Maximizing Peak Performance

Many companies have leaders who over manage and under lead.  However, successful companies understand how to lead their teams to maximize peak performance.  In other words, employees must be challenged to make creative contributions, and foster their abilities to solve problems.  How can leaders guide their teams to achieve maximum performance in the workplace?

Maximizing performance requires leaders to align employees based on their strengths. In essence, organizations must have the right people in the right seat. Leaders should take stock of their employees, understanding the talent on their team, and when necessary, reshuffle the deck to maximize talent. Don’t keep someone in a job role just because they’ve been there for a while.  If you think they are better suited for another role, reshuffle your deck.

Maximizing performance requires leaders to align employees according to their passion. Another part of getting people in the right seat, is finding out what they are passionate about, and finding ways to let them channel their passion.  This may mean putting an employee in a position where they don’t have much experience.  Knowing an individual’s work history, coupled with their passion, could be worth creating an opportunity, since passion typically fuels a strong desire for success.

Maximizing performance requires leaders to find a balance between overly challenging and realistic goals.  Leaders must understand the “balancing act” when setting goals. In other words, goals must be challenging enough to hold employees accountable, giving them something to strive towards, yet they cannot be so extensive that employees fall behind and feel they cannot achieve them.

Maximizing performance requires leaders to create an environment of trust.  One of the best things a leader can do is to let his/her employees know they are trusted to do their jobs. If you don’t trust your employees to perform, they need to be managed up or managed out.

Successful leaders offer a roadmap for building and maintaining teams that are efficient and impactful. Click here for more information on maximizing performance in the workplace.

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Leading Organizational Change

Communication is one of the toughest issues in an organization. Although you can never make everyone completely happy when managing change, research does provide some broad suggestions as to how to communicate in a way to facilitate effective change management.  What are some key communication strategies when leading change initiatives?

  1. Clearly communicate the vision, mission, and objectives of the change effort. In other words, help individuals understand the big picture and the impact it will have on them.
  1. Communicate consistently and frequently through various channels such as speaking, writing, training, focus groups, and intranets.
  1. Provide adequate time for individuals to ask questions, request clarification, and provide their input.
  1. Recognize that communication is a two-way process or conversation rather than a presentation. Leaders should spend some time creating a dialogue with those who will be impacted by the change.
  1. Help individuals understand the WHY behind the change. For example, what is the context, the purpose and the need for the change.
  1. Demonstrate proactive rather than reactive communication to prevent rumor mill conversations.
  1. Leaders should be available to employees when possible. Provide answers to questions only if you know the answer. Otherwise, be honest and say you don’t know but you will get back to them. Avoid being defensive and making excuses.
  1. Create formal and informal networking opportunities for employees to share ideas concerning the change. Hold forums and interactive workshops where employees can explore changes together.
  1. Communicate publically how the organization will chart progress, or measure the change effort.
  1. Publicize rewards and recognition for employees who demonstrate positive approaches to change. Celebrate the small successes.

You cannot over communicate when asking an organization to change. Click here for more information on leading change in the workplace.

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adminLeading Organizational Change
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Building Leaders in the Workplace

Although technical skills are important, they can only take an individual so far in career development. Since few people are born as leaders, and leadership skills are considered to be important traits which help individuals get on top on their career fields, organizations must provide the opportunities for employees to develop critical leadership skills. What are some key strategies for building effective leaders in the workplace?

Good leaders are able to foresee potential problems before they arise. Therefore, good leaders take initiative which allow them to foresee opportunities, and take advantage of them to benefit their company and employees.  For example, most bosses assign employees tasks as they prove themselves adept.  However, leaders don’t wait to until they are given more responsibility, but go above and beyond in their current position, taking on extra projects outside their job descriptions.

Second, good leaders listen effectively.  One of the most important leadership skills is listening. Individuals who do not practice good listening do not position themselves to get feedback from others and develop a sense of what their team members like and dislike about the projects they are working on. Effective listening requires one to maintain eye contact and avoid distractions which cause you to respond inappropriately.

Third, good leaders motivate others.  According to John Quincy Adams, “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” In other words, true leaders influence others for the good.  They help energize people, when they lose their ambitions and their passions. Good leaders motivate others by knowing what they need and want.  For example, if an individual is motivated by personal recognition, a good leader will offer the recognition they deserve.

