Some Very Tangible Intangibles!

OK, let’s pretend the nearly 275% increase in profit that we just looked at doesn’t make a strong enough case for being intentional about focusing on ongoing professional development… I mean those particular numbers were only based on the study referenced by the Association for Training and Development, showing the impact on revenue per employee and overall profitability. But other areas of a business can ongoing professional development impact?

Over the last two decades, I've taken part in the orientation process with more new employees at the various companies I’ve worked with than I can count. It’s pretty exciting when hiring happens because the company is growing, but it’s far less of a thrill when the push is to fill the spots of people who leave the company voluntarily. And more often than not, this is a significant cost that’s not tracked all that effectively - with regards to the direct costs of recruiting or the total indirect...

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Communication Skills in the Workplace

We closed the loop on Why is Effective Communication Important? by looking at how quickly we can see the results show up with the team members around us. It’s rare for me and Cindy to have a conversation about the importance of effective communication with any of the business leaders we support and not reference the Salesforce.com study citing that “86% of the executives surveyed attributed lack of collaboration and ineffective communication as the primary reasons for workplace failure.” Couple that with the detail shared by the Harvard Business Review showing that an engaged employee contributes up to 57% additional discretionary effort yielding as much as 20% great individual performance and the reasons for building strong communication skills into an organization’s culture becomes far more than just a neat idea… Developing communication skills in the workplace rapidly turns into one of those things that can’t happen soon enough! 

Before I...

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Effective Communication Skills

Effective Communication Skills is a frequently searched phrase on Google. But why? What’s the big deal? Shouldn’t this be simple to address?

I frequently reference a study done by Salesforce.com that showed “86% of the executives they surveyed cited lack of collaboration and ineffective communication as the primary reason for workplace failure.” That seems like a big deal to me! I read another study done by SIS International Research showing that “the cumulative cost of annual productivity losses due to communication issues alone were more than $26,000 per employee.”

If this were indeed something simple to address, would these numbers really be so high? At the risk of confirming any suspicion you may have about how dense I actually am, I’m going out on a limb here and suggesting that it’s extremely simple - and that’s why so many individuals and organizations struggle mightily with it!

I began learning carpentry when I was around...

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Action Speaks Louder Than Words!

When we’re truly interested in learning how to improve the recruiting process in our organization, we need to be willing to commit to taking action quickly with potential candidates. If we prove unresponsive from the very beginning, some of the best potential team members may quickly get the impression that this is what they can expect even after they join the company. When we paint a great picture of all the opportunities we can provide but don’t back it with the action to match, all our effort crafting that message can be lost.

Before we go deeper into that though, let’s circle back to something from the last post. I mentioned how smaller companies often need team members to develop quickly since each person represents a larger percentage of the total. This can have a significant impact on career growth and retention, and ties very closely with improving the recruiting process. But when the management team in a bigger organization really accepts leadership...

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Offering More Than The Competition!

I floated several different ideas for the title of this post by Cindy before landing on “Offering More Than The Competition”... She shot them all down! She said they were each accurate but would likely send the wrong message. As I was studying some material on The Model of Human Behavior yesterday, I read something from Dr. Robert Rohm stating “It takes a good C type personality to complete the loose ends of a D.” And thank God I have one…

Since I ended up going with a more appropriate title, rather than something that would have toed the line a bit, let’s jump straight to the main course. We looked at the importance of telling the right story in the last post, That matters! But we still need to make sure we can provide them with something more tangible to get them in the door!

Those of us who are blessed to live in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia may not always realize how great our job market has historically been. In addition to many great...

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A Good Name is Better Than...

As we’ve worked through some recruitment and retention strategies, we’ve really dug into the importance of creating an atmosphere the best people rarely choose to leave and we’ve looked at how that has a direct impact on getting them engaged in the recruitment process. When we do that over a long enough period of time, momentum begins to kick in! By that time, someone on the outside looking in could easily believe the entire cycle simply fell into place…

In reality though, being intentional about investing the proper time, energy, and resources into developing our existing team members and building up the new ones that come onboard, all while showing genuine appreciation for what each individual contributes, can be incredibly hard! While I could certainly argue that doing this requires significantly less cumulative effort and yields vastly better results than continuously filling a revolving door with candidates, each single action is always more difficult...

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Another Way Employee Retention Impacts Recruiting

Once we’ve invested the time and energy into building a culture that our best team members are proud to be a part of and rarely choose to leave, the costs we incur in the recruiting process drops just because we’re not constantly chasing another warm body to fill a hole. But this is also when we start seeing something else that has a tremendous impact on the effort we have to put into our recruiting process!

When we’ve built a culture that team members buy into, we show them genuine appreciation for what they contribute, and we provide them with competitive wages for the service they deliver, they’re almost always excited to share that story with the best people they know. Think about it, how many times have you been with a friend you respect and heard them share some sort of frustration about the organization they’re working for? Isn’t it natural to want to help them out if we can, especially if we know they’re a good person with a strong...

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Stop the Downward Spiral

As we started looking at the importance of employee retention, I referenced something I found in a Harvard Business Review article stating “Increased commitment (the actively engaged team members) can lead to a 57% improvement in discretionary effort—that is, employees’ willingness to exceed duty’s call. That greater effort produces, on average, a 20% individual performance improvement and an 87% reduction in the desire to pull up stakes.” We followed that in the next post by looking at some of the costs on the opposite end of the spectrum; primarily associated with the time it takes to get a new team member up to speed. But what other issues are we exposed to between those two distant points?

While our actively engaged employees are far less likely to leave and they’re typically quite a bit more productive, the folks who are neither actively engaged or actively disengaged, as well as those who really are actively disengaged, don’t share...

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The Importance of Employee Retention

I saw an article recently titled “Nearly a third of workers don’t want to ever return to the office.” Fortune.com shared this particular title but I’ve seen several others from SHRM and multiple legitimate websites… The issues we’ve all faced over the last year have forced nearly every business to consider some significant changes in how it operates. I’ve also heard a number of business owners, staffing professionals, and even front line employees comment on how much government subsidies that have been handed out to individual claiming to not have work available, which have gone largely unchecked the entire time, are making it even harder to get the personnel the need to actually show up to work.

Interestingly enough, the incentives for individuals to avoid reporting back to work never seem to be mentioned in any of the articles about how many people don’t want to return. I’ve also found it odd that none of the articles...

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Empowered To Accomplish The Mission

Think back to the mission statement I shared as I opened the last post; “Delivering customer satisfaction with empowered employees using continuous improvement to get it right the first time, every time.” The piece about empowered employees sounds warm and fuzzy, but what does that really look like? What would that really require?

We hear the word empower quite often these days. As with how frequently the term leadership is tossed around in describing anyone with a title or position, regardless of whether or not they actually do anything at all that truly leads anyone, many of those folks in those roles talk about empowering their people but I’m not sure that happens all that frequently…

A quick internet search shows me that empower, a verb, is defined as “to give (someone) the authority or power to do something.” 

While simple, I believe that action can have amazing results in earning our team members’ buy-in on the mission our...

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