Tag Archives | leadership

The best employees: how to get and keep them

Employers:

  • Do you want to attract the best employees to work in your business?
  • Would you like your existing team members to step up and perform to a higher standard?
  • Are you keen to be considered an employer of choice?

While at times market conditions influence how many ‘good people’ are out there to employ in your field, there are many things you can do to attract, develop, and keep the best employees in your business.

In simple terms, to attract the best employees, you need to be the best employer. The cream rises to the top, and employees who care about their work want to work for businesses that care about them, their customers, and their standards. Excellence attracts excellence!

Best employees, employer of choice, leadership, management

What kind of employees do you have at present?

Your employees might be generally steady and reliable – meaning they usually do what’s asked and fulfill their duties. While not world-beaters, they perform to an acceptable standard and get the job done.

You may have some team members who seem to be a constant challenge. Just when you think you’ve got them sorted, they bring you a new problem to deal with! They need constant reminders and supervision, and their standards often fall below acceptable levels.

Occasionally you’ll have a toxic team member who poisons the group and needs to be moved on as soon as possible.

Even though you are frustrated with your team, you may not have the confidence, skills or tools to move employees either up or out, so standards continue to fall. As your business performance is affected, your stress and dissatisfaction increases.

What is a great employee?

The best employees share your vision and passion, and give 100% effort and attention while at work to everything they do. Great team members excel in their role and do more than you expect. While certainly not perfect, they are ambitious, dedicated and talented, and seek every opportunity to add value to the business, their team and the customers.

Great businesses have an employer who sets and maintains standards of performance that the employees don’t drop below without consequence.

A culture of high-performance and non-negotiable standards of quality attracts and retains superstars. Our vision is for every business to have a team operating at peak performance.

  • So how do you find these superstars and attract them to your business?
  • And how do you encourage them to stay long-term?

And when it comes to existing employees:

  • How can you develop your current team members so they excel?
  • And if you have employees already at the top of their game, how do you bring out even more of their skills and drive?

The best employees look for the best workplaces in which to work. Employers of choice with high standards of performance find a steady stream of quality candidates from which to choose. If you often get unsolicited resumes from potential employees, you’ll know you’re on the right track!

What will attract the best employees to your business and make them want to stay?

  1. Vision Statement

A clear vision statement for your business tells your team why your business exists, what its end goals are, and inspires your team to work with you instead of just for you. Display your vision statement around your workspace so it’s a living, breathing document. When recruiting, ask your candidates what it means to them. At each regular team meeting, discuss how the team has contributed to it in the previous week. A vision statement will inspire your team to stay focused on the bigger picture.

  1. Mantra

This is the motto or catchphrase your business and team lives by. At Yellow Coaching, ours is “Peak Performance”. It’s the standard by which we play every day, and what we encourage from our clients. Display your mantra in your workspace as a guide to performance and a reminder to the team of their commitment. The best employees want to always give their best, and your mantra will encourage them.

  1. Culture Statement

Most frustrations with employees are due to behaviour rather than skills and abilities. A solid culture statement defines the expectations, boundaries and behavioural ‘rules of the game’ in your business. It might contain points such as respect, open communication, or fun. Amazon calls theirs Leadership Principles and includes the points Think Big and Customer Obsession.

When recruiting, show your culture statement to job candidates so they’ll know your expectations from the start. Add it as a section in your team’s KPIs, so they are assessed quarterly on their behaviour as well as their skills. Discuss a point of culture at each team meeting, and how those behaviours have been displayed in the previous week.

  1. Organisation Chart

A strong team needs the right people in the right positions at the right time. It’s important that all team members know not only where their own role fits in the business, but who they report to and where everyone else belongs. Just like a sports team, solid performance in each position is critical for the success of the game.

  1. Position Descriptions

As well as knowing where they fit in the organisation, your team members need to know what their tasks and responsibilities are, and the roles of other people in the business. Without this, inefficiencies can occur as multiple people do the same task, tasks are not completed at all, or even disowned! If you often hear from staff “…but that’s not in my job description…” make it clear that there will be times when each team member is required to do things outside their role to meet business goals.

  1. Training Plan

Great employees want to learn more and be better. Think of your current team and the skills they have, and how you’d like them to develop. Ask them what areas they’d like to learn more about. Set up a system whereby team members train each other, either one-on-one or in a group setting. Encourage employees to be accountable for their own career development, and coach them through their learning journey.

  1. KPIs

Key Performance Indicators drive the best employees to achieve more. Written KPIs that are reveiwed regularly outline what is expected of each employee, and explain how they’ll know they’ve performed well. KPIs should contain not only the tasks of each position, but also standards for WHS, following business systems, and being a strong team member. Review KPIs quarterly to ensure performance standards are maintained, and provide regular informal feedback to each employee to keep them on track.

