Helping Your Best Employees Grow

In a previous post, we discussed how providing a positive experience for your employees is the best way in which to increase retention within your team, your department, or your company.  In this article, we’re going to address a specific way you can provide that experience, and it involves giving your best employees the proper amount of attention.

This is important for a couple of reasons.  First and foremost, it’s human nature to not pay enough attention to your best employees and top performers.  Why is that?  Because they’re usually self-motivated go-getters who need no prompting or anybody looking over their shoulder.  As a result, managers don’t feel the need to interact with them as much or to “check up on them,” if you will.

This gives the manager more flexibility and more freedom to tackle other issues.  After all, there never seems to be enough time to get things done.  If you have a select number of employees who are high achievers, people who need a minimum of supervision, it only makes sense to leave them be and let them do their jobs, right?  To a certain degree, that’s correct, but if that philosophy is taken too far, it can prove disastrous in terms of retention.

The 10-80-10 rule

For superstar employees, a positive experience with the company includes the opportunity for professional growth.

If they don’t believe that they’re growing in their current position and that they’re working toward something bigger and better than they’re going to think about leaving.  Even if they like everything else about their job—including their boss—feeling as though there’s nowhere to grow will prompt them to begin contemplating whether or not the grass is really greener on the other side.

With that in mind, here’s a practical strategy for solving two problems at once.  Let’s say that your team or department adheres to the standard 10-80-10 rule, meaning that 10% of your employees are superstars, 80% are competent but not spectacular, and another 10% are bringing up the rear.  Instead of spending precious time and energy attempting to motivate the bottom 10%, cut them loose and upgrade their positions by replacing them with star candidates.

By doing that, you’ve already increased the overall quality of your team.  In addition, you’ve created extra time for yourself, since you don’t have to devote it to your underachievers.  You can now take that time and put it to better use.  For example, you can focus on your top 10% and discover what their professional needs and career goals are.

Involve yourself now

This may sound a bit simplistic, but the best way in which to do this is by asking them.  Not in casual conversation, of course, but behind closed doors during a formal meeting.  It shouldn’t be an intensive, pressure-packed meeting, though.  It should be one that fully engages the employee and makes them feel comfortable enough to broach topics they might not bring up themselves.  Below is a loose blueprint for how you should conduct this meeting.

  • Ask what their expectations are for their employment with the company.  This type of open-ended question may prompt a response you didn’t expect, but that’s information you need to know.
  • Ask what their career goals and objectives are.
  • Ask what the company can do in order to help them achieve their goals.
  • Begin to formulate a concrete plan based on their responses to the above questions.
  • Plan to meet on a consistent basis in the future in order to gauge progress and set additional goals.

Star employees think about their career ambitions all the time.  It’s in their nature.  So if that’s the case, then it makes sense to be part of their thought process and to be involved in their plans for the future.  If you don’t make sure that your company is involved now, you increase the chances that it won’t be involved down the road.

If you have any questions about this article, or about how we can help you with your current performance, leadership, strategic, and/or hiring needs, contact Parrish Partners today!

Copyright protected by our associate Gary Sorrell. Sorrell Associates, LLC All rights reserved worldwide. 

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Addressing ‘Un-engaged’ Employees

Addressing ‘Un-engaged’ Employees

Are your employees engaged? There are employees in the workforce that are not “actively engaged” at their company. In other words, they don’t display passion or enthusiasm about their job, and as a result, their production (as well as their overall contribution to the company) suffers. At times like these, the last thing that companies need is lost productivity.

While some companies may have already laid-off many of their under-performing or “un-engaged” employees, some might remain. This could be for a number of different reasons, and perhaps a combination thereof. Some of these reasons are listed below:

  • The employee was highly productive in the past.
  • The employee was responsible for the creation of a product and/or service that brought the company considerable revenue.
  • The employee has been with the company for a long time.
  • The employee is on a team integral to the creation of future revenue.

Regardless of the reason or reasons that the person is still with the company, their engagement (i.e., productivity) is important.

