Employee Recognition – Key to Improving Performance and Morale

Strategy Plan One

August 14, 2012

Employee Recognition and Feedback

Gathering feedback from staff and customers is essential to moving forward with your continuous improvement processes.  It is always best to seek internal and external objective input into your business operations.  However, in certain business environments, management and employees may not necessarily be connected, leading to a lack of feedback and recognition.

Here, in this infographic from Rypple, statistics and impacts of management-employee communications highlight:

  • 65% feel they don’t receive enough feedback in the workplace 
  • 34% of managers want to engage staff and provide more feedback
  • The larger the company and the higher the status of the executive, the feedback gap widens
  •  Veteran managers want to provide more input to staff

Key messages on feedback and recognition:

  • Feedback and recognition improves morale, less costly mechanisms to achieve performance improvements
  • Employees are more engaged in operations, the business and objectives when recognized by management for their efforts

employee recognition and feedback

Source: Rypple

It is clear that there is a correlation between constructive management feedback and employee job satisfaction, performance and morale.  It’s in your best interest to ensure you implement strong feedback mechanisms and employee-management performance appraisals to help build capacities in your organization.

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High Performance – Star Qualities to Get You Noticed

Strategy Plan One

July 18, 2012

high performanceHigh Performance

Whether you are an employee in the private or public sector, or into self-employment, you need to set yourself apart from the pack.  To make a significant impact on your organization or industry, there are things you can do to achieve high performance.  Possessing and demonstrating qualities will ensure you stand out from the competition, internally and externally.

 

 

 

For the most part, personalities get noticed, but other characteristics and qualities gained through experience can make you shine through.  Your qualities can assist in your performance, but can also rub off also in the higher performance of employees, teams and business itself around you.

High Performance Qualities and Tips

Here are some qualities and tips to performing at a high level and getting noticed:

  • Demonstrate excellence in everything you do, strive for excellence and encourage all to achieve excellence
  • Set aggressive, achievable goals and demonstrate dedication by hitting them
  • Seek and implement continuous improvements for yourself, for your team, for your business
  • Be genuine, truthful, honest, respectful and fair; uphold strong values and ethics and treat others as you would want to be treated
  • Create an open and transparent environment around you; staff, stakeholders and customers will want to go to as you have gained levels of trust
  • Keep emotions in check
  • Be consistent in your responses, decisions, and in your daily work
  • Be an example of collaboration, partnership building, encouraging team effort
  • Rely on other’s expertise; be noticed for calling upon others for their value-added advice, opinions and recommendations
  • Value everyone’s input and feedback
  • Lead by example
  • Be energetic, enthusiastic, creative and innovative
  • Be loyal to colleagues, staff, customers
  • Hit and make the deadlines, be on time

More on personal and business development:

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Strategies to Improve Performance in your Personal Life and Business

Strategy Plan One

April 9, 2012 

improve performanceImprove Performance

One should never be fully satisfied that they have reached their performance peak, that no further improvements to any aspect would be necessary.  With rapidly changing environments, entrepreneurs and successful professionals must constantly seek methods to improve, on a personal and business level.

 

To stay on top on the cutting edge, innovative level, you will need to engage in a systematic process of continuous improvement.

Determine your Performance Goals

There should always be a purpose behind a strategy, plan, or movement to improve performance.  You need to determine why you need or want to improve performance.  This purpose will set the stage to improve performance.  Performance goals can help guide you to an end point, assisting you to keep focused on the objective to improve performance.  Every professional and entrepreneur has differing performance goals, and differing levels to reach.

Ensure that you identify a strong performance goal, that is measurable and linked to a time frame (i.e. :  Personal goal of achieving 5% more income by the end of 8 months, or Business goal of achieving 12% return on marketing investment through the first quarter marketing campaign).

improve performanceIdentification of Performance Issues

To get to the root of all performance issues, one must start with an objective analysis of either your personal or business situation.  Shake that notion that you haven’t been doing anything wrong or could not have been doing anything wrong.

 

You will need to take a serious look at any deficiencies around your professional life and in your organization.  Step two is digging deep and really identifying the issues that create barriers to achieve the next step or improved performance.

Example of personal and business challenges and barriers may include:

  • Financial limitations
  • Time constraints
  • Organization issues
  • Educational or professional limitations
  • Health and wellness, and work-life balance
  • Balancing family responsibilities
  • Location and connectedness
  • Access to resources

Whatever the issue or challenge is, ensure that you objectively list them out as you will be seeking genuine resolution to improve performance.

Pathways to Improve Performance

Once issues have been identified to improve performance, you will need to develop some options to resolve performance issues.  Breakdown larger issues and barriers into micro issues and establish a plan with milestone goals along the way.  Similar to business planning, your personal improvement plan will be your blueprint to improve performance.

