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.

More on Management, Employees, and HR:

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Strategy Plan One


Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One


Strategies for Handling Difficult Conversations

Strategy Plan One

March 28, 2012 

difficult conversationsDifficult Conversations

As leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners, we have all encountered scenarios, difficult scenarios, where the conversation with staff, partners, customers or contractors has been rough or will be rough.


Certain techniques will help in alleviating difficult conversations and pressures and get everyone back on track with meeting goals and objectives through productive business methods.


Here are some strategies and techniques in handling difficult conversations:

  1. Establish mutual ground rules at the beginning of the discussion; ensure there is a mechanism and a procedure to fall back on if things get off track
  2. Ensure there is a goal and purpose to the conversation; make the scenario valuable with an intended outcome
  3. Don’t make it personal – set the mutual ground rules up front and state the goal is to resolve the issue and not make it a personal attack
  4. Create an environment where everyone can speak freely and in an open manner
  5. Make sure that other parties know their feedback and discussions are valued
  6. Be genuine, truthful and create an environment of trust
  7. Hit on the positives where there are significant negatives; positive reinforcement works
  8. Be constructive in your conversations
  9. Offer solutions not barriers or roadblocks
  10. Think and bring to the table alternatives if the current pathway isn’t working
  11.   As a leader, be an active listener
  12.   As a leader, be a learner; learn from the experience
  13.   As a leader be available, and engage parties frequently
  14.   Raise a third-party or theoretical example if points need to be supported
  15.   Ensure all parties have access to information, especially when it comes to rules and regulations and that line must be focused on


Extreme Difficult Conversations

Where you do have serious circumstances that require the most difficult conversations, you have the ability to speak directly and openly about inappropriate behaviours or non-performance issues.  You could approach the scenario by recommending some solutions to get everyone back on track with meeting objectives.  It may also be in the best interest to ask the other party what they need leadership to do.  Their feedback for issue resolution is important.


Third party mediation or seeking outside sources to help resolve may also be options when the one-on-one discussions are not going anywhere.  Third parties or mediation can help take the pressure off the affected parties.  A third party or mediator may take neutral ground, observing both parties’ positions and offering up independent recommendations that will work.


Positive Outcomes to Difficult Conversations

The end goal needs be a positive one, with satisfaction to all parties involved.  Whatever tactic you choose to handle difficult conversations, think and act systematically and strategically, with end goals in mind.  It is sometimes an easier pathway to find solutions than riskier, costly pathways such as litigation.


Strategy Plan One


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


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


Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One