  1. Communication

All team members need regular, structured communication with their managers. You may choose to introduce management meetings, team meetings, one-on-one meetings, toolbox talks, and daily huddles. Each meeting needs an agenda to keep it meaningful and relevant. Ensure challenges are discussed with a solutions-focus, and follow up on agreed actions.

Attracting and retaining the best employees in your business requires that you become an employer of choice that outstanding people are drawn to. This framework will set a solid foundation so your business and your team has the best chance of success.

Please note – as you raise the standards for your team, you may find that not all existing team members will rise to your expectations. That’s okay. The gap they leave provides room for new superstars who are the right fit within your dream team.

Yellow Coaching works with established businesses to become employers of choice and build a dream team by recruiting, training, and managing the best employees. Find out how here…

How to make 2018 your best year yet!

Whether you’re a manager, business owner, or employee, one thing we’re sure of: You want 2018 to be a great year!

Your wish-list might include work-life balance, a profitable business, a happy and productive team, and achievement of your personal goals.

So how do you ensure you get what you want in 2018, and what happens is by design and not default?

This week with clients we are creating 2018 business plans. If you’d like to ensure your year is everything you want it to be, in both your business and personal life, read on and follow our 4 simple steps below …

2018 business plan, business plans1. Review 2017’s Highlights

Before making a 2018 business plan, it’s essential to see where you are now and how far you’ve come.

Start by thinking back to January this year. How different was life and business then? What have you accomplished in the last 12 months? How has your business grown and changed? What’s happened in your career? What personal goals did you achieve?

Write down your achievements in all areas of your life and work – business growth and mastery, career, learning, family, fun, health and wellbeing.

Take a moment to appreciate how your life has changed and what you’ve done to create that. Congratulate yourself on your achievements so far.

2. Picture Your Future In Review

Now imagine yourself this time next year, December 2018, doing the same exercise. If you were looking back on 2018, what would your achievements be?

Take at least 10 minutes to really think this through. List all you’ve gained in terms of business turnover and profit, the types of clients you’ve attracted, career moves, office relocation or upgrades, success you’ve helped your clients to achieve, fitness or family wins, what you’ve learned… any result you’d like to see by the end of the year.

business planning, 2018 business plan, business success, business goals

3. Create Your 2018 Business Plan

Bring your mind back to the present day. The list you’ve just made is now your goal list for 2018. Make sure each goal passes the test of being measurable, realistic, and time-framed. Get specific. Instead of grow business you might write increase turnover by 30% and profit by 15% by 31 December 2018.

Put a date next to each goal. If you can’t be specific, narrow it down to be something you’ll accomplish by end of Q1, Q2, Q3 or Q4.

And make sure what you want to achieve is within your sphere of influence or control. There’s no point stating what you want someone else to do if you have no power over their actions! Instead of Get supervisors to perform to standard you could write Learn skills to more effectively manage supervisors and enforce their KPIs by 31 March. You can choose to be a better manager and hold them accountable, but their response and actions will ultimately be up to them.

4. Get A Coach To Help You And Your Team

As our clients know, setting goals and having a 2018 Business Plan is just the start. Finding someone to support you, guide you, and keep you accountable will ensure your success. A great business coach will work with the business owners, managers and team to ensure the business reaches its goals. A great business coach will also support you to achieve your personal and lifestyle goals.

Are you a business owner? Do you need a 2018 business plan?  Book your complimentary discussion with our business coaches today.

If you’re a business manager or employee, suggest Yellow Coaching’s services to the decision makers in your business. We’ll arrange a complimentary meeting with them to discuss the needs of the business and team.

Business improvement helps owners, employees, their families, and the community. When shown what’s possible and given the right tools, strategies and support, businesses and the people in them can achieve their full potential.

Yellow’s coaches work with the owners, managers and teams of established businesses of any size within the private sector; and with executives, managers and team members at all levels within Government and not-for-profit organisations.

Whomever they are working with, their goal is to assist business leaders to maximise the potential of themselves, their team, and their business. Yellow’s coaches achieve this through business coaching, executive mentoring, leadership and management training, strategic planning, conference and workshop facilitation, keynote speaking, and team member coaching. They also provide team training on numerous topics including effective sales techniques, business marketing, outstanding customer service, time and priority management, improving team culture and morale, efficient systems and processes, resilience, and change management.

If you’d like to reach peak performance in 2018, contact Yellow Coaching today.

Difficult employee? Here’s how to manage them…

Do you have a difficult employee that doesn’t do what you ask them to do?

