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.

WHY CULTURE IN A COMPANY MATTERS

WHY CULTURE IN A COMPANY MATTERS
The culture of your company matters. In order to have a vibrant culture refers there needs to be shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs. This culture is routed in company vision, values, and goals. These are the company’s success drivers. They are most important when hiring a new employee. You make a big mistake when you select people based primarily on experience while ignoring the cultural fit. I work largely with privately held and family held businesses. But in that arena 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 of these industries. Those running the business believe that their industry is different from others, so unique that the primary requirement is experience. Because of that mindset I have seen many bad candidates hired and many qualified candidates screened out. The hiring manager is...
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EMPOWER YOUR STAFF BY LETTING GO

EMPOWER YOUR STAFF BY LETTING GO
Exercising strong control rarely leads to better performance. In fact the opposite is true. Micro managing will actually create poor performance because it stifles development of the team. Without an empowered team you as the manager will end up doing everything yourself. Of course, as sole entrepreneur will need to control everything. But once you decide to add just one new employee your main job is not control but getting others to do what needs to be done. Now being in control will be seen as being a control freak in the eyes of your staff. This behavior also known as micro managing will actually demotivate your team and guarantee that you will do everything yourself because no one does it as well as you do. Or so it seems. Why is this problematic? Let me ask another question. Why did you hire another person to begin with? The answer is...
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WHY DO YOU HAVE AN EMPLOYEE RETENTION PROBLEM?

WHY DO YOU HAVE AN EMPLOYEE RETENTION PROBLEM?
Many companies do not understand why their turnover is so high. Some think that it is all about money and benefits. But unless you pay below standard it is not about money. Sure, an employee will tell you that he or she left for a better opportunity. You might, therefore, assume that it had to do with money but don’t be fooled. There is much more going on than just money. You cannot treat employees as commodities assuming that they will come to work just because they are getting paid. Some vendors of perks may even tell you that if you offer special perks then your retention will be better. You would need a very large amount of those perks to try to buy loyalty. And what would you gain in loyalty or performance? You might even entice poor performers to stay when you would be better off with retaining only...
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IF THEY DON’T FOLLOW YOU ARE NOT LEADING

IF THEY DON’T FOLLOW YOU ARE NOT LEADING
The reason that a group of employees is not achieving desired outcomes is usually traced back to the leadership. That’s right. If all of the students fail the exam might the fault be with the teaching? Like students you and your staff may not be on the same page. While that is personally frustrating how much money is that costing you? You can change that. Here’s how. Become a focused leader who empowers engaged employees who in turn create loyal customers leading to growth and success. Let’s start with the focused leader. You may have the title of manager but that does not mean you are seen as the leader. As managers we can influence the process through which people recognize our leadership by creating an environment where people will join “the team” because they see the purpose of what they are supposed to do and understand the vision, the “big...
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GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED IN THE WORKPLACE

GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED IN THE WORKPLACE
Can you really get employees from different generations work together? Yes you can bridge the workplace generation gap.  As I work with client organizations I constantly hear voices of frustration. It could involve a catering manager who says “The kids today don’t want to work. I can’t get any good help.” It might be a manager of a team of professionals complaining about the unwillingness of the younger members to work endless hours. Or it can be frustration from an employee who feels he or she can’t compete with the new workers and the new technology. Really, this is nothing new. In fact it goes back to ancient Greece when Aristotle said, “The young people would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning.” Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. They were associated with many of the social...
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HOW EMPLOYEE DISENGAGEMENT CAN BE HARMFUL TO BUSINESS RESULTS

HOW EMPLOYEE DISENGAGEMENT CAN BE HARMFUL TO BUSINESS RESULTS
How many people really work at your company? Is it only about one third? Did you know that is exactly what the Gallup organization learned? If that is true in your organization this is why you should be concerned. Employee engagement is directly responsible for your company’s sales and profits. Disengaged employees will result in lost customers. The best measure of success is a growing flow of loyal customers. I recently did a similar engagement survey called D.I.AL.O.G. for an organization. This organization provides onsite catering and event services. Their requirements for success are a providing good service, great food, consistency, and a great guest experience. The owners appear to be frustrated. They were struggling to get more business but having a hard time providing good service to existing customers. Here is why. For starters, the owners disagreed on the operation of the business. Because of this, some key employees chose...
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POSITIVE COMMUNICATION YIELDS POSITIVE RESULTS

POSITIVE COMMUNICATION YIELDS POSITIVE RESULTS
Organizations with a high level of staff engagement communicate well with their employees. Have you noticed that organization with internal problems can trace the cause to poor communication? Many of the terminations in an organization, both voluntary and involuntary have their root cause in the improper communication. Sometimes it is not what you say but how you say it. How can you change this? The first step is to create positive results by being positive in your communication. Here are six suggestions on positive effective communication. •          You can accept others ideas and respect them although you do not have to agree. Acknowledge amazing requests and outrageous statements with responses such as: "That's an interesting idea." "That's a novel request." "What an intriguing question." Then listen to what the other person is saying and use those questions as an opportunity for the other person to be heard. You can move to...
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ORGANIZATIONS THAT DON’T ASK HOW THEY ARE DOING MIGHT BE AFRAID OF THE TRUTH

