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.

HOW TO AVOID A MAJOR HIRING AND TRAINING MISTAKE

HOW TO AVOID A MAJOR HIRING AND TRAINING MISTAKE
Companies make a major mistake in hiring and training because they don’t understand critical factors of employee performance. 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 see this as the most important path to success. Fast forward. The employee leaves the company. The hiring manager searches for candidates that have the same skill sets as the person who left...
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AS A LEADER DO YOU PRACTICE FAIL SAFE LEADERSHIP?

AS A LEADER DO YOU PRACTICE FAIL SAFE LEADERSHIP?
One of the fundamental requirements for organizational success is that all people in the organization are on the same page. The CEO or leader of the organization must demonstrate the ability to get results. But what results? What does success look like to the organization? That needs to be defined in the strategic plan under corporate vision and the corporate values. When the organization knows these things it can find people with shared values and grow the people and processes to ensure those results! Here is a results based model of leadership proven to produce success.   It begins with setting goals through your organization's strategic plan that are focused on your vision. In this process you 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 of your operations linked to the plan....
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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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UNCOVERING PROBLEMS AND OFFERING SOLUTIONS IS THE KEY TO SALES

UNCOVERING PROBLEMS AND OFFERING SOLUTIONS IS THE KEY TO SALES
There is a paradigm shift in sales. And why is this happening? According to Dan Pink in his book “To Sell is Human” it is because we have gone a world of Caveat Emptor (buyer beware) to one of Caveat Venditor (seller beware). Information is readily available on the Internet and sellers no longer have the upper hand. The old term in sales, ABC (Always Be Closing) has been replaced by consultative selling. Now it is important to help identify needs and then assist the buyer in finding solutions. In the past salespeople were taught to concentrate on making the sale and closing the sale. However, today’s buyers are no longer willing to be sold. Linda Martin, founder of Resource Associates Corporation said, “People do not like to be sold but they sure like to buy”. Doesn’t it make sense then to assist the client in the buying decision rather than...
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UNCOVER TRUTHS ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS IF YOU CAN HANDLE IT

UNCOVER TRUTHS ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS IF YOU CAN HANDLE IT
Would you like to learn the truth about your business? Before you answer that question I have another. Can you handle the truth? Sometimes when an organization asks for help and receives feedback it could be surprised to learn some inconvenient truths. If you want to learn how to improve your organization you will want to have an organizational assessment of your business. There are very effective assessment instruments available to generate a fact based picture of organizational performance – I utilize the D.I.AL.O.G. assessment instrument for my clients. However, it is important to have a mutual understanding of the process first. So before I begin the process I want to make sure that it will have a meaningful impact. I will ask the following questions: Will you be open to sharing the results with your organization? And if so, as part of the process I will offer to facilitate the...
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RESISTING CHANGE CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR BUSINESS

RESISTING CHANGE CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR BUSINESS
If you ask someone how easy it is to change you might get several different answers. For the stalwarts out there you will hear loud and clear, “I don’t like change.” Others will tell you that change is good and that they like change but in many causes they might subtlety resist change in themselves while advocating it in others. I have a question for you. Has anything is your business changed in the last several years? I would be surprised if you answered no. Many industries, professions, and jobs have been literally turned upside down. Those who have survived did so because they had learned to do things differently. As you have heard, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If that is the case, why do people resist change? Why do people continue to do the same things and...
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TEN KEYS TO SELLING YOURSELF AND INFLUENCING OTHERS

TEN KEYS TO SELLING YOURSELF AND INFLUENCING OTHERS
Next time you watch a debate on TV take note of the points and counterpoints made. It is usually a battle of ideas with one party trying to step on and knock out the other. In many companies the same thing happens when one executive is trying to make his case a little stronger than the other. Unfortunately, too many people use the same technique in trying to persuade someone or to make a sale. Here is a recent encounter I had with a sales consultant. I was questioning the comparable features offered by two different iPhone telecommunications carriers.  During the conversation I pointed out that one carrier had an additional benefit.  The additional benefit enabled the user to check an email or check on the Internet while using the phone. The consultant shot back, “you’re not going to surf the internet while you are driving.”  What? How did he make...
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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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WHAT’S WITH YOUR ATTITUDE?