If it seems like you have many issues and barriers, don’t be overwhelmed by the overall picture.  Feel assured you can improve performance by breaking the plan down into smaller performance goals and solutions.  The example of personal performance of increasing income by 10% may involve many complex issues.  Break it down into what can be achieved on a micro-step, daily basis.  As part of a detailed plan, you may need to take small steps daily, seeking alternative employment options on a daily basis, or seeking promotional opportunities at work.

Stay on track and be dedicated in meeting your end performance goals.  Stay positive and work hard at this to improve performance.  Performance will not improve if you do not put in the effort.  Your dedication and hard-work ethic will pay off and you will soon observe yourself hitting milestone performance goals.

Achieving Performance Goals

Through your dedication, performance goals will be achieved at milestone stages and at the end goal.  Throughout the whole process, ensure that you continuously review your initial purpose, your initial goals.  As mentioned, your plan to improve performance should be measurable and tied to a time duration.   Measure your actual improvements against your planned performance goals.  If necessary revise and be motivated to achieve the goal or next step.

Motivation, perseverance, dedication, hard-work … grab and use these from your personal toolbox and you will achieve improved performance.

 

Strategy Plan One

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Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Business Life Cycle and the Current Economic Climate

Strategy Plan One

March 17, 2012 

Business Life CycleBusiness Life Cycle

In the normal context of the business life cycle, a business, product, service or idea will progress through development, growth, peak and decline phases.

This cycle normally repeats over and over again as businesses usually adapt and change with the environment, close to the peak or into the decline phases.  The resulting graph of a fairly healthy, adjusted business looks like waves increasing in height from left to right on the graph.

Current Business & Economic Climate

In addition to the phases of the normal business life cycle, other factors such as economic or global issues can alter the business life cycle.  In the current economic climate over the past couple of years, those business cycles have either peaked or declined earlier than projected.  In a recessionary period, many business cycles may be on the declining side, but as economies pull out a recession, cycles hit a low stabilization period and another growth period begins.  Many businesses in 2012 are coming off the declining phase, reaching a low and are starting on the growth incline again.  Some stock graphs sometimes mimic the business cycles of many corporations.

Business Life Cycle

Business Cycle – Development Phase

This phase is the stomping ground for new product and business development.  It is the research and development phase behind ventures, with heavy emphasis on planning, testing and piloting projects.  In a repeating cycle this is a period of stabilization (as indicated by the trough on the graph), as companies have adjusted from declining phases and have stabilized operations and finances from a potential loss period.

Business Cycle – Growth Phase

Business Life CycleFollowing the development or stabilization period, companies and businesses enter a growth period, where new revenues grow from new products & services, or improvements made in operations.  The growth, inclined phase indicated on the graph could be a result of efficiencies made in operations, to make businesses more competitive.

Business Cycle – Peak Phase

As products, services, ideas, and business reach maturity, they hit a peak phase where no further growth occurs.  Peak phase may indicate no further revenue can be generated from products, or that the business has reached its maximum market penetration, or that the business may have reached maximum consumer interest.  If you are keeping accurate, timely track of your finances and analyzing your trends, this would indicate that you may have to start making adjustments in business.

Business Cycle – Decline Phase

Many economists and business professionals have stated that the current global economic circumstances may have caused companies to enter the decline phase faster than projected.  In the normal business cycle, if adjustments to business are not made, companies, products and ideas usually enter a deep decline period.  The current economic climate may have accelerated that, but many statistics are indicating that the economies are turning around.

Business Cycles Repeat and Return to the Positive

As noted in the cycle, declining phases cause reactionary measures to once again achieve a period of stability.  Following stable periods comes growth phases and the business cycle repeats on and on.

Business Tips for the Business Cycle

  • Be aware of where your company, product, service or idea is within the business life cycle
  • Keep track of your finances and operations and watch for trends as these trends are your indicators.
  • Be pro-active rather than reactive; being pro-active to trends may help you recover easier and faster from declining phases
  • Be cognizant of the business and economic climates locally, nationally and on a global basis

Strategy Plan One

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Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Time to Give Back as a Successful Entrepreneur

Strategy Plan One

March 4, 2012

Achieving SuccessAchieving Success

Achieving success as an entrepreneur can be interpreted a number of ways at a number of different levels.  No matter how you slice it, you most likely achieved success through your own efforts AND from the people, contacts and professionals that helped you get there.  At some point you should be willing to continue that good-will cycle and help other budding entrepreneurs.  Do your part to help the business environment thrive.

What You Received Along Your Way to Achieving Success

On your pathway to success you were educated and gained experience in operations and management.  Through mutually beneficial arrangements you gained most of your valuable on the ground experience from some employers who took the time to help you build capacities.  Not only did the employers enjoy the fruits of your labor but you also used this to your advantage, to be later applied to your ventures.

Early on in your entrepreneurial endeavors you may most likely had the benefit of being coached and mentored by a successful business person.  That successful entrepreneur was a willing participant to assist you in your own business pathway.  You probably noted that person was also benefiting, with sharpening his or her leadership skills or observing your business dynamics.