ORGANIZATIONS THAT DON’T ASK HOW THEY ARE DOING MIGHT BE AFRAID OF THE TRUTH
You want the truth? “You can’t handle the truth!” This well-known line was uttered by Jack Nicholson in the move, A Few Good Men. Do you think there might be some truth in that statement? That appears to be the case in many organizations. It is just not comfortable to ask too many questions. It is easier for companies with retention problems, for example, to focus on compensation issues. But, according to Gallup around 30% of employees are engaged at work. That means that 70% are not engaged in their jobs at your company. Recently Gallup released a new survey on employee engagement. When I read the commentary I could see that engagement is not static information but depends on company, employees, and time. We can’t use a cookie cutter approach. We can’t make universal supposition of what engages people. Instead, we need to understand the diversity of our workforce which...
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EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IS A BUSINESS SUCCESS DRIVER

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IS A BUSINESS SUCCESS DRIVER
Great 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. We can’t make a universal supposition of what engages people. Instead, we need to understand the diversity of our workforce which includes gender, culture and the different generations. Many companies with retention problems tend to focus on the compensation issues. Compensation is definitely important. However, it loses its importance as an employee moves up the career ladder. It certainly is important for a business to understand the competitive wage levels for the positions in its business. However, business is making a mistake by paying extra money to buy loyalty. Let’s consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In...
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IS EVERY EMPLOYEE ON YOUR TEAM ALIGNED?

IS EVERY EMPLOYEE ON YOUR TEAM ALIGNED?
If you and your team are not aligned the wheels are going to come off! Before you look at the employees on your team ask yourself this question: “Have I clearly communicated the objectives, the goals, or the destination?” On the other hand, a focused leader who empowers engaged employees who in turn create loyal customers will create alignment leading to growth and success. It starts with the focused leader. You may be the owner, the manager, or CEO but that does not mean you are seen as the leader. You may be the manager 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 creating an environment where people will join “the team” because they see the purpose of what they are supposed to do and understand the vision, the “big picture” as well as...
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BRIDGING THE GENERATION GAP

BRIDGING THE GENERATION GAP
Today everyone is talking about adapting to the Millennials. This ignores the fact the we have three different generations in the workplace. Understanding all three generations is the only way leverage the talents of your workforce. The understanding of the differences of the three generations will also help you understand your customer base and what motivates them. As I work with my Westchester County NY organizations I constantly hear voices of frustration. A frustrated manager says “The kids today don’t want to work. I can’t get any good help.” Or it might be a manager of a team of professionals complaining about the unwillingness of the younger members to work endless hours. Or it can be frustration from a baby boomer who feels he or she can’t compete with the new workers and the new technology. And here is yet another quote. “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners,...
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CREATE MORE SUCCESS BY EMPOWERING YOUR STAFF

CREATE MORE SUCCESS BY EMPOWERING YOUR STAFF
It has been proven time and time again that a manager who empowers his or her staff by giving them authority to make decisions and control outcomes is many times more successful than a manager who holds the control. Management teams in Westchester County NY that have been following this advice have been seeing their sales increase and their employee turnover decrease. Clearly empowerment of staff creates better outcomes. Unfortunately, managers and executives find it very hard to let go and allow their staff to drive results. In some cases the need to be right prevents the manager from trusting his or her employees. If this fear of not being right is stopping you from letting go then you might want to ask yourself these two questions. First of all, have you provided your staff with all of the tools they need to succeed?   And secondly, have you clearly communicated the...
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HOW CAN I KEEP MY BEST EMPLOYEES FROM LEAVING?

HOW CAN I KEEP MY BEST EMPLOYEES FROM LEAVING?
A business owner recently said, “I think I have a great opportunity and I pay well but I still have people leaving my company. How can I stop them from leaving? The answer to this question is important. Get it wrong and you will continue to tread water always trying to catch up. Get it right and you have one very important component for taking your business to the next level. If you manage a team of people, or are charged with human resources in your organization you know how important it is to retain your best people. So why do so many employee leave, or worse, why do they stay and become a drag on the organization? Here is a sobering fact. Employees do not leave companies, they leave supervisors. Many supervisors believe that if only the pay and fringe benefits were better their best employees would stay. I would...
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DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN THE WORKPLACE WILL IMPROVE YOUR ROI