WHAT’S WITH YOUR ATTITUDE?
A number of years ago I heard Zig Ziglar speak. He said, “Your attitude determines your altitude.” What do YOU think about when you hear the word attitude? When I ask this question at workshops people usually respond with examples what they consider a bad attitude. It may even have a negative connotation to you. The fact is that people do not put enough emphasis on how attitude affects performance . Attitudes DO affect performance. In fact they affect everything that we do. There is a strong link between attitude and performance. Let’s start with defining what attitude means in this context. An attitude is a pattern of thought. It affects how we approach everything we do. You can change your attitude, your outlook, and how you think but it will take real commitment, discipline and desire to change your old habits. Would you agree? In other words, you can do...
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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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WHY YOU SHOULD NOT HIRE BASED ON EXPERIENCE

WHY YOU SHOULD NOT HIRE BASED ON EXPERIENCE
Employers and hiring managers make a big mistake when they use experience as the primary criteria for hiring a candidate.  This is different than saying that knowledge of the job and the requisite skills and knowledge are not important. They certainly are. Of course, you want the right person for the right job. However, looking primarily for experience will produce disappointing results. 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 using the assumption that as...
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ACHIEVE POSITVE RESULTS BY BEING POSITIVE IN YOUR COMMUNICATION

ACHIEVE POSITVE RESULTS BY BEING POSITIVE IN YOUR COMMUNICATION
We have been working with two leaders of an organization.  They have related several problems but they all had one source.  We can’t get the right people to work for us.   We spent some time interviewing them as well as a sample of people in their organization.   Wow, what a disconnect.  They are desperately looking for success.  The employees also want the organization to be successful.  That is where the similarity stopped.  The two partners could not convey the goals of the organization and they were not even communicating completely the upcoming projects.  The staff was frustrated.  One partner is totally exhausted because he feels he must do everything himself and he is afraid to hold people accountable.  The other partner has no tolerance for things and thinks lots of people should just leave.  The good news is that they can fix this if they change.  The first step...
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IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNICATION BY CONNECTING TO OTHERS

IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNICATION BY CONNECTING TO OTHERS
Great communication is a two way process. That means that a message is sent and received. Your words, no matter how well chosen, may fail to get your message out. If your message did not result in increased knowledge or prompt a specific action then your message was not received. You will not be successful in your communications unless you listen and you ask questions. The point is that we need to listen twice as much as we talk. That is why we have two ears and one mouth. I think it’s a fair statement to say that how well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others. For some reason people place a high priority on speaking and presentation skills but do not place the same emphasis on listening skills. Without downgrading the importance of good speech, it would...
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HOW TO BECOME A TRUSTED ADVISOR TO YOUR CUSTOMER

HOW TO BECOME A TRUSTED ADVISOR TO YOUR CUSTOMER
Becoming a trusted advisor is a process that is built on credibility, trust and respect. Many business advisors and sales consultants talk about how they want to be a trusted advisor to their client. For some, achievement of that objective for some will require a paradigm shift in conduct of the buying selling process. I have recently read Dan Pink’s book, “To Sell is Human”. In my opinion this goes to the heart of being a trusted advisor. Those who remember sales from years ago remember ABC which means Always Be Closing . This is a tactic no longer works in today’s information rich environment. Using gimmicks to get sales in the past was based on the fact that the seller had a deal or that the buyer did not know what the seller knew. Today we buy things from the Internet. In fact anything a buyer wants to know is...
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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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USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO PUT YOUR MARKETING MESSAGE OUT THERE

USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO PUT YOUR MARKETING MESSAGE OUT THERE
According to the American Marketing Association, “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”. That is a complex statement. Marketing is simply defined as being top of mind when your prospect is ready to buy. Know your target market. It is important to define the parameters of your ideal prospects because it will help you to focus on those areas and people with whom you have the highest probability of success. When defining your market less is more. Start by identifying your competitive advantage and determining who is most likely going to benefit from doing business with you. The tighter you focus that market on your competitive advantages, the more likely you’ll convert those market members to prospects. For example, a financial planner I know differentiates himself by providing specialized services for...
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FIVE STEPS TO MAKE CHANGES FOR BETTER RESULTS IN YOUR BUSINESS

FIVE STEPS TO MAKE CHANGES FOR BETTER RESULTS IN YOUR BUSINESS
Fear of change is an emotion that can become paralyzing.   Recently, a CEO told me about some things happening in his long operating business.  The business has had years of successful sales and profits.  Since the business was making money the business continue to operate, sell, and market the same way.  The reasoning was, if it’s not broke don’t fix it.  Although the long standing business model had produced great sales and profits, recently the business has experienced a decline in sales and profits.  In short, there have been changes in the economy and the market.  In order to remain successful the business owner knows that he will need to change.  But not just any change will do.  Changing the right things and taking the right action is crucial.  Here are 5 beginning steps to take in the process of change for better results: 1.      Make sure you know what...
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HIRE SMART BY BALANCING SKILLS AND BEHAVIORS

HIRE SMART BY BALANCING SKILLS AND BEHAVIORS
Selecting employees is one of the most important functions of a manager.   Sadly most organizations fail at hiring the right people.  This occurs at organizations with a human resources department as often as it happens with the small business owner.  The good news is that you can begin to hire the right people.  Jim Collins and his team laid out the principle in the book Good to Great.   It is as simple as “Getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.”  It may be simple but it’s not easy.  You will need to change the way you hire people. Here is a simple fact.  Managers tend to make hiring decisions by looking at background in the industry, jobs held before, and job history.  Many companies even do background checks.  They spend a significant amount of time looking...
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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...
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