Maybe they’re not returning customer phone calls, not turning up to work on time, or not following company procedures. Behaviour which started as annoying has become untenable.

You’re frustrated and thinking, “I’ve asked them a thousand times! They just don’t care enough.”

Managing a difficult employee can be frustrating, especially when you feel like you’re constantly locking horns.

If you’ve had enough, before taking disciplinary action, ensure that you have communicated effectively what they’re required to do. True communication is what’s been understood, not what you think you’ve said!

Difficult employee, management

There are three reasons an employee may not do what you ask. They are:

  1. They don’t know what to do
  2. They don’t know why it’s important
  3. Yes – you guessed it – they just don’t want to.

Before making the assumption that they’re a difficult employee who just doesn’t care enough to do what you’ve asked, ensure you have given them everything they need to do the task.

Outline what’s required

Make sure the employee knows exactly what you require. You could include a description of the desired result, the best way to do it, the quality you expect, and the timeframe in which you want it done. For example:

“Bob, I’m not sure I communicated correctly what’s required. The end result we need is for the report to contain accurate information under all the headings listed on the contents page. You can get the information from each of the department managers. The report is usually around 20 pages long. We need it to have the formatting detailed in our style guide, and I expect a thorough grammar and spell check. It needs to be completed by 2pm each Monday for me to review before I issue it on Tuesday morning.”

Explain why it’s important

Then explain why it needs to be done the way you’ve asked. You might say:

“It’s important that the contents are the same each week as it provides consistency and allows us to compare the latest weeks’ results against other weeks. Grammar, spelling, and style are all important as it’s a reflection of our standards and professionalism. It must be to me by 2pm Monday or I can’t meet the Board’s deadline.”

The next step is to ensure they’ve understood what you’ve asked them to do, so ask them to repeat it back to you. You could say,

“Just so I can ensure I’ve explained that correctly, can you replay to me what’s required?”

If they leave out anything, such as deadlines, remind them what it is and why it’s important. Ask them if they have any problems doing what you’ve asked:

“Can you see any challenges that might stop that happening?” 

If they say they don’t know how to do something, go over it with them again or make a time to train them. If they need another explanation of what’s required, give one. It’s important that you and your employee are both confident they have all the skills and tools required to do the task.

Now it’s up to them…

Once you have their agreement, let them show you what they can do. If they continue to not do what’s required, you can have a discussion with them along the lines of:

“Bob, last week we discussed in depth what was required, and why it was important, and you committed to doing it, but it hasn’t been done. Can you tell me about that?”

If their reasons are valid, address them and help find solutions. If your employee says, for instance:

“I have two major reports due on the same day, and I’m not getting the information from the managers in time to collate them both by the deadline.”

…discuss with them ways to arrange their priorities to meet both deadlines, or if possible see if one deadline can be changed.

Enforce consequences

If they do what’s asked, they get to keep their job! If they continue to be a difficult employee and give you excuses, let them know that if the task isn’t completed as required next time you’ll have to assume that they just don’t care enough to do it, and you’ll have choice but to take appropriate action (for example, to give them a written warning). And make sure you follow through.

For more help managing your team, download our e-book: The Four Essential Habits of Effective Managers

Why Your Managers Need Management Training

When leading and managing a team, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t cut it. Many people rise through the ranks of an organisation because of their natural ability to achieve results, but this doesn’t mean they know how to effectively lead and manage people.

Too often we see managers treating every team member the same way – in the way the manager likes to be treated. If the manager is results-driven, they expect each team member to be the same. If they communicate in a short and sharp style, they speak to every employee in orders and bullet points, and expect each team member to communicate the same way.

Managers need management skills in order to effectively manage a team:

  • They need self-awareness to understand their own communication style, and learn how to recognise the communication style of others.
  • They need to learn how to find out what motivates different individuals on their team, and how to tap into that to increase performance.
  • They need to learn how to encourage desired behaviour and address poor behaviour.

Managers need a toolbox of skills so they can get the best from each team member, so the organisation can achieve its goals. To use a building analogy, when the only tool a manager has is a hammer, he’ll treat everyone as if they’re a nail.

leadership, management

Not training your managers may save your organisation money in the short term, but it’s short-sighted. When left to their own devices, supervisors with poor people skills become managers without the trust and respect of their team, who then become leaders no-one wants to follow.

It’s the responsibility of every organisation to give their managers skills and tools to be effective.

