Archive for employees

10 LEADERSHIP PRACTICES TO STOP TODAY by Paul Spiegelman

Posted in "10 Leadership Practices to Stop Today" by Paul Spiegelman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2012 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with hundreds of inspirational quotes, beautiful images, recommending reading, and my own personal and business blogs, at “Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO” you will find the writings and videos of those whose intention is to inspire, motivate and push us to think outside the box.

10 LEADERSHIP PRACTICES TO STOP TODAY by Paul Spiegelman

If you want to be the best in your industry, you have to get rid of your outdated management style.

You might not feel it day-to-day, but business management is in a major transition. The old days of command-and-control leadership are fading in favor of what might be better termed a trust-and-track method, in which people are not just told what to do, but why they are doing it. More formally, we’re moving from what was called “transactional” leadership to “transformative” leadership. And there’s no turning back.

Business owners certainly have a long way to go, especially in more established companies where old practices die hard. But you can see increasing evidence that by creating a company with a clear purpose and values, you’ll find your employees connect themselves to something bigger, and that increases productivity. In other words, a culture of engagement leads to greater customer loyalty, and better financial success.

Here’s my list of “old school” practices you ought to chuck, and “new school” practices to champion instead:

1. Out: Micro-management, or the need to control every aspect of your company. In: Empowerment, the ability to give your people some rope–even rope to make mistakes without blame.

2. Out: Management by walking around the office; it is no longer enough to be visible. In: Leadership by watching and listening, engaging in conversation, implementing the ideas presented to you, and distributing the results.

3. Out: Pretending you know everything. You don’t have all the answers, so why try to make people think you do? In: Knowing your leadership team members and trusting them. Choose great people who have the right skills and fit the culture. And get out of the way.

4. Out: No mistakes, or a “no tolerance policy” some still think works. In: Learning from mistakes, or being the first to admit an error.

5. Out: The balance sheet drives the business, and informs all other decisions. In: People drive the business, boosting customer loyalty, and profit.

6. Out: Job competency is sufficient. Do the job asked, and you’ll survive. In: Recruit “A” players who will go the extra mile. They’re out there.

7. Out: Invest in technology to increase productivity. In: Invest in people.

8. Out: Demand change; be very specific about what you want and when. In: Nurture change; your people can come up with the best ideas and you can give them credit for it.

9. Out: Fried food in the cafeteria. In: Wellness in the workplace.

10. Out: Incentives; pay employees more money and they’ll do more. In: Rewards; being valued matters more than money.

So ask yourself which of these out-of-date practices you’re still using. There’s no time like now to try something new.

– Paul Spiegelman is founder and CEO of BerylHealth, which manages patient interactions for hospitals, and co-founded the Small Giants Community with Inc. editor-at-large Bo Burlingham. Read more at PaulSpiegelman.com. @paulspiegelman

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Chief Operating Officer, Robert Finkelstein, or for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

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FIVE THINGS NEVER TO SAY AT WORK by Alan Axelrod, PhD

Posted in General Management with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2012 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with hundreds of inspirational quotes, beautiful images, recommending reading, and my own personal and business blogs, at “Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO” you will find the writings and videos of those whose intention is to inspire, motivate and push us to think outside the box.

FIVE THINGS NEVER TO SAY AT WORK by Alan Axelrod, PhD

A few poorly chosen words in the workplace can damage an employee’s reputation and cripple his/her career. Even smart, well-meaning employees sometimes say the wrong things. Among the thoughts never to voice at work…

1. “Looks like I’m working late again.” Employees often are eager to be seen as hard workers who put in long hours—particularly in tough economies such as this one, when layoffs seem to lurk around every corner. While showing up early and working late can indeed further your career, talking about doing so could hold you back. When you verbalize that you’re putting in long hours, you risk giving the impression that you’re complaining about your workload or that you’re struggling to get your work done. That might lead a boss to view you as ungrateful or as a potential burnout candidate. And it might dissuade your employer from seeing you as a candidate for promotion—if you’re struggling to keep up in your current job, how could you possibly handle more responsibility?

