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Management Blog

Tips for Retaining Employees – Part 2

The other day we started to discuss a few of the things you can do, as a manager, to retain your good employees. Today I’d like to add 5 more tips to the list. Combine them all, using your own personal management style, and before you know it you’ll see your employee relationships improving.

  • Listen to your employees. Your team members, if you listen to them, have valuable ideas and most of them want to contribute to the process. Listen to what they have to say and make sure they know the lines of communication are always open.
  • Help them find opportunities for growth. No one wants to feel as though he or she is stuck in a dead end job for a lifetime and you, as a manager, can’t expect them to be happy in the same position forever. Help your employees identify opportunities for growth, both short-term and long. Employees working towards goals are always happier.
  • Encourage flexibility. I’m not saying you have to adjust their schedules every other day and make ridiculous concessions but you can find ways to encourage them to find balance between their work and persona lives without decreasing productivity. This means not being rude when they’re really sick or when they need to take care of their children.
  • Encourage personal wellness. Healthy employees are happy employees and stress is certainly not healthy. Surprise them with special breaks, give them gift certificates to their favorite restaurants or spas as an acknowledgment of their loyalty, or have a yoga instructor come in for a morning class. They’ll appreciate the break from the regular routine.
  • Finally, please remember to say THANK YOU to the people who work for you. Whether they’re permanent employees or independent contractors, everyone appreciates knowing you recognize, acknowledge, and appreciate the things they do. Nothing else you do will matter if you never utter those two simple words.

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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Tips for Retaining Employees – Part 1

As a manager you have a huge amount of repsonsibility when it comes to hiring and firing employees. You’ll do your best to hire the candidates you think are the best and you’ll have to document incidents in order to fire those who turn out to be not as great as they presented themselves. In the midst of all this, managers tend to forget one group of people – the good ones – the ones they should be working to retain.

A good employee isn’t one you can just leave alone, monitoring only when it comes time for the annual review or when you need to assign new work. Even good employees need attention and if they don’t get it, or feel appreciated, they might start to look elsewhere for work. Learn More

Are You a Leader?

I’m going to keep things short and sweet today but I’m going to ask you a hard question and I want you to think about it over the weekend.

Are you a leader?

In my experience, I’ve found that leaders do two main things – and two things only. They have the skill and determination to get things done and they have the ability to inspire and motivate those around them.

Do you get things done?

Do you motivate others?

Take some time to reflect on your performance over the past year. Did it feel like you were pulling teeth when working with your team members or were they glad to work with you? And – there’s a question right there – were they working for you or were they working with you?

So, are you really a leader? And, if not, will you become one this year?

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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Are You an Average Manager – or Excellent?

As a manager you shouldn’t strive to do the mininimum amount of work possible to get by each and every day. Your ultimate goal should be to become the absolute best manager you can be – not just a good manager but an excellent manager.

So what can you do to set yourself apart from the rest? Evaluate your performance to determine whether or not you’re adhering to the fundamental concepts of excellence. They are as follows:

  • Are you a results oriented person? Are you always looking towards the final outcome or are you merely interested in the here and the now?
  • Are you focused on your customers? They’re the backbone of your business. If you have no customer focus you’ll eventually lose all your business.
  • Do you manage your team based on your personal beliefs or do you stick to the facts and processes implemented by the company.
  • Are you constantly striving to improve yourself, taking continuing education courses to learn about innovative new ideas and technologies?
  • Do you have a sense of leadership and purpose?
  • Are you focused on developing your relationships with your partners, both internal and external?
  • Do you have a sense of corporate responsibility? Have you made your organization’s goals your own?

Take a step back and evaluate your own performance as a manager. There are things you can do to improve your performance. Are you ready to meet the challenge?

