made our lives easier, right? Yes, but it has also created more 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 overwhelmed. 1. Know Your Purpose. Do you have a roadmap and...
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MAKE YOUR ORGANIZATION ACCOUNTABLE

Accountable-Team
If you want to change the accountability start with working on changing the culture. The best way to create an accountability culture is to help people to accept accountability. The best way to accomplish this is by motivating them to be accountable. Understanding what motivates a person, whether it be rewards, recognition, promotion, or feeling that something is accomplished will result in developing that accountability attitude. However, you will have continued failure if you do nothing and refuse to hold people accountable for results. How does a manager hold members of the staff responsible for performance? What about an employee who needs help but fears asking for help? The results can be devastating when we fail to have accountability discussions. Having an accountability discussion begins with a discussion of shared values and shared goals. Why not use the complete goal planning process in helping your team understand how to achieve the...
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SKILLS PLUS PASSION EQUALS RESULTS

Competencies-and-Skills
I was just reading an article in INC where Marc Cuban saying finding you passion does not lead to success. If you do something you do well, you will become inspired and that will generate passion. Find those inner strengths in your team then help them use their strengths create new levels of performance as their excitement and passion builds. Do you have a child who came home with report card that had A’s , B’s, and C’s? I will bet you went to those C’s and started criticizing. What about your team? Do you spend more time on underperformance and celebrating successes? We fall into the same trap in our own lives as well as with our staff and team members. Unfortunately, most of us have little sense of our talents and strengths, much less the ability to build our lives around them. Instead, guided by our parents and others...
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CONSULTANT WITH RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SKILLS

Employee-Valued
It is no accident that two core competencies of human resource professionals, for example, include consultation and relationship management. And this is no different for other professionals whether internal company consultants or external sales consultants. Trust is vitally important, and this is built on credibility and respect. With this new understanding, internal and external consultants can help in the decision-making process using information all parties have readily available, thanks to the Internet. They days where one side (usually the seller) had all the information is over. If you are not selling a product but selling your service, your trust, your reputation, and your relationship management skills. A client will be looking for your ability find a problem and develop a solution. The information is out there already, and the buyer can also easily obtain information on the seller. In today’s environment we need to understand that we are all in sales...
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WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST BUSINESS CHALLENGE? COMMUNICATION!

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It happened to me again this week. I tried to convey a suggestion and it was taken as “an insult.” Like me none of us are immune to mis communicating. No matter how well we choose our words they will have no meaning until they are translated by our listener. Effective communication involves feelings, connections, and other nonverbal signals. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best. “What you do speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you are saying.” Therefore, it is important to understand the meaning others might put on your words. Your gestures, expressions, intonations, and beliefs will communicate much more meaning than the words alone. 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. A good communicator, to be sure of the desired response, is...
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A TRUSTED ADVISOR IS MORE CREDIBLE THAN A SALESPERSON

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Nothing is more important to a relationship than mutual trust. People do business with people they live and trust. The same is true with team member. They give the power to the leader they like and trust. A goal of a salesperson is to complete a transaction. But a goal for a person who wants to be a trusted advisor is to create a loyal customer relationship based on credibility, trust, and respect. Dan Pink, in his book, “To Sell is Human,” contends that everyone is in sales whether we have the title or not. He repackages it as “the art of moving people.” Everyone practices this art from salespeople to consultants and teachers. The old formula of sales no longer works. Those who remember sales from years ago remember ABC which means Always Be Closing. This tactic no longer works in today’s information rich environment. In the past, using gimmicks...
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THE BIG CHANGE FROM INDIVIDUAL PERFORMER TO SUPERVISOR