As a result, the fact that they’re un-engaged is a reason for concern and should be addressed as soon as possible. After all, if the company is depending upon this individual for future success, they should be re-engaged in an expedient fashion.

The following are suggestions for doing just that, and they all involve sitting down with the employee and speaking with them on a one-on-one basis:

  1. Inquire—Ask them if there’s something they need in order to do their job better, whether that’s more efficiently or more effectively. Give them the benefit of the doubt; if they do indicate that there’s something they need, offer to provide it.
  2. Advise—Suggest additional training to the employee, especially in those areas in which they appear to be lagging or those that would benefit the company the most.
  3. Challenge—Spell out, in no uncertain terms, that the employee is being counted upon to help the company be more competitive and successful.

The ultimate goal, of course, is to help the employee reach their previous high levels of performance and productivity. That’s why communication is so vital to the entire process. Miscommunication is at the heart of many, if not most, problems in the workplace. Ensuring that no miscommunication exists is the first step toward “re-engaging” the employee.

The next step is the setting of clear expectations for the person. They must know what is expected of them, and they must express their understanding of these expectations to you. By taking the steps above, you’re both communicating with the employee and also setting clear expectations for their future performance, increasing the chances that you’ll be able to re-engage them and enhance their contributions to the company.

If you have any questions about this article, or about how we can help you with your current performance, leadership, strategic, and/or hiring needs, contact Parrish Partners today!

Copyright protected by our associate Gary Sorrell. Sorrell Associates, LLC All rights reserved worldwide. 

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Re-engaging managers to re-engage the workforce

Re-engaging managers to re-engage the workforce

Why should managers need re-engagement?

They are employees, and susceptible to the same forces that lead to employee disengagement.

What role do managers serve in re-engaging the workforce?

Executives do perform vital roles in setting the corporate framework, in creating the appropriate culture, and in communicating “from the top down”.  However, much of the work in employee re-engagement is performed directly by the employee’s manager.

What are the steps at the corporate level?

The first step is to decide upon this goal:  your organization can become the one of the best in the field of workforce engagement.

The second step is to assess and measure your current situation.  Use an experienced outside consultant, to ensure good advice and unbiased factual measurements.

The third step is to build the corporate framework.  Develop and express your organization’s goals.  Communicate them clearly throughout your organization.  Determine what must be done to re-engage your employees, and enact the appropriate measures.  This framework must support both the managers, and the front-line employees.

(As one example:  create an employee recognition program.  This will require corporate guidelines so the divisions or departments can:  plan for an annual budget; set the achievable and relevant criteria; solicit and process nominations; and make it real for all the employees).

The fourth step is to plan to receive feedback or suggestions.  Here, it is important to plan how to respond to unwanted suggestions or to criticism. Brusque dismissal of unwelcome feedback is a significant source of employee disengagement.

While the framework is being prepared, what are the steps required to re-engage the managers?

First, consider training the executives to increase their proficiency and effectiveness in re-engaging their direct reports. The executives are coaches, mentors and role models in this endeavor.

After this, re-engaging the managers is very much like re-engaging the workforce.  The same processes that re-focus and re-energize front-line workers are vital for re-engaging managers.  (The failure to use these processes leads to employee disengagement).  In addition, some of these processes provide the skills and incentives which the managers will require in order to re-engage their workers.  Some of these activities will have their major impact on the managers, while others will carry on to the front-line employees.

Communicate with the managers.  Ensure the organization’s goals and strategies are clearly stated. Encourage feedback, and use the managers’ responses to further shape the communications.

Coach and train the managers.  This process will re-connect the manager to the organization’s goals. The focus of this training will be “how to re-engage your workers”.   The best training may come from an outside training organization, but visible executive commitment is vital.

Work with managers individually.  The temptation is to simply broadcast a standard message.  However, different people have their own strengths and weaknesses; coaching must respect this fact.  As well, you will expect the managers to coach each front-line worker according to their needs.  Executives need to set the standard and serve as role models.

Set achievable and measurable targets for each manager.  Some targets may be activity-oriented: “Conduct X individual coaching sessions with each of your workers over the next X number of months”.  Other targets should be results-oriented: “Increase the number of customer referrals by X% over the next X number of months”.

