Having quality performance conversations

Angela Anderson

Angela Anderson

Performance feedback is vital for employees as it provides information on what they are doing well and where they can improve. For new hires, it can assess their progress and ‘fit’ to the team and company culture, while for existing staff it can have a strong motivational effect and help to retain them in the organisation. Managers are responsible for providing feedback about an employee’s performance in accordance with organisational policy and frameworks, however often these conversations don’t go as planned or produce the desired results.

In some ways this is understandable, as these discussions might cover negative aspects, however feedback involving unfavourable information can be positive, if given tactfully and constructively. Its important that during these conversations feedback should also flow in the opposite direction – from employee to manager – so managers should be prepared for some surprises about themselves, whether it be in relation to workload, leadership style, or problems in the workplace.

A useful framework for having quality performance conversations is Perceptual Positions, a neuro-linguistic programming notion originally formulated by Grinder and DeLozier. These positions represent mental reference points from which you perceive things, collect and test information, and relate to what you experience. They can positively influence your ability to understand others and communicate effectively, particularly in feedback situations.

perceptual-positions

Whether manager or employee, you need to be able to act and use all three positions depending on the situation – which often means stepping beyond your comfort zone. Start with noticing the perceptual positions you’re already using and build your confidence to deliberately apply them further, as well as move between them in giving and receiving feedback. Recognise the importance of practice, and you’ll be well-placed to enhance your performance conversations and achieve the outcomes you’re seeking in the future.

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Jack Daly Says, “Do you have a culture by design or by default?”

AngelaNg

Angela Ng

Jack Daly is the real deal, a proven CEO and Entrepreneur, with 30 plus years of field proven experience from a starting base with CPA firm Arthur Andersen to the CEO level of several national companies, having built 6 companies into national firms, two of which he has subsequently sold to the Wall Street firms of Solomon Brothers and First Boston. I was privileged this week to have attended Jack Daly’s two-day workshop in Brisbane, on Building a World Class Sales Organisation and Winning Sales Strategies and one of the highlights I’d like to share is that to successfully grow a company is to have a solid and sustainable culture. Now, management is often told to build a great culture, but do they really understand what it means to do so? Firstly, ask yourself, do you have a culture by design or by default?”

Jack Daly clearly defines culture as the unique personality of your company – the people, the environment, the feel. Great companies build it with intention, because, as Jack Daly says: You can’t fake culture.” Culture does more to bring great people in, keep them there, keep them happy, and keep them working longer and more productively than any other factor. Jack Daly points out that to have a successful business you must create an environment where people WANT to go to work versus HAVE to go to work. One of the motto’s he shared at this workshop: Put the F word back in business. Make it FUN!”

Jack Daly rightly observes that many business leaders will design and articulate an ideal culture but never actually install the systems and processes needed to make sure it gets started and is upheld. He has put the keys to building an incredible culture into his book, Hyper Sale Growth: Street Proven Systems and Processes; How to Grow Quickly and Profitably, which I have purchased and read this week. An amazing book and would highly recommend it.

 Below are the four systems that Jack Daly says you will need to build a killer culture:

1. Systems for Recognition

Jack Daly explains that the people who work in your company should feel recognized and valued, from the very first day they start work. He suggests you should never start new people on a Monday, when things are unorganized and hectic. Instead, bring them in when things are humming and make their first day a day to remember. With your existing staff, small but regular gestures go a long way. Recognising milestones, achievements, and good efforts at any opportunity is sure to make someone feel valued and connected to the company. Recognition doesn’t need to be expensive, but it needs to be personal. Make sure you tie your rewards as best you can to desired actions. As Jack Daly says, You get the behavior you recognise and reward.” Imagine if today an outsider stood in front of your employees and asked, By a show of hands, how many of you are overly recognized? Put systems in place that ensure a full room of hands up. If you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, Jack Daly says: Recognize the people you work with directly and win their hearts.

2. Systems for Communication

Many companies get by, day after day, without building specific communication systems. But as companies grow, this approach results in people problems and systematic breakdowns. A top complaint employees make in HR surveys is I wish I knew more about what was going on.” Lack of consistent information breeds confusion, fear, and resentment. Jack Daly advocates establishment of some simple systems of communication between management and employees that will get everyone on the same page. Teams and departments should check in daily. There should be larger monthly, quarterly, and annual check-ins. Establish policy and practice where bad or difficult news is proactively brought to the table. Jack Daly preaches that the best policy is to shoot straight and don’t spin. Most importantly he points out that everyone must learn to listen: We’ve heard it often: two ears, one mouth, for a reason.” If you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, Jack Daly says: Shut down your inner voice and start being an active listener.”