2. “I’ll get to it when I can.”
Avoid saying anything that might be interpreted as questioning an assignment’s importance—even if you don’t think it is a high priority. The project might be a higher priority for the person with whom you are speaking than you realize. Even if it isn’t, you risk giving the impression that you don’t take the assignment seriously.

3. “I can do it better alone.” Employees sometimes say things such as this in hopes of seeming self-sufficient or in hopes of avoiding working closely with a colleague they don’t like. But telling a boss that you work best alone can lead to a career-damaging “poor team player” reputation.

If you are assigned a teammate you simply cannot work with effectively, express your reservations in terms of the company’s goals, not personal feelings about this person. Example: Point out that this teammate has a lot on his plate already, and say that you would be happy to tackle this task alone if it would help the company.

4. “I did it.” Most workplace victories are team victories. Failing to share the credit with colleagues and underlings who contributed reduces the odds that they will work as hard for you in the future. That doesn’t mean you should give away all the credit or downplay your role—just that when you accept thanks, you also should mention and praise the specific roles played by others.

5. “The way I’ve always done it works just fine.” If you voice resistance to new ideas without giving them a shot, you risk being viewed as someone unwilling to embrace any change. From there, it’s only a short hop to being seen as obsolete and thus dispensable. Justifiably or not, older workers are particularly likely to be stuck with this label.

Instead, express enthusiasm for exploring new methods and technologies when they are suggested. Voice your doubts only after the idea has been attempted or at least analyzed in greater depth. As long as you initially express enthusiasm for a new idea, you later can question it without seeming hostile to change.

If you do later raise reservations, frame them in terms of specific company goals, not personal preferences. Example: “It’s an interesting approach that was worth exploring, but the results seem to suggest that it’s detracting from our department’s turnaround time.”

Source: Alan Axelrod, PhD, a leadership and communications consultant based in Atlanta who has worked with organizations ranging from Siemens AG to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Writing under the pseudonym Jack Griffin, he is author of How to Say It: Be Indispensable at Work (Prentice Hall).

– Alan Axelrod, PhD

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Chief Operating Officer, Robert Finkelstein, or for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

Great Ways to Save Money in Your Business (Part 1)

Posted in General Management, Ways to Save Money in Your Business with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

Saving moneyIf you own or manage a business, then you’ll want to follow this series of blogs very closely. Over the next week or so, I will provide lots of great thought-provoking ideas for saving thousands of dollars in your business by making smart strategic cuts and being more efficient. Some of these will also result in making more money. It’s a nice perk when you’re focusing on saving some.

The Team
The team
1. Keep the full time staff to a minimum. No one should have idle time.
2. Use temporary staffing for seasonal work or big projects. Shop around. Agency prices vary.
3. Hire virtual assistants that cost a fraction of the cost. They’re particularly great for the little jobs that take up your valuable time.
4. Explore services like http://www.Elance.com and http://www.123Employee.com for outsourcing work. Great service at a fraction of the traditional cost.
5. An intern or college student looking for school credit can be a great asset. Contact your local college or university for details.
6. Mentor or coach someone in trade for them doing some work for you. This can be a win-win.
7. Hire independent contractors when you need their expertise for a specific event or project. They can be costly in the short run, but cheaper than having someone on staff year-round who doesn’t have the expertise.
8. Look into employee leasing agencies. They can save you a ton on benefits.
9. Lower or eliminate salaries in lieu of greater earning potential with commissions. This works great for the sales team that’s driven.
10. Consider allowing responsible employees to work virtually. They’ll appreciate the time saved by not commuting and you’ll save money on office space.

Many more money saving ideas to come.

If you have any comments, please write them below. If you’re interested in a consultation or have questions, please email me at Robert@RobertFinkelstein.com.