Use the corporate framework to monitor and reward the managers – and the front-line workers – for achieving their targets.  This may be the ultimate “reality check” for any employee.

Let us help re-engage your managers, leaders, and staff. Contact Parrish Partners today!

Copyright protected by our associate Gary Sorrell. Sorrell Associates, LLC All rights reserved worldwide. 

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Engagement and Culture are Top Issues

engagement & cultureAs the job turnover rate increases, HR departments have to turn their focus to what the core issues are. Employees that are unhappy with their jobs either find a new job or underperform. Either way, it makes for a difficult situation with business owners. For that reason, focusing on engagement needs to be a high priority.

Where is the Breakdown in Engagement?

So often, the breakdown happens because we executives are spending too much time in the office and not enough time with the employees. We are seeing the company and function of the business from the numbers standpoint. When thinking of changes, we ask ourselves if the change will increase profit.

Unless you put yourself in contact with your employees and their environment, it is hard to see what they are up against from day to day. Employees that are being asked to do more than what they can manage tend to feel frustrated and have a poor outlook on the company.

What Happens When Employees Have a Poor Attitude About Your Company?

When you have disgruntled staff, you can bet that other people will hear about it.

With the social media outlets they have access to, an individual may choose to vent to the general public. We cannot underestimate the effect that our current and past employees can have on our branding.

Our team members understand the workplace culture and are more than willing to share that information with listening ears. This includes friends, family, and other staff. Defining and improving the culture of your business is another key thing to focus on in 2018.

What Questions Do We Need to Ask?

If we are going to solve some of the workplace problems, we have to start asking the right questions so that we can implement the right changes. With every change that you make, you should ask if it will make the environment easier to work in and enjoyable.

When the environment becomes too difficult, then employee production plummets. Staff will begin to see the employer as the problem, instead of the solution.

We also have to ask questions like, “How do we come up with simple solutions to make the work environment easier?” The Staff has enough difficult interactions in a day with customers and clientele. If they are in a difficult work environment, it will only add to their attitude toward the company.

In order for us to build solid companies and boost production, we must develop teams that work hard. For that to take place, we have to create safe and inclusive work environments that make day to day functions simple. Be the solution, not the problem.

If you have any questions about this article, or about how we can enhance your engagement & culture, contact Parrish Partners today!

Copyright protected by our associate Gary Sorrell. Sorrell Associates, LLC All rights reserved worldwide. 

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Resolutions you can accomplish by the end of the year!

Resolutions you can accomplish by the end of the year!

While it may be the last month of the year, there is still time to knock out a few more resolutions before it is over. Looking back over the year, you may be wondering what you’ve been doing. Take some time to celebrate your accomplishments and set some new goals that will help improve your performance in all areas of life; personally and professionally.

Do the following before the end of the year:

Refocus your morning habits

Instead of struggling through the morning before you head to work, regroup and try to set up some good, solid morning habits. Consider pulling back the curtains and letting the sunshine in your windows. Set your coffee the night before and take some time to sit and enjoy it as you read for a few minutes. Make your bed when you get up because it will make your room look tidier. Brainstorm what will help you to feel more ready to enter the day and begin to form some new morning habits.

Get some extra sleep

Try to get to bed earlier or set your alarm later. Often, it becomes easy to do one more thing around the house or to check email one more time to get ready for the next day. Try skipping this and get some extra sleep instead.

Take time to read daily

We live in a world where you can watch TV or videos on any mobile device at any time. Rather than focusing on so much screen time, consider reading about 30 minutes per day. Find something encouraging to read which will nurture your mind.

Get out of your rut

You still have time to do something new this year. Try to get out of your rut and embrace something that you haven’t done before. This is a great way to enjoy life and make it feel less mundane.

Consider what you’re thankful for

Work and life can be busy. It is easy to get overwhelmed, so take time out to write down what you are thankful for. Seeing it on paper will enhance your attitude and allow you to feel more positive and grateful, which will help you at work too.