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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Learning about Behaviour Patterns

Every individual on your work team has a different personality. Each different personality type will have a different way of reacting to a situation. While it may be difficult to predict just how each individual you work with will behave on a regular basis you can learn about the four main behavioural categories. There are four categories, and four only, that each person’s behaviour will fall into at any given point in time. A person determines how he will act in only one of 4 ways, and rarely even knows the choice is occuring – it’s subconscious. The four categories are as follows:

  • Automatic
  • Back-up
  • Creative
  • New Capabilities

Automatic behavious are habits people have created throughout their lifetimes. They’re comfortable with them and rarely stray from their usual attitudes and actions. Everyone, on the other hand, has a back-up plan – a repertoire of behaviours we turn to when our normal behaviours aren’t compatible with a given situation. For example, the class clown will automatically adapt his behaviour in a serious business meeting or while attending a funeral. The creative personality isn’t as creative as you might think. It’s a person’s ability to adapt the behaviours he has already established, combining them in a different way for a unique result or pattern of actions. Finally, everyone has the ability to learn new behaviours, whether in a formal setting or subconsciously from being around others. Now that you know a little bit about the four categories of behaviour, and how one chooses his actions, can you look at each of your employees and pinpont which category each currently falls into? Are there things you should do to modify their current behaviours? And should you even bother? Thanks again, Sean Sean McPheat Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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Three Main Motivators

During your time working with your team members and employees you are going to find that some are more motivated than others. During those times when certain team members seem less motivated you are going to have to find ways to get them back on track. Before you can do so, it will help you to understand that there are three main types of motivation.

The first type of motivation is the promise of some type of reward. The reward may or may not be tangible (recognition, an extra few hours off, or financial). Regardless, people are sometimes more motivated when they believe they are working towards a goal. A paycheck, in this example, simply isn’t enough.

The next type of motivation is the fear of loss – or a fear of being punished if the job isn’t done. You may find that you have to pull a team member aside for a meeting or review in which you lay down an ultimatum – start getting your work done or you may lose your job. This is, of course, an extreme example but in the end those who fear they’ll lose out on any level at all (no bonus, no extra holiday) tend to stay motivated.

Finally, those who have a sense of responsibility or obligation tend to stay motivated. They feel as though they have a sense of duty. Some people can find a sense of responsibility on their own while others may need help finding their purpose. The point is that once they have a sense of purpose they’ll begin to work for and with it.

Are you and the members of your team motivated? If not, what can you to do give them a little push in the right direction?

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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Customer Service Goals and Promises

It takes time to develop a good team. As a manager you’ll find that once you have a team of great employees you’ll need to learn how to balance their skills. For example, some are better at building personal client relationships while others are better at doing the technical aspects of their jobs.

Once you develop a strong team you’re going to have to take a step back to look at the way your team members interact with your customers. From there, you’ll need to develop a strong customer service plan. A good customer service plan involves day to day interactions, retention, and future development but before you can dive into the details you need to work on something a bit more generalised – your main customer service promises.

My research has led me to four main promises every good customer service team should be able to keep. They are as follows:

  • A good customer service team has the ability to attract good customers – the kind they want- and win them over;
  • A good customer service team has the skills necessary to convince those customers to remain loyal and stay with them;
  • A good customer service team has a strong brand that emphasizes the value of good customer relationships; and
  • A good customer service team always has a positive attitude when it comes to client relationships.

How does your team rate when it comes to fulfilling these promises? Are you able to keep these promises or are there things you can or should change in order to build better relationships?

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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Exploring Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry is a newer term not many of you may be familiar with. It is, in short, the act of learning about and appreciating the values that those around us have to offer.

You’ve heard the phrase “find the best in others.” That’s exactly what appreciateive inquiry is about. In business, and as a manager, it’s your responsibility to work with people until you uncover their positive traits – the traits you and your team can use and appreciate.

According to Carol Wilson, there are four main stages when it comes to appreciative inquiry. They are:

  1. Discovery
  2. Dream
  3. Design
  4. Destiny

You start by discovering what you have – learning about what is working for your team right now and what could potentially change based on the traits and skills you have uncovered. You then take the time to think about (or dream up) the best possible outcome possible. After you have an idea, you have to design a plan that will bring those dreams to fruition. You then determine the destiny by figuring out exactly how your design can most naturally exist, combining both new and existing resources without upsetting the old systems.

You must evolve and emerge.

Appreciative inquiry isn’t about forcing change. It’s about learning about the traits, skills, and characteristics of your team members you didn’t realize existed and allowing them to evolve naturally into your processes – with a little encouragement, of course!

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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