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN THE WORKPLACE WILL IMPROVE YOUR ROI
Would you agree that having an engaged and motivated workforce is good for your business? If you answered yes I would ask you what you are doing to engage your staff and get more success for everyone. Let’s face it; people do business with people that they trust. In addition, employees want to work for people that they trust. Engaged employees will create more success and lead to more loyal customers. Diversity and Inclusion is really all about engaging employees and customers for more success. In a previous blog BRIDGING THE GENERATION GAP BY MANAGING DIFFERENCES I addressed generational differences which is one subset of diversity and inclusion. Why do you and your company want to embrace diversity? Most would answer that would do it because it is right. But here is an ROI. You will get more business and more customers. Gaining loyal customers and engaged employees is built on...
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HOW ENGAGEMENT CAN CREATE SUCCESS FOR YOUR BUSINESS

HOW ENGAGEMENT CAN CREATE SUCCESS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Recently Gallup released a new survey on employee engagement. When I read the commentary I could see that employee engagement is not static information but depends on company, employees, and time. We can’t use a cookie cutter approach. We can’t make universal supposition of what engages people. Instead, we need to understand the diversity of our workforce which includes gender, culture and the different generations. Engagement factors have changed. Many companies with retention problems tend to focus on the compensation issues. Compensation is definitely important. However, it loses its importance as an employee moves up the career ladder. It certainly is important for a business to understand the competitive wage levels for the positions in their business. However, business is making a mistake by paying extra money to buy loyalty. Let’s consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In that context we would consider money to be a basic hygiene factor, especially with...
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BRIDGING THE GENERATION GAP BY MANAGING THE DIFFERENCES

BRIDGING THE GENERATION GAP BY MANAGING THE DIFFERENCES
Have you heard a comment like this from Baby Boomers? “Can we get back to work now? These kids will either get with the program or they will leave. They always do” What about a comment like this from one of your newer employees? “I don’t get it! My managers are barely technologically literate yet they’re never open to suggestions on how to improve a process with technology. What’s up with this attitude?” If you are managing your department or your company you have been confronted with these problems. The first point you need to know is that you are not likely to change the attitude or the “work ethic” of the other generation. In the workplace as in any context attitudes and work ethic are relative. They depend upon what shaped those things when that generation was growing up. We are all products of our past shaped by current events...
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WHY YOU MUST COMMUNICATE YOUR VISION TO YOUR TEAM

WHY YOU MUST COMMUNICATE YOUR VISION TO YOUR TEAM
“What we have here is a failure to communicate!” That line from Cool Hand Luke sums up a common problem. In order to have progress of any kind we must communicate. Since we do not live in a vacuum we cannot run our business or our lives that way. Often, in our experience, when we find an organization that is struggling we almost always discover that poor or non-existent communication is one of the major causes. An effective leader communicates clearly. However, an outstanding or great leader does more. The outstanding leader does that plus inspires others to want to do the things that are necessary to achieve great outcomes. That leader has a compelling vision and transfers that inspiration to others. Jim Collins in his book “Good to Great”, highlights what he terms Level Five Leadership. He says that a great leader is able to get the right people on...
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IS EMPLOYEE DISENGAGEMENT HURTING YOUR BUSINESS?

IS EMPLOYEE DISENGAGEMENT HURTING YOUR BUSINESS?
I remember working with a CEO, who when asked the question how many people work here would reply, “Oh about half.” Although that may be a funny wise crack comment, on a serious note the Gallup organization reports that it is only one third. Should you be concerned? The best way to illustrate the cost employee disengagement is with this story. I recently did a similar survey for an organization. This organization provides onsite catering and event services. Their requirements for success are a providing good service, great food, consistency, and a great guest experience. The owner and his son were physically worn out. They were struggling to get more business but having a hard time providing good service to existing customers. Here is why. For starters, father and son disagreed on the operation of the business. Because of this, some key employees chose to align with one family member over...
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ARE YOU AND YOUR STAFF ON THE SAME PAGE?

ARE YOU AND YOUR STAFF ON THE SAME PAGE?
Do you ever wonder why you are taking a course of action, asking your staff to follow then turning and finding no one there?  The reason for this could be that you and your staff are not on the same page?  While that is personally frustrating how much money is that costing you? You can change that.  Here’s how.  Become a focused leader who empowers engaged employees who in turn create loyal customers leading to growth and success.  Let’s start with the focused leader.  You may be the owner, the manager, or CEO but that does not mean you are seen as 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 creating an environment where people will join “the team” because they see the purpose of what they are...
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LEVERAGE THE STRENGHS OF YOUR TEAM AND WATCH PERFORMANCE SOAR

LEVERAGE THE STRENGHS OF YOUR TEAM AND WATCH PERFORMANCE SOAR
Developing a high performing team certainly does require clear cut vision and values.  In fact, I discussed this very thing in last week’s blog.  Next, you need to inspire those on the team to do their very best.  You start, of course, by getting the right people in the right jobs.  This includes not just testing skills and knowledge but also examining attitudes and behaviors.  You now have the right people.  Now what? Help your team use their strengths to push their performance to new levels.  Unfortunately, many of us spend time trying to correct weaknesses.  I have told this story before but it is a great illustration of what happens: How many of you are parents?  When your child comes home from school with his or her report card and it shows, for example, an A in math, B’s in history and science, and a C in English, What is...
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