Management training is essential for supervisors as they make their way through the ranks of the organisation. Here are three reasons that using a business or executive coach to train your managers makes perfect sense:

1 It saves money

Poor management is the number one reason staff leave an organisation. Ineffective management results in poor performance from the team, a lack of trust, and employees feeling like they are not valued. The result can be high staff turnover, which means constant recruitment, training and people issues which take time, money and energy, which affects a business’s bottom line. Unhappy staff give poor customer service, which results in loss of customers. Using an executive coach is an investment in your managers which will lead to greater business stability and profit.

2 It saves time

For mid-level managers to be effective and to grow, they need support. They often need advice on how to deal with particular team members, or need help as they face challenges they haven’t encountered before. Having support from an executive coach ensures they get an outsider’s perspective, unbiased advice, and can speak openly and honestly about their challenges. It also ensures that issues are addressed early, before they grow into major problems.

3 It frees upper management to get on with driving the business forward

If a mid-level manager needs to seek advice and support from further up the organisational ladder, it can slow the business down. Directors and General Managers need to focus on driving the business forward, not get distracted by inevitable ‘people issues’ that can easily be solved with outside assistance. Using an executive coach can ensure the leadership team can focus on leading the business towards its goals.

Yellow Coaching provides leadership and management training to supervisors, managers and exeucutives within large organisations. Our clients have included the Royal Australian Air Force, Office of State Revenue, National Australia Bank, KCE, and dozens of other businesses.

Call us on (02) 4933 6622 to find out how we can train your managers to perform to the best of their ability.

Two Business Secrets You Need To Know

(one your competitors won’t tell you, and one everyone should be told!)

Do you sometimes feel that your competitors have a secret that’s allowing their business to do better than yours?

Do you look at other businesses and think they are smooth sailing, while yours is weathering rough seas?

If you’re like most business owners, at some stage you’ll be comparing yourself to your competitors and wondering what their secret is to getting ahead.

There are many secrets in today’s competitive world, and keeping your important information confidential is essential.

Details about your finances, marketing, and team concerns should be shared only with trusted professionals – such as your business coach, accountant and banker.

While privacy is important, this secrecy among business owners can lead to misconceptions. No-one wants their competition to know they have challenges, so you’ll usually hear business owners say “we’re flat out!” and keep up the facade that business is always great.

Without knowing what other businesses go through, you may think you are the only one struggling with team issues, tight cashflow, customer complaints, or a lack of leads.

You may fall for the psychological trap of ‘comparing and despairing’. Just like on social media, where it’s easy to contrast your own behind-the-scenes with others’ highlight reels, you can start to believe that everyone else’s business is doing better than yours.

As business coaches, we are in the privileged position of seeing the truth behind the outward image. We don’t work with broken businesses, but rather those that want to go from good to great. No matter how successful a business is, one thing is constant – challenges, frustrations, and worries are a part of every business.

As Brian Tracy says, problems are like waves on the ocean which just keep coming (with the inevitable dumpers mixed in) … problem, problem, problem, problem, CRISIS!

subway

So are you ready for the two secrets?

The secret other business owners don’t want you to know:

They all face challenges.

The secret everyone in business should be told:

Challenges are inevitable. To get ahead you need to tackle them early while they are still small, by growing your own ability to overcome them.

It’s not the business without challenges that comes out in front, but the business which overcomes its challenges the fastest.

So if business challenges are inevitable, how do you ensure that you deal with them effectively?

When faced with challenges in life and in business, you have three options.

  1. Turn around and run as fast as you can in the other direction

It may sound comical, but this is a common response to challenges. Some think that if they flee in the other direction, they can outrun any problem. Ever known someone to change their situation but end up facing similar problems down the track? Even when you run, some problems follow you wherever you go. As you haven’t learned to deal with them, you’ll be in the same position next time they appear.

  1. Stand still, ignore them, and hope they go away

Just like running away, this choice does nothing to defeat your challenges or grow your own ability to deal with them. In fact, ignoring your problems and hoping they go away often makes them grow larger. It’s almost as though they increase in size to demand your attention!

  1. Face them and tackle them head on

This is always the choice made by the most successful business leaders we know. When you choose to confront your challenges, you are forced to grow to overcome them. When you do this, instead of your problems growing, YOU grow. Next time you face a similar situation you’ll overcome it easily, and be ready to jump the next hurdle that appears.

Let’s see how choosing to ignore or face your challenges can result in very different outcomes.

Hoping it goes away …

A business owner meets with us to discuss his challenges. He started his business nearly three years ago, and it has now grown to a team of 7. His staff turnover has been high, and customer satisfaction is low.

He tells us that his staff members are the problem. After initial training, they stop following procedures and start doing things their own way. Their inconsistent service results in customer complaints, and loss of profits due to inefficiencies and wastage. One or two employees started out okay – but they’ve lost their motivation and just don’t try anymore. His newest team member in particular, Tom, is dragging the rest of the team down.

