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Is everyone replaceable? February 17, 2015

Posted by trainingsolutionshlc in Uncategorized.
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This question came up when I gave an assignment to the management class at UCLA. The case was about an elderly bus boy that went above and beyond helping customers despite a limp. He seemed to get immense pleasure but was fired because he was seen as a distraction by the upper levels and the other people who bussed tables didn’t do what he did.

I am not sure if the reaction and comments from the students was related to their generation, mostly y with a few generation x, of if this is a universal concept.

Rather than look at what work the individual was doing and perhaps raise the level of the others they all wanted to fire him and simply continue as before.

Statistics show that it can cost up to 3 times an annual salary to hire an individual on any level. Putting money issues aside, I was surprised that the students didn’t ask about a customer satisfaction survey even though the author of the article was most appreciative of the extra service. Nobody questioned customer expectation and if receiving extra service correlated to increased revenue. With the exception of this individual all other service was mediocre in terms of doing the basic minimum and nothing more.

Questions to ponder on a Tuesday

Do we simply replace those who march to a different drummer or should we ask why and see how that can impact our business?

Do we accept mediocrity as the norm or do we try to excel?

Could this be a generational concept that each person do what they are told and nothing more? I really hope this is not even close to being accurate.

How do we motivate employees to see opportunities to improve their performance and thereby that of the business?

Letting Go Is SoHard to Do February 9, 2015

Posted by trainingsolutionshlc in Uncategorized.
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No, this isn’t the name of a song from the 60’s. This is an issue I am seeing more and more with entrepreneurs in start-ups. This is their baby and they think they need to do it all. Sadly, unless you never need to sleep or have a life outside the business you cannot grow if you do not delegate and share the work.

Aside from having others support so you can focus on your strengths and purpose in the business, having assistance helps you see other perspectives. You have been too close to the action and others may see something you missed, which enables you to grow.

What are some of the simple steps you can take to eliminate the feeling of overwhelm and get the business on track for growth?

  1. Assess your strengths what do like to do and what are you good at doing? Be careful here. Sometimes we do mundane tasks as a means of avoiding the big stuff.
  2. Create an organizational chart of what the business could look like in 5 years. Write job descriptions for each position. What skills should the individual have and what competencies.
  3. Identify the areas you feel comfortable delegating
  4. Here’s the tricky part; when you delegate set clear expectations and monitor the results as you go along. Be specific.
  5. Create a culture of what the working environment should look like. Will it be a laid back relaxed place or high pressure, or something in between?
  6. When you hire for the job descriptions, hire for growth. You want each person to grow with the company. Just in time hiring is expensive and a waste of training time.
  7. Identify key advisors who can be a sounding board and help you identify resources, discover your strengths and name those areas that need to be delegated first.

If you are feeling any of the symptoms listed:

  • Begin to get overwhelmed with small details of office management, which takes your attention away from the big picture.
  • Find yourself with no one to challenge your thinking, because you’re the only one with all the answers.
  • Are not challenging yourself on a regular basis.

It’s time to let go so you can work on your business; focus on the reason you started in the beginning. Let go of what you’re comfortable doing. You always need to be thinking big and challenging yourself.

If you are in the LA/Ventura area check with me about the free seminars offered to discuss the issues in more detail. harriet@trainingsolutions-hlc.com