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Are you the Manager or Leader that is struggling to deal with Lazy staff? Do you avoid dealing with lazy staff? Or maybe you know someone who does?   Motivating staff can be a challenge, it’s a real skill to get people to do the work you want them to do and to the standard you require.  Here’s some helpful tips to get this crucial bit of leadership right.  

What’s the secret to getting people to do what you want them to do and to the standard you require? But also for everyone to remain happy and motivated (including you!)?

This aspect of managing and leading is the most ‘prickly’ part of being a leader.  It’s great telling people when they have done a great job!  It’s a wonderful feeling to know that things have gone well. However many leaders and managers dread having to go back to a member of staff and talk about work that has not gone well, or that hasn’t been done at all. Some avoid it all together!

That won’t help the organisation reach its goals!!

And that’s where it all begins.  It’s about clarity of objectives.  In any organisation the most important piece of communication is to let everyone know what the company is trying to achieve.  Where is the company vision statement and where are the company objectives?  These need to be highly visible, clear and understood.  Everyone needs to know what their responsibilities are and how they are moving the company forward towards achieving the goal that has been set. They need to understand their part in achieving this.  I have been to many organisations where people don’t know what it is the company wants to achieve, so how can they play their part in making sure it happens?

Let’s face it.  Every single activity that everyone does in an organisation must either directly or indirectly move the company towards its goals.  If it doesn’t then what is that activity for?  To occupy time?

This is where job roles and job descriptions come in.  Everyone should have a clear job description which sets out their part in moving the company towards its goal.  For an employee this is an excellent reference point for what they should be doing – and what they will be measured against. It is also an excellent reference point for the leader or manager to use when helping people to do what they should be doing and to the standard they should be doing it!  Without this framework it’s very hard to manage a person’s performance.  The job description should clearly state what they are responsible for and the standard to which they must work.  How well should they do this activity?  How will it be measured?  How will the employee and manager or leader know when the work has been done well? 

Many organisations have never thought to tell their employees how well to work!  Some of them don’t clearly tell people what they should be doing either!  Then it’s REALLY hard to discuss it with them! 

Where are the clear objectives, responsibilities and activities written down for employees to refer to?  What and where are the performance standards?  How will an employee know whether they have done a good job or not? Who is telling them (feeding back regularly?)

When someone is showing signs of not doing their work properly or not doing enough work then this needs action. (Maybe being a bit lazy perhaps?) It is very important to notice that most human beings love to come to work to do a good job. (It’s true, honest!)  They have an inbuilt framework which requires them to work towards some quite sophisticated levels of need.  Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was written in the 1950s, based on some fairly flawed research however it is very helpful when thinking about why employees work hard.  (Check it out here if you are not familiar with this http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html)

It’s not always about the money!

Most people work towards getting that sensation of satisfaction of knowing they have done well, been approved of, been accepted, achieved something worthwhile and of value.  They need to feel a sense of worth.  Employers need to be sure to enable people to reach this.

There a few people for whom this is not true.  But it is rare.

Here’s the important part.  People need feedback.  They need to be able to be sure that they are doing well.  They need to know how to do well and if they are not managing that. They can’t get a sense of worth without feedback or without knowing how to improve. That’s the manager’s job. 

It’s all about the feedback!! This is one of the single most important skills a manager or leader can get good at.

When someone has not done the work to the right standard or not enough of it, there needs to be a considered investigation.  It needs the leader or manager to listen carefully.  To ask good questions about this piece of performance.  It’s about the performance, not the individual.

On the understanding that nearly every single person comes to work to go home at the end of the day knowing they feel good about themselves because they have done a good job, then by helping people to do a better job is a win : win situation.  

Leaders need to firstly think carefully about how easy they have made it for employees to understand the connection between what the organisation wants overall and what they do as a part of that. They then need to clearly communicate what this work is and how well to do it- and how it will be measured. 

In a nutshell leaders and managers need to be able to give feedback which will help that employee find a way to feel good about themselves.

Here are some tips:

·         Investigate - ask questions - listen when looking at performance

·         Remember it is about the performance, not the person, so deal with facts, not feelings

·         Timing is crucial – use your skill to judge when a good time is (not just before home time)

·         Location  is important - in private is best

·         Let the employee own the solution – what will they do to change the situation?

·         Be open to learning about their work

·         Accept feedback too.

·         Make notes and set a review

This topic of learning to provide excellent feedback to move people forward is a huge area and is often handled badly.

Look out for my forthcoming video masterclass. Which will delve into this in much more detail.  Coming soon! 

 

If you would like to discuss this or any other leadership topics please get in touch via:

Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or

Call: 07545217966

Many models of effectiveness fade in and out of popularity.  Here’s one which has stood the test of time.  Could looking at this improve your business’s performance?

One of the models I use extensively in Business Coaching is the McKinsey 7-S Framework.  Sometimes this is called the cultural web as none of the elements is totally independent of the others. It was devised in the ‘80s Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, two consultants working at the McKinsey & Company consulting firm.  It comprises of seven elements which all need to be in alignment.  It’s a great starting point when looking to improve performance.