He tells us that he doesn’t know how to deal with this problem, that he just wants them to shape up, and that he’s angry and frustrated. He is reacting rather than responding to situations, and is losing his cool often at home and at work.

His comments include:

  • My staff never do what I ask them to do
  • I have to tell them again and again how to do things and they still don’t get it right
  • I always have stay back at work to fix their mistakes
  • The team doesn’t like Tom, and I don’t want Tom to stay, but it’s easier than having to replace him. I don’t have time to train anyone else – it’s coming up to our busiest season
  • I earned more money and had fewer headaches when I was working on my own.

He complains that he can’t believe the bad luck he’s had with employees. “You just can’t get good staff these days”, he says.

We explain a few things to help him. As he’s not giving the team direction and guidelines for performance, they are setting their own bar. When poor performance is ignored, it’s condoned. He needs to give Tom feedback and an opportunity to improve, or standards throughout the team will slide. We suggest that he learns some new communication and management skills and ways of dealing with business challenges.

Unfortunately he decides that he is too busy to make changes right now. Besides, he tells us, it’s the staff that’s the problem, not him!

Three months later we heard from him that Tom’s performance had deteriorated even further, and other team members got more and more frustrated at having to pick up Tom’s slack. They started leaving one by one. As the business became under-staffed, standards slipped further, and the business lost more customers and profits. The owner had since recruited a new team member, but he wasn’t happy with that person’s performance either.

By ignoring the problems, the problems had grown, but the business owner’s ability to deal with challenges hadn’t. As he was finding out, ignoring problems and hoping they go away doesn’t work.

Tackling it head-on …

In our second scenario, let’s imagine the same business owner comes to see us to discuss his challenges. Just like before, he tells us that he doesn’t know how to manage his staff. They are not following procedures, are losing motivation, and it’s impacting business results. In particular his newest employee Tom needs a lot of direction.

His outlook this time is one of finding a solution, rather than focusing on the problem. He tells us he doesn’t want his frustration to impact his enjoyment of work, the service he can provide his customers, his business profits, or his home life.

His comments include:

  • I need to learn how to communicate more effectively with my team so they do what I ask
  • I want to learn how to hold my employees accountable
  • I want advice on how to improve their skills and behaviour
  • I want a strong team throughout our busiest season
  • I want to grow my business and team, so the team can work without me there every day.

The business owner has clear goals for his business, and doesn’t have time for distractions. He knows he needs to deal with this problem before it grows.

He decides to learn some new management skills, knowing that to get a different result he needs to change his own actions. As he puts into practice what he’s learned, team morale improves. The team creates a company culture or ‘rules of the game’. The standards rise, and he finds the team members holding each other accountable to perform to their best.

He gives Tom feedback, support, and extra training, but unfortunately Tom’s performance doesn’t change. After receiving a written warning, Tom chooses to resign. The other employees are relieved that they no longer have to take up Tom’s slack.

This business owner has a new problem – he now has to replace Tom as they enter their busiest season. But now he has skills and experience in dealing with underperforming employees, and can focus on a solution and move forward. The team help recruit a new employee in line with their new company culture.

Instead of the problem growing, the owner’s skills, ability, and confidence to deal with team issues has grown.

Three months later this business has employed another two team members, and is looking forward to a year of record growth.

As this business owner found out, business is a journey of constant and never-ending improvement, and problems are often the push we need to grow.

Challenges are inevitable in business and in life. To be successful, we need to focus on what we can control, which is the way we deal with them. Having a solutions-focused approach and choosing to grow – rather than allowing our problems to grow –  is the secret.

Why Leadership Training and Development is Essential for Your Business

Are you one of those still doubting the need for training and developing the leaders in your company? You might argue that leadership training and development does not come cheap. And that your organisation has bigger issues to tackle, and money should be allocated on those rather than on training. But I advise you to look at those areas where you are struggling. Chances are, it will lead back to how your organisation is being controlled and guided by its leaders.

Good leaders and how they manage and motivate their employees are critical in the success and growth of a business. That is why you should treat leadership training and development as an investment and not just as an additional cost incurred by the company.

4 reasons you should invest in leadership training and development

1) For improved profits. Training leaders in your company will lead to better bottomline figures. This is because of the clear link between effective leadership and customer satisfaction. And satisfied customers keep coming back. As such, good leadership leads to financial gains.