Fourth, good leaders practice discipline.  A person can have a good idea, yet lack the discipline to carry it out.  In order to execute effectively, you must have discipline.  For example, you can have lots of ideas to create a business plan, but lack the discipline to ensure your presentation for presenting the plan is rehearsed.  Good leaders are self-disciplined and ensure those on their team are disciplined as well.

Regardless to where you are on the career ladder, more than likely you will be handed a leadership role and you will be expected to hit the ground running. Click here for more information on developing leaders in the workplace.

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adminBuilding Leaders in the Workplace
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Driving Business through Talent Management

Positioning talent as a key driver of business effectiveness requires organizations to move away from traditional job-based approaches of organizational design and management, and focus on competencies and capabilities needed to execute business strategies. Companies should analyze competencies based on the tasks and activities that the organization needs to execute, rather than the development of job descriptions. How can an organization develop an effective talent/business strategy which drives business results?

Driving business through talent, requires organizations to recognize that business has changed, and talent should be viewed as a company’s most important asset, focusing on the potential sources of the talent needed to implement business strategies. When analyzing talent, companies should consider multiple types of engagement relationships, as well as whether talent it is best developed internally, or recruited. Consideration should be given as to how the talent should be organized and managed.

Second, driving business through talent requires recognizing that talent availability and management must become a driver of strategy. In other words, leaders need to consider talent as a driver of strategy, not just a consideration once a strategy has been developed. Utilizing talent management as a strategic goal helps to streamline hiring and leadership succession processes within a company, from competency-based recruiting.

Third, driving business through talent management allows organizations to have the right people in the right job. Despite changes in the global economy, attrition remains a major concern. As a result, organizations that fail to retain their top talent are at risk of losing out to their competitors. Given today’s business environment, a number of options can be considered including gig talent, contract employees, and partnerships with other organizations that possess the type of talent and capabilities critical to getting a strategy implemented.

Successful organizations focus on the potential sources of talent needed to implement their business strategies. Click here for more information on managing talent in the workplace.

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Integrated Talent Systems

Since many companies under utilize their talent, integrated talent systems can help maximize talent, enabling businesses to increase innovation, and improve performance. To create a talent driven environment, organizations need to know the skills and competencies a person brings to the table when you hire them.

As the employee gains new skills and takes on additional training, their profile changes over time. To keep track, and make this information known to those who are making decisions, an integrated system is needed. What are some of the advantages of utilizing integrated talent management systems?

Integrated talent systems help organizations hire more strategically. For example, job descriptions, applicant tracking, pre-employment assessments, background checks, and drug testing ensure you are bringing high quality talent into your organization. When this information is integrated during the onboarding process, it reduces time-consuming data entry and avoids the opportunity for clerical errors.

Second, integrated talent systems gives companies the ability to share data seamlessly across programs and processes, to drive learning and development initiatives. In other words, information can flow across organizational lines, reaching the people who can use it in ways that best promote the organization’s goals.

Third, integrated talent systems help managers and employees participating in the talent management process know what is expected of them. This helps to not only preserve the workforce and keep them updated, organizations can preserve the knowledge which can be later used by other employees.

With talent being a key source of competitive advantage, having a complete picture of your employees is critical. Click here for more information on developing integrated talent systems in the workplace.

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Managing Teams in the Workplace

It takes great leaders to build great teams; leaders who are not afraid to establish standards of performance, and make difficult decisions when necessary. Since building strong teams require leaders to have a keen understanding of people and their strengths. Executives and managers must develop the ability to master the “art of people,” knowing how to maneuver people at the right time and the right place. How can leaders evaluate the sustainability of their teams, effectively impacting an organization?

Managing teams effectively depends on how well organizational leaders understand how to extract the gains teams provide. In other words, leaders must get to know their team members, and in the same manner hold themselves accountable for their actions, as you hold your team members accountable. Fully knowing your team means you have invested the time to understand how the members are wired to think, and understand what it takes to motivate each individual.

Second, be aware of how you work. Leaders must be extremely aware of their own leadership styles and techniques. As you consider how well you are accepted by your own team, evaluate yourself, being critical about where you can improve, especially in areas where you can benefit your team.

Third, give credit where credit is due. While part of leading a team is taking the fall when something goes wrong, you must also share in your team’s successes. Make sure successes trickle down to individuals in the trenches who are doing the work.