Your family and friends were most likely very supportive as you dedicated much time, money and resources to achieving your goals.  Many were patient, and many were willing to assist you to achieve those goals, lending moral and sometimes financial support.

What You Can Give Back as a Successful Entrepreneur

Looking at your pattern and pathway to successful entrepreneurship, you may be able to give back in the same manner to those who are building capacity to be a successful entrepreneur.  Here are some of the constructive things you could do to give back to the business community:

  • Volunteering to business organizations
  • Hosting workshops and presenting successful methods
  • Blogging on business topics
  • Mentoring and coaching
  • Assisting youth entrepreneurship groups
  • Taking an employee under your wings, under your guidance
  • Donating money and other resources if you don`t have the time
  • Encouraging and empowering your business teams to contribute to the same entrepreneur causes
  • Creating a network of professionals across multiple industries that help build capacities
  • Advocating for change and capacity initiatives to the local and Federal governments

If you had the benefit of achieving success and you know others assisted you on your pathway to achieving success, you should consider giving back.  This continuous cycle of good-will is essential in helping the current and future business generations thrive, and strive for success.

Strategy Plan One

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Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Building Relationships – Key to Building Customers and Revenue

Strategy Plan One

March 3, 2012

Building TrustBuilding Relationships  

In a conference we attended this week for entrepreneurs and small businesses, the over-arching theme between sessions and presentations was overwhelmingly similar.  In order to build a new customer base or to build up an existing customer base, entrepreneurs must first focus on building trust, building strong relationships with potential consumers.

Building Trust 

In the business examples brought forward in the presentations, the best customer – business experiences were ones where trust was first built with the customer.  The customer must believe in what you are selling, promoting, or offering.  In today`s business environment, and with instant information to anything under the sun, customers are well-educated and informed prior to making a purchasing decision.  Those businesses that take the time building trust and relationships with customers will note that those buying customers have made a personal connection with the entrepreneur and business.

As an entrepreneur you need to promote an environment where customers can ask questions and receive honest, trustful information and advice back.  It is in your best interest to provide that honest feedback on whether or not the product or service is the right fit for the consumer.  It may come back to haunt you, if you decide to oversell something to your client you worked so hard to get.  As mentioned information is readily available and if the consumer finds out they were oversold or ripped off, that relationship will be broken, and obviously that customer will be gone forever.  Wipe that repeat revenue off the books.

Building RelationshipsBuilding Relationships, Trust, Customers, and Revenue

When trust has been gained, you will gain the customer`s confidence in you as a trustworthy entrepreneur, and will gain confidence in your product or service as something that is absolutely essential to them.  Build that relationship and there will be no need to go elsewhere.  Providing a trustful business environment is your competitive advantage over other big box stores or corporations that don`t have those strong micro relationships with the consumer.  You are in a great position if at the end of the day, you can see a list of repeat customers that all have a connection to you and your business.  This is your key to building up your customer base and building increasing revenue streams.

Strategy Plan One

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© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Best Practices – Encourage, Promote and Share Best Practices

Strategy Plan One

March 1, 2012 

 

Best PracticesBest Practices

In your business or organization, teams and units work to find effective and efficient operations, methods and procedures.  Most of the time through the normal course of business evolution, teams find brilliant solutions.  As a leader it is in your realm to bring teams together to encourage them to share best practices, to bounce great ideas off each other, and to create a constructive learning environment.

 

The sharing of best practices across multi-functional teams is one method of implementing continuous learning and improvement processes.  Success is achieved at many levels when best practices are shared and implemented across business units.

 

Identification of Best Practices

As a leader in your business you may note differential results between units that do the same work.  In your regular meetings and briefings, investigate the methods and successes that are isolated or behind the scenes.  Best practices may be revealed from frequent communications and engagement with individual staff members and with teams.

 

Best PracticesEncourage and Promote Best Practices

Great work and efforts should be recognized.  Incorporate recognition in your organization as a way to illustrate appreciation across colleagues.  Promote an environment where teams can openly share what works well for their units.  Promote an environment where teams can learn.  The combination of sharing best practices and open learning environment spells potential success broadly across the organization.

 

Best Practices Forums

If your organization is large, establish a formal setting for the sharing of information and effective practices.  Forums or working group meetings assist in bringing large groups together to share a broad array of topics.  Structured, these forums can result in improvements to cross-functional units that are not related, such as an administrative efficiency that improves the general operation of all units.

 

Intellectual Property

As a leader ensure you identify any process, product or design that may fall into your business’ intellectual property rights.  Pay close attention to the best practice or method as it may warrant protection of intellectual property.  Investigate whether patents, trademarks and copyrights should be filed with your Federal Patents office.

 

A very effective way to improve your organization across individuals and business units is to share and implement best practices.  Allow your professional teams to help others be successful with results-based best practices.

 

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One