2) For better performance. Poor leadership practices lead to a drag in employee performance, leading to sluggish results when it comes to customer satisfaction. In this fast-paced world, and with so much competition in the business arena, you should not remain stagnant and resistant to change. Saying yes to leadership training and development should be one of your priorities. If the leaders your employees turn to are highly trained, your workforce will be more motivated to perform well. Well-trained leaders will lead to a driven and passionate workforce. Training and development of leaders will bring out the best in your employees. They will be focused, efficient and more effective in addressing day-to-day work.

3) To build a competitive edge. If you do not want your business to be stuck where it is, you need to focus your goals on growth and expansion. You need to constantly keep up with changing times and a competitive environment by boosting your own edge. In order to develop these strategies, first take a look at your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Proper leadership training and development allows you to reexamine how you can effectively manage your business, specifically how you run things inside the company and its effects on how you transact with your customers.

4) For employee retention. Various business research has proven that there is a correlation between a company’s leadership structure and operation and employee motivation and retention. Studies reveal that the most common reason employees leave is not because of stresses of work, but because of the people – particularly the managers and leaders – those in authority. If you want your people to stay, then you should invest in good leaders.

With so many issues going on in your business, training and development might be the last of your worries. But if you do not take this crucial step in your business, you might lose out on new knowledge and potential learnings you will acquire that will eventually bring your business more success. In the short term, you might need to invest time, energy and money on leadership training and development, but in the long run you will surely gain a lot more than you have invested. Let Yellow Coaching help you. An expert business coach will help you run your training and development programs smoothly and effectively. Contact us today.

 

Why Coaching is Essential for Mid-Level Managers

There are many skills required of supervisors, team leaders and managers within large organisations. They need to deliver on the expectations of shareholders or government, senior management, their direct reports, as well as customers or clients. These mid-level management positions require this 360-degree view at all times.

Managers rise to this level due to their own career goals and aspirations, which they also focus on progressing for their own fulfillment and the benefit of the organisation. For these reasons middle management positions can be the most valuable yet challenging in an organisation.

Supervisors, team leaders and managers deliver on the objectives of the organisation through the people they manage. They are responsible for giving team members training, guidance, support, encouragement, and affirming and adjusting feedback to improve performance – which all requires skill, patience, time and energy.

business coaching, mentoring, coaching, business advice, teamwork,

Why executive coaching is essential for mid-level managers

Simply being in a management role does not necessarily give managers the skills required to manage their team effectively. While some managers are ‘natural leaders’, others are brought up through the ranks of the business from technical roles. While they may be brilliant in their area of expertise, many find that being a manager requires another set of skills altogether.

Managers need specialised people skills, excellent communication, and a clear management strategy. Most importantly, they need the confidence that they have the right and responsibility to manage their team.

Too often managers are unsure how to manage difficult behaviours, and instead of addressing these, they choose to do nothing, hoping the situation will rectify itself over time. This condones poor performance and can result in frustration for team members who are performing well.

Change and uncertainty in the organisation (due to such things as staff turnover, budget cuts, downsizing, amalgamation or office relocation) puts stress on every member of the team. During this time middle managers must continue to deliver on business KPIs; manage not only how they themselves are impacted by the changes but the effects the changes have on all those that report to them; all while ensuring exceptional levels of service are maintained for customers.

At times these managers are in a position of knowing information but not being able to deliver it to their team, or having to communicate it in a way that will mitigate disruption and distrust. They often bear the brunt of team members’ anxiety and anger about changes to their role.

To ensure the smooth operation of business through such challenging times, and minimize the risk of WHS issues caused by stress, it is essential that team leaders, supervisors and managers obtain outside guidance, support and mentoring through executive coaching.

Executive mentoring assists these leaders to get an outsider’s perspective on what they are experiencing from professionals who are not emotionally connected to the changes taking place. As well as this clarity, executive coaching provides managers with an opportunity to express frustrations, seek advice, and plan strategies and actions to overcome challenges.

Any organisation undergoing adjustments to roles, processes or structure should implement executive coaching for mid-level managers as part of its change management process. Contact Yellow Coaching to find out more.

The 5 Things You Need To Succeed In Business

Your current knowledge, goals, skills, experience and actions have created the business you have today. If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of your business, you need to change something to get a different outcome.

Albert Einstein is famously quoted as saying: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Author Marshall Goldsmith wrote an invaluable book, the title of which says it perfectly: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.

Trial and error is one way to improve – and making mistakes certainly can be your best teacher (provided you actually learn from your mistakes, and don’t make the same ones time and time again!). But a far more effective and faster approach is to learn from the mistakes and success of others.

One option is to find a business leader who has achieved success in the area of business in which you want to excel, assess what it is that makes them so successful, and implement that yourself. We call this modelling – observing the way another person behaves to get a certain result, and reproducing those actions to achieve similar outcomes.