3. Systems for Personal and Professional Development

Jack Daly says potential employees want to know why besides a paycheck they should come to work in your company and current employees need to know why should they stay. The best people see their careers as more than just salary and perks. They care about the overall experience they’re going to have while working each day. They want the opportunities for growth and development that can only be fostered in a growth-oriented work environment. Great employees want to become smarter and more productive in their careers. Their objectives are aligned with yours, so make the investment in them. Construct or pay for training that makes your employees better at their technical and people skills. Invest the time and money to cultivate your employees and you’ll end up with skilled and loyal management that will happily expand the company for decades. If you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, Jack Daly says: Discover the visions each of your employees have, and work to blaze a path for them.”

4.  Systems for Empowerment

Jack Daly explains how you can leverage the growth of your business by empowering your people. He stresses that a growing company needs active decision making by everyone, not just the CEO. But it’s not as simple as telling people to make decisions. If they don’t feel confident they have tools and authority, they will hold back and defer back up the ladder. Jack Daly says: To truly empower your employees, you must create an environment where people feel comfortable making decisions, as if they were the owner.” It’s hard to build this empowerment all at once. If your culture is clearly defined and aligned, your people will know what action to take. Every time you give over authority, your employees grow stronger. If they are rewarded for taking right action on their own, that behavior will expand. Put protective systems in place giving them the opportunity to fail safely so they can learn from error. If you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, Daly says: Give people power to succeed and fail on their own so they learn and grow.”

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Change Fatigue – What is it?

Change Fatigue – What is it?

By Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Is there such a thing as “change fatigue”? In my opinion, there most certainly is!!! It’s that sense of dread that comes when another change is just around the corner.

I understand change is an important part of organisational growth. But I don’t understand why it is continually managed so poorly, with such negative impacts on both staff and the business. The purpose of change is to ensure currency and competitiveness in the market, reduce costs, improve efficiencies and increase revenue, it is not to create stressed, burnt out and overwhelmed employees.

Leaders sometimes unfairly equate change fatigue to resistance to change. Not true. People like stability (we are human right… not robots), but we can quickly adapt to change, if it is introduced properly. Resistance is the push back often experienced because of the uncertainty the change may have, which can create unfounded fear. Successful change management and staff engagement can usually help, however unfortunately, many leaders fail to address this… jeopardizing organisational success. A stressed and unhappy workforce leads to lost productivity, lack of competiveness in the market, and ultimately a drop in the bottom line.

Change fatigue is the product of poor leadership. Leaders often fear they are missing some essential strategy, positioning or concept, often driving the implementation of change so that they don’t get left behind in the competitive world we operate in. While I understand the need for change, too much change can result in confusion, disorganisation and lack of competence. People become frustrated with the constant loss of productivity, the expense and effort of packing, moving, ordering new telephones or changing numbers, inducting and orientating new bosses, losing team members, gaining team members and living in a state of continual confusion.

I accept that change is constant, but I don’t accept that it cannot be managed better. This is the one of the key challenges for leaders, who must operate in a world of constant change. Our ability to respond to change, ultimately determines our success or otherwise, in a highly competitive market place. So it pays to take the time to get it right!!!

Are you feeling the change fatigue or want to know more about this space? Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The Queensland Election is Looming …

1D6A0555 Written by Kate Broadley

… And with this brings the impact of the caretaker conventions.

The Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman is yet to announce the date for the State election, but what we do know is that it will be sometime soon. By convention, the government will then enter caretaker mode until the result of the election is known and, if there is a change of government, until the new government is appointed. Of course the normal business of government will continue during the caretaker period, however major approvals and decision are normally deferred.

Eden Ritchie Executive Scribing and Report Writing Services offer independence from an external third party, transparency, reliability of the interview process and fast turnaround of recruitment and selection documentation to the highest standards. Given the election will be called soon… now is the time to act and finalise those outstanding selection processes!!!

Our services include:

  • Screening applicants
  • Shortlisting of applications
  • Scribing for interviews, shortlisting meetings and panel deliberations
  • Providing immediate professional advice where difficult issues arise
  • Development of selection tools including effective interview questions, benchmarks or work tests
  • Reference checks
  • Criminal history and medical checks

For more information, contact Kate Broadley on 3230 0018 or 0448 858 178 or email kate@edenritchie.com.au.

