Tag Archives | management help

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

Do you still want a dream team of employees in your business?

Do you want a team of high-performing employees in your business? 

Have you got some star players, but a few stragglers bringing the team down? 

Do you want to stop “oiling the squeaky wheel” so you can spend time developing your key staff?

When you started out in business you dreamed of having a team of passionate people working with you to build the best business in your field. If you’re like most business leaders, sadly after a few years you’ve found the reality falls short of what you’d hoped for.

Some business owners resign themselves to the notion that having a great team just isn’t possible.

Better employees, better business

But we believe having a great team isn’t only possible, but a certainty when you implement the right systems and manage your team in an effective way.

The team you’ve got today is a result of the standards you’ve set until now. Are you ready to stop settling for second-rate performance from your staff?

To get a different outcome you’ll need to do different things. Are you ready to do what it takes to get your team to either step up or step out?

Follow our tips below to get them moving in the right direction …

Leadership, employees

How to create a high-performing team …

The first step is to ensure each team member knows what great performance looks like. You can ensure this by providing them with the following:

1. Team Culture Statement

Every team has a culture, whether it’s defined or not. Unfortunately sometimes it’s a toxic one! The behaviour you’ve settled for means that the original standards of performance you set may have slipped. As new employees join your business, they follow the ‘norm’ of how everyone else is behaving rather than performing at the level you’d like.

It’s important that you create a culture statement in your business that outlines expected behaviour. We call this the Rules of the Game.

Our culture statement includes our non-negotiable values, including excellence and fun. Each team meeting we assess how we’ve lived up to those standards, and how we’ve observed it in each other.

A culture statement isn’t merely a laminated piece of paper on your office wall, or a statement on your website! It must be the ingrained way of ‘how we do things around here’.

2. Position Descriptions

As your business has grown, you may not have taken the time to record what each person’s position involves. Even if someone has been doing a role for years, it’s essential that their duties and main areas of responsibility are visible to them and their team-mates. This avoids the notion that ‘someone should ….’ and lets everyone know who is responsible for what.

As well as a position description, an updated organisation chart should be provided to each employee so they can clearly see where their role fits within the business, and their reporting lines.

3. Key Performance Indicators

In addition to knowing the rules of the game, key responsibilities and where they fit in the organisation, it’s essential that employees know how and when how they will be assessed on their performance.

A document outlining key performance indicators for their role should be provided to each employee and reviewed at regular intervals.

KPIs should include not only the technical aspects of their role, but also categories such as customer service, admin and systems, WHS, and team membership.

Most business owners hire for skills but fire for behaviour. Have you ever employed a brilliant technician who despite their great technical skills was terrible at customer service, who your other team members didn’t like, or who rarely completed time sheets or followed systems?

Ensuring each team member knows the expectation of them in each of these categories means that you can manage them up or out based on any area of their performance.

Download our e-book “How To Get A Great Team Culture: Bringing Out The Best In Your Team” 

Leadership, teamwork, employees

 

Keeping standards high
How to ensure they stay on track

When you set guidelines for your team by providing a team culture statement, position descriptions and KPIs, you’ll find that your team members either rise to the challenge or deselect themselves.

It’s not unusual for a few changes to occur in your team when standards are raised and enforced.

This is a positive step forward, as now you can recruit new people who will perform from the outset according to your high standards and expectations.

To ensure continued excellence, you can then:

  • Maintain standards using regular communication
  • Give feedback to adjust or encourage performance
  • Coach your team members to improve their performance, and
  • Delegate effectively to grow your employees’ abilities.

Find out how by downloading our e-book: The 4 Essential Habits of Effective Managers.

 

Is It Time To Get The Employees You Deserve?
Yellow Coaching will help
Yellow Coaching assists established businesses and organisations of every size to improve their team culture, business efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability.

We do this through business coaching, executive mentoring, team training, and workshops for owners and staff at all levels within organisations.

We’ve helped hundreds of businesses improve their profitability, provide outstanding customer service, and get happier and more productive employees.

Want to take your business from good to great? Get in touch to see if you’re eligible for a free 90 minute consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Andrew Masi & Julianne Schwenke

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.

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.