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Every day well deserving individual performers are promoted to supervisor. Are they prepared or have they been set up to fail? Many have remembered the book The Peter Principle which postulates that a person continues to get promoted until they get to their level of incompetence. I have had enough experience to know that it does happen. Companies make a flawed assumption that because the employee was a great individual performer in the previous job that he or she will adapt and become a leader of the team. Inevitably, according to the Peter Principle, the person ends up being promoted to a job where they are no longer competent. This is referred to as their "level of incompetence". The employee has no chance of further promotion, thus reaching his or her career's ceiling in an organization. This is more common people given challenging assignments as they move up the corporate ladder....
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DEVELOP YOUR EMPLOYEES AND DUPLICATE YOUR SUCCESS

StrugglingManager
Unless you want to do everything yourself you can’t possibly survive and grow without a team. What are you doing to develop your team, connect them to their job and the goals of the company? In past times, managers gave detailed directions and expected them to be followed. Leadership today requires collaboration. Instead of saying what you want done you will say, “here is what we can accomplish together to achieve our goals.” The mindset of collaboration is what is needed today. Occasionally, however, I am sometimes contacted by business owners that can’t understand why there are so many poor employees and they want me to fix them. I have seen a small business were the leadership disagreed amongst themselves on the operation of the business. This situation created chaos. Team members chose the leader that they agreed with. One supervisor was very hard on her staff and had no tolerance...
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THE ART OF MOVING PEOPLE

Consultative-Sales
I am not going to talk about sales here but how to move or influence people. According to Dan Pink we are all in sales. I strongly recommend reading Dan Pink’s book, TO SELL IS HUMAN THE SURPRISING TRUTH ABOUT MOVING OTHERS. I have the audio version in my car. Yes, we are all in sales no matter what our job title; be it teacher, manager, or parent because our communication needs to be a dialogue that influences others. Here are 7 ideas that will open your current sales thinking and help you become more effective in influencing: 1. Don’t use a “pitch” but instead start a conversation. When you call someone, avoid making a mini-presentation about yourself, your company, and what you have to offer. Start with an opening conversational phrase that focuses on a specific problem that your product or service solves 2. Your central goal is always to...
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HOW CAN I CHANGE MY ORGANIZATION’S CULTURE?

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Have you felt that you are on an uphill climb? The people in your organization are stuck in a rut. New energetic people do not stay. Your organization has a culture issue. It may have evolved over time, but you are not able to take the company where you want it to go. Changing culture takes a focused effort from leadership. Attitudes drive culture. I love what Zig Ziglar said, “Your attitude determines your altitude.” But how do you change attitude? Some people, to your dismay, find their altitude suits them just fine. Positive attitude and positive vision are the starting points. Yes, you must be upbeat, positive about the future, and set the example. Model the right behaviors and attitudes and find other “heroes” to model it too. This starts the change in direction and attitudes, behaviors then become ingrained in the organization. The organization must have positive vision and...
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YOUR BUSINESS SUCCESS FACTORS

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There are important factors to check and measure for your business success. Generally, they are financial, process, and people. I focus on all three when I am helping my clients create or update their strategic plan. All three must be aligned. The reason for non-alignment in the business is a lack of clear vision and without a clear vision everyone is on a different page. While that is personally frustrating it can cost your company good employees and customers. In this post I will focus on the people part. Here are three people processes that need your attention: Let’s start with the focused leader. You may be the owner, the manager, or CEO but that does not mean you are the leader. You appoint yourself CEO, but your team will follow you if you are the leader.   As managers we can influence the process through which people recognize our leadership by...
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RETAIN YOUR TEAM BY HAVING THEM PARTICIPATE

Accountable-Team
Gallup has two questions that are vital to retention. Every day I get to do what I do best.Someone has spoken to me about my progress this week. My Westchester employers are asking me how they can get their productive employees who will stay. You can’t just hire them. 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. Many of these writings focus on procedure. Here is a more practical bottom line approach but one that uses solid human relations skills. Performance management includes performance development. It is not merely enough to tell an employee here is your job description and see me if you have any questions. Establish expectations from the start. Help orient your new employee by helping him or her to understand the big...
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