Network with someone each week

Rather than getting stagnant, be sure to network with someone each week. We learn so much from others and they can be an encouragement too. Be sure to take time out each week to build relationships by connecting with others.

There is still time to set some new resolutions/goals that will rejuvenate you for the remaining part of the year. Get started today because time is ticking and the new year will be here before you know it.

What will you accomplish by the end of the year? We would love to hear from you.

 

Copyright protected by our associate Gary Sorrell. Sorrell Associates, LLC All rights reserved worldwide. 

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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

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Year-End Business Preparation: Setting Goals for the New Year

People dont plan to fail... they fail to planThe New Year is almost upon us. We’re at the timeframe where companies begin to focus on year-end business prep and goal setting for the upcoming year.

This time period is crucial to your business and will make a difference on your bottom line, efficiency and even your employee’s morale. As you prepare for the end of the year, be sure to consider the following to ensure greater success in the months ahead.

Take time to reflect

Meet with others in your company and reflect on what worked and didn’t work over the past year. Discuss how you can improve the areas that need a few tweaks. Brainstorm ideas together and reflect over the last year’s data before you jump into setting new goals. Further, drop whatever is not working and move on. Don’t try and force what’s not working to work.

Set realistic goals

Goal setting is a helpful habit if they are realistic. You must be able to set a timeframe and then measure the goal. A plan that has clearly defined action steps will be more effective. Your goals should be manageable and understood by yourself and others within your company. If the goals aren’t realistic, they will fall by the wayside and they most likely won’t be achieved.

Business promotion plan

Marketing your business should be ongoing. You want to consistently promote your business and not let that goal fall to the bottom of your to-do list. Set a goal to create a business promotion plan and make it a priority. As the saying goes, “We never plan to fail, but we often fail to plan.” Don’t let that happen with your business promotion plans.

Education is key

Business professionals often forget to keep learning. Educational opportunities for both yourself and your team are vital to grow your business. There are endless webinars and free online courses to take so there is no excuse to not embrace learning a little something new next year.

We’ve never fully “arrived” because there is always some area where we can grow. Be sure you take advantage of training opportunities within your industry and you’ll most likely see growth follow in the New Year.

Goal setting is essential as we approach the New Year. Be sure to embrace this time and come up with a strategy that will enable your business to flourish in the not too distant future.

Need help planning for next year? Contact Parrish Partners today!

Copyright protected by our associate Gary Sorrell. Sorrell Associates, LLC All rights reserved worldwide. 

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The Cloud is Changing Human Capital Management

The Cloud is Changing Human Capital Businesses often struggle with workforce operations no matter their size. Incorporating more cloud-based and mobile technologies will help to fine-tune their organization and ease the challenges they face. Companies have the option to customize the technology so that it fits with their culture and HR department.

The Benefits of the Cloud

Rather than the typical reporting of attendance and scheduling, the cloud will allow companies to focus on predictive modeling. This means that businesses will utilize the correct number of employees that are the best fit for their roles and ultimately at a lower cost.

In the future, the advanced workplace management solutions will allow for changes to individuals and teams that will provide greater customer satisfaction. The performance levels of employees will be utilized to their fullest potential.

Stay Current

In order for organizations to be successful with the cloud being part of the human capital management, they need to be current on the latest technology. It seems that technology evolves so quickly, but a company that works to stay up to date will succeed with this workplace shift.

Cloud-based technology allows employees to pursue new skills and what interests them most by growing their skills and ultimately bringing value to their business and customers.

Workplace Changes

The more we see a shift from hosting and management of application away from a company’s IT department, the more customers seem to upgrade their systems. These changes within the workplace benefit us all.

Also, allowing employees the flexibility to work from anywhere is another great shift because of mobile technology. Companies are able to make better staffing choices, save money and avoid some of the red-tape that goes along with the hiring process.

Truly, the cloud and mobile technology have changed human capital management. The shift has happened and continues to evolve. Businesses will see successes follow as they work to learn how this can apply in their workplace dynamics. Every company has their own culture but staying current with the trends will ensure that they stay cutting edge against their competition.

Need Help? Contact Parrish Partners today!