Another option is to find a professional business mentor, advisor or coach whose sole purpose is to help business leaders succeed. They have learned from the success and failure of others, and can pass on that knowledge so you can fast-track your business success.

Whichever you choose, here are the top 5 things that you need to succeed in business, and specifically how a business advisor can help you:

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1. New Knowledge and Education

Business coaches, advisors and educators package up the knowledge of countless authors, speakers, academics and business leaders with whom they have the privilege to work, to help their clients achieve greater success. Through their research, experience and training they teach proven methodologies that have worked successfully for other business leaders. They also know the pitfalls and can steer you clear of obstacles.

2. Clear Direction

Every business leader needs clear direction. A good business mentor will help you establish, reconnect with, or expand yours, and keep you on track. You could think of them as your GPS!

3. An Outsider’s Perspective

When you’re busy working day to day inside your business, it’s hard to take a broader, objective view. Your advisor can help you see the bigger picture and give you an outsider’s perspective. They can provide this viewpoint with honesty – not telling you what you want to hear, but what you need to hear to get better results.

4. Accountability

Knowledge without application is worthless, and part of your coach’s role is to push you to get things done, in the right way and at the right time, and for the right objectives. They’ll also remind you why you set your goals in the first place, and the benefits to you of doing the work.

5. Encouragement

There’s no doubt that business can be tough, which is also why it’s so rewarding. When things are challenging, your coach can reconnect you with your ‘why’ and remind you of your greater vision and purpose (while giving you the tools to continue on).

While there’s no short cut to success, partnering with a business mentor, coach or consultant can help you achieve better business results more quickly and effectively.

We coach business leaders and teams in established businesses to succeed in areas including their marketing, sales, team, systems, profit, and cashflow.

We are passionate about helping business leaders define what success means to them, and working with them to achieve their goals. Want to grow and improve your business? Call Andrew Masi and Julianne Schwenke on (02) 4933 6622.

The 3 Reasons Your Staff Don’t Do What You Ask (and what to do about it)

Do you find that your staff sometimes (or perhaps often) don’t do what you’ve asked them to do?

Does it seem like no matter how many times you’ve asked, things still aren’t being done?

Are you feeling frustrated and not sure what to do?

It’s a lament we hear often from frustrated business owners, executives, managers and supervisors. “But I’ve told them a thousand times already!” is something you’ve probably said more times than you care to remember.

The good news is that we have a solution. The first step is to understand the reason for their inaction.

We find that there are 3 basic reasons your staff don’t do what you ask:

  1. They don’t know how
  2. They don’t know why it’s important
  3. They just don’t want to!

leadership, communicationLet’s look at an example to illustrate.

Business owner Maria is frustrated that her new tradesman Jack is not filling out his timesheets.

Maria has shown Jack twice how to complete his timesheet online using their payroll software, and asked him to submit it for processing by 5pm each Wednesday. But after two weeks it’s still not getting done correctly or on time. The bookkeeper has had to call Jack each week to request it, and query Jack on his entries. Maria is starting to wonder whether Jack is the right tradesperson for the job.

There are three possibilities for Maria to consider before taking further action:

Possibility 1. Jack doesn’t know how to do it

The first thing Maria should consider is that Jack may not know how to fill out his time sheets correctly, or that he’s forgotten or misunderstood when they are due. Yes, Maria has shown Jack twice how to use the software, but just because Maria has communicated something to Jack doesn’t mean that Jack has fully understood. Jack may have been embarrassed to admit that he didn’t understand Maria, or may have forgotten some of the steps. After having it explained twice already, it was harder to admit it wasn’t making sense.

To see if this is the case, Maria could ask Jack something along the lines of: “Max, I hear from the bookkeeper that your time sheets haven’t been completed correctly the last two weeks, and haven’t been submitted on time. How are you finding the timesheeting process? Is there anything that you’d like me to go over with you? I’m happy to give you as much training as required to help you feel confident with the system.”

In this instance Jack admitted that he was having trouble, and Maria trained Jack once again. When finished, Maria asked Jack to fill out an example time sheet, and to repeat to her what time it needed to be submitted. Maria ended the training session by once again asking Jack if he had any questions, and he assured her that he didn’t.

Unfortunately despite this the following week Jack’s timesheet was incomplete and not submitted at the agreed time. The bookkeeper was also getting extremely frustrated with the situation, as chasing the information created extra work for him.

It’s now time for Maria to consider possibility #2:

Possibility #2: Jack doesn’t know why it’s important

People often aren’t aware of how their behaviour affects others. Maria calls Jack into a meeting with the bookkeeper, so he can explain how his inattention to detail and  his not meeting deadlines affects the bookkeeper, other staff, and the payroll system. Jack apologises and assures both the bookkeeper and Maria that the next week he’ll be accurate and on time.