Fourth, monitor work. Although your team may be performing well, don’t fall asleep at the wheel. Make sure you are actively involved in the process and periodically check in to stay informed, and communicate with your team throughout the process. Research shows that employees are three times as likely to be engaged with their work, when they receive regular communication from their manager.

Managing teams in the workplace is not just about possessing leadership skills. Rather, it’s about recognizing the various personalities within a team, and utilizing those talents to facilitate the best outcome. Click here for more information on managing teams in the workplace.

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Managing Talent in the Workplace

In today’s complex society, organizations know they must have the best talent in order to compete. Companies should not only hire, develop and retain top talent, they must manage talent as a critical resource. Since many organizations lack sufficient talent and gaps exist from top executives to frontline managers, talent must be managed to the fullest effect.

According to research conducted by Development Dimensions International (DDI), and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), 55 percent of executive-level respondents said their firms performance was likely or very likely to suffer in the near future due to insufficient leadership talent. Jasmine Consulting products and services help organizations hire, develop and retain top talent, click here to get started….

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Managing Employee Resistance

One of the most challenging problems leaders incur in the workplace is employee resistance to change. Resistance can often take the form of reduction in output, requests for transfer, chronic conflict, or sullen hostility. When faced with resistance, many leaders attempt to “force” change upon employees. However, since most resistance is usually unnecessary, it can be managed when the right techniques are applied. How can leaders successfully manage employee resistance in the

First, leaders should strive to get employees involved, allowing them to participate in the change process. People are less likely to resist that which they are involved in, as resistance typically occurs when attitudes surface as a result of preoccupation with the technical aspects of new ideas.

Second, leaders must shift their attention from the facts of schedules, technical details, and work assignments and focus on the big picture. Organizations must communicate the need for change, the impact of change on employees, and the benefits of change.

Third, expect resistance to change and identify likely sources to resistance before you begin the process. All too often, leaders will reflect back on a project and say “we knew there would be some resistance,” yet nothing was done to alleviate the issues. In order to minimize objections, leaders must be proactive and specific about where resistance is likely to come from.

Fourth, identify the root causes of resistance. Managing resistance is ineffective when leaders simply focus on the symptoms. Although the symptoms of resistance are easily recognized, such as complaining, not attending meetings, or not providing requested information; focusing on the symptoms will not improve results. Leaders must not only understand HOW resistance is manifested, but WHY employees are resistant.

Finally, engage the “right” resistance leaders. If change is to be effective, organizations must involve senior leaders, middle managers, and frontline supervisors. In other words, to minimize resistance, the leadership must take action.

Resistance to change can be avoided when effective management techniques are utilized. Click here for more information on managing employees in the workplace.

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Sustaining Leaders in the Workplace

Leadership is a learned behavior that becomes unconscious over time. Successful leaders anticipate business patterns, making good decisions, regardless of the challenges they face. Since making poor leadership hiring and promotion decisions cost too much, what can organizations do to turn around their leadership team, end-poor hiring decisions, and position the right leaders to drive performance?

Successful companies increase their bottom-line by streamlining their processes and linking their leaders to their business objectives. Our products and services help you select and promote the best leaders. Click here to get started.

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Analyzing Employee Performance

When evaluating how to improve a business, one important consideration is the performance of your employees. A performance gap analysis is one method of determining where gaps exist in a company, and serves as a starting point for developing an action plan.  What key tasks are involved in analyzing performance, and what are the benefits?

One of the first tasks in performance gap analysis is creating a performance map which describes high performance individuals.  In other words, high performance requires a blueprint to compare the performance of employees. Comparing high performance employees against the performance of your employees can disclose the source of gaps in performance or sub-par performance.

A performance gap analysis can also help companies enhance their competitive standing in the market when compared with other companies.  In this case, the performance of your company is compared against a set of industry standards or benchmarks. These benchmarks should compare to companies that have achieved a large market share, or excellent profit levels.

Once the results of your performance gaps are determined, then a company can determine how the gaps will be addressed. A company can develop an action plan which may involve additional training for employees or staff members, purchasing new equipment, or making alterations in design or logistics.

Performance gap analysis helps a business identify how far it has come toward reaching its goals, and how far it needs to go to attain them. Click here for more information on developing employees in the workplace.

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