Copyright protected by our associate Gary Sorrell. Sorrell Associates, LLC All rights reserved worldwide. 

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The Big Ask

The Big AskSimply asking more of people helps them to rise up to any occasion.

What if you could achieve more for your business just by asking more of your team?

People are often flattered when asked to do something different or new. Asking the big and small questions, you will see your team and business enjoy success and thrive overall.

Ask for More

Think about how you can ask more of your staff. Shying away from asking them to take on challenges and big situations, you limit their growth and potential. By asking them to achieve, you empower them to do just that and they feel more significant too.

Ways to Ask Big

You will get further when you ask your team to assist with the big stuff.

  • Ask them to do what they enjoy most.
  • Ask them to use their skills and strengths.
  • Ask them to do things that go along with their vision, morals, and values.
  • Ask them to suggest ways they can assist.
  • Ask them to stretch their wings and take the plunge to try new things.
  • Ask them to think outside the box.

You have not because you ask not. Therefore, it’s time to start asking big.

10 Ways to Have Confidence and Ask Big

  1. Seek out those who want to contribute.
  2. Be forthright and simply ask rather than skirt the issue.
  3. Give of yourself to others.
  4. Connect with people before you ask something of them.
  5. Let them have a chance to think your request over and resist the urge to fill space with words. Give them a chance to answer you.
  6. Take a poll and ask who would be interested in working on projects.
  7. Take steps to ask for smaller things before you ask big.
  8. Give people an out so that the “ask” is not actually an insisting situation.
  9. Accept people that say yes to your ask, even if they may not be the best fit. It could be an opportunity for growth.
  10. Ask for suggestions when you ask someone to try something new.

Feel free to ask big of your team. Most likely, they will rise to the occasion if given the chance. Then watch the growth within your business and the dynamic solutions that are the result of asking big.

We would love to hear your comments. Please send them to us right now while they are fresh in your mind.

 

Copyright protected by our associate Gary Sorrell. Sorrell Associates, LLC All rights reserved worldwide. 

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3 Reasons Your Employees Leave Bitter

When employment ties are cut, an employee may leave bitter or frustrated.  Unhappy former employees can cause a lot of damage on the way out the door and after they are no longer employed.3 Reasons Your Employees Leave Bitter

The latest Employee Branding Study by Career Arc explained the staggering results that 38% of employees that were fired or laid off, posted bad reviews online about their former employers.

The unpleasant and negative feedback that potential job seekers may see online will give them a negative taste for your company.  Plus, these potential candidates tend to change their minds on their application submittals.

As an employer, your goal should be to figure out why the employees leave bitter in the first place.  Knowing the why will help to address the issue and move forward to correct it in the future.

3 Reasons Your Employees Leave Bitter Include:

1)     Did you hear me?

Unhappy employees leave wondering if they were ever really heard.  Be sure that you listen to your staff.  They want to be considered.  Validate your employees with an affirming word, a nod of the head or an email response back.

If they are let go for something they feel like they had already addressed with you (but not felt heard) then they will most certainly feel angry.  Listen well and communicate frequently with your employees.

2)     Don’t leave me hanging!

If you let someone go, be sure to give a reason.  They may not agree with it but at least they aren’t left wondering, analyzing and stewing over it after they leave.  No one likes to be left hanging and that is how it feels to be let go “without cause.”

3)     Why did you string me along?

Employees that are laid off, fired, or quit can act out in frustration online.  Often this gives them an outlet to vent out their anger and hurt.  One surefire way to avoid stringing someone along is to give them ample opportunity to improve.

In other words, terminating an employee should not be out of left field for them.  Be sure to let them know the areas they need to improve upon.  Give them a warning in advance that if the specific behaviors don’t change, then you’ll have to make a change.

Keep your employees informed, really listen to them in an effort to hear their message and don’t leave them hanging.  If you are clearer with them, then they will leave your company more satisfied even if the reason was something unpleasant like a termination. An exit interview is highly suggested.

Your comments are greatly appreciated. Contact us today!

 

Copyright protected by our associate Gary Sorrell. Sorrell Associates, LLC All rights reserved worldwide. 

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