Now Maria has communicated what is expected of Jack, and got him to repeat back to her what he understood, and why it’s important. Unfortunately the next week Jack’s timesheet is not submitted on time, and is once again full of errors.

Maria can only assume:

Possiblity #3: That Jack just doesn’t want to do it.

Maria sets up a meeting with Jack, at which she says: “Jack, you’ve been working here 3 weeks now. Three times we have sat down and done training on how to submit time sheets accurately. We also discussed the importance of submitting them by the company deadline, and you know how not submitting them correctly and on time affects the workflow of others. Despite this, for the third week in a row you have not done what you’ve been asked. Can you please tell me about that?”

This open-ended question allows Jack to explain anything that might be going on for him. He may make excuses, or he may apologise. Whatever the response, it’s an opportunity for Maria to ask Jack what he’ll do to rectify the situation, and explain the consequences if his behaviour doesn’t change. She could say: “Jack, you’ve told me you understand how to do this task, and that you understand how important it is. If it’s not done correctly next week, I will have no option but to give you a written warning.”

And of course it’s essential from that point on that Maria does issue a written warning if Jack’s behaviour doesn’t change.

If there’s something your staff are not doing despite your repeated requests, we suggest you follow the process above. Depending on the seriousness of the behaviour, you may enforce consequences sooner.

To improve workplace communication we suggest that from the outset every training always includes:

  • An explanation of what is required
  • An explanation of why it’s important, and
  • The opportunity for the employee to repeat back and confirm what is required and why.

We hope this helps you understand and deal with frustrating situations in your business.

We receive many phone calls from business leaders frustrated with their team’s performance, culture, and motivation. If you’d like to find more ways to deal with yours, call Andrew Masi or Julianne Schwenke on (02) 4933 6622. We’ll arrange a time for a complimentary chat with you to see how we can help.

 

 

 

The Top 5 Things You Need To Succeed In Business

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There …

Your current knowledge, goals, skills, experience and actions have created the business you have today. If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of your business, you need to change something to get a different result.

Albert Einstein is famously quoted as saying: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Author Marshall Goldsmith wrote an invaluable book, the title of which says it perfectly: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.

Trial and error is one way to improve – and making mistakes certainly can be our best teacher (provided we actually learn from our mistakes, and don’t make the same ones time and time again!). But a far more effective and faster approach is to learn from the mistakes and success of others.

One option is to find a business leader who has achieved success in the area of business in which you want to excel, assess what it is that makes them so successful, and implement that yourself. We call this modelling – observing the way another person behaves to get a certain result, and reproducing those actions to achieve similar outcomes.

Another option is to find a professional business mentor, advisor or coach whose sole purpose is to help business leaders succeed. They have learned from the success and failure of others, and can pass on that knowledge so you can fast-track your business success. Here are five reasons engaging a professional in this field will be valuable to you:

1. Knowledge and Education

Business coaches, advisors and educators package up the knowledge of countless authors, speakers, academics and business leaders to help their clients achieve greater success. Through their research, training and experience they teach proven methodologies that have worked successfully for other business leaders. They also know the pitfalls and can steer you clear of obstacles.

2. Direction

Every business leader needs clear direction. A good business mentor will help you establish, reconnect with, or expand yours, and keep you on track. You could think of them as your GPS! When you wander off track, they will steer you back to where you need to be.

3. An Outsider’s Perspective

When you’re busy working day to day inside your business, it’s hard to take a broader, objective view. Your advisor can help you see the bigger picture and give you an outsider’s perspective. They can provide this viewpoint with honesty – not telling you what you want to hear, but what you need to hear to get better results.

4. Accountability

Knowledge without application is worthless, and part of your mentor’s role can be to push you to get things done, in the right way and at the right time, and for the right objectives. They’ll also remind you why you set your goals in the first place, and the benefits of getting the work done.

5. Encouragement

There’s no doubt that business can be tough, which is also why it’s so rewarding. When things are challenging, your coach can reconnect you with your ‘why’ and remind you of your greater vision and purpose (while giving you the tools to continue on when things get tough).

While there’s no short cut to success, partnering with a business mentor, coach or consultant can help you achieve better business results more quickly and effectively.

We grow established businesses by coaching business leaders and their teams to success in areas including marketing, sales, customer service, team, systems, profit, and cashflow.

Want help to grow your business? Call Andrew Masi or Julianne Schwenke on (02) 4933 6622 today. We’ll arrange a time to meet to see how we can help.