What are the seven elements of this framework?

1.    Strategy - what the company has planned to do to achieve its goals, often written as a Business Plan. Who knows about this and how relevant is it today?

2.    Structure – the way the work is organised and divided up.  Usually this is described in an organisational chart – but is it fit for purpose as the business changes and grows?

3.    Systems – the processes that exist to ensure that the flow of work runs smoothly. Many businesses suffer from the ‘we’ve always done it like this’ syndrome. Who is checking that these systems are still effective and fit for purpose?

4.    Staff are the right people in the right jobs?

5.    Skills – a review of the right skills and competencies for the business as it moves forward.  Any new skills required?

6.    Style – what leadership style is used and does this fit with the needs of the business?

7.    Shared Values – what are the core values of the business and are these demonstrated by all staff? Do the staff know what these are? 

Hard or Soft?

The ‘hard’ elements are numbers 1 to 3; strategy, structure and systems. They are easier to define or identify and management can directly influence them

"Soft" elements, on the other hand, can be more difficult to describe, and are less tangible and more influenced by culture. However, these soft elements are as important as the hard elements if the organisation is going to be successful.

How this Framework Helps.

If your business is undergoing change (and when wouldn’t that happen?  It’s the most constant thing in business!) You can analyse the current situation and identify where there is alignment and where there is not.  If there is incongruence you cannot have peak performance. So finding the gaps or the ‘out – of – sink’ features is helpful. 

If you are going forward to a new position with the business you can use the framework to outline where each element needs to be for alignment to be at its best.   

You can use the frame work to compare where each of the seven elements are now and where they need to be in the future. If you would like to work through this with me for peak performance in your business please call me to book your free 90 minute 1:1 consultation. 07545217966 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

 

How does checking your pulse help you to be a successful leader?

 

Business leaders can take a leaf from some of the habits of diabetics.  They check their blood sugar level regularly.  Why should a leader check his or her pulse throughout the day? Find out how this small step can increase your effectiveness…..

One of my favourite leadership gurus is Dr Tom Barrett.  His book Real Leadership in Real-Time has been a huge boost to many of my clients working to become successful leaders.  One idea from this great books is that checking your pulse will improve your leadership. 

Checking your pulse seems like an odd thing to do in a busy day.  However this small addition to your daily routine could bring about a dramatic impact.  By doing this you will have learned to pay attention to your own “state of being”. 

Throughout the day our energy fluctuates. Sometimes our personal ‘stuff’ gets brought into the work we do.  This can affect the way we see things, people and the world!  Here’s what Dr Tom says about a bad day:

“It’s OK to have a bad day. It’s not OK to manage a bad day badly.”

We may think that we can keep the personal stuff out of pour working day.  Even with our best efforts there may be times when it seeps through!  Our posture can give it away all too easily.  How many off us take time to check our posture? Facial expressions? Gestures? Volume and tone of our voice?

Usually it is the case that a family member, PA or close colleague know what our pulse is doing before we do!

By learning to pay attention to this you can take action to manage its impact. The first step is to know your current disposition.  This is the easiest part.  How do you feel? Good?  Like you have superpowers? Ready to embrace the challenges of the day?  Or do you feel low? Are you ready to fight the day head on? What if there is a lot of slow traffic on your way to work?  How do you feel about it?  Is it a chance to sing-along to the radio or does steam burst out of your ears?  By noticing this regularly you can then move to step two to manage the impact.

Step two is the link between your disposition and your level of cautiousness.  Watch out!  The better your disposition, the less likely you are to be cautious!  This can lead to some dodgy decisions! The wise leader understands his or her disposition and the link to how to get the correct level of caution. (Note that if your disposition is low then you can switch into being overly cautious and miss out on great opportunities.)

Finally there is the skill of understanding the cause of your disposition. Just knowing how you feel (or what your pulse is like) is not enough.  It is much more helpful to know why it is so.    

Low disposition or mood can be caused by so many factors.  Being unwell, having had a row with a loved one, pressure from finances, deadlines, etc, etc are just a few that come to mind.  Linking back to why you feel ‘off’ can help with managing how to overcome the limits it create to your effectiveness.  Having a brief moment to notice this and taking responsibility gives you back control.

Great leaders often possess the following superb skills. They are:

·         Quick-minded

·         Authoritative

·         Articulate

All great.  However when a small drop of emotion sneaks in, such as anger for example,  and we lose awareness of our state of being, we can easily develop a potent cocktail of what Dr Tom calls ‘lethal liabilities’.  Right here is when we should check our pulse.  Raise awareness and take responsibility. Try it and see what difference it makes. 

We have only just touched the surface of what makes a person a great leader. 

If you would like to find out more please contact Rachel on 07545217966 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How a love affair can make the difference to your business success?

There are many factors which lead to success in business. Being unique, being first, being the best.  Hard-nosed business people can sometimes miss a trick.  Feeling love can make a huge impact. It’s all about relationships….