Remember to visit our website and follow Eden Ritchie on LinkedIn to stay up to date with more industry news, careers and Eden Ritchie events.

Flexible Work Practices = Maximum Productivity

By Kate Broadley

1D6A0555I find it ironic that today I am writing about flexible work practices as I sit in the parking lot waiting to collect my teenage boys from sporting commitments, with my computer on my lap and headphones to my ear!! Flexibility in the workplace is the secret to my success. It’s hard for me to ever imagine working again in a conventional office environment and quite frankly I would not have the same productivity without this flexibility!! So listen up you doubters!!!!

Really I have the best of both worlds. Some days are spent in the office, as I somewhat glamorously meet with clients and conduct meetings. While I do love my days in the office, as I get to dress up in high heels and snazzy corporate attire, the downside of my office days, is as a mum, the commute to work wastes so much time (although I have now mastered techniques to use this time wisely). Modern technology, particularly laptops and mobile phones has made it far easier to work anywhere and at any time of the day. That itself, is a whole other issue for another day!!

My life is a constant mesh of work and personal. This is my life and it’s a life that others desire, which is why I am surprised that flexible work practices still experience such resistance and has not been adopted more fully. Research shows it is one of the top five reasons people leave a company. I simply could not work without this flexibility and I am sure there are many others who do not work, as they are unable to find this flexibility in the workforce. Imagine the talent we could be missing out on!!

Flexibility results in improved employee attraction and retention, cost-savings and improved productivity. Work, like our personal life isn’t constant and the ability to have flexibility helps people stay happy and healthy.

A happy and healthy workforce equals productivity in my experience. What do you think?

Queensland’s Economic Growth through Innovation and Technology

1D6A0741An encouraging sign for IT professionals in Queensland is indicated by the recent release of GoDigitalQld – the Queensland Government’s Digital Economy Strategy and Action Plan. This roadmap, developed in conjunction with an independent consultancy, outlines ways forward to creating economic growth for Queensland communities, businesses and individuals alike. Queensland Government aims to work closely with other levels of Government, Business and Industry peak bodies to leverage opportunities, deliver better digital services and share information that will benefit all, including candidates in the job market seeking their next project, and clients seeking candidates with developing experience in emerging IT specialisations.

Demonstrated by the delivery of more than 50 new services online and with aims to reach 100 by the end of this year, we are already enjoying the “One-Stop Shop” initiative as consumers, which has resulted in reduction of red tape and time-saving for many, while the Government Wireless Network will deliver vital updates to improve multiple agency coordination by connecting thousands of police, ambulance, fire and emergency officers to the one secure digital network for the first time. In Health, we have started seeing better access to medical services via video link and pilot hospital constructions dedicated to innovation of services with Digital support enhancements. Tourism has received specific benefit from these initiatives reaching some of our far and wide destinations with ways to reach more visitors and promote our state. And for businesses, the Government will open up it’s data for public use with more than 800 datasets available on the Open Data Portal, which will help people use government data to create business opportunities and mobile applications.

With these offerings and innovations, we hope that we will see opportunities and growth in Queensland job markets continue as these strategies are embraced and delivered in our communities and businesses.

5 Tips for Staying on Track!

By Kate BroadleyKateFINAL

Whilst many people dread the people management side of business life, I have to say I really love it.  Okay, I don’t always love those tough conversations! But over time I have improved considerably in how I do this and really relish the opportunity to have a hand in helping people stay on track!

So here are my top five tips for staying on track!!

1.  Evolve or dissolve! In order to take your life to the next level you need to reinvent yourself.  So as you increase your knowledge and your own personal awareness, you must continue to evolve… change is constant and inevitable. It is the one thing that will never go away in your life!

2.  Support your colleagues. Hold one another accountable. Continue your group meetings with those people that you resonate with most. They will inspire you and help you grow.

3.  The fortune is in the follow through.  Even if it is only a small improvement each day, the change over a year will be phenomenal.  Be consistent, show resilience and your fortune lies ahead.

 4.  Find your own leadership style and embrace that.   See yourself positivelyremember if you see yourself in a negative light, then you will follow that direction in your body language, your communication and in your life.  Be mindful of your negative self-talk.  Make the choice to think a different way, it’s amazing the difference it can make.

5.  Be Courageous! Put strategies in place to move forward. Find and use mentors.  Think carefully about what you want from them and what you can contribute back to them. Remember it is a two-way relationship!!!

It is easy to lose focus on what really counts, so I personally try and follow these five key messages to keep me focused at work, on what really matters.