Tag Archive: performers

How to Keep Your Team Engaged

August 31st, 2019
Every client is concerned about how to engage the team. Some executives are thinking about how to ‘keep good people’, others are thinking about how to enable ‘smart people to share what they know’, and still others know they need engagement to ensure customers are happy and bottom line business results occur.
According to Gallup, there is some positive news in that engagement is on the rise and is at an all-time high of 34%. With that said, there is such a long way to go to fully leverage already existing assets – our people! Time and again, the most successful companies actively engage employees in their work. The actively disengaged is down to 13% while ‘not engaged’ is 53%.
A few ideas to consider:
  • Tie each person’s work to the result (for the company, customer etc.) – Wouldn’t you like to know WHY you are doing something?
  • Take each employees’ ideas into consideration – Simply asking can go a long way if you truly care about the answer.
  • Don’t treat each employee the same – don’t we each have different goals and interests?
  • Are you developing your employees? – a little investment into your employees can go a long way.
  • Do you address poor performers? – one of the biggest issues we see if letting poor performers carry on. Everyone knows it and is less motivated. Why not just proactively address? Provide an opportunity and swiftly address if necessary.

Do You Treat Your People as Critical Assets to Your Success?

June 24th, 2019

As several CEOs lament continually and as Steve Erickson, president of Corona Clipper, Inc. and UK Business Unit Group, said in our 2019 predictions document, talent is a hot topic in today’s tight labor market. Perhaps it is time to put a bit more thought into our talent.

As a consultant who works with organizations from a few million in annual revenue to multi-billion dollar conglomerates, it is quite clear that talent is an issue across-the-board. It doesn’t matter the industry, the size, or the ownership (private equity, publicly traded or closely-held). Talent is an issue that is top of mind of every executive interested in growth and innovation. The trick is whether you just think about talent or are willing to invest in talent. Which are you?

Certainly, those who invest are far more likely to retain top talent and develop new talent. In zero unemployment markets, there is something to be said about creating your own talent. If you aren’t focused on this topic, it is quite likely the competition will steal your talent away.

There are many ways to invest in talent:

  1. Provide mentor opportunities – If your organization looks for ways to support the growth of employees with mentors, you are bound to be more successful than the norm. In our experience, the best companies realize that people need to learn through practical application and mentoring provides this opportunity.
  2. Invest in leaders to encourage continuous coaching – aAyearly review is quite useless. Who can remember what happened that long ago and understand how to improve or build on a strength? Instead, I found that 90 day one-on-one performance conversations with a limited number of objectives do the trick. Continuous feedback and investment of time can go a long way. But let’s not expect leaders to know how to conduct these sessions if we haven’t invested in them. Remember, it trickles down hill.
  3. Provide training opportunities – Search for training topics that will supplement what your employees should understand. For example, any employee in operations and supply chain should take APICS courses to understand the fundamentals of supply chain and operations management and related principles. If nothing else, it will provide the body of knowledge and associated language.
  4. Provide experiences – In larger companies, there might be job rotations or overseas assignments.  No matter the size, there are cross-training opportunities as well as enabling visits and collaborations with customers, suppliers, systems and technology providers, consultants/experts and other partners.
  5. Allow the freedom for experimentation – To encourage new ideas and innovation, it is important to design programs that educate employees as well as provide a framework to try out new ideas. In our consulting travels, we find that employees who are allowed to test new ideas in a safe zone feel invested in.
  6. Address poor performers – Instead of ignoring your poor performers because it is an unpleasant task or you are worried about repercussions, proactively address them. Work with them to turn them around or move them out of the organization, and you’ll unleash your top talent.

Why not merely increase your engagement by investing in your already-existing talent? According to all the surveys, engagement is at horrific levels in the vast majority of organizations yet engagement is key to driving performance. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out investing in your people is not only common sense but it can do more good for your bottom line than almost anything else. The key is to not treat investment as throwing money at an issue but instead seeing it as a priority. Let us know what ideas you have to engage your most critical assets.


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Profit Through People


6 Questions Predict People Success or Failure in 2018

January 8th, 2018

Quick Question: If you leave your phone at home, is there any question about whether you’d turn around to get it?  And, if you didn’t have your phone at home, is it possible you wouldn’t have gotten up on time in the first place or known what time your meeting starts?   

Technology is taking over the world.
Sometimes it is hard to talk with real people when you need to ask a question.  Thus, it is worth considering the top priorities for people in our new, interconnected, global world in the New Year.

A few questions to ponder.

  1.  Have you walked by your top performer’s desk lately to check in on him/her?  Not an email.  Not a phone call.  Not a social media chat.  But an interactive one-on-one conversation?  
  2.  Have you been upfront with your weak performers?  Have you provided constructive feedback so that they know what to improve?  Think carefully about this question – will they be surprised if you show them the door with dignity if they struggle to implement the feedback?  If so, you better get on it!
  3.  Have you picked up the phone to find out what is on the mind of your top customers? Do you know what is important to him/her?  Do you know what you could do to improve their customer experience?
  4.  Do your suppliers and trusted advisors understand where you are headed and why?  If not, why not?
  5.  Do you have some sort of pay for performance system in place?  Or does the person with the most seniority regardless of value make the most money and receive the best bonuses?  Are you putting your money where your mouth is?  For example, if you are always saying your principles are important, if your top sales person doesn’t follow the principles from time to time, will he/she still receive the biggest bonus check?  What does this tell the rest of your team?

Remember, no matter how sophisticated and technology-rich your company, it will not run without people.    

Last Question:  Do you see people as assets or expenses (overhead)?

Case Study in Accelerating High Performers

February 28th, 2017
high performers

Turn your employee performance assessment around by focusing on how to support and motivate your high performers rather that slow progress by trying to bring non-performers up-to-speed.

Situation: Our client had a select few high performers in their organization amidst a sea of average performers and a few non-performers. As is typical, all the attention went to resurrecting the non-performers as problems followed them wherever they went. Angry customers. Lost profit. Etc. At the same time, the high performers were frustrated by the slowness of progress and concern for their future.

Path Forward: The solution can be quite contrarian to what 80% of leaders follow. Forget about your non-performers. Stop spending time trying to resurrect poor performers. Give them tools to perform, hold them accountable and move them out if they don’t rise to the occasion. Do NOT be skittish about confronting reality, coordinating with attorneys and the like.

Instead, provide a generic level of attention to your average performers and utilize techniques like train-the-trainer (that do not require significant personal attention) to give these folks opportunities to rise into the high performer range.

Instead, focus your attention on your high performers. Ask questions. Listen. Provide tools and support. Pay attention. Make sure they know they have high potential and that you have high expectations. Soon, your results will move at a pace you didn’t think was possible.

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