No matter what your business is, what you do within it, every day offers you an opportunity to show the world something special.  You have the chance to leave people with an experience of you that can make a difference for ever.

Your ‘work’, when in business, is to build relationships.  Nothing happens in business without them.  They are the cornerstone of everything else that occurs. It’s all about showing people love.

The love you have for your particular area, be that a specific skill, product, process or design, should shine through all your activities and most importantly in the way that you connect with people

No employee will work at their best if they can’t feel that connection.  (I must point out here that I’m not recommending that you form inappropriate relationships with employees! Not that sort of love!!!) I am talking about the love for what you do, for what they do, for what you can build together.

Your clients/customers will want to feel loved and to experience responding with a love for everything they gain buy spending money with you.  If they are sincerely, truly appreciated for what they bring to your success then they will do that more often and tell everyone about it.

Humans need love. It’s fundamental. Business boils down to relationships and communication.

Become superior at showing love and see how this impacts on your business.  It must be based in truth.   Don’t be a pretender.  There’s nothing worse than a fake. But find the love in you and show it to the world and see how this helps your business grow.

If you want to that connection back with why you started your business and the pure joy it can bring you to be successful working on it then please call to book your free 90 minutes 1:1 session.  Restart that love affair with your business urgently!

What’s the secret ingredient to successful business planning?

Business planning is a term banded about by business people.  Where do you start? What makes it really successful?  What is at the heart of it?  Why is it so important?

 

When working with business owners I am often asked about how to make things happen and move the business forward with a plan.  As I have mentioned before the key is having absolute clarity about what you want your business to bring you, i.e. knowing what you want.  (As Stephen Covey says, “Start with the end in mind”). From this point you can work backwards to what you need to do today.

How you work this out and how you move towards what you want is based on many factors. To help with this I like to use the Directional Pyramid.  It is a technique I often use when I start work with my clients. Let me talk you through it now. 

Firstly I start by drawing a fairly large triangle on an A4 page. I divide the triangle up into chunks by drawing 5 horizontal lines across it as seen in the photo.

At the top I explain that in order to get what we want from our businesses we must know what that is!  Spending time identifying exactly what you want your business to bring you in the future is crucial.  I often get people to describe where they want to be by a particular date.  What will it look like, feel like, sound like, smell like and sound like?  What will you be saying? What will others say about you and your business?  Then I ask them to draw this as a picture.  It uses a different part of the brain and releases more creativity.  It’s about visualising the end point.  When you can see it, you can move towards it. I’m asking the business owner, you, for your VISION.  The place in the future which is better than now.  I don’t know anyone who deliberately plans to go somewhere in the future that is worse than the here and now!  The clue is in the word ‘Vision’.  You’ve got to be able to see it.

Under the Vision is the Mission.  The journey.  The ‘How’ you will get there.  It’s a short, sharp, punchy statement of the way you will get to this place.  For instance, RyanAir does this by cutting costs.  What will you do to reach your Vision? How will you get there?  (Mine is by making other businesses see how they can grow by making the decision-makers the most effective they can be!).  So the Vision is the ‘place’ in the future and the Mission is the ‘how’ you will get there.

Under this is the Purpose.  Why does your business exist?  If you were a stick of rock and I cut off your head, what would be running through the core of you as a statement? Back to RyanAir- they exist to make a profit by enabling as many people travel as cheaply as possible.  What’s running through your business core?

Most importantly of all, at the heart of all this, are your Values. (This is the secret ingredient!!) By living by your true Values you will have congruence (alignment).  You will develop a set of behaviours by which you stand and define yourself.  You must be true to your Values to offer sincerity, consistency, trust, and a code of conduct that your customers, staff and other stakeholders will align themselves with if they share the same values.  Without knowing what they are, how can you deliver these crucial aspects?  Without living by them, how can you have congruence? (And, subsequently, without congruence it is hard to have happiness, and without this, it is hard to have success).

Your Values define you and your business.  They tell you how to make decisions.  They guide you when making relationships. Building a Business is all about building relationships, after all.  Your Values tell you what is a priority.  From this you can identify your Objectives.

Hang on a minute.  At this point I must mention your brand.  Your Values will form part of your own personal brand, plus this will be the foundation of how you develop your business identity in your market place.  It is that important.  Dwell on your Values and make them part of your business planning.   

From your Values you can work out your priorities and this forms the basis of the Objectives you will set yourself.  This drives your Purpose.  Your Purpose drives your Mission and by driving this forward you will reach your Vision.    

Having a clear and shared set of Values you will be able to set the right Objectives to move everyone in your organisation forward towards the Vision. Once you know this you can identify the daily Activities you need to carry out to ensure that the Objectives are met. From there it all should fall into place, (with the correct level of accountability, reviewing and remedial action of course!)

That’s the secret to successful business planning. 

 

If you want to work on this at one of my free Business Planning Focus days either February 12th or 27th (am or